Pistol vs. Revolver: The Final Showdown

For as long as we can remember, the terms “revolvers” and “pistols” have been used in an interchanging manner to the point that we even have the term “revolver pistol” going around now. However, the two could not be any more different.

To be able to choose the perfect gun for your purpose, you need to learn the big differences between the two. A pistol cannot be called a revolver, just as a revolver cannot be called a pistol. Each one comes with its own pros and cons all of which you have to familiarize yourself with.

The Mighty Pistol

Pistols are a timeless option for those who want to bring some old school in their lives. Pistols were the first type of handguns that appeared, and they use one or more stationary chambers to shoot the bullets.

Pistols can be semi or fully automatic, single-shot, or multi-chamber. Their most descriptive fact is that they have a high-capacity magazine and that they are fairly reliable. They have less recoil compared to other handguns, and they also have the ability to fire faster. They are the preferred choice for when time is of the essence.

The average pistol can carry around 12-20 bullets meaning that if you need to, you should be able to hit as many targets as possible. The trigger is also easy to pull and you can easily change from one target to another without waiting between shots.

However, gun enthusiasts need to bear in mind that a pistol is not very mechanically simple at least not in the way that a revolver is. They may require more maintenance from gun owners, and they are generally the best solution for self-defense.

Furthermore, in order to cycle up the second round, you need to successfully finish the first round. This can be rather inconvenient when you want to add up a “fresh round” but still have two bullets left. Those two bullets might not be enough to save your life in an assault with multiple individuals.

Another issue with the pistol is that if the magazine is lost or broken, then this type of weapon might just become a single-shot one. This might not be very convenient if your life is on the line. As a result, you have to be particularly careful of these parts of your handgun.

The wrong kind of ammunition can also cause jams in your pistol which is why you may have to be particularly careful of what you choose to “feed” your pistol with. They need to have the proper shape so that they won’t get stuck in the chamber, and they need to have the proper head shape so that the bullet can easily move out.

A person that owns a pistol will have to learn how to use the slides, slide stops, decockers, magazine releasers, and safeties. Depending on the individual, they may or may not be able to pull a back side mainly because they lack the strength to do so.

The Revolver Power

Pistols and revolvers are nothing alike but at the same time, you could still say that they are distant relatives. The pistol is the grandfather of them all; it is the one that came first. After that, came the revolver.

Revolvers feature multiple chambers set in the form of a cylinder. Each chamber will feature one bullet. Once the trigger has been pulled, the gun’s cylinder will rotate, and a new chamber will come straight in line with the gun’s barrel. After that, the gun fires and the process will start all over again.

Compared to pistols, the mechanical system of a revolver is fairly simple. There are not many things that can go wrong when you fire this gun, which is why they represent a suitable choice for beginners. The maintenance is also simple, making revolvers a good choice for those who want to “ease into” gun ownership.

Revolvers are a great choice when it comes to self-defense, particularly if you are not keen on getting your gun clean on a regular basis. A revolver is perfect for being stored in a safe or to simply carry it in your purse or bag for emergency situations.

The downside of revolvers is that they are a lot bulkier compared to pistols. They may not be such a good choice for you if you want to carry something more lightweight. You can opt for a compact revolver that will occupy less space in your bag but a small revolver will be no more lightweight than your average-sized pistol.

A revolver also does not carry as many bullets as a pistol. Whereas a pistol can have up to 20 bullets, a revolver only allows you to carry 5 or 6 bullets at a time. You will have to continuously refill the cylinder which can be a quite inconvenient thing to do in a life or death situation. It is also not the best gun to have around if you are dealing with multiple assailants.

Generally speaking, though, revolvers are very safe handgun types no matter if you go for a single or double action mode. They take minimal training, and you don’t have to worry about cocking the gun or pulling the slide back as you would with a pistol. Plus, you won’t have to wait until a round is finished in order to add more bullets.

Final Thoughts

While pistols and handguns may be distantly related, they couldn’t be any more different. Pistols feature a variety of safeties and more bullet room – whereas a revolver is simpler to use but doesn’t offer a lot of bullets in one round.

If you are only looking for a gun for self-defense and you don’t plan on doing too much shooting in one go then a revolver can be a good and simple choice. Otherwise, if you want something fancier and with more bullets in one go, you might want to choose the classic pistol.