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Old March 31, 2012, 09:20 PM   #1
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Round count on revolvers

I've seen many many postings about how many rounds folks have fired through their autos, but I don't right offhand recall any round-counts being posted for revolvers. Why is that?

My first guesses are that:

Revolvers have (far) fewer moving parts and so periodic maintenance doesn't generally require round counting, so revolver users are just less in the habit of keeping count.

Revolvers don't typically rack up the rounds as quickly as autos do, and the longer period between milestones makes them less noted.

Revolvers are assumed to outlive several owners, so it's no biggie.

I could be wrong on 1, 2 or all 3 of these guesses, and if I am... why do fewer shooters post round counts? Or am I wrong on my initial assumption and just need to open my eyes?

note to mods: This may belong in the revolver forum, but I figured the most useful info will come from folks who fire both autos and revolvers, so I posted it here. As always, feel free to move it if needed.
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Old March 31, 2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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Revolvers have (far) fewer moving parts and so periodic maintenance doesn't generally require round counting,
Revolvers as a rule have far more moving parts. Those moving parts are more complex and require closer tolerences and many are exposed on the outside of the gun where they are more easily damaged.

I don't know why more don't keep up with round counts. I suspect many have, they just haven't bothered to post them on the internet.

Revolvers require a little more TLC than autos and cannot stand up to abuse like auto's, but given equal care I don't see any reason why one should not be able to last as long as the other everything being equal.

Most of the high round counts you see posted for autos are Glocks in 9mm. Many near, or over the 300,000 round count. Remember, those guns have had some small parts break and replaced. I see no reason why a medium frame 38 revolver could not do the same thing. Maybe not a small framed gun, or one in a magnum chambering.
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Old April 1, 2012, 06:46 AM   #3
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Y'all keep round counts? Interesting.

If I'm buying a new semi, I only keep a round count until I'm sure that it's reliable, about 500 rounds or so. After that, who cares? I certainly don't. For my K-frames, I'd have to do case counts. Or pallet counts.

How do you keep a round count on a pawn shop revolver? I generally assume that the previous owner put some X=number of shots through it before selling.
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Old April 1, 2012, 07:31 PM   #4
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Strange, I never thought about it until now. My carry gun, Taurus 650, I bought new 5 years ago as of last feb. so I don't know how many it started with. I shoot a minimum of 25 rds a week thru it with the occasional 100rd endurance test (testing my, not the guns's endurance. You ever shot a 357 snubby?) thrown in. So if I ignore those 100rd sessions I still have at least 6500 rds thu that pistol. Seems like alot more.
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Old April 1, 2012, 08:17 PM   #5
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Revolvers don't typically rack up the rounds as quickly as autos do, and the longer period between milestones makes them less noted.
Don't tell my S&W Model 18. It's the only gun that accompanies me on every range trip.

I don't keep detailed round counts per gun (+1 PawPaw), but I track how many rounds I handload, and my centerfire guns live on a ~95% handload diet. I've loaded more 9mm within the last 6mos than .38Spl, but this was split between more guns. Overall, my revolvers are probably still ahead on rounds per gun.
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Old April 1, 2012, 10:29 PM   #6
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See guys, this is why I ask questions... gotta have my ignorance removed somehow. Wrong on 2 out of three assumptions so far... anyone wanna ding me on the last one?

In all seriousness, though, thank you guys for the responses; I'm not too much of a revolver guy (though I am proficient if not good with one), so it's good to learn.
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:24 AM   #7
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Round counts are important.

SD guns need some sort of maintenance schedule. You do not just keep shooting until something breaks. Not if you have time and resources anyway.
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Old April 2, 2012, 01:48 AM   #8
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I shot thousands of rounds through my first Dan Wesson 15-2, a lot of them pretty hot loads, without any problems at all. I cleaned it after every shooting and the only thing I ever had go bad was the rear sight blade fell off one day, and decided to keep coming off. While I was waiting for the replacement, I took the sight to a jeweler and had the blade brazed on permanently. I never put the new sight on that gun!
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Old April 2, 2012, 02:20 AM   #9
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I save all my revolver shell's dumped in Walmart bags dumped in box's, all I need to do is go out to my garage, for an exact count. My Auto shells (Flyer's) are still on the floor at the range,......I think.

Let's see, 200 shell's a week through my semi, 48 week's in a year. Hmmmm, That's a toughy. I tried to save the box's/50ea but after dozen's of garbage bag's full, my girl said, it's the shell's or me, and get rid of the beer can's too.

Hey, recycle.
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Old April 2, 2012, 03:15 PM   #10
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I reload everything / and I keep a log on my reloads...bullet, powder, I know how many rounds I go thru in a year...

In my semi-auto handguns 9mm, .40S&W and .45 acp ...I went thru almost 20,000 rds last year.

In my revolver calibers ....357 mag and .44 mag ...I went thru about 7,500 rds last year.

75% of my semi-auto ammo was 9mm/20% in .45 acp / 5% in .40S&W.

96% of the ammo thru my revolvers was .357 mag.

...most of the 9mm was shot in 3 or 4 guns - but a lot of it was in a 1911 chambered in 9mm. I have 20 or so semi-autos ...and while they all get shot from time to time...I have one dominant 1911 in 9mm and one in .45acp that get a lot of the use. The 1911 in 9mm easily over 40,000 rds so far in its 6 yr life so far...and has not been rebuilt ( new springs - but nothing major) - but its a high end Wilson Combat I expect it to go 100,000 rds at least prior to rebuild.

I have 15 or so S&W revolvers...and my N frames in .357 mag get 90% of the rounds ( model 27's )...and then its a mix of the K frames...( mod 19's and 66's ) and some L frames ..mod 686's ../ I just don't shoot much .44 mag anymore (arthritis, etc ) ...but I do love my mod 29's, etc...

I don't keep track of the rds thru my .22's .....

But out of the almost 27,500 rds I shot last yr ... 73% of it went thru my semi-autos.

I don't know what "the round life" of a semi-auto or a revolver are...but if you take care of the guns, I don't see any issues at 100,000 least !
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Old April 3, 2012, 01:51 AM   #11
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Revolvers require a little more TLC than autos and cannot stand up to abuse like auto's, but given equal care I don't see any reason why one should not be able to last as long as the other everything being equal.
When you say abuse are you talking about round count only? Most really large heavy recoiling calibers are chambered for revovlers. Wouldn't the force of these rounds count as abusive? I have a357/9mm blackhawk that my best guess would be 25k rounds and it is going strong.

You may be able to answer thiss better than me, but which of the 2 do you think would be more likely to shoot after lying outside in the elements for an extended period of time? My guess (and it is just a guess) is an auto. Seems like a revolver would rust to a lock up point sooner
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Old April 3, 2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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I have a Log Book for each of my Tactical Rifles, and I Log the round count. This is mostly to track barrel wear. With a rifle you can make a generalization that my accuracy will start falling off at around X amount of shots depending on what it is.

I never have tracked round count on any handguns. Never saw a need. I have no information that tells me that this part will need replacing at this round count. I have a Power Custom Combat 610 that Ron Power built for me in 1992. I ran it back by to see him a while back while he was doing some other work for me on another revolver. After 20 years he adjusted the cylinder clearance with an endshake bearing.

I think some folks got in the habit of tracking round count with the NEW Tupperware guns when they first came out. One gun writer I believe Taylor ran up a 10,000 round torture test on a Glock 9mm for an article when the Glock first came out. Then later he ran that up a few thousand more rounds at a time over several more articles. I think when the Glock first came out everyone thought the tupperware gun would not stay together if you did shoot them a lot, so everyone was tracking round count on them. I think Mr Glock proved them wrong on that one. Looks like Combat Tupperware is here to stay.

I reload for all my centerfire revolvers. For my range/match ammo, I normally fill up the plastic jugs peanuts come in with ammo off the Dillon 550.
I have jugs of almost +P 38 special, I have jugs of light 38 Special for J Frame BUG Matches, I have jugs of 40 S&W for Revolvers, Jugs of 40 S&W for my XDm, also revolver ammo for the 625's, and 45 ammo for the 1911's.
I box specialty ammo like my shotshells, HP ammo, etc. The closest to tracking I get is keeping track of my primers. Which reminds me I need another case of Federal Small Pistol primers.
I still have no handgun round count as I reload using the same primers for: S&W 637, 638, 442, LCR 357, 64, 686, 310NG, 610, GP100, and XDm 40.

Same boat with large pistol. I reload for both my brother's and my 1911,s, and 625's.

As far as I know no one has any numbers that will tell me that my hammer will need replaced on my 617-1 at X amount of shots. No info to tell me that my barrel will be toast on my 64 SSR gun at X amount of shots. If a person wants to keep track of the round count, they may have some useable information to share with the rest of us at some point. Myself I will keep doing what I have been doing for the last 40 years. If something needs some attention, I fix it.

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Old April 3, 2012, 07:59 AM   #13
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My CCW (S&W 640 in 357 magnum) is fed 50 rounds all most every Saturday. I have had it for about 9 years now... its too early to do the math.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old April 3, 2012, 03:31 PM   #14
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I don't keep round counts, either. If I was into long distance shooting and had a log book, I would certainly have that information. Alas, I do not. I also only keep the counts up until I pass the break in period. On my old guns, I don't care. I don't shoot as much as some other folks here so I never fret over stuff like that.
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Old April 3, 2012, 04:48 PM   #15
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For my K-frames, I'd have to do case counts. Or pallet counts.

My kinda of guy..
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Old April 3, 2012, 05:43 PM   #16
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Now that I think of it, of all of the guys I know that do "serious" shooting (for the purposes of this thread that means round count) none of them shoot with revolvers. But those are the ranges I go to only. Conversely, there's always Jerry Miculek who shoots a S&W Model 625 like there's no tomorrow to bring us semi-auto guys back down to reality:

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Old April 3, 2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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Back in the 30s (IIRC) some of the leading gun writers of the era opined that a revolver in the .38 class ought to be good for 30-40,000 rounds before the barrel was worn to the point of needing replacement.

Now, these guys were looking at the classic "moderate" load, and lead bullets. And the fact that 30-40,000 rounds was several lifetimes of shooting, for the "average" shooter.

Now, even with jacketed bullets, and hotter cartridges, you will spend several times the cost of the gun in ammo before anything major needs repacement on a good revolver.

The same goes true for an auto, however minor parts (particularly springs) are expected to be replaced periodically (many say every 5,000 rnds) so keeping count with an auto is more important than it is with a revolver, or so most of us think.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old April 3, 2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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My googlefu is strong tonight...

This thread has some impressive revolver round counts.

One of my model 19s had 10,000 rounds (logged) before it went back for tune and blue.
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Old April 3, 2012, 09:32 PM   #19
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I'm a "picky" kind of guy, so maybe I'm kinda weird because I DO keep a round count on every gun I have.

May not be any particular reason too know regards some of them, particularly hand guns and 22's, but "I just gots too know"
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Old April 4, 2012, 12:37 AM   #20
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IMHO: I think keeping round counts, is one of the most anal COPD things I've known. IF you know your gun, you know if it's having an issue or should be able to tell when it's operation is not up to par.

But as far as revolvers..... have never seen a worn out one yet, and I'm sure it was not a matter of not shooting them a lot..... given all the years used by many police forces and many are still all in operation.

You can walk out and buy an actual 1854 Navy Colt and still shoot it, unless someone let it rust and mistreated it.

More things to wear out in a semi, and more reasons for it to fail.
But, I also have one semi, purchased in 1971 that has never had 'work' done on it and still shoots perfectly, and has had an amazing amount of rounds thru it during the years. Shot it constantly. I did have to replace one mag.

Some people can run a car into the ground in 70,000 miles, while a 91 yr old man has over 540,000 miles on one. Alot has to do with how it's taken care of.
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Old April 4, 2012, 05:37 AM   #21
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I used to keep log sheets on all my guns but have since stopped. I was mainly shooting autos at the time and some required (or suggested) part changes after a certain number of rounds. Since I've switched to revolvers and there is nothing I would replace myself, I don't see the need for log sheets. I figure unless I have any problems, I'll take them to a local smith every decade and have them looked over.
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Old April 4, 2012, 11:32 AM   #22
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I have a few guns that I've owned for over 40 years and a few passed on to me from my father. They all still get shot and work great. I know of no reason to keep track of my round count.

I do keep up with my reloads but not what guns they go through.
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Old April 4, 2012, 04:22 PM   #23
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Never worry about round counts, cause I dont abuse my Smiths with hot loads
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Old April 4, 2012, 05:28 PM   #24
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Never even thought about round count. One day, I might shoot one of my .44Specials and one of my .45 Colt revolvers, another day could be something else completely. Whatever I want to shoot that day! I know the guns will outlast me so, don't worry about it. I suppose I could come up with number of cartridges I shoot in a year, but not what was shot in what. That would be a headache to keep track off. I enjoy shooting to much to be concerned with 'round count'. More concerned with load accuracy and shooting better. Guns are just tools to get from point A to POI at point B .

Oh, the only semi-auto I own is a Ruger Mark II .22LR. Don't get track of rounds here either. It doesn't get out often though as I prefer the Single Action revolver to anything else.
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Old April 4, 2012, 06:59 PM   #25
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I think a round count would serve intellectual purposes only (documented studies related to durability, torture etc.). And I don't think that such is something that the 'general consumer' conducts--that's left to the gun-rags and critics as far as I can tell (and infrequent at that).

I will say this, if someone would conduct a true-blue objective durability/torture test (or as the thread refers to as 'round-count') and subsequently publish said results I would be extremely interested be it a revolver, semi-auto, rifle, shotgun or what have you. In fact, if anyone knows of such a site (or book) plz advise (I was thinking the other day while watching a WWII documentary on The Military Channel if there might be some study that investigated say the 'round-count' pertaining to small-arms--I would actually pay to see material like that).

The available torture tests of which I have seen are along the lines of the following (the fact that this guy experienced second-degree burns on his hand blows my mind):

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