Revolver Reliability Is Over-exaggerated

One of the daily discussions that’s had is comparing the reliability of revolvers to the reliability of semi-autos. Without any evidence being provided this conversation usually ends with: “Yeah, revolvers are more reliable.” This isn’t supported with any kind of evidence, just anecdotal claims from the days of old.

It is my opinion, based on everything I have seen, that modern quality semi-autos are just as reliable, if not more reliable than revolvers.

When it comes to revolver reliability, I have never seen a revolver go through 1,000rds as fast as possible without a hiccup. I have seen this happen with a semi-auto, as can you by watching this video from the Military Arms Channel.

I have also never seen a revolver do full-auto mag dumps without a failure; for obvious reasons. I have seen full-auto semi-auto mag dumps without failures; you can YouTube any full-auto Glock video and you’ll see this.

I have also never seen a revolver get buried for a year and then shot, but I have seen a semi-auto get this treatment and run without failure. There’s also claims of semi-autos getting even harder but similar abuse and still functioning without failure.

I’ve also never heard of a revolver making it to 100,000rds without having to replace any parts. This isn’t to say it doesn’t exist, but I’ve never seen the claim made by anyone.

Yes, these examples are more or less anecdotal, but they do shine a light on the reliability of the modern semi-auto. They’re nearly as, if not more, bomb proof than revolvers, especially when using quality brass cased ammunition.

This post isn’t to say that revolvers aren’t reliable, it’s also not a post to say that revolvers don’t have a place in one’s defensive tool kit, because they are reliable, and they do have a place in that tool kit. However, the reliability of revolvers is over-exaggerated, and their place in that defensive tool kit falls into the niche category; at least for where I’m located.


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