Revolver vs Pistol: Which is the Better Handgun for Self Defense

Revolver vs Pistol Handgun for Self Defense

A new question came in through The Best Self Defense Weapons Mailbag which reads, “Hi, I am looking to buy a handgun for self defense. However, I am stuck between the decision to buy a revolver or a pistol. So, my question is, which kind of gun should I choose and what are the advantages or disadvantages that I can get from each type of handgun for self defense?”

Which is the Better Handgun for Self Defense

It actually depends on your preference because each type has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Choosing one of the two will always let you trade off a feature possessed by the other.

For instance, choosing the revolver will let you avoid the jamming problem that a pistol user usually encounters. If a round fails to fire, all you have to do is pull the trigger again to proceed to the next round in the cylinder. A revolver has a lesser chance of firing also when you accidentally drop it due to the gun’s design. With a revolver, all you have to do is point and shoot.

On the other hand, a semi-auto pistol is capable of housing more rounds than a revolver. Reloading is quicker with a pistol too. Then, unlike a revolver wherein you have to  bring out its cylinder to insert the bullets manually, you can just eject your spent magazine from a pistol and insert a new one quickly. In addition, new semi-automatic pistols now come with a lot of safety designs which lessens the likelihood of the user to fire it accidentally. However, some of its safety features may come quite a hassle when it comes to a quick draw situation.

These are only some of the advantages and disadvantages of a revolver vs pistol. The matter of its effectiveness lies in your training, familiarity with the weapon and presence of mind. A good training with a revolver will let you easily beat someone with a semi-automatic pistol or the other way around. So, the age old question about which is a better handgun for self defense between a revolver vs pistol  definitely depends on the one wielding it and his state of mind during self defense situations.


Although a gun provides a lot of tactical advantages, remember that a gun alone does not dictate the outcome of a conflict during self-defense situations. Skill and strategy always plays an important role during self defense. So, train well in order for you to utilize the maximum potential of your gun or any self defense weapon that you have.

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