The Virtues Of Revolvers
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In the realm of handguns revolvers and pistols are by far the most popular ones; there are of course, other types such as mini submachine guns, pistol shotguns, but basic pistols and revolvers remain the undisputed leaders in the field.
A handgun makes a very good weapon intended for survival purposes in the wilderness, in combat and so on because it is small and lightweight, it can be concealed and carried without much ado and is relatively inexpensive, but since not all weapons are created equal, there end all similarities.
Since WWII at least, pistols have enjoyed the favour of armed forces; most soldiers that have been issued handguns carry pistols because these guns are best suited for combat usage, when a lot of firepower in standard calibres is required. On the other hand, revolvers enjoy more popularity among police and security officers as well as the civilian public.
For survival purposes it is my opinion that revolvers make a better choice than pistols because of several factors, being the first one dependability. Some pistols have become legendary for their jamming problems under certain circumstances, like the German Luger under cold conditions, but in general, since pistols have more complicated internal mechanics, they will always jam more and more often than revolvers, especially when exposed to dust, water, cold and so on. Not all pistols are so sensible as the Luger to dust jamming, but the possibility always remains.
Then you should count on the safety factor: It is far more difficult to suffer an accidental shot with a revolver than with a pistol. Two main causes of accidental firings are common in the case of pistols: one is the lack of knowledge of the inner workings of de design, and secondly, that the weapon might fall to the ground. In both cases, revolvers enjoy an advantage. Of course, proper care of the gun as well as training and knowledge certainly turn any pistol into a safe gun in the hands of an expert, but not everybody is one.
Versatility is another factor: Revolvers can usually fire a wider variety of rounds than pistols. The inner workings of automatic or semiautomatic pistols preclude the use of some kinds of bullets because of feeding problems. Revolvers, having a rotating drum instead of a linear feeding system in which the shape of bullets play a part of the whole process than starts in the magazine clip and ends into the firing chamber, seldom jam.
The two limitations that revolver have are related to firepower because you have only five or six shots in the drum, as compared to more than a dozen in a pistol magazine, and the fact that revolvers cannot be easily silenced. But these two limitations are more related to tactical use than to survival issues, for whenever you go into the wilderness you need something dependable, safe and versatile. Unless you plan to engage in combat or eliminate silently someone, a revolver will be a better choice as a survival weapon.
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