Semi-Automatic, Revolver, Caliber, Cartridges – LewRockwell

What do you really need to know before buying a gun? Last week, in the first installment of our series, we talked about some of the things you needed to think about, like how you plan to be using it and some basic definitions. But there’s a lot more to buying a gun that will work well for you than understanding what the words mean.

So, let’s move on to Part 2 of our Monday GunDay guest series by Steve Candidus, who has generously written these articles to make choosing a firearm easier.

What You Need to Know When Buying a Gun

By Steve Candidus

Revolvers vs. Semi-Automatics

Let’s start with an important note – your ammunition is not called bullets – that is what exits the barrel. The complete bullet, powder, and brass or aluminum case, is called a cartridge or round.

Revolvers

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A revolver, sometimes called a wheel gun, has a cylinder typically holding five or six rounds. A semi-automatic is flatter in profile and typically holds more ammunition.  It fires a bullet each time the trigger is pulled, and extracts and ejects the spent cartridge case from the firing chamber, re-cocks the firing mechanism, and loads a new cartridge into the firing chamber.

Revolvers do not come with a safety. The trigger pull is longer and it takes more effort to fire them and thus acts as a safety – sort of. Revolvers come in sizes ranging from small pocket size guns to large heavy hunting guns. They are a good choice for home defense as their extra weight is actually an advantage. The weight absorbs more of the felt recoil.

They are loaded by releasing the cylinder button to the rear of the cylinder and swinging the cylinder out exposing the cartridges. By pushing on the cylinder rod that is…

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