Revolver vs Semi-Auto For truck Gun


September 21, 2009, 12:48 AM
I'm trying to decideon a gun to keep in my truck in a concealed location. I live in the city so keeping a long gun in here is not really practical (fear of theft from anything kept in plain view).

The two I'm considering are the S&W 327 8 shot N-Frame .357mag/.38 special revolver, and the S&W M&P 40 (15+1) semi-auto. I'm not really looking for other pistol suggestions, just opinions between these two.

Either way, I will definitely keep a spare mag or two speedloaders in the truck, and most likely an extra box of ammo.

Revolver Pros:
Fewer maintenance/lubrication concerns
Ease of operation
Reliable operation
Longer sight radius
I don't have a large revolver yet

Revolver Cons:
Fewer rounds between reloads
Slower Reloads
A little louder
Bulkier & Heavier
More Expensive

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September 21, 2009, 12:54 AM
What is the primary purpose going to be? Self-defense, plinking, varmint control (I see you are in the city so unlikely)? Also, what other handguns do you own and do you plan on owning more than 1?

They are both great guns IMO, but if I could only have 1 for everything, I would probably go with the wheel-gun.

September 21, 2009, 12:56 AM
Lone Star,

I have a center cosole with a lip that has rubber mat and raised edges. I keep a 1911, ina holster. and a spare mag (16 rounds of fmj) under a folded towel.

September 21, 2009, 12:58 AM
Self Defense is the purpose, I just feel like a gun would be nice to have in the car for situations where I'm going places where i can't carry, and thus won't have a holstered weapon.

I already have 3 handguns:
M&P 40 (yes I like it so much I'm considering the exact same gun for this role)
S&W 340 j-frame .357
S&W 22a .22lr

David E
September 21, 2009, 01:58 AM
Given your parameters, the M&P.

The revolver will handle long term neglect better, the auto has fewer entry points for dust/dirt to enter.

That said, I hate leaving an unattended gun in a vehicle for long periods.

My "car gun" is the one I'm carrying. If I'm going somewhere that I can't carry it, I take it off and leave it concealed in the vehicle until I return. A properly selected holster might be the real answer.

September 21, 2009, 09:23 AM
During hunting season I may have a chance to hunt and not always time to go home I carry a 357 for that purpose as a truck gun. I have a daily carry which is a semi auto.

I might not have answered your question, but I gave a different view.

September 21, 2009, 10:03 AM
I would get a Security Six or a GP-100 for a knockaround truck gun. And maybe a beretta 92 for an auto.

However both of those are excellent choices as well. If you are thinking of buying them new then I would go with the M&P myself.

September 21, 2009, 10:36 AM
Of the two choices, I would unhesitatingly choose the M&P in 40S&W. It's a very good combination of power and capacity, and my M&Ps have been very, very reliable.

Fortunately, the M&P is also considerably cheaper.

September 21, 2009, 11:54 AM
Hello friends and neighbors / revolver

Truck Carry SD: Revolver
One handed right from start.
Coated cable with lock easily applied, with less exposure of moving parts.( When you have to leave firearm in truck)
Variety of ammo readily available when traveling. .38and.357
Lint/other not as big a deal

Just an oldfashioned revolver guy anyway.

September 21, 2009, 12:28 PM
Eight rounds of .327 vs. 15 shots of .40 S & W?

Go with the semi.

BP Hunter
September 21, 2009, 12:50 PM
When I get into my truck, I transfer my pistol (sometimes a KelTec PF9, a Taurus Model 85 2" snubbie .38, or Sig Sauer 220 carry .45) from my IWB holster to a holster under the steering column. If it's my wife's car, then I keep in in the glove compartment. I don't feel keeping a gun in the car even when if it's locked in the glove comparment, so I bring it home.

General Geoff
September 21, 2009, 01:25 PM
Eight rounds of .327 vs. 15 shots of .40 S & W?

Go with the semi.

Eight rounds of .357.

September 21, 2009, 01:42 PM
If you simply must leave a gun in your car, get a semi-auto with a magazine safety like a Browning HP or early alloy frame S&W.

Then take the magazine with you at all times when you leave the gun unattended.

There are enough unarmed crack-head car burglers already.
NO sense arming them with a loaded working gun!


September 21, 2009, 01:44 PM
The M&P 40 does have a magazine safety.

September 21, 2009, 04:46 PM
The M&P 40 does have a magazine safety.
Not all of the M&P 40's have a magazine safety... it is an optional configuration, at least that is my understanding.

September 21, 2009, 04:53 PM
S&W Sigma 9mm, 18 shots and a triggerls so stiff there's no chance of a ND. :D

Plus, if it gets stolen you're only out $299.

I rotate between a Sigma and this:


David E
September 21, 2009, 08:44 PM
M&P semi auto pistols do have the mag disconnect safety as an option. I have two and neither one has it. (thankfully!)

If that's an important feature for you, make sure the gun you choose has one.

September 22, 2009, 12:08 PM
For me, the revolver wins. Less chance of something breaking / clogging / not getting enough lube / jamming etc. If you just want to throw something into you truck, and forget about it, definitely pick the revolver. Plus, the chances that you'll actually need to use it are slim, and the chances you'll need more than 8 rounds are even slimmer.

September 22, 2009, 12:35 PM
The need for a vehicle gun is puzzling.
1- If you are threatened and retreat to your vehicle ... drive away, or use it as a blunt trauma weapon.
2- If you need a handgun in a hurry, having it in the vehicle is not optimal - on-body carry is much quicker.
3- If you want a hunting gun, a breakdown rifle/shotgun is more effective and can be secured more permanently.
4- If your truck is stolen (and vehicles are some of the most commonly stolen objects), you have just armed a criminal and/or the scum he chooses to do business with.
5- If you try to disable the gun to make it nonfunctional to a thief, it takes too long for you to get it functional. See #1

If you absolutely, positively MUST have a weapon in your truck, go with the revolver and keep a padlock through the frame, with the speedloaders on your person.

September 22, 2009, 12:53 PM
I know you said "these are my two choices," but I've gotta say, keeping a gun - especially an expensive gun - in a vehicle isn't the smartest of ideas. If you have to leave it in your vehicle, I would suggest an inexpensive gun - so, if it gets jacked, you're not out big money. I don't know what the TR8 is running for, but the M&P is right at $500.

For $200, you can get a police trade in Smith (see or for $300 a NIB Sigma or used Taurus. If it gets stolen, it's not that great a material loss.

Your bigger concern, though, over which gun needs to be "How am I going to secure the firearm to deter theft?" You need to be thinking of something much safer than the lock on your glovebox or center console. You've got to be thinking of chains, cables, SafePaks, and padlocks. Everytime you leave your truck & gun, you have to secure it - even for a two-minute run into the service station to use the john - because sure-as-shootin', the one time you fail is the time it's stolen.

Anyone know...what is the legal liability if someone steals a firearm from your vehicle and does harm with it? In Texas, failure to secure a firearm in a home is a punishable offense -- if my kid snags my gun (which he won't - it's secure) and shoots someone/thing, I am liable. I've heard this statute has also been used in certain jurisdicitons in cases of home burglary where the BG stole the homeowner's gun and then used it for further robbery (can't remember where I heard this...not on the 'net, but in person-to-person conversation).


September 22, 2009, 01:17 PM
Of the two you listed I wold choose the M&P in .40 but thats just because I have one and love it. For me the "truck gun" is the perfect opportunity to go to a local pawn shot find a gun that looks like crap but functions just fine and spend way less than either of these guns cost. I am sure you can find a GP100 or similar .357 that has been knocked around a little.

On an unrelated note I LOVE the S&W 327 but thats mostly because I like the fact that its in the M&P line and has a rail.

September 22, 2009, 01:22 PM
I didn't vote because I don't think it really matters between a revolver and an auto. I would just get something that is not too expensive (leaning towards a used M&P .40 of your choices), but functions reliably every time.

I would want something that I am not too emotionally attached to... a beater gun that works. I would never leave my favorite gun in my car everyday while I am at work. Maybe you can find a decent used gun to throw in there.

September 22, 2009, 01:27 PM
the new Ruger SR9 is alot cheaper then a revolver and it has a magazine safety , i bought one cuz i dont want to carry a 1000.00 gun and have it bumped and banged around and looking like a 200.00 gun.

September 22, 2009, 04:07 PM
I'm a wheelgun fan, but I do not like leaving guns unattended in the vehicle; there are times when I have to make a quick on the way to or from the hunting area or on the way to or from the range and I get queezy even on those short stops;

what I usually do is take my CCW (S&W 642) from my pocket holster and place it in a reversible cordura IWB holster that sits in a cargo pocket near my knee on the side of the center console; my leg does a good job hiding the gun when I use a drive through window or atm machine; something 'heavier' that I might have with me to wear while at hunting area is placed on the passenger seat loosely sitting in a cordura or leather belt holster with a jacket or towel placed over it (coyotes in the area, a bear family or two in the area, unrespectables from a nearby trailer park, etc) for entry into the property;

whatever I do have as a temporary vehicle gun gets removed when I arrive home and comes with me

September 22, 2009, 04:13 PM
Well the R8 Revolver has the internal locking mecanism too, so I can just lock it up if I'm afraid of it being stolen :)

I'm well aware of the pros/cons of keeping a weapon in the vehicle, I've read many threads about it, but I think the benefits outweigh the risks. I have a good alarm system on my truck and will keep the weapon in a secure location.

September 22, 2009, 04:42 PM
In my opinion and actual experience with quality revolvers, the claimed benefits of revolvers being more tolerant of neglect, dirt, dust, etc. is highly overblown when compared to any quality modern semiauto. And this only becomes more true with something that will be kept in a weathertight area like your truck. I would not expect any reliability benefit there. The only reliability benefit I see is if you might need to shoot weak-handed at an awkward angle, or otherwise with no support - that might short-stroke and temporarily jam the auto, while it won't affect the revolver.

They're both good guns and are quite different from each other. I would forget any ideas that one has a reliability advantage (except in the noted scenario) and choose the one that you just like better.

September 22, 2009, 04:49 PM
This is the kind of question that only you as an individual can answer. You have to go with the gun that best fits your hand and eye and the one that you are most comfortable with ... and, of course, the one that you are least afraid of losing once your rig is ransacked by some cruising meth-head.

September 22, 2009, 05:21 PM
Get the used semi for as cheap as you can find one.

Like some other posters, I have a hard time keeping a gun in my truck when Im not in it.

keen one
September 23, 2009, 12:33 PM
Given the choices, my recommendation would be to go with wth M&P 40. It's relatively flat (easy to conceal). Can be kept with an unloaded chamber. Reloads are quick with spare magazines.

Invest in a storage case (metal lock box) that anchors to the chassis.

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