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Which is more accurate: revolver or semi-auto?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 10:43
River Runner View Drop Down
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I was searching the web for shooting tips and came accross someones thoughts about whether revolvers were more accurate than semi-auto.  Most target pistols are semi-auto, which would seem to be an argument in their favor, but if you are talking about handguns that aren't dedicated target models, most semi-auto are designed with concealed carry or M&P in mind, whereas revolvers tend to be designed with hunting or backup to a hunting rifle, which would work in favor of the revolver.  I recently went to a range with a friend.  He had a new S&W M&P .40 and a new Px4 storm .40 and I had a Dan Wesson .357 shooting .38 special.  I got a chance to shoot his guns and got a look at his targets vs. mine and it was pretty obvious the Dan Wesson was more accurate.  You might say this isn't a fair comparison, but I think it may be where the two choices are at.  If you want accuracy, get a revolver.  If you want fire power in a fight, get a semi-auto.
I'm hoping this starts a good debate.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 11:25
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Optics Jedi Master
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All generalizations are bad! (It's funny because it too is a generalization.)
 
I would add a few disclaimers to your logic:
 
1.  Purpose-build guns tend to do something very well, and others maybe not so good.
2.  With enough money spent on quality craftsmanship, you can do amazing things with an auto or a wheel gun.
3.  Comparing your target to his tells some about gun and some about shooter and some about ammo, and not much else.
 
 
Revolvers have fewer moving parts and can be very, very accurate.  Likewise, enough money into a semi auto and it too can be very, very accurate.  Considering same money in, I tend to side with revolvers for pure accuracy and autos for capacity.
 
Many might disagree.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 11:43
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I agree with RC… you can spend a lot less money accurizing a revolver, but you are then very rounds-count-limited.  Semi-autos, for reasonable prices, offer reasonable-very good accuracy with a lot of rounds downrange very quickly.
A good friend of mine used to say of his pistol…" I may not put him down with the first round, but I'm darned sure going to dazzle him with firepower."  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 12:12
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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the only absolute is there are no absolutes
a generalization contains the most information
the more specific the question/answer the less information
all information cannot be known

few if any autos can obtain the muzzle energy and retain accuracy as a good revolver

however the ar type auto short barrels, are extremely accurate

few revolvers can match a Mod. 41, or equivalent target auto.

a bulleyes 1911 will match any revolver in accuracy

conclusion:
you build the gun for the game
its never the gun anyway they can all shoot more accurate than the shooter
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 13:54
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Most Hunting revolvers are 6" or more this gives a long sight plane. Most full sized semi autos are 4.5"  or less. A longer sight plane will allow for more precise sight alignment. This has nothing to do with the actual accuracy of the weapon but it sure helps to put it on the target.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 16:19
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Form Follows Function.
 
I bet Ernie Bishop has a uniquie perspective on this pistol thread with his ultra long range hand cannons.
When I am looking for nothing other than first shot accuracy I go to a custom Bullberry barrel for the Encore Pistol.  I think pistols with longer sight radius tend to be easier to shoot more accurately. I think the trigger makes a huge difference. However in spite of all other factors PRACTICE is what allows you to be better there are guys running wheel guns who can lay down a tremendous amount of firepower very rapidly and accurately and there are a lot of shooters who do very well with the semi auto guns each has its own place. For hunting I like a 44 mag or 45-70 for carry I like a 45 or 40 or .357
 Single Shot Encore Bullberry Barrel  holes always touchingThunbs Up
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 16:57
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Optics GrassHopper
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The most accurate is the one that a man uses all the time and knows how to use his gun. That goes for all guns. Most guns is more accurate than most people can shoot. You need to shoot at least 100 rd a week. The people that shoot in competition shoots as meany as 500 a day.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/25/2014 at 22:25
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Optics Apprentice
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I don't think revolvers are inherently more accurate.  In fact I probably think the opposit, considering what competitive target shooters use.  I'm just thinking of the thousands of people that bought polymer handguns without even considering a revolver.  I'm thinking of my own experience.  I was hot for a PX4 but luckily decided to get some Hogue grips for the Dan Wesson and go shooting with a friend.  Not only was the revlover far more accurate than his plastic guns, it was more comfortable in my hands and easier to load.  I think it's better accuracy had a lot to do with a longer sight radius (6" barrel) and target type sights.  I ended up ordering another revolver.  The deciding factor was my failing eye sight.  I can put a red dot sight on my new revolver.  Not very many polymer guns allow you to do that.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2014 at 09:07
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Optics Master Extraordinaire
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My answer to this will be I carry a 1911 colt commander & a back up S&W 642 snubby revolver.When it comes to bad breath distances the combo is the best.,Period.
 
If you are looking for true accuracy,most will use a good piece of glass,just ask Ernie Bishop.........
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2014 at 10:02
Dale Clifford View Drop Down
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short rifles and breakopens really can't be compared to revolvers and autos. What makes the difference in all however is the difference in the lock up system. bolt short rifles and breakopens are able to establish a consistent dimension of the loaded round in the chamber each time.
a further complication is the definition. while a short rifle may have more precision it is not any more accurate than a revolver when no support is used, offhand, and if it has a rifle scope on it which is not extended eye relief, probably not even usable.
It is unfortunate that so much has been forgotten about handgun shooting since the demise of IMSHA
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/26/2014 at 10:22
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Most autos have a tilting barrel. The chamber never changes it's relationship with the barrel. Whether internal lock up like 1911 or external like most modern autos, this changes after every shot regarding barrel to slide lock up.
With revolvers the chamber changes relationship every time a new round is rotated into position for firing.
The mechanics are different, but the principle remains the same. The more precise the lock up, the better the repeatability.
I carry both for different reasons and none is for accuracy. Autos for daily carry and revolvers for rimfire and magnum field carry. A Colt agent wins in the pocket. I will say the Glock 20 has reduced my carrying a .357.
I also defer to the previous posts regarding handgun accuracy. All discussions here end with Ernie Bishop.
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