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Old November 25, 2019, 11:07 AM   #26
AK103K
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
I've never had an ejector break on a revolver. Never had the bottom fall out of a magazine on a revolver (3 times with semis). Never had a double feed with a revolver. Never had a jam with a factory load with a revolver. Never had a revolver throw the empty in my face. Nope, folks, the revolver is more reliable than the semi. I do have a couple semis that haven't malfunctioned so far but they will. It's nature of the beast.
Ive never had an ejector break either, but I have had a couple back out and tie the gun up.

Found out what crap under the extractor star can do too.

Never had the bottom fall out of a mag, and I shoot a lot more auto than I do revolver.

I have had a cylinder drop to the ground with a revolver during a reload though.

Ive also had moonclips cause issues with a couple of revolvers too.

Ive had cases hang up in the cylinder and wouldnt extract until beat out of the gun with a chunk of wood. Couldnt do it by hand.

Ive had empties in the face with a number of different autos, and Ive had revolvers spit lead on me. Think I prefer the brass.

Ive also had rounds jump their crimp with revolver rounds that moved forward under recoil and totally tied the gun up as the cylinder turned.

Ive also had squibs drive a bullet just into the forcing cone and it too locked the gun up tight.

If you shoot them long enough, sooner or later, youre going to find that revolvers can be a real bitch when things go south, and are usually DRT when they do.

Over the years, I got to expereince a lot, if not most of the problems that occur with them, and you live and learn.

Ejector rod threads and cylinder lock screws (and a few other things) get Loctite.

You always dump your empties, "muzzle up", and make sure that is spotless under the star when you clean. You also make sure the front face of the cylinder, and face of the barrel is clean.

You also make sure the chambers in the cylinder are spotless.

If you reload, you make sure you have a good crimp. The bullet backing out is one issue there, and bad crimps seem to be an issue with squibs, or at least thats been the case with me. Ive had a lot more squibs with revolvers for some reason, than I have with autos.

Squibs with an auto generally dont cycle the gun, and give you an indicator that trouble lies ahead if you continue. Revolvers just let you keep going.

As I said earlier, if you maintain your stuff, and use good ammo, I find they are pretty much even as far as reliability goes.

When there is trouble, especially if its in a time of dire need, I hope then, the gun in my hand is an auto.

Dont get me wrong here either, Ive had plenty of issues with the autos over the years too. 98% of the time when they happened though, I was right back in action with a TRB.
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Old November 25, 2019, 11:18 AM   #27
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FTF, etc.

A great thought-provoking topic.

What issues have I had in competition with either revolver or auto.

The semi’s get the nod for issues and I have yet to experience a stoppage with my 1950 S&W model 14 38 Spcl.
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Old November 25, 2019, 12:21 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
I've never had an ejector break on a revolver. Never had the bottom fall out of a magazine on a revolver (3 times with semis). Never had a double feed with a revolver. Never had a jam with a factory load with a revolver. Never had a revolver throw the empty in my face. Nope, folks, the revolver is more reliable than the semi. I do have a couple semis that haven't malfunctioned so far but they will. It's nature of the beast.
AK103 beat me to responding with most of the revolver issues I've had. I'd also add I've never had a base-pin jump out of a semiautomatic pistol and tie up the cylinder mid-string.

Put enough rounds through any pistol, semi-automatic or revolver, and something is going to give eventually. My experience is that when my revolvers go down, they are generally out of action until I can bring tools into play. In contrast, a fail-to-feed or fail-to-eject in a semi-auto is just a brief inconvenience. If I know I may be pushing a lot of ammo downrange without a chance to stop and clean the pistol, my choice will be my Colt 1911 over my S&W revolvers.

Also, I frequently like to ask people who espouse the "simplicity" of a revolver if they've ever popped the side plate on a DA. The usual answer is NO, they have no idea what is under the hood of their "simple" revolver.

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Old November 25, 2019, 02:37 PM   #29
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I had a Colt Python that was so finely fitted that 50 rounds of 2.7 of Bullseye and a 148 gr WC would cause it to bind up.
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Old November 25, 2019, 07:43 PM   #30
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Here's a thing to think about, and yes, I've experienced about every malfunction there is, short of grenade in the face (though I almost did have that happen with a rifle...)

Loot at all the examples given of revolvers failing in some way...why? because people remember them. Why? because they are uncommon.

I had very, very few issues with revolvers (that weren't ammo caused) and remember every single one but I can only remember a few specific jams with semis. those that were spectacularly out of the ordinary.

One shouldn't but there are a few who seem to sound like when a revolver chokes for some reason, its "because its a revolver" and when a semi does its version, it's "just bad ammo" or "a bad magazine"...

Likewise, when a particular gun breaks, some act like "its because its a …" and not because it happens to be a bad or defective unit.
Most of us put a little more thought into it and realize that lemons of various flavors are found on revolving and reciprocating trees. We try not to pick them but sometimes we get them anyway.
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Old November 26, 2019, 07:55 PM   #31
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They are different beasts. The revolver is much slower to reload because you are the loading mechanism. However, if the ammo fits in the chambers and you can close the cylinder, a loading related problem is extremely unlikely.

A semiautomatic reloads itself after each shot. It's possible for ammo to fit into the magazine, but not into the chamber properly. A round that won't ignite will stop the semiautomatic, but with the revolver you just pull the trigger again.

I have had very few failures ever with my revolvers. Almost all of my semi-automatics have had one or more malfunctions, especially the 22's.

Other than the loading/ejecting thing, they seem about the same as far as parts breaking, springs wearing out, etc.

If you need a handgun for SD when you are not at home, you will almost certainly have just moments to react. No one is going to try to assault you from 25 yards away. If someone jumps me from close range, I will be fortunate to draw and get off a shot or two. Tap rack bang would not happen.
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Old November 26, 2019, 10:28 PM   #32
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"A revolver is slower to reload..."

Everybody has heard that, many people say it. But they're ignoring the "behind the scenes" work that MUST be done, in order to make that semi auto faster to reload.

Try this test. You have a loaded revolver and a loaded semi auto on a table, and a box of ammunition.

NO spare magazines, no moon clips.

Which one do you think you could fire empty and reload faster?

Seriously. If you're skilled and fairly dexterous, you might be a tiny bit faster reloading the semi's magazine and chambering a round than emptying and reloading a Single Action revolver. But you won't be faster than emptying and reloading a Double Action revolver.

The point here is that while a semi is "Faster" to reload, it is faster ONLY if you have PRELOADED spare magazines. And spare mags are separate parts, so the possibility always exists that they won't be where you need them when you need them. We do a lot to make sure that possibility is as slim as we can make it, it we cannot make it go away entirely.

"but everyone has spare mags!..Don't they??"
Most of us do...until we don't...IF that ever happens...
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Old November 27, 2019, 06:20 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
"A revolver is slower to reload..."



Everybody has heard that, many people say it. But they're ignoring the "behind the scenes" work that MUST be done, in order to make that semi auto faster to reload.



Try this test. You have a loaded revolver and a loaded semi auto on a table, and a box of ammunition.



NO spare magazines, no moon clips.



Which one do you think you could fire empty and reload faster?



Seriously. If you're skilled and fairly dexterous, you might be a tiny bit faster reloading the semi's magazine and chambering a round than emptying and reloading a Single Action revolver. But you won't be faster than emptying and reloading a Double Action revolver.



The point here is that while a semi is "Faster" to reload, it is faster ONLY if you have PRELOADED spare magazines. And spare mags are separate parts, so the possibility always exists that they won't be where you need them when you need them. We do a lot to make sure that possibility is as slim as we can make it, it we cannot make it go away entirely.



"but everyone has spare mags!..Don't they??"

Most of us do...until we don't...IF that ever happens...
It really isn't even a contest. It's much quicker to go through a 50 round box of ammo with a DA revolver than with a semi-auto with only one magazine. A 50 round box of .32 ACP ammo with my Colt 1903 lasts longer than a 50 round box of .38 Special in my Combat Masterpiece. And neither will keep up in ammo consumption with either my 1911 or PPQ as long as the supply of preloaded magazines holds out.

To the slower to reload dogma, I'd add the common "revolvers are more accurate" quip. If we're talking firing the revolver hand-held in single action, then yes, the majority of average shooters are more accurate with the revolver. BUT, if I Iopped the hammer spur off any of my S&Ws and gave them to those same average shooters, suddenly a Glock or any DA/SA pistol is going to look much more accurate. (I'm ignoring mechnical accuracy and SAO automatics in this comparison, as most don't find a 1911 trigger to be any impediment to good practical accuracy and the majority of us aren't shooting our pistols locked in machine rests.)

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Old November 27, 2019, 12:38 PM   #34
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The real advantage goes to the semi in defensive pistol competition, no doubt about it.
It's faster to reload a semi and they hold up to 17 rounds. This is very important in competition. In a self defense situation as a civilian, we're told it's more like 3 shots fired.
The fact(yeah) fact that I've had more malfunctions with semis than with revolvers tells me that the revolver is more reliable.
This being said, I do have 4 semis that I would carry because they haven't malfunctioned YET. The main reason I carry the 642 is that it's the best I've found so far for pocket carry. I do have an LC9 that fits in the pocket but due to the shape of the auto I can't draw from the pocket with my hand around the handle, In a holster the auto works fine.
A good friend of mine fired at a burglar breaking in the back door, missed him with the first shot, gun jammed, no second shot. The good news is the guy ran off in a hurry and did not notice the gun had jammed. The gun was not a revolver.
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Old November 27, 2019, 01:26 PM   #35
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I have and shoot both but if I had to defend myself it would be my Colt 1991A1 .45ACP
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Old November 27, 2019, 06:36 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
"A revolver is slower to reload..."

Everybody has heard that, many people say it. But they're ignoring the "behind the scenes" work that MUST be done, in order to make that semi auto faster to reload.

Try this test. You have a loaded revolver and a loaded semi auto on a table, and a box of ammunition.

NO spare magazines, no moon clips.

Which one do you think you could fire empty and reload faster?

Seriously. If you're skilled and fairly dexterous, you might be a tiny bit faster reloading the semi's magazine and chambering a round than emptying and reloading a Single Action revolver. But you won't be faster than emptying and reloading a Double Action revolver.

The point here is that while a semi is "Faster" to reload, it is faster ONLY if you have PRELOADED spare magazines. And spare mags are separate parts, so the possibility always exists that they won't be where you need them when you need them. We do a lot to make sure that possibility is as slim as we can make it, it we cannot make it go away entirely.

"but everyone has spare mags!..Don't they??"
Most of us do...until we don't...IF that ever happens...
Yes, it is easier and faster to load a DA revolver from a box of ammo than it is to load a semi from a box of ammo. But, who carries a semi with a box of ammo in case they need to reload? For that matter, I don’t know anyone who carries a revolver and a box of ammo to reload in case they need to. Extra mags or speed loaders are carried by those whom feel the need for ammo to facilitate a quick reload should it be necessary.

No, not everyone carries an extra mag or a speed loader for that matter, but that is their choice. I suppose you could carry a box of ammo to try and reload in a crisis, but I think most of us can see the foolishness of the idea. But, if this is a measure of which is more reliable, I think the semi wins because of the ease of reloading with a fresh mag versus reloading a da revolver with speed loader. I have practiced both.

That said, I have to say I have never had a revolver I owned fail for any reason, and I consider them quite reliable and simple. However, ease of operation and concealment is why I carry a semi for the last several years. My semi’s are also utterly reliable, and must be before I would consider it for daily carry. Whether it is a wheel gun or a semi, proper maintenance, cleaning and lube prevents most problems before they happen.

Last edited by AgedWarrior; November 28, 2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old November 27, 2019, 08:35 PM   #37
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They are different beasts. The revolver is much slower to reload because you are the loading mechanism.
Don't tell him that.
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Old November 27, 2019, 09:44 PM   #38
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I think even Jerry would agree with the truth of the statement. There's a reason that he set a world record with that performance and has so many International Revolver Championships under his belt.
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Old November 28, 2019, 07:34 AM   #39
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I trust all of my revolvers with my life. I can't say I trust any of my 1911's with my life because I don't own any anymore. I have several other .45 ACP guns I trust pretty much as much as the revolvers. Pretty much, but not quite as much. It's been like 30 years since I had any other problems with a revolver but a couple of badly damaged cases that prevented loading into the cylinder. I've had other issues with my semiautos, so I don't have quite as much confidence in them, but my "house gun" is a SAR CM9 Gen 2 with a laser on it. The gun and the laser were less than $300 combined, shipped, and transferred. Amazingly easy to shoot and hit what that red dot is on.
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Old November 28, 2019, 09:07 AM   #40
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A quality 1911 with quality magazines shooting quality ammo is just as reliable as anything.
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Old November 28, 2019, 09:55 AM   #41
AK103K
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A quality 1911 with quality magazines shooting quality ammo is just as reliable as anything.
I agree. A well and proper made 1911 is a great gun.

The problem with the 1911's is finding quality, built to proper spec, at a reasonable price.

The reason you hear so many complaints about them, is very much the same as anything else that becomes popular and in demand, and so many makers try to cash in on that, especially when they come at inexpensive prices. They often have troubles and dont work properly or hold up well. That same thing goes for the revolvers too.
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Old November 29, 2019, 02:39 PM   #42
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So much depends on the make in question. George C. Nonte said his first DA revolver was an H&R In 38 S&W, he soon found out it was not up to prolonged DA shooting. I bought a small letter Colt MKIV slide for my Mark IV-I had to use valve grniding compound to get it to fit and function.
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Old November 29, 2019, 08:10 PM   #43
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While I've had more failures with semiautos, they've always been failures I could clear in a matter of seconds. I've had two failures with revolvers. One was a broken transfer bar and the other was the cylinder rod becoming unscrewed during firing.
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Old November 29, 2019, 08:13 PM   #44
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"A quality 1911 with quality magazines shooting quality ammo is just as reliable as..." my other good service pistols (semiautomatic).


I don't even have a Colt or any fancy ones. Mine are Filipino, Turkish, Spanish, etc. and were inexpensive. My recently purchased NiB RIA replaced a Turkish one. It has nice sights, beavertail, two-tone, $400 OTD, and it shoots and functions better than I do.

One was a lemon brand-new from the factory. I don't remember if any of the others have malfunctioned or not. If so, very rarely and due to poor ammo or a limp wrist or something like that.

I generally prefer revolvers for SD, but I have a lot of respect for the 1911 and would certainly not feel unarmed with one.
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Old November 30, 2019, 10:29 PM   #45
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Tailball, when buying the substantially less expensive weapons, I wouldn't maybe be so quick to attribute all those failures to bum ammo or limp wristing.
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Old December 3, 2019, 07:55 AM   #46
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Try this test. You have a loaded revolver and a loaded semi auto on a table, and a box of ammunition.
NO spare magazines, no moon clips.
Which one do you think you could fire empty and reload faster?
HA. just went through this with younger son..went to the range..Uberti 45LC and S&W 686+...He was shooting away with the revolvers while I reloaded my Glock 17/15/26 mags..
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Old December 3, 2019, 09:20 AM   #47
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HA. just went through this with younger son..went to the range..Uberti 45LC and S&W 686+...He was shooting away with the revolvers while I reloaded my Glock 17/15/26 mags..
Since this "test" starts with shooting loaded guns to empty, start shooting together with one of the revolvers and the Glock. Which one is still shooting, while the other has to stop and be reloaded? And reloaded three to four times too.

I have a number of both, revolvers and autos, and I dont keep my spare/reload ammo for them "in a box", I keep that ammo in speed loaders and mags. From empty, both are loaded in about the same time.

Whats the real purpose of this "test", other than to show, that you can load the revolver faster from the box?
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Old December 3, 2019, 11:52 AM   #48
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Tailball, when buying the substantially less expensive weapons, I wouldn't maybe be so quick to attribute all those failures to bum ammo or limp wristing.
Inexpensive doesn't always mean cheap. I've had my Rock Island for about 8 years and never had a failure of any kind.
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Old December 3, 2019, 01:28 PM   #49
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Whats the real purpose of this "test", other than to show, that you can load the revolver faster from the box?
Perttty much...

In particular it was to illustrate the point that, without accessories it is not a universal truth that the semi auto is faster to reload than a revolver.

I read once that a true expert can drive a manual transmission car with greater fuel efficiency than a car with an automatic transmission.

But, nobody drives that way in the real world, and almost nobody deliberately carries a gun without those "accessories", but a few have, and I don't doubt a few still do. Either way rapidity of reload is irrelevant to reliability. Efficiency in combat, and tactics for gunfighting is not the point of this thread, we have another forum for those discussions.

The original point of this thread was to discuss a claim that a DA revolver was less reliable than a 1911A1, because it has "far more moving parts".
(and not a general semi vs revolver reliability thread)

I don't think a DA revolver is less reliable than a 1911A1, and I'm positive the 1911A1 has more moving parts.
People have pointed out the ways a DA revolver can fail, and how they have had some failures. People have pointed out how usually a revolver fail ties up the gun and a semi auto fail USUALLY can be easily cleared. And, people, being people, have also pointed out a number of things not really related to the original question. (myself included in responding to some of them)

HOWEVER, so far, NO ONE has posted supporting the claim that a DA revolver is less reliable than a 1911A1 because it has far more moving parts.

SO, I'm beginning to think most agree with me that the claim of less reliability due to far more moving parts is BS. If you've got an argument supporting that claim, specific to the question asked, I'd love to hear it.
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Old December 3, 2019, 04:20 PM   #50
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I think the original post was about someone taking a fairly good generalized rule and misapplying it.

In general, more parts are more expensive in a mass production environment. In general.
In general, more moving parts are less reliable. In general.

In the specific case of handgun reliability, I would say “don’t overgeneralize.”

For military combat arms, no army is still using a revolver.
For large game hunting, it’s the rare fellow in the field with a Desert Eagle rather than a Big bore sixgun.
For .22 pistols (or .380 or other small calibers) my blowback pistols might stovepipe once in a while but clear in seconds or a minute or so of fussing for some rare jam but serous crud in a revolver can lock it up until it sees the workbench.

So... what is “reliable”? My single shot Contender never once failed. Not because of “fewer parts” but because the parts had a simple job.

Let’s say a bicycle chain has around 464 moving parts. There are belt driven bicycles (or motorcycles) and they have one loop of jet age material, yet they are a solution looking for a problem, no more reliable than the chain.

General rules work generally, often not down in the fine details.
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