Revolvers Are Just Better
Isn't this what you meant by "shooting" pool?
"Monster of the East, huh? Well, I got the Monster of the West in my holster right now. Hope I get to introduce him."
Views are mixed when it comes to guns. However, there is one gun that we can all agree is cool:
Let's face it, revolvers are cool
. In fiction, revolvers are often shown to be better than any other handgun. In video games, they may be the most accurate, most powerful, and rarest of all handguns. If a character is The Gunslinger
, chances are it's a revolver he'll be slingin'.
, cowboys and outlaws are seen with revolvers. But this is because revolvers were the only repeating handguns at that time in history, not because of any cool factor. That doesn't stop it from being
cool, though. One could argue this is where revolvers first picked up their mystique
, though Dirty Harry
is probably responsible for popularising Magnum-loaded revolvers as the Hand Cannon
of choice; this has faded a little in recent years, with the first choice for movie hero personal artillery more likely to be a .50AE Desert Eagle
, much to the annoyance of gun enthusiasts. An enduring legacy of Dirty Harry
is that it's often assumed that every powerful revolver is a Magnum.note
For a more detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages, see the analysis page.
For a competing product, see the shotgun
(particularly the Sawed-Off Shotgun
) or the katana
. Might be a Hand Cannon
. Compare and/or contrast with Revolvers Are For Amateurs
, where they're just better for someone inexperienced.
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Anime & Manga
- The titular character in Akagi asks for one from the Yakuza, supposedly for self-protection. Russian Roulette and False Roulette follow soonafter.
- In Grenadier, Rushuna defeats hundreds of people that are armed with various automatic weapons and exotic weaponry with just a six-shooter. Her schtick involves popping bullets out of her boobs and into her gun in a single motion.
- In Ghost in the Shell, Togusa uses a Mateba Autorevolver instead of the standard-issue semi automatics of the rest of Section 9. The explanation for this is somewhat complex:
- In the manga, the Major questions why he uses a revolver, when he should be afraid of it jamming, even if he carries a semi-automatic as backup. On the Major's request, he uses the semi-automatic throughout the manga. For some added irony, a semi-automatic of the same model jams in a later issue... In addition, Togusa is presented as someone with an odd gun choice, using an AS-11 shotgun in addition to his two handguns.
- In one SAC episode, Togusa testifies in court that he prefers a revolver to an automatic because revolvers don't jam. It's implied that this is just him rationalizing, and that he really prefers them because he thinks they're cooler. He probably wouldn't have been so defensive if the guy asking wasn't acting as if this was case-turning material.
- In a different episode, Togusa is able to quickly load a bullet containing an electronic tracer into his revolver and fire it into the bumper of a fleeing vehicle. He uses a similar trick in the first movie, with another character pointing out that, had he been using the standard issue semi, he could have planted two trackers on the car in the same time.
- Ultimately, in Solid State Society, The Movie of Stand Alone Complex, Togusa has succeeded Kusanagi as the commander of Section 9, and has received cybernetic implants and, at the same time, replaced his revolver with a semi-automatic. He himself lampshades the symbolism behind this.
- In Trigun, fitting the Western-influenced setting, revolvers predominate. They're not the only kind, though — nearly every cool-looking gun made without plastics has a counterpart on The Planet Gunsmoke, along with a few sci-fi ones and some outright crazy designs. However, Vash and Evil Counterpart Knives use distinctive large, super-accurate (when appropriately serviced) six-shooters with a few special features.
- RizeGreymon from Digimon Savers (though in the dub his bullets are energy lasers).
- In Lyrical Nanoha, Devices can get "cartridge systems" that allow them to fire powerful bursts of magic. The titular character's staff loads cartridges from assault rifle-style magazines, and the Wolkenritter's Devices have shotgun-style brute-force mechanisms... but guess what Fate, the former Dark Magical Girl who gets the really cool gear, gets for hers? Yup, six-shot revolver cylinder.
- The Revolver Knuckles of Subaru and Ginga's devices (Mach Caliber and Blitz Caliber respectively) load cartridges via a revolver cylinder, hence the name.
- Runessa Magnus, Teana's partner in the Sound Stage X of Strikers, wields a revolver with projectile ammunition.
- Resident Bad Ass Cross Marian of D.Gray-Man uses a six shooter, as do Jasdero and Devit.
- Mobile Police Patlabor - the AV-98 Ingrams use "Revolver Cannons," which are actually giant versions of standard police revolvers. Apparently the rounds are so expensive that speedloaders aren't issued, the operators instead being required to get out of their Labor and load the gun by hand.
- Hades from Appleseed uses an implausibly large six-shooter as his sidearm... even when in the middle of a military formation where everybody else has assault rifles.
- Mukuru, vicious pirate from Samurai Champloo, uses a single-action revolver. However, although he is certainly an "accomplished" pirate and killer, all the killing we see him do is not so much Improbable Aiming Skills as it is him simply plugging samurai who only have swords.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Bandit Kieth's flagship monster is the Barrel Dragon◊, a giant mechanical dragon made from three enormous revolvers. Revolvers that are loaded with three bullets each, and play Russian Roulette pointed at the enemy monsters. What's not cool about that monster? Other than the fact that the head revolver is really goofy? That all said, when Bandit Kieth holds a gun to Pegasus' head, it appears to be a Glock.
- This gets confusing as there is a monster named Revolver Dragon in the English version, who has a revolver for a head and has an ability similar to Barrel Dragon. The difference being that Revolver Dragon is basically a Nerfed Barrel Dragon. Note, however, that the original◊ had much more realistic revolvers.
- Justice in Afro Samurai dual-wields a set of revolvers. He's a Cowboy.
- Sumire in Venus Versus Virus has a revolver in the manga. In the anime she only has a cheap, dime-a-dozen semi-automatic for a weapon, however the Elegant Gothic Lolita Lucia (who gets all the awesome gear in the series) sports a revolver.
- Ein from Phantom of Inferno wields a revolver.
- All of the cops in Death Note.
- Also used during Takada's abduction; one of her bodyguards points a revolver at Mello in the manga. In the anime he instead points a semi-automatic pistol at him.
- Japan is one of the few countries in the world, including Hong Kong, where its police departments (singular in the case of HK) still issue revolvers for patrolmen.
- Suzumiya Haruhi's Day of Sagittarius video game features, at least in the characters' minds, revolver space ships loaded by smaller space ships.
- Jigen, gunslinging sidekick of Lupin III, uses all manner of firearms during his career, but seems to prefer a revolver as his sidearm of choice.
- Dutch from Black Lagoon has one (though he's also used a shotgun as well). Chaka (the asshole from the Yakuza arc) also uses one. Revy derides Chaka for being a poser for using one for show more than effectiveness, and uses a pair of custom Beretta semiautomatics herself.
- Train Heartnet from Black Cat goes with this trope... and damn does he make it look hot.
- "Cowboy Andy" from Cowboy Bebop uses a revolver as opposed to the usual semi-automatics everyone else uses. Of course, this fits with his intended theme.
- The missile launchers on Faye's ship Redtail are a Rule of Cool mashup of revolvers and pump action shotguns.
- Jo from Bakuretsu Tenshi uses two revolvers, though usually only one at a time, and through her Improbable Aiming Skills it's shown to be good enough to take out most anything. Takane also has a revolver.
- High Class Demon Commander Scanty from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is very fond of her revolvers. Granted she have been shown capable of turning them into a shotgun,and unlike most revolvers Scanty doesn't seem worried about reloading them.
- David from Blood+ wields a revolver as his Weapon of Choice. A very large, high-powered revolver. Presumably because smaller bullets hardly even count as an annoyance to Chiropterans, but David's revolver doesn't do much better.
- Very much subverted in Gunsmith Cats. Two times revolvers are used they fail noticeably, and when the main character gets hold of one she is visibly disgusted with it. Doesn't stop her from doing rapid five-pulls with one to scare the hell out of someone she's interrogating though.
- In Go Shogun: The Time Étranger Remy Shimada's favourite weapon is a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum.
- Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi has four characters with revolvers: Hampnie uses a Smith & Wesson Model 29, Julie uses a Ruger GP100, Alice uses a Enfield No.2 Mk1, and Dee uses a snubnosed Smith & Wesson Model 66.
- City Hunter: Ryo Saeba's personal arm, Colt Python .357 Magnum, seems to be superior to most types of weapons in the manga. With Improbable Aiming Skills and surprisingly powerful bullets, Ryo that can disable a car or a helicopter with one precise hit.
- The Saint of Killers from Preacher is appointed as the replacement for the Angel of Death, who melts his sword down into two revolvers for the Saint to use. Said revolvers can kill absolutely anything, are enchanted such that they never miss, never need reloading and each shot will never be less than fatal. In fact, the first person he kills after getting the job was the Devil himself. The last is God.
- Preacher also features a subversion with Herr Starr, who near the end of the series, starts carrying a huge revolver around to substitute for his missing genitals. In the next to last issue, during his final duel with Tulip, he manages to nail her in the shoulder, get her against the wall with his revolver to her head and...click. If he'd stuck to an automatic, he would have won.
- Atomic Robo carries a Webley Mk VI for much of his career, eventually replacing it with an anti-material revolver cooked up by one of his action scientists.
- Sam, of Sam & Max: Freelance Police, uses a gigantic revolver. His partner Max favors a Luger.
- Jack Kirby creation Serifan, a young member of the Forever People, has a pair of six-shooters with self-styled "Cosmic Cartridges" with the most unusual and unexpected functions.
- Hellboy has the Good Samaritan in the comics, and in the films he has the Big Baby◊ too.
- The Joker uses a revolver (drawn in loving detail by the great Brian Bolland) to cripple Barbara Gordon in The Killing Joke.
- The favored weapons of Superhomey Single Action in Empowered.
Thug Boy: What kind of idiot would make his energy weapons single action? Having to manually cock hammers started going out of fashion in 1892, asshole - not that hammers are relevant to the operation of plasma guns, of course-
Single Action: Reckon ah jest thought it was plumb cool... anachronistic, but cool...
- John Hartigan uses a revolver in Sin City and seems to be the only character to do so. Then again, he is based partially on Dirty Harry.
- After Jonah Hex is transported to the future in Hex, he acquires a pair of Ruger Blackhawk .357 Magnums. He choses these because they are single action revolvers like he was used to in the Wild West, but he still manages to outshoot everybody armed with more more modern weaponry.
- The Simping Detective, in spite of the fact that he lives in Mega-City One, carries one and it packs quite a wallop. It's likely a nod to his Film Noir roots.
- Averted by Apple Bloom in Bad Future Crusaders, despite being otherwise completely western-themed, who prefers semi-automatics to revolvers because she finds the latter are simply too clumsy to load. Peppercorn, her friend/lover, played it straight with a "Lucky-7" revolver.
- Dirty Harry famously uses a gigantic Smith & Wesson Model 29, which chambers .44 magnum bullets. The gun is extremely powerful, and the long barrel plus adjustable sights make it basically a pocket-rifle. Around the time the movie was filmed, some police actually did carry such large revolvers, but they eventually proved excessively powerful. In Magnum Force, the "rookies" carry revolvers which stand out (.357 Magnum loads), and Dirty Harry explains some technical details of his gun such as the specific load he uses (probably an effort of the writers to justify his use of a powerful handgun like a water pistol).
- In Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Marlboro Man prefers a revolver over an automatic pistol. This gets him in trouble more than once and causes Harley to berate him.
- Although he's been seen to use a wide variety of firearms in the comics, the movie incarnation of Hellboy carries the Samaritan, a huge and massively holy four-round revolver that fires equally huge and holy bullets. When that's not enough, Hellboy II: The Golden Army introduces the Big Baby, a grenade-launching revolver that can kill tree elementals. Ironically it's mentioned Hellboy can't aim worth crap though usually his targets are really big and at really close range.
- Reversed in The Boondock Saints. The main characters berate their friend, David Della Rocco, for bringing a revolver to kill nine people, when his revolver only has six bullets. Rocco had been told there were only two or three men in the room; Rocco's boss, Papa Joe Yakavetta, was actually setting him up to be killed during the assassination so that it couldn't be traced back to the boss.
- In Tim Burton's Batman, Joker brings down the Batwing using a revolver with a really Freudian barrel.
- V for Vendetta. Mr. Creedy uses a revolver in his final confrontation with V himself. However, it is ineffective, because V is wearing a breastplate. Also, ideas are bullet-proof
- For Indiana Jones, the revolver was as much a part of Indy's image as the whip or the bag, but not the hat. Nothing beats the hat.
- Rick O'Connell, as well as the Americans from The Mummy loved to use revolvers. O'Connell was shown to be an aficionado of many types of firearms, however. Early in the movie O'Connell is using semi-automatic pistols vs the horsemen, in the desert. Inappropriate weapons for the conditions, being prone to jamming from dust and dirt. In the commentary on the DVD Brendan Fraser, who played O'Connell, confirmed that the weapons kept jamming due to the dusty conditions. In the third movie, there's one scene where Rick and his son, Alex, are comparing their handguns (a Colt Peacemaker revolver and a Walther P38 pistol respectively). Rick boasts of the superior reliability and bigger size of the revolver, but Alex claims that size doesn't matter.
- In Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, the Sky Captain keeps a revolver tucked into his boot, where he can easily grab it if seated in a cockpit or hoisted into the air by a Killer Robot. For some reason though in the uranium mine scene he's changed to a Colt .45 automatic.
- Xander Cage in xXx wields a revolver with several specialty bullets, including incendiaries, distance listening device, blood splatter/tranquilizer...
- Six-Shooter of the Puppet Master movies carries tiny revolvers that carry a big punch. Because he's, you know, a cowboy. A cowboy puppet. With six arms.
- Inverted in The Great Silence, in which the western gunslinger packs a hyper-modern Mauser C96 semi-auto pistol.
- Played with in the Lethal Weapon series: Riggs, the hotshot Bad Ass, packs a slick automatic while Murtaugh, the aging family man, packs an old-fashioned revolver. Riggs notes that "Lotta old-timers carry those." However, a running gag in the series has Murtaugh display sniper-like accuracy with a single aimed shot.
- In The Quick and the Dead, Leonardo DiCaprio's character runs a gun shop and shows off a series of increasingly cool revolvers to Russell Crowe, who must ultimately take the cheapest and ugliest gun in the store.
- In The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Tuco enters a general store and is unimpressed by the storekeep's selection of revolvers. He breaks the guns down and assembles a new gun from the parts that meet his high expectations. In reality, this would have been fairly improbable. Gun parts at the time were rarely interchangeable even between guns of the same model.
- Subverted in Shanghai Noon, in which Owen Wilson's gunslinger character grabs the villain's cool top-breaking revolvers, but can't seem to figure them out. When Jackie Chan's character asks what's wrong, Wilson protests, "These guns are really weird!"
- In In Bruges, Colin Farrell's characters blinds a man with a blank-loaded revolver then loads it with live rounds nearly 3 minutes later. Yeah, versatility! Revolvers don't need any modifications to fire blanks. However, he does lament carrying it, referring to it as "a bloody girl's gun" when compared with Brendan Gleason's character's silenced automatic.
- In Johnny Dangerously, the villain packs an enormous revolver, proclaiming, "It shoots through schools!"
- In Planet Terror, when Wray and Abby take out the grotesquely mutated Lt. Muldoon, Wray, the American/Mexican(kind of hard to be positive which, although the actor is Puerto Rican) fires a revolver, while Abby, the Brit, fires an automatic. Both of them actually seem to be about equally effective.
- In Last Action Hero, the Big Bad, Benedict, uses this trope to maximum effect in one scene in the "real world". Benedict fires at Slater with his revolver until the hammer falls on a empty chamber. When Slater comes out of cover and points out that guns need to be reloaded in the real world, Benedict replies that he merely left one chamber empty and then shoots Slater with the bullet still left in his revolver.
- In Three Kings, PFC Conrad Vig has a Thunder 5 pistol, even though using a short-barrelled .410 revolver in the desert makes no sense at all.
- Crank High Voltage subverts this at the start of the film. A mook fires on Chelios with his revolver, as Chelios takes cover. As the revolver runs dry, the mook starts cursing, clumsily trying to eject the spent cartridges and load in new ones. As the mook is fumbling with his revolver, Chelios casually walks up to him and beats him down.
- Boyz n the Hood: Tre's father, Furious Styles, uses a .357 when trying to kill an intruder in his house. Later in the movie, Tre uses his father's revolver to engage in a revenge plan with Doughboy after his friend Ricky was murdered, but was stopped by his father before doing so.
- Subverted in Back To The Future Part III. Marty is given a Colt Peacemaker for his shoot-out with Mad Dog Tannen, and is thrilled about having a real revolver, which he is shown to be incredibly accurate with (thanks to hours of practice on arcade games). Along the way he gets a reality check, doesn't use it in the duel, and gives it away completely unused.
- The film Faster seems to be all about Dwayne Johnson, a Revolver, and Revenge!
- Point Break: Bohdi uses a Freedom Arms Model 83 revolver when robbing the bank and uses it on an off-duty cop by shooting him point blank in the heart.
- The Heat: Despite her extensive arsenal, Mullins seems awfully fond of her Smith & Wesson .38 Special.
- Alien Nation: Sykes is worried about aliens getting hopped up on space PCP and becoming virtually Immune to Bullets, so he upgrades to an enormous revolver Hand Cannon. It uses bullets so big that it can only fit five, but it blows holes through a Bullet Proof Vest.
- In The Dark Tower, Roland's revolvers are significantly more badass than the automatic handgun Jake brings from Earth. They're also cooler than the blunderbusses and semiautos that show up on occasion. Given that the metal of the revolvers was obtained from a melted-down Excalibur, one can hardly expect them to be otherwise. After using an automatic, Roland describes it as little more than a toy, and making him feel "dirty".
- The use of a revolver in Stephen King's Cell. The revolver is the only gun to ever actually kill anything.
- In The Half-Made World, many of the Guns manifest as revolvers. Like all Guns, they never need to be reloaded and usually kill in one shot.
- In The Dresden Files, wizards aren't allowed to kill with magic on pain of beheading, so Harry sometimes carries a gun — and because he's a Walking Techbane (against anything with a tech higher than the 1950s, mechanicalnote or electronic), he uses a revolver in preference to a semi-automatic specifically because it's less likely to jam or misfire. He also mentions on occasion that he specifically picked the "Dirty Harry" type. He originally carried a Colt Detective Special, ie that snub-nosed pocket pistol that plainclothes cops are invariably seen with in Hollywood movies made before about 1995, but upgraded to an unidentified "medium-barrelled .357" after a run-in with some loup-garou. After running with the .357 for a while Harry loses it during a fairy battle (seeing a pattern?) and upgrades again to a .44 magnum.
- Lieutenant Murphy often berates Harry for his choice of gun, noting that her SIG semi-automatic carries 20 rounds to Harry's 6, and Harry has no speed-loaders, only loose rounds in his pocket. When he remarks that he uses a revolver because of the Walking Techbane issue, she suggests that he get an older semi-automatic, like her own M1911. Harry goes on to note that he likes his revolver just fine; it makes him feel like Indiana Jones.
- Every other character in the books subverts this, as Harry is the only person with a revolver. Marcone uses an Assault Rifle and a Shotgun, Hendrix uses an assault rifle the size of a motorcycle, Murphy has her semi-autos and a P90, Sanya has his Kalashnikov, Thomas uses shotguns and a Desert Eagle, and Kincaid uses whatever he feels is the best gun for the job. note Of course, Harry only carries a firearm as a backup and does most of his combat with magic.
- In the Aubrey-Maturin series, Stephen Maturin has one of the earliest "revolving pistols", in around 1812. Note that these were flintlock rather than percussion cap, required you to spin the drum by hand, and had a tendency to jam.
- Matthew Hervey also gets one a few years later in Alan Mallinson's books.
- Any British action-adventure children's book from the 1930s or 40s can be relied upon to use the word "revolvers", almost invariably carried by the villains (whereas if the good guys use guns, they're typically rifles or shotguns) - for example, several books by Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome.
- The logic behind this probably runs that if someone has a revolver, with its easy concealability and inadequacy for gamekeeping, hunting or any other non-criminal/law-enforcement use, then they're probably up to no good. In contrast, rifles and shotguns are common things for any farmer/landed gentry (heroes in classic British adventure fiction tending to fit into the latter category) to have lying around as a matter of course.
- In David Gemmell's Wolf in Shadow and its sequels, Jon Shannow, a.k.a. the Jerusalem Man, carries a pair of percussion cap revolvers. These represent the cutting edge of firearms technology in the post-apocolyptic world in which he lives and make him far deadlier than most his opponents who are armed with single shot flintlocks.
- In the novel that inspired Logan's Run, the sandman guns are six cylinder revolvers, each cylinder loaded with its own special cartridge. The homer would follow and kill the runner. The tangler was a webbing bomb, the ripper would go through armor, the nitro was self-explanatory, the vapor was a gas bomb, and the needler, which function was not explicitly stated, could be conjectured to be a needle slug filled with an anesthetic.
- In Brian Daley's Floyt/Fitzhugh stories, the bureaucrat turned reluctant adventurer protagonist Hobart Floyt has access to a whole galaxy's worth of futuristic weaponry but he chooses to carry a reproduction Webley revolver for its simplicity and reliability (although he did regret not having boosted ammo like depleted transuranics when fighting the Implacable Man, Gentry Standing Bear).
- Skulduggery Pleasant uses an older style revolver (give him a break, he is over 400 years old), and at one point he uses two of them, emptying both guns into the chest of one enemy, and then sticking a spike bomb in said wound before it could heal. The resulting explosion still didn't kill said monster.
- Inverted in The Shadow. The titular vigilante uses a pair of .45 semiautomatics, whereas most of the crooks are described as using revolvers.
- The UnGun in Un Lun Dun is a revolver that takes anything as ammo and magnifies or replicates it. Even when it's empty, it still will unfire and produce a vacuum
- In Time Scout, given that most gates lead to times before automatic and semiautomatic weapons, this just plain sense. Why carry anything but a revolver when nothing but revolvers exist?
- Very early in the run of Perry Rhodan, one of the "tests" set by the sufficiently advanced alien known as IT on its own homeworld involves an authentic Western-style gunslinger who laughs at modern energy weapons and can only be defeated "in his own time" — which is to say, by being shot with an old Colt Peacemaker one of the protagonists has conveniently "accidentally" found earlier in the same issue (after which his body quickly disappears). As a clear mythology gag, the same character reappears once in a great while when somebody is looking for IT for some reason or other; he usually ends up getting killed in the exact same way.
Live Action TV
- In Firefly, Jayne Cobb's sidearm of choice (though not his very favorite gun) is a revolver, and Wash uses a few of them over the course of the series. On the other hand, Mal's pistol is a semi-automatic, and sees a lot more use.
- It's worth noting however that the real-world prop for Mal's pistol is based on the five shot Taurus 38 revolver.
- The scene in Knight Rider where Michael Knight is shot with a revolver has the shooter miming reloading the gun in the same way as the Preacher example. I believe there actually is some obscure revolver that loads like this, but it's doubtful the creators of the scene knew that.
- Averted on The Wire, Cutty is fresh out of jail and ready to get back into the drug game. When they send him on a hit and give him an automatic pistol, he complains that revolvers never jammed on him and that automatics can kill bystanders. Slim Charles promptly tells him that automatic pistols are now used because of the need for 15 bullets rather than six.
Cutty: "Man, the game done changed."
Slim Charles: "Nah, the game the same. It just got more fierce."
- A major arc in the second season of Supernatural involved the brothers hunting down The Colt, a magic demon-slaying revolver made by Samuel Colt himself, one of the most powerful weapons in the series. Notably, the boys prefer automatics, although they never get into a discussion about it and Bobby used a Colt Single-Action Army.
- Subverted in an episode of Bones when during a shootout between Booth (wielding Bones' S&W Model 500) and the episode's Monster Clown (wielding a Sawed-Off Shotgun), the clown criticizes Booth's 5-shot capacity and taunts him by pointing out he only has One Buwwet Weft. Double Subverted when the clown takes cover behind a steel door and Booth merely blasts right through it.
- There's also Bones herself, who at one point carried said very very large revolver, and actually used it at the climax of the above episode.
- That's the same episode, Bones had gone with the "bigger is better" idea after being attacked in a previous episode. Unfortunately, she can barely lift the gun, let alone fire it, so Booth has to take the piece.
- Stargate Atlantis gives us the Particle Magnum, and its distinctive look.
- Jack Harkness of Torchwood prefers an antique Webley revolver, despite everyone else's penchant for modern handguns. Somewhat justified in that he probably got it when they were the best personal guns around, although that doesn't explain why he hasn't updated since.
- In the mini series Tin Man, Cain uses a completely normal looking old fashioned revolver. How he can fire off much more than ten rounds in one fight scene without ever having to reload at any moment in the show is truly amazing.
- Gene Hunt of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes prefers a revolver to the standard police-issue semi-automatic handguns. Then again, he is a Cowboy Cop...
- Jokes aside, Gene's character is shown to be a huge fan of The Western, and thinks of himself as The Sheriff, so his preference for a revolver is understandable.
- At one point, assassins in Taken use revolvers with sniping scopes attached.
- A couple times in Deadliest Warrior. In the Jesse James Vs. Al Capone episode, the Colt Revolver is tested against the Tommy Gun, and the Colt gets the edge for better accuracy and the Quick Draw. In the Back For Blood special, the IRA's Webley revolver is matched up against the Spetsnaz' Makarov pistol and the Makarov gets the edge due to it's higer rate of fire and faster reload.
- Deputy Sheriff Rick Grimes from AMC's The Walking Dead carries a large stainless steel revolver, despite the fact that most other modern American law enforcement officers have switched to semi-autos like the Glock. But then again, he is Rick Grimes, a serious Bad Ass. As the 6" stainless Colt Python is an out-of-production collector's item worth more than a half-dozen new Glocks, Rick is apparently also pretty loaded.
- In the Criminal Minds episode "Revelations", the UnSub plays Russian Roulette with a kidnapped and tortured Reid using a revolver. SA Reid later gets the revolver away from him and shoots him with it. Some time later, it becomes apparent that Reid has started using a revolver as his service weapon.
- Several of the UnSubs use revolvers, The Reaper being one of the more notable ones. The BAU believes the UnSubs favor them because it ensures they won't leave bullet casings behind.
- Played with on Blue Bloods. Frank Reagan still uses a .38 Special revolver despite his father Henry telling him he'd have more firepower with a department-issue Glock semiautomatic. Frank's reasoning is simple:
Frank: I like carrying your gun, Pop.
- Lennie Briscoe used a snub-nosed .38 Special until the day he retired, while Mike Logan used one until he transferred to the Major Case Squad. Captain Cragen kept a spare one in his desk, and gave it to ADA Cabot when she was threatened (along with a permit in her name to carry it).
- In a subtle touch, the older detectives tend to use snub-nosed .38 revolvers, and the younger ones use 9mm semi-automatic.
- In Police Force, almost all of the police are shown using revolvers, even as the criminals are armed with machine guns.
- Clue: Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Revolver!
- Causing great confusion because while the cards (and the game rules) clearly said 'revolver', in most sets the actual playing piece was very clearly a semiautomatic pistol. Some had what looked more like a pepper-box, aka a pepper-box revolver, in which the whole multi-barrel assembly rotates.
- Subverted in Feng Shui. Revolvers only have a limited amount of ammo, and reloading takes five shots compared to the one shot that you spend to reload a semiautomatic pistol unless you buy up the Lightning Reload gun schtick, meaning that you're going to be a while reloading and are probably going to be best off behind cover while doing so unless you opt for the New York Reload. Still, magnum revolvers do more damage on average than your regular semiautomatics, but when you've got weapons like the AMT Automag V and the Desert Eagle, which outdamage just about any other pistol out there and have the faster reload time, the only reason to even use a revolver is cool factor.
- Present in Scion through the signature character of Eric Donner. This child of Thor wields a gigantic revolver with a firing pin made from a piece of Mjolnir.
- In the Age of Sorrows, revolvers are the most advanced gun-type weapon available. (And they can shoot firebolts or holy bullets!)
- The most powerful handgun in GURPS: High-Tech is the Ruger Super Redhawk, a revolver.
- Hong Kong Action Theatre is better about revolvers than Feng Shui is, thanks to all pistols being considered either Small Caliber, Mid-Caliber, Large Caliber, or Hand Cannons. Your standard .38 snub is a Mid-Caliber pistol (making it equivalent to a 9mm); a .44 Special is a Large Caliber pistol (making it about equal to a .45) and a .357 or .44 Magnum is a Hand Cannon (which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin). Under the reloading rules, you only run out of bullets on a gun if you roll a 1, 2, or 3 on D20, meaning as long as your dice luck holds out, you can blast off as many times as you want, though once you do run out of bullets, reloading takes a full turn.
- Pathfinder's rules for advanced guns make the revolver a nasty weapon indeed - sure, it only does 1d8 damage, but it chews through armor of all kinds when fired within 100 feet, and can be fired six times before it needs reloading, leaving the wielder's other hand free - a hand which will probably be holding another revolver.
- Shadowrun has all sorts of very powerful handguns, even the smallest of which can kill when backed by the kind of skill that most 'Runners possess. The standard issue revolver (Ruger Super Warhawk) does very slightly more damage than the standard issue Hand Cannon (Ares Predator). In theory, this is balanced by the smaller ammo capacity.
- In fact, it ends up doing more damage per shot than most assault rifles due to its stats (Both do the same amount of damage, but the Warhawk is better at penetrating armour (which everyone is wearing in Shadowrun.)
- With later editions, the Ruger could be even more nasty, rules for gun modifications included altering or adding new firing modes, including turning the Ruger's single action to a double action. Thus lifting the gun's restriction of one shot per turn, doubling the potential damage output!
- The standard pistol in BattleTech RPG spinoff Mechwarrior is described as a .357 Magnum equivalent, possesses six shots, and does more damage than almost any other slugthrower pistol (the one that does do more damage than it has exactly three shots, but not double the damage). It's also more powerful than some of the sniper rifles and SMGs. Particularly notable for doing more damage than some of the laser pistols and laser rifles available in the setting, at a fraction of the cost. There is also no action penalty for reloading (speedloaders are in play, presumably).
- Brutally averted in Warhammer 40k. Revolvers along with Semi-autos and Automatics are lumped in a category called a Stubpistol. Stubpistols are those guns that are too primitive to be caseless, which is what separates a fully automatic stubpistol from the deadlier Autopistol. In fact, Stub weapons are so inadequate that barring the Heavy Stubber, they don't show up any more for humans in the strategy game and only feature in the RPGs as an option for those characters who are too poor to afford better or like something different. In the strategy game, the only race that uses revolvers are Gretchin and their guns are so puny that they make the Imperial Guard lasgun look like a killing machine. There are also black-powder weapons that are so weak in bullet propulsion that high tech armor including the regularly mocked Flak jacket, get double their protection.
- In the Warmachine game, revolver technology scales up to the huge-caliber rifles used by Cygnar longgunners, and the huger-calbier cannons used by warjack robots like the Khador Decimator.
- Of the conventional handguns available in Rocket Age the hand cannons are the most powerful and always described as large revolvers. They still pale in comparison to even the smallest Ray weapons however.
- Subverted in Unknown Armies, where the limited ammo and average damage combine to make most other handguns more useful (not that guns are that great in the game without proper skill). Still commonly used by Entropomancers, adepts who draw power from risk, because what good is a gun that can't play Russian Roulette?
- Gearbox, the people who made Borderlands certainly seem to think so, which is very true to its Space Western roots. When on your first playthrough as Mordecai, the guy who uses lots of pistols, the first guns you get are low-powered automatics. Later, you will find that the revolvers in this game are like combinations of pistols and sniper rifles. On top of that, every revolver pistol, especially Mashers, is a Hand Cannon. And that's just the tip of the iceberg, with revolver shotguns, revolver sniper rifles, revolver rocket launchers, which are all in seven shot, six shot, three shot, two shot, side-gate, cylinder swapping, break-open with speed loaders... almost every gun with under 8 rounds per reload uses revolver technology. Revolvers are also more prone to come equiped with a blade for melee attacks than any other gun.
- With the Masher, a revolver that shoots shotgun shells, it's a case of Revolvers that shoot shotgun shells are just better.
- Toned down in Borderlands 2 though. Revolver shotguns have been replaced with break action, drum magazine, and box magazine-fed shotguns, revolver rocket launchers are gone, but Torgue, Maliwan, and Jakobs continue the trend. Torgue's line of explosives-only weaponry extends to revolvers, (And it is even possible to get a 14-round explosive Torgue revolver that shoots two bullets at once) all of Maliwan's pistols, which are elemental, are also revolvers, and Jakobs still continues their line of revolving rifles and heavy revolvers.
- Interestingly, most players carry a Jakobs or Maliwan revolver as their primary (if they're doing a pistol build as the Assassin or Gunzerker), finding them more reliable and damaging than SM Gs, shotguns or even assault rifles. As well as that, partly thanks to this trope, Jakobs has become the most popular manufacturer with players, as their weapons retain their reliability and high damage from the first game and the new attribute of firing as fast as you can click.
- The Anaconda Black in Combat Arms. While it has a low-rate of fire and low ammo capacity, it can take down any enemy in one to two shots, making some players label it as a Game Breaker.
- From the Metal Gear Solid series, Revolver Ocelot. It's right there in his Code Name. In the prequel, he starts off with a semiautomatic and is pretty good with it, killing one man with a richochet shot. However, Snake notes his technique is more suited to using a revolver, and he soon switches to the Single Action Army. Interestingly, when he first switches to the revolver, it's shown he has to do some adjusting, for example, he doesn't realize the gun's only got six shots the first time he takes on Snake with itnote . In any case, he rather enjoys reloading.
- "This way of reloading is a revolution!"
- "There's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long silver bullet into a well-greased chamber."
- "I've never felt a tension like this before!"
- To go with the katana thing, when Ocelot blasts the Russian mook in the Tanker chapter of 2, the camera angles and Ocelot's pose as he holsters his revolver are extremely similar to the 'sheathe your katana after a Clean Cut' shots used in every anime with swords ever. Right down to holstering it across-hip instead of same-hip.
- If you contact Master Miller during the duel against him in the first game, you'll get an explanation of why the revolver is so powerful, at least for inflicting very nasty wounds.
- Half-Life and Half-Life 2: Gordon Freeman gets two handguns in each game. His starter gun is a 9mm handgun, and later he will find a Magnum Revolver (.357 Colt Python). On a whole, it's downplayed for balance purposes. The revolver is incredibly powerful and accurate, essentially a Sniper Pistol; humanoid enemies will always go down in one shot until very late in the game. On the downside, it has ridiculously low ammo (36 and 24 bullets total in the first and second games, compared to 168 for the 9mm gun), very scarce supplies of ammo for it, and a very low fire rate thanks to high recoil. Finally, the reload speed is sluggish. Thus the revolver excels at picking off targets at medium range, but in close quarters with multiple foes it's a better idea to use the lighter handgun to snap off several quick headshots. The fact that ammo is so restricted that you'll have an overbearing urge to save it for emergencies make this gun Too Awesome to Use.
- The revolver is the most powerful and rare handgun in Grand Theft Auto. It also has the slowest rate of fire.
- Dan Smith in killer7 has a revolver as a weapon, and it's the best in the game even before he replaces it with the even awesomer demon gun (which is also a revolver, natch). Coyote also uses a revolver.
- Several Resident Evil games, mostly by virtue of the fact that they are nearly always the coveted Magnum, a much higher caliber than the default pistol (it varies from game to game, but the default pistol is usually a Beretta). The Colt Python magnum is more or less Barry Burton's signature weapon.
- R Emake offers you a .44 magnum; it's inexplicably found in a headstone, making it difficult to acquire. It's extremely useful against Hunters and generally decapitates zombies, but has little ammo and, since you're probably not using it as a primary weapon, is a space-wasted.
- Strangely, it has about 1/6 the power of the .365 "self-defense gun". It doesn't really matter, though, seeing as the .365 only has one bullet in the entire game, so most people don't pick it up after their first run-through.
- Equally as strange, Barry's .45 magnum (obtained if you let Barry die) is so powerful it can "kill" the Tyrant's first form in one hit. It holds six bullets but, like the .365, has no ammo lying around the building. It shouldn't matter, though, because why are you using it on crows in the first place?
- Resident Evil 2 has the Colt Single Action Army, which isn't any more powerful than the normal handgun, and only holds six rounds. But it can fire those six rounds faster than anything short of the submachine gun, meaning it can take down individual zombies very quickly, but is useless for anything bigger.
- Resident Evil 4 gives you a choice of a few Magnums, but the potentially most powerful one you can get during the game is, of course, the revolver. Coolness is balanced out by the shortage of ammo for it, however; when you get the first one-either by buying it or getting it for free at a certain point of the game-the ammo is amazingly hard to come by, making it not very usable.
- Resident Evil 5 has two revolvers, both with barrel lengths approaching the size of the revolver in this article's picture. Both do the more damage than any other weapons per hit in the game.
- Barry "My gun is my partner and my bullets are my backup" Burton wields a Colt Anaconda. The longest model of that gun is 13 inches(!) which judging by the fact that it is bigger than his head in most cutscenes is probably the model he owns.
- Although traditional revolvers are long obsolete in Mass Effect, Mass Effect 3 introduces the M-358 Talon, a heavy pistol firing shotgun slugs. Designed with raw power rather than efficiency in mind, the Talon incorporates multiple heat sinks that rotate revolver-style after each shot to keep the gun cool. The in-game description even compares it to a 20th-century revolver.
- Nero from Devil May Cry 4 uses a six-shooter revolver for his gunslinging, as opposed to Dante's Guns Akimbo style. Said weapon, Blue Rose, features a truly insane two-barrel over / under configuration the logistics of which are best ignored. It's actually the Hand Cannon from Resident Evil 4, except with a second barrel.
- In Battlefield 2142 the strongest handgun is the revolver, balanced out by the fact it has less ammunition and truly awesome muzzle climb.
- Not to mention it had easily the best reload animation in the game, along with a loud boom that was just a terrifying to hear if you were on the PAC as hearing the Shuko Light Machinegun was to an EU player.
- The EU revolver also looks to have ammo of a pretty impressive calibre when compared to the PAC pistol. And this revolver has eight shots compared to the typical six.
- Bad Company 2 has the MP-412 revolver that kills in 3 bullets, 4 at maximum range, than the other pistols that kill in 4 at the closest range at best. It has quite the kick and a small magazine of 6, however.
- Following the wargames theme, the last pistol you unlock in online play in Call of Duty: World at War is a revolver.
- Its sequel, Black Ops, has the Python... which is the only pistol that can have a scope.
- Wild ARMs 5. Boy howdy. Not only does Rebecca use a fairly normal revolver ARM based on a cap-and-ball Colt, but...Dean's ARMs, despite shooting like a semi-auto complete with flying brass, are shaped so as to overlap this trope with Gatling Good, and Avril's sword ARM has a revolveresque wheel of power cartridges.
- Subverted in Wild ARMs 3, where Virginia's revolvers are...quite weak in comparison. To mock gunplay tropes further, try guessing what's weaker than Virginia's revolvers? Why, it's Gallows' Sawed-Off Shotgun of course! To be fair, Virginia is an item-oriented fighter with speed as her forte, and Gallows is a full on nuking black mage.
- Wild ARMs 4, one boss wields a pair of revolvers that may as well be rocket launchers for the amount of damage they can do, as well as the stunts the character wielding them pulls off in his final cutscene.
- In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, The Giant Revolver does more damage than the M95 Machine Gun for the same amount of upgrades. This is balanced by the fact that it only has 6 ammo, nearly half that of the machine gun. There is also the Revolver Stake weapon on the Alt Eisen. While not a typical revolver by a long shot, it definitely uses the imagery of one for coolness value
- Undying had a revolver whose hammer could be "fanned" for rapid fire, silver bullets optional.
- Ditto XIII, although this was kind of a waste given the fact that revolver bullets were rare, and the primary reason to use the weapon was the ability to score headshots from a long ways off.
- Ditto Outlaws.
- Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus: Vincent Valentine's main weapon, appearing first in the FFVII: Advent Children movie and later in said game, is the Cerberus, a massive three-barreled, three-cylinder double-action revolver (the barrels are arranged in a triangular setup with two side by side with one sitting on top) that fires all three barrels simultaneously when the trigger is pulled; the kind of nightmarish internal mechanisms and ridiculous trigger pull this would require is studiously ignored. In addition, it is powerful enough to take down helicopters. Though it takes a little longer to do so if you're actually playing the game. Word of God has also retconned the original game to state that the Cerberus should be considered his default weapon.
- Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII uses a gunblade with a revolver handle. While he does get more powerful weapons throughout the game, this is his iconic weapon, and is used in every cutscene in which he needs to do something badass.
- Golden Eye 1997 on the Nintendo 64 gives you the Cougar Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the game, which will kill almost anything in one shot, and shoots through walls. Of course, it has an awful rate of fire, and limited bullets, but just about anything it hits is going down.
- It also sounds like a cannon when fired!
- In its Spiritual Sequel Perfect Dark, the game comes with the DY357, a revolver similar to the Cougar Magnum. There's also the DY357-LX, a hideously blinged-out gold-plated version with a tigerskin grip that acts as a replacement for the previous game's Golden Gun.
- The Spy in Team Fortress 2 has a Revolver as his primary weapon, replacing the tranquilizer pistol from the original games. It's the third most accurate weapon in the game (after the Sniper's rifle and the Soldier's rocket launcher) and is rather powerful. Unusually for a revolver, it also has one of the fastest reload speeds in the game (loads a whole new magazine at once with a loader in just over one second). The lack of health on the part of the Spy class makes it less useful in pitched firefights than you'd think, though.
- On the other hand, a Spy can reliably utilize his revolver against other Spies, Snipers, and Scouts and even use his revolver to pick off bigger, bruiser-type targets with low health (due to the Spy having the ability to see the remaining health of any enemy he looks at). Its accuracy especially makes it very useful in situations where the Spy can get the drop on his enemy but isn't in a position to backstab.
- The Spy has several more revolvers as unlockable weapons. The Ambassador trades lower base damage for the ability to deal headshots, L'Etranger trades lower base damage for the ability to restore Invisibility Cloak power with each hit, the Enforcer trades higher damage for a lower fire ratenote , and the Diamondback (a promotional weapon from Deus Ex: Human Revolution) trades lower base damage for guaranteed critical hits every time he successfully sabotages an Engineer building or backstabs an enemy.
- Fallout 2 has a .44 Magnum Revolver that is available at The Den. This revolver can fire faster than the pistols you can find at the beginning of the game, and has more damage than the Desert Eagle as well. You can use it until up to New Reno, where there's the .233 Pistol, which has more damage. However, with the Fast Shot trait, you can shoot faster for one AP less. This means that you can fire the revolver three times with 9 AP. You can also upgrade the revolver to use a Speed Loader, which makes it reload for 1 AP. Cue The Chosen One shooting a revolver three times, then reloading it. All in one turn, if you maxed Agility to gain 10 AP. Now, if you get the perk Bonus Rate of Fire, you can fire it for 2 AP, which means that you can UNLOAD your chamber into a enemy (if you maxed Agility and took two levels of Action Boy/Girl to get 12 AP), then reload it and shoot it five times in the next turn. This makes the gun so powerful you can use it until you find a Gauss Pistol near the end of the game, which has the same rate of fire as the Magnum while doing massive damage and carrying twelve rounds for two turns of uninterrupted death. Revolvers really are Just Better.
- It should be noted that the ".223 Pistol" is based on Deckard's gun, which, coincidentally, was a revolver.
- The real world prop for Deckard's gun is a revolver, but the look and design come from a .223 Steyr-Mannlicher's exposed bolt action. Hence why the video game refers to That Gun as a rifle round-firing Hand Cannon.
- Fallout 3 goes to town with this trope. In the stock game, the only semiauto pistols are the completely useless chinese pistol and the 10mm automatic, which is useful early on but soon discarded for something - almost anything - else. The .32 revolver is so weak it's not even worth talking about, but the scoped .44 Magnum is a far more powerful weapon, and the Blackhawk (special scoped magnum) is one of the most powerful small guns you can use and the best handgun in the entire game. It also makes a very cool noise. It's incredibly visceral getting headshots on Enclave soldiers in power armor. Then there's the official expansion, which adds a revolver that's even better than the Blackhawk, and another that somehow uses .44 ammo but fires pellets like a shotgun.
- And then there are countless weapon mods, which add Vash the Stampede's gun, the original .223 pistol from Fallout 2, many real-world revolvers and even rarities like the Mateba Model 6.
- Plus, there's the Mysterious Stranger's .44 Magnum. The only way you can get it yourself is by console commands. When the Mysterious Stranger uses it, or if you get it from the Drifter, it will kill anything in the game (that can be killed at all) in a single hit. Also, in New Vegas, it will play the Mysterious Stranger's theme song whenever you draw it, which is just badass.
- In New Vegas, once again, the most powerful pistol is the Ranger Sequoia, a massive revolver. However, the semi-auto pistols remain useful throughout the game, with the 10mm pistol getting a hefty power boost.
- The Monster Hunter series has a hammer which is basically the cylinder and hammer attached to a long handle so that it can be swung at dragons and giant enemy crabs.
- Despite using firearms, Fable II actually doesn't use revolvers. Instead, we get flintlock pistols (which, despite the historical version, can actually have the highest rate of fire in the game), clockwork pistols (which are basically semi-automatics), and turret pistols (which are semi-automatic Gatling pistols). The most powerful version? The turret pistol, of course!
- That's wrong. The turret pistol is pretty much a revolver. The Master Turret pistol has six shots and your character reloads them one at a time. Their rifle varient seems to be more like a Winchester Repeater, complete with a small magazine for fast firing. The clockwork guns, however, are exactly like a semi-automatic pistol and rifle, while the flintlocks operate more like bolt-action rifles.
- Flintlocks are actually capable of killing faster if you can get the timing down, though.
- You get to see one of these in the multiplayer side of Conkers Bad Fur Day. One shot, one kill. And laser-sighted, too.
- In the Uncharted series, one shot kills, no matter if you hit a head or an ankle.
- Crushing difficulty does downgrade the revolver: one shot to the chest or head still kills, but any other body part will require two shots. The Desert-5, however, remains the most powerful gun. In all difficulties, the revolver also has highly limited ammo compared to other handguns.
- For the Gunslinger/ Gunsmith in Arcanum, the Fine Revolver is the best all around weapon until mid-game. Best rate of fire, best damage per shot, best damage per action point. After that you'll need to rely on the Handcannon (sawed off shotgun), then the Elephant Gun (heavy rifle) before you reach your endgame uberweapon: Droch's Warbringer, a fast-firing and extremely heavy revolver.
- The Boltok pistol from Gears of War is great for decapitating enemies in one to three shots, which makes up for many of its shortcomings.
- The aforementioned .44 Magnum appears in both iterations of the Rainbow Six: Vegas series.
- In Sam & Max, Sam's weapon of choice is a very large revolver, while Max prefers a Luger.
- Lara gets one in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.
- A steampunk mod for Unreal Tournament featured a revolver with a cylinder consisting of four ordinary revolver cylinders.
- Colt Anaconda from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is the coolest, if not the best firearm in the entire game. Not only does this piece pack the punch of a shotgun (at long range!) but it's also deadly accurate like a sniper rifle and fast. The only drawback is its six-shot cylinder. Oh, and its firing sound is just plain badass. You can also switch to alternate fire and "fan" a room pretty easily, as long as you don't mind stopping to reload every two seconds.
- In Persona 3, you know you're screwed if friggin Grim Reaper himself is dual wielding Colt Buntlines! The sound of chains ringing through the hallways are always a good cue for you to run, no matter what level you are.
- Takaya, leader of Strega, also carries one. He kills Shinjiro with it, and Junpei only survives a round through the chest when Chidori burns her life out with her Healing Hands.
- In Killzone 2, the Helghast are given the semi-automatic StA18 pistol, a fairly powerful gun with a magazine that slots in under the barrel forward of the trigger assembly. What do the ISA give the good guys as their sidearm in response? The M4 Revolver. A good solid magnum revolver based on the Mateba, with excellent accuracy (to the point that you get a PS3 trophy for scoring three headshots in a row with it) and stopping power.
- However, the best handgun is a single shot shotgun pistol that looks like a handheld grenade launcher.
- Russian anime-inspired game Oniblade/X Blades has protagonist Ayumi using a pair of...things. Each one is a double-barrelled, double-drummed revolver with each emerging on the side of a long blade. Essentially, a pistol grip with a sword in the middle and two guns melded on the side. And she has two of them, one for each hand. And just for extra cool factor, her "gun-blades" can be imbued with fire, lightning or even LIGHT, casing them to both hit and shoot significantly harder. Skills are available to make her shoot significantly faster or cause her bullets to ricochet off enemies, and her light and dark modes can further double her rate of fire AND her speed of melee attacks. The English variant X-Blades also adds gun-blade upgrades into wider blades and bigger guns. Who cares about realism or practicality?
- The Suffering has revolvers as the second and third (if you count getting a second gun for dual wielding them) weapons. They are not that powerful though, compared to your .45 Thompson.
- The first two Serious Sam games had him using revolvers with .45 Schofield ammo. Infinite .45 ammo, in fact; the guns were also accurate out to ridiculous ranges, and extremely useful for plinking at distant enemies who weren't aware of Sam or weak ones who were.
- In Case 3 of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the victim bleeds to death after being shot through the shoulder with a 45-calibre revolver.
- In Jagged Alliance 2, this is generally averted; the weakest pistol in the game is a snub-nosed .38 that can't even reliably kill with a headshot, The .357 is at least on a par with the 9mm semi-automatics, but is slow to fire, has a much smaller magazine and can't take a suppressor. In addition, the expansion pack adds in Tex, a Japanese Western fanatic who uses blinged-out movie prop revolvers. He's good with them, but again, the AP costs.
- In 1.13, this is played straight. The best handgun you can get is the .357 Satan, which has a low AP cost and takes the heavily damaging AET round. You can also purchase a Raging Bull or a Freedom Arms revolver, both of which fire the .454 Casull round, or the slightly less powerful UDAR that fires what are effectively .410 shotgun shells loaded with slugs. This is all somewhat academic, however, as pistols are quickly demoted to Emergency Weapon status once the Mooks start showing up with assault rifles and better body armour.
- In Modern Warfare 2, General Shepherd's weapon of choice is a revolver (a .44 Magnum, to be specific). He uses it to kill Roach & Ghost, and nearly kills Soap with it before Price tackles Shepherd at the last split-second before/as he fires.
- Which may be a reference to the Saints Row series and its revolver, the .44 Shepherd. Also an example of this trope.
- Subverted in The Godfather: The Game. Aldo's first gun is a .38 snubnose that is appropriately weak; even after getting the level 3 upgrade with its gold plating and ivory grips, it's still not good for much more than Boom, Headshot. The pistol is stronger than the .38 and faster-firing than the Magnum. Meanwhile, the Magnum series may be the strongest handgun, able to match the shotgun for power and initially have better cylinder capacity, but once you get the level 3 upgrades for both you find that the level 3 shotgun, with its 10 rounds per "clip" and 100 round total capacity compared to the 8-80 of the level 3 Magnum, is preferable in a sustained engagement.
- In the sequel, the .38 is no longer present. The pistol is faster-firing and has a bigger magazine than the Magnum, but the Magnum deals more raw damage. Furthermore, the shotgun has been greatly nerfed from the first game, with both smaller clip (yes) and total ammo capacity. Double Subversion: The Magnum is now the best.
- Skelter Helter, the first boss in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, has a revolver that revolves revolvers. 36 bullets, right? Nope, he never runs out.
- In StarCraft II, James Raynor carries a revolver. He has it loaded with one bullet, the loaded chamber rotated away from the barrel, presumably as a safety precaution. It is not intended to be used for combat though, instead Raynor intends to use it on his arch enemy, Dominion Emperor Arcturus Mengsk.
- However, he ends up using it on his old friend Tychus
- Revolvers are the only handguns in Alan Wake. Considering there isn't a gunsmith in Bright Falls, however, it makes sense to own a gun that's relatively easy to maintain.
- Zigzagged in American Nightmare. The base revolver is one of the less powerful weapons available. The Magnum, on the other hand, is a revolver more powerful than a good portion of the two-handed weapons available, can shoot through enemies, and even has a larger magazine than the standard revolver. However, its spare ammo pool is quite small.
- Survival Crisis Z has the revolver as the starting weapon of the Doctor class, and a purchasable weapon for everyone else. Interestingly, the main benefits of this weapon aren't it's power (which is only slightly above average), but rather it's plentiful ammo and it's decent firing rate (which can be boosted to machinegun levels with a certain skill).
- In Star Wars Galaxies, the DE-10 blaster pistol looked like a silver-plated revolver. Rule of Cool is in effect here, since blasters really wouldn't functionally need a rotating chamber.
- The only sidearm available to the player in Metro2033 is, curiously enough, a revolver chambered in .44 Magnum (rather out of place in Moscow). Next to the Bastard SMG, it's one of the most ubiquitous guns around. It is more accurate and does more damage per shot than most weapons firing the 5.45 round—justified, since those cartridges are survivor-made 'dirty' rounds and are inferior to proper 5.45 rounds. It the first game, it can be upgraded to a ridiculous degree, with accessories including an extended barrel or silencer, a scope, and a freaking stock, turning it from a handgun to a downsized revolver hunting rifle. It loses some of this versatility in the sequel, but a silenced version is the first weapon you're given once the game starts in earnest and can carry you through most of the game due to the ammo availability and the fact that it hits like a brick.
- The first gun found in BioShock 1 is a six-shot revolver that is somehow loaded by replacing the entire cylinder like a magazine. It's the most basic gun in the game, and deals relatively low damage. Until you upgrade it that is. When fully upgraded, it gains a damage-increasing "ammunition accelerator" and has it's clip size quadrupled by the addition of an extra ammunition attachment. This effectively turns the revolver into a belt-fed, Gauss-revolver. Not that you would need all that dakka, since once you get enough Research points one clean headshot with an Antipersonnel bullet is enough to kill all but bosses in mook clothing, and piercing rounds will put a huge dent in Big Daddies.
- BioShock Infinite introduces the Hand Cannon, which has the 2nd best accuracy and damage of all bullet fed weapons (the sniper rifle being the only thing above it).
- A matter of taste in 7.62 High Calibre: there are a few revolvers in the game. They are always more powerful than comparable handguns (one of the most powerful revolvers is the Garza, which fires 12.7mm rounds, making it almost an order of magnitude more powerful than most handguns), and due to somewhat high manufacturing standards, they tend to be more accurate. However, they suffer from poor balance, low magazine size, lengthy reloading times (no speedloaders) and, most importantly, they shoot very slowly compared to handguns. You can fire three 9mm bullets for every .357 shot from the Colt Python.
- The Blue Sun mod (which is so popular that it's practically mandatory for players) adds a large number of revolvers, including .38s and even single action revolvers. Both calibers are fairly common early game pistols (especially cheap .38 Special revolvers like the Ruger Security Six), but their only advantage in many cases over semi-autos is that they don't require the player to buy magazines. They still shoot slower and have a lower capacity than any semi-automatic, and decent automatics are available for free early on. Taking one is really just a matter of style.
- E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy has 4 different pistols to choose from, the first two (and the weakest) are semi-automatics, the later two are revolvers and to say they are significantly more powerful is an understatement. The strongest of the bunch, the .444 Bear Killer, can bring down anything from random thugs to Power Armor wearing cybernetic super soldiers to military grade attack helicopters in less than 4 shots. However, the semi-automatics are generally more practical as a backup weapon due to larger magazines and overkill only being necessary against Heavy Jians, Interceptors, and Deus Exs. That being said, the .444 Bear Killer is perfectly capable of being a player's primary weapon.
- The HE .44 Magnum from the Resistance series. Not only do the bullets pack a punch, but you can explode them remotely after hitting your target. This allows the player to kill several enemies with one shot.
- In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the revolver's a heavy hitter from the start, and can be upgraded to fire explosive rounds.
- The mod has an unusual example in that while the revolver (A Taurus Tracker 455) is not especially powerful, being chambered in .45 ACP, it is one of the most practical weapons in the game, being loud enough not to attract a large number of zombies.
- The Magnum in the Standalone is liked by many over the semiautomatic pistols for many reasons. Style, power and the fact that you don't need to find magazines (Which primarily spawn in Airfields which are known as Death Traps due to hostile players heading straight for them to find powerful weapons) are popular reasons.
- Zombieville USA has a revolver as the final handgun upgrade. Although it isn't very powerful in the later levels, it is very useful if you manage to get it early, and is absolutely necessary if you expect your handgun to do anything late game.
- PlanetSide 2's best pistols are the NS Underboss and Commissioner revolvers, the latter of which can one-hit-kill infiltrators with a headshot and both can kill anyone else with three body shots. Both pistols are very popular among players, especially the Commissioner, due to their accuracy, stopping power, and ammo efficiency. They also sound and look cool with their strange split-cylinder reloading mechanism. The only pistol which can even hope to compete with the revolvers in power is the Terran Republic's standard issue TX 1 Repeater, a burst-fire pistol.
- In Just Cause 2, the revolver is one of the various one-handed guns available in the game and is all-round the most powerful (the Sawn Off Shotgun can deliver a bigger punch, but this requires that all its pellets hit the target, only achievable at point blank range). It's capable of one-shotting just about any non-Elite Mook and can be upgraded to pack 12 rounds in its six-shot cylinder somehow. A fully upgraded revolver allows Rico to casually wipe out entire Panauan military patrols with one magazine. Its biggest limitations are a low fire rate and a relatively small ammo pool, but seeing as how enemies regularly carry and therefore drop their own revolvers for ammo this is hardly as pressing an issue as, say, a shortage of Sniper Rifle ammunition.
- Nosferatu The Wrath Of Malachi: The Revolver reloads faster then the Flintlock or Musket and can shoot 5 times before reloading. However, each shot only does a third of the damage, so this is kind of subverted. Not that it makes it any less useful.
- S4 League has the Revolver weapon, which is unrealistically big and, contrary to its name, is more like a concentrated Burst Shotgun with less spread.
- Harry Eastwood of Exterminatus Now uses a .44 revolver, but had it modified to hold seven bullets rather than the usual six.
- In Suicide for Hire Hunter carries a semiautomatic, but he also has a .44 "Idiot Magnum" for liquifying the heads of particularly moronic clients.
- Code Name: Hunter has revolvers as common sidearms for agents who prefer guns such as Ruby. Probably because magic wreaks havoc with technology.
- Though in an early comic magic managed to make a revolver jam, despite its owner's insistence that they never do.
- In Wapsi Square, Monica's grandpa used to carry a revolver back in the day. Notably, it is the same model that Indiana Jones carried in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Considering that Monica's grandpa was an Adventure Archaeologist who did a bit of Nazi killing in WWII, this was probably a deliberate Shout-Out.
- Doc Scratch keeps what seems to be a Schofield revolver as his sidearm in Homestuck. He later gives it to Spades Slick.
- Like Katanas Are Just Better, Survival of the Fittest subverts this. While some characters are given revolvers and do use them, there are far more automatics than revolvers, and the revolvers aren't shown to be that much better than the automatics except for the ones that really do have more stopping power. Even then, though, the smaller magazine capacity is a disadvantage in gunfights. David Jackson trades his highly powerful Smith and Wesson .357 revolver for a slightly weaker Walther P99 for precisely that reason.
- Chapter 3 of Dead Ends gives the hero Eddie DOC HOLLIDAY'S revolvers!
- Jonathan infuses a revolver with the Ripple to kill zombies and vampires more effectively in Vaguely Recalling JoJo
- Vigilante in Justice League dual-wields revolvers. The one time we see him reload, the chambers are filled with red, and he doesn't put anything in them, suggesting he has Laser Revolvers
- The revolver is pretty much seen in various classic cartoons (Looney Tunes, Disney, MGM, etc.).
- Ed McGivern set several records on standard Smith & Wesson revolvers. His most famous is to fire five shots into a playing card-sized group in two-fifths of a second. He also shot marbles midair, fired targets that live helpers hung onto, shot targets from vehicles moving at over thirty miles per hour, fired without having a line of vision, shot from the hip and basically got crowds to see him because of his skill. And, to top it off he set several records dual wielding, commonly considered to be one of the least effective tactics in a gunfight. He basically chose the revolver out of preference, but it shows what they can do.
- Revolvers have some advantages in home defense use. For people who keep it for years in the cupboard with little to no maintenance until it's needed in an emergency, revolvers can have an advantage in reliability. Poorly maintained or cheap guns can easily jam. If a revolver fails to fire, you can just try shooting again, as the barrel rotates to a new bullet. For a semi-automatic, your can be in deep trouble if it jams. Especially true for gas pistols, which have an increased tendency to jam because there is less force available to cycle the action.
- Somewhat Truth in Television, because among gun enthusiasts revolvers are known for better reliability, greater accuracy, easier maintenance, and greater stopping power compared to automatics. Particularly with single-action revolvers. Because of basic mechanical designs, the maximum firing speed for a single action revolver is also faster than a conventional semiautomatic, although few people can bring down the gun's hammer fast enough to even match normal semiautomatic firing rates. Of course, these benefits are offset by the small number of bullets, greater recoil, difficulty reloading, and difficulty with faster rates of fire (particularly single action).
- An example of why revolvers are just better for criminals: Unlike most semiautomatic weapons, spent shells remain in revolvers after firing, lowering the chances of leaving incriminating evidence.
- The revolver in this◊ picture is chambered for .600 Nitro Express. Elephant gun bullets.
- The reason for the above quoted great stopping power and accuracy of the revolvers lays in their ability to fire long rifle-like cartridges, down to The Wild West era .45-70 or the modern-age .454 Casull. The usual pistol ammo has poor aerodynamics due to short and fat shape of the bullet (to fit the width of a pistol magazine) and low velocity (to diminish recoil) and can't be accurate at rifle or carbine ranges, while long rifle bullets may still have some accuracy even from the 6in barrel of a revolver.
- The Nerf Maverick... What? Hey, it's their best seller! Cheap, has a rail to slap on NERF accessories... problem is, like all nerf guns, it jams if you look at it weird and the cocking mechanism reduces your rate of fire.
- A good rate of fire is pointless when it fails after two months of sporadic use.
- It is particularly popular in the Steam Punk community because of how spectaular it looks painted in brass, tin and woodgrain.
- Is it any wonder Megatron decided to use it for his altform in the Classics toyline?
- That other new NERF revolver, the Spectre REV-5, is a 5-shooter with a slimmer body and an improved cylinder-advancing mechanism that greatly improves reliability, accuracy and power. On top of that, its Tactical Rail is in a better place than on top of the priming action, AND it can take both barrel extensions and detachable stocks for specific situations.
- There's also an upcoming automatic revolver, the Barricade REV-10, which holds more ammo than the other revolvers, and is more accurate than the standard flywheel-driven automatic dart blaster revolvers by virtue of having vertical-mounted flywheels rather than horizontal ones. Too bad it's far too noisy for stealth attacks.
- The Furyfire is a pump-action revolver in Nerf's Dart Tag line, which by definition is awesome. Internally, it is an updated Maverick with a larger cylinder and great ammo capacity, greater range, and much less tendency to break the loading mechanism or misfeed darts.
- The Maverick has a bigger, stronger brother, the Strongarm, which features the same six-round capacity, but includes a 'slam fire' function which can launch darts far faster than the Maverick, as well as greater range.
- Nerf's Zombie Strike Hammershot is a five-round revolver with an external hammer that has to be cocked before each shot instead of pulling back a slide like the Maverick, just like a proper revolver. The Nerf Rebelle Sweet Revenge is a pink-and-white, decal-covered version of the Hammershot, only with smoother external molding but functionally identical internal parts, marketed to girls.
- Revolvers are used by several real-life counterterrorism teams, notably the GSG-9 and the GIGN.
- Averted for United States law enforcement. Ever since some highly publicized deaths of officers killed while they were reloading, almost all now use automatics. The 1986 FBI Miami shootout led to the FBI switching from revolvers to automatics. Most state and local police have done so as well.
- The Victoria Police Force, of Victoria, Australia, currently issues Smith and Wesson Model 10 revolvers, in .38 Special, and, as of April 2010, is only now slowly being phased it out by the Smith and Wesson M&P auto-loader, in .40 S&W.
- The Model 10 was known as the Military and Police revolver, so it's almost appropriate that it be replaced by the Military and Police semi-automatic.
- Played with in several Asian police departments. Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Singapore are some of the few places remaining where uniformed officers use revolvers as their main sidearm. Officers who operate in other divisions (such as surveillance or in special response units) use semi-automatics. This is why in Hong Kong & Japanese TV shows/movies that involve the police, revolvers are the most likely gun to be used by officers.
- From Mother Russia comes the MTs-255 - a revolver shotgun.
- Sort of the case with the Sou'African Striker, where its magazine revolves.
- From Taurus, we have The Judge, a revolver shotgun in Hand Cannon form. Sadly, it's Awesome but Impractical, as the .410 shotshell it uses is horrible at even medium range (though an increasing number of specialized self-defense .410 shells are being introduced to fix that flaw), and it's also very inaccurate with .45 Colt rounds. Not to mention it's freakin' expensive.
- The Circuit Judge, a carbine (long barrel, stock installed) version with baffles to deflect the hot gasses from the cylinder away from the shooter's off hand and face (the usual flaw of revolving long guns).
- There are hunting models available: just add a scope. Given that pistol rounds are less powerful than their rifle cousins, revolver hunting tends to be much more close-ranged and larger-caliber.
- Colt's business motto sums it up nicely: "God made men, Colt made them equal"
- Apparently, George S. Patton believed that Revolvers Are Just Better, for he has been described as carrying a pair of ivory-handled (not pearl, ivory. Patton hated it when people referred to his guns as pearl handled) revolvers. One being a Colt Single Action Army "Peacemaker" (that he used to kill two high-ranking subordinates of Pancho Villa) the other being a Smith & Wesson Model 27 (the original .357 Magnum) that he called his "killing gun". Though he also had a pair of semi-auto pocket pistols as backup guns. Patton was Crazy-Prepared and always armed.
- Subverted in long guns. Although the revolver mechanism was fine for handguns, it posed a problem for long guns: without special sealing details, the cylinder produces a gas discharge close to the face (Ouch!) when the weapon is fired from the shoulder, as all long guns are traditionally fired. The off hand is also normally used to stabilize long guns (as their barrel length makes them front-heavy relative to handguns), and this perfectly positions one's forearm to get its own dose of hot gas discharge (Ouch! again) when firing a revolving rifle; a nice pair of long leather gloves is therefore a must.
- The Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle was a weapon that was shelved almost as soon as it was adopted. What made it a disastrous failure of a weapon was that there was a chance that discharging a round would ignite the gunpowder in all six chambers, blowing off the left hand of anyone who held it like a normal rifle. This was generally a fault with all multiple shot weapons of the era prior to the adoption of the far safer self-contained cartridge, but was not as much of a problem with the handguns since the bullets had a clear path ahead of them. Soldiers would get around this problem either by holding the loading lever near the trigger (so that it would be out of the way of any accidental discharge) or by having only one loaded chamber at a time. The latter solution rendered the advantage of having a revolving rifle moot.
- As mentioned above, there is still one revolver-carbine still in production for novelty purposes, though— the Circuit Judge.
- It's not the first revolver-carbine to solve these issues either. The Belgian Pieper M1893 Revolving Carbine did so in a more complicated way by using the same gas seal system as the more famous Nagant M1895. Pieper's carbine is obscure today, but at the turn of the century it was a popular weapon in Mexico.
- The M32 Multiple Grenade Launcher.
- True in aircraft weapons where the most popular form of gun armament since WW2 has been revolver cannons. First invented as a Nazi wonder weapon these cannon use a cylinder with multiple chambers, like those of a revolver handgun, to speed up the loading-firing-ejection cycle. Although unable to achieve the crazy rates of fire of a Gatling gun, cyclic rates of between 1000 and 2000 rounds per minute are not uncommon. Moreover, because the revolver cylinder has a lower inertial mass than the Gatling gun's revolving barrels, the initial rate of fire is often much higher which can prove an advantage in air to air combat. Revolver cannons do have more issues with overheating and barrel wear, though.
- The Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver, a very clever recoil-operated handgun that (with its six shot capacity, complex mechanism, and high barrel) unfortunately mixed together most of the problems and limitations of each type of gun. What it did do well was to dramatically reduce the recoil the shooter felt. This made it beloved of target shooters who owned it, until the fraternity caught on and introduced a handicap rule. For obvious reasons, it was also one of the first revolvers for which a speed-loader was invented. Originally chambered in .455 British. An eight-shot version in .38 calibre was made, which featured in The Maltese Falcon.
- The Puckle Gun, a large tripod-mounted revolver cannon, that would fire spherical bullets at Christian enemies and cubical ones at Muslim Turks, "which were considered to be more damaging and would, according to its patent, convince the Turks of the "benefits of Christian civilization".
- The earliest revolvers were designed after certain army officers (Paterson, Walker) asked a gun designer named Colt to give them a repeating pistol that could be fired from the saddle, and was capable of taking out horses as well as men. Colt delivered with the Colt Paterson and the Walker Colt, both of which were capable of taking out horses. Also, firing these two hundred year old guns today still provides a fairly decent spread on a target from up to 60 feet away. Revolvers were built to fire accurately, reliably, and powerfully (Horses!)
- "Reliably" might be an issue, especially with the Walker. These were fairly well-known in the day for burst cylinders (they featured overlength chambers for the front-loaded black powder charge, and apparently, "fill the whole thing up" was not the recommended operation). In addition, they were well-known for jamming if the loading lever wasn't secured to the barrel (often done with a piece of rawhide). The Colt Dragoon later solved the issues with the walker.
- An old email edition of The Darwin Awards tells the tale of a man who went to prison on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Apparently, he and his brother decided to try playing Russian Roulette, so the man put a semi-automatic to his brother's head and pulled the trigger. Possibly fictitious, given the nature of The Darwin Awards in the early days, but still instructive to certain people.
- For the ultimate in Revolvers, the French AMX-13 and AMX-50 tanks use 5 or 6 shot revolver autoloaders for 75mm to 120mm anti-tank cannons!
- Colonel Jeff Cooper wound up subverting this during World War 2. On the advice of Charles Askins, he took a Colt Single Action Army into combat in the Pacific. Cooper noted that this advice almost got him killed. (The revolver served incredibly well in combat for the most part, but reloading was agonizingly slow, which nearly got him killed when he was reloading in the open.) As a result, he developed the Modern Technique of the Pistol around a 1911.
- Because revolvers do not contain their ammunition in the handgrip (as do almost all automatic pistols), they have slightly greater flexibility in changing the grips to suit various sizes and shapes of users' hands, and can also take cartridges whose length or diameter can make an existing design of automatic pistol difficult or impossible to adapt to that ammunition. On the other hand, they do not handle bottlenecked or rimless cartridges as well, and some sort of adapter clip is often required for the latter.