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Revolver vs semi auto reliability question

This is a discussion on Revolver vs semi auto reliability question within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Which of the platforms are inherently more reliable, not talking any specifics firearms here, just in general, is a semi auto less prone to serious ...


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Old January 5th, 2017, 02:53 PM   #1
 
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Revolver vs semi auto reliability question

Which of the platforms are inherently more reliable, not talking any specifics firearms here, just in general, is a semi auto less prone to serious failure than a revolver?

I have been hemming and hawing over getting the Ruger GP100 revolver 4" in 357 magnum or a Glock 20 in 10mm for a woods/hiking gun.

I am leaning towards the Glock 20 even though it doesn't make sense, 10mm in my area is hard to find and when I can find it, it's expensive. So it means I need to order online, oh well.

I want to get the revolver, but I have some thoughts in my head that make the Glock 20 a better choice. Here are my thoughts. I am in no way a revolver guy, so I may not know what I'm talking about. If you see an issue with my reasoning, inform me please. Here are my reasons against the revolver.

1. The woods are a dirty place. There's mud, dirt, rain, you name it. The Glock is fairly well proven to be reliable in less than ideal conditions. There are hundreds of torture tests of people doing stupid stuff to their Glocks and they work. Covering them in mud, burying them in snow, water tests, you name it, it's probably been done. I do not know how a revolver would fair against mud and dirt and grime getting in the action. I have heard that if dirt or a piece of gunpowder gets underneath the extractor star or in between various other components or a high primer, etc. that can stop the cylinder from turning.

2. Falls are very easy in the outdoors. You lose your footing, slip, etc. whatever, it happens, if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, at least some of that time will be spent on your behind. I do not know how I would feel falling on the revolver on my hip, yes it would hurt me, but I am more worried about bending something important like the ejector rod or something of that sort that would stop the revolver cylinder from turning or firing. The Glock will likely come away from a fall into mud or dirt or onto ice fairly well. I don't know how a revolver would fair.

3. Semi auto problems are usually malfunctions, and can be cleared quickly and easily. The round in the chamber may not go off, stove pipe, failure to eject, fail to feed, double feed quick tap-rack-bang and hopefully your back in action and if that doesn't, strip the mag, rack, clear, reinsert mag, rack, bang. With a revolver, they're usually jams, and need tools and time to fix. If a round doesn't fire, all you need to do is pull the trigger again. But what if the problem goes beyond that? What are you going to do? What if the cylinder won't turn in the first place, what if the ejector rod is bent, what if you have to reload because of whatever the situation and a piece of brass gets stuck under the ejector star. All these what ifs, but they can and do happen, and in my mind, they aren't easy to fix without a proper work bench, good lighting, and tools.

Let me know what you think



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Old January 5th, 2017, 02:56 PM   #2
 
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I have two GP's, and two Glock 22. The G22 is snappy so I would imagine the 20 would be a little more snappy loaded to full potential. Most factory loads are not much more then 40 S&W loads. I carry the GP most of the time. Unless you are in bear country you probably don't need a full power 10mm, the 40 S&W will stop most predators. When I am in the woods I carry a 44 magnum revolver though.

Buy both...

Last edited by Walkingwolf; January 5th, 2017 at 03:02 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:01 PM   #3
 
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Sounds more like that you are pushing semi's, since every one of your "points" faults the revolvers and minimizes the problems with semi's. So just get what you want. You'll be the one who has to live with it.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #4
 
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Thanks for the replies. I am trying hard to like revolvers, but I suppose I just prefer semi autos I wish they made a 44 magnum or a 454 casull autoloader, something that isn't a desert eagle. Would be nice to keep the semi auto platform with something more powerful than a 10mm, maybe a 460 rowland conversion is somewhere in my future.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:04 PM   #5
 
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Revolver all the way. I have revolvers and semi-autos. The revolver is much easier to clean and keep clean. Unless the barrel is obstructed or a dud bullet, it will always fire.
The down side is only six shots where a semi will fire up to 11 per mag. but when will you fire 11 rounds in self defense or hunting.
Go with a revolver 4"bbl
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:20 PM   #6
 
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I would get what you want OR get both
I have both (Ruger revolver and Glock semi automatic).
When I first wanted a smaller handgun for conceal carry, I chose the revolver for other reasons that what you mentioned.
I am left handed/left eyed. It seemed easier to handle the revolver.
The revolver is ready to go
It was less buttons to push and things to pull etc just to shoot in a sticky situation (for me).
The Glock is sleeker and easier for me to conceal carry as a female.
I enjoy shooting my Glock more.
Glocks are old reliables, but so are revolvers!

That is why I say GET BOTH!
lori

PS. I forgot to say that I LOVE to accessorize. Glocks seems to have more accessories than Ruger.

Last edited by kalmm5; January 5th, 2017 at 03:23 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:21 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
<snip>

Let me know what you think
After reading your post, what I think is that you don't care for revolvers. So you should probably just go with the semi-auto.

Pam
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:25 PM   #8
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As long as you are talking a quality semi-auto that you worked with enough to know it's reliable and feed it the proper ammo, you've got the reliability issue covered, so might as well move on to the next issue. All of my Sig Sauers, including the 10mm, have been 100% reliable for thousands of rounds, as have several brands of 1911s for me. What's more reliable than 100%. While I do like and carry revolvers, too, and do consider them to have some advantages over semi-autos, I don't regard better reliability as basically one of them, again, assuming I've range tested the semi autos enough to know they're ready to carry.

I carry revolvers, too, because I do think they have some true advantages over semi-auto. You don't need to play that reliability card to justify going with a revolver. I like that revolvers can take a much wider variety of loads and bullet types and still feed and function, fine. I like that revolvers can shoot Specials in the case of the 357 or 44 mag or the 45 Colt in a 454. I like not having to chase brass. I like how easy it is to check if a revolver is empty or not, no racking of a slide needed. Although my semi autos have excellent triggers, they're still not as good as some of the SA triggers on my revolvers.

I also much prefer the revolver in really cold weather. Much easier gun to operate for me when my fingers are numb from the cold. The long DA pull on a DA revolver is the safest for me to operate when my fingers turn numb, meaning no premature trigger releases. No mag release buttons to push, slide stops to release, slides to rack and so on. Also way easier for me to reload a revolver with cold hands than the magazine on a semi auto. You know darn well how cold it can get during the Wisconsin deer season.

And as long as we're talking woods guns that you can actually carry and not giant autos like a Desert Eagle and such, the world of really big bore magnums belongs to revolvers. You have a zillion choices in a 44 mag snub nose revolver, these days, and even more in 4" barreled guns, but zero choices in a compact 44 mag autoloader. When you need or want more than the 10mm for the sake of carry, you have nowhere else to go but revolvers.

As we've discussed, before, both types of guns have their advantages and disadvantages. That's why I use both, at times.

Last edited by North country gal; January 5th, 2017 at 03:58 PM.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
Which of the platforms are inherently more reliable
Hello there 357mag, there is no comparison. The revolvers claim to fame is reliability and simplicity. Would you ever buy a semi-automatic and load it up and carry it immediately without even testing it ? Either would I, but the odds are 99.9% you could with a revolver.

The only reason the police dept's made the switch was for capacity and lighter duty guns. And some of the dept's missed the capability of the .357 magnum round so they ask SIG to develop one for an auto-loader, hence the 357 SIG round.

And don't ever be fooled by the all the 'so-called' experts on the internet, they didn't go to the 9mm because the .38 special was inadequate.

Last edited by Mulebuk Sam; January 5th, 2017 at 03:37 PM. Reason: spell check
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:35 PM   #10
 
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I have 2 revolvers and 3 semi-autos. Based on my experience, the revolvers are more reliable. For that reason, my primary SD gun is a SP101 357mag. I also think ammo/reloading options are greater for the 38/357 revolver.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:47 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357mag View Post
Thanks for the replies. I am trying hard to like revolvers, but I suppose I just prefer semi autos I wish they made a 44 magnum or a 454 casull autoloader, something that isn't a desert eagle. Would be nice to keep the semi auto platform with something more powerful than a 10mm, maybe a 460 rowland conversion is somewhere in my future.
If you know how to use a DE44, it is as dependable as anything

out there. But, it's perceived sort of like a Hi-Point to most folks,

they don't practice with it, they jam the mag into the slide, they

limp wrist this heavy gun, then complain about how poorly IT

performs. They want to blame the gun for their own quirks.


My DE44 has a 6" barrel, and is more accurate than you are. IT

cycles great, it's just waiting for somebody who knows how to

shoot it to pick it up.


BTW, my memory isn't what it was, but didn't we already have this

10MM/357 discussion last week?
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Old January 5th, 2017, 03:51 PM   #12
 
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Revolvers are far more reliable than semi-autos, no comparison IMO. Revolvers are not picky about ammo types or magazines either like semi-autos. I believe you are overthinking/exaggerating any potential issues with a revolver... in my experience, they go bang every time you pull the trigger and I have never seen a problem/jam/malfunction/breakage on ANY Ruger or Smith revolver in my entire life. That's not to say that it can't or doesn't happen, but Ruger in particular build their revolvers like friggin tanks.

The GP100 is a fine example of a rugged, simple, and reliable revolver that will never fail you. You can shoot .357s or .38 specials in a wide variety of loadings and it's a very versatile handgun. It doesn't have the ammo capacity of a modern semi-auto, so that may be a deal breaker for you. I sincerely doubt a GP100 would ever fail you though if you took care of it.

The Glock 20 is a fine example of a rugged, reliable semi-auto that will also probably never fail you. Nowhere near as pretty as a GP100, but it's got a higher ammo capacity and it probably won't require as much care or maintenance. If those things matter more to you, then that's your gun. Why 10mm though? Expensive/harder to find ammo and quite unpleasant to shoot... if you can't reliably find 10mm in your area, I would strongly suggest considering a different caliber.

Both guns would hold up very well to your intended use I think. If I had to choose one of those two based on pure reliability, I'd take the GP100 without even thinking about it. You're really missing out if you don't have a wheel gun in your collection. Not everyone can appreciate a revolver though...
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Old January 5th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #13
 
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Sounds like your trying to talk yourself into a glock.

Reliability has EVERYTHING to do with SPECIFIC brands.

Glock fanboys can say what they will, But IMO, glocks are a long ways from being the best auto loaders. Are they pretty good? Yes. Are they the best? NO. And if you decide to believe the fanboy rhetoric, watch out for "glock leg".

In my area, 10 mm is hard to find, WHY? Its just NOT that popular , and like .40, going by the wayside. The ammo is expensive, but used pistols are plentiful and cheap. Nuff said.
But 357 can be found just about anywhere, anytime, and ammo type is far more versatile IMO.

Good luck.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 04:39 PM   #14
 
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Here we go !

OK, the OP has thrown down the Gauntlet. Revolver vs. Pistol (I seem to recall seeing this thread a few times before )

In general terms, pistols seem to be able to take a bit more abuse and revolvers seem to be able to handle a bit more neglect.

Between the early 1900's and about the mid 1950, pistols replaced revolvers in most military settings. The British were one of the holdouts with their Enfield's & Webley's. A semi auto pistol tolerates impact a little better than a revolver and the ability to field strip a pistol allows a little better chance to remove debris. However, the functioning of a revolver is not hindered by a single dud cartridge.

While it is true that a revolver may be slightly more susceptible to damage that will tie up the gun, that is not always the case. A bent crane or squib load that lodges a bullet between the cylinder and forcing cone can take a revolver out of service but a bent ejector rod can usually be overcome by brute force long enough to get a few round off. The trade off is a revolver will function even when dry of lube and very cold - something that not all pistols will do well. (many will function dry but some will not)

The debate will not end on this thread but there are a few points that hold true. Any gun can be damaged enough by impact that it ceases to function. The question is - what type of gun tolerates impact better than others ? I'm not sure there is a clear winner but I do believe a pistol will at least fire one round even with serious damage.

A revolver is less dependent on quality ammunition to make it function. As long as the round will chamber and the bullet will exit the barrel, the gun will continue to function. However, if the revolver action cannot be cocked (SA or DA) the gun is completely out of action.

So.........getting back to the OP
Falling on a holstered pistol vs. a holstered revolver ? The pistol may have a slight edge there.
Contaminated cartridge? If the round is a complete dud and you have a revolver, you just pull the trigger again and try the next one.
Mud, sand, water, etc. - I'm going to give the pistol a slight edge there. If you get sand, ice, mud, whatever; inside the action of a revolver, you might have a problem in the field. (the Ruger DA revolvers may have an edge over the S&W revolvers because the Rugers can be disassembled without tools).

All of that being said, I think a GP-100 OR Glock pistol would be an excellent choice for the OP.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 04:57 PM   #15
 
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NOT a glock fan, IMHO, they are the LCD in the

auto-loader field. You need something that's

cheap and will shoot reliably, you hazard shooting

yourself in the package, and get a glock.



BUT, OP, did you know there is a new boy on the block ?

Yes, enter the Coonan .357 -1911-! Check that little beast out!
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