Are Revolvers Good for Beginners? Pros and Cons Explained

If you’re new to the world of firearms, you may be wondering where to start. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which firearm is right for you. One option to consider is a revolver.

a revolver not loaded open

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Revolvers have been a staple in the firearms industry for over a century. They are known for their simplicity, reliability, and accuracy, making them an excellent choice for beginners.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using a revolver, the factors to consider when choosing one, as well as some safety tips to keep in mind.

Whether you’re interested in self-defense, target shooting, or just looking to expand your firearms knowledge, this guide will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.


What is a Revolver?

If you’re new to firearms, you may be wondering what exactly a revolver is. A revolver is a type of handgun that features a rotating cylinder that holds multiple rounds.

This cylinder rotates as the trigger is pulled, firing each round in turn. Revolvers have been a popular choice for personal defense and law enforcement for many years due to their reliability and simplicity.

Definition of a Revolver

The word “revolver” comes from the Latin word “revolvere,” which means “to revolve.” This is an apt name for this type of firearm, as the cylinder revolves as the gun is fired.

Revolvers can be either single-action or double-action. In single-action revolvers, the hammer must be manually cocked before each shot, while in double-action revolvers, the trigger performs both the cocking and firing actions.

Brief history of revolvers

The revolver was first patented by Samuel Colt in 1836. Colt’s design used a rotating cylinder with several chambers that could be loaded with powder and ball.

This was a significant improvement over the single-shot pistols of the time, as it allowed the shooter to fire multiple shots without needing to reload.

Colt’s revolver quickly became popular in the United States and was used by both civilians and military personnel. By the mid-19th century, Colt had become one of the most prominent firearms manufacturers in the world.

Today, there are many different types of revolvers available, ranging from compact models designed for concealed carry to large, powerful models used for hunting and target shooting.

The revolver’s simple and reliable design has made it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced shooters alike.

Pros of Revolvers for Beginners

If you’re new to firearms, revolvers can be a great option to consider. These guns have several advantages that make them a popular choice for beginners.

Here are some of the pros of revolvers for beginners:

Simple and Intuitive Design

One of the main advantages of revolvers is their simple and intuitive design. Unlike semi-automatic pistols, revolvers have fewer moving parts, which makes them easier to operate and less likely to malfunction.

This simplicity also makes it easier for beginners to learn how to use them properly.

Reliable and Accurate

Revolvers are known for their reliability and accuracy. They are less likely to jam or misfire than semi-automatic pistols, which can be a big advantage for beginners who are still learning how to shoot.

Additionally, revolvers are typically more accurate than semi-automatic pistols, which can help beginners build confidence in their shooting abilities.

Easy to Maintain

Another advantage of revolvers is that they are easy to maintain. They require less cleaning than semi-automatic pistols because they have fewer moving parts.

Additionally, revolvers can be disassembled and reassembled relatively easily, which makes them a good choice for beginners who want to learn how to clean and maintain their own firearms.

Easy to Conceal

Revolvers are also easier to conceal than semi-automatic pistols because they are typically smaller and have a simpler design.

This makes them a good choice for beginners who want to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.

However, it’s important to note that revolvers have a lower capacity than semi-automatic pistols, which means you may need to reload more frequently in a self-defense situation.

Overall, revolvers are a good option to consider if you’re a beginner looking for a reliable, accurate, and easy-to-maintain firearm that’s also easy to conceal.

Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

Cons of Revolvers for Beginners

While revolvers have many advantages, they are not without their drawbacks. Here are some of the cons of using a revolver as a beginner:

Limited Capacity

One of the main limitations of revolvers is their limited capacity. Most revolvers only hold 5-6 rounds, while some hold 7-8 rounds.

This is in contrast to semi-automatic pistols which can hold up to 15-20 rounds. This means that you may have to reload more frequently, which can be a disadvantage in a high-stress situation.

Slow Reloading Time

Reloading a revolver is slower and more cumbersome than reloading a semi-automatic pistol. With a revolver, you have to eject the spent casings one by one and then load each round individually.

This takes more time and practice to do quickly and efficiently, which can be a disadvantage in a self-defense situation.

Less Versatile

Revolvers are generally less versatile than semi-automatic pistols. They are typically limited to a single caliber, which means that you cannot swap out the barrel or magazine to shoot different types of ammunition.

This can be a disadvantage if you want to try out different types of ammunition or if you need to switch to a different caliber for a specific purpose.

More Expensive

Revolvers are generally more expensive than semi-automatic pistols. This is partly due to the fact that they are more complex to manufacture and require more precision and hand-fitting.

Additionally, they are not as popular as semi-automatic pistols, so there is less competition in the market which drives up the price.

Overall, while revolvers have many advantages for beginners, they do have some limitations that should be taken into consideration when choosing a firearm.

However, whether a revolver is the right choice for you depends on several factors, including your intended purpose, your level of experience, and your personal preferences.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Revolver

When it comes to choosing a revolver, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you select the right one for your needs.

These factors include the purpose of use, caliber, size and weight, grip and trigger.

Purpose of use

The first factor to consider when choosing a revolver is the purpose of use. Are you planning to use it for self-defense or hunting?

Do you want a revolver for target shooting or concealed carry? The purpose of use will determine the size, caliber, and features of the revolver that you need.


The caliber of the revolver is the diameter of the bullet that it fires. The most common calibers for revolvers are .22, .38, .357, and .44.

The caliber you choose will depend on the purpose of use and your personal preference. For beginners, a .22 caliber revolver is a good option as it has low recoil, is easy to handle, and is affordable.

Size and weight

The size and weight of the revolver are important factors to consider when choosing a revolver. A larger revolver may be more accurate, but it may also be heavier and harder to conceal.

A smaller revolver may be easier to carry, but it may have less accuracy. The size and weight of the revolver you choose will depend on your intended use.

Grip and trigger

The grip and trigger are also important factors to consider when choosing a revolver. The grip should fit comfortably in your hand and allow for easy control and accuracy.

The trigger should be smooth and easy to pull, without too much resistance. A good grip and trigger will make shooting more comfortable and enjoyable.

When choosing a revolver, it’s important to consider all of these factors and choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

Remember to always practice proper safety measures when handling firearms, and consider taking a beginner’s course to improve your shooting skills.

Safety Tips for Using Revolvers

When it comes to gun ownership, safety should always be a top priority. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced shooter, it’s important to follow safety rules to prevent accidents and protect yourself and those around you.

If you’re considering purchasing a revolver, here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

Always treat a gun as if it’s loaded

This is one of the most fundamental safety rules for gun owners. Even if you know for a fact that your revolver is unloaded, always treat it as if it were loaded.

This means keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, such as downrange at a shooting range or towards a safe backstop if you’re practicing on private property.

Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

Whenever you’re handling a revolver, make sure that the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction. This means being aware of your surroundings and making sure that there are no people or objects in the line of fire.

Always be mindful of where the gun is pointing, even when you’re not actively shooting.

Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot

Another important safety rule is to keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot. This is known as keeping your finger indexed outside the trigger guard.

When you’re holding a revolver, your trigger finger should be alongside the frame of the gun, not inside the trigger guard.

This helps prevent accidental discharges and ensures that you’re in control of when the gun fires.

Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility when it comes to firearms. By following these safety tips and incorporating safe habits into your shooting routine, you can help prevent accidents and ensure that you’re practicing responsible gun ownership.


In conclusion, revolvers can be a great option for beginners who are looking for a reliable, accurate, and easy-to-maintain firearm.

They have a simple and intuitive design that makes them easy to use, and they are available in a variety of sizes and calibers to suit different needs and preferences.

However, it’s important to consider the limitations of revolvers as well. They have a limited capacity and a slower reloading time than semi-automatic pistols, which can be a disadvantage in some situations.

They are also generally more expensive than semi-automatics and less versatile in terms of customization.

Ultimately, the choice between a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol will depend on your individual needs and preferences.

Consider factors such as the purpose of use, caliber, size and weight, grip and trigger, and be sure to practice proper safety measures when handling any firearm.

For more information on revolvers for beginners, check out our other articles on the topic.

Darren is a proud and patriotic individual who firmly believes in upholding the principles of the Second Amendment. As a concealed gun carrier, he understands the importance of personal protection and the right to bear arms.