Semi-Auto or Revolver?


I know this is a debate that will never have  a proven winner on either side. But just for fun, let’s get the party started.

Neither a semi-automatic or a revolver is perfect. They both have pros. They both have cons. Which is why a true winner will never be crowned! But I want to see what you all think. And if you know someone who is a new shooter or someone who is considering their first gun purchase, this post might help sort out the pros and cons in an easy to understand way.


  1. Hold more ammunition.
  2. Are easier to reload.
  3. Are easy to clean
  4. More parts to disassemble, clean and put back together.
  5. There’s a wider variety in how the parts fit together.
  6. Can be harder to conceal than revolvers because of their size and weight.
  7. A semi-auto will often feel like there’s less recoil than a revolver, even if the physics of the recoil are the same in both guns.

Why does this matter?

  • If you’re fighting off multiple attackers, your gun can hold more ammunition.
  • If you’re using the gun for hunting or target practice you may prefer not having to reload as often.
  • If you do have to reload, it’s faster and easier than a revolver.
  • The semi-auto has major components: barrel, slide, guide rod, frame and magazine.
  • Referring to your owner’s manual may be necessary to get to know how to put the gun back together. Once you learn, this is a fast process.
  • Many beginner shooters prefer a gun with less recoil.



  1. Can sometimes be able to load more than one type of ammunition.
  2. Are lighter weight than semi-autos.
  3. Can often use more powerful ammo than a semi-auto of the same weight.
  4. Accuracy is more important with this gun due to the limited number of rounds it can hold before needing to be reloaded.
  5. Costs less than semi-automatics.
  6. Are reliable.
  7. Are easy to clean.
  8. Are slightly more easy to conceal than semi-autos due to their smaller size and reduced weight.
  9. Are easy to understand and use.
  10. Can feel like there’s more recoil than in a semi-auto, because there are less parts to “absorb” the movement of the bullet.

Why does this matter?

  • Being able to use more than one type of ammo allows the user to have some more flexibility over how they use the gun.
  • If you’re using the gun for hunting or target practice you may not care if you have to reload more often than a semi-auto.
  • For a small person, a person with less arm strength, or someone who just won’t carry a heavy gun on a daily basis, the lighter weight could encourage then to carry more regularly.
  • Stopping power is what a lot of people want a gun for. BUT, with only 6 shots, your accuracy had better be dead on or else you might be in trouble.
  • For the budget-conscious buyer, a revolver is a way to get into having a gun without spending as much money.
  • A revolver is a simpler machine than a semi-auto, there are less things that can go wrong.
  • Cleaning a revolver means cleaning one long barrel and five or six chambers in the cylinder.
  • They’re just simpler machines with less moving parts than semi-autos. Whether you consider this an advantage or disadvantage is at the heart of why which one is better is a question with no right answer!

Based on this simple list, revolvers appear to have a slight advantage. Now, readers…tell us your thoughts. But keep the comments civil please!