Old School or New School CCW


Feb 14, 2015
Leavenworth KS
Before I even start. This is not a caliber war. Both these calibers have proven themselves as excellent self-defense rounds and they come in all different types of handguns. If you could choose between a six round 357 Magnum or a 7 round 9 mm which would you choose and why?
The reason I'm asking is I have a 1983 Ruger Speed Six and a 2016 S&W Shield 9 mm that I rotate in my CCW lineup. Both guns are superb in all aspects. I will say carrying the Ruger all day, it is a definitely noticeable in the weight department. I carry a speed strip for a reload when packing the 357. And an extra 7 round mag for the Shield.
I don't feel under gunned with either. What are your opinions on the one you'd choose to carry, or would you rotate em .
I gave up on 357Mag a couple decades ago but choosing between six rounds of 38S&W Special or 9mm Luger is determined by what I want at the time. I don't feel any less protected with one of my six round 22LR revolvers or a seventeen round 9mm pistol. And if I'm carrying a 357 proofed revolver it will be loaded with 38S&W Special.
"It is not the size of the dog in the fight: it is fight in the size of the dog that counts." Accuracy and speed win. An accurate hit in the face of an adversary with a 22LR is more likely to stop him than a 45 ACP in the arm. Speedy and accurate shot placement are better than had cannons. I carry a 380 which allows. To match POS and POI more quickly than I can do with a larger caliber. Instead of mastering many handguns to be CCWs try mastering one that you can consistently deliver a stopping shot with very quickly. I carry a small dog with a lot of fight, and it goes right for a lethal zone.
My personal preference is for the wheel gun. Why? dunno, that's just what I like. I don't notice the weight of a full sized gun if I have a good belt and holster, but I'm a large fellow.
I don't have an opinion. I would tell you to decide.

I would say only to choose the one that you actually shoot the most accurately, the fastest, and draw the most smoothly.

Relative comfort shouldn't be the issue.
I alternate between. Canik Mete MC9 and a Ruger LCR .357. I love them both, but most times I opt for the Canik. It conceals a tad easier.
I like the Six series and did cc a 2-3/4" Security Six for a couple of years. I always had confidence in its ability to protect me in just about any situation. Here in Florida I was able to carry it in a high ride holster underneath an untucked sports shirt with a T shirt underneath. I now carry a smaller (thinner) SR9c with a 10 round mag that is easier to conceal with a variety of other different apparel. But I haven't lost the love for the SS, it's a keeper.
I see posts about people thinking they are going to place there shots in the event of a lethal force situation. I’ll tell you this, if you can do that during a high stress confrontation you are one cool cucumber. This is why law enforcement is trained to shoot center mass. Yes they are trained for head shots as well with the intent of defeating body armor. Two to the chest one to the head kind of thing.
Early on I use to carry a Ruger Speed and a Six in the colder months. But as I gradually made a shift to semi-autos for overall use, I saw the advantages of using them for CCW and HD. Nowadays I go with a sub-compact, lightweight, high capacity 9mm. like a SIG P365X or a S&W Shield Plus, and a compact size 9mm. such as a SIG P229 for HD.
So as to answer your question, I would go with the "New School" S&W Shield!


"This is not a caliber war." - It can't be because there is no such thing.
If there ever was a mythical "caliber war" 🤢 9mm won based on centerfire handgun & ammo sales so now we can just have caliber discussions.

Gun rotation? Why. Assuming both are concealable the one that you shoot quickest & most accurate is the one that should get carried, IMO.

Revolver vs Semi. Back to the prior point, a shot timer and a 6'' circle placed at 7-10 yards will remove subjectivity from which you shoot quickest & most accurate.

Odds are most people would be quicker on follow up shots with the 9mm semi versus a 357 revolver. (assuming equal familiarity & practice with both)

The difference in capacity favors the semi. With a loaded chamber this is 8 rounds versus 6 - right?

The revolver only gets picked if one is uncomfortable or incompetent with carrying the semi with a loaded chamber.
I think, heavy on the think part, the average person will do better with the 9mm. As an average sized adult when I reached adulthood the 357 is much harder to control and get back on target than the 9mm even when it's a heavy 357 and a light 9mm being shot for me. If you are capable of making your first shot count in a high stress situation then the 357 wins out but how many of us have actual experience and know what our reaction will be? Will we be as cool as the cumber mentioned or turn into jello? I have zero interest in every finding out.
If you could choose between a six round 357 Magnum or a 7 round 9 mm which would you choose and why?
Me? The latter. Flatter and easier to conceal. and I can do better with most semi-autos in realistic defensive shooting drills.

However, I don't know why anone would care what I, or anyone else, would choose. The only thing that matters to you is which one is better for you.

Try them in realistic shooting drills. See which one suits you better for firing several shots as quickly as you can into two upper-chest-size targets, one at, say, eight feet and the other at, say, fifteen. Think in terms of drawing in a second and a half and hitting with every shot in two and a half more seconds.

...I have a 1983 Ruger Speed Six and a 2016 S&W Shield 9 mm that I rotate in my CCW lineup
By "rotate", I take it that you mean that you alternate between them. Why do you do that?

I carry a speed strip for a reload when packing the 357. And an extra 7 round mag for the Shield.
That's great, but do not expect to reload after emptying your firearm while you are being violently attacked.

I don't feel under gunned with either.
How you "feel" doesn't matter at all. Either round is sufficient, if used with skill. The only differences reside inhow well you can shoot rapidly and with control, and in capacity. Six may prove enough--or not. I carry eight, and I would prefer ten.
you just need a lighter revolver. The semi-auto is probably superior in speed/function, reload speed. but, I carry a revolver to make myself go slower and be more methodical, people do weird things under sudden/great stress. ever seen the look on someone's face when they forget the safety on a semi? It takes them a good count of 2 or 3 before they figure it out, and they are under no stress at all.
I like both guns. I would try to carry both. It would depend on your physical condition. If I could only carry one, I would carry the lighter gun on active days and the heavier on the days I’m just hanging out. Back in the day I carried a 7 round 357 in the waist and a 5 round lightweight in my pocket. These days I like to carry my XDM 3.8 / 20 rounds of 9mm and a pocket 38 spl. The XDM gets heavy So I mostly carry a Gen 1 Shield 9 and. Lightweight J-Frame when I’m busy and the XDM if I’m hanging out or driving. 096E5DCB-F6F8-4B88-99A1-F8456237CE75.jpeg CCA6B7BD-45BA-4D8C-9BB8-8B91B3E582D1.jpeg 0CA06F13-7FE1-4A0C-A5A9-0B6F39F269B3.jpeg
By "rotate", I take it that you mean that you alternate between them. Why do you do that?
An excellent point. Whatever manual of arms you carry, let it be consistent. If the poop hits the airmover, you don't want to be figuring out what you're carrying. Having one, simple control (the bang switch) makes sense to me.