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Old July 24, 2013, 12:28 PM   #26
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I'm not really sure if movies are really the reason why people started switching over to auto loaders. I think the increased reliability of autos in the last 25 years or so has had a major impact on people making the switch. On top of that, the police started using them. A lot of people have the mentality that if its good enough for the police, it must be something they want/need.

All that being said, I bet there are a few more autos out there than revolvers, but I believe autos will far outnumber revolvers in another 5-10 years.
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Old July 24, 2013, 12:48 PM   #27
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Re: Semiauto vs. Revolver - which is more popular in the US?

I assume that autos currently outnumber revolvers but wouldn't be surprised if we see a resurgence in revolvers in the near future. In modern society I keep noticing trends that as technology is increasing by leaps and bounds people feel more disconnected and are searching for the romanticism and nostalgia of our past. Drive through Brooklyn and you will notice a lot of men with full beards and buffalo plaid flannel shirts (the modern hipster). There is also a recent urban trend among the middle and upper class to go hunting and growing their own food ( I've even seen boutique companies that make axes). With these trends, I feel revolvers may gain in popularity due to their nostalgia. Just my 2 cents.
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Old July 24, 2013, 01:22 PM   #28
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Revolver -v- Pistol

I'm just thinking that semi-auto pistols out number double action revolvers among new gun owners. Why my line of thought went that way is there are more makers of only semi-auto pistols as opposed to makers of only double action revolvers. And the revolver maker that come to mind also make semi-auto pistols.
At the range I go to there are more semis being shot on the line than any manually operated firearms, period.
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Old July 24, 2013, 01:48 PM   #29
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While it only pertains to domestically manufactured firearms and does not distinguish between those sold to civilians and those sold to military/LE, the following might shed some light on the issue:

As of 2011, there were about four and a half times as many semi-autos manufactured in the U.S. as revolvers (2,598,133 vs. 572,857). Ruger made the most semi-autos producing 612,970 between its Arizona and New Hampshire plants. Following Ruger in semi-auto production was Smith & Wesson at 406,151, Sig Sauer at 357,728, Taurus at 114,132, and Kimber at 104,303.

For revolvers, S&W led in production at 237,646 followed by Ruger at 193,025, Heritage at 68,186, North American Arms at 39,465, and Charter Arms at 23,845.
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Old July 24, 2013, 01:55 PM   #30
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In my collection ...revolvers outnumber the semi-autos almost 2:1....

but what is the most popular, what is the most commonly carried, best gun on a budget, on and on a very personal issue...and weight, caliber specific...
In general, I see way more 9mm semi autos at my local indoor ranges where the emphasis is on "carry guns" and practicing.../ cost of ammo for practice, I think, is the biggest factor in their decisions.

I do see some revolvers...and most of what I see at the range are revolvers in .357 mag / but the majority of guys are shooting .38 spl in them because its cheaper than .357 mag.

Personally, despite the number of revolvers I own in .22, .38 spl, .357 mag and .44 mag....most of the time, if I carry, it's a 1911 in .45 acp...but I will carry a K frame S&W once in a while in .357 mag........and I enjoy practicing with some of my revolvers, usually in .357 mag, in and out of a holster at my local range 2 or 3 times a month.
I have no idea, statistically, whether there are more revolvers or semi-autos out there in circulation....
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Old July 24, 2013, 04:03 PM   #31
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As far as total numbers. there is a 100 year history of revolvers being the predominant handgun, and a 30 year history of semiautos being commonly owned, so there are probably more revolvers in circulation but most may be sitting in safes and cases.
My thoughts as well.

In my own collection, revolvers outnumber autos roughly 19:4. And I could be missing a revolver or 2 in there .

My wife's collection is 0:3 however.
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Old July 24, 2013, 04:12 PM   #32
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Go on most web forums that deal with many different firearms like TFL, THR, etc. and look at the number of posts in each forum. Here at TFL there are 64K posts in semi-auto pistol, and 30K posts in revolver. I think that says a lot about which firearm is more popular.
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Old July 24, 2013, 05:54 PM   #33
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If there were a lot of revolvers being built, I think we'd see a lot of them for sale. But we don't. For every revolver we see, we see a ton of autos. My local Cabelas has what they say is the world's largest gun counter. They have TWO revolvers - S&W 500 Magnums. The other couple of hundred pistols are autos, most tupperware.
Same with my LGS......but instead of the .500s they have a coupla Taurus. Thing is, they would like to handle more revolvers.....but they can't get them or they sell the minute they hit the counter. In my area, other than Gander Mountain or Cabelas, autos are generally priced below MSRP everywhere. Used to be revolvers were too. Nowadays finding a popular revolver at MSRP is a rarity. L and N framed Smiths generally are above MSRP in many shops, and they still sell. Part of the problem is exactly what SgtLumpy said........there's a plenitude of manufacturers out there makin' bottom feeders, but only a few makin' revolvers. Easier to keep up supply with more available to start with. But I also agree that autos far outsell revolvers presently. But because of the popularity in the past and numbers sold over the last century, total numbers owned, I believe to be about the same.
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Old July 24, 2013, 09:02 PM   #34
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I have more semi autos but I really like revolvers. I also agree that a lot of people are looking for short-range poly pistols that are easier to make and very profitable for the manufacturer. I have a 357 Super Mag Dan Wesson that I shot silhouette with years ago. I kicked myself for not getting a .22 DW when they were still being made. I had heard rumors that Dan Wesson was going to make revolvers again so I sent them an email and got this response:

We have hopes of bringing them back, we just don’t have a prospective date. Dan Wesson had a fire back in November and just came online a month ago, so we’ve still got to get back to normal before we can think about the revolvers.

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Old July 24, 2013, 09:08 PM   #35
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Semiauto vs. Revolver - which is more popular in the US?

This number could easily be figured by compiling sales figures. Hazarding a guess I would say its the semi-auto by a large margin.
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Old July 25, 2013, 08:53 AM   #36
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At the private club where I'm an RO I see many more autos than revolvers. It's mostly the older guys shooting revolvers
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Old July 25, 2013, 11:25 AM   #37
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I would guess that current circulation is prolly close now. autos have been out selling revolvers for a long time now and I'd imagine revolvers big lead has been eaten up by now. If autos havent over taken them, it wont be long til they do.
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Old July 25, 2013, 08:43 PM   #38
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As a fairly recent convert (sort of) autoloaders are more popular, because:
They're mostly thinner, therefore easier to conceal
They hold more rounds, important when the zombies come
The dominant calibers are plenty enough, and
They're cheaper.

Not long ago, the predominant pocket pistol was a S&W J-frame packing .38 Spl +P. Still a good choice, but now we have Ruger LCPs, etc. I met two fellows at the range yesterday shooting Sig P238s. Nasty little beasts, and well made. Plus lots of small 9s.

Personally, practically, I've gone to autoloaders in the nightstand, in my waistband, and if it's all I can do, in my pocket (mouse gun). That said, if you want some thump on your belt, you can't beat a sturdy revolver. And I honestly believe that the revolvers coming out of Ruger and Smith & Wesson are as good or better than ever (love my GP-100). Taurus gets little love, but I think they're pretty good guns too (just not as good as the Yankees make).

Numbers, the pistols have it. But revolvers are not going away.
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Old July 25, 2013, 09:06 PM   #39
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From my own observation, the recent passage of carry laws in most states has created a surge in auto loading pistols. At my range on Saturday morning it seems to be mostly pistols. But when I head out to the fields or woods, its the revovler hands down.

Depends on your shooting discipline, or lack of it, which you will choose. For packin', auto loader; for shootin', revolver.

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Old July 25, 2013, 11:36 PM   #40
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When I do go to our outdoor range (hardly ever) I shoot in the yard all the time. It's about even. I like autos better myself and I think almost everyone loves to play with a wheel gun. ESP when going into the woods.
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Old July 26, 2013, 12:08 AM   #41
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Semiauto vs. Revolver - which is more popular in the US?

I would think semis are a much bigger seller. Every gun store I have been in has more of them than revolvers, and while I a revolver guy at heart I actually have 15 semi autos and 11 revolvers. There is just more variety in semi autos
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Old July 26, 2013, 07:34 AM   #42
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I think Smiths with locks are selling because that's all that's available but lets say you were in the LGS and had a choice between a used pre lock 686 and a brand new one with the lock, which would you choose? For me the pre lock would be a no brainer. I consider a revolver the best choice for a woods gun.
That being said, I sure would hate to have a locked gun when a cougar shows up.
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Old July 26, 2013, 12:41 PM   #43
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With the present ammo situation, I find myself shooting my 6 shot single action revolver rather than my semis. I can take a semi out with a few magazines and I've shot off a hundred rounds in very short order. I can take the revolver out and it takes much longer because it has to be cocked between rounds and it has to be reloaded every 6 rounds with each shell being ejected individually. REVOLVERS SAVE AMMO.
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Old July 26, 2013, 08:44 PM   #44
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If we are talking only about modern guns and guns in more or less daily use, autos are the winners. But there were millions of revolvers made and sold in the U.S. before auto pistols were ever invented, and many more millions sold before autos became at all common. Of course, many of those guns went on the scrap heap decades ago, but many are still around, as evidenced by the queries on this site about "Granddad's old Young America revolver..."

So, on an overall number of handguns owned in the U.S., I say there are more revolvers.

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Old July 28, 2013, 07:28 PM   #45
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Semiauto vs. Revolver - which is more popular in the US?

Depends on how many shots you intend to use in a conflict. One would do, and a revolver is the answer. In outright combat or fun at the range, semi-auto with extra magazines!
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Old July 29, 2013, 10:50 AM   #46
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Depends on how many shots you intend to use in a conflict. One would do, and a revolver is the answer. In outright combat or fun at the range, semi-auto with extra magazines!
Odd as it may seem, all my revolvers hold at least five rounds. And they're all tons of fun at the range.

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Old July 29, 2013, 10:58 AM   #47
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Steven Seagall uses an auto. What more does anyone need to know?
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Old July 29, 2013, 04:24 PM   #48
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Steven Seagall uses an auto.
Only until the last bad guy is still standing. Then he tosses his auto to his beaten and injured partner and takes on the bad guy with that whirling hands style martial arts.

I think we should all practice that.

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Old July 29, 2013, 11:42 PM   #49
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More folks voted for one side, and more folks voted for autos ... Oh [email protected]

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Old August 1, 2013, 06:16 PM   #50
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Well, if I'm any indication......I've got ONE revolver and a bunch of semis. Don't have anything against revolvers, I just like semis.
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