There is a general revolver category...
Since there is no "General Revolver" category, I'll post this question here. Why is it, do you suppose, that revolvers are so much more popular in the States and Canada than they are anywhere else in the world (especially Europe)? Or is that not the case?
Well first you have to look at the gun laws of most European countries, in most of them ownership of firearms is very limited except for certain instances, most of which are for competition/sporting (not including hunting) where revolvers don't rule the roost.
As for Canada, are revolvers popular there? Haven't really seen an position supporting that revolvers ARE more popular in Canada than other countries.
I guess when I think of revolvers - I MOSTLY think of higher power cartridges
Certainly there are some semiauto loadings that equal the Ft lbs of energy to the magnums but IMO
357 mag 41 mag 44 mag 500 mag are 99.99% revolvers
for competition, general target, HD, SD the semi auto is plenty good enough in Ft lbs energy
Revolvers really aren't popular anymore anywhere actually. The world shoot in Greece had 1,300 competitors and only 43 shot revolvers. Police departments went to pistols long ago too. It's hard to master a revolver and look good in speedshooting/combat shooting. The semiauto pistol spits out lots of bullets quickly and that just makes folks happy even if they don't hit anything. Revolvers are predominantly used by hunters now I would surmise.
I don't think any police force uses them at all anymore and most did 30 years ago. There are very few guys who compete with them either. The semi auto pistols dominate all competitons and are alot more fun to watch. When you are shooting 2 to 3 rounds per second it really looks cool. Most mortals can't do that with a revolver.
i shall bite, i opine that the revolver is/was more popular here for a few reasons,
first and foremost, the 2nd amendment ensured that we, here in the states, could own guns, even handguns when much of the world was ruled by monarchies, dictatorships or theocracies which feared guns in the hands of the masses. during this time the evolution of the handheld firearm bolted forward from flintlocks to percussion caps, to cap and ball to metallic cartridge and from muzzle load to multiple barrels to revolver. it all happened here because we were free to do it.
second the revolver was instrumental in taming the wild country as we expanded..... it is the most readily identifiable tool of the settler , the wagon far behind. as such it was featured in every popular tv of the early 50s thru the 70s.... cowboys, cops, spies.... they all had their revolvers. many of us came of age during this time so naturally we purchased what we knew.
so freedom and culture is my guess, much like a frenchman and opinel
in 2009 (the latest data available at shootingindustry.com)
1,868,258 pistols were sold
547,195 revolvers were sold
I just gotta make a side comment:
I hate calling semi-autos "pistols," and revolvers "revolvers."
Revolvers are also pistols, by definition.
Instead, I prefer dividing the class "pistol" into "semi-autos" and "revolvers."
I suggest this change to you all.
I'm a Merriam-Webster type of guy. And they say:
Definition of PISTOL
1: a handgun whose chamber is integral with the barrel; broadly : handgun
Having said that, for the sake of clarity it is better to call pistols "semi-automatics" (but never "automatic"), and call revolvers, "revolvers".
The reason revolvers are more popular in the USA than elsewhere is simple: Cowboys! We have them, they don't.
The idea of a short, handy, personal firearm seems first to have become popular around the Italian town of Pistoia, giving rise to the generic term.
Were we to stick to that definition, a pistol would still be a single-shot, wheellock-ignited firearm.
As you pointed out, in the USA we adopted the errant usage of calling a semi-auto a "pistol" because our short, handy, personal firearm was for a very long time the revolver. But it is, none the less, an errant usage.
All modern dictionaries define "ain't" because it is in common usage. But being generally used does not make the use of "ain't" correct. ("Ain't" is the incorrect form of the already-extant contraction "aren't.") The same dictionaries now accept "quality" as meaning "good quality," which is also in widespread popular usage, but nevertheless is incorrect. Just because it's in the dictionary doesn't make its usage correct.
"Pistol," "firearm," and "handgun" are the general terms. "Semi-automatic" and "revolver" define the type of gun to which we refer.