Lord knows I love my revolvers but it’s not about how fast you can reload any more, it’s more about not having to. The last duty weapon I carried before I quit the SO and went into the oil business was a Browning Hi-Power. I was pretty fast with the revolvers but I would still have to reload twice to keep up with the Hi-Power. Having to stop and reload puts one in a very dangerous position.
In NY, the advantage of a high capacity, semi-auto pistol over a revolver has narrowed considerably now that we are limited to seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. My every day carry weapon is a Ruger SP101 2.25” revolver with .357 in the wheel. Thanks to lots of practice, I can reload the revolver using a speedloader almost as fast as I can can switch out the magazine of my Springfield XD9 — without the risk of error. Indeed, for most civilian defensive situations, the error-free simplicity and knockdown power of a revolver makes up for the slightly slower reload time.
What do I mean by “error-free simplicity?” The unfamilier stress of a sudden life or death defensive encounter will increase the error rate and mistake factor no matter how perfectly we can switch magazines and resume fire when practicing at the range. With a semi-auto pistol, the magazine needs to be properly aligned for insertion into the grip with the head of the cartridge facing forward; the magazine needs to be fully inserted until it snaps into place; all safety devices (i.e., trigger, grip) need to be properly disengaged; a proper grip is essential to prevent stove pipes and other “FTE” jams; and each cartridge needs to be perfect so that the spent shell is properly ejected and the next cartridge is properly chambered. A revolver, in contrast, will go bang every time the trigger is pulled and the hammer falls on a live round. There are no safety devices to get in the way; stove pipes and other FTE jams due to limp-wristng are never an issue; and a defective cartridge is easily by-passed by pulling the trigger again.