1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why would you carry Revolver over Semi-Auto?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by AirPower, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. AirPower

    AirPower Active Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    does anyone around here specifically carry a wheelgun even if you have a semiauto? why would you pick 5 or 6rd of a gun that's difficult to shoot vs. 10 or 15rd of semiauto that's easy to aim and fire?
  2. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Hello. My pocket gun is a revolver, a S&W Model 642 loaded with Remington 158-gr. LSWCHP +P. It is more difficult to shoot accurately at speed than a similar size .380 or 9mm, but it's also reliable for that size handgun. I've tried some of the really compact autos and had more problems than I cared to stake my life on. I also find the snub easier to get into action from my pocket holster. Others might experience just the opposite. I do regularly shoot the little revolver. When I do wear a belt gun, it is almost always an automatic.

  3. goalie

    goalie Participating Member

    May 1, 2003
    Minnetonka, Minnesota
    Ever fire that semi-auto from INSIDE your jacket pocket? If you did, how long did it take to make it fire the 2nd shot?

    I can think of other reasons, but that one will suffice for now.
  4. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Participating Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    "Why would anyone..."

    Climate, lifestyle, confidence, etc.

    If I wore a suit coat, BDUs, etc., I would carry a largersidearm. As it is, I carry the most reliable, accessable, effective tool that I can 'get away with'.

    For me, thats usually a revolver with a Guardian 32 in the off side hip pocket.

    Cooler weather changes the options available.

    Go with whatever trips your trigger my friend, but you might wanna realize that not everyone has to live and work in the same enviorment.

    Gimme a pair of bib overalls, and I'll wear a 'Mad Max' 2 barrel smoothbore strapped to my leg.

  5. russlate

    russlate Member

    May 8, 2003
    Walker Lake, NV: Flyway of the Loons
    If I do my job right, it doesn't matter what I use to do it with. If I fail to do it right, well that doesn't much matter either.
  6. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Participating Member

    Aug 1, 2004
    I forgot something..

    P.S....Who ever said that a revolver was difficult to shoot?

  7. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Well , I consider some folks pretty sharp around here , and Mr. Camp is just one of these folks . He hit on a big reason - IMO. Reliability . Add Reliabilty with a bigger bullet than a small semi. Lets add to this the ability of revos to shoot ammo - meaning : some semis are ammo sensitive .

    Now I have, I do and will continue to use a wheelgun. Primary or BUG.

    Other reasons:

    - Cost . Many a student bought a used police trade in for a LOT less than a semi , AND the mags. Gotta have reliabilty, mags are a BIG part of semi goin bang each time.

    - Physical Impariments. You don't have to have arthritis or whatever to have difficulty with a semi. Minor surgery, burns, bad cut , broken fingers....stuff happens, them old revolvers are sure easy to check to make safe / ready to use/ inspect and maintain.

    -MOA during stressful situations . Point - Pull - Bang .

    - MOA for teaching students - or getting out of a slump. I have always said a person that learns to shoot a Revolver , DA will be a better shooter - Period. Makes no difference if they choose a SA, DA/SA, DAO....the basics learned will make them a better shooter. If going through a bad slump - revolver re -instills the basics.

    - When I see / read / visit with folks that have seen the elephant - I pay attention. I pay attention to folks whom have taught/ teach folks that may go into harms way.

    Mr. Camp is a right sharp fellow, I consider CRSam to be sharp, Tamara is no dummy, I could go on....

    Have a gun, gun must go bang, must hit what needs to be hit . Revolver fits this nicely I believe.
  8. Black Majik

    Black Majik Mentor

    Sep 13, 2003
    Orange County, California
    ... because some people just shoot revolvers better....

    but hell, I dont. :eek:
  9. stans

    stans Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    central Virginia
    I carry a revolver almost every day, occasionally I switch to a semi-auto, but that is kind of rare. I prefer my S&W 640-1 for several reasons.

    It is compact and comparing it to the compact 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP semi-auto's, I really think the 640-1 is easier to conceal.

    Very reliable, it has never failed to fire.

    Powerful, even out of a 2-1/8 inch barrel the 357 Magnum is no slouch.

    Controllable, at least for me, no problems with double taps.

    Accurate, moreso than my skills allow.

    Can be repeatedly fired from within a coat pocket, kind of rough on the coat though!

    Easy to maintain.

    Easy to operate.
  10. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Participating Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Central WA
    Safe. I'm puttin' something in my front pocket, I want it to have a long, (relatively) hard Double Action pull. I wanna know if it's loaded at a glance.

    And, I want it to be a 357 magnum.
  11. PBIR

    PBIR Member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Middle TN
    1) Less prone to malfunction. If it doesn't fire, just pull the trigger again. No tap rack drill needed.

    2) You don't have to worry about the weapon being knocked out of battery in a true cqb situation.
  12. gvass

    gvass Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    "why would you pick 5 or 6rd of a gun that's difficult to shoot vs. 10 or 15rd of "


    Do not really need any more justification. Revolver is the king of civilian selfedefence handguns. Period.
  13. Preacherman

    Preacherman Elder

    Dec 20, 2002
    Louisiana, USA
    I used to carry semi-auto's extensively, and revolvers only for use as BUG's, but this has changed in recent years.

    Firstly, in training disabled or handicapped shooters, I've noticed that many of them simply can't handle a pistol properly. Their limited upper body and/or arm strength makes "limp-wristing" a fact of life. Now, in a combat situation, one is very likely indeed to be shooting from the ground, having been knocked down; or with one hand, using the other to fend off an attacker at close range; or after being shot or stabbed oneself, and having to shoot with that impairment. Given these circumstances, the chances of "limp-wristing" a pistol are very real. It's a problem that simply doesn't arise with a revolver.

    Secondly, pistols are notoriously ammo-sensitive. There are some (e.g. Glock, SIG, etc.) that feed almost anything with monotonous reliability: but others (including the fabled 1911) need a certain type of bullet to feed reliably. All of them need a certain amount of power to cycle reliably. All of them, to a greater or lesser extent, rely on lubrication and a lack of dirt in the action to work properly. A revolver is less susceptible to these problems: it will feed anything, anytime; it will fire irrespective of the power level of the bullet; and it will shoot at least a few rounds even if bone dry and covered with dust and dirt.

    Third, simplicity of action is of major importance. One's fine motor skills tend to degrade significantly in a high-stress environment. One needs no fine motor skills at all to fire a revolver, but several of them to use the average pistol, what with safeties. slide stops, etc. Also, in certain situations (e.g. with the muzzle pushed into the torso of one's attacker, or the gun grasped by one's assailant) a pistol slide can be pushed "out of battery", meaning that the gun will not fire and/or will not cycle the action if fired. A revolver suffers rather less from this handicap (although if the cylinder is grasped, it can be prevented from turning, so a revolver isn't altogether immune).

    Fourthly, a well-tuned and well-set-up revolver will rival most autopistols in accuracy and ease of use. A good action job makes the double-action trigger pull a joy to use. A moonclip conversion means that speed of reloading is almost identical to most autopistols, and a speedloader is not too far behind. A decent set of sights are OK, but the fixed sights on something like a S&W Model 13 or 65 are just fine for most combat distances (I can get a decent group with them at up to 50 yards), and they won't get knocked out of alignment by being dropped.

    So, the revolver scores high on simplicity, reliability, etc. I'm finding myself carrying a revolver more often than a pistol these days - and I've been in more shooting encounters than I care to remember (18 years in a civil war situation will do that to you). I feel very confident in my ability to handle a revolver at least as accurately as a pistol, and the 5- or 6-round capacity will enable me to deal with up to 2 or 3 attackers before I need to worry about reloading. Also, on my snubbies for pocket or backup carry, I've fitted Crimson Trace laser grips, which give an instant sight picture even if I can't use the sights! Very useful accessory, that...

    Works for me!
  14. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Del City, Okla
    I carried an auto for years, but always wondered why I couldn't shoot it as well as I did my revolvers. Then one day, I started wondering why I wasn't carrying what I shot best. And like a fella once told me on TFL, "it's hard to argue with 5 shots of 357, you can try, but you're gonna bleed".
  15. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 22, 2002
    Kampong Cham, Cambodia
    You might say that a revolver is hard to shoot, but I have taken a 5 shot S&W 940 J frame with Moonclipped 9mms and shot 15 shots taking 2 reloads and fired faster and more accurately than a person shooting a Glock 19 and a full 15 round mag.

    I have a Glock 19 and a 1911 and would carry a revo before an auto.
  16. Malamute

    Malamute Senior Member

    May 12, 2004
    Rocky Mts
    Why a revolver? POWER! Reliability is right behind it. I live in bear country, so these 2 things are important to me. I have the utmost confidence in my "field carry" guns to handle anything that may come up in town or on the road also. To get the same power level in an auto that you have in a 29 4" or a SA revolver you have to go to a huge, clunky, awkward auto. The revolver also handles a wide variey of loads with no spring changes etc. I shoot round balls, on up to 325 gr loads in the same gun with no changes to the gun. And they all work with the same reliability, which means they always work.

    Revolvers also can be "point" or "instinct" shot with more satisfting results, meaning I can actually hit with them. I was never able to achieve reliable hits shooting an auto this way. Wasn't able to shoot running rabbits or things thrown in the air with an auto either. They just don't seem to have a "natural" feel for me.

    Not sure where the "auto is easier to shoot" idea came from, but I've never shot any auto as well as a revolver, and most people that I know feel the same way, including those that shoot some competetion. They say they simply shoot better scores with a revolver. To achieve a high level of proficiency with the auto, it takes more practice on average.

    To get the same level of accuracy in an auto that most revolvers( particularly older Smiths)have out of the box, you need to either have an action/accuracy job done, which can compromise reliability, or spend a lot more money than an average quality revolver costs.

    Other than that, no particular reason.
  17. whiteben

    whiteben New Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    northern VA
    A lot of people (small women and kids, mostly) have trouble racking the slides on some of my semi-autos. This is not a problem with revolvers.

    A revolver is a simpler design. Thus it is going to work with monotonous regularity. It has greater flexibility in ammo used (22short/long; 44spec/mag; 38spec/357mag; etc). It is less picky about ammo in general.

    A revolver is quieter. No safety to flip off, no slide to rack. (Unless you are a loon and you carry in condition 1 with the safety already off.) Point and click. In a case in which alerting a potential bad guy to the fact that you are armed a revolver is your friend.
  18. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Participating Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Central Ohio
    Why a Revolver instead of an auto? Interesting question. I proudly own and shoot both, and I can tell you this, I just shoot a revolver mmore accurately than I shoot any of my autos. It may be grip size, shape (Hogue monogrips), or God knows what. That said, the whole thing comes down to capacity. If it's hot, I carry my Bodyguard (Smith 649), but if I can carry a covering garment, it's my Glock.

    But, for those rare occassions when I can carry openly, and concealment means nothing, and bragging rights may be on the line, it's my revolvers that go on my hip.
  19. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Home Of The First Capitol Of The Confederate State
    Greeting's All-

    Air Power I have been known to alternate between a SIG
    P220A in .45 ACP, and a old model Smith & Wesson 60 in .38 SPL.
    I think most member's will agree, it is dependent on the dress of
    the day, and what the situation dictates. I favor the P220, and do
    carry it as often as I can; but there have been a few instances
    where the small J-frame Smith worked better.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  20. C.R.Sam

    C.R.Sam Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 19, 2002
    Chino Valley, AZ., USA
    Why carry wheel ?

    Many good reasons above.

    When I had to...I carried a 1911 or 11A1 and could use them well.
    But I also carried either MnP or 36 for insurance.

    Kinda figured autoloader for offence and wheel for defence.

    Used em both in cometition as appropriate.
    Have owned many autoloaders from over a dozen makers.

    Currently carry wheels...of any size, depending on mood.

    All my wheels have same manual of arms.

    Sam... my favorite 9mm is the 9X32.

Share This Page