For generations, American families loved station wagons. They were roomy, safe, powerful, and comfortable to use. In the 1980’s that changed with the introduction of the mini-van, which offered a shorter turning radius, better gas mileage, and a higher ride. The change was so quick and so complete that by the early 1980’s, the full-size American station wagon was completely gone. In the 1990’s, America grew tired of the mini-van’s bread-truck layout and smaller engines. The truck-based SUV became the family vehicle with four doors, V-8, and traditional layout. By the early 2000’s, the SUV was regarded as cumbersome to park, expensive to operate, and difficult to enter and exit. Now we have the cross-over, which is a small SUV body, scaled down to more traditional proportions, on a lower car chassis. In short, we’re back to the station wagon.

Revolvers, like the station wagon, have been eclipsed. Pistols are undoubtedly here to stay. But after having seen a glut of “double-action-only”, “safe-action”, smaller magazines, and rimmed cartridges designed to imitate the ballistics of revolver standards, such as the .357 magnum, it is safe to say that the revolver is far more competitive than many pistol owners are willing to recognize. The famous speed shooter, Ed McGivern, chose S&W revolvers for his demonstrations because he could shoot them faster than the 1911 Colt could cycle rounds. A revolver also has an advantage with unreliable ammunition, one need only pull the trigger to move to a fresh round. A fixed barrel and the capability to harness large game calibers, with a long sight radius (without an unduly heavy front-end), make the revolver a quick, safe, reliable choice for duty or defense. The pistol’s advantage is primarily in ease of reloading: it is easier to use a magazine than a speed loader. Unfortunately, most shooters don’t practice either. The well- trained revolver operator will surpass the moderately trained pistol operator.

Before you decide to purchase your next firearm, consider the revolver. Safety, accuracy, malfunction remedies, ammunition choices, and ease of training continue to be hallmarks of this station wagon of handguns.