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Revolvers for Survival | The Best Guns That Have Stood The Test Of Time



Revolvers feature

For many people revolvers serve as more than just as a sidearm for personal defense. Their revolvers serve as a memory of some of the most reliable firearms that became widely distributed and that have been passed down from grandfathers to fathers to sons. For decades revolvers were some of the most widely used firearms gaining notoriety throughout Hollywood which, in turn, increased popularity and sales.

Many police departments purchased large orders of revolvers for use by their deputies from companies such as Colt and Smith and Wesson. Not to mention even military contracts were made issuing revolvers for use by officers during times of war.

Revolvers remained the most efficient reliable sidearm until semi-automatic pistols became a sidearm of choice based on ammunition capacity. This is because a magazine fed semi-automatic pistol has a higher ammunition capacity than most revolvers that are based on a rotating cylinder of only five to six rounds. However, to this day revolvers still remain one of the most popular choices as a sidearm in various survival situations.

Evolution of Revolvers | Revolvers for Survival | The Best Guns That Have Stood The Test Of Time

Evolution of Revolvers

Some of the earliest revolvers were cap and ball but soon became less used once cartridge ammunition became widely available. Revolvers then became well known on the battlefield but were mostly used by ranchers against various lethal animals such as rattlesnakes. However, these revolvers could be loaded only one round at a time as well as emptied such as Colt’s Peacemaker model. This revolver design soon made way for the hinged frame revolver which exposed the entire cylinder allowing for quicker reloading. Finally, the revolver evolved again to the side opening model. This style ultimately became the most popular style revolver on the market.

For years the side opening revolver was used as a personal self defense carry. It is still commonly carried to this day. One of the most popular style revolvers carried for self defense is the snub nose revolver. The snub nose can be easily concealed. However, revolvers are not carried for self defense as often as they used to be as the semi-automatic handguns have been shown to provide more ammunition. Fortunately though among hunters, survivalists, weapons collectors and even various law enforcement and military personnel, revolvers still remain a reliable and trustworthy firearm to this day.

Reliability | Revolvers for Survival | The Best Guns That Have Stood The Test Of Time


In various survival scenarios the reliability of a revolver can serve more purpose than some of their competitors. For example, while out hunting or trekking through dangerous terrain the revolver is a great self defense tool. It will help against wild animals because of the various calibers they are available in. One of the best caliber revolvers, besides the .357 and 44 magnum, is the 410 birdshot. These 410 revolvers pack the same punch a shotgun can but in the size of a handgun.

In most survival scenarios however, the revolver may not always be the best choice. Although a revolver is better than having no weapon at all in a situation such as an economic collapse where rule of law is no more than weapons where having a higher ammunition capacity would be preferred. Luckily, in case that a zombie apocalypse ever occurs, then the revolver would be an excellent choice for a survival weapon. Such as the Colt .357 Magnum Python which is seen used by Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead. See the .357 Python in use here as a survival weapon.

Issues and Drawbacks | Revolvers for Survival | The Best Guns That Have Stood The Test Of Time

Issues and Drawbacks

While it is a very reliable firearm, the revolver still has its issues and drawbacks. The first issue would be, as previously mentioned, the lack of ammunition capacity. However, in order to combat this, speed loaders are available for almost all models of revolvers and their calibers. Speed loaders make for an excellent quick reload. All that is needed is to pop open the cylinder, empty the previous shells and drop the speed loader in.

A drawback to the revolver, ironically, is that they are one of the most reliable firearms to date. Therefore, if a part on the revolver were to break, it would require a skilled gun smith to fix it. This is because many of the revolvers from older generations were constructed with hand made parts. Unfortunately, many of these parts are no longer available. Compared to most modern day firearms, parts for revolvers are not nearly as affordable or widely available. Handgrips and replacement cylinders are typically available for most revolvers but hammers and firing pins are not nearly as common. Especially the older the revolver. To counter these drawbacks have available replacement parts if carrying a revolver for self defense.

Revolvers for Survival | The Best Guns That Have Stood The Test Of Time

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  1. C D Simion Sr

    January 13, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    Why don’t you sell black powder pistols?

    • Skip Plummer

      January 24, 2017 at 1:44 PM

      They do sell black powder pistols. Do a search for them. They’re for sale at many sites online.

  2. TheSouthernNationalist

    January 26, 2017 at 4:03 PM

    When I was doing security work I carried a S&W model 681 .357 magnum and I love this gun!
    Its powerful enough and with practice I could reload from my pocket almost as fast as the other officers could reload with a magazine change.

  3. headhunter

    January 27, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Remember that the semi-autos center fires are made primarily for police and military who regard reliability as #1. Center fire revolvers have been made for the sportsman /hunter who are also looking for accuracy. At one time almost all accuracy testing in the gun magazines seemed to be done at 25 yards. The distances for semi auto seems to be less, like 20 yards. (As always there are exceptions to this general rule.) With rimfire this is generally reversed with the out of the box auto being more accurate than the average revolver. S&W makes its .22 target revolvers very accurate and they will hold up to 10 rounds. Some S&W .357 magnum revolvers can take 7 or 8 rounds in the cylinder. Colt revolvers can be accurate and the Python is beautiful, however, the metal under the side plate is super thin , so unless shown how- don’t attempt removal. There are companies that sell replacement cylinders for percussion revolvers to convert them to ctg. revolvers. Modern revolvers are built with CNC machining and use modern metallurgy. In 55 years the one part I’ve had break is the cylinder release on a .44 magnum.

  4. Wally Peterson

    January 29, 2017 at 8:02 AM

    I’m revolver fan and carry a .38 special snubnose, so I was looking forward to reading this. Unfortunately, this article was written by someone who did minimal research on the subject and apparently learned English from the back of a cereal box. The writing isn’t just poor, it’s unbearable. I happen to be a freelance writer for a living, so I know whereof I speak. All I could think about while reading this was “Football have been very good to me. If it were not for football, I would not be playing football today.”

    • Brian

      March 26, 2018 at 12:40 PM

      The original quote (I believe) from Garret Morse was “Baseball been very very good to me!”

  5. Dave Jacobs

    January 31, 2017 at 5:59 PM

    The auto pistols only came into being plus/minus a bit around 1900. They were different and caught on by some, mostly military, for their ability to load more ammo from a magazine. Revolvers of the time just did not have the speed loaders of today. Half-moon clips were a bit faster, but not made for all calibers. However, the reliability of the automatic pistol never could match that of the better revolvers from S & W, or Colt. The same still holds true today. Where the autos have become much better than days gone by, so have the revolvers. One advantage of the revolver that no ‘comfortable-to-carry’ auto can match is the tremendous power of the magnum ammo for the revolvers. My purchase years ago of the S&W Mod. 19, .357 magnum with the 2.5″ barrel was the best purchase I ever made. I did carry it on duty in a four inch holster just for the uniform appearance. Why would I need a four or six inch barrel as the accuracy of the 2.5 inch was good up to 50 yards with the adjustable sight. Where in our society would anyone need greater range accuracy? In LE any greater range calls for containment of the problem, and a call for a tactical team. No, the real issue is that most today do not practice enough to get good enough with a weapon that they may use all the time for personal carry. Most are not good enough for any real gun battle shoot out. I used to have to shoot every day. Combat shooting takes a lot of practice and every week. If it isn’t done, you aren’t good enough. Just dangerous to everyone. So, that leaves us to survival in the field, and at times, possibly against those who would attempt to take what we have. A good .357 revolver is good for the latter, and any simple .22 caliber is good enough for game for food. Now, if one is really good, the .22 caliber ammo weighs a lot less for much more, and a good .22 handgun (revolver or auto) and the AR-7 Survival rifle is more than you would ever need in a real survival situation. Forget ‘combat’ or ‘zombies’ because not only are they completely unlikely in any real survival situation, but are mostly from a vivid imagination. In survival your main goal is to avoid any hazard by confrontation. I have taught survival for the average person in society for many years, and still go out to practice new things I may learn each year. My ‘Go-Packs’ have 1000 rounds of .22, a Ruger Mk II, bull barrel, 50 rounds .357, my Mod. 19, and my AR-7 rifle. My original Armalite??? Nah! I do have the bayonet on my pack, though. The length and weight are just too much, and remember, it is still just a .22 with a big powder charge. The folded stock just makes it bulky. Start thinking of real survival on the street and in the field.

  6. Peter Herigodt

    February 14, 2017 at 5:34 PM

    Even to this day if I was a law enforcement official and I was given a choice between a semi-auto or a revolver I would choose a revolver. One I am old school. Two I like revolvers better because I feal that they are more relaiable,they do not jam.Two if I cannot stop someone with six rounds I will just run.Shot placement plays a important role.

  7. Kent Cooksley

    March 26, 2018 at 1:32 PM

    Personally, I carry a .45 Long Colt single action revolver for a couple of reasons: 1. It has NEVER let me down in 50 + years of use (Military & law enforcement). and 2. It is the only firearm I have found that will absolutely STOP a charging Grizzly bear or a drug-crazed (PCP, Crystal meth, heroin, LSD) lunatic Hell-bent on robbing me or someone with me. Six shots, six hits with a 9 mm did not even slow down a PCP-high convicted felon (with a BIG knife!) who was intent on killing my pardner. We did manage to subdue him & take him into custody. The next time we encountered a similar situation, I took the first shot. ONE .45 caliber 260 grain, wad-cutter shot, center of mass, stopped this 280 lb man cold & sat him on his butt !! This same pistol saved my bacon when I was “ambushed” by a female Grizzly in Yellowstone Park a few years later. The first shot stopped her & the second shot killed her. I was glad I carried a .45 Colt single action. By the way, a .357 Magnum (Unless it’s a lucky head-shot.) will NOT stop a charging Grizzly. It will just make them madder, and you CANNOT outrun a charging Grizzly bear! Now, if they would just bring the cost of .45 Long Colt ammunition back down to a reasonable price, I would be happy.

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