It’s perhaps the most debated issue in firearms: revolver verse pistol for concealed carry.
Should you carry a “wheel gun” or a semiautomatic pistol with a magazine in the handle? There really is no wrong answer, and plenty of smart, experienced, and informed gun experts will completely disagree on the subject.
While we can’t settle the issue, we’d like to give you a basic understanding of the general advantages to each choice.
Benefits of a Pistol
Pistols have many advantages for concealed carry, but none are more important than the thinner width. Thanks to the wheel, revolvers are generally about 1.2 to 1.5 inches thick. A pistol however, can be less than one inch thick, making it more concealable.
Pistols are often lighter, and there is less “felt recoil” because the cycling process consumes some of the recoil energy. They can also carry more rounds, which may not be necessary for most personal-protection situations, but can be important for some permit owners.
Benefits of a Revolver for Concealed Carry
If someone prefers a revolver for concealed carry, they usually cite reliability and ease of use as the top reason. Revolvers are simple and compact, with fewer moving parts and reliance on a simple mechanical process to cycle the next round. Of course, if you buy a high-quality pistol, it will have excellent reliability, but in general revolvers are considered more reliable.
While wider, revolvers can also have smaller and, in some cases, more comfortable grips because ammo is not stored in the handle.
Revolvers are generally more rugged and dependable for outdoor use. If you would be carrying it for use on the ranch or farm, or while hiking through bear country, you will likely find more comfort from the durability revolver.
Practice with Both, Become Proficient with One
Revolvers and pistols have different characteristics, so you need to understand the benefits of each type so you can make the right decision for your needs and skills. If you are a typical gun owner, with minimal time for training and practice, it’s best to choose one and become proficient with that type. Instead of trying to be familiar with two types of handguns, find the right type for you and focus on becoming proficient with either a pistol or revolver.