Friday, December 6, 2019

Revolvers Deadlier Than Semi-Autos?

An article from Gun Culture 2.0 on a paper, “Impact of handgun types on gun assault outcomes: A comparison of gun assaults involving semiautomatic pistols and revolvers,” published in Injury Prevention in 2003 by D.C. Reedy and C.S. Koper. The authors provide a tree showing the probability expressed in percentages of various outcomes: threat only, attack but no injury, injury but not lethal, and death. According to their data, when semi-auto pistols are used in assaults, 15.79% of encounters result in a lethal injury. Interestingly, however, with revolvers, death occurs in 25.00% of the outcomes, even though there are fewer shots made by revolver shooters (1.0) versus semi-auto shooters (1.15).

     I suspect that the discrepancy could probably be explained by looking at calibers: that is, there are probably more small caliber semi-auto handguns being used versus revolvers.


  1. Your caliber theory is very sound. I have another theory to add. The statistics might also be due to the "caliber" of the people who choose revolvers as self-defense weapons. IMHO it takes a much more experienced and skilled shooter to both feel comfortable relying on a revolver for such serious business...and to shoot it accurately under pressure. It is probably the baggy pants ghetto punks firing their "gats" who account for the lower mortality rate of semi-autos. In my experience, wheelgunners tend to be more serious perhaps precision shooting can also explain the higher mortality rate for revolvers.

    1. That might also explain the discrepancy between number of shots fired on average from their sample.


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