Revolver or Pistol

This is a discussion on Revolver or Pistol within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm getting ready to take the plunge and apply for my Oklahoma CCL in the next few months and I'm torn as to what I ...

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Thread: Revolver or Pistol

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Question Revolver or Pistol

    I'm getting ready to take the plunge and apply for my Oklahoma CCL in the next few months and I'm torn as to what I should get for my first CCW.

    I grew up in rural PA around sporting arms and spent 20 years in the Army, so I'm familiar with firearms, but I'm torn between getting a revolver or pistol. I own two revolvers already, a Ruger GP100 4" .357 mag and a Taurus M85 .38 snubby. My Ruger is one of the most accurate handguns I've ever fired.

    I like revolvers for their simplicity and reliability, but I also like the idea of having more than 5 or 6 rounds before having to reload. I understand that shot placement is paramount, but also that there are situations (such as engaging more than one attacker) where having more than 5 or 6 shots is desirable.

    So while I'm experienced with firearms, I'm not experienced with CCW and would like some input from those of your here that are experienced.

    I'm torn between buying something like a Glock 30 or 30SF, or between my .38 snubby or maybe even trying to CC my GP100, although I'm betting trying to conceal a 4" GP100 won't be easy during the hot months here in SW Oklahoma when you really need to dress lightly.

    Thoughts anyone?
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

    Sig P229 DAK - .40 S&W
    Ruger SP101 - .357 Mag

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Der Alte's Avatar
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    Guess it would depend on the available money - get both and decide later. :)
    Its a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

  4. #3
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    I have a G30 and for me it is a little too thick for a comfortable carry. I carry a Kahr P9 daily and it is very thin and light. While it doesn't carry as many rounds as some semi autos, I can carry nine rounds and I think that is enough for my purposes. For me being able to carry comfortably and discreetly are paramount. Heck sometimes I pocket carry a Seecamp .32 with an extra mag, 13 rounds for everything. I guess you could say I recommend carying a semi auto for sure.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Pete Zaria's Avatar
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    Are you as comfortable with a semiauto as you are with a revolver?

    I know most people think "I don't think it would be a problem for me", but operating the controls (such as safeties, slide release, magazine release, etc....) on a semiauto under adrenaline-rush-panic conditions can be tricky without a lot of practice.
    If you're already real comfortable with revolvers, that's probably a good choice for you.

    Whatever you get, practice with it A LOT :)

    Best of luck.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
    - Margaret Mead


    "Booger Hook Off the Bang Switch" - unknown

  6. #5
    Member Array 22RSSIX's Avatar
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    get both a decide later.

    The semi-auto will be easier for the range part of the class if you have to take one.

    I took a class with my brother back in Michigan before I moved. I gave him my beretta to use and I used my S&W 66-7 .357mag with a 4 inch barrel. I shot 38spls for the class. I had to stop reload and continue. My brother on the beretta had 17rds compared to my 6 rounds.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Seems to me you already have the weapons to get you started. I still occasionally carry my 5 shot model 36 and 6 shot model 66 and dont feel undergunned. Even carry a 3" S&W model 29 on occasions. The Taurus would be a great summer gun and you can conceal that Ruger with a good IWB holster & belt for a winter carry piece. Buy a couple of speed loaders and practice with them. You'll be surprised at how quick you can reload. I'm a 1911 kinda guy and with your past military experience you may have already fired one of them. If not they are a very safe and highly effective weapon that is rather easy to conceal and shoot with practice. Good luck!
    Sportsterguy-NRA Life Member

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  8. #7
    Ex Member Array Creature's Avatar
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    If I routinely traveled through more "dangerous" areas during my day, I would get the Glock simply because of the higher capacity.

    But if I hardly ever frequented the afore mentioned areas, I would get the snubby because of their uber-reliability and simplicity.

    I personally carry a S&W 5-shot j-frame in .38SPL and feel very well armed where ever I go during my day.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I think it really boils down to:
    1. Caliber you like/shoot well
    2. Ease of carrying and concealability balanced w/caliber considerations
    3. Capacity balanced with risk (it's different for different circumstances)

    If you like/want a .45 for CCW then it's easier to find an auto. I find pistols easier to conceal on the whole because of flatness both of the gun and it's grip. Capacity is relative to risk. Think of it this way, how many spares do you carry for your car? But if you were going to drive the Alaskan highway, would you have more than one? In my life/town/circumstances 5 rounds is likely to be good. Can it happen that my home is invaded by a gang of 8? Sure it's possible but I don't prepare or live for every possibility. Revo's can be reloaded just not as fast.

    As for controls, my carry pistols have no controls other than a slide release and that's similar to the button to swing out the cylinder.

    One thing you said that is VERY important is what you shoot well. Whatever you carry you should be confident with it and perform well with it. I'm convinced that most people with a little skill can get up to speed with either.

    I carry a mix of revo's and pistols but they're all common in that they're DAO without any safety's. The reload is different obviously.

    Today you can expect a good pistol to be almost as reliable as most good revo's. I have a Kahr P9 and a Kahr MK9 and both have been 100% reliable no matter what ammo I've used, however, I purchased a Ruger SP101 and it locked up on me the 2nd time out with it. Of course it did lock up within the first 100 or so rounds and you'd never carry a gun unless you'd gotten well past that so that's not a big deal. I do think the revolver is as fool proof as it gets but the cylinder bulge is harder to deal with.

    God Bless
    Gideon

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    I have 2 eight shot autos, and one 5 shot revolver that are CCH ready. Then I remember I used to just have a cell phone.

  11. #10
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    CEW58,

    When it comes to this subject I don't tell people what they should do; I tell them what I've done and why. So here goes:

    I grew up in the military shooting 1911's. I think the 1911 is one of the greatest fighting pistols of all time. The first pistol I ever carried concealed was a 1911.

    And now I carry a Glock 19 or a S&W M&P 9.

    When I first started carrying the most likely threat that I would encounter, as a private citizen, would be an individual attacker or possibly two at the most. The 1911 fit the bill for the situation. (The first time I ever had to use a handgun in my personal defense as a private citizen was a Commander - I didn't have to shoot, the mugger ran away).

    As the years went by and gang violence (not just Crips and Bloods, but gangs of girls/skaters/punks) went on the rise I began to reevaluate my choice of carry guns.

    The more I trained the more I began to realize that it was more about shot placement than the size of the bullet. A marginal hit with a .45 ACP round is still a marginal hit and an instanly incapacitating shot with a .45 ACP is most likely an incapacitating shot with a 9mm.

    And then Columbine happened, and Tyler Texas, and September 11th, and Salt Lake City, and on and on.

    I decided to set forth some criteria for choosing a fighting handgun:

    1. Fast, expanding bullets do damage.

    2. Shot placement is everything.

    3. Having to reload takes the gun out of the fight, the less you have to reload the less likely you will get killed not being able to fight.

    4. Fighting guns don't have to be multiple thousand dollar works of art.

    5. Having a gun that shoots every time, straight out of the box, is a gun you will have with you and not at the gunsmith.

    6. Machines break, buy the one that fires the most amount of rounds before breaking.

    7. While you should diligently maintain your firearms, you need one that will work when it is full of mud and sand. You never know when you are going to wind up there in a fight.

    8. find the gun that fits your hand the best and you shoot the best.

    These are the things I consider when choosing a daily carry weapon for defensive concealed carry. Every now and then I'll carry a 1911 (with at least two extra magazines - at least 25 rounds) or a S&W J-frame (with two extra reloads - 15 rounds) but it won't be far from home or for very long. Most days it is the M&P9 or the G19 loaded with 147 Gr Hydra-Shoks and a spare mag (that is at least 31 rounds when I only carry one spare magazine).

    I hope this helps.
    Deputy Director of Training
    LMSDefense
    www.lmsdefense.com
    troyprice@lmsdefense.com

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  12. #11
    Senior Member Array kahrcarrier's Avatar
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    I would get me a decent holster and then carry the .38 spl. snub while I shopped around and looked over the various good semi-autos out there.


    You may find something you really like, and then again, you may find it desirable to stick with a wheel gun.

    Having a reliable gun with you if trouble would come knocking is the most important thing to have going for you. Capacity, caliber, and format should all be secondary considerations.

    Oh yeah; why put off applying for your license?

    Do it now, is my recommendation.............

    Luck!

  13. #12
    Senior Member Array Freedomofchoice's Avatar
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    I have to agree whole heartedly with Troy Price and Kahrcarrier. The snubby 38 is a fine carry gun and certainly would serve you well as a ccw. Don't rush in to a new purchase until you really know what firearm will serve you best. Sometimes what you think you really want, turns out to be too big or too heavy and you end up not carrying it at all.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahrcarrier View Post
    Oh yeah; why put off applying for your license?

    Do it now, is my recommendation.............

    Luck!
    There are several reasons why I'm putting it off.

    First, if I understand correctly here in OK if you qualify with a revolver then your permit only allows you to carry a revolver or derringer. On the other hand, if you qualify with a pistol you can carry a pistol, revolver or a derringer. So if I get my permit now using a revolver I'll be limited to revolver only unless I go through the process again and get my permit upgraded.

    Second, I work a rotating schedule which means I work weekends for 6 weeks, then have weekends off for 6 weeks. All the places around here that conduct CCW classes have them on Saturdays only.

    Third, I'm planning a long overdue vacation back to PA to visit family in a couple of months, so between that and the other factors it will probably be early spring before I get my CCL. But before that time comes I want to decided on my CCW and have the time to get very proficient with it prior to taking the class.

    So between all these factors it's going to be a while before I get my permit, but when the time comes i want to be 100% ready.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

    Sig P229 DAK - .40 S&W
    Ruger SP101 - .357 Mag

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matdicdad View Post
    I have a G30 and for me it is a little too thick for a comfortable carry. I carry a Kahr P9 daily and it is very thin and light. While it doesn't carry as many rounds as some semi autos, I can carry nine rounds and I think that is enough for my purposes. For me being able to carry comfortably and discreetly are paramount. Heck sometimes I pocket carry a Seecamp .32 with an extra mag, 13 rounds for everything. I guess you could say I recommend carying a semi auto for sure.
    I found this website comparing a Kahr P9 and a Glock 26. Sure looks like a nice slim design!

    That's another thing I'm considering, while I've already heard that carrying a gun should be comforting not comforable, realistically comfort is part of the equation.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

    Sig P229 DAK - .40 S&W
    Ruger SP101 - .357 Mag

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Zaria View Post
    Are you as comfortable with a semiauto as you are with a revolver?

    I know most people think "I don't think it would be a problem for me", but operating the controls (such as safeties, slide release, magazine release, etc....) on a semiauto under adrenaline-rush-panic conditions can be tricky without a lot of practice.
    If you're already real comfortable with revolvers, that's probably a good choice for you.

    Whatever you get, practice with it A LOT :)

    Best of luck.

    Peace,
    Pete Zaria.
    I've owned a couple of semi-auto's in the past, one being an old 1911 that I wish I hadn't sold! Plus I'm familiar with both the 1911A1 and the Beretta 92 from my military experience, plus I carried a 92 Beretta on my last job, so I'm familiar and comfortable with both. For me it's more of an issue as to which one will serve me best if I should ever need it.
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

    Sig P229 DAK - .40 S&W
    Ruger SP101 - .357 Mag

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