Are revolvers obsolete?

If you ask some folks today, they will tell you that the day of the revolver is gone.   Let’s face it, while they were prominent at one time, revolvers are no longer found riding in the duty holsters of police and security officers throughout the world.  Even Hollywood has abandoned them.  At one time, revolvers were the standard handgun used in movies and TV shows by both good guys and villains alike, but no longer.  Even Colt, the maker of legendary revolvers like the one my father carried (the Python) has stopped manufacturing revolvers altogether.  You don’t see revolvers in the news, you don’t see them on TV or in the movies, and you don’t see them in police holsters.  Given this new reality, you could easily come to the conclusion that revolvers are dead, useless relics of a bygone age.  Well… you’d be wrong.

Far from being dead or obsolete, revolvers are among the most popular handguns made, and for good reason.  Revolvers are simple to operate, easy to shoot, ridiculously reliable, extremely accurate and chambered for powerful handgun cartridges.

While revolvers are not the best handgun for some things, they are among the best handguns for many things.  Revolvers are one of the best choices for concealed carry, home defense and hunting, just to name a few.  I’ve detailed the reasons why below:

Concealed carry:

Small revolvers are among the easiest guns to carry concealed.  A five shot .38 Special revolver fits nicely inside a pants pocket, a purse holster or in a hip holster concealed under a T-Shirt, jacket or sweater.  The .38 Special (particularly in +P) is a serious cartridge, much more so than the anemic rounds typically chambered in pocket-sized semi-auto pistols.

Home Defense:

Duty size revolvers are a favorite choice for home defense.  They are simple to operate under stress, extremely reliable, dead nuts accurate, can be left fully loaded for extended periods and chambered for serious defensive cartridges, such as: .38 Special +P, .44 Special, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .327 Magnum and .357 Magnum.


Hunters prefer revolvers as back up guns in areas where large predators threaten.  Stopping an angry bear, for example, requires a powerful gun.  Unlike semi-auto pistols, revolvers are commonly chambered for bear-stopping rounds (41 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 454 Casull, 465 Smith & Wesson, 480 Ruger, 500 Smith & Wesson).  While there are some extremely large semi-auto pistols chambered for powerful rounds, the accuracy, strength and reliability of the revolver eclipses every other handgun platform in this area.

So, that brings us back to the question posed in the title of this article.  Are revolvers obsolete?  In a word, no.

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