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Revolver or Semi-Auto for EDC?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Texasgrillchef, Sep 27, 2019.

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  1. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You've mistaken "1911" for the .45 government model. There are plenty of 1911 type of high capacity guns (killed a coyote with a Para Ord) and there are even 1911 grip angle poly guns (see any of dozens). There are even different calibers and alloys and sizes from my Colt 80 Series .380 to my most commonly carried Colt New Agent in 9mm. I don't limit myself to capacity or to materials, only to what fits me. That happens to be the 1911 and the various guns with 1911 ergos.

    As to what people on the internet that might fault what I carry...if I see them in a course I'll be happy to chat with them about it. Until then, its just the internet and unless you're taking realistic training and realistic practice you don't have an informed opinion to be advising anyone.
     
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  2. Styx

    Styx Member

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    True. When I said capacity, I'm thinking of the 7+1 or 8+1 that people traditionally conceal carry. For a few people, anything below 10 or even the 15 rounds capacity of the G19 means you aren't taking self defense seriously and/or don't know any better.
     
  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    It was true when he said this too

     
  4. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Not in my experience if you've bought quality and sorted out the ammunition...all of which you're driven to with training. There are so many semiauto handguns at pricepoints under, around and above revolvers that most should be able to find one that is reliable.

    OTOH, since the vast majority of defensive handgun uses rarely involve firing the handgun and of those that do most involve about 3 rounds fired the argument about capacity if more a training and fantasy issue than reality. It is rare that more than a "handful" of rounds would need to be fired in terror of being killed (never neglect the idea that you'll have bad ammunition or magazines and the reload is important as an option since Mr. Murphy loves the unprepared).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2019
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  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Ammunition changes so quickly and can perform differently in different calibers and different makes I don't make recommendations.
     
  6. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau Member

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    I stopped counting years ago and you??? Two tours in RVN and 45+ years in LE, to many times to count.
     
  7. Jim Rau

    Jim Rau Member

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    It is just common sense that a revolver is less complicated to use and learn to use, but some here can't see that. Most have NO experience with both SA and revolvers but still want to argue that point. In this 'new' world common sense is dead, or so I am told. Do you have a good 'common sense' definition of common sense????
     
  8. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Common sense also says that IF you come up to speed, the modern quality semi is a better all around weapon.
     
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  9. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Member

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    So we're going to whip them out and measure them.
     
  10. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Common sense tells us that it is very easy to learn to load and fire a swing-out double action revolver.

    But the subject here is EDC. Using a firearm carried for that purpose effectively involves more than making it fire.

    Common sense can tell us nothing about what kind of firearm might be easiest to learn to use effectively for self defense. It takes actual shooting.

    The requirement is achieving a good balance of speed and precision--with adequate speed, and adequate precision, for combat effectiveness.

    In a previous post, GEM said that those he had observed using revolvers effectively in realistic defensive training tended to be experienced hands.
     
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  11. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    That's the case, I think I have taken two revolver classes in the past few years and shot about 6 IDPA matches with one in the same period and a couple of specially designed short range defensive matches. Plus, several hundred rounds on the square range, just to practice sights and trigger. That;s plus my usual semi and carbine outings.

    Unless you make the effort, the snubbies don't have very good sights. You have be sure to buy one with (certain models), paint the front as Claude Werner recommend for fixed sights, or practice with the fixed. I put fiber front optics and a white U rears on one of mine.

    Of course, someone will say that you don't need sights.
     
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  12. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Agreed, I have been shooting revolvers and semi-autos in USPSA and IDPA competition since 2005. I shot a dozen or so different Area matches over the years and did the USPSA Revolver Nation Match in 2014. I have taken a modest number of classes for both competition and CCW. I have taught a fair number new shooter classes for USPSA. From that experience I have almost never seen a shooter, new or experienced, that could run the round-gun as effectively as a bottom-feeder.

    Even the revolver-god Jerry Miculek can reload his semi-autos faster than his revolvers and his splits on target are faster with a semi-auto than a revolver firing similar power-factor cartridges.

    The revolver may very well be sufficient for someones CCW needs (I hope so I am usually carrying one) but that does not mean it is better than an appropriate semi-auto.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  13. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    It seems that when comparing SA and revolvers, the examples I read in these threads are apples vs oranges. A Glock 19 is not the same class as a 5 shot snub. An apples vs apples comparison would be comparing the reliability and accuracy of a 5 shot snub with a pocket SA like a Ruger LCP.
     
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  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    A Ruger LCP is 6+1 capacity compared to 5-shots of the J-frame. Being magazine feed reloads are quicker, easier, and less fumble prone. It is lighter than the revolver (~12.5 oz loaded verses ~17oz for a loaded 642/442). It has more manageable recoil due to the semi-auto action. It is flatter and thinner making it easier to concealed carry in many people's opinion.

    In a full-size/duty-size gun I think a fair comparison would be a Glock 17 is 17+1 rounds, 4.5-inch barrel, weighing ~32oz loaded. A S&W 686+ is 7 rounds with a 4-inch barrel and weight a bit over 41 oz loaded. All of the above about reloads and recoil holds true here too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  15. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Or a 4" 686+ with a Glock 19. I find these revolver vs. semi-auto threads hard to engage in because invariably the argument is on behalf of little pocket snubs that are indefensible. Polymer semi-autos are overwhelmingly more popular for EDC because they're only 2/3rds the weight of a revolver that fights as well. Again, I've seen no evidence that having a semi-automatic will result in a better outcome of a fight than having a large service revolver with a powerful cartridge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  16. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    I agree that reloads are faster with a semiauto. Not so sure about recoil though. A 10 oz 380 has enough recoil and a very small grip that will slow down accurate follow up shots. Likewise, a 41oz 686 is not going recoil much when shooting a load equivalent to the 9mm Glock 17
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  17. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have an Remington RM380 and a S&W 442 that I use for pocket carry and I find the RM380 a touch easier on the hands than the J-frame. Its not dramatic but you can feel the difference in a long range session.

    But then again felt recoil is dependent as much on personally perception as it is on actual measured impulse (force x time) its hard to ever say anything too specific especially on an individual basis. But in general the semi-auto action spreads the recoil impulse out over a greater amount of time than a fixed breach weapon. So for most shooters they find this more pleasant than the same recoil impulse in a similar weight fixed breach gun that has a much shorter impulse duration. YMMV
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  18. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    I might have mentioned this but I recently took about 120 rounds of 380 from WWB to various +p SD rounds (Speer, Hornady, etc.) and 120 38s with a similar range of power. Guns were a G42 and a 642. The latter had much more recoil impact. One neat thing was that I started with the Glock, switched to all the 642 shots, and then back to a mag or two from the Glock. After the 38s, I actually did not feel the 380s. I wore gloves (not stupid) and my shooting hand didn't hurt but strangely my non dominant side elbow lit up for a week! Old man, joints. Ouch!
     
  19. Zendude
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    Zendude Contributing Member

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    It’s interesting how the felt recoil can vary, depending on the gun’s design and not just the weight and power of the cartridge. I had a Bersa 380 that was relatively heavy but had an uncomfortable sting. Not much “push” recoil but just a nasty sting. It’s a direct blowback as opposed to a locked breech design. The same weight Sig 238 is very comfortable in contrast. In revolvers, grip angle, material, and dimensions can also have a significant effect on shooting discomfort.
     
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  20. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

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    Lol, ya got to love the internet.I love the small 380 semi, the Micro 9mm and the 5 shot revolver. Do Not care if you are a Certified instructor, IDPA champion, close friends to God, can jump between two cars in a firefight and do a one handed hand stand while shooting with the other or whatever. I carry what I want. I train often, spend too damn much money on ammo and am more concerned about a text message driver punching my ticket than I am losing in a gun fight.
    If you need more rounds, super optic sights, great trainers, your life spent standing in a line to shoot IDPA or what ever, then go for it. If God came down and only gave me one weapon like the one below. I would say fine. Thanks God. And I would get darn good at shooting it.

    LlUmVxn.jpg
     
  21. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I agree, though with a bit less angst. I will take the guy that practices with his snub-nose revolver over the guy that thinks his high-capacity double-stack polymer-framed semi-auto means he does not have to practice. The "Indian" is always more important than the arrow.

    That said if the "Indians" are equal then then equipment can make a difference and the semi-auto is better than the revolver in far more ways than not.
     
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  22. Styx

    Styx Member

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    In theory, in conjure, in high round count training class, in competition, but in reality in self real defense situations that civilians find themselves in, I wonder how much of a difference it really makes... That is higher capacity double stacks vs single stacks vs wheel guns. For all the pontificating from some of the fullsize, double stack, G19ish EDC'ers, no one has really produced any anecdotal examples or evidence to make their case. As I stated before, but it was promptly dismissed, all the evidence we do have and what we know is that it really isn't making a difference in real life situation.

    Semoautos are better in capacity and reloads, but revolvers are generally better when it comes to reliability simplicity. They aren't affected by limpwristing, can't be pushed out of battery, and some can be fired from the pocket... In a drawn out gun fight or maybe even defense against several attackers (all less likely to happen), a semiauto would shine. Having to fire during a physical scuffle (I've seen video of L.E. and civilians who had to do so), while having a weakened grip due to injury, or if you had to fire from concealment, I'd take a revolver. One is only better than the other depending on the hypothetical conjured up situation.

    The semiauto types only acknowledge the multiple attacker and long drawn out gun fight scenario, and will dismiss, ignore, or downplay the scenario where revolvers shine.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  23. GEM

    GEM Moderator Staff Member

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    Please reference from a statistically useful sample when this has happened in a civilian DGU. Bet you the rate of this is less than the odds of having just one attacker.

    We are just going around the pontificating maypole. The one opponent is what always happens. The folks who worry about more are nuts. Blah, blah.
     
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  24. Styx

    Styx Member

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    Don't recall stating that it has happened. I simply stated that it was a possible draw back of a semiauto just as I stated, in the same post, draw backs of revolvers.
     
  25. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Setting capacity and reload speeds aside in this context.

    For similar weight handguns firing similar power cartridges the semi-auto mechanism does reduce felt recoil. In a gun fight this recoil reduction combine with a shorter lighter pull trigger might mean slightly faster followup shots but more importantly in training you can shoot more before you get fatigue making your training session more beneficial.

    I can understand the limp wrist-ed argument when shooting one-handed or injured but I would counter that with have you tried to shoot a double action revolver one handed, weak hand? Having shot quiet a bit of stages that require both strong hand only or weak hand only I can say I find the semi-auto easier to shoot one handed and I have never had a limp wrist functional issues with my semi-autos. Shooting a double action revolver one handed is slightly more difficult and a bit slower than the semi-auto in my experience.

    ----------------

    Now I am going to go off on a competition tangent as a hopeful example. Yes I understand it ain't real training but this example is about the equipment not the training The USPSA classifier stage 06-10 SpeedySteel VII (https://uspsa.org/viewer//06-10.pdf) is a six round classifier stage used in the USPSA National ranking system so it's shot by lots and lots of competitors always setup the same way. You start standing behind a barricade (2ft wide wall) with you hands on the wall and your gun loaded in your holster. On the start signal you draw and engage 6 pieces of steel as fast as you can from around the barricade. So no movement and no reloads required for the stage. This stage is about as equipment agnostic as you can make one in the sport. If both the revolver and the semi-auto where comparable here we would expect the score required to make Grand Master (or any of the classifications levels) on the stage to be the same across division. The Grand Master score is set by taking the average of the best shooters (mostly Grand Masters) the first time the stage is shot at a National match or similar Area match. This is not an artificial number but one based on how well the best of the best shoot the stage.

    GM minimum Hit-Factor in Revolver is 7.70 HF or roughly 3.9 seconds (Revolver, usually a moonclip fed 6 or 8 shot N-frame)
    GM minimum Hit-Factor for Single Stack is 8.97 HF or roughly 3.3 seconds (Single Stack, your classic 1911 is the only thing allowed in this division)
    GM minimum Hit-Factor for Production is 9.42 HF or roughly 3.2 seconds (Production, typically fairly stock Glock, XD, M&P compete is this division)
    GM minimum Hit-Factor for Open is 10.36 HF or roughly 2.9 seconds (Open, your ultra-space-blaster, highly modified double stack 1911/CZ with compensators and red-dot optics.)

    I expect similar results on the half dozen or so other 6 rd classifier the sports uses. In short even the best of the best can't run the revolver as fast as they can the semi autos. This stage has no movement, no reloads, this is simply the time to draw (from a competition holster) and shoot six shots at 3 Pepper-Poppers and 3 Mini-Poppers at 36 feet.
     
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