“A revolver never jams!”
I hear this one virtually every time I visit a gun store. Given what I do for a living, I simply can’t help picking up the sales conversations at the gun counter. Yeah, I know. That’s nosey and none of my business. Whether it’s my business to overhear or not, the statement still makes me cringe. It’s not that the statement is UNTRUE. It’s also not that the statement is TRUE. Like most myths, there are two sides to the story and the issue is not as clear-cut as it seems.
Listening to the infallibility of the revolver argument, you’d think that semi-automatic pistols were some new and untested invention like Smart Guns. They’re not. Semi-automatic pistols have been in common use for nearly a century, and they’ve been the law enforcement go to handgun platform for decades. Even still, we collectively spend countless hours arguing about what’s the better concealed carry option, revolver or semi-automatic. Because time won’t kill itself, apparently.
Hey, I’m not doubting the reliability of a good revolver. I own several myself. They work, pretty much all the time. I’ve also had them fail, just like I’ve had semi-automatic pistols fail. The most common failures I’ve observed relate in some way to the cylinder getting locked up. When you either cock the hammer or pull the trigger of most revolvers, the cylinder rotates to bring a new cartridge into position. The new chamber with a ready-to-fire cartridge lines up with the bore just before the hammer releases to break the shot. If the cylinder won’t move, or binds in any way, they revolver can’t fire, at least more than once.