Selecting a Handgun for Defense Pt. 2: Defensive Revolvers

I've been working on this for a while so it may be a little dated as I have not reviewed or entered 2011's product offerings. I received a lot of positive feedback on Part 1 of this covering automatics and some have been asking for Part 2.

Let me say that I am not a revolver guru and my opinions here are based on a good working knowledge of revolvers and firearms in general and are not that of an expert in the area of revolvers.

When it comes to revolvers, the options are much simpler than when looking at automatics. While current trends seem to favor semi-automatic pistols for self defense use, the role of the revolver is still alive and well for defensive purposes. Some may lack the hand strength to properly manipulate the slide of an automatic which is necessary function in making the pistol ready and clearing a jam should one occur. Along with being able to manipulate the slide one must have the needed hand/arm strength to keep a firm grip on a semi-auto to ensure proper function. A poor grip/muscular control will lead to what is referred to as “limp wristing”.

Limp wristing is when the grip frame of a semi-auto pistol is not firmly grasped and/or the wrist is not “locked’ and allows the hand to travel in a manner that allows the gun to shift during recoil in a manner that will prevent the slide from fully cycling to the rear resulting in a feed jam of the firearm. If one lacks the hand strength to properly handle or manipulate an auto, a revolver should be the preferred handgun of choice. While some shooters may have the hand strength to manipulate an auto, some just may want something simpler. No reciprocating slide, no magazines to come loose, not as complicated to clean etc. A revolver is pretty basic in terms of use and care. About the best reason for carrying a revolver that was recently brought up by a Deputy friend is that when shootings take place in very close quarters, the slide of a semi-automatic can get snagged and jam and slides can be pressed out of battery etc., for revolvers this is a non-issue.