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  #1  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:37 PM
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Default The Revolver vs. the Pistol for self defense. Which is better?

I think this ranks as one of the most controversial subjects in gun safety. Each has it advantages and disadvantages. The revolver advantage is that you don't get confused by the safety in an emergency, there is a lot less chance of it jamming, and you can just point and shoot. There is a lot less risk of it firing if dropped although automatics now have a safety for that. The one big drawback is the rounds that are available which is often a lot less than in an automatic in a lot of cases.

The automatic has a lot larger round capacity, it is easier to reload with magazines, it has a safety to help protect the shooter with hammer drop, and it can be a lot more compact and flatter than a revolver. The big drawbacks are a load jamming in the chamber possible making your weapon unusable, the possibility of it going off it is dropped unless your pistol has safeties for this which many of the new weapons have, and in an emergency situation less advanced shooters can forget, in a high pressure situation, to load the chamber or take off the safety. This can make these people more vulnerable to attack.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:46 PM
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Whichever one YOU like the best, is the BEST for YOU. Doesn't matter how great the gun, if you can't hit the target your just wasting your time and maybe your life.
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:48 PM
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Ah, the age old question.
The answer to which is better is this: The one you have with you when you need it.
It's not really that important which one, it just has to be there, it has to work and you need to be able to operate it well under stress. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally, I use both, sometimes one of each at the same time. I am thoroughly familiar with how each one operates, and I shoot them well.
Sometimes I'm in the mood for a semi-auto, so I take a Glock. Other times nothing will do but a Smith and Wesson revolver. Truthfully though, if I KNEW I was gonna need a gun tonight when I was going out......I'd stay home.
Jim
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:32 PM
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Which is better?

Why not ask the FBI, CIA, Navy seals, Army Rangers, Military, and Secret Service, along with a couple million law enforcement officers who depend on their weapon to save their life every day and see what they carry?
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:13 PM
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IMHO, what ever you have at hand at the time you need it, provided you are capable of using it.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:32 PM
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There must be studys and statistics somewhere. I think far too much is made of how many rounds the gun has. We are talking civilian encounters here arent we? I would like to hear just how often if at all any gun fight between a civilian and a BG went past a couple rounds!
I know the possibility never cross`s my mind. This aint like a grade B western where we get behind a water trough and try to hold out for the cavary or hero shows up! I cant say when I ever read of a shootout like that! So takeing away THAT senerio, I see no advantage at all with a auto.
Now I know there is also romantics out there with a 12 year old mentality that think they need a backup besides, and a fighting knife to gut the remaining aggressers. Maybe I would be half that bad if I lived in bagdad or detroit myself.
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:42 PM
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FWIW I was a LEO for 30 years and had to use my duty weapon to defend myself. It was a revolver and it did the job. In retirement I carry my 442 (circa '92) & Colt Cobra w/complete confidence.

Before retirement my agency switched to the semi auto so I had to go w/the flow, but reluctantly. Choose the one that works best for you, practice often and hope you never have to use it.

Best,
Old Cop
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:10 PM
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There are so many diverse answers to this subject.

But, as I see it the basic facts boil down to this

Most(but not all)use of a handgun for self defense fall under these circumstances:

Poor or low/no light conditions
3-7 yds
Awakened from sleep
Surprised or ambushed (parking lots,carjackings ect.)

Take a moment to think how well you are prepared to defend
yourself under those parameters. What will your reaction time be? Can you identify your target, with no doubt in your mind. Are bystanders or family members at risk if you fire? Where will your round end up if you miss?

It's not the number of rounds you have available.It's the one(s)that you put on target.

Just my honest opinion.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:18 PM
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I think that a quality double action only semi automatic (without external safety) firing ammunition that you have function tested, has more advantages than a revolver. That only applies if you practice with the gun including malfunction drills, and function tested it with your carry ammo.
If you're just going to the store to buy your one and only home defense handgun that you're going to shoot 50 rounds a year through and kid yourself that you're safe, then the double action revolver is your best choice.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:51 PM
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I have read that a lot of encounters is 3 shots, 3 seconds, at 3 feet. I don't think having a gun that holds a bunch of bullets is important. I have known people that didn't carry a reload. Their thinking is a couple of shots will handle the problem and that still leaves a couple in the gun for the next problem. They can reload when they get home. Larry
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:13 AM
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Back when I was given a choice of a six-shot S&W 681 in 357 or a Beretta 92F in 9mm with 16 rounds, I chose the revolver. No soda can was safe out to 75 yards or better with the revolver, 40 yards was about my limit with the Beretta. Just a personal thing for me. I still carry the revolver on duty, these days it's a S&W 64, as restricted by local ordinance and company policy. I don't mind.............I practice shooting it a lot, practice using speedloaders, and I carry 30 rounds with me on duty here in the Ghetto. I may only need three shots to settle things, but I'd sure rather have too many than not enough.

I carry both types off-duty........most often a 1911, though a M-64 in a shoulder rig is great for driving around where the Bad Folks hang out.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:00 AM
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THe one you are more comfortable with.
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:56 AM
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One of each.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 AM
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It depends on the phase of the moon at the time.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Lake View Post
Which is better?

Why not ask the FBI, CIA, Navy seals, Army Rangers, Military, and Secret Service, along with a couple million law enforcement officers who depend on their weapon to save their life every day and see what they carry?

Because their job is NOT SELF DEFENSE?
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:16 AM
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Not long after IDPA shooting came about, I found a club within driving distance and decided to give it a try.

I enjoy both my S&W's and my 1911's. So I would take both, a Model 19 and a 1911 .45 ACP that was slightly customized.

The club (like most are) was a friendly group and after my first few trys at IDPA, I decided I wanted to try something. I asked if it were okay if I shot both my 1911 and my S&W 19? I would have to change out rigs between shooters to keep up. As long as I did so safely there wasn't any problem with anyone objecting to it. So I paid up two entry fee's and away I'd go.

At the end of a year (we shot once a month), I tallied up how well I fared. It was by a small margin, but I proved to be better with my revolver than my 1911. I was more likely to hit faster and had less misses with my revolver. My reload times weren't anything to be concerned about.

That being said, I feel perfectly fine with my revolver. The only exception I make are those rare times I may travel into known high crime areas.

And a 2nd factor comes into play where I live, it's a very rural area. No one picks when and where the time comes when they have to defend themselfs with a firearm. 99% of the time I drive a pickup truck. So keeping a long gun available isn't a problem. In Oklahoma if you have a concealed carry permit, you are allowed to have a magazine loaded long gun in the vehicle. As long as it isn't chambered you're fine. So it isn't uncommon to have friends who carry shotguns or AR's loaded and just need chambering.

All in all? I'm comfortable with my revolver and a speedloader. I know I have just a slight edge over my performance with a 1911. Then there are those days I just enjoy carring ole' slab sides with me.

Thanks,

Murphy2000

Last edited by Murphy2000; 11-05-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:18 AM
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Well all you Rambos that carry 5 rounds and 'reload at home' must only expect perfect shots and less than a couple attackers.

Someone posted that at BEST, highly trained officers will score a hit ratio of 30 +/- percent. Put your self in a grocery store where the bad guys come in, maybe two of them, on the run from the law, looking for hostages. They grab a girl and shoot 3 others, no witnesses. You run for your life and they shoot at you, you return fire running, at distance, at two guys. You use four of your five rounds and haven't hit a thing. You still have two bad guys coming at you.

Watch any self defense shooting caught on video surveillance and count how many shots are missed, and how many shots it takes to incapacitate the BG, and if there are multiple BG's it's worse. Fact is, under stress, running for your life, you are not going to be hitting tin cans at 75 yards, and that one shot stop probably isn't going to happen either.

Hey, each to his own. There's a reason cops carry spare mags. I have a beautiful revolver sitting in the safe, and that's where it will stay while I carry my semi-auto.
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Old 11-05-2011, 11:39 AM
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MY opinion, the semi-auto was developed for war - get lots of rounds downrange fast and be able to reload fast, because there are lots of bad guys coming at you.

The revolver is more of a personal defense weapon, basically foolproof discharge accurately, and needing one or two or three shots to get the job done.

As stated by a few here, your typical citizen's self-defense encounter is usually sudden, up close, and a couple of rounds usually gets the bad guy to change his mind. In this case a 5 shot revolver would the job. A typical semi-auto would have a lot of rounds left.

But, there are of course a lot of other questions to answer in order to make that final determination of revolver or pistol.

What is the likelihood I would encounter a 'gang' need to defend myself, and which weapon would I need to dissuade them?

For CC, what fits what I am wearing?

What caliber do I think makes a big enough hole? And how heavy a gun do I want to go with that caliber choice.

Can I recover my 2-3 shots on target at 0-7 yds within my allotted time with a DA revolver, or do I think I can do better with the semi-auto?

And on and on.

So if you like revolvers and want to carry one for personal protection, consider yourself well armed.

If you want to carry a pistol, consider yourself well armed.

Me? I carry a 642 Airweight when dressed up (not very often), mostly due to the smaller belt. I carry a 4513 all other times, again mostly due to the larger belt. One reload is in my pocket.

And I practice with both at 0-7 yds. I shoot from behind a pretend chair, from my back between my knees, on my knees, from a chair, from a chair sideways pretending I am shooting through my truck window. I try to draw and shoot 2 within 2 seconds and hit the paper plate. I am moderately successful with both guns, but I don't reload the revolver very fast yet.
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Old 11-05-2011, 12:22 PM
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TEXAS POLICEMAN HERE, i pack a series 70 colt 1911 on duty but just bought a pre 27 3.5in blue from dave keith with worn magnas and just got my lobo iwb holster, so ill be packing the full house magnums in it under a hoodie off duty as well as when i retire in 3 years,

revolvers are simple the will work filthy if you dont ever remember to clean them all you have to do is point and shoot no safteys to remember to flip off under stress i love them KEEP IT SIMPLE.. just my thoughts anyway from carrying pistolos for over 25 years...

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Old 11-05-2011, 12:42 PM
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With hit ratios under the 50% mark in many LEO shootings, a 5 or 6 shot revolver does not sound like an appealing primary carry gun for a civilian. Especially if you face more than one attacker which is not outside the realm of possibilities. Attackers generally don't fall over after the first shot hits them, at at 50% or less hit ratio you'll burn through a cylinder full of ammo and be looking for a speed strip or speed loader in a matter of seconds.

I prefer a j-frame for a BUG over a microsized semi auto, but for my primary carry weapon I want to carry a duty size weapon that fits my hands and that I shoot well that has as many rounds on board as possible.

There has never been a person who had to defend their life with a gun who afterwards said "I wish I had a smaller gun with less rounds in it".

These are just my reasonings for carry a full size semi auto, if you choose a revolver that doesn't mean you're wrong and I'm right, it just means we disagree but can still be friends.

Good day and be safe out there!
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:26 PM
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if you only knew how may times ive seen guns on the department range jam cause they were never cleaned??? tons. dont know if the civillian world would keep theres to eat off of, of course more rounds the better BUT off duty im not looking for a fight i i walk into a robbery in civ clothes ill bet i can put 4 out of 6 full house magunms in you really fast shoot approx 100 rounds every 2 weeks in this gun runs like a watch, heck on patrol all a duty guns good for is to buy me time to get to my ar in the trunk THEN the fun starts...
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:37 PM
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Im partial to autos.
Of course I maintain my arms better than most.
Autos tend to be flatter which makes them easier to live with as a CCW.
being a 1911, I have a total of 9 magic moments + 8 more in a spare mag.
that of course is only a bonus fortifying the important things. Those being accuracy, dependability, and conceal-ability.
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:32 PM
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It depends!
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:34 PM
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THe one you are more comfortable with.
That sums it up nicely. I grew up with revolvers and feel very much at home with one in my hand. I don't feel the same way about pistols simply from lack of practice, hence I carry a wheel gun. If I was as familiar and comfortable with an automatic that would probably be my first choice but at my age I'm not going to change. Go with what you know best.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:20 PM
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That's like asking, "Which is better, a B-52 or a Piper Cub?"

What's "best" depends upon the task(s) you wish to perform and the conditions under which you wish to perform them.

For me, either a revolver or semi-auto are perfectly adequate and I carry both.

Working in a CPZ, I don't carry as much as I used to, but I mostly carry a Model 36 in a pocket holster because it's the smallest firearm in an effective self-defense caliber which I own. A small semi-auto like a sub-compact Glock in 9x19mm would work as well.
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:53 PM
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My first handgun was a revolver, a Dan Wesson .357, pistol pack at that. I paid under $200 for that thing in the late 70's and I loved that gun, thought it was the only gun to have.

Then I had a lengthly affair with a Colt 1911 and it was semi-auto's for me since then. Wish I still had that Dan Wesson though.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:31 PM
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the one you carry is best for defense...the one you leave at home is useless.....I like both but revolvers seem to never fail...pull the trigger they go bang every time
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Old 11-05-2011, 08:09 PM
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I am a recently retired Chief in Colorado. I started with revolvers in 1971 and carried a model 66 for about 10 years. I went to a Browning HP for a short time and then to custom 1911's for about 27 years. I love both semi's and revolvers. Now retired from LE I carry an M&P 340 all the time and have many S&W revolvers, no semi autos at all. I often think that I should be carrying something larger with more rounds but love the compactness of the J frame for every day carry. I personally like the handling characteristics of a small revolver over small pocket semi autos.

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Old 11-06-2011, 10:23 AM
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I live in a pretty low crime area in rural Missouri. I carry because I can, more than I do because I have a real need to. I switch around my carry guns quite a bit. Today I will be in a place where I will need to be dressed up, and also I will have my coat off, and with me. The 638 will be carried in a jacket pocket.
This afternoon I will be checking a tree stand before deer season, and I will probably have my 4" S&W 64 on.

I was a Reserve Deputy for 15 years. I carried a 610 revolver most of that time. I had 2 reasons, Power, and the Tex Shoemaker semi breakfront revolver security holster. Most of my gunfights were with deer hit by cars. The 10mm with a tritium front sight was accurate, and had plenty of power to get the job done. I still know highway patrolmen who carry a 357 under the seat just for deer and cattle hit by cars. My bottom line, I have carried revolvers for years, and I like them.

Later on as a Police Chief I would carry an XDm when in uniform at night. I would switch off between my 638 and 1911 for day carry out of uniform.

I carry a revolver most of the time.

Small Guns: So far I have not found a small semi automatic I like better than a 638 or 642.

Larger Guns: I think that you can carry most larger guns ok most of the time, you just have to work out the bugs. I know several younger guys who conceal carry Glocks, M&P's and XD/XDm's just fine. You just need to dress in a manner that will conceal what you are carrying. Most older guys I know carry a 1911. I have been carrying the 310 Night Guard with no issues at all. It is fast becoming a favorite carry gun.


Your figure can also have an impact on what you carry well.

Then we have a big one. As was said numerous times above, most self defense situations happen in a hurry, and close up. You need to carry whatever you carry in a manner that you can get it on target fast and accurate. I try and carry everything just behind my right hip. I like pancake holsters for all my revolvers, and either IWB or an Askins Avenger for my 1911. I want whatever I am carrying to be where I am used to it being. The exception being pocket carry.

Spare ammo. I think this is a very good idea. I have a 5 round speed strip in my left front pocket at the moment. I have 2 in my jacket in pockets I had sewn in for the purpose.

As I switch around between a 638, 310 Night Guard, 625 3" , 64 4" and 610 4" I carry spare ammo differently. I carry 45 and 10mm moon clips in 2 shoot the moon carriers infront of my holster. In jacket weather I will carry a couple Comp I speed loaders in a jacket pocket for the 638 and 64. In warm weather the 38's will have spare ammo in a speed strip. You need to practice reloading with whatever you are using. Doing your first tactical reload while being shot at in a 7-11 is not a wise plan.

For semi auto's I wear either a single or double magazine pouch on my left hip.

I may start carrying my XDm concealed some this Winter just to try and get the bugs out of carrying a big, wide body gun. A good well researched holster may be the answer. Losing a few pounds to put a little more slack in the pants waist band would probably not hurt either.

As was said above carry what works best for you, and your situation. Carry it in a manner that you can get it into play if the situation ever should come up.

Bob
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:06 AM
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Put your self in a grocery store where the bad guys come in, maybe two of them, on the run from the law, looking for hostages. They grab a girl and shoot 3 others, no witnesses. You run for your life and they shoot at you, you return fire running, at distance, at two guys. You use four of your five rounds and haven't hit a thing. You still have two bad guys coming at you.
I saw that movie!
Read about in one of the Hunter novels, too. Earl Swagger, I think was the good guy.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:37 PM
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I saw that movie!
Read about in one of the Hunter novels, too. Earl Swagger, I think was the good guy.
I think you're right. Some people on here think they're Jack Bauer or something. Maybe wtach too much SWAT TV. And the shootouts he is referring to are usually from convenience store cameras in high crime urban settings. if i worked in that envirnonment, I'd carry a high capacity semi auto with extra mags, too. But since i don't, i can't imagine terrorists taking over the Walmart when i stop in for a quart of milk and some diapers. My new carry gun is a Ruger LC9. 8 rounds total, if I top off the mag before i head out, and i usually don't. Doesn't offer much more capacity over a revolver, but i like a safety on my semi auto's, and i also like the mag disconnect. Now some mall ninja is gonna chime in that I won't be able to do my super cool under fire tactical reload and i will be a dead man because of that mag disconnect. Somehow, I think I'll survive.
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Lost Lake View Post
Which is better?

Why not ask the FBI, CIA, Navy seals, Army Rangers, Military, and Secret Service, along with a couple million law enforcement officers who depend on their weapon to save their life every day and see what they carry?
The gun that has been deemed most diplomatic or the gun deemed most idiot-proof(some choose one, some choose the other)?
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:27 PM
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Now some mall ninja is gonna chime in that I won't be able to do my super cool under fire tactical reload and i will be a dead man because of that mag disconnect. Somehow, I think I'll survive.
I have a LC9 too....well, in theory anyway...my wife has taken to calling it "her" gun. Anyway, I don't see the problem with a reload in a pistol with a mag disconnect...but whatever. I have never had to use, or ever draw, a gun in a self-defense situation (and I certainly hope it stays that way.) I also have 1911s and a H&K USP Compact 45, and they all carry 8 rounds. I do have an M&P 9c that holds 12 rounds. I've never felt under-gunned with anything I carry...since I've never needed to fire even a single round.

As Pete from the Armory Channel says, if you need more than 8 rounds, run!
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Old 11-06-2011, 02:46 PM
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I have a LC9 too....well, in theory anyway...my wife has taken to calling it "her" gun. Anyway, I don't see the problem with a reload in a pistol with a mag disconnect...but whatever. I have never had to use, or ever draw, a gun in a self-defense situation (and I certainly hope it stays that way.) I also have 1911s and a H&K USP Compact 45, and they all carry 8 rounds. I do have an M&P 9c that holds 12 rounds. I've never felt under-gunned with anything I carry...since I've never needed to fire even a single round.

As Pete from the Armory Channel says, if you need more than 8 rounds, run!
I've never seen a problem with mag disconnects either. But some will insist you are at a substantial risk if you choose to own a gun with this proven life saving feature. Many of those are the same ones who think you're gonna be fighting for your life in a supermarket after 2 bad guys have shot one person and are intent on taking you hostage and you're 'only" carrying a revolver.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by kbm6893 View Post
I've never seen a problem with mag disconnects either. But some will insist you are at a substantial risk if you choose to own a gun with this proven life saving feature. Many of those are the same ones who think you're gonna be fighting for your life in a supermarket after 2 bad guys have shot one person and are intent on taking you hostage and you're 'only" carrying a revolver.
Well, maybe I'm ignorant (I've encountered more than a few people and a mother-in-law in my life that seem to agree) but I don't see what that matters for the average civilian. I am not SWAT trained, nor was I ever a SEAL or Ranger, or anything like that...my firing experience has been at the range or out in the country, plinking at cans, etc. So, if I am in the situation you describe above, I am certain to be scared. If there is shooting, I will almost certainly be shooting to slide lock (or if I have a revolver, until it goes "click" instead of "bang") without counting my shots. Once the slide locks back, I hope my impulse is to drop the magazine, insert a new one, sling shot the slide, and keep firing. If I am carrying a revolver, and if I have either a speed loader, or speed strips, I'd have to open the cylinder, dump the fired rounds, and then reload the cylinder. (This is why I favor a pistol for carry over a revolver...a pistol reloads faster and easier for the average person.)

I just don't see how a magazine disconnect makes a difference...I can see it if you want to fire a pistol without a magazine in it, but I don't see me firing one and reloading it simultaneously.
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  #36  
Old 11-06-2011, 04:25 PM
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about the only issue I see with mag disconnect is a hasty and somewhat fumbled draw where its possible to drop the mag in the draw and lock up your gun when you need it the most ... when your hasty and fumbling.
I suppose it may be worth consideration when you have less experienced shooters in your equation who dont quite grasp the "cleared weapon" concept and believe dropping the mag = unloaded.
while untrue with or without mag disconnected it could keep someone from an extra and unintended orifice.
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:26 PM
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Civilians, Learn how to use a revolver, fast, accurately, and learn to reload it too. This requires PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE.

LEO'S, Military, Rambo's do whatever you're sure will work for you under severe DURESS and SURPRISE as in under fire.
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  #38  
Old 11-06-2011, 04:27 PM
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Ah geez, I should know better but.......

The 3 shot/3 seconds/3 feet thing is bull. I've never been aware of any disinterested third party who calls time out, marks the relative positions, whips out a stop watch and then calls time in. Looking at the stats for LEOs, the average shooting requires 3.5-4.7 rounds and the average gunfight (bullets going both ways) runs 6.2 (or so) to 11+ rounds. There are NO STATS for non LEO shootings.

I've been carrying firearms for a paycheck since 1969. Short version:

While revolvers tolerate neglect, they don't tolerate abuse and when they do malfunction, about the only effective immediate action drill is to find another gun. Squib loads, cratered primers and crud under the extractor can lock the gun up, broken firing pins turn them into clubs.

Semis tolerate abuse and really nasty conditions better and generally hold more ammo and are faster to reload than revolvers. They do require more training, so that immediate action drills for stoppages become reflexive and more periodic maintenance but if fed quality ammo from quality magazines and properly maintained are at least as reliable as revolvers.

The big difference seen is in hit probability. Again, going by LEO stats, the round gun generally ran around 20% hit probability nationwide. This went up to mid 60% when agencies started using semis.

Make the choice on what works best for you in your environment.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirrduke2010 View Post
I think this ranks as one of the most controversial subjects in gun safety.
Nope. When it comes to "gun safety," there is only one right answer, and it is obvious even just from the rest of your post.
Quote:
Each has it advantages and disadvantages. The revolver advantage is that you don't get confused by the safety in an emergency, there is a lot less chance of it jamming, and you can just point and shoot. There is a lot less risk of it firing if dropped although automatics now have a safety for that. The one big drawback is the rounds that are available which is often a lot less than in an automatic in a lot of cases.

The automatic has a lot larger round capacity, it is easier to reload with magazines, it has a safety to help protect the shooter with hammer drop, and it can be a lot more compact and flatter than a revolver. The big drawbacks are a load jamming in the chamber possible making your weapon unusable, the possibility of it going off it is dropped unless your pistol has safeties for this which many of the new weapons have, and in an emergency situation less advanced shooters can forget, in a high pressure situation, to load the chamber or take off the safety. This can make these people more vulnerable to attack.
As to which is better overall, that depends on at least several variables, some of which are personal qualities, some circumstances, some other. I trust each individual to be more likely than I to assess his own characteristics and circumstances correctly, thus I am not very quick to make pronouncements regarding what choices strangers or even acquaintances should make. I might even go so far as to recommend the same attitude to others.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post

The big difference seen is in hit probability. Again, going by LEO stats, the round gun generally ran around 20% hit probability nationwide. This went up to mid 60% when agencies started using semis.

Make the choice on what works best for you in your environment.

Just a guess: That '60%-20% ' stat wouldn't happen to be something Glock put out sell more handguns?

The last numbers I read, from the Justice Department, stated there were 2.2 rounds fired in the average firefight.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:53 PM
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Actually, IIRC, the stats were from an IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) study, don't recall the date, but you can find it cited in Ayoob's "The Semi-Automatic Pistol in Police Service". I expect you can also get ahold of a copy of the original study if you try. I always did wonder how the reports could reconcile a 2.7 rounds per encounter stat with a published hit probability in the same report of 20%.

Now, those were averages. I recall a western highway patrol unit that was running mid 60% with round guns. NYPD has had some notable incidents where multiple officers emptied their Glocks with minimal results. Training is the more important issue, but the trigger of the average stock auto isn't as stiff as the average stock revolver, therefore easier to hit the target with. Our average qual scores went up when we made the transition back in the early 1990's. In fact, we went something like 8 years without anyone who required qualification enhancement (PC for remedial) training.

The number of shots/encounter I'm quoting are from the last publicly available NYPD Police Firearms Discharge Report that I studied. At 33K cops, they make up the bulk of the FBI stats anyway. NYPD incidentally, is meteculous in their stat keeping. The widely publicized old stats included AD/ND/UD incidents, suicides, putting down critters and other discharges that weren't 'gunfights'. The first time NYPD only counted actual BG/GG armed encounters the average number of shots jumped from 2.7 to 4.7. That was before they accounted for 'shootings' and 'gunfights' differently. And yes, the numbers do change somewhat from year to year.

Perhaps the most troubling part of the NYPD report was the section on unintentional discharges. 75% of them happened during what most of us would consider routine handling, including loading/unloading. The disturbing part of the report was that 50% of those UDs causing personal injury, generally of the person handling the weapon.

Last edited by WR Moore; 11-06-2011 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:08 PM
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I was raised with shotguns and hunting, no handguns. When I joined the Navy in 1978, I was exposed to handguns for the first time and fell in love with the 1911. I have shot various handguns over the years, but I have always shot better with an auto. I bought the MP45 in Sept. and not a 1911 because I could not afford the later. I have to say I love the MP.

Last week I shot a friend's SW .38 Airweight, I have to say it sucked, long heavy trigger pull, more kick than my .45 and did not feel good in my hand. Though I did hit the target, I would never carry it. By the way, my friend is in the market for MP45.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:43 PM
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Ok I'll toss my hat in here...
BOTH! Revolvers excel at accuracy and surviving neglect, also their great for sticking IN the aggressors belly and sending rounds on there way! They SUCK at in gun firepower and dint stand up to abuse very well ( note the poster who packs a wheelgun yet carries 30 rounds for it.)
Autos excel at in gun firepower, the ability to reload quickly, and can take abuse (i.e. dust, dirt, sand, mud, blood), yet they SUCK at accuracy (except for most of the hi-end guns like SIG and HK) and MUST be maintained on a regular basis!
I own both and have used both, they BOTH have their places in the defense arena. Dale
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKC View Post
Well, maybe I'm ignorant (I've encountered more than a few people and a mother-in-law in my life that seem to agree) but I don't see what that matters for the average civilian. I am not SWAT trained, nor was I ever a SEAL or Ranger, or anything like that...my firing experience has been at the range or out in the country, plinking at cans, etc. So, if I am in the situation you describe above, I am certain to be scared. If there is shooting, I will almost certainly be shooting to slide lock (or if I have a revolver, until it goes "click" instead of "bang") without counting my shots. Once the slide locks back, I hope my impulse is to drop the magazine, insert a new one, sling shot the slide, and keep firing. If I am carrying a revolver, and if I have either a speed loader, or speed strips, I'd have to open the cylinder, dump the fired rounds, and then reload the cylinder. (This is why I favor a pistol for carry over a revolver...a pistol reloads faster and easier for the average person.)

I just don't see how a magazine disconnect makes a difference...I can see it if you want to fire a pistol without a magazine in it, but I don't see me firing one and reloading it simultaneously.
I agree. I was being sarcastic to the other poster who posted that very same situation as his reason to carry a hi cap semi auto with extra reloads. The avergae Joe Civilian is not gonna get into an extended gunfight, unless he works in a high crime area and deals with cash, like a convenience store clerk. if i worked in a 7-11 in a ghetto, I wouldn't pack a revolver, either. Then again, I wouldn't risk my life for 7 bucks an hour, either.
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WR Moore View Post
Actually, IIRC, the stats were from an IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) study, don't recall the date, but you can find it cited in Ayoob's "The Semi-Automatic Pistol in Police Service". I expect you can also get ahold of a copy of the original study if you try. I always did wonder how the reports could reconcile a 2.7 rounds per encounter stat with a published hit probability in the same report of 20%.

Now, those were averages. I recall a western highway patrol unit that was running mid 60% with round guns. NYPD has had some notable incidents where multiple officers emptied their Glocks with minimal results. Training is the more important issue, but the trigger of the average stock auto isn't as stiff as the average stock revolver, therefore easier to hit the target with. Our average qual scores went up when we made the transition back in the early 1990's. In fact, we went something like 8 years without anyone who required qualification enhancement (PC for remedial) training.

The number of shots/encounter I'm quoting are from the last publicly available NYPD Police Firearms Discharge Report that I studied. At 33K cops, they make up the bulk of the FBI stats anyway. NYPD incidentally, is meteculous in their stat keeping. The widely publicized old stats included AD/ND/UD incidents, suicides, putting down critters and other discharges that weren't 'gunfights'. The first time NYPD only counted actual BG/GG armed encounters the average number of shots jumped from 2.7 to 4.7. That was before they accounted for 'shootings' and 'gunfights' differently. And yes, the numbers do change somewhat from year to year.

Perhaps the most troubling part of the NYPD report was the section on unintentional discharges. 75% of them happened during what most of us would consider routine handling, including loading/unloading. The disturbing part of the report was that 50% of those UDs causing personal injury, generally of the person handling the weapon.
As a retired NYPD cop, I can respond here: NYPD cops qualify 2 times a year for 100 rounds a pop. Most NYPD cops are not gun guys. When we went to the 9MM, they said we'd quailfy 4 times a year, then 3 times a year, then twice a year. If you fail, the range officer will often stab your target with his pen and you magically have enough holes to pass. I recall a guy drawing and presenting his model 10, and a both of petrified french fries fell out of his holster. Until 1988, we had spurred hammer revolvers, but the accidents that occured with cops cocking the hammer made the job switch to DAO revolvers. The semi auto's were all given 12 pound trigger pulls and were DAO, also. NYPD cops have piss poor firearms training, and unless you take the time to do it yourself, you're never gonna be moe than basically trained.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:09 PM
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Pistol for me. It covers both your "3 shot avg SD shooting" and your 3-5 thugs that want to prove a point to you. I would like to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
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Old 11-06-2011, 07:34 PM
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Depends on how much time you are willing to devote to practice and maintainance. Alot?=semi auto. Little or none?=revolver.
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therevjay View Post
Depends on how much time you are willing to devote to practice and maintainance. Alot?=semi auto. Little or none?=revolver.

As far as SHOOTING, a SA is a bit easier because after the first round you have a light trigger. If it does NOT go bang is where the SA is at a great disadvantage, speed wise, over the wheelie.

Each to his own. As I said, I don't frequent crack houses, biker bars, or hookers in the ghetto at 2:00 a.m. so the odds of me, a civilian, actually needing to use my carry piece is like.00000001%
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:40 PM
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Glock .40 Model 22 on duty per agency mandate. 8 Shot N frame .357 revolver snubbie (2.625") otherwise.
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Old 11-07-2011, 10:28 AM
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I should also mention that my decision is also based upon the fact I don't shoot revolvers all that well. I could with more practice, but I started out shooting semi-autos then tried out revolvers, which is the opposite of how most of you guys started out.
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