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First time buyer - revolvers a bad idea?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by crwoody, Apr 30, 2021.

  1. crwoody

    crwoody Loaded Pockets

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    *I want to stress that my intention in this thread is not to cause debate, I do realize some are very passionate about this topic in support of either side. All I am looking to gain is information so I can be well equipped to make my first purchase with confidence.*

    I am turning 21 this July and I am looking forward to two things. First, I wanna grab a beer with my dad down at a local restaurant we both enjoy. Second, I wanna get my CCW license (I’m in OH) so I can take advantage of my 2nd A rights.

    Just as background, I’m not completely new to firearms, as growing up my family has had them. I have shot both revolvers and semi-auto pistols.

    Here’s the question: In your opinion, would a small-form revolver (something like a S&W 638) make a good CCW gun? Putting the questions of cost and availability aside, I want to carry a revolver. I like the look, the trigger and the feel of the grip. My family doesn’t go to the range often so I wouldn’t consider myself more accurate with any particular type (I would like to change this in my own life however due to the importance of keeping one’s aim true). However, some people have expressed that carrying a revolver is not the best choice for self-defense situations.

    I’m just curious to gauge your thoughts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. medic68

    medic68 Loaded Pockets

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    I carry a 442 in my back pocket and have had an Airweight or J Frame in my jeans for 30 years or more.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  3. Reidar Chr. L. Guttormsen

    Reidar Chr. L. Guttormsen Loaded Pockets

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    I have no firearms experience outside of the military 30 years ago. But every time I have seen (on tv in documentaries and such) gun sellers give advise to new gun buyers, the have cited reliability as a reason to choose a revolver. You also get bigger caliber ammo without the gun getting to big. But revolvers have fewer bullets and normally takes longer to reload

    from my S-A-M-S-U-N-G S9+ via T-A-P-A-T-A-L-K
     
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  4. Buckeye Jake

    Buckeye Jake Loaded Pockets

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    Welcome buckeye. I have carried for fifty years. I still have a model 60 Smith in 357 . And have owned a 640 and a 640 pro .
    Revolvers are fine , but 357 , 38 special is very difficult to find and expensive. Mine is loaded with the old black talons.
    They are deadly on deer . I carried a Seecamp 32 for 17 years , before that a 66 Smith 2.5 barrel length.
    I now carry a sig 238 because of the better sights, remember only hits count in self defense .
    I live up by lima if you want to handle a 60 or the sig . I believe right now the sig 365 is a good pick.
    There is some nine available, not much else . Also most of the 380s are difficult to shoot without extensive practice $$$ .
    I was early auto fan . 1911s .
     
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  5. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    Whatever you like and works for you is what's important.
    The S&W 638, being a lightweight alloy frame, may kick like the proverbial mule.
    That may not be a concern to you, though.
     
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  6. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    I own small-framed Ruger and Smith revolvers, but I carry a Glock.
     
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  7. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    First off, congratulations on soon turning 21! Enjoy that beer with your Dad!

    My background with guns is that I’ve been a shooter since I was 18 ... that’s ~56 years. I was a rifleman in Vietnam, then later a deputy sheriff and a federal agent. So, I’ve got some experience on a two-way gun range; where people shoot back.

    But, the most critical thing is that you obtain a weapon that ‘works’ for you, just as kukla noted. Revolvers are fine for concealed carry, but there are a few downsides:

    1. You’re usually limited to six rounds without reloading.
    2. Due to the width of the cylinder you’ll find that revolvers are a bit thicker than semi-autos.
    3. Reloading under stress can be challenging.

    For me personally, I prefer a semi-auto, although I own and still shoot a variety of revolvers (everything from an old Ruger .22 Bearcat to a Colt .45). Here’re my reasons for carrying a semi-auto:

    1. Semi-autos for me are easier to conceal.
    2. I like having +15 rounds in my weapon.
    3. I like (and always carry) a spare magazine.
    4. Magazine changes are very quick.

    The other thing I like is having a ‘family’ of weapons that are all set up the same. Yep, I carry a Glock, just like ~65% of US federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

    I own everything from the .22 cal. Glock 44 through to a .40 cal with models such as the 44, 42, 43, 26, 27, 17, and 19. The great thing about having a ‘family’ of weapons is everything is the same: sight picture, grip angle, trigger feel, controls (safety or lack thereof), assembly, disassembly, and so on.

    So, depending on time of year or clothing I can use a smaller cal. or larger cal. Glock.

    That’s me. But, for you: the best thing is to go to a range that let’s you try different weapons and find out what ‘works’ for you.
     
  8. DSRacing

    DSRacing Loaded Pockets

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    I carry both a S&W 640 Pro and a M19 carry comp on a regular basis. If it's a revolver you want, I say get it.
     
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  9. crwoody

    crwoody Loaded Pockets

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    I really want to thank you all for the posts, congratulations, and helpful advice. Seriously. I love this forum community.

    I think the overall feeling I'm getting is that the best thing to do would be to visit a range and get some hands-on experience. I know, sounds obvious as I type it, but I hadn't really thought that way. I will give both semi-autos and revolvers a fair try and see what shoots/carries the best. Seems like there are valid reasons why one would choose to carry either type of firearm.

    But, by all means, I very much enjoy reading these posts, I don't mean to stop the discussion if there are more points anyone would like to add!
     
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  10. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    This almost exactly,it is hopefully something that we are each most comfortable with and thus most likely to have with us when and if we need to.

    That being said I also really like my LCP because I can literally just drop it and a spare mag or two into a pocket almost all of the time and not have to give it much thought after that.
    Hopefully though I never stop thinking about it being there all the same!

     
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  11. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    As a lifelong firearms enthusiast, collector and instructor I can tell you there is no 'right' answer to your question. As you noted, there are definitely two schools of thought, both of them with very strong opinions. I will echo some of the things @Cobra 6 Actual said, carry what you can shoot. There are pros and cons to both revolvers and semi autos. Revolvers are more reliable and safer, and a semi auto is usually easier to conceal. Revolvers carry less ammo, but semi autos can jam. Some semi autos, particularly DA/SA semi-autos, require more practice and can be more dangerous in certain situations like after a shot when your stress level is at the maximum. Safing a DA/SA semi-auto pistol needs to be a "muscle memory" action, and this takes practice and range time; lives, including your own, depend on it! Most revolvers used for CCW are DA all the time, and this leads to a much safer condition after a shot.

    There are lots of good solutions out there for both revolvers and semi-autos. Spend some time looking around and get the one which works for you. Many ranges offer rental pistols, and I strongly recommend finding one of these and trying several different types of firearms.

    I almost hate to write this next part. A couple things regarding the current firearms climate. First, don't let the current shortages influence your purchase. It is far more important to get what works for you than to get what is easily obtainable right now. Second, (and this is terrible) all of our 2A rights are under attack right now by the political left. There is the possibility that legal action might be taken against hi-capacity semi-autos to outlaw them. Depending on the state, "hi-capacity" is generally defined as more than 15 rounds (10 rounds in some states). Staying within these boundaries is just extra insurance that you will not be prevented from carrying your CCW firearm in the future. Food for thought.

    Lastly, and most importantly, Congratulations on your 21st!!! Enjoy it!! Go have that beer with your Dad, and do it often. I would do almost anything to go have a beer with my Dad again. And please don't hesitate to let me, or any of the other firearms enthusiasts here, know how we can help you in the future!
     
  12. kukla

    kukla Loaded Pockets

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    I think they all are, no?
     
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  13. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    ...unless you want to be Wyatt Earp.
     
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  14. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    Not at all, there are tons of single action pistols out there. Some really GREAT ones too I might add! In fact, one of the most accurate pistols I own is a single action Ruger Superblackhawk in .44 Mag. And one of my Holy Grail pistols I have yet to own is a 4.75" Colt SAA in .45 Long Colt. The Ruger Vaqueros are nice too and even some of the Uberti's are nice.
     
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  15. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    This is a very good write up and summary. Thanks for posting this, it will be great info for the OP.

    The only comment I would have is, a little too much of the author's own personal preference and/or bias shows up in the article (particularly on the full DA auto), but I commend his comments on the DA/SA pistols and I completely agree. I don't think there is enough awareness out there of the potential dangers of DA/SA pistols to inexperienced shooters. I've seen way too many AD's with them from shooters with low range time (fortunately with no injuries).
     
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  16. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I should have included at least a word about what I generally carry. It's a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm with a 3.1" barrel. It's been through the Smith & Wesson Performance Center gunsmithing shop where it was ported, had the trigger reworked and equipped with fiber optic sights. It's a single-stack magazine pistol with (7) rounds in the mag and (1) in the breech for a total of (8) rounds. I also carry a spare magazine. Single-stack pistols are easier to conceal than double-stack pistols, but I generally don't carry concealed. I also carry a Ruger LCP in .380 Auto as a backup.

    ETA - I would probably carry a .357 magnum wheel gun, full size frame (ala. Colt Python, or Dan Wesson) for open carry, but mine are way too nice to take that kind of abuse. I don't really care if I bang the Shield up because that's what I got it for. Daily carry is rough on pistol finishes.
     
    Last edited by DCBman, May 1, 2021
    #17 DCBman, May 1, 2021
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
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  17. egp

    egp Loaded Pockets

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    Ah yes, turning 21, it feels like it was yesterday, well 30 yrs of yesterday, congrats.

    My first handgun purchase, many years ago, was a Taurus 66, basically a knockoff of a S&W, back then Taurus was thought of a cheap gun. Today, they are a top manufacturer, I carried it in the car for a few years, then gave it to my Dad to keep around the house for home defense, now I have it back in my nightstand. The nice part of a .357, you can practice with .38 special loads, which are marginally cheaper, and carry it with .357 loads. At present, like all ammo it's hard to get any of it.

    I have that revolver and I have semi auto's, for me, the revolver is more idiot proof, you're less likely to shoot yourself in the foot holstering it (Barney Fife aside) or drawing it. As some mentioned, reload time is longer, but, that depends on practice, keep in mind until the early-90's most every police dept. in the country only authorized their officers to carry revolvers. Practice makes perfect as they say, from '89 to '92 I was a security guard, carried a .38 special (or occasionally my own .357 with 3 rnds of .38 and 3 rnds of .357), we had to qualify every 6 months, the requirement was 6 shots on target, reload and 3 shots on target in under 1 minute, from a relaxed locked holster draw. You would be amazed how long 1 minute is, or how short it is. In the initial training class, we had 3 minutes to do that, after 3 weeks of training, we could all do it in under a minute including drawing the speedloader from it's pouch. WHich brings up the one downside to carrying a revolver, speedloaders, the star speedloader is much larger in size, and harder to hide that a loaded single stack magazine.

    One other benefit to a revolver, they will fire when dirty, mush less picky about conditions, also often times easier to clean
     
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  18. Slipjoint

    Slipjoint Loaded Pockets

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    As someone who has a lot of experience with all sorts of guns, I find it a little silly that people try to scare newbies away from revolvers. Yes, it's easier to master a light single-action trigger than a long, heavy double-action trigger. BUT... a good revolver will have a SMOOTH double action trigger, and you can get in tons of dry-fire practice, so I think that in some ways that it's actually easier to get good with a revolver *IF* you are willing to practice regularly (and it doesn't take that much practice to get good).

    I also like the fact that you don't need to worry about a safety lever on a revolver (a lot of people miss it in an emergency), and I think that the DA revolver trigger is WAY more forgiving and safe than a light striker-fired automatic (that demands FLAWLESS gun handling).

    Likewise, a lot of people talk about how awful revolver sights are (when they are actually quite decent) but ignore how terrible the sights are on many compact CCW guns.

    Revolvers DO load more slowly than autos, but it's very rare that civilians will need to reload in a gunfight. And practice can overcome this anyway. And for shooters with limited grip strength, it may be easier to reload a revolver than trying to retract a heavy slide on an automatic.

    I think the biggest issue with revolvers is that they don't have a slide that absorbs the recoil, so the muzzle flip and recoil can be unpleasant (especially for those who decide to shoot magnums out of ultralight guns). But this can be mitgated by careful ammo selection and by avoiding the lightweight aluminum and scandium framed revolvers. And honestly, a lot of those cute pocket autos are awful to shoot too!

    I think that for noobs, the simplicity of the revolver makes them much easier to master *IF* you are willing to do some practice to get used to the trigger and the reload process. If you're not going to put ANY effort into training, an automatic may be easier to fire (although even then, it may depend on the automatic in question).
     
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  19. kikaida

    kikaida Loaded Pockets

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    Most every range I've been to, have guns that you can rent. Like others have said, try them and see which one you feel most comfortable with. You don't have to be in a hurry. Guns have started to be replenished after the initial panic, but ammo can still remain scarce and expensive. When you finally settle on your choice, train, train, and train as much as you can afford to.
     
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