revolver vs. autoloader cc


August 20, 2009, 12:18 PM
I'm sure this question has been beat to death, but I did a search and could not find anything on it. My question is what is more reliable, concealable, etc. as the title states it is a question for concealed carry. I really like the revolver held a couple in hand and absolutely love the feel, also have held a few 1911's and love them as well. I would plan on either a 3-4" revolver, and either a full-size or 4.25" autoloader particularly the DW CBOB or STI ranger II. The break-in period with the autoloaders and the need of heavy lube is a little of a worry to me where as the the revolver does not need a Break-in. Anyway tell me what is what, tell me what y'all think as long as it is a true opinion. Thanks for any info and opinions.

If you enjoyed reading about "revolver vs. autoloader cc" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
August 20, 2009, 12:37 PM
You can conceal anything you are willing to. Most any good revo or autoloader will be more then reliable enough. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

All that being said for me personally the J frame sized revolver is just about the best answer to the CC question. It balances reliability caliber safety customization size and a good many close combat attributes very nicely. Ymmv of course.

chris in va
August 20, 2009, 12:49 PM
Get some handgun training first, then go rent a few and see what floats your boat. Your question indicates you have very limited experience with handguns so that's where I would start.

Blue Brick
August 20, 2009, 01:16 PM

August 20, 2009, 02:01 PM
Not sure what you mean about heavy lubricant. None of mine require more than a little light gun oil. Break-in depends on the gun. My XD has about 5000 rounds through it with zero malfunctions and has been perfect since day 1. My CZ malfuncted a couple times in the first 200 round, but has been flawless since. My Kahr only malfunctions if I put more than 200 rounds through it between cleanings (the clearances in that gun are very tight).

August 20, 2009, 02:35 PM
It comes down to a few general things:

-Revolvers can run dry while some semiautos will not run well if they don't have lube.
-If the auto needs lube, then the lube could attract lint/dust that could cause a jam
-Revolvers, while wide at the cyliinder, do not look as much like guns in your pocket or under your shirt than an auto.
-Revolvers are usually easier to draw from a pocket because the rear of the slide on most autos makes your hand/gun combo bigger than the opening of the pocket.
-Many autos have defined lines that print worse than a revolver, but can be much thinner than a revolver thus helping it conceal.
-Many autos have much higher capacity than revolvers and can be reloaded easier in many cases. The mags are also more convenient to carry than speed loaders.

there are a lot of other things that make one type of handgun better than the other, especially when you consider the wide range of guns out there.

The best thing to do is:
-find a gun you can shoot well
-figure out if you can conceal it
-be honest to ask yourself if you will actually carry it. Is it too big to easily conceal? Is it too heavy? Is it going to poke you hard when it's in your waist band or pocket? If it's not comfortable or convenient then you'll find yourself leaving it at home, and that's bad...
-then consider what regular maintenance you have to do to make sure it works when you need it and ask yourself if you are willing to maintain it at whatever level it needs.

My primary carry is a S&W J frame. It's easy to conceal, easy to shoot, and basically needs no maintenance other than cleaning after being shot.
When I can't conceal it due to my clothes, really hot weather, or whatever activity I'm doing then I pocket carry an LCP. But, every couple of times I carry the LCP I check to see if there's any lint, dust, dirt, etc and check that the rails and barrel have a little bit of lube.
I don't have to check anything on the J frame except for quickly checking for any bore obstructions (I do this with any gun I carry just for peace of mind).

August 20, 2009, 03:06 PM
I gotta agree with the advice above that you first get more familiar with the guns you are looking at before deciding which is best for you to carry. This latter is a decision that only you can make.

There are two good reasons to become familiar with the guns first; 1. It's best to know how to use a handgun before deciding to carry one on a daily basis. 2. Only by knowing a gun and being familiar with it will you know what fits your needs and abilities best.

I suggest this...get a gun that you want to learn to shoot well, that you want to master. Set about doing that. Get to know it and learn to handle it. Learn what you and it can do together. Then, in a few months or a year or so, figure out if you can carry it and if you want to. Meanwhile you'll have learned more that you think you have and be able to make a more informed decision.


August 20, 2009, 03:25 PM
Pocket Carry: I'm down to a size 36" waist, and I wear my old 38" because they have huge pockets, and yes i've had to repair the pockets with thread and super glue a few times from weight in them.

Autoloaders in Pockets:
Glock 20, Ruger P345, Romanian Tokarev 7.62x25, Norince Type 54 7.62x25, Noricno Tokarev 9mm(modified to shoot 9x23 Winchester), Glock 19, Glock 23, and once to see if I could do it a S&W 629 3" (not an auto, but it was too bulgy anyways. Mind you I put each of these autos behind my wallet(and yes I could still snatch draw them) to hide the bulge and commonly hung my weight of keys from a belt loop.

Revolvers in Pockets: Ross 462, S&W 642, S&W 60 3", and essentially most 3" barrel or shorter snubbies.

All depends how you want to carry them.

August 20, 2009, 08:34 PM
I feel like the autos are better to conceal and are better because of higher capacity.

August 20, 2009, 08:39 PM
I'm a revolver man myself my carry gun a S&W 340 M&P heres a pic of her and everything else that was in my pockets today.

August 20, 2009, 08:42 PM
We are blessed with a very large assortment of revolvers and semis which will work well for CCW. I went through a wide, wide array of sidearms to figure out what was the ideal CCW for me personally. It's a balancing of factors from the cartridge strength to personal fit and preference. Whatever you get, you must be prepared to practice with it regularly preferably with full strength ammo on par with what you carry. Training is also a major plus.

Keep your options open and avoid narrowing yourself based on conventional wisdom or people's prejudices. Just because all your buddies are carrying compact 1911's IWB doesn't mean that's the best choice for you. Whatever you have you'll need to be prepared to carry it all day every day. I ended up with a Speed Six in a special hybrid shoulder rig I've made based on my own clothing and lifestyle. Some people carry the danged things in thunderwear. Whatever works!

August 22, 2009, 09:50 PM
I have a 340 M&P J-Frame as well and love it but it's a bit big for my pockets so I just bought an LCP for pocket carry and it works great. I plan on carrying the revolver on my waist in the winter. I feel confident with both of them. Just have to see what you like the best but most people have a few different guns for different modes of dress. Personally though if you're going to be concealing a 4" 1911 you can probably conceal any 5 shot revolver as well. Check out the Ruger SP101 with 3" barrel, that seems to be very popular in the belt carry revolver world.
August 22, 2009, 10:23 PM
Some times I carry a full sized M-1911, some times I carry a J-frame snubbie...

When I go to Miami, I carry both!

August 22, 2009, 11:12 PM
Hello friends and neighbors,+ 1 for the sp101 or if you need more than 5 and are big enough (6'4" 250 lbs)or dress loose enough S&W 686p ,357/38 ,7 shot ,3"//IMHO definately revolver over auto, no worries, no chance of jam (unless you are using very hot loads, unlikely in a short barrel)// DA revolver should shoot from pocket with more control (although Iv'e never had to) Would be much less likely to pinch something that will stop action. //To beat the revolver you must carry with one in the pipe (fine for some folks), flick safety and in some cases make sure to use the lemon squeezer properly.(probably takes some practice) All I have to do is reach in and start squeezing trigger. //Looking at an sp101 2.5"(got em down to $470.00 new) but really want 686P 3" lowest Iv'e found $711.00.//On NF hikes I do carry semi auto 4" Stoger Luger 10 +1 rounds ,first weapon I owned (dang just realised Iv'e been carrying that for 30 years), love it but it jams every now and then ;- ) carrying to you... content// anyone think sp101 would carry in ankle holster?

August 22, 2009, 11:40 PM
Fumbler nailed it.

Shortly after I got my CCW license, it was wintertime. I CCWed a 5" 1911 because it's what I had, and because I could conceal it effectively. However, knowing that winter does eventually go away, I was already thinking about a "warmer weather" conceal piece. Thinking about "what would be light/handy/unobtrusive enough that it WOULD always be on me, even in shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt? Or on "just a quick jaunt to the store," or.....or.....or......

I wound up getting a S&W 638, a .38+P humpback Airweight. As a college student, it was helpful to me to have a gun that could be pocket-carried, as well as IWB-ed, so I got the Barami Hip-Grip and Tyler T adapter, and haven't looked back. It's been my EDC since I've gotten it, especially moreso in warmer weather. While I just recently got a slick new holster for the 5" 1911 for the coming winter....the J-frame will be riding weak-hand, as it disappears, and is 100% reliable and effective.

To each their own.

Fat Boy
August 25, 2009, 08:52 PM
I think the first exposure I had to the question of revolver or semi-auto was a discussion in a gun magazine; Col. Charles Askins wrote for the semi-auto, and I can't recall who wrote the other, maybe Bill Jordan?

Anyway, my choice, if I were choosing, would be the revolver because I grew up shooting revolvers, and I think they are simpler than semi-auto's; thus less chances for failure, etc...but that is just my opinion

It is an old argument; try to shoot both and see which one works for you. After all, you will be the one working with this situation.

August 25, 2009, 09:27 PM
Both have advantages...............I carry both but if I could only choose one it would be the 1911.

August 25, 2009, 10:06 PM
I'd recommend starting with a S&W hammerless J frame, a Blackhawk #3 pocket holster (and a Desantis Nemesis too if you wear dress slacks), and a couple of speedstrips.

Carry it everyday, (especially to the range and shoot it a lot...) You'll have a fine all-around starter-kit there, some good stuff you'll never regret owning, and a great start on figuring out what you may like even better.


August 25, 2009, 10:22 PM
There is a pretty good thread going on right now about the Ruger LCR. It may be a good consideration.

A J frame goes with me almost everywhere. The LCR is about the same size, but a bit less expensive.

I've heard great things about the CBOB and Ranger, also, but they are larger and a bit less concealable.

August 26, 2009, 11:58 PM

I know nothing of you. Are you completely new to shooting? Do you have any experience? And, do you plan on being a SHOOTER or, just go shoot every once in awhile?

With little or no experience and, not really wanting to be a shooter on a regular basis, I would advise you to get a good revolver and call it a day. You will be as well armed as you will likely ever need to be. If you decide you want to be a real honest to goodness shooter, lots of ammo...lots of time at the range...practice and training yourself to be the best you can be, maybe an auto is in your future...will it also be a home defense gun? Is the significant other (if there is one) going to devote time and practice to shooting? If not, I would go back to a revolver.

I am a shooter...Firearms instructor..Sub gun instructor..Certified Peace Officer Instructor..Shot IPSC in the early 80's pretty seriously. I have some of the finest handguns known to man...Sig..HK...A wilson .45 among others...And, the vast majority of the time, off duty, I carry a plain old Smith & Wesson Model 65 3" barrel K frame .357 Magnum. It works. It works well. It doesn't care if you limp wrist it, it doesn't care if you are on your back in an alley getting the stuffings kicked out of you by two neanderathals with steel toed boots and you can barely get a crappy grip with your left hand and pull the trigger with your will still go "bang'.

Get a little trigger time...take a few classes...borrow or rent a few guns (if you are in the DFW area, PM me, you supply the ammo, I'll supply a handful of choices for you) and, make an informed decision...

August 27, 2009, 05:21 AM
IMO it's really as simple as this....
1. Find a handgun that feels good in your hand because if you like it you will practice more.
2. Find a gun you can shoot well because all the ammo in the world will mean nothing if you don't hit what you shoot at.
3. Dry firing as practice is just as good or sometimes even better than shooting live ammo.
4. Practice a lot and when you think you have done enough practice, practice some more.

BTW, good holsters are important but also buy a good wide "gun" belt too. It will aid in comfort and concealing your handgun well. Now, doesn't that sound simple?

August 27, 2009, 01:26 PM
The best one to carry is the one that works best for you, regardless of whether it's a wheel gun or a semi-automatic. You've got to be willing to spend some quality range time with a number of guns and to keep an open mind; somewhere along the line, you'll find the one gun that best fits your hand and eye -- and it may not be what you had envisioned at all.

August 27, 2009, 02:36 PM
And don't be surprised if you change your mind about how and what to carry. I went through several iterations before I settle (pretty much) on a 1911 in a Silent Thunder IWB holster for every day carry. Some situations require a different solution.

Mad Magyar
August 27, 2009, 02:54 PM
what is more reliable, concealable
Reliable: revolver, not even close...
Concealable: autoloader due to the dreaded cylinder bulge.
The idea that one' size or clothing can bridge the gap in concealness, perhaps slightly....

August 27, 2009, 03:01 PM
IMO it's really as simple as this....
1. Find a handgun that feels good in your hand because if you like it you will practice more.
2. Find a gun you can shoot well because all the ammo in the world will mean nothing if you don't hit what you shoot at.
3. Dry firing as practice is just as good or sometimes even better than shooting live ammo.
4. Practice a lot and when you think you have done enough practice, practice some more.

BTW, good holsters are important but also buy a good wide "gun" belt too. It will aid in comfort and concealing your handgun well. Now, doesn't that sound simple?
+1 I think YOU have to answer this question for yourself.

August 27, 2009, 03:23 PM
The Ruger LCR is a dandy CCW revolver. It is also +P rated.

August 27, 2009, 03:32 PM
Lot's of interesting replies here.
It seems to me a lot of you have a lot of faith in the lowly revolver.
So do I.
I have carried an old Colt Lawman .357 in the truck many a mile.
On my motorcycle trips where space is more limited the Colt Mustang or little Berreta .22 usually goes with me as when walking around because they are easily concealed.

August 27, 2009, 05:28 PM
It seems to me a lot of you have a lot of faith in the lowly revolver.

My good man....lowly? LOWLY? :)

I'll bet that old Colt Lawman feels pretty reassuring in a tight place, as well it should...Now, about that little .22 Berreta....maybe we can get you into a nice Airweight Chief or something.....

August 28, 2009, 01:58 AM
After reading a hundred of these threads, the answer's pretty well-known.

Pistol-grip-only short-barreled side by side 12ga AOW. It's also the answer to the 9mm vs 45cal debate. Handy, that.

August 28, 2009, 02:33 AM
Hello friends and neighbors / revolver , solid, dependable ,few failure points, not too much to think about in extreme situations , point and pull ////. I have 357 but have been told repeatedly "too much, might take out BG and two people behind them'' , or ''take out BG and keep going thru wall''. ///// I carry corbon 125 JHP (does anyone know truth for sure?) ///// So maybe 38. revolver is best to answer question IMHO

August 28, 2009, 11:14 AM
In my humble opinion, the absolute best is the Smith & Wesson mod. 65, 3" bbl, round butt in 357, loaded with 38 spl +p, 158 gr. LSWHP. Absolutely reliable, powerful enough, easy to shoot, easy to conceal. Gone that way for years now.

August 28, 2009, 11:33 AM
My choice would be my Kahr MK9 - small, reliable, and very accurate. I once shot an IPSC match in Texas where one of the competitors used a revolver. After seeing him shoot, I'm convinced that a good revolver is fine for concealed carry. He did a good job on all the stages and placed in the upper end of the pack. I guess its a question of personal preference. Grab a top-of-the-line 1911 or Glock and then tell Jerry Miculek that revolvers suck! Seriously, I recently picked up an SP101 in .357 magnum and would feel fine carrying it with a speedloader or two if it was legal here in **********.

Maybe some of the other members can refresh my memory, but didn't one of the big schools like Gunsite offer a class on defensive shooting with revolvers? That sounds like a fun class to take. Anyways, carry what you feel comfortable with and stay safe!

August 28, 2009, 11:51 AM
I carry a S&W M&P 340 about 65% of the time,
a Springfield Lightweight Champion Operator about 25 % of the time,
and a S&W 586 L-Comp about 10%.

August 28, 2009, 12:10 PM
1) Carry weapons (at least a gun and a knife)
2) Know how to use each weapon you carry
3) Understand your local laws
4) Understand that combat shooting is different than target shooting. Train accordingly.
5) Civilian combat situations typically are different than those of police and military.
Understand these differences and apply rules 1-4 accordingly.

It doesn't matter if it's a semi-auto or a revolver so long as the gun is reliable and its mechanical accuracy and precision allows the shooter to hit the target at reasonable ranges. I have my preferences and will make recommendations when asked. However, it's your choice and you better be following rule #1 if something happens.

Use what you like, but you better be proficient with it. I certainly won't turn you away if you come up to help me in a fight! "OH, that's only a 5 shot revolver in 38 Special! Go home, little gun!"

All this revolver versus semi-auto reliability stuff simply ignores the fact that the two action types have different flaws which tend to result in different malfunctions. The operator must know how to clear malfunctions for every weapon he or she carries.

August 28, 2009, 12:16 PM
Thunder Ranch and Gunsite both offer dedicated revolver courses. There are a few other trainers around that offer classes.

If you enjoyed reading about "revolver vs. autoloader cc" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!