pistol on bed side table next to clock

Revolvers vs Pistols: Which Is the Best Option for Home Defense?


Handguns are the best weapon for home defense since they are small and simple to secure. One of the most important considerations when choosing a handgun for home defense, aside from caliber, is whether to choose a revolver or a pistol. If you're confused about which option to select, scroll down below


What Are Revolvers?


revolver with bullets
Credit: Envato Elements/ Halfpoint


Revolvers are a type of handgun that has a spinning cylinder and multiple rotating chambers. This revolving cylinder is located right behind the barrel's breech end. The cylinder typically has five or six chambers that can each store one round of ammo. When the cylinder spins as a result of the cocking of the hammer or pulling the trigger, the subsequent cartridge lines up with the barrel.


Types of Revolvers


There are three main action types for revolvers:


1) Single-Action Only Revolver (SAO)


silver revolver
Credit: Envato Elements/ Ozaiachin


The thumb of the firing or supporting hand is typically used to manually cock the hammer of a single-action revolver. By doing so, the cylinder is moved to the following round and fixed in place with the chamber facing the barrel. To fire, the hammer must be manually cocked one more time. This kind of action is known as a single action since the trigger just performs one thing i.e. it releases the hammer.


2) Double Action/Single Action Revolver (DA/SA)black pistol


Credit: Envato Elements/ Photobalance


When using a double-action/single-action revolver, you can choose to discharge the weapon either in single-action mode by first cocking the hammer or in double-action mode by pulling the trigger. The trigger pull in double-action mode is heavier and longer since it must compress the mainspring twice. However, the trigger pull in the single-action mode is lighter and shorter, allowing for a more accurate shot.


3) Double Action Only Revolver (DAO)


double action revolver
Credit: American Handgunner


A double-action revolver or a double-action-only revolver can only be used in double-action mode and lacks the ability to operate in single-action mode. DAO designs frequently have spurless or bobbed hammers, and they may even completely enclose the hammer in the revolver's frame. As there is no way to lock the hammer back, they can only be fired in double-action mode.


What Are Pistols?

 pistol with bullets on desk

Credit: Envato Elements/ NERYX


A pistol is a type of handgun that is frequently used for close-range combat. It includes a grip that makes it easy to grasp the weapon and a small barrel (less than 10 inches). The so-called "magazine" of this grip needs to be taken out each time the ammo runs out in order to load new rounds. The barrel is often rifled and the gun has an effective range of about 100 yards.


Types of Pistols


The many types of pistols are as follows:


1) Single Shot Pistols

 single shot pistol

Credit: American Rifleman


These weapons pretty much speak for themselves. These guns can only fire one round at a time. After manually reloading it, the gun is ready for another round of firing.


2) Multi-Barreled Pistols


multi barreled pistols
Credit: iStock


These guns are a slight improvement over single-shot pistols since they let the shooter fire a number of rounds without having to reload. 


3) Semi-Auto Pistols or Semi Autos


semi automatic pistol
Credit: Envato Elements/ Ozaiachin


These guns are the most common weapons used by law enforcement, the military, and civilians. Most semi-automatic pistols or semi-auto handguns are magazine-fed and allow the shooter to shoot multiple rounds at a time.


Revolvers vs Pistols: Which One Is Better?


revolvers vs pistols: comparison chart


Both pistols and revolvers have their own benefits and drawbacks. If you're having trouble deciding, scroll down below:


1) Capacity


man holding pistol with two hands aiming
Credit: Envato Elements/ Photology75


Pistols outperform revolvers in terms of capacity. Due to the size of the frame and cylinder's circumference, common revolver calibers frequently hold fewer rounds. On the other hand, a semi automatic pistol can be expanded past the frame if more ammo is needed.


2) Ease of Use


cowboy holding revolver with finger on trigger
Credit: Envato Elements/ NomadSoul1


In terms of ease of use, modern revolvers are typically safer and easier to handle compared to pistols. For those who are new to owning guns or have less experience, this factor is very important.


3) Misfires


man in outdoor shooting range
Credit: Envato Elements/ -Vailery


Misfires might put your safety in danger when you need to fire rapidly. Compared to pistols, revolvers are safer in situations like this since all you have to do to recover from a misfire is rotate to the next chamber.


4) Recoil

 woman shooting pistol in range

Credit: Envato Elements/ Svitlanah


The caliber and size of the handgun have a significant impact on recoil. Since revolvers typically weigh more than pistols and have bigger calibers, they provide a more noticeable recoil.


5) Carrying Ease

 man holding pistol by waist

Credit: Envato Elements/ NomadSoul1


Compared to a semi-auto revolver, pistols generally have smaller and lighter frames. Additionally, a semi-auto pistol has a reduced profile and is better suited for concealed carry since it lacks a cylinder that would broaden it.


Which One Should You Choose for Home Defense?

 pistol on desk

Credit: Envato Elements/ Stokkete


If you are familiar with the loading and shooting process, both pistols and revolvers can be safely used for home or self-defense. The revolver, however, is often easier to use in high-stress situations due to its simple design. Furthermore, a revolver hardly ever jams, which is not always the case with handguns.


The Best Revolver and Pistol Accessories


The efficiency, reliability, and safety of your revolver or pistol can be significantly enhanced through the use of various accessories. Here are some of the best accessories to consider purchasing:


1) Cleaning Kit


cleaning kit
Credit: Envato Elements/ FabrikaPhoto


A comprehensive cleaning kit is an indispensable accessory for any revolver or pistol owner. Regular cleaning prevents build-up of dirt, debris, and residue that can affect accuracy and functionality. When shopping for a cleaning kit, make sure to look out for essential tools such as cleaning rods, brushes, patches, cleaning solvent, and lubricating oil. A good option to consider is the Romanideal Gun Cleaning Kit.


2) Holsters


woman putting hand on holster
Credit: Envato Elements/ svitlanah


For those who carry concealed or even for range practice, a high-quality holster is essential. Holsters provide a secure and accessible way to carry your firearm, whether on your person or attached to your gear. They come in various styles such as inside-the-waistband (IWB), outside-the-waistband (OWB), shoulder holsters, and ankle holsters. For a reliable and safe choice, the Springfield Hellcat Holster is worth considering. This product features a complete sweat shield and is further equipped with a trigger guard to avert any accidental misfires.


3) Gripping Gloves


man aiming gun with gloves
Credit: iStock


Gripping gloves, also known as shooting gloves, offer a better grip and protection for your hands. They are particularly useful during extended shooting sessions, preventing blisters and reducing hand fatigue. Some gloves also provide enhanced tactile sensitivity, allowing you to maintain better control over your firearm. A good option to consider is the First Tactical Gripping Gloves. These gloves are constructed from a skin-tight, snag-proof, stretch-woven material specifically designed to accommodate all types of firearms, including revolvers and pistols. 


4) Earplugs


man with gun glasses and hearing equipment aiming gun
Credit: Envato Elements/ LightFiledStudios


Shooting firearms without proper ear protection can lead to permanent hearing damage due to the loud noise generated with each shot. Investing in high-quality earplugs specifically designed for shooting is a small step that can have a significant impact on your long-term auditory health. There are various types of ear protection available, including foam earplugs, electronic earplugs, and earmuffs. 

For a comfortable and reliable option, consider getting the Decibullz Earplugs. These earplugs are uniquely molded to match your ear's individual contours, assuring they stay in place without any risk of falling out.




Due to its simplicity of use, the revolver undoubtedly triumphs in the revolver vs. pistol debate. Whatever type of gun you choose, the most important thing is to learn precise shooting techniques and the easiest way to do this is to use shooting targets. To buy shooting targets that will improve your accuracy, check out EasyShot Targets

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