Revolver vs semi-auto for home defense.

Revolver vs semi-auto for home defense.

This is a discussion on Revolver vs semi-auto for home defense. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; this is an exerpt from my free newsletter - LearnHowToShootGuns If you’re smart enough to know that all of us can’t be in Special Forces, ...

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Thread: Revolver vs semi-auto for home defense.

  1. #1
    New Member Array jtcomega's Avatar
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    Revolver vs semi-auto for home defense.

    this is an exerpt from my free newsletter - LearnHowToShootGuns

    If you’re smart enough to know that all of us can’t be in Special Forces, but you still feel that you want to learn as much as you can…this might be exactly what you’re looking for. I’m going to start with something that may appear basic enough, but believe me when I tell you, WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE GET THIS WRONG!!! In this edition we’re going to discuss why your fancy and expensive 1911 .45 may not be the best choice for your protection.
    Yes, I know what you’re thinking. I just committed handgun sacrilege. Nothing could be better than a semi-automatic that can throw big hunks of lead down range just as fast as you can pull the trigger! Right? Wrong! Consider that most gunfights are over very quickly, take place in a very close proximity and involve the shooter usually taking less than 5 shots. You can argue these stats with me until you’re blue in the face, but they’re true. The internet is full of statistics and you can easily find other statistics to refute what I just said, but ask any police officer that you see on the street what their training is based on and they’ll cite what I just told you.
    Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of it, shall we? If you are not in the military, law enforcement or if you don’t train with a semi-auto on an extremely regular basis, you should not carry a semi-auto handgun for self defense. A revolver is the best home defense weapon for you. I know, I know, an old wheel gun is not as sexy as that stainless .45 auto with the elephant ivory grips. That wheel gun is more dependable though! Let’s talk about it.
    The advantages of a semi-auto are obvious, so let’s talk about the disadvantages. A semi auto handgun is much more complex than a revolver. That’s to say that it’s more prone to failure. It is an absolute fact that more weapon malfunctions happen with a semi-auto compared to a revolver. If the shooter hasn’t undergone intensive training with the semi-auto, the chances for a malfunction go up exponentially. A semi-auto is harder for people of a weaker stature or that have smaller hands to manipulate. As I’ve already stated, in the hands of an experienced firearms handler, the semi-auto has many advantages. Unfortunately, too many folks are less than honest with themselves about their own level of experience. Without a solid grip and knowledge of handling the recoil in a combat situation, it would be very easy to “limp wrist” the weapon and cause a shooter induced malfunction. I really feel that the bottom line here is… experience is absolutely necessary to carry a semi-automatic handgun.
    Now let’s explore the advantages of a revolver. You squeeze its trigger and it shoots. Rarely does it ever malfunction. If it does, it was probably a bad round, in which case you just pull the trigger again to correct the problem. If there’s a bad round in a semi-auto, you’d have to disengage the target, rack the slide and pray the weapon doesn’t double feed. The better choice here is obvious. In addition, if you’d happen to limp-wrist the revolver, there’s no need to worry about the slide cycling. There is no slide on a revolver! One less shooter induced error that you have to worry about! It really is that damn easy!
    Now I know what you’re saying right now. You’re saying, “Wow, this guy really hates semi-autos”! That’s not true! I love them! However, we live in a time when everyone thinks that the bigger and more expensive that a gun is, the better it is. That’s just not true. The truth of the matter is too many people have handguns that they cannot handle in a life and death situation. If you can put your pride aside and evaluate your own personal skill level accordingly, I think that most of you will be grudgingly agree. For those of you that haven’t picked up your first handgun yet, I hope this gives you some food for thought. There are obviously many more points that go into this argument. You aren’t reading this to become an expert. You’re reading this to get some ideas. I hope that I’ve given you a few ideas to consider. Be prepared and leave nothing to chance. Complacency will get you killed quicker than anything else in this life. Thanks for reading. Till next time…
    LearnHowToShootGuns


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Nooootttttttt! Stand back, here we go:

    1) Revolvers have more parts, more small parts, and more moving parts than many semi-autos. There are roughly the same number of controls on each firearm: semi-auto - trigger, slide lock/release, external safety (maybe), and magazine release (and you may have to manipulate the slide); revolver - trigger, hammer, cylinder release, ejector rod (and you may have to manipulate the cylinder).
    2) When (not if) a revolvers fails, it'll take a hammer or gunsmith to fix. A semi-auto will take a couple of seconds. Oh yeah, my Glock hasn't failed me in 20 yrs.
    3) While it may be difficult for people with weak or injured hands to manipulate a slide, there are techniques to overcome that one operation that can be done in advance of when the gun will be needed and the higher capacity and last round hold open lessens the chance it will be needed to be repeated. Those same people will also have a hard time pulling a double action trigger or thumbing back the hammer of a revolver each time they need to fire which will be needed to be done exactly when the gun will be needed most, and do so repeatedly. They will also have a devil of a time lowering a cocked hammer if they decide not to shoot again - leaving a loaded and cocked handgun in the area. I've also seen many people fumble with a cylinder with no stress involved.
    4) If/when the gun needs to be reloaded, it will take considerably more training to reliably line up six rounds in a speed loader with six chambers, each only a fraction of an inch in diameter, in the cylinder vs. one large rectangle into one big gaping hole - especially when your hands are shaking. It'd be even worse loading them one round at a time.
    5) If there was a bad round, the cylinder may be completely locked up or there may be a bullet stuck in the barrel.
    6) Try reloading each one-handed (hint: your knees/thighs, belt, shoe heel, carpet can help with the semi-auto, but not the revolver or at least not near as much).

    There's been plenty of women and arthritic older people sold lightweight revolvers b/c a "lightweight 38 is perfect for ..." only to fnd out on their first range trip that they can't shoot their shiny new revolver more than a couple of times due to recoil.

    You should really take a look at Clint Smith's videos regarding malfunction drills.

  3. #3
    Member Array cjacob316's Avatar
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    buy a shotgun, problem solved. handguns suck, if you have the ability to use a rifle or shotgun, use it. more devastating, one shot=many projectiles, shotguns are made for hitting moving targets
    D1omedes likes this.

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    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    I want as many rounds on hand in a pistol as I can thats practical for a HD pistol. I love revolvers and huntwith them. Also spent my first 20 year CC/n with a small revolver. But as handguns became lighter I also change to a pistol for cc. Caliber I dont thing matters that much, wife has a a g17 and I have a sw40ve for home defense. AR close by also.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Pass the popcorn please!
    mano3, suntzu, shooterX and 3 others like this.
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  6. #6
    Member Array TattooedGunner's Avatar
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    Shotgun for me. My pistol is for where I can't conveniently have a shotgun.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array Inspector71's Avatar
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    So what the heck was Uncle Sam thinking when he issued me a 1911 .45 ACP? Carried it for three years, used it often and it NEVER failed me.......not once! But what do I know about real world experiences. I'll hang up and listen
    If you can read this, thank a teacher. Because it's in English, thank a vet

  8. #8
    New Member Array 1funvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjacob316 View Post
    buy a shotgun, problem solved. handguns suck, if you have the ability to use a rifle or shotgun, use it. more devastating, one shot=many projectiles, shotguns are made for hitting moving targets
    Shotgun settles the debate.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Just passing by and wanted to see what all the bickering was about
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    The AVERAGE shooting may only require 3-5 rounds but, what about the high end of the range? I know I don't want to be the one who pushes the range upward with only 5-6 rounds on board. To me, a higher round capacity is simply an insurance policy.
    "Mind own business"
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    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    Bow and Arrows....................?

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    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
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    Shotgun and my SKS are my main lines of defense.

    I carry a .45 ACP and the wife carries a .38 revolver. We're both comfortable with the calibers and operations of each weapon. She wants to keep things simple and doesn't like recoil. I like large capacity, large caliber stuff, so we're both happy.
    US Air Force, 1986 - 2007

    "To disarm the people is the best and most effective way to enslave them..." George Mason

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  13. #13
    Member Array Eldon Hickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    Nooootttttttt! Stand back, here we go:

    1) Revolvers have more parts, more small parts, and more moving parts than many semi-autos. There are roughly the same number of controls on each firearm: semi-auto - trigger, slide lock/release, external safety (maybe), and magazine release (and you may have to manipulate the slide); revolver - trigger, hammer, cylinder release, ejector rod (and you may have to manipulate the cylinder).
    2) When (not if) a revolvers fails, it'll take a hammer or gunsmith to fix. A semi-auto will take a couple of seconds. Oh yeah, my Glock hasn't failed me in 20 yrs.
    3) While it may be difficult for people with weak or injured hands to manipulate a slide, there are techniques to overcome that one operation that can be done in advance of when the gun will be needed and the higher capacity and last round hold open lessens the chance it will be needed to be repeated. Those same people will also have a hard time pulling a double action trigger or thumbing back the hammer of a revolver each time they need to fire which will be needed to be done exactly when the gun will be needed most, and do so repeatedly. They will also have a devil of a time lowering a cocked hammer if they decide not to shoot again - leaving a loaded and cocked handgun in the area. I've also seen many people fumble with a cylinder with no stress involved.
    4) If/when the gun needs to be reloaded, it will take considerably more training to reliably line up six rounds in a speed loader with six chambers, each only a fraction of an inch in diameter, in the cylinder vs. one large rectangle into one big gaping hole - especially when your hands are shaking. It'd be even worse loading them one round at a time.
    5) If there was a bad round, the cylinder may be completely locked up or there may be a bullet stuck in the barrel.
    6) Try reloading each one-handed (hint: your knees/thighs, belt, shoe heel, carpet can help with the semi-auto, but not the revolver or at least not near as much).

    There's been plenty of women and arthritic older people sold lightweight revolvers b/c a "lightweight 38 is perfect for ..." only to fnd out on their first range trip that they can't shoot their shiny new revolver more than a couple of times due to recoil.

    You should really take a look at Clint Smith's videos regarding malfunction drills.
    Ha. Nice try, but not convincing to someone like me with 50 years experience with both revolvers and autoloaders. Sure, any mechanical device CAN malfunction, but the odds of a bottom feeder ftf'ing, stovepiping, or otherwise failing are hugely greater than for a revolver, particularly when the auto is in the hands of an unpracticed or inexperienced shooter, and unfortunately most people who keep a handgun in the house for defense aren't experts. Your list of implied hypothetical "if's" concerning things that COULD go wrong with a wheelgun remind me of the saying "IF my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle."...conceivable, but hardly likely. There are numerous advantages to the revolver....perhaps most important to me is that, when I answer the door in my bathrobe in the middle of the night my right hand is in the pocket gripping my 327pc or 642--if it turns out to be a bad guy I can shoot through that pocket which gives the advantages of speed and surprise. If I'm awakened by someone breaking in the purpose of the revolvers is to buy me time to get to the 870 under the bed.

  14. #14
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    "2) When (not if) a revolvers fails, it'll take a hammer or gunsmith to fix. A semi-auto will take a couple of seconds. Oh yeah, my Glock hasn't failed me in 20 yrs."


    Hi nedrgr21;

    I'm still waiting for when (not if) one of my old favorite revolvers fail. After 10s of thousands of rounds through any of several revolvers acquired between 1975 and 1980 they're all still crankin' 'em out. Oh yeah, my first handgun, a Smith & Wesson Model 10 hasn't failed me in 37 years.

    I do have a Colt 1911 that also has given reliable service with a host of different loads since the 1970s. It's front sight did fall off in 2008 but that didn't affect it's ability to feed and function.

    I've owned enough of both revolvers and automatics to satisfy myself that the revolver has fewer opportunities to malfunction hence is the most reliable. That very worn Smith & Wesson Model 10 that I've had the longest stays handy for home defense here rather than some automatic.

    The mention of the shotgun in this thread settles nothing since the debate offered didn't include shotguns. Shotguns were made for hitting moving targets but at close range they aren't the "room clearers" that is supposed. They must be aimed just like the handgun. That is unless you live in an awfully large house.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array tubadude's Avatar
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    I've got from 15 up to 33 rounds ready in my G19. Let's see a revolver do that.

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