What IS a Revolver and Why Do Gun Owners Love Them?
By Jeff Wood
Why are revolvers still the go-to gun for some gun owners? (Photo: Jeff Wood/Guns.com)
Many years ago, Samuel Colt brought to market a product that changed the way people lived. As the adage goes, Colt “made men equal.” More than 180 years later, with a slew of firearms at consumers’ fingertips, how has the revolver kept its place in American defense?
What is a Revolver?
A revolver, or “wheel gun” as its commonly referred, is a firearm that uses a rotating cylinder with multiple chambers. The cylinder revolves, so the chambers fire individually. Each chamber aligns with the breach of the barrel, with the hammer cocked to ready the pistol for the next shot. It’s a fairly simple cycle, but in the early 19th century, it revolutionized the way people confronted dangerous threats.
Though the basic operation is the same, some revolvers have a fixed cylinder with a loading door that requires loading each chamber one at a time. Others use a cylinder that opens to the side of the frame, allowing access to all chambers at once. Some designs even break open, hinging the entire barrel/cylinder assembly forward and down, allowing access to the cylinder. The trigger and hammer engage with the cylinder