Wheel gun facts for an auto guy.

Wheel gun facts for an auto guy.

This is a discussion on Wheel gun facts for an auto guy. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have really enjoyed the Combat Carry forum. I occasionally see a post about revolvers. There was a recent post about a Gemini SP 101 ...

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Thread: Wheel gun facts for an auto guy.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    Wheel gun facts for an auto guy.

    I have really enjoyed the Combat Carry forum. I occasionally see a post about revolvers. There was a recent post about a Gemini SP 101 (great pictures!). Several people also reference a revolver as a back up.

    The first handgun I shot was a 1911 that my Granddad brought back from World War 2. Between the age of 8 to 34, every gun I have shot was an automatic with the exception of 1 .357 S&W that my dad had.

    So, I understand the principals of a revolver- 6 shots and sturdy. But would members of the forum- particularly you "wheel gun" lovers give me some insight on:
    1. the particulars of revolvers as they relate to concealed carry
    2. Specific models to research. If I were to buy one down the road I think it would be a .357 or .44mag

    Thank you for your feedback!

  2. #2
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    Array buckeye .45's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    The biggest disadvantages of revolvers for ccw as compared to an auto are the lower capacity, slower reloads and the extra width due to the cylinder. Most revolvers only hold 5 or 6 shots, as opposed to 8-16 or more for autos. With an auto you hit the mag release, insert a new mag, and then chamber a round for a reload, with a revolver, you have to open the cylinder, dump the cartridges, and heaven forbid you don't have a speedloader/speed strip, load each chamber one by one. Also the cylinder means that the revolver tends to be wider than the average auto.

    The advantages are that most people think they won't need to reload during a civilian type encounter that involves a shooting, so they are fine with 5 or 6 shots. Revolvers tend to have less moving parts and because of that, they tend to be more reliable and need less maintenance. Also a snub nose tends to fit in a pocket real nice, and doesn't weigh all that much, and doesn't attrach as much "pocket debris."

    As far as models, smith and wesson j-frames, comporable models from taurus, rossi or ruger. Generally something that holds 5 shots of .38 or .357 and has a two inch barrel. .44 Magnum's tend to get a little big for concealed carry, but it is doable. The kick from a 2 inch barreled .357 can be a bit much for some people, but .38 special is usually considered an adequate defense round, especially with +p hollowpoints.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Away - Health Problems
    depends what ya want you can get 8 shot 357's

    Also depend son method of carry

    here is my 44 Snub

    It's a Smith Wesson PC629 Carry comp

    Smith also makes a 327 2" 357 mag 8 shot

    now if your looking for a small 5 shot J frame other s can help ya i know nothing about them

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    Before Iwould buy a 44 mag I would consider a 454 casell which will also shoot 45 longs. You would also have more knock down power with a large selection of slugs to choose from. I've used a 44 mag to hunt with for years and its a fine gun but with a 454 casell you can load down and still have more power then the 44 mag.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array SonofASniper's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Holy heck a 454 casell would be a fearsome ccw gun.

    I love revolvers as much as autos. Heck I like all guns.

    A good .357 snub nose would be a great self defense pistol, IMO. And like Buckeye said, you can load it down to .38 if the recoil is a little too snappy for you.

    Buckeye gave a really good rundown over all. I typically recommend a .357 revolver to people who are looking for their first defense weapon and have little to no prior experience with any firearms. A revolver is about as idiot proof as you can get. They are simple, dependable, require little to no maintenance, and very little training to employ them effectively. Just aim and pull the trigger.

    A semi-auto requires a person to get out and practice. There are so many little nuances from how to effectively clear a jam, limp wristing, care, and maintenance that the novice can get themselves in more trouble then if they didn't have a firearm, IMO.

    The only drawback is the limited capacity, which is really countered by the wide variety of more powerful ammunition available for a revolver compared to an auto. And if you compare that to the all popular 1911 (8 -9 shots) and other super compact guns (some as few as 6) you will notice there is little difference when it comes to small ccw weapons.

    The limited capacity can be non issue by practicing good shot placement. In fact, the limited capacity may actually be a driving force for someone to get off their butt and go practice until they are fully comfortable. Like my signature says, worry about the first three shots and make them count, and then you won't have to worry about accounting for the 47 additional shots it took to nuetralize the bad guy.
    I will support gun control when you can guarantee all guns are removed from this planet. That includes military and law enforcement. When you can accomplish that, then I will be the last person to lay down my gun. Then I will carry the weapon that replaces the gun.

  7. #6
    Member Array TechGuy's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Post Falls Idaho
    I agree with points above.

    With a DA - double action - wheel gun, it is a simple pull, point, and shoot. With good shot placement, its good-bye BG.

    Don't usually have to worry about what ammo you feed it. Just make sure it handles +P or hot rounds before you shoot it.

    Over simplification here (please don’t flame me on this) but less to worry about:
    With auto you may have to worry about more: trigger - safety - slide release - mag release - decocker - hammer
    With wheel gun its more basic: trigger - hammer- cylinder release

    Easier to clean

    Try a few out and get what you are comfortable with and can shoot accurately. Will not say one is better than the other as that is preference. Have not shot enough variety myself to recommend one make / model over another. Plus it depends upon what you want to do with it, how, and why. Have fun trying several out.

  8. #7
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    Revolvers are awesome. I don't normally carry a wheelgun, but I've done so in the past and didn't feel undergunned. And that was with an old .38 S&W model 10. I plan on getting a S&W model 460V (5 inch barrel) in the future, though I doubt I'll be carrying that hand cannon concealed!
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    I'm fine with my 5 shot Ruger SP101. It doesn't print at all, even under a T-shirt, but I usually tuck in my t-shirt and throw on a button up shirt, because I don't like the grip coming in direct contact with my skin. It just feels wierd.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Revolvers for CCW

    Quote Originally Posted by kylebce View Post
    Give me some insight on:
    1. the particulars of revolvers as they relate to concealed carry
    2. Specific models to research. If I were to buy one down the road I think it would be a .357 or .44mag.
    I have both revolvers and semiautos, and have carried and shot both at different times. Each has pros and cons for concealed carry.

    On the revolver capacity issue, I believe that for the vast majority of civilian armed encounters the 5 or 6 shots in most revolvers will be adequate to resolve the issue, and no reloading will be required. I base this on reading the accounts in the NRA "American Rifleman" magazine of civilian defense encounters involving handguns. Each month the magazine publishes about 10 or 12 short descriptions of what happened in a particular incident, and I notice that the armed civilian generally used from 1 to 3 shots during the fight. The necessity to reload was very rare, even when a revolver was used.

    On the ease of concealment issue, I believe a revolver is actually easier to conceal than a semiauto of equivalent size and weight. This is based on my own experience with many different guns and holsters. The revolver shape is quite different than a semiauto - it has a narrower barrel and grip, but a wider cylinder, and it is usually more smooth and rounded in shape, without sharp corners like a semiauto. I have found that the revolver's wider cylinder is not much of a concealment problem, as it is very round and smooth, as well as short compared to a semiauto slide. And the grip area of a revolver is usually also curved and rounded compared to a semiauto grip. So revolvers just don't "print" much under clothing.

    As for specific models to research for CCW, I believe that the best candidates are .357 magnum short barrel models from S&W and Ruger. I would recommend the S&W models 66, 65, 19, 13, and 640, and the Ruger model SP101. I use a S&W model 66 myself, pictured below:

  11. #10
    Member Array Optimistic Paranoid's Avatar
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    I carried a revolver for thirty years.

    It is, in fact, it's only recently that I've come to the conclusion that these new-fangled flat guns aren't just a passing fad and begun to acquire a few of them.

    I pretty much limit myself to Kahrs and Glocks, since I don't want to have to reprogram myself to deal with little levers and switches sticking out of the side of my guns. Point gun, pull trigger is about a complicated as I want to deal with.

    Early in my shooting career I fell under the evil influence of Bill Jordan's book, NO SECOND PLACE WINNER and his memorable comment, "I'll take a revolver, YOU take your chances."

    I discovered for myself just how right he was.

    I was working as an armored car guard during the eighties. Police were switching over big time to the 9mm and a lot of the guards were following suit.

    I can't tell you the number of times I saw guys show up at the range with a brand new S&W, Beretta, or Browning, and have one malfunction after another!

    You never saw that with a wheelgun!

    Life Member - American Society of Armed Political Malcontents

    Question Authority. Hang As Necessary!

    In God I Trust. Everybody Else Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array kylebce's Avatar
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    I don't want to give the wrong impression about skill. I have quite a bit of experience with autos, and my shooting is fine. I typically carry a Sig228 or Glock 19. I was just in the dark on revolvers.

    Based on what I see in local shops, almost every shelf is loaded with- Glock, Sig, Kimber, XDs and many 1911s. Then way down at the end is one half of a shelf with some revolvers. So, I honestly thought revolvers were left behind- with the exception of hunting.

    Then I noticed some of you discussing them "with pride," and had to find out more!
    Last edited by kylebce; January 15th, 2007 at 08:02 AM. Reason: spelling

  13. #12
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    Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    I was an auto fan until a few years ago. I shot IDPA with some "old" guys who were revolver fans. They shot slower and took longer to reload, but scored higher. They never had to clear a jam, and it was real easy to pick up their brass.

    I started to carry a snubnose after that. I still carry an auto every now and then, but my Taurus 605 is whats on me 90% of the time.

    I also like a revolver as a bedside gun, for the simple reason that my wife or myself will not have to come out of a deep sleep and worry about, safteys, a chambered round, a jam, etc...

    We can just point and go bang, 6 times. By then I hope we have made it to the shotgun

  14. #13
    Member Array 18DAI's Avatar
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    My choice is the S&W M-66 pre lock. I have several of them, but the two that get carried the most are my 66-2 2.5", and 66-4 3". IMHO the 3" M-66 is the perfect carry revolver. You get a concealable revolver, with full length ejector. The fixed sight M-13 3", and M-65 3", stainless fixed sight are runners up, again IMHO.

    I started shooting IDPA last October. I used my HK USPF 40, duty gun, and also tried my S&W 4516-3 off duty carry. I discovered that while my semi auto's were 100% reliable in standard, static, range/qualification shooting, they were not 100% reliable when moving and shooting, and shooting inside vehicles. I was very surprised, at how many problems I experienced with the S&W 4516-3.

    In any case, it convinced me to shoot yesterdays match with my S&W M-19-4 4". My scores went up, alot. I was also faster than half of the semi auto guys with my reloads, using Safariland comp II speedloaders. My 66-4 3" will be back in my holster tommorow. There is nothing wrong with the revolver as a CCW handgun. Make sure you get one that fits your hand, and that you can hit with consistantly. Oh, and no internal lock too. Regards 18DAI.

  15. #14
    Member Array freetrapper's Avatar
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    Why I carry a wheel gun:

    I love to shoot my handguns. However I am more of a hunter than a target shooter. Where I am at here in the mid west I have a much better chance of finding miles and miles of timber than a single IDPA event.

    I have always been a handgun hunter from squirrles to deer. While I have several semi autos the revolver has always offered the variety of calibers I needed from .22 to my 44 mag. Yes I know there are larger caliber revolvers now but for that I have moved up to the Contender and now the Encore. Back to the topic. So when I needed to start carrying a firearm in my briefcase to work I went with what I was comfortable with. I got a littel 5 shot Taurus 85 and I could not be happier. I may only have 5 shots but that little gun is like an extension of my hand and I will lay my first five shots against just about anyone.

    So for me it was simply based on simplicity, reliability and comfort. I am comfortable with it.

  16. #15
    ckd is offline
    Member Array ckd's Avatar
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    Reply to:
    1) j-frames or similar pistols(<2 barrel 5-shot) are often more comfortable and concealable than most semi-autos, are available in 38, 38+p and 357. "Lightweight" made from alloys make great pocket and appendix carry guns. Lack of night sights and capacity limit their application.
    2) As mentioned earlier in the thread, 357 is the max for a small revolver, and it allows you to practice or carry 38 or 38+p too.

    Also as well described, capacity and even recoil tend to be more important if things go sour with more than one advesary, therefore many see a revolver as a backup or wilderness and hunting gun (bigger calibers for bigger creatures).

    My primary is a G23 with a spare magazine and a S&W 340 with 357 as my BUG, though I would feel fine with a 9mm as primary and a 38+p as a BUG too. Just my 2 cents.

    P.S. If a G27/26 was as light and comfortable to carry as my j-frame, I would carry that as my BUG instead, it just isn't.
    Last edited by ckd; January 15th, 2007 at 10:24 AM.

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