Revolver vs. Auto Decision...


December 31, 2002, 07:04 AM
Let me describe the situation:

About 18 mos. ago, I purchased a Ruger Security-Six .357 2.5" for my "truck gun" when my wife & I travel. I keep it loaded w/ .38spl+P JHP's and have +P & 158gr. magnum hollowpoints in speedloaders. My rationale at the time was that, if SHTF, my wife would be able to handle the revolver more easily than an auto. (She's not an avid shooter, but she handles her Taurus 94 .22lr & my Romanian .22lr very well. She dislikes anything above that, but can shoot my K-38 6" well). I also thought that the revolver would be more versatile & powerful (w/ the magnums) than any auto.

Now, after reviewing ballistic tables, I've found out that .357mag loads out of a 2.5" bbl. aren't much better than 9mm rounds from a 4" bbl. In addition, my wife's gun handling has improved to where she can handle autos (i.e. Buckmark Camper) well (she still dislikes anything more powerful). And, to make matters worse, I've seen some good deals on Ruger & S&W 5900-series 9mm's lately (i.e $200-300 range).

Taking everything into account (including the usual auto-vs.-revolver pros & cons), would I be better served by trading in my Security-Six for a 9mm auto or by keeping it as my truck gun?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Vern Humphrey
December 31, 2002, 09:47 AM
To be honest I have to tell you up front I'm not a 9mm kind of guy.

But the revolver is the better choice. First of all, you say this is a "truck gun" and your wife may use it. How will you keep an auto pistol in the truck, Cocked and locked? Or will you go with a DA pistol. If the former, there is a possibility of accident. If the latter, it will take a bit of training before your wife can master it. You can keep the revolver as ready as anything else, and your wife can already shoot it.

Next, the .357 is a very versitile gun -- as you show when you say you load it with .38 Special +Ps and keep .357s for a reload.

Third, revolvers are very shootable -- a person with less than top notch skills can usually do better with a revolver than with an auto pistol.

Now, my carry gun is a Kimber Classic -- a M1911 clone. But the gun I keep in the bedside table is a Colt Model 357.

December 31, 2002, 10:05 AM
Buy the auto and keep the revolver.

If after a few months you can't stand having two guns, sell the one you like least.

Neal Bloom
December 31, 2002, 10:16 AM
Second keeping the revolver and buying an auto. Get and pistol with a decocker if you are going to use it as a truck gun.

December 31, 2002, 10:28 AM
Keep the revolver. I keep a revolver around the house because my wife would have to use it too. I have autos but the revolver is better for my wife. She doesn't shoot real often so I would worry about jams, safeties and decockers with her. With the revolver she can just point and shoot. Mark

December 31, 2002, 10:34 AM
Keep the Security Six. If your wife can handle your K-38 then she can handle your Security Six loaded with .38 special loads. I would use Federal 125 gr. JHP+P or Remington 125 gr. SJHP+P. A little better .38 load is the Winchester 158 gr. lead hollowpoint but it will recoil more. If she can handle the 158's then maybe try the Winchester .357 magnum 110 gr. JHP because felt recoil is about the same.

I bought my wife a Ruger P-95 (9mm) because she had trouble pulling a revolver's trigger. The revolver was my first choice for her. The 9mm does work better on the streets than a .38 special.

3 gun
December 31, 2002, 12:16 PM
You have a pistol of decent power, that works, and you both can use well. Why change? If you must, get the auto, but I wouldn't sell the Ruger.

December 31, 2002, 12:21 PM
Keep the revolver & just hunt around for a really good deal on an auto.

December 31, 2002, 12:40 PM
Keep that revolver.

Marko Kloos
December 31, 2002, 12:40 PM
Keep the wheelgun. You have a damn-near "universal" handgun with that .357. You can feed it a wide variety of ammo, from very mild .38 Special to screaming .357 Magnum. It is totally ammo-insensitive, and easy to operate and make safe. The Magnum loads out of that short barrel are still hitting with authority.

Get the auto later on, but keep the revolver.

December 31, 2002, 02:35 PM
Keep the Revolver.

I was in the same boat few years back, after the wife feels comfortable with the auto, I trade my Ruger in with some lost for an auto, then I day, I loaded an empty shell in a full mag and let the wife try to clear them out, she have has a heck of a time to rack that slide, after that I ended up get another wheel gun for her, of-course I took the Auto back for me :D .

December 31, 2002, 03:54 PM
I love 9mm autos, and you should probably get one. But don't you dare trade your Ruger in.

December 31, 2002, 03:57 PM
Keep the revolver.

Felonious Monk
December 31, 2002, 04:07 PM
Keep the revolver. I keep a revolver around the house because my wife would have to use it too. I have autos but the revolver is better for my wife. She doesn't shoot real often so I would worry about jams, safeties and decockers with her. With the revolver she can just point and shoot. Mark
Yeah. What Mark said.

You want it for protection, right? A 9mm s/a is not going to protect you any better than the .357 wheelgun.
It MAY however, introduce additional opportunities for failure into the equation. Keep it simple.

J Miller
December 31, 2002, 05:34 PM
I voted for you to keep the wheel gun.
Since you are using it in your truck I tend to think this way. Trucks are dirty. Anything kept in them will be subject to dirt.
In this enviroment I would trust a revolver more than and auto.
Caliber is to me a non choice. I am not a 9mm fan at all, I would prefer to carry that Ruger with a good stout .357 load.

Just MHO

December 31, 2002, 05:45 PM
Keep the wheel gun--never get rid of wheel gun

If you want a semi, get one. basic rule of firearm purchase. Gun has to fit shooter, be reliable , in a platform of large enough caliber that shooter attains consistent hits-accurate.

Gun magazines and tables and charts are great. but you gotta handle and choose for YOU...oh shoot dirt to see what ammo does. load shoot repeat-often

my .02

December 31, 2002, 09:37 PM
Keep the revolver.

December 31, 2002, 09:57 PM
and buy her a SP-101 first chance you get. This has got to be the best ladies' .357 ever built, the grips seem to fit most gals just right and the dang things shoot like a 4" revolver.

I USED to have a real nice SP/.357/3" until the little redhead got ahold of it- guess whose gun it is now? Can't say as I mind though.... but back to your question. While the paper ballistics may favor the 9, 'car guns' may need to be employed from cars, against other folks in or behind cars, and I'd take a good .357/158 for THAT job over a 9, any day of the week. The other problem you might run into is finding a 9 that'll fit her hands, so if you do decide to swap for or buy an auto, let her try a few rounds through a couple of different models, and find something that feels right to her. 39 series Smiths also seem to work out as 'girl guns', if that's any help.

Take it easy amigo-


December 31, 2002, 10:29 PM
It can never be repeated enough. Never sell a gun. You liked it to begin with or you wouldn't have bought it. You get rid of it, there will be alot of times you will regret it. You fancy an autoloader? Save up and get one. Gun specific comment: the security six is just about the best .357 you can get. It doesn't matter that they are not produced anymore, they are still better workhorse guns than just about anything else. And they are an excellent value.

December 31, 2002, 11:35 PM
Buy a Marlin lever gun in .357 Magnum as a back up. Same ammo.

If either of you shoot the six rounds from the Ruger and haven't solved your problem, you are no longer in a handgun problem.

December 31, 2002, 11:52 PM
Please keep your revolver and shoot alot with your wife.:)

January 1, 2003, 01:50 AM
Forget all that "keep the revolver" advice - send ME the revolver! I'll give it a good home! :D

January 1, 2003, 02:47 AM
A snubbie revolver is best for a "get off me" gun.

Punch the BG in the gut and pull the trigger. Most auto pistols will not reliably function that way.

January 1, 2003, 12:37 PM
Keep the revolver and buy an auto.

January 1, 2003, 12:54 PM
You will be sorry if you get rid of that .357

January 1, 2003, 04:17 PM
I'm getting the impression that I should keep the revolver...:D

Thanks for all your help. I'll keep the Ruger & save a few more pennies to buy another gun (like I needed the encouragement...:evil: )

January 1, 2003, 07:43 PM
I have owned four Security Sixes.
Three were stolen.:cuss:
One was a gift to a favorite uncle. By ALL MEANS keep the Ruger.

FWIW, I now carry a GP-100. I have several autos, but nothing gives me a warm fuzzy like a .357.

January 2, 2003, 06:27 PM
What do you see as the threat? You said a "truck gun", so are you concerned about someone trying to "carjack" you. If so I think we are talking point blank shooting with someone forcing open door or grapping you as you open truck door. For really close a revolver is less likely to fail as auto can be pushed out of battery or have slide hit seat, your body, whatever - and of course limp wristing in tense quick situation. If vehicle breaks down and you want to slip gun in pocket again I think vote goes to revolver. I like auto, esp glock 27 for carry in holster given light weight and small concealable size, but for glove compartment gun I think revolver is way to go.

January 3, 2003, 11:01 AM
If you like the Ruger, keep it.... If you aren't crazy about it anyway, sell it.

I buy/sell/trade all the time, but I've learned NEVER to sell a pistol you like for something you THINK you'll like better, or that you THINK will be a better choice... Besides, you won't get a lot of $$$ for a used Ruger revolver anyway... certainly not near what you paid for it.

Now, having said that... I'm NOT voting that you keep the revolver as your truck gun. I'm just voting to keep the revolver, period.

Save up a few $$$ and buy a 9mm semi-auto too. There are quite a few excellent choices for under $300. Call it "her" gun, if that helps you to get executive approval for the purchase... :evil:

You could easily use the 9mm in the truck if you want, because there's absolutely NOTHING wrong carrying a semi with one in the chamber... :confused: I also laugh when someone suggests that "the slide on a semi can be pushed back and out of battery". Has that EVER happened to ANYONE in a stressful situation??? :scrutiny: A revolver can be made unfireable by grabbing the cylinder and holding firmly... What's the difference?

I've almost always used a semi as my "truck gun", and it has NEVER suffered any dirt related malfunctions. Some guys seem to think that "truck gun" means you keep it in the floorboard or under the front seat, just sliding around without a holster or any sort of protection/restraining device. :uhoh: I always keep mine high and dry, and in some sort of holster or other protective covering.

January 3, 2003, 05:36 PM
Keep the Ruger Security Six or sell it to me.:D

You will regret selling that gun, it is a classic and you won't get enough out of it to make it worthwhile anyway. A dealer might offer you $200.00 for it if you are really lucky but for that kind of money you should keep it. If someone wanted to give you $400-500 for it, then I might change my mind.

"Third, revolvers are very shootable -- a person with less than top notch skills can usually do better with a revolver than with an auto pistol."

I don't think this is true, where is your evidence? I know several people that are not avid shooters that say it is much easier for them to shoot a auto than a revolver.

January 3, 2003, 05:37 PM
BTW, I am not really a revolver guy, I like 9mm autos best and I still say keep the revolver!

January 3, 2003, 05:50 PM
I like revolvers, for thier ability to handle misfires and duds with just another pull of the trigger. I think you`re worrying about ballistics too much between the two. One or two good shots in the boiler room, and anyone will go down, reguardless of the caliber. (Within reason).

January 3, 2003, 08:00 PM
Keep the go round gun.:D

January 4, 2003, 09:27 AM
My first duty weapon was a stainless Ruger Security Six; great gun -- keep yours. I now carry a BHP in 9mm. I prefer it over the Ruger for a number of reasons, but would in no way feel armed inadequately if I had to return to the Ruger. Go with the majority. Keep the Ruger, buy a self-loader.


January 5, 2003, 08:44 AM
First off any gun that I have already paid for isn't going anywhere I'm kinda wierd that way, so I would suggest the same as others keep the revolver and get the 9mm.

January 5, 2003, 09:37 AM
I said get the auto ...but of course I have to qualify that.

First, can you have both?

Also I'm not a fan of 9mm but neither am I a fan of .38spl either.

Advantages of the auto are: Greater capacity & having Mags. Thats about it. If you do trade. Take your wife to the range and get her comfortable with the controls. She may like a 9mm auto.

January 5, 2003, 09:52 AM
Forget the bottomfeeder and keep the revolver;)

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