Five Reasons Why Your Carry Gun Should Be A Revolver

The biggest knock against revolvers for concealed carry is their comparative limited capacity to pistols and the time it takes to reload them. Yes, both of these are compelling arguments and have persuaded many, including law enforcement, to retire their favorite wheel guns in favor of pistols, typically of the polymer variety.

No doubt that pistols are great and will get the job done, but there is an argument to be made that revolvers are still a solid choice for concealed carry. Here are five points to consider:

1. Battle Tested

When I think of reasons to purchase revolvers, the first thing that comes to mind is that stupid faucet commercial. You know the one I’m talking about, right? “Moen: Buy it for looks, buy it for life.”

Well, that tagline holds true for revolvers as well. They’re nostalgically stylish (cowboy guns!) and durable as hell. It’s a winning combination. Not only can you carry your wheel gun for life and look good doing it, but you’re son or daughter can carry that same wheel gun with confidence when you’re ready to pass it down.

Drool.  Guess how much this little baby is selling for on GunsAmerica?

Drool. Guess how much this little baby is selling for on GunsAmerica?

2. Appreciation

Recently, we talked about investing in firearms as opposed to other commodities like precious metals. When you think of guns that have value or guns that have appreciated over time, for me, I can’t help but to think of the Colt Python. Talk about a “value buy.” If you picked up a Colt Python back in the 70s or 80s or even 90s for $300-$700, you’re smiling now because you’ve seen just how much your investment has paid off. Pythons can easily sell north of $2,000.

Point is, if you pick up a quality or classic revolver chances are it won’t lose its value over time. In fact, it may just appreciate. Can you say the same thing about your polymer pistol?

3. .357 Ain’t No Joke

With all the debate over 9mm versus .45 ACP folks forget that .357 Magnum, a common revolver caliber, is pretty darn effective too. Not only that, but it’s versatile. It’s a great round for self-defense and hunting! What more can you ask for?

On a side note, .38 Special in +P isn’t a bad self-defense round either. Sure, it’s not quite the same as .357, but traveling in and around 1000 f/s it packs a punch that won’t disappoint.

4. Reliability

Yup, you knew this was going to make the list. Revolvers are inherently more reliable than pistols. I know some of you will tout the merits of the tried and true 1911 or your GLOCK, but the thing with autoloaders is that they do malfunction at a higher rate when compared to revolvers (typically due to user error, e.g. limp-wristing and getting a stove-pipe or failure to feed, or issues with the magazine).

When you carry a revolver you can be supremely confident that when you pull that trigger the gun will discharge.

 The Smith & Wesson Model 642.

The Smith & Wesson Model 642.

5. Concealability

Two words: Hammerless snubby. That’s about as tight of a concealed carry package as you can ask for. Sure, you’re giving up some accuracy with the shortened barrel and some classic flair with the hammerless look (really, in most cases the hammer is concealed) but for everyday carry (EDC) it’s a great way to go.

Also, and to point out the obvious, revolvers don’t use magazines so there is no real limitations on the size of the handle. With pistols, obviously, there is a certain bulk that unavoidable due to those pesky mags.

Conclusion

As with all advocacy articles, one should take them with a grain of salt. Yeah, I know, I probably got you itching to get a new revolver now, but the truth is that you should carry the firearm that you’re most familiar with, the one you shoot the best. After all, you’re life may be on the line one day and you want the tool that you practice with the most, be it a pistol or a wheel gun.

That said, don’t be afraid to experiment at the range, at home, wherever you shoot. Try on a revolver, see how it fits. Who knows, you may like it enough to eventually make it your primary EDC gun.

{ 79 comments… add one }
  • JD January 3, 2017, 10:17 pm

    I think the best daily carry is the revolver model 43 C from S&W 🔫 8 round black hammerless 22lr with subsonic ammo and green crimson trace laser on a urban carry holster … Why? It might be the least powerful but hey, it’s small, noone will tell if you have it if you’re smart about it… Its 8 rounds plus it won’t make you deaf when you use it in real life… Right?… Think about it… If you ever need to use your gun, you won’t have time to put on your ear protection… If you carry a strong stopper caliber,… Sure you’ll live but you’ll be deaf… But if you are a great shoot specially with the laser, its perfect for protection, and you don’t have to worry about learning sign language… Ohh and I voted for Hillary Clinton, I’m a pro-gun Democrat, but antigun when idiots own guns lol I know 99% of you all in this forum voted Trump… Or I’m I wrong?… Anyways, does anyone shoot without ear protection? If you do, you are my hero if your ears don’t damage.

    • Bill January 6, 2017, 7:07 pm

      SUPPRESSOR…..will do the trick every time both for ur ears and helps a lot with muzzle flash

  • Hi December 24, 2016, 9:40 pm

    I like my revolver, and honestly I already had a real world encounter against someone with… you guessed it, a Glock! Proper gun control and shot placement took down the perp with more bullets with one hit .357.

    We can discuss scenarios all day, but unless you been there and done that, it’s pointless argument.

    • Dave Hutcheson January 30, 2017, 2:08 pm

      I too want a .357 wheel gun but finances and Kooklifornia laws limit me to a very few choices. What would you recommend. I am a former US Army Ranger with 2 combat tours and am very proficient with guns in general and have the right mindset if I need to make the shoot/don’t shoot decision.
      Thanks,
      Hutch

  • Mr Wolf November 4, 2016, 2:07 am

    357 mag is the best stopper. 7 shot 357 mag is my choice. I’M a young strong guy that’s been arouND guns 4 ever. STILL feel better w my 7 shot magnum and a speed loader. Awareness is always president over what your carrying

  • CRKToter June 18, 2016, 11:22 am

    Guys, guys, guys, this isn’t an either/or proposition! Carry a full-size auto strong-side or SOB for when you have more forewarning of a threat. More ammo, (usually) better trigger, longer sight radius, better for one-handed operation while moving loved ones out of the way, etc. Then also carry a snubby appendix for those very close and quick encounters. Five quick shots to create time and distance, then out comes the bottom-feeder for the rest of the fight. Speed strip in a pocket for the wheelie, spare mag somewhere for the auto. ‘Murica! We have choices!

    • Justin December 14, 2016, 12:21 pm

      Just curious how many situations you’ve been in where you needed 2 guns?
      Because most gunfights end in 3 shots.

      • Phil August 18, 2017, 6:00 am

        “MOST” … end in 3 shots!!! IF, brother, … IF!!!

    • The Gaul August 25, 2017, 1:32 am

      I think CRKToter ain’t carried a handgun in his life. Too many movies. Stick to your Columbia River Knife…they’re nice.

  • Den May 13, 2016, 7:05 am

    perfect for your wife…..in most cases your wife does not shoot at the range as much as you do. She can get very comfortable very quickly with a revolver. Pulls the trigger it goes bang every time!!!

  • Nick September 26, 2015, 4:11 pm

    As far as the Miami shootout, it was a fancy new 9mm that failed to stop one guy even with a good shot, but an equally great shot from a 38 special from a revolver that took one perp out. It’s a toss-up really, kind of a matter of preference. You can’t go wrong with a revolver, The .38 Special is a proven cartridge and with modern bullets I’d put it up against any 9mm from a similar length barrel. A 125 grn +P .38 special at 800 fps out of a 2″ barrel will put just as much hurt on you as a 124 grn out of a 3.5″ barrel 9mm). They can be really accurate, too, but it’s not (too) hard to hit something human-sized 10 feet away, even with a snubby if you practice with it. Doesn’t matter what ammo you use either and 100% reliability (unless your ammo is really bad). You can’t deny the versatility either. You can get one that runs .38 special, .375 mag, or ones with 22 short, LR, and magnum out of the same cylinder and is as small as your credit card. As far as capacity, who fires all 13 rounds during a self-defense scenario? Emptying your 13-shot clip into an assailant that goes down or runs away after 2 makes you look bad to the DA. Revolvers can be had for cheap too, $300 for a Taurus versus $500+ for a Glock or XD.

  • Greg September 16, 2015, 10:23 pm

    Revolver’s are not as reliable as you’d think.

    • Rob May 13, 2016, 6:00 am

      You state the following; “Revolver’s are not as reliable as you’d think” As opposed to what? As a retired police officer, reliability is the reason that a revolver is my EDC (every day carry). The ONLY time my revolvers have failed to discharge when I pulled the trigger is a defective (dud) round. I wish I could say the same for my pistols.
      As a sidebar. I recently spoke with the State Armor for the Department of Natural Resources (Game Wardens) in my State. He is contemplating returning the entire department to a seven shot Smith & Wesson revolver for this very reason.

    • Paul Strickland July 15, 2016, 12:03 pm

      Revolvers are exactly as reliable I think. Guns are machines, designed by and built by human beings therefore are fallible. But I have owned probably two dozen revolvers from several manufacturers. Mostly Colts and S&W but others too. .22 to .44 mag. The number of rounds I’ve fired in over fifty years of shooting would be impossible to estimate. To the point that I have NEVER had a failure to function with a revolver that wasn’t directly the fault of the ammunition. The most common being a bullet that has jumped forward in it’s case and stopped the cylinder from turning or a primer that wasn’t fully seated and again locked up the cylinder. A modern well maintained revolver with fresh factory ammo is about as reliable as you can get. I guess you could carry a single shot….or a knife….maybe a stick?

    • Mr Wolf December 21, 2016, 3:51 am

      Owned many Glocks, w many malfunctions. Never one w revolver. 357 magnum is combat caliber King for a reason

  • Chad Underdonk September 8, 2015, 7:23 pm

    1b Yeah, that whole Glock torture test? Guess what kind of reliability they were trying to prove those guns had? You betcha, revolver reliability.

    1c Yep, limited ammo capacity? And? When my boom sticks speaks it barks like a cannon and sends out a ball of flame. In the unlikely event they aren’t dead or running I just have to make sure I hit the damn target instead of spray and pray.

    1d Sure, some people can’t hit their targets with a revolver. Others can. With my baby I have hit a 3×3 ping plate at 100 yards almost as often as everyone else standing in the group (fewer shots, y’know?). While I don’t think I’d ever need to do that with a handgun, it is nice knowing that my .357 will still do its job all the way out there.

    3b Stopping power? Yeah yeah, statistics say its all the same blah, blah, blah. The fact is historically the .357 magnum (my round of choice) has the greatest number of first/one hit stops of any firearm. That might possible have something to do with the number of police carrying it for years, but they also described something called a “thunderbolt” effect where the target just crumpled after being hit pretty damn often.

    4b What happens if you happen upon the strange occurrence of a dead round? On a revolver your “action drill” is to pull the trigger on the drop the hammer on the next round. On a semi your action drill is some variation of tap-rac. Which is faster in that scenario?

    5b Concealability? Try shooting your pistol from your jacket pocket ala detective style. Chances are you’ll get one, maybe two, rounds before it snarls up in the fabric and is done. Your revolver (especially hammerless) is going to fire until it goes click-click.

    5c Concealability? Many modern carry revolvers are made out of ultra-light materials that can still hand out a hell of a wallop. Yes, they recoil like the devil, but if you like and appreciate a gun that kills on one end and maims on the other that isn’t much of a big deal. When you carry a lot that weight makes a hellofa difference to your comfort level.

  • Jake August 3, 2015, 10:33 am

    I am a revolver fan. That said, your comment on polymer pistol appreciation does have exceptions. Which was the better investment in 1980? A Model 37 or Model 60 carry gun or an HK P9S Sport/Target? The HK weighs 28 ounces and packed 10 rounds of 9mm or 8 rounds of .45 acp. In good condition they sell for $1,500 to $2,500 all day long. The 4″ barrel and light weight made it a great carry gun as well. In my experience the Colt revolvers have appreciated wildly as well for the Diamondback .22 and the Python. Problem is some Pythons are junk. Pay your money and take your chances? S&W revolvers have to be special to get the big bucks. Many .22 models have at least strong used prices. Things like the Model of 1955 Target were definitely worthy of buying a truckload and storing away.

  • Larry Koehn June 6, 2015, 1:28 pm

    If you cannot afford to purchase a reliable semiautomatic maybe a revolver. If you can’t afford to purchase reliable factory ammunition and insist on carrying home made roll your own ammo maybe a revolver. Otherwise put the revolver beside your bed with the AR-15.

  • Mark June 2, 2015, 8:12 pm

    The compelling one for me is not even on the list. Not having to police your brass. I’m talking about for reloading purposes at the range and such of course.

    • OFBG June 3, 2015, 6:11 pm

      Yes of course, Mark (nod, nod, wink, wink) LOL!

  • Jeff June 2, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Assuming most encounters occur at arms length, the victim the prey & taken by surprise, I seriously suspect one hand will be fending off the attacker. “Tap, Rack …” or any other action required of a pistol (forget coming out of battery, jammed in the attacker’s chest) with one hand is well beyond my skill set in my mid 60’s. I rather doubt many could pull off a clearing / malfunction maneuver. I’ve more than proven the theory with friends that are accomplished shooters. Try it yourself? You are under stress, have no idea what the malfunction is and are adrenalin hyped, and unlike LE, you have no back-up. Meanwhile, you have one hand with which to address the problem while the other is inflicting whatever damage it can, buying time.

    As others have already stated, the reality is situational awareness, avoidance and hope you survive the attack – you are prey! LE seeks out the BG; our role is avoid, escape and seek cover – two very different scenarios. Having carried for 46 years, I have been fortunate and hope the run continues. I carry two, a Model 60 3″ .357 when warranted (dress & situation) and always, my NAA .22 Magnum. I’m proficient with both and dread putting it to the test.

    As for pistols, I have a number as well (of multiple calibers …), enjoy shooting them and virtually never have an issue. If competing in sport, I use and enjoy both – targets don’t return fire and I am the attacker. SD is a different game.

    Carry and know your implement instinctively. Age plays a role as well; reflexes, thought process and health. Contrary to my wishes, proficiency declines over time, regardless of “practice” – a fact of life denial cannot overcome.

  • Jim Givens June 1, 2015, 10:39 pm

    As a police officer in both patrol and detectives for over 20 years of military service ( in airborne, ranger, and special forces units) I have carried and used both revolvers and semi auto hand guns. For a duty weapon the semi auto wins hand down. As a daily carry I prefer the revolver for its simplicity and reliability. Unless you commit to frequent and regular maintenance of both your pistol and, even more important, your magazines you are taking a significant risk. Any old BAR men out there? My recollection is that a high percentage of BAR malfunctions involved magazine issues.

  • martianone June 1, 2015, 7:27 pm

    Also prefer a revolvers, carry the Ruger LCR in 38., it is compact and convenient to carry. I can always hit a clay bird at 25 ft with it, carry and practice ammo is the Buffalo Bore 38 spec load with a flat wad cutter bullet. I think ammo selection is often a forgotten part of the defensive package. The BB load has worked well for me, a little pricy for plinking – worth their weight in silver bullets when really needed.

  • Sam I Am June 1, 2015, 5:35 pm

    Really ?, I mean, really?

    NYPD demonstrates all too often that the 12lb trigger pull for revolvers (and yes, most revolvers for sale have “heavy triggers”…especially the teenie weenie ones) results in terrible and deadly (for bystanders) results. Without a custom trigger job (and then you are risking problems with a jury) to allow one to reliably hit the intended target, the revolver is problematic for most people who would buy one legally. Not interested in working with a local gunsmith to get the trigger pull “just right” (and forget trying to send the gun off to a gunsmith in another city or state; never will be able to afford all the ‘re-do’ work).

    But….if I can get my hand on only a revolver, I will just have to deal with all the problems because the gun you have is better than……

    • Olslewfoot May 9, 2016, 6:48 pm

      Roll up your britches legs boys, it’s already too late to save your shoes.

  • Tony R. June 1, 2015, 2:09 pm

    I sell many many pistols to senior’s and women with weak or arthritic hands….very few auto’s
    will allow them to rack the slide, and with many more actions to do with a stove pope, jam etc…
    they just can’t use auto’s… their is certainly room for both type handguns… If your in a gun fight with
    5 guys with AK’s and AR’s does it matter how many rounds you have in a revolver or 6 round auto?

  • Dan Koch June 1, 2015, 1:07 pm

    You left one other thing. weight. My SW 342 is 10.8 onces. My 340CT is just over 15 onces. Yes that are one or two pistols that will beat that ,but not many

  • JSmith6 June 1, 2015, 12:48 pm

    Now I am no expert but I am going to spout off information like I am one………

    Pick one or the other. Train, develop muscle memory, remain proficient and go forth.

    End of story.

    • lawdog130 June 1, 2015, 11:56 pm

      Thank you JSmith6! Amen!!!

    • timothy kies July 15, 2016, 5:21 am

      How could you bring common sense into this discussion? All of the arm chair quarter backs here are way smarter than you and I. I carry a Taurus Millennium Pro Gen 2. I like it and I can afford it. My friend carries S and W .357 revolver, I don’t know which one. He can afford it and he likes it. I think we are both better off than the one who just has a ton of different types of pistols, but never carries. Just the same as one likes Ford, the other likes Chevy. Both are sound choices, but only if you actually DRIVE it.

  • FAAQ2 June 1, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Only one drawback for a revolver – stop the rotation of the cylinder – either by someones hand or mud and your reliable revolver no longer functions. Revolvers carry 6 rounds max – my Glock or S& W M & P carry 15 rounds. I have several revolvers and I enjoy them – but I also enjoy my auto’s – each has its purpose and has a tuber of advantages. But consider this – a very close friend who is now a retired place officer was arresting guy one night – when the suspect started attacking him – as they were rolling around in the mud – his model 19 revolver got caked with mud – when he pulled it out to shoot the suspect – it did not work – where an auto would have – he as nearly killed because of this malfunction – the only thing that saved him was that he passed out and the dirtbag thought he had killed my friend – after he heeled up and went back to work he never carried a revolver after that.

    • Mr Wolf November 4, 2016, 1:33 am

      Actually there are plenty of revolvers that carry 8 or 7 rounds. My Taurus Tracker is 7 shots of 357 magnum. Not to mention that moon clips and speed loaders make reloading damn near as fast and in some cases as fast as changing a mag. PLUS 357 mag has the best record for 1 shot stops

    • The Gaul August 25, 2017, 2:36 am

      and a slide cant be stopped by a hand or the mag release pressed….stop the ” my gun is better than your gun BS “…please.

  • D Hicks June 1, 2015, 11:37 am

    COLT Pythons action are dated back to the 1890’s, and I owned one for years,a Smith and Wesson Model 27 will out shoot it. I carry an older Charter Arms 44 special and can put all 5 rounds in the same hole at 25 feet. I prefer to carry a COLT Government Model in .45 auto and an extra mag.I know it dates back over 100 years but nothing beat a 45 auto if you can shoot one.

  • ryan June 1, 2015, 10:43 am

    When customers ask me what to buy for defense and stress they want an automatic because of the high mag capacity I always ask “how many rounds did you fire in your last gunfight”? It always takes them aback and realize they have lived this long in life and never even been close to a lethal threat. So, I then suggest they get something they are comfortable with and that they will “practice” with. If you don’t know how your gun operates in complete darkness and with both hands then it don’t matter how many rounds, light, sights, magazines, speed loaders, etc… you got. My brother-in-law recently got attacked and he had his NAA 22 magnum – 5 feet away, one shot to the heart, “and he had to cock it too”. Result, he had a gun and knew how to use it effectively. Dead bad guy…and the guy was a muscle bound body builder known to be hyped up on drugs most of the time. I carry the same gun and have done so for more than 30 years. Never had to pull it but I know everything about it. It’s light, nobody knows I have it, and I am truly effective with it. I have over 80 personal guns to choose from, and this is what I carry.

  • Dave Bolin June 1, 2015, 10:38 am

    There is merit on both sides of the argument. As a citizen of mature years (70), I choose my carry weapon based on a reasonable assessment of the potential risk where I’ll be going. For most places I find my Charter Pitbull snubby with six rounds of Hornady Critical-Defense 9mm Luger in the cylinder (and a cheap, plastic Glock magazine-full of them in my pocket) suites the situation just fine. It’s reliable, concealable and, at usual engagement range, leathally accurate.

  • John June 1, 2015, 10:27 am

    EAA Windicator with 2″ barrel would be my choice, at 25 yards I put first 3 shots in the center diamond of the 5 diamond target variety! It has a hammer that I use to cock it(even though it’s a double action gun), tthis does imprve accuracy! small and compact it makes for the best conceal carry gun I would use!! Cost is under $300.00 at ur Gander mountain store BE SAFE ALL!

  • petru sova June 1, 2015, 9:58 am

    Notes on the Miami Shoot out: The 9mm bullets used were 115 grain which were proven as long ago as WWI to not have the penetration necessary for combat. This is why the Germans switched over to the 125 grain bullet in WWII. Even having said this the 115 grain bullet failure that happened was only one shot that entered through the suspects arm traveled through it and then stopped just 1/10 of an inch from the heart. The 125 grain projectiles are so superior in penetration that solid bullets of that weight were proven to penetrate a WWII helmet at an astonishing 125 yards in U.S. Government tests in 1945 while the solid bullets of the .45 acp 225 grain bounced off the same helmet at only 35 yards. One must realize that the cops at the Miami shoot out did some very poor shooting as well. If the bullet misses a vital area there have been cases of suspects being shot multiple times with 12 gauge slugs measuring .70 caliber that did not stop them either.

    Agnes Herbert perhaps the greatest woman hunter of all time as well as people like W.D.M. Bell, Neuman, Stigand and legions of hired Government animal killers wiped out the bulk of the population of animals in Africa in only a short period of time with mostly the .303 British cartridge with full metal jacketed bullets. Herbert and Bell stated they found no difference in killing power between the smaller rifle calibers and the large big bore calibers what-so-ever as it was bullet penetration and placement that killed, not caliber.

    I personally have killed 180 lb White Tailed deer with the 125 grain 9mm bullet with no problem what-so-ever and from all angles including when hit in the rear end. I have done it with the .30 Mauser cartridge as well. A Massillon Ohio cop was killed with the .30 Tokarev with only one shot which hit him in the buttocks and the glanced upward tumbling and chopping up his innards to fine jelly and it was nothing more than a full metal jacketed bullet.

  • petru sova June 1, 2015, 9:36 am

    Appreciation: You are incorrect on this one. You are speaking of the “QUALITY” revolvers made in the past not the cast iron and plasticky junk revolvers that are being made today. Do not look for this modern made junk to ever appreciate to the levels of the Colt Python or “Original” Smith & Wesson’s.

    Concealability: Revolvers have cylinders that stick out and are not as concealable as flat auto loaders.

    Reliability: Revolvers, especially light weight ones made of titanium, aluminum or plasticky frames are noted for having their bullets pull out of their cases under recoil jamming up the rotation of the cylinder. It even happens with modern heavy cast iron revolvers as well. Revolvers can go out of time to the point where the gun misfires. Internal mechanisms can wear and jam themselves up preventing rotation of the cylinder. Revolver hands can snap off rendering the gun un-shootable especially with the new MIM cast steel junk being used today.

    Fast reload: Ever try and reload a revolver under pressure or in the dark even with bulky speed loaders. Its a nightmare unless you practice several times a day every day for the rest of your life and you never will be able to do it in the dark.

    Ever try carrying extra ammo with a Revolver? There is no practical way and speed loaders are so bulky you would have to be dressed in a storm trooper outfit complete with giant baggy pockets. You would look out of place at a dinner party so do not put in a resume for a James Bond position working for Big Brother.

    Recoil: Revolvers kick more than auto loaders simply because there are no recoiling parts to take up the shock of recoil which means you get back on target slower between shots and you tend to flinch more because of the increased recoil which can mean misses by a good country mile even at close range.

    Fast shooting: Again the Revolver loses out because the “Average Joe” who will never be in the same class as “Ed McGivern” and cannot hit the broad side of a barn at 5 feet shooting fast double action only while the auto can have the same light trigger pull for every shot making it light years more likely you will hit what you are aiming at. A real life case of a woman who was attacked shot at her attacker at point blank range shooting a Smith full size .357 Mag revolver double action and only succeeded in hitting him in the hand. He took the .357 mag away from her and later murdered her with her own gun. If she would have had an auto loader she would have nailed him with no problem at point blank range.

    Lets face facts the Revolver is an outdated dinosaur that should be relegated to the dust bin of history. Bury this antique in the back yard or use it for recreational shooting and reminiscing of the “bad old days” when that’s all that people had to use. Did you know that in the “Old West” that when auto-loaders first hit the market there exists pictures of outlaws flocking to buy auto-loaders and they used them while the cops were being out gunned in shoot outs at bank robberies. During the Roaring 20’s bad guys that were in gun fights all carried auto loaders while the cops had revolvers but used back up auto pistols and or machine guns at every opportunity. There exists files to numerous to mention that simply said “Dead Cop with empty revolver in his hand”. With my highly concealable auto pistol I have two clips with 32 rounds of fire power as opposed to 6 rounds in a revolver. Which would you stake your life on when faced with real life multiple attackers out on a dark rainy night? The answer to that question is quite obvious even to the mentally challenged.

    • jrkmt1 June 1, 2015, 12:06 pm

      1. Appreciation: All depends upon the make and model of the revolver, same as cars. There are certain ones that have so much appeal to the general public that after it has been discontinued they increase in value. Quality is not a factor.
      2. Concealability: The diameter (distance from one side to another) of a revolver’s cylinder is not a factor. I can conceal a 5 or 6 shot .38/.357 just as easily as a semiauto. I use an inside-the-waistband holster, whether I’m carrying a revolver or semiauto.
      3. Reliability: Revolvers made of the exotic alloys or poly/steel frames are not intended for the hard use that steel, or even aluminum alloy, frames can sustain. They are also not really inteded for continued use with full load cartridges with 158 grain bullets. This is where the use of the specially designed self-defense cartridges in the 90-115 grain range come into play.
      4. Fast reload: Reloading a revolver under pressure or in the dark with a speed loader is not really that hard, with practice. To say that you can’t do it in the dark even with daily practice for the rest of your life is not only insulting but arrogant on your part. That’s like saying a soldier can’t reassemble his/her M16/M4 in the dark.
      Yes, I have carried extra ammo for a revolver. Not a problem. I use Bianchi speed strips carried in a dump pouch that is as flat as, if not more so, than a magazine pouch.
      5: Recoil: Revolvers DO NOT “kick” more than semiautos. My tiny little pocket pistol in .380 has considerably more recoil than any of my small frame revolvers with 2″ or 3″ barrels, yet I can still put six shots inside a 4″ grouping at 10 yards (that’s 30 feet) with it. Perceived and actual recoil has more to do with the weight and ergonomics of the handgun than action type. Almost all of the women I’ve trained in handgun usage in the past preferred using my medium frame revolvers over my large frame semiautos because of the recoil factor.
      6: Fast shooting: If the “Average Joe” can’t hit the broad side of the barn at 5 feet with a revolver, what makes you think he can do it with a semiauto? Weight of trigger pull isn’t going to make a difference. (I actually prefer the heavier trigger pull of a revolver.) To be effective in hitting anything takes practice. In the past I used to shoot objects that were 6″ to 10″ inches in circumference at a measured distance of 125 yards using handguns merely for practice and would hit my targets every time.
      Fear, panic, and adrenaline will greatly affect a person’t accuracy, doesn’t matter what they are shooting or what the distance is, so your stating that the woman would have been better off with a semiauto is highly erroneous.
      Check out some of the videos for different shooting competitions where the competetors have to move from one station to another, engage single or multiple targets, all at different distances. Many of the shooters are using revolvers and all participants are under pressure trying to beat the clock.

      if the revolver is such an outdated dinosaur that should be relegated to the dust bin of history then why are there more load offerings in .38 Special alone than 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP combined? Outlaws in the Old West did not go flocking to buy semiautos, nor did the lawmen. A few of both stripes did pick up a few, but for the majority of the outlaws and lawmen the semiautos were simply too new and unproven. You do realize that many of the gangsters of the ’20s and ’30s were former military personnel (and World War 1 veterans) who used the 1911 pistol and various full auto firearms during their time in service? Clyde Barrow was a trained and talented armorer. Though they did procure many of the newer semiautos, they still had an equal number of revolvers and pump action shotguns. Your regular beat and patrol cops still carried revolvers but when state and federal cops went after the gangsters they carried everything they could lay their hands on, including heavier caliber rifles and full auto firearms (they also typically used semiauto pistols as their duty gun, too).
      Sounds like you need to go back and actually study the history of that time period a bit better.

      • Fake Gaston Glock September 7, 2015, 3:37 pm

        #3–Lack of reliability is the reason than Glock firearms are carried by more police departments than any other firearm. It just makes sense, endangering their officers is a sport for the for the firearms acquisition team at NYPD. It’s because they can’t sustain the amount of energy imparted by, say, an average law enforcement round and fall apart. That’s a real hoot for the acquisition dep’t guys. Have you been asleep for the last 30 years?
        #4–While you are screwing around with ‘strips’ to reload, I will have killed you dead. Physically, it would be impossible to reload a revolver with a speed strip faster than it would be to replace a semi-auto’s magazine. It takes 9 different steps that all require fine motor skills (the first thing to go under stress) to reload a revolver. At most 3 steps for an auto pistol, none of them involving find motor skills. How do you break the laws of physics doing it so fast?
        #5–I just can’t grasp the concept of a .380 creating preceptible recoil in an adult male. My next door neighbor is 72 (this is what you get for living in a retirement home) and she can fire the cal. .380 she got, all day. What are your small framed revolvers calibered on.
        #6–You’re average Joe must be a complete dolt. Your claims about your marksmanship are superfluous–you’re still knocking down discs with a revolver that fires just 6 rounds. I guess it is better for you that you can hit what you aim at, otherwise you’d have no chance of not dying.

        No one said that we should confine revolvers to the dust bin. They are fine firearms and lots of fun to shoot, whatever caliber. It’s just a personal preferences. I use several revolvers, most notably a cal. .454 Casuel when I travel in bear country on foot. I have never seen a semi that will deliver that much energy to a bear. Of course, on a horse, I carry a .40S&W auto pistol; an AR-10; & a 12ga shotgun shooting 3″ mag slugs. With birdshot, the shotgun will feed me.

    • Richard June 1, 2015, 12:44 pm

      I really don’t want to get into another one of those countless debates on this topic that we see over and over but I do want to address a few points. As I had said “The true bottom line is it really doesn’t matter what you carry as long as YOU CARRY IT and know how to use it well”. There is much to be said for carrying a gun, period.

      Appreciation: No polymer gun today is likely to be around when my great-grandchildren are shooting my forged stainless S&W revolver. No one actually knows how long the resins will last but it’s certain to be a lot shorter time than metal. I’m not saying don’t buy a pistol but if you want a polymer gun look at the offerings of Sig and Beretta where the metal internals are the registered part of the gun and the polymer is an easily replaced accessory, every other pistol is obsolete.

      Concealability: To anyone that has ever actually compared the two in real life, and not just read specs, the revolver wins hands down. My Model 60 with a 3″ barrel has comparable LxWxH and weight to a Glock 27 but it’s VOLUME (which is never spec’d) is far less. If I remember correctly the width of my cylinder is about 1/16″ fatter than the 27 but only at the widest part of the cylinder which is only 1 9/16″ long, the rest of the gun is a fraction of the pistol’s same width from front to back. Anyone who carries IWB will appreciate a wisely chosen revolver.

      Reliability: No gun (no mechanism) is immune to problems but revolvers suffer far less and don’t need 400 to 1,000 rounds to prove the chosen ammo/gun is a reliable combo to carry as the experts suggest with a pistol. The most reliable pistol in the world is still highly likely to jam when limp wristed. Personally, I do not care for nor would I recommend alloy or composite revolvers for most circumstances.

      Fast reload: Given what I said about the average actual attack/gun use reloading is not a concern. I’m not preparing myself for the average situation faced in Iraq, I’m prepared for the Anytown, USA mugger because that’s what I need to be ready for. If I do feel like carrying extra ammo a speed strip can be slipped into my pocket and I don’t even feel it’s there.

      Recoil: Pistol actions absorbing recoil is largely a fallacy. The moving slide has recoil inducing inertia of it’s own, the recoil energy is not reduced, it is merely spread over a few more milliseconds of time (energy cannot be created nor destroyed), which is why revolvers are snappier giving the impression of more recoil. The Chiappa Rhino, which is a brilliant design, effectively eliminates any problematic recoil that no pistol can achieve.

      Fast shooting: Pistol shooters seem to fall victim to the “spray and pray approach” to shooting. They’re not better shooters; they just miss more. Watch the video linked to the last GA newsletter and see a victim, an off duty policeman, fire 4 shots from his pistol at point blank range, never hitting a vital area, and see the attacker after being surprised by being gut shot numerous times return fire then turn and run. Then see the victim continue to fire 4 more rounds never hitting his targets but endangering the neighbors across the street.

      The example of the woman who was killed with her own gun supports my statement “If you truly need a 4 lb. trigger pull you probably aren’t capable of withstanding a confrontation”. I would have recommended and .380 or 38 spcl to such a person but would be concerned about such a novice being capable of chambering a round under duress with a pistol.

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you’re alone and confronted by multiple armed attackers the odds are you will die with a loaded 16 round mag in your pocket and rounds remaining in your pistol.

    • joe April 23, 2016, 3:43 pm

      You speak like a man who ignores facts: FACT: pull the trigger on a revolver and virtually 100% of center fire revolvers go bang. Every time! In semi automatics it is not uncommon to get a stuck shell or failure to rack, you name it, it can happen. Pull a revolver, any revolver and if it’s center fire, it goes bang virtually every single time. And if it doesn’t you simply pull again and it fires the next shell. Not so with semi autos where you must re-rack or cler a stuck shell. That doesn’t happen in revolvers. I suggest you correct your post……

    • joe April 23, 2016, 5:39 pm

      You speak like a man who ignores facts: FACT: pull the trigger on a revolver and virtually 100% of center fire revolvers go bang. Every time! In semi automatics it is not uncommon to get a stuck shell or failure to rack, you name it, it can happen. And if a revolver ever fails to fire you simply pull the tritriggeragain and it fires the next shell. Not so with semi autos where you must re-rack or cler a stuck shell. That doesn’t happen in revolvers. I suggest you correct your post……

    • The Gaul August 25, 2017, 2:54 am

      You don’t know shitz Petru. Go back to the Soviet Block.

  • Richard June 1, 2015, 7:44 am

    14. A revolver can’t be grabbed by an attacker and pushed out of battery which leads to 15. If you’re engaged in a struggle with an attacker and can get your gun out, you can press a wheel gun against the perp and fire.

    The average attack/gun use happens within 3 feet, lasts 3 to 5 seconds and involves 1 to 3 shots. That’s the primary threat I prepare to face and my 357 j frame will do what I need it to do. I am realistically not expecting to be engaged in a running gun battle. The trigger pull of a revolver is heavier but is really not noticed in an adrenaline pumping encounter. My S&W Model 60 has a completely stock trigger, broken in by being pulled thousands of times, I can fire it with my pinky. If you truly need a 4 lb. trigger pull you probably aren’t capable of withstanding a confrontation.

    The inadequately prepared FBI agents in the Miami shootout faced a guy who intended to die taking out as many agents as possible and was armed with a .308 Mini 14, that’s not what we need to be prepared for. Very early in the exchange he was hit with a fatal 9mm round but was able to carry out his mission effectively because a 9mm round does not stop the threat, it kills slowly. I prefer my 357 125 JHP, the proven One Shot Stop in history.

    The true bottom line is it really doesn’t matter what you carry as long as YOU CARRY IT and know how to use it well. The majority of the time having a gun is enough to stop a threat without having to fire a shot, thugs don’t like to be at risk.

    • Andrew June 1, 2015, 8:32 am

      If a revolver has not been cocked, all one has to do to stop the gun from firing is grab around the cylinder. The cylinder must turn during double action mode for the firing mechanism to work on the majority of revolvers. This little tidbit saved my uncle’s life about 25 years ago when chasing a perp.
      That being said, I still carry a S&W 640 depending on my mode of dress.

      • Richard June 1, 2015, 10:47 am

        Good point. Cancel #13 but #14 still applies.

    • Fale Darth Vader September 7, 2015, 3:02 pm

      #14–Did anyone actually understand what he’s trying to say?

      If anyone is idiot enough to let an attacker approach them to 3ft away, they’ve already lost. At that range, I’ll beat you within an inch of your life. That close and the dynamics of the fight change–HUGE variables–you shooting yourself with your own gun during the struggle becomes a possibility. I am not sitting around waiting for someone to get 3ft. away from me. Situational awareness would mean, I can get away before the firearm becomes an issue. Constant movement will help save me. If I can’t get away, he gets no closer than 10 yards before I start shoot/move until the non-existent ninja part doesn’t get up again. 3ft is within arms distance, let someone with the intent to injure, maim or kill you that close and you’re already dead.

      If you are too physically weak to pull a 6 to 10lbs trigger, adrenaline is not going to save you. Counting on an adrenalin rush to save you means you lost before you even started. Semi-Autos I have fired have been used to fire thousands of rounds. When the trigger pull changes because of wear, etc. only an insane person would neglect basic firearms maintenance and not have it adjusted. (Actually, in a semi-auto, if it developed trigger slop, it would get a complete overhaul–I would make another major investment in Wilson Combat–and then, probably, be sold.) Lack of adequate maintenance is dumb and will get you killed.

      Ruger doesn’t sell a Mini-14/Ranch rifle in cal. 7.62×51. They do sell one in a cal. 7.62x39mm. Look at the catalog on their website. Why anyone would buy a Ruger in cal. 7.62x39mm is beyond me. Maybe they like fouling the barrel and the action with eastern block ammo.

      Seriously, anecdotally, as a medic, I’ve seen multiple people shot by the CHP multiple times with cal. .357 revolvers and still keep coming. Add meth or PCP and it takes them a relatively longer time to stop moving. During the time it takes them to die, god help you if they still have a firearm or an edged weapon and they are 3ft away, ’cause you’re going to get seriously hurt. Unless you make a head shot, it takes people seconds to minutes to bleed out. The myth you shoot someone with multiple rounds and they die instantly, is almost as bad as the myth that there is something called “knock down power” that, magically, violates Newton’s 3rd law of motion, consistently.

    • Mr Wolf November 4, 2016, 1:55 am

      I agree. I have had Glocks stovepipe. And it wasn’t from limp wristing. I have never had a revolver fail to fire. I also LOVE the 357 magnum. I have a 7 shot that I carry over my Glock. I carry a spwed loader or 2 and I’m ready for anything that is possibly going to happen. People can argue 9mm vs 45 acp. Noone argues 357 magnum. EXCEPT the old….. it will blow your ear drums out bull crap. It may in the house but I would rather be deaf than dead

  • Frank Garza June 1, 2015, 7:20 am

    I own both a semi-auto and a revolver. Which handgun does the wife prefer? The revolver of course. She doesn’t have to deal with racking slide.

    For me, I have carried 1911’s, Sig Sauer’s, Glocks, etc., as well as S&W, Taurus, Ruger, revolvers, so I can adjust to whatever I’m carrying.

    As far as some revolvers appreciating in value, I couldn’t agree more. Aside from the Colt Python you mentioned there are other examples, Taurus 450 (45 colt double action/single action, ported, snub nose revolver).

    Frank Garza

  • Will Drider May 29, 2015, 8:40 pm

    #6. If a pistol fails to fire you go through your remedial action procedure (clock ticking). With a revolver if you get a click instead of a bang you just pull the trigger again.
    #7. A dry, unmaintained revolver will fire more rounds then a pistol in the same condition.
    #8. A loaded revolver can just sit and be ready to go. A pistol requires mag/ammo rotation so mag spring won’t weaken. Single action locked and cocked pistols also need to have hammer spring rested or carry empty chamber.
    #9. Any family member can take your revolver and continue the fight, not so ease with most pistols.
    #10. Revolvers are a better for anyone with limited hand dexterity or strength and anyone who is not going to pratice. Pistol slides, control levers and loading mags could be extremely difficult; under stress: impossible.
    #11. A Ninja can’t remove the barrel from you revolver. A Ninja can remove the slide and barrel from your Beretta 92/M9 while your holding it.
    #12. A revolver is better then no gun.
    #13. The handgun and spare ammo you carry is a direct reflection of your tactial readiness. Your initial handgun ammo capacity dictates your imediate tactial actions. This consideration applies to revolvers and trendy small pistols.

    • Mark N. May 31, 2015, 3:14 am

      Glock would disagree with you as to number 7, considering the multiple abuse vids that it survives. (No, I am not a Glock fan; don’t own one nor plan to in the future). Number 8 is an old wives’ tale. Mag springs weaken only through use (loading and unloading), not sitting quietly compressed. Most pistols today are drop safe and can safely be carried with the hammer down (Series 70 Colt 1911s and earlier excepted). Same with striker fired pistols, and even more so with DAO pistols like the Kahr, where pulling the trigger compresses the striker spring. I don’t understand 9. If you go down while shooting, anyone can pick up the pistol and continue to fire it until it is empty. As to 10, a lot of double action triggers are pretty darn heavy, and on a hammerless, impossible for someone with limited dexterity to manipulate. The only lever you have to manipulate on a loaded pistol is the safety (if there is one) and the single action trigger. For most pistols, the side slide lock is not supposed to be manipulated to release the slide (Kahrs excepted), and only a tug on the back of the slide is needed on a reload. I don’t think people reload mags in the middle of a firefight–if you are at that point, you need a shot gun. My trendy small pistol carries 7+1 of 124 gr JHP +P, and reloads with 7 more in no more than a couple of seconds. I’m no Jerry Miculec, but I’d bet that I could fire off those 15 rounds faster than a normal person could fire 15 out of a five round 357 snubby. And, since the vast majority of SD shootings involve only 0-3 rounds, I think I am well enough armed. On top of which, the one time I shot a .357, I couldn’t hit jack! Hey, shoot w\hat you shoot best and all is good.

      • J. Dexter Smith June 1, 2015, 10:26 am

        And I might have to disagree with you on #8…I have 3 semi’s with mags that stayed fully loaded for 5 years. Two of them 9mm and on both the spring failed to push the first cartridge into the slide to go into the firing chamber. The other was a Intra-Tec 50 round .22 mag that when I pushed the first cartridge out of the mag to check the its condition the whole Ram-Line mag split vertical down the seams. Every gunsmith that I have went to over the past 20 years have told me not to keep mags for pistols nor shotguns fully compressed. Also, as a person gets older, slower, and easier confused, and every brand of semi-auto pistols have a different method of operation (safety in a different location on the pistol, the mag release in a different position, and on some pistols the slide will not function unless the safety is off) too much to remember for an old-timer who gets waken up by a forced entry situation. Thus, I too would recommend a simpler weapon/weapons like revolvers including single action models and pistol grip stocks with 18.5 inch .20 gauge double barrels with a touch or squeeze light mounted on the under side for all us old timers. Nothing much to remember as per operation.

    • Fal Phil June 1, 2015, 8:34 am

      #6. Plenty of DAOautoloaders can do the same.
      #7. Source please. This smells like a barnyard.
      #8. Urban myth.
      #9. More horse pucky
      #10. I use an autoloader BECAUSE of arthritis in my hands.
      #11. Hahahaha! You gotta love Jackie Chan movies. Hollywood.
      #12. Spelling, friend.
      #13. Learn to shoot. Shot placement is everything.

    • Fake Oliver Winchester September 7, 2015, 1:51 pm

      #6–apparently, the reality of double action auto pistols has just flown right by you. Maintain your firearm (revolvers and autos) KNOW they will work when you would need it to work. This won’t happen.
      #7–every semi-auto pistol every made makes this a misstatement.
      #8–every revolver is complicated because–GASP–they have to be maintained. For the price of a little ‘resting the springs’ I’ll take 17 rounds rather than 6 any day of the week. By the way, how far can you field strip a revolver without tools?
      #9–Are you kidding? Have ever heard of training? It is ridiculous to believe that you could have one firearm that ever one could handle. My wife couldn’t handle a pistol, aiming, etc, I give her a Judge loaded with .410 to use until she got to her favorite weapon. She had no problems with the Rem 870 12ga. tactical shotgun.
      #10–Limited dexterity or strength. It takes between 3 & 5.5lbs of pull to discharge a semi-auto; for revolvers it begins at 6lbs and goes up to 10lbs. You honestly think it takes less dexterity to release the cylinder, swing it open, use the ejector rod to clear the chambers and then put a new round into each chamber, one by one? Add a speed loader and it requires more dexterity. And during all this “less dexterity exercise” your loved will be killed by the malfeasant you’re facing. With a little training, I would imagine I could teach a person with limited dexterity to change a mag in several seconds. (I have limited dexterity–after an accident, the distal phalange on my right #3 digit had to be fused. I can do a combat reload in under 5 seconds.) You really think that a less dexterous person could complete all 9 of the steps to reload a revolver faster than grab a mag, push the mag release and put in new 14 round magazine? Get real.
      #11–Apparently, you were the only one who watched Lethal Weapon IV and believed it. If it were possible to do this, it points to a HUGE design flaw in the M9, which, IMHO, (and I don’t care what you think), the M9 is a piece of crap forced on the US by Europeans in NATO. There are no ninjas in the real world and the bad guys in the scene weren’t even supposed to be ninjas. What color is the sky in your world?
      #12–How profound.
      #13–How does your first statement justify disabling yourself by carrying a revolver with 6 rounds? Would I be more “tactical ready,” if I carried a stock, single stack 1911 A1, after all it only holds 7 rounds? Why would I handicap my “tactical readiness by choosing to only carry 6 rounds when I could 14+1? The nonsense in this one statement exceeds all of your other.

  • Mark N. May 29, 2015, 1:19 am

    The first thing I think about when I think of revolvers is the FBI shootout in Miami that killed several outgunned agents armed only with .38 revolvers. Then I think about how a .357 snubby, while concealable and more than sufficiently potent, is hard to control (i.e. inaccurate for many) and painful to shoot, separate and apart from its limited capacity. (I can’t hit a can at 20 feet with a full size .357 mag, I can’t imagine what my accuracy would be with a two-finger snubby!) And then I think that most of the chamberings in revolvers that are .38 or smaller (except for the .327 federal magnum), are not sufficiently powerful beyond bad breath range, and the large caliber weapons are not something I’d care to practice with. So then I think that I’ll stick with my 9 mm pocket pistol with 8 rounds and +P hollow points and call it good.

    • Robert Sweeney May 29, 2015, 9:47 am

      Since I’m not an FBI agent, nor a criminal, spectacular cops-and-robbers shootouts such as the one mentioned do not affect my choice for personal defense weaponry. I happen to be currently in the market for a carry gun and I am considering both compact pistols and snubby revolvers. I need something that will fit in a pocket because it is hot most of the year where I live and shorts and t-shirt are de rigueur. The simplicity of the revolver is highly appealing, and in the kind of “don’t-come-any-closer” situation I’d most likely be in when called upon to use it, 5 rounds of .38 wadcutters would most certainly do the job. On the other hand, there are a plethora of pocket-size pistols in .380 and 9 mm that carry more rounds and can be had for less money than most of the .38 snubbies out there. I’ll be checking out all of these options this weekend and make my decision, but moose-killing magnums, 25-yard bullseye accuracy and epic FBI shootouts won’t be factored into that decision. I have other weapons that cover those needs.

      • Dean May 30, 2015, 2:51 pm

        Robert, I couldn’t agree more. I picked up a J frame, S & W 38 spl +p, stainless. It is a Performance Center revolver, so the trigger is extra nice and smooth. I got it at BudsGunShop.com , delivered to my FFL for $434. I don’t plan on getting in a war with it, although I carry 2 speedloaders. It is my escape/exit gun which will, hopefully, allow me opportunity to get to the better position you mentioned above.

      • Mark N. May 31, 2015, 2:56 am

        My point was that the .38 spl was ineffective against the gunmen, each of whom were struck multiple times. A more recent story involved a woman (in Ohio I think) who fled upstairs with her children to escape a home invader. She shot him five times before it took the fight out of him. And if you think that revolvers are simple, take the side plate off. They look like watches. The old Colts were very simple–the same action was used from the Walker all the way through the 1873–but they are prone to failure (broken flat springs).

        • OFBG June 1, 2015, 4:02 pm

          You’re right that DA revolvers (most of which have sideplates) are complex. Even modern SA revolvers with transfer bars (and even safeties) are more complex than the early Colts and their clones. These guns were not “prone to failure,” however, and flat springs have never been a issue – just take a look inside most Smith and Wesson revolvers. The only Colts that were “prone to failure” due to their springs were the DA “Lightning” and “Thunderer” models, which had a “flat” action spring that looked like a pretzel.

      • Fake Ghenus Khan September 7, 2015, 12:02 pm

        As a paramedic who has treated numerous GSWs in my career; I can tell you this about the ultimate revolver vs. semi-auto question. Excluding ‘neuro’ and strikes directly to the heart–Assailants die because of the size/number of primary cavities in the human body created in a gunfight. The more and the bigger the primary cavity, the faster a person will exsanguinate and succumb. I am not a huge fan of 9mm, but if you shoot someone with a 9mm enough times, they will pass over the rainbow bridge. Even cal. .22 or .17HMR will work. The larger the caliber, the bigger the primary cavity. Smaller calibers will eventually create enough primary cavities that exsanguination will result. How many primary cavities can you create with your 6 shot revolver? 6 How many can I create with a Glock with 17 rounds? You see the problem here?

        If you go into a modern gunfight (8ft, about ten seconds) with a revolver against an assailant with a semi-auto pistol holding, at least 13 rounds, you are going to die. This isn’t a very scientific study, but we set up two steel courses, both with 25 targets. I was using a semi-auto and the other guy was using a S&W revolver. We ran the courses several times, until we were both familiar with them. Then we tested.

        I ran the first magazine, except for the one in the chamber; combat re-loaded the second magazine and finished the course (zero misses). While my compatriot with the revolver was still loading his weapon for the second time. (And you can bet, when it is a matter of life and death, I am going to move in and do the most damage I can while they are re-loading and defenseless.) Best guess, in this case, I fire an entire magazine and bug out. He gets killed while trying to reload his revolver.

        The only exception I make to the utility of revolvers is the Taurus Judge. It’s point and shoot with .410 shotgun shells and a 45 Long Colt with make a really big primary cavity. I’d still back it up with a 10+ round SA. However, if I still had a mother, the Judge is the pistol she would be carrying.

    • terry g May 31, 2015, 12:37 am

      Your memory a little faulty there Mark N. . The FBI agents were armed with 9mm autoloaders . The after event hub bub was basically to find a scapegoat in the 9mm round rather than the poor planning and execution of the takedown. The bad guys had rifles , FBI knew that and sent the agents at them on an open street armed with only pistols anyway. It was more palatable to ‘fire’ the 9mm than to fire the inept agents that killed their comrades with stupid tactics

      • Harold Jeffers June 1, 2015, 1:08 pm

        Why is it these discussions always bring out those people who rely on the tech B.S. To discredit the revolver over the auto loader. If you allow the threat to get with in arms reach with out shooting you should not carry a firearm. I have owned many hand guns in last fifty years . Used them in military and police service. NEVER had any type of failure. I like some autos, but if you think you need 9-15 rounds plus two plus mags to do the job you will be short lived. Best weapons , good tactics and common since will get you home at night.

      • eric holder June 1, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Hey the Feds and Police always use the best tactics. Look at WACO, okay look at Ruby Ridge, Okay then look at the Move incidents in Philadelphia……………………Umm………………okay you in just arm them with matches because they are good at burning people out……………………….Umm look at Chris Doerner in California.

    • Jeff June 1, 2015, 8:29 am

      Two of the FBI agents in that shootout had Remington 870’s. Must we then conclude that 12 gauge 00 buckshot is inadequate for self defense?

      • Jim W. June 1, 2015, 11:59 am

        all firearms and weapons have good points and bad points. OO buck over a certain distance isn’t any better than throwing rocks. You should try different types of firearms and see what suits you best. Then do more research and find out the real differences in various calibers, not just what your finds think. Ayoob used to have an article in one of the magazinesin titled One stop shots where he kept track of Police fights and how many rounds of what caliber it took to stop the bad guys. I would imagine that info is still out there somewhere. I used to have a co-worker worker that talked about how a .357 did not have the power to stop anyone or thing and that you needed at least a .44mag when I asked him what he dad for self defence he stated a .22, that’s all you need.

    • Jeff W. June 1, 2015, 10:09 am

      When I read these comments I often wonder what concealed carry classes some of you have taken? We qualified at 3, 5 and 7 YARDS… that’s a maximum of 21 feet! Any further away that that, we were taught to avoid the confrontation. That said, I realize that won’t always be possible. But for, I would suggest, 99% of the concealed carry population, 5 rounds versus 12 won’t make any difference. Awareness of your environment, using the common sense God gave you and practice and familiarity with your weapon far outway magazine capacity. Besides, if I’m caugth in that situation (FBI shoot out)… I’m not engaging the badguys… that’s not my fight!

      • Gary T June 2, 2015, 10:27 am

        Great comment Jeff, well thought out and so true. I’ve also wondered what classes some of these folks have taken…if any. I also wonder why their braggadocio, mine is the only way, answers seem to reflect more of Hollywood than real life. Seems like most of the replies in these forums reflect more of a posters personality than reality. I’m a disabled veteran and mostly in a wheelchair when out and about. Awareness of my surroundings and my common sense are 90% of my self defense. The other 10% could be a 1911, a 9mm or a .44 special revolver, depending on the mood I’m in and how I’m dressed when I leave the house. Unless you just want to play cowboy most self defense is up close and personal and your weapon should be what you are the most comfortable with.

        • Christopher Irvin June 13, 2015, 12:55 am

          Having a high capacity magazine is not a disadvantage. Depending on the situation having less than 6 rounds may be a disadvantage. Ammo in gun equals time in fight. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

      • BillCa June 15, 2015, 9:50 pm

        If you were “trained” in your CCW class not to shoot beyond 7 yards you need to ask for your money back. Can you give me an example reference as to how far 21 feet is, in words? I’ll give you an example. I have a 4×4 Dodge Ram truck that measures just a bit over 17 feet bumper to trailer hitch. If each of us stands two feet from the bumpers along the edge of the truck, that’s 21 feet. One parking stall worth. Depending on the roadway, roads have lanes about 10-12 feet wide. I’d sure like to shoot back at someone standing on the opposite curb, wouldn’t you?

        In general, 7 yards is fine for indoors or personal contact distance. But threats may still be present and shooting from further away. I consider 15 yards to be reasonable. That’s 45 feet, which happens to be about the distance from my front door to the middle of the street. Or almost 3 lanes of traffic. Or just over the width of my back yard.

        It’s nice to say you should be alert to your surroundings but we can all be caught by surprise. Once the gunfire begins having your opponent even 25 yards away will seem too close for comfort.

      • I think the most important thing to think about when you carry for self-defense is to know your limitations. These are all limitations most people don’t realize they have:

        You really believe just carrying makes you safe, then leave the weapon at home. If you realize the most important part, the part that’s going to save the most lives, is disengaging from a gunfight then you may or may not need a firearm. If you are backed into a corner and have to defend yourselves, possessing a pistol or revolver will sometimes help.

        If you think you are going to ‘stand your ground’ while someone is shooting at you, which will result in you ‘swimming with the fishes’ real quick, then you definitely don’t need and I’d prefer you not carry a pistol. Remember, the perception/reaction time to whatever faces the malfeasant is still 1.5 seconds. If I think ahead, by being situationally aware, I will be able to make a fast giveaway and get a reasonable distance away from the malfeasant with the pistol in that amount of time.

        Most importantly, when you take “This gun of the hand*” into a potential gunfight, you have to realize one of you is probably not going to walk away. (Not die, just not walk away.) You are intending to maim or kill someone in order to save your own life or the lives of your family. If you haven’t made the conscious choice that you will maim or kill someone to save you or your families’ life–you have a limitation that is almost insurmountable. A M107 “Paladin” 155mm self-propelled artillery piece isn’t going to help you.

        My first choice will always be as close to total situation awareness as I can, including where to run; running away by not letting someone get close enough to hurt me/us; and when/if I have no other choice-#4 buckshot from a combat shotgun, if I am at home. Otherwise, my friends Herr Walther and Mr. Kimber will be the last thing they will see before they wake up in the hospital. (Most handgun rounds are incredibly NON-lethal.)

        In 30 years as a paramedic, the caliber I’ve most seen used to shoot people: cal. .22LR. Your average crook buys what’s cheap. And, over the years, pretty much everybody has acquired a .22 rifle. Which, pretty much, in my experience, despite it’s myriad limitations, makes it the most potentially dangerous weapon in my world. (Even though a Level I vest will stop a .22LR, I know a Level II or IIIA will more than stop a .22LR.) If I suffer isolated limb trauma from a .22LR, it isn’t going to kill me. The five or six times I’ve been shot at were all .22LR firearms wielded by drunks. Even a weapon with a huge number of limitations works.

        I know my limitations whenever someone starts throwing shots.

        *Witness 1985

      • I think the most important thing to think about when you carry for self-defense is to know your limitations. These are all limitations most people don’t realize they have:

        You really believe just carrying makes you safe, then leave the weapon at home. If you realize the most important part, the part that’s going to save the most lives, is disengaging from a gunfight then you may or may not need a firearm. If you are backed into a corner and have to defend yourselves, possessing a pistol or revolver will sometimes help.

        If you think you are going to ‘stand your ground’ while someone is shooting at you, which will result in you ‘swimming with the fishes’ real quick, then you definitely don’t need and I’d prefer you not carry a pistol. Remember, the perception/reaction time to whatever faces the malfeasant is still 1.5 seconds. If I think ahead, by being situationally aware, I will be able to make a fast giveaway and get a reasonable distance away from the malfeasant with the pistol in that amount of time.

        Most importantly, when you take “This gun of the hand*” into a potential gunfight, you have to realize one of you is probably not going to walk away. (Not die, just not walk away.) You are intending to maim or kill someone in order to save your own life or the lives of your family. If you haven’t made the conscious choice that you will maim or kill someone to save you or your families’ life–you have a limitation that is insurmountable.

        My first choice will always be as close to total situation awareness as I can, including where to run; running away by not letting someone get close enough to hurt me/us; and when/if I have no other choice-#4 buckshot from a combat shotgun, if I am at home. Otherwise, my friends Herr Walther and Mr. Kimber will be the last thing they will see before they wake up in the hospital. (Most handgun rounds are incredibly NON-lethal.)

        In 30 years as a paramedic, the caliber I’ve most seen used to shoot people: cal. .22LR. Your average crook buys what’s cheap. And, over the years, pretty much everybody has acquired a .22 rifle. Which, pretty much, in my experience, despite it’s myriad limitations, makes it the most potentially dangerous weapon in my world. Wear a vest, if you suffer from isolated limb trauma from a .22LR, it isn’t going to kill you. The five or six times I’ve been shot at were all .22LR firearms wielded by drunks. Even a weapon with a huge number of limitations works by chance, occasionally.

        I know my limitations whenever someone starts throwing shots.

        *Witness 1985

    • Jerry June 2, 2015, 12:06 am

      Debates over the revolver vs the auto boil down to one simple fact. The number of rounds you are able to put down range. That is the main reason the Army went from the .45 acp to the Beretta 9mm M1. It could put 16 rounds down range compared to the 8 rounds of the .45. Any soldier, policeman or citizen familiar with both will tell you, “the .45 cannot be beat for stopping power but having 8 more rounds to fire at an enemy is a definite advantage.” So it simply is a matter of judgment. If you’re a poor or marginal shot, use the 9mm. If you hit what you’re aiming at, the .45 is a very good choice. I have both, practice with both and carry both just depending on what frame of mind. I also have a 5 shot .38 spl. but it never leaves my kitchen drawer. Never know when someone might come to “visit”.

    • Richard Dettmer, Capt Ret. December 21, 2015, 6:13 pm

      I spent 38 years in local law enforcement and was a range master for many. Back in the day, there were only “wheelguns” or revolvers, the same thing, that cops had. When I retired 16 years ago, there were only semi-auto pistols. Pistols are inherently flaky weapons. They often jam because of lack of cleaning, over or under oiling, ammunition that they don’t get along with and human error. I have 8 semi auto pistols ranging fro 22 caliber to 45 caliber. All malfunction at some time, many quite often. Only two would I consider carrying for self defense . . .a Kimber CDP 45 APC and a Bersa Thunder 380. But even they can act up even if only occasionally. Now for my 2.5 inch S&W Chief’s 38 spc, and the Model 19 S&W 357, the Colt Python 6″ 357, the Model 66 S&W 357 that I used to carry on duty? Each and every time I pulled the trigger it went “Bang.” In thousands of rounds fired, no failure to fires. They didn’t care about the cleanliness of the ammo, what type of bullet it was loaded with or if the ammo was 20 years old . . . they fired! Now that’s a gun I want when necessary to defend a life!

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