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Is it easier for beginners to learn on revolvers than semi-autos?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by C0untZer0, Jul 27, 2016.

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  1. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    My daughter shoots a S&W Model 63 and also a Ruger 22/45 Target model and she likes the revolver a lot better, because there aren't any parts coming back at her and the revolver doesn't spit brass.

    She's a lefty so maybe the brass is more of a concern for lefties than right handed people anyway.

    But I'm wondering if other things being equal, like starting with the right caliber and everything, if it isn't easier for new shooter to pick up the fundamentals using a revolver.
     
  2. dwjwin50

    dwjwin50 Member

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    I learned on both at the same time when I was six. Never occurred to me there was a difference beyond the number of rounds and the way each was loaded.
     
  3. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    I guess it depends. With good instruction and persistence and rigid concentration on technique, a new shooter would go a lot farther with their skills, faster, if they learn to shoot on a (double action) revolver. The fundamentals are a whole lot more crucial to achieving that first degree of success with a DA wheelgun, whereas some semis seem easier to shoot and can act as a sort of a crutch for a shooter who isn't nailing the basics.
     
  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I learned on a revolver. I think not having a lot of slide movement and brass flying past a new shooter is helpful. I also think learning how to shoot with a DA revolver trigger pull initially helps make a lot of other triggers seem easy.

    Have a new shooter try to shoot a revolver double action. When they start hitting the target, then have them try it single action and watch the smile. Then hand them a 1911 with a decent trigger and watch the smile grow.

    I also found the rolling action of the revolver under recoil easier in the beginning to manage than the sharper recoil generated by a slide moving. Now I enjoy both and shoot both equally well.

    Revolvers are still my favorite though.
     
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  5. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    IMHO that's really all that needs to be said on this topic.

    It's not generally "easier" for new folks to fire a revolver versus a semi, but it's a good starting point for basics. If they can master a DA revolver it will make any subsequent semi that much easier to master.

    I'm not exactly a fan a revolvers, especial DA's, but learning them first at a younger age made semi's much more enjoyable.
     
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  6. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    Agreed.

    The "with good instruction and persistence and rigid concentration on technique" is the fly in the ointment, though: Mastering a revolver's DA trigger pays huge dividends in the long run, but it's likely tougher and takes longer for a new (or any) shooter to master.
     
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  7. bearman49709

    bearman49709 Member

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    I learned on 1911s a long time ago, I'll take a S&W revolver any day over any semi-auto.
     
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  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Depends on the individual. I learned to shoot a revolver first, and an SA at that, a Colt New Frontier .22. But I've taught people with .22 autos, and they took to it like a duck to water. (usually.) :)
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    It has been my experience that it is easier to teach a new shooter on a semi-automatic. The grip angles complement learning the proper grip and reloading a cylinder is often confusing...no, I don't know why.

    However, it is easier to help a shooter break bad habits with a DA revolver. There is more going on during the DA trigger stroke that it seems to distract from anticipating the trigger break...less trigger slapping.

    The worst thing folks do is to start someone out with a DA/SA revolver and let them cock the hammer to SA. That invitation to flinch is rivaled only by starting with a 1911
     
  10. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I have taught a lot of people to shoot handguns. In my experience the revolvers are easier to start with: no magazines to load, no slide to rack, no slide stops and safeties and take-down levers, no slide biting your thumb, and so on and so forth. Anyone who had a cap gun already knows how it works.
     
  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I don't think so. A good modern semi auto with a striker fired action (M&P, Ruger SR, Glock, XD, etc) in 9mm. They have a easier trigger to manipulate than a DA revolver, and a UNIFORM trigger- unlike a transitional DA auto, like a Beretta 92 or Sig 226, for example. DA trigger weights can be challenging for new shooters, especially during extensive training. They also require the shooter to be trained on 2 different conditions on 1 pistol. The automatic nature of an auto (recoil spring) will dampen a lot of the recoil. 9mm is plenty of power without being excessive, and cheaper to practice with than anything else, with many choices in both practice and defensive ammo available. These pistols are reasonably priced (often cheaper than a good revolver), hold more rounds, are very reliable, and most are available with a manual safety, if you think that is needed.
     
  12. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    Are you saying that triggers that move reduce flinch as opposed to triggers that just break?
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I'm saying that having to concentrate on moving a trigger through an arc distracts the mind of a new shooter enough to off-set anticipating the breaking of the shot.

    Not reduce flinch, avoid it all together.

    I've had several clients who couldn't keep from flinching the trigger as their sights were perfectly aligned on the target. Have them stroke through a DA trigger and the flinch goes away. The longer stroke forces them to let the shot go off, rather than making the shot go off. I usually have my Kahr CW9 in the bag just for such occasions
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    In reality it doesn't matter what we think. If your wife likes shooting a revolver then it's the best for her to learn on. Since she likes the revolver she will shoot more and improve faster. Just the fact you wife is enjoying shooting is a big plus, let her shoot the gun she likes...
     
  15. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    The first handgun I bought and learned how to shoot with accuracy was a single action Ruger convertible Single Six with 6.5" barrel. Like when I learned to shoot a rifle it was a bolt action .22 and not a semi.

    People that I help learn to shoot get one round at a time slow fire practicing sight alignment and trigger control until they can hit the target. After they're confident the gun shoots where they aim they advance to semi auto or double action in a revolver and learn recoil recovery and follow through when shooting more rounds faster. I prefer to start new shooters with a .22 LR so fear of recoil is minimal. Once they have the basics then introduce the center fire guns and how if they shoot it just like the .22 despite the recoil they will hit the target where they aim.
     
  16. cstarr3

    cstarr3 Member

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    Another vote for the Double Action Revolver.

    The mechanics of a revolver are complex, but the gist of it is really simple. For a beginner with a semi-auto, wondering if there is a round in the chamber, when they need to rack the slide, which way to put the ammo into the magazine (yes, I've had a beginner put them in backwards), and a lot of other little things can make learning on a semi-auto a tad confusing. Also, there are usually fewer shots between reloads and pulling a long DA trigger makes anticipating recoil a little hard to do. Both are good things for beginners. The probability of a malfunction is lower with a revolver, and malfunctions and beginning shooters can be a dangerous combination.

    But in my experience, revolvers tend to be either magnum caliber, or are pocket pistols. Obviously, I'm not saying that there aren't plenty of exceptions, and many people on THR can list their favorite small-caliber large-frame revolver in their collection. What I am saying is unless you have a decent sized .357 revolver that you can shoot .38 special out of, the recoil of many revolvers might be off-putting to beginners. As for me, my first revolver was a S&W 460V, so having beginners shoot a DA revolver as their first gun was out of the question.
     
  17. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    ^^^^^^

    That is where 32 caliber shines. 32 S&W long only "sort of" has recoil. It is a great next step. And after that there's 32 H&R magnum! :)
     
  18. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have taught new shooters with both and find that they seem to do well with either the semi-auto or revolver, in single action mode. I always make it a fundamental point explaining how the semi-auto works (how the slide works, trigger function, safeties, etc.), so there are no "surprises" when the they first use it. For most shooters moving into centerfire handguns I have found it's easier to teach them using single action semi-autos versus double action revolvers.
     
  19. cstarr3

    cstarr3 Member

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    And then there is the .327 Federal Magnum. :D

    But the .327 is like bigfoot or Nessy. I have read stories about it, I have seen pictures of it, and some people even swear they have had first-hand account of them. And yet I have never seen one myself. But I am to understand that it is a lot of fun to shoot (that is coming mostly from people with experience, not from beginners, so I am not sure if that would be any good for the OP's stated use). Nevertheless, I am still ending my nightly prayers with "...and please give Ruger the motivation and wherewithal to start manufacturing the 4.2" barrel GP-100 in .327 Mag again before in falls off of California's hadngun list... Amen."
     
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  20. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I vote for for learning on DA revolver. Learning a DA trigger pull is a bit harder than that of a DA a SA or striker fired semi auto. Once you've learned that everything else is comparatively easy.

    This is also supportive of my belief that a 4" 357 revolver is the best all around handgun made.
     
  21. pockets

    pockets Member

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    I dunno....I learned on a single-shot.
    My first pistol back in the mid-1960s was a replica of a Stevens Tip-up.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I started many folks out on single action revolvers but these days I use a suppressed.22 semiauto of some sort. Lack of noise and recoil helps a lot more than I thought it would.

    One kid that would almost never shoot anything will shoot as long as you let him and the rifle/pistol is suppressed.
     
  23. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I see the LCR and SP101 chambered in 327 mag in my area. I also can think of three stores in my are that carry 3 or 4 brands of 327 ammo.

    If you look on gunbroker, and online ammo sellers, 327 mag isn't that hard to find.
     
  24. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    This question is a lot like the "Automatic vs Stick" argument in automobiles.

    Simple answer though. Learn how to drive "Stick" and you can drive just about anything. Auto only, better only have to drive a car with an automatic transmission.


    DA Revolvers are far safer around total beginners. Fire a round and the hammer remains down. If the beginner forgets basic safety rules and points the weapon where they shouldn't, less chance of a discharge. If this happens with a semi the pistol, unless DA only, is already cocked and it only takes a light finger pull for tragedy to occur.

    I taught all my kids and grand-kids on DA Revolvers BEFORE they were allowed to touch any of my Semi-autos and only then after the safety rules were ingrained habit.
     
  25. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    As amlevin said, "I taught all my kids and grand-kids on DA Revolvers BEFORE they were allowed to touch any of my Semi-autos and only then after the safety rules were ingrained habit."

    I was self taught with a .22LR semi & a Blackhawk SA, .357 firing .38's.

    Then a S&W DA .357 firing .38's.

    Back in the early 70's bullseye & PPC were the only games in our area.

    After firing my first .45 auto with target loads I had to have one for the 2700 game in bullseye.

    My fastest scores in Pin shoots was with a DA 4" .44SP or .38.

    Love S&W DA's. Still like to shoot IDPA with the wheel guns.
     
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