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Why You Might Need A Wheelgun

It wasn’t that long ago that revolvers were very common. Many police departments were still using them until fairly recently in my life. They are simple to use and reliable but now are largely relics or curiosities. Semi-automatic pistols are generally incredibly reliable, if properly maintained, and are capable of holding 15 or more rounds. Even little concealable pistols can hold 10-12 rounds, double a revolver, while being slimmer and more easily concealed than most revolvers. Sure you can mostly only get the big magnum calibers in revolvers but with advances in ammunition even 9mm is plenty lethal for most situations not involving a brown bear. So why carry a revolver with six rounds when you can carry a reliable 9mm with 15, 17 or 21 rounds?
A big advantage and why you might want to have at least one revolver is that, unlike semi-auto pistols, the spent casings in a revolver stay right in the revolver until you manually remove them. Semi-auto casings fly everywhere and are immediately useful in identifying a firearm. More important, unless you take extraordinary steps while loading your magazine, every one of those casings has your fingerprints on it. 
Now I can’t for the life of me imagine any sort of scenario where you would be concerned about leaving behind shell casings with fingerprints on it. It is pretty baffling to me. But maybe some people out there can and perhaps for those people, who I don’t know of course, a 158 grain jacketed hollowpoint .357 magnum round travelling at over 1200 feet per second that isn’t leaving behind trace evidence is something that fits a need. No idea what that need might be. 
Anyhoo, just something to ponder.


  1. Mikey

    So interesting to read this now. Just TWO DAYS AGO I unloaded all my carry magazines, carefully wiped down all the cartridges, and reloaded the mags using rubber gloves just in case things get sporty, the law of self defense goes down the drain, and I have an opportunity to discreetly egress the area without any imperial entanglements. I need to get another snubby. Used to have one but the only wheelgun I have now is a full size.

  2. Brian E.

    This is also why I like bolt action rifles. With a slow enough rate of fire – the brass has cooled enough you can catch it between your fingers as you work the bolt.
    You don’t have to go policing up your brass like a (semi) auto requires. Unless you have a brass catcher in it.
    Just sayin’. 😉

  3. E M Johnson

    heh, funny you should bring this up. recently discussed subjects along those lines with the better half. trying to splain why I want another wheel. lol she doesn't want to "loan" me her snub and my chunk of Ruger beauty isn't suitable for such things. gotta love me some effective single shot ballistics of the .357

  4. Anonymous

    I was looking a while back into 22 mag wheel guns or maybe 22 lr. like to get a 4 inch barrel one if I can, have a 38 stubby already and it is a bit loud. 22 do the job a bit quieter.
    funny bit of history, back in the 1970's most "pro" hits where done with 22's
    very accurate, dependable pistols where around then too. I have a old school walther ppk/s in 22lr.
    like to get ahold of one of those beretta model 71 too. they are great for quiet work where you do just want to slip away afterwards. just saying of course and one nice thing about those guns was that you could hide it in your shorts afterwards and no body the wiser about it.
    very few cops would feel you up to find a small pistol like those. just saying again

  5. 4hawks

    Last paragraph, but especially the first sentence (your delivery) made me grin real bigly. This dovetailed with a meme yesterday on WRSA of a S&W snubby with wood grips 'justice delivery tool'. Them old timers had a great thing going with a lever action that combined same pistol cartridge, and maybe a 2 shot hide out derringer of same caliber.

  6. Anonymous

    Forensics does not stop at the case.

    The projectile can be matched to a barrel.

    Unless the barrel gets heated red hot and mashed flat.

  7. Anonymous

    a while back, a old guy told me of a trick where you drilled a small hole in the head or front of the bullet, then dropped in a bit oil or anything else you might have, then seal the hole over with a soldering iron. he said it made the bullet explode when it hit "something" causing a massive wound.
    never tried it myself, but I would guess it would be hard to match the bit of lead with any barrel ?

  8. jefferson101

    It occurs to me that there are other steps one can take to make it harder on them to figure things out correctly.

    Load your carry ammo for a .357 or .38 Spec with 124g 9mm rounds. Yeah, the diameter is .002 smaller, which is going to mess with your accuracy a bit, but…

    First off, what kind of accuracy do you expect from a 2 or 3 inch snubby at any kind of distance?

    Second, the bullet is not going to engage the rifling in the barrel real well, which should make the forensic stuff a lot more difficult.

  9. evanfardreamer

    Another fun thing about wheelguns versus autoloaders is getting creative with ammo. I have a patrolman in .357 for my hunting sidearm – we have mountain lions in AZ, plus I've got a speedloader of .38 shotshells if I find a rattlesnake that gets too friendly. I don't think the same flexibility is out there for 9mm.

  10. Anonymous

    a long time ago, I guy I served with carried a old colt 1917 wheel gun in 45 colt. he used a 3/8 drill
    bit to scope them out and afterwards he crossed them with a old razor blade, the single edge kind.
    not very good at 25 yards or so he said, but up close like, those made a real mess when it hit something. it was as he called it his oh, shit weapon.
    seems like something like that be hard to trace or track down ?

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