HD pistol question... (revolver vs. .45)

HD pistol question... (revolver vs. .45)

This is a discussion on HD pistol question... (revolver vs. .45) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm in the mood to buy some pistol(s)...if my money would hurry up and grow. I need some advice as all the S&W Revolver threads ...

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Thread: HD pistol question... (revolver vs. .45)

  1. #1
    Member Array wondering's Avatar
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    HD pistol question... (revolver vs. .45)

    I'm in the mood to buy some pistol(s)...if my money would hurry up and grow. I need some advice as all the S&W Revolver threads have me itching for one now. I apologize for the length of this post.

    I currently have a Beretta 96 for HD but am looking to purchase a new HD weapon and offload the 96 as it isn't a great fit and I'd like to drop .40.

    My wife is not a gun person at all and I envision her using this if and only if her or our child are in absolute danger (i.e. the BG in or entering the saferoom). This makes me think that a revolver may be the best option for HD (for ease of use for her in a stressful situation) and I am leaning towards something like a S&W Model 60 in .357/38 +P SA/DA and small enough to carry if I get the urge to CC a revolver now and then.

    I was looking at 1911's as I'd like to add .45 to my collection, but for the price of a good 1911 I can add a G30s or another .45 sub and a revolver. I'm not well-versed in revolvers so I'd like to ask this...for HD for my non-gun wife am I right in thinking a SA/DA snubbie would work well for her and allow me some leeway to CC the weapon as well. Also, would you recommend loading it with .38 or .38+P, or even .357 for HD in case she needs to use it (if I CC the weapon, I would lean towards carrying .357). I think the .357 for her may be a bit much and I'm not sure how much difference there is recoil-wise between .38 and .38+P. I also want a round that will do a good job of stopping a BG considering this would be a last-ditch effort by her.

    Also, I'm a lefty...am I cursed to leave the thought of CC-ing revolvers behind due to reloading procedures? Is it too cumbersome for a lefty to reload under pressure ?

    Am I missing some other consideration to my ill-conceived plans?

    Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array GhostMaker's Avatar
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    For a 45ACP you might think to consider the G21, which can pull double duty as a HD gun and can be concealed with the right holster and garment. For a revolver it is really hard to be a Ruger GP100 with a 3 inch barrel. It is great for concealed work and would be equally at home in the HD gun role. These are just my personal picks....
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    A snub nose for HD is just a good as any other type of handgun. You say your wife is not a gun person. I have several snubbies and can shoot them quite well, but I am a gun person and have spent many hours at the range practicing. If your wife isn't going to become proficient with a snub nose revolver, it isn't going to do you or her much good. You might want to consider a 4" barrel in a .38 revolver. They still take practice, but are bit more forgiving. good luck
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    There was the home invader in Atlanta last year that could have used more than 5 shots. She was not a gun person either and had no way to reload.
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    I'd advise running far away from the Smith & Wesson Airweight line of 5-shot revolvers. Yes, there is a difference in recoil between standard velocity .38 Special and +P .38 Special in those small lightweight revolvers and it will make itself known when you fire off some of each loading. Stick with all-steel J-Frames if you insist on the small 5-shot models. Better yet, get a K-Frame for serious self-defense use. A 2-inch to 4-inch K-Frame Smith & Wesson makes a far better gun-fighting tool than any of the small revolvers. For home defense, leave the J-Frames behind and arm yourself with something substantial. The K-Frame is at its best as a home-defense handgun.

    My wife has an Airweight Model 642 with her daily but she's an exception to the rule. She loathes shooting it with +P ammunition but wants +P for self-defense. As a range gun it's just not pleasant for an afternoon's outing. I can manage J-Frame guns but don't prefer them.

    I have concealable .357 Magnum revolvers on hand but most often select from .38 Special models for daily use. I don't see a lot of value in the extra noise and recoil. That's just one opinion though.

    A person is pretty feeble indeed if he can't manage to carry a steel revolver rather than the ones with aluminum-alloy frames, scandium, or other lightweight alloy frames. Ever lighter, ever smaller is so popular but it isn't expedient. Make room for a decent concealed carry gun. Work around it. Don't take the lazy way out.

    If I, as a right-handed person, can manipulate a Colt Single Action Army revolver, then lefties can easily master loading the common revolver with a side-swing cylinder. Don't worry about being a southpaw. It's certain that other southpaws are members here on the Forum and they've mastered revolvers.

    I will not do without a 1911. It is more important to me than any other automatic but that's just personal preference. You have to make the decision on financing your purchases and you raise a good point about the relative cost of handgun acquisitions.
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    ...for a family gun in a saferoom, I would recommend a .44 Magnum revolver with at least a 4" barrel, loaded with Gold Dot .44 Special ammo...the weight of the revolver would make the recoil more pleasant...the .44Spl would be plenty of stopping power, the platform would be easy for wife/kids to learn, and no worries about limp-wristing or FTF or FTE...reloads could be either with TuffStrips or speed loaders...I'd recommend the TuffStrips...

    ...this obviously wouldn't be a great carry gun unless OP or cold weather dressed...but for the safe room...best of stopping power/ease of handling...easier for a woman or child than even a 20 ga. pump would be...
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    When my dad passed away, he left all the guns to me. My sister asked if she could have one for home protection (I was thrilled, as I've been begging her to get one).

    She doesn't know guns, cannot keep track of the steps in loading/clearing semi-autos and has a gift for forcing semi-auto's to jam.

    I chose an all-steel .357 revolver with 3" barrel / 7 round cylinder, and took her to our range with a couple hundred rounds of .38 spl 158gr LSWC, and let her shoot all afternoon. She had a wonderful time and became reasonably proficient with it. That's what's in her night stand now, and I'm comfortable with that.
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    I would avoid light weight snubs, they are not fun to shot and might make new shooters gun shy.

    I like all steel revolvers and my wife has a .357 Ruger Speed Six loaded with 158gr .38's as her HD gun.

    IMO a 3" S&W K-frame revolver is the perfect carry gun, and I prefer .357 magnum mainly because the extra umpth makes me feel better.

    I have 5 shot .357 snubnosed revolvers, but I generally carry .38+p's in them.
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    I have become a fan of the 45, but for a wheel gun, you be hard pressed to find better than the S&W 686. My late wife love it and shot it with38's.

  10. #10
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    I use both for HD. Have a 4 inch .357 (7 rounds) for first floor defense and .45 for 2nd floor defense. I keep .38 SPL loaded in the .357 so that the wife won't be over powered by the .357 recoil if she ever needed to use it in self defense of our family if I'm not home. My thought process was I didn't want to bombard her with too much thinking on how to work the gun, is the safety off, etc.

    I would advise against a snubbie for the wife to use in HD. Maybe a revolver with a 3 inch barrel or longer (maybe find one with more than 5 shots). It takes serious dedication to be proficient with a snub. If this is a HD pistol, make it simple as can be. Do you really think she's gonna remain calm under pressure, sweep the safety off (if using a semi auto), and place the bullets (5 bullets if using a revolver) where they need to be? Only you can answer that question because you know your wife.

    KMB, I
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    Thank you all for your responses.

    Yes my reason for considering a revolver was to eliminate any extra steps for her and to have a dependable easy to use weapon for stressful situations. I am aware that it is best to stay away from airweight revolvers as their recoil can be unpleasant. I like the Model 60 but I can definitely see the advantages of a 686 for HD...the weight will be a bit of a change for me as I'm used to carrying a G26 which is about 20 ounces lighter.

    I'll need to look at and handle some revolvers to get a better feel. Though I think I will stick with a .38/.357 as I like the versatility. I will look at Rugers as well. Are there any other revolver lines that you guys recommend that are good values? dependable but won't break the bank?

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    Just for kicks try the CZ duty it is the best gun on the market for under 500.00
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    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    two of my revolvers ARE in .45ACP - they are S&W 625's. one has a 3" barrel, and the other has a 4" barrel. all steel, fairly easy recoil, quick to reload with loaded moonclips.
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    Look at the used gun market, here's a quick Gunbroker search Revolvers for Sale - Buy Revolvers at GunBroker.com s&W

    Revolvers for Sale - Buy Revolvers at GunBroker.com Ruger

    Look for other manufacturers too. If you are really on a budget you can look at Taurus, but that's as cheap as I would go
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    Quote Originally Posted by wondering View Post
    Thank you all for your responses.

    Yes my reason for considering a revolver was to eliminate any extra steps for her and to have a dependable easy to use weapon for stressful situations. I am aware that it is best to stay away from airweight revolvers as their recoil can be unpleasant. I like the Model 60 but I can definitely see the advantages of a 686 for HD...the weight will be a bit of a change for me as I'm used to carrying a G26 which is about 20 ounces lighter.

    I'll need to look at and handle some revolvers to get a better feel. Though I think I will stick with a .38/.357 as I like the versatility. I will look at Rugers as well. Are there any other revolver lines that you guys recommend that are good values? dependable but won't break the bank?
    I've been shooting the S&W 686 with a 4 in barrel recently and it is a sweet gun to shoot....not much recoil and a very smooth trigger. You may want to rent some of the guns you're considering to check out the recoil and the trigger. They are important considerations and you won't know them until you are actually at the range.
    bmcgilvray likes this.


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