A revolver is a type of handgun that has a revolving cylinder containing multiple chambers for cartridges and a barrel for firing them. Each time the trigger is pulled, the cylinder advances to the next chamber and the round is fired. Depending on caliber, most revolvers have a capacity of anywhere from 5 to 10 rounds of ammunition. Once all rounds are expended, the cylinder can be flipped open to extract the spent casings and insert new ammunition.

A semi-automatic pistol is a magazine-fed firearm in which the energy of each fired cartridge cycles the action, ejects the spent casing, and advances the next cartridge into firing position. Again, depending on caliber, the removable magazines can hold anywhere from 5 rounds up to upwards of 20, and these magazines can be quickly removed and replaced to provide sustained fire.

So, is one better than the other? Is one more effective than the other? The answers to these questions lie in the application for which each firearm is purposed.

Aside from sport shooting or hunting, which can employ firearms of every conceivable configuration; most handguns used by civilians are purposed for concealed carry and self-defense. In this scenario, reliability, ease of use and size become primary considerations. In a hostile encounter that results in use of deadly force, things happen very quickly and at fairly close range. The use of deadly force is also generally understood to be the last resort, and its use is limited to specifically nullify the immediate threat, nothing more.

With that being said, large capacity magazines or the ability to maintain sustained fire become irrelevant. Unlike various scenarios that may be encountered by law enforcement, the use of a firearm for personal self defense can generally be accomplished with a minimal discharge of ammunition.

On the topic of reliability, most modern firearms are designed with the utmost attention to functionality and quality, but even so, things can still go wrong. Imagine finding yourself in a situation where your life is at stake and having your pistol jam! The very nature of a semi-automatic pistol design makes this a possibility. With multiple moving parts that must function in perfect harmony, even the smallest deviation can cause a malfunction. Also, however unlikely, the possibility of flawed ammunition that fails to feed or discharge can also be the catalyst of critical failure. The revolver is simple in its design, and equally effective in its ultimate purpose. No casings to eject, to slides to cycle, no magazines to feed ammunition – you pull the trigger, and a bullet is on its way to the destination.

These observations are by no means an endorsement of one type of handgun or another for self defense. Experienced users may be adept at mitigating any possible problem that may arise during the use of their firearm, while others may not have the proficiency to recover during a high-stress encounter. Firearm instruction classes and concealed carry courses address each issue on a personal level to determine what is right for you.

Metro Pawn & Gun accommodates clients ranging from civilians to law enforcement, and our selection of handguns provides many options for either. Visit us to buy, pawn or sell handguns. We are your one stop gun shop in Minneapolis, MN!

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