PDN Contributor Barret Kendrick of Bearco Training has observed that one of the most common guns recommended to new shooters by family, friends, instructors, and gun-store staff is a small, lightweight, carry-size revolver.
The mechanism of a revolver is easy to understand. It has a cylinder that opens and the user can see the chambers. The ammunition only goes in one way, and it’s easy to close the cylinder. It’s a simple design and has few reliability problems. A new shooter may believe that all he has to do is close the cylinder and he’s ready to take on the bad guys.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a semiautomatic or a revolver – both require handgun training for the user to become proficient. Barret discusses some of the misconceptions people have about revolvers. First, is a revolver easier to shoot than a semiautomatic?
We can expect a revolver like the one Barret has in the video to come from the factory requiring 12 to 14 pounds of pressure to activate the trigger. This is not easy for a new shooter, especially one who may have weak fingers/hands for any number of reasons, and intends to use the revolver as one of their self-defense weapons.
Modern striker-fired semiautomatic pistols are usually at about 5 to 6 pounds of pressure.That means you need double the amount of strength to activate the trigger on a revolver as on a semiauto.
Second, as a revolver fires, it doesn’t have any moving parts like a semiauto does. On most semiautos, when it fires, the slide reciprocates back and forth. Due to the recoil spring, a lot of the felt recoil is masked, and the shooter doesn’t notice it much. This means a shooter can have a faster pace of fire with a semiauto than a revolver.
To sum up, due to the revolver’s heavy trigger pull and felt recoil, it will be easier for a new shooter to learn how to shoot a semiautomatic pistol than a revolver. Revolvers are great firearms but not the best choice for novice shooters.