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Are Revolvers Good Survival Guns

Are Revolvers Good Survival Guns

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The old adage that says: the best gun is the one you’ve got, applies to not only everyday carry, but also to survival in general. Of course, it’s always better to have a gun chambered in a readily available caliber, should the S ever HTF. But again, whatever you’ve got and have ammunition for is better than a pointy stick.But this begs the question, then:

Are revolvers good survival guns? Let’s take a more in depth look.


Generally speaking, anything mechanical can break. Having said that, one thing that most revolvers have going for them, is their ability to function under almost any circumstances. They have earned the reputation as the ultimate point and shoot handguns, and it’s easy to see why.

Once the cylinder is loaded, it’s ready to fire.Taking it a step further than that, since they’re reliable without recoil springs and many other parts that wear out over time, they won’t need much work to stay running should parts become scarce. Are there inner workings inside a revolver that we don’t generally see? Absolutely.
And, those parts can wear out. They just usually don’t do it as fast as their semi-automatic brethren.Simplicity:There are no slides, safeties, or magazines that you need to manipulate. When the cylinder is loaded, simply aiming and squeezing the trigger are all that’s required for the “bang” to happen. In the rare instance where the gun does not fire, whether due to ammunition or otherwise, there is no need to clear the malfunction.Simply squeezing the trigger again will rotate the cylinder and fire the next round in line.


The main drawbacks to a revolver, is the limited overall capacity to hold ammunition, and the inability to fire it quickly. In other words, a semi-auto with a 12 round capacity magazine is much faster shooting than a revolver with six rounds. The trigger can usually (though not always) be squeezed quicker and there is no need to drop empty casings to reload.
Having said that, anything with practice becomes easier. And, as something becomes easier and you get more proficient with it, you can get faster.
While there are devices to help you load faster, I come from the frame of mind that says less is more. What I mean, is that I don’t want to become dependent upon anything externally, if I may end up losing or breaking it.

The Perfect SHTF Revolver:

What do you want to look for in a survival revolver? Well, it’s hard for me to say what you should look for, instead, I’ll tell you what my perfect survival revolver looks like.

  • First, it needs the ability to shoot two different calibers. I’d look for a revolver chambered in .357 Magnum, because it will also shoot .38 Special. If ammo is hard to come by, the more options I have, the better off I’ll be.
  • Second, it needs to hold as many rounds of ammunition as possible, just as long as it stays within my price range. There are plenty of six and seven shot revolvers available, along with a few eight shot revolvers. I would not go lower than a six-shot revolver.
  • Finally, my best survival revolver would have a barrel of no less than four inches. I love my snub nosed revolver, and while it’s a good travel gun, I wouldn’t hunt with it. All of my survival guns need to serve two purposes: Self-defense and hunting. .357 Magnum is more than capable to hunt deer with, but shorter barrels sacrifice velocity for concealment.


Just a quick word on calibers, before we part .38+p in a .357 magnum is likely my choice. There are plenty of other revolvers out there that, with the use of a part I might lose, could shoot cartridges generally not found in a revolver. While I think 9mm is a great cartridge for self-defense and survival, I would advise against having a revolver in nine that could turn into dead weight if my clip breaks or gets bent.
Larger calibers than .357/.38 are fine, but I won’t be able to find ammo for them for long. The more popular the ammo, the easier it will be to find.
That about does it. What is your go-to survival gun? Is it a revolver? Semi-auto? What is your opinion? Are revolvers good survival guns?

Let us know in the comments below.

Like myself, the Author has been a firearms enthusiast for many years.  Joshua has also, served honorably in the US Marines, and has been working in the firearms industry for several years. His work can be found on guns dot com, TTAG, Home Defense Gun, Pew Pew Tactical, Live Outdoors, Concealed Carry, and Gun Carrier. He also owns downrangedaily.com a website the gun minded readers of this site should definitely check out.


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