General Category > Shooting Sports

Is the Revolver the Ultimate Survival Gun?


Shooting Illustrated  by Brad Miller May 25, 2021

There is much discussion about what kind of handgun is best for survival or end of the world scenarios. Some folks say revolvers, some say semi-automatics.

Semi-automatic pistols generally have the advantage of capacity over revolvers, and are ideal for when/if you need firepower or just a gun with a lot of ammo on board. While most uses of a firearm might be for harvesting game, defense against two- and four-legged opponents is a real possibility. A pistol, especially a large-capacity semi-auto pistol, is a great tool for that. Most have between 15 to 20 rounds on board, and with potent and effective calibers. That’s a fistful of firepower.

Revolvers certainly have their place in these same scenarios, but they are limited in how much ammo they carry on board. At best, 10 rounds of .22 LR is what you’ll get. For larger calibers, capacity goes down. Given this comparison of high firepower automatics and low firepower revolvers, what sterling virtue does a revolver possess? It’s simple. First and foremost, a revolver will never lose its magazine.

A semi-auto pistol has a distinct advantage in firepower, but these bottom feeders also have a critical weakness. If you lose the magazine, you’re left with a single shot pistol.

Now, you’re not really prepared unless you have additional magazines for your pistol. But, since they are detachable and carried separately from the gun (belt or bag), they can get misplaced, stolen or simply may not be with you when you need them.

How on earth could you lose the magazine in the gun? In real life, crap happens. Stop for a moment and think about the ways this could unfold. Magazine releases get bumped and the mag is now ejected or loose (I’ve had this happen). If you don’t know when or where the mag was lost, it’s gone forever. Draw the gun and the mag is missing or falls out. If you’re moving to create distance at that time, it’s not a good time to stop and search for it.


Since the article was on "Survival", I would always depend on the Revolver for the ease of reusing brass. You don't have to search for brass. Brass can be used many times if you stay away from max pressure loads. One can carry a small, compact reloading setup using reloading tools such as the Lee Loader or Lyman 310 Tong Tool. In your "Base Camp" you can easily set up to cast your own bullets.


[0] Message Index

Go to full version