So new to be a pot stirer.
This is a discussion on True combat pistol within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So, as I'm cleaning the backup Airweight, I start to think-- I really wonder what the best combat pistol would really be. I was in ...
So, as I'm cleaning the backup Airweight, I start to think-- I really wonder what the best combat pistol would really be. I was in the Army for almost a decade, and always had a Beretta 92F. Good and accurate pistol to say the least. But, the little S&W in my hand got me thinking about what I would really want in an extended combat situations: A. Semi auto; or B. Revolver.
They both have their pros and cons:
Semi-- larger carry; faster reloads; easier to carry mags instead of speed loaders; better second shot with recoil parallel to arm instead of perpendicular.
But, here is what gets me thinking that a revolver might be better-- simple mechanics. There's less chance of grit and dirt causing a jam. They are much easier to take apart and clean and generally speaking, unless you really do some damage to them, they are pretty darn reliable.
I know, I know people are gonna spout the 1911 and so on. I'll take my Kimber or HK45 any day of the week in a fight, but in a lengthy combat scenario, where I'm out in the field for weeks/months at a time, a S&W Model 686 might just top my list.
Am I way off base here?
The Beretta 92F should have never been put into service if you ask me. Contracts are contracts I reckon. Beretta has never been on my want list for anything. What the powers that be decide for our men and women overseas...we have no say.
ua got 4 nice guns and a good outlook on additional possibilities
perhaps not a long as engagement as you describe but today my kimber gold match (1998)
went 98 trouble free rounds at an necpl/idpa match. i dropped a few points with a white target
cause of my old eyes and a white front sight.
You plug 'em, I plant 'em
...kid can't read at 17 (Garcia/Hunter 1985)
Lack of preparation on your part does not necessarily constitute an emergency on mine
Now, if you had been in the Austrian Army...
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
All men are equal...CC makes us equal-er.
A revolver dropped in dirt or gravel can get some debris between the cylinder and frame - jamming it up.
A single action semi-auto can get muck between the hammer and the frame, causing a misfire.
Your best bet for "dropped in muck" reliability is a striker-fired semi auto, or a traditional DA/SA semi-auto design. Fewer places for the muck to get into the works.
And if you're "in the field" for weeks at a time, I hope you have a long gun...
The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.
Can't help but to say it, but a Glock is hands down one of the top combat pistols in existence. You either love them or hate them (and secretly love them). People complain about the grip angle, or that it's ugly Does a combat pistol have to be pretty? Are you trying to defend yourself in style? I'll admit, I like certain guns for their looks, and I don't think Glock's are ugly, personally. They're simplicity makes them a winner. Consistent trigger pull, no manual safety to have to train to swipe off. Even when you're trained, your thumb could slip and miss the safety. It's happened to me drawing my 1911 on a (paper) target.
So for me, it's Glocks. I'll take an HK, M&P, FNP, or Sig. Even a 1911. A lot of modern day pistols would work great in a combat situation. But Glock's work the best for me.
Here's the geezer take from one who delights in the revolver.
I could happily live with a revolver in the field for weeks and be confident in it's ability to go the distance.
Can't say that there's less chance of dirt or grit causing a jam though. There's actually more opportunity for dirt and grit to get into places where it can cause mechanical difficulties if not an outright non-functioning revolver. It's amazing how well a revolver can still technically function while grimy but they can sure get stiff. Just living in the inside pocket of the chest waders during waterfowl season can introduce a measure of grit that renders the revolver unpleasant to use without at least a quick wipe out with a thumb, finger, or a rag and I don't know where all that grit can come from. Tossed in the mud and then expected to fire and for the cylinder to cycle normally? I wouldn't put my money on it against any of several automatics, of both old and new designs. If one knows his revolver and has a second to clear it of the worst of the grit then he can get by until he can clean it better. If one is desperate he may even be able to manually turn the cylinder by hand if it's too stiff to operate normally but you can see how that isn't the optimal way to use the gun. If there's no time to clear the revolver before the emergency overtakes its user than it may be worth more as an object to be thrown at the threat.
It'd be easy to artificially induce a revolver to fail with just a dab of grit in the right places. Beneath the rims of the cartridge cases of a loaded revolver is one. Beneath the extractor star is another. Between the yoke/crane and the frame is another. The frame slot for the hand and/or the ratchet could be fouled. The front locking bolt could become balky. If the revolver is a model with a shrouded ejector rod then matter in the channel within the shroud can introduce problems. Grit between the cylinder face and the barrel shank can slow things up if not actually tie things up. Any combination of the above could give a person a "merry time" trying to clear in a hurry.
A revolver will function much better in a dirty environment if it is clean and properly lubricated going into such an environment. If it is already crudded up and sticky from a lot of shooting with no proper cleaning performed then the grit with gather and will be more difficult to disperse with field expedient methods. This is compounded if the revolver is dry and unlubed or not properly lubed (leave the grease out of it).
I could get a revolver operating relatively smoothly in the duck blind after it's been dropped on a gritty, muddy, gravelly beach. In an emergency it even could be sloshed around in the water. If I needed to remove the cylinder or side plate in the duck blind though (never has been necessary) then I'm out of luck. I never remember to keep a tool with a screwdriver on my person.
I'm familiar with several automatics: Colt 1911, Browning Hi-Power, Glock, SIG, even the Luger. Nearly any automatic suitable for service or self-protection has a simple method of field-stripping that may be discerned even if one is unfamiliar with the design and no tools are required. Other than opening the cylinder, the revolver cannot be taken apart without tools. It is something to consider.
It's not important to me hunting, fishing, or hiking so I love my revolvers. I've seen my favorite revolver get pretty nasty. It's amazing what a revolver can withstand and still functionally serve its user. But if I was called to go help out in Afghanistan where my son is currently deployed and allowed to carry the sidearm of my choice, I'd pack the 1911. Some may laugh but I'd tote it in the current issue flap holster rather than something fancy. I can't recall the holster's model designation but I have one around the house. One of the contractors is, or was just down the road from me.
Civilian concealed carry? The revolver is great. Real combat? Choose the right automatic.
Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"
“No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”
Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893
I love revolvers.
I love 1911s.
I detest the M9/Beretta 92. It's completely irrational, I know. I shoot pretty OK with it - well enough for expert, but that's no huge bragging rights. I think it's all because the M9 meant goodbye 1911. What do you think, darling? Should I hate him?... No, I'm sure of it, I hate him.
I think the best combat handgun probably ought to be a high-cap autoloader. Everything ought to be polymer or stainless (parkerized/coated as required), and it needs to be easy to strip down in the field with minimal tools and limited light to a far enough point to get water/crud out all the crevices. What kind? Just not the M9.
Never a revolver as your primary combat pistol. I carried a Sig for 15 years as my primary and it holds up to everything that was demanded of it. Same for the Glocks. Beretta is a fine weapon for an EDC if you are a big enough guy to conceal it well but would not use it as personal choice for combat pistol (which I did not LOL. In fact, given a choice not one person selected a Beretta over the Sig 228 and Glock)