Perfect Union banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to start a war here but I have a friend thinking of buying his first firearm for defense. When he asked me what to buy I told him semi-auto as that is what I carry. He asked me why not a revolver and I had no answer as I never owned anything but semi-auto. I need to get some help so I can advise him without being predigest. So can I get feedback from both sides of the fence on this without getting into a flame war? Remember we are talking about bringing a new member into the gun community not scare him off.
I thank you all in advance for your help with this project.
Phil
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,273 Posts
I carry a revolver most of the time for SD and don't in the least feel under-gunned. I am well schooled on both revolvers and semi-autos and own a number of both platforms. Whatever you carry, practice with it.
 

· Backwoods Mountain Man
Joined
·
99 Posts
What you carry is less important to me than being proficent with it and carrying it ALL the time. I carry a fullsize 1911 everywhere. Its large and heavy, but I am comfy with it and its a gun I am very proficent with. That said Id rather my wife carry a .380 everyday and every where than carry a 1911 and leave it home half the time. She actually carrys an S&W snub in .357 mag and really enjoys the simplicity of operating a wheel gun. I wouldn't feel undergunned carrying a revoler every day to aswer your question.

Sent from behind my anvil in the blacksmith shop
 

· Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
I grew up with the revolver but find the semi-auto is preferred for almost all shooting except where you want to retrieve brass for reloading.

Some have indicated that the revolver is easier for new shooters to learn and safely use. Frankly, I see no difference in level of challenge, just differences in detail.
 

· Odd Pachyderm thingy
Joined
·
1,285 Posts
I'm a semiauto guy - even the compacts carry more ammo in them (usually) than a wheel gun, also - quicker on the reload.

that being said... .357 mag or better out of a compact or snubbie revolver is a destroyer of worlds.

generally revolvers are capable of firing more powerful cartridges than the typical auto pistol given similar bore diameters.

.357 mag trumps 9mm, .357 sig and .38 super

.44 mag trumps the .45acp

and so on.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
Can we close this thread I have the info I need, thanks guys.
No...we are gonna drag this out, at least until I get my two cents in. :lol:

Each has their merits, it's a matter of the shooter deciding for themselves. As stated above, the biggest thing is to make sure a person is comfortable with the gun they buy, and that they are proficient with it.

The big argument for revolvers is that they are more reliable. There are fewer things to go wrong (no feed or ejection problems) and if the round doesn't light, all you do is pull the trigger again. No jams to clear to get the gun running again at the worst possible moment.

Having said that, I have come to accept that with a properly maintained quality semi-auto there is a very low probability that you will have a jam. I fired over 25K rounds through my P95 Ruger and the only malfunctions I ever had were due to faulty ammo. So far I have about 1500 rounds through the SR9c and it's been a rock-solid performer.

I still carry either a .357 Mag SP101 Ruger, or an SR9c, depending on my mood (and it gives me an excuse to own more firearms). :p
 

· Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No...we are gonna drag this out, at least until I get my two cents in. :lol:

Each has their merits, it's a matter of the shooter deciding for themselves. As stated above, the biggest thing is to make sure a person is comfortable with the gun they buy, and that they are proficient with it.

The big argument for revolvers is that they are more reliable. There are fewer things to go wrong (no feed or ejection problems) and if the round doesn't light, all you do is pull the trigger again. No jams to clear to get the gun running again at the worst possible moment.

Having said that, I have come to accept that with a properly maintained quality semi-auto there is a very low probability that you will have a jam. I fired over 25K rounds through my P95 Ruger and the only malfunctions I ever had were due to faulty ammo. So far I have about 1500 rounds through the SR9c and it's been a rock-solid performer.

I still carry either a .357 Mag SP101 Ruger, or an SR9c, depending on my mood (and it gives me an excuse to own more firearms). :p
Thanks for your input.:):):):):):):):):)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
302 Posts
I'll add my .02 in as well.
Revolver pro's: Reliable, less likely to malfunction with contact shots like one might find themselves doing if the aggressor is in close proximity to the defendee, easy to use for all skill levels.
Revolver con's: Slower to reload (unless you are Jerry Miculek) lower capacity, when something does break it typically will take the gun out of the fight until a gunsmith can be visited. Not nearly as sexy :D

Semi auto pro's: higher capacity, quicker to reload, more ergonomic (interchangeable backstraps ect) easier to repair and get back in the fight. Many malfunctions are induced by the magazine, easier to swap mags than visit a gunsmith in the middle of a gunfight.

Semi auto Cons: Can have malfunctions induced by the magazine or by contact shots, can have the slide bind up in your clothing when firing from the index position, won't fire with the slide out of battery, more types of malfunctions, (ftf,fte, double feed, stovepipe, ect) takes more training to correct stoppages.

All in all I would recommend a revolver if your friend doesn't plan to train a whole lot the simple reason being that he will have 5-6 shots that are pretty damn sure to go off with minimal effort on his part. (where they will go will be anyones guess tho)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,460 Posts
One other aspect I have not seen addressed in this thread is the ideal of which is more durable over the really long haul - super high round count and long long term use.

In this case I would give the advantage to the revolver, since it has no cycling, and the lack of reciprocating parts means no impact within the mechanism. Its just a question of brute strength.

Here's an article that claims a Security Six with 1.4 million rounds fired w/o parts breakage. Ruger Security-Six .357 Magnum Revolver The reference is in the last paragraph.

That's extreme in my book - keep springs at least, since they do sometimes go in use. Yes, I know about polymer frame guns that have gone through super high round counts with little or no parts breakage, but I also know of polymer frames that have ended up as chew toys when someone left 'em where Fido could access them. Fido would need teeth like a woodchipper to hurt a steel frame revolver.

So if you are thinking in terms of the long haul ("I want one gun I will buy when I'm 25 and they can put it in the casket with me when I kick the bucket 6 or 7 decades later") then a revolver may be the way to go. If you're not planning on taking it with you, it could also be the one gun that gets passed down to the young 'uns, should the gun-grabbers win this time or the next (they'll always be back - like the damn' Terminator without the cool shades or accent).

I would pick a steel frame over aluminum, Ruger>S&W>Colt for durability (Colts are notorious for going out of time with hard use). If durability is your only concern (say its an outdoors survival piece in bear country, suitably chambered for say a .44mag), go single action > double action, since the lockwork on the single action is simpler so less likely to go wrong.

If you're thinking in terms of self defense EDC, consider a SP101 (if you can carry it - its a bit big), steel frame S&W J, or Colt Detective Special. For a full sized service gun (4" bbl), a GP100, S&W K frame (.38spl), or S&W L frame (.357 6 shot models only!) would be the way to go. Go stainless for low maintenance, and if you have a blued piece that you want rust resistant consider getting it hard chromed. Given cost considerations I would go Ruger if its new production.

Just some thoughts. If the gun grabbers ever get their way, not only will revolvers be some of the last ones to go on that big list of no-no's but they will be banging away long after possessing one is a big bad crime. Lurk around some of the UK sites and you'll find guides on making your own .38 ammo from scratch. Not economically viable here, even with the drought, but its good to know it can be done at all.

All the best,
Grumpy
 

· M.I.A.
Joined
·
1,475 Posts
I went from revolvers, to wonder 9's in the early 90's. Then I had an incident with a marsupial that just didn't want to stay down. This lead me to carrying 45's. Many of them. But I grew nostalgic and came back to the 357 revolvers I remembered so fondly. An SP101 has been my main carry piece for nearly ten years now. I've picked up a few more here and there. Always 357 mag revolvers.

P.S. I'm not saying revolver is the only way to go. I'm just telling you my experience. For me the DA revolver in 357 works best. I reload. I have a need for something potent enough for use in self defense from men, cougar and black bear. Also something potent enough for a humane kill on whitetail within reasonable distances. And I'm a lefty, right-hand only safeties drive me nuts. A sidearm is a very personal thing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
Yep....love my SP101....with 130gr Federal Hydra-shoks.

There is just something to be said when a caliber has more energy at 100 yards than a 9mm has at the muzzle.



To be fair, I really do like my carry 9mm also:

 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,460 Posts
Yep....love my SP101....with 130gr Federal Hydra-shoks.

There is just something to be said when a caliber has more energy at 100 yards than a 9mm has at the muzzle.



To be fair, I really do like my carry 9mm also:

Hi 45K20E4;

Very nice guns!

Those grips on the SP101 look great for taming recoil, but as an EDC do you use IWB or a belt rig and loose shirt? Are there any printing issues with the 'full' grip rather than the 2-finger specials I've been using?

I've been sticking with the J-Smith since I like front pocket carry in this climate. But with the right holster an SP101 may be in my future at some point....really want something just a little bigger and badder in case I ever do end up as the sheepdog on the scene someday. I keep bouncing between a Glock 26, which is logistic with what I've already got and another wheelgun, just one that's a bit...well a bit more gun if you catch my drift.

Guess the main question is how easy is it to conceal the extra weight of that steel frame and the slightly longer grips? I'd feel way better going up against a badguy if I had an SP101 like yours instead of my little J-frame Smith. Thing is that the best gun is the gun that's there when you need it.

Best,
Grumpy
 

· Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep....love my SP101....with 130gr Federal Hydra-shoks.

There is just something to be said when a caliber has more energy at 100 yards than a 9mm has at the muzzle.



To be fair, I really do like my carry 9mm also:

Hi 45K20E4;

Very nice guns!

Those grips on the SP101 look great for taming recoil, but as an EDC do you use IWB or a belt rig and loose shirt? Are there any printing issues with the 'full' grip rather than the 2-finger specials I've been using?

I've been sticking with the J-Smith since I like front pocket carry in this climate. But with the right holster an SP101 may be in my future at some point....really want something just a little bigger and badder in case I ever do end up as the sheepdog on the scene someday. I keep bouncing between a Glock 26, which is logistic with what I've already got and another wheelgun, just one that's a bit...well a bit more gun if you catch my drift.

Guess the main question is how easy is it to conceal the extra weight of that steel frame and the slightly longer grips? I'd feel way better going up against a badguy if I had an SP101 like yours instead of my little J-frame Smith. Thing is that the best gun is the gun that's there when you need it.

Best,
Grumpy
Great info guys thanks for the post's, nice guns. I don't know how to quote both posts.
Phil
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
Grumpy -

The grip isn't really a "full grip" per say..certainly not full size like the GP100 grip. it's more of a 3/4 grip. Just enough for me to get all my fingers on. It does wonders at taming the recoil AND keeping the pistol from rotating out of my hand. This is firing hand loaded 158gr JRN on top of 15grains of 2400. It's a hotter round than the 130gr Hydra-Shok that it's normally loaded with. Typically I don't fan the hammer (bad practice) but I was trying to see how accurate it was at longer range. I did clean up the trigger surfaces a bit for a cleaner break, and it has slightly lighter springs in it still probably 5 pounds in DA mode though....it's not going off by accident.

Ruger SP101 - YouTube

I typically wear loose shirts, t-shirts, Dickies work shirts, etc. that I don't tuck in. Both for comfort, and because tucking a shirt in over a EDC makes it much tougher to get it out quickly. I've never had a printing issue, and think the SR9c is slightly harder to conceal due to the shape.

I've used a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 IWB holster for the past 10 years. It is extremely comfortable and keeps the SP in place. I'll work a car show or fund raiser and wear it all day with no issues. I'm a firm believe that a good holster and a proper belt can make all the difference in comfort.

VersaMax 2:

 

· Registered
Joined
·
8,460 Posts
Grumpy -

The grip isn't really a "full grip" per say..certainly not full size like the GP100 grip. it's more of a 3/4 grip. Just enough for me to get all my fingers on. It does wonders at taming the recoil AND keeping the pistol from rotating out of my hand. This is firing hand loaded 158gr JRN on top of 15grains of 2400. It's a hotter round than the 130gr Hydra-Shok that it's normally loaded with. Typically I don't fan the hammer (bad practice) but I was trying to see how accurate it was at longer range. I did clean up the trigger surfaces a bit for a cleaner break, and it has slightly lighter springs in it still probably 5 pounds in DA mode though....it's not going off by accident.

Ruger SP101 - YouTube

I typically wear loose shirts, t-shirts, Dickies work shirts, etc. that I don't tuck in. Both for comfort, and because tucking a shirt in over a EDC makes it much tougher to get it out quickly. I've never had a printing issue, and think the SR9c is slightly harder to conceal due to the shape.

I've used a Milt Sparks Versa Max 2 IWB holster for the past 10 years. It is extremely comfortable and keeps the SP in place. I'll work a car show or fund raiser and wear it all day with no issues. I'm a firm believe that a good holster and a proper belt can make all the difference in comfort.

VersaMax 2:

Thanks much 45K20E4!

Ever since I got my CHL down here I've been a little nervous about accidentally "flashing" the piece since our CHL law is a bit odd - you're actually committing a crime if you either enter a GFZ or allow the piece to be seen (at least that's what our instructor had to say on it, and my reading of statute law seemed to bear this out at the time). We're still trying for open carry, but its an uphill battle for some reason.

Got a couple items on the agenda to take care of before I add something like an SP101, but I think it or a vintage S&W M66 snubbie will be there soon. Still paying on a .45 with a prancing pony on the side, and just put myself on the hook for a 4" Security Six. So many guns and so little $$!

Thanks also for the tips on leather - my only good leather right now are a couple Galcos - a Miami Classic for the Glock 19 (only works if I'm wearing a suit) and one of the Executive holsters for J-Smith. That one is a bit much for such a small revolver but it works wonderfully!

Best,
Grumpy
 

· Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Hi, if it's not convenient, you won't carry it. I have a number of 1911s that I occasionally carry, but find that my 11oz S&W 337 airweight .38 Special revolver is the handgun I carry most. Why? Because it is convenient. It never fails to fire when desired. It fits nicely in a front pocket where I almost forget I'm carrying. Laser sights make up for the anemic .38 Special P+ where I can hit any spot with a first shot using any firing position or hand.

Bottom line is that if it's not convenient to carry a handgun, it soon won't be carried.

Regards,
Richard
 

· Draw, Varmint!
Joined
·
799 Posts
I know it's an older thread; but the question is eternal; so I'm going to answer it.

Right now I'm, also, carrying a 357 Magnum, Ruger SP-101. It's a great little gun, and quite different from the big heavy G-21 that I usually carry. I just had surgery on one of my hands, and handling a large semi-auto and working the slide aren't, 'in the cards' for me right now.

This personal carry dilemma has given me time to think about all the differences between carrying a revolver, and a semiautomatic. Know what! Reliability between these two designs is a, 'wash'. I know how to clear a jam, and keep a semi-auto up and running.

On the other hand a revolver, while less likely to have a stoppage, is more complicated and time-consuming to reload. So, between the two I'd rather deal with a jammed semi-auto than a more difficult to reload revolver - Which often requires more manual dexterity on a shooter's part, too.

I'm comfortable with my little 357 Magnum Ruger. It's true: Nothing in a COMBAT HANDGUN CALIBER hits harder than the 357; but, in the event of dire circumstances, I'd sooner have more (somewhat) less effective bullets than only a few really hard hitting ones.

Whatever handgun you carry, you need to be well-practiced, fast, and accurate with it. No doubt about it: It's more difficult to learn and be competent with a double-action revolver than it is to use almost any semi-automatic.

I don't care about exactly what trigger system a particular semiautomatic has. With the exception of an atypical Glock pistol with an orange, 'New York' trigger spring and an 8 lbs. connector, any modern semi-auto is going to be easier to shoot straight, than any typical, long-throw, 10 to 12 lbs., double-action revolver trigger.

I remember when I was shooting IDPA. The shooters who used revolvers were always severely handicapped whenever they tried to compete against everyone else who were using semi-autos. (I don't remember any exceptions to this general rule.)

My own worst self-defense nightmare is to suddenly windup, 'gangbanged' by more than two or three assailants. The nice little SP-101 that I'm carrying, now, would be almost worthless in any situation where I had to face multiple attackers. The smartest move I could make is not to antagonize them, surrender my (antique) weapon, and hope that they'll be merciful, and not beat me too badly, kill me, or rape either me or my wife.

(Yes, my wife and I are, both, very good looking!) :p

Here's what I'm carrying now:





As I said: It's a very nice gun; but, here's what I'd rather be carrying:





The latter is state-of-the art; while the former is not! :)
 

· Grumpy MAGA man.
Joined
·
232 Posts
I find myself carrying my Ruger LCR .357 Magnum way more than any of my other guns. Its so light, perceived recoil is less than my 4 inch Security Six, and using a Versa-Carry holster, I can carry it in any position, left or right (I don't use the trigger guard), and it doesn't print even with a light tee shirt.

Damn fine little gun, and accurate as heck!

If I do decide to purchase a 1911, it will be a Coonan. Best of both worlds!

Kev
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top