Sig_Ocelot wrote:Revolvers are dead. They are fun range toys, that's about it. Get a Sig p226r in .357 sig. Same ballistics as most .357 ammo in the 125grn range, but you have faster reloads, more reliability, and better accuracy than a revolver, better sights, and twice the firepower. .38 snubbies are just as dead, get a mini glock with more ammo in 9mm, which is twice as powerful as .38. Ankle holsters are for idiots IMHO.
I gotta disagree, both on a general basis and on some specific points.
The advantages a semi-auto pistol has over a revolver of about the same size and weight are:
1. Ammo capacity and 2. Faster reloads. That's it.
If you practice, a good revolver shooter can bring his reload times down consideribly, btw. But, that does take some time and effort, so on the whole I'll give the faster reloads point to the autos.
Ballistics: About the same. You can directly compare .38 Special to 9mm. They are both in the same range. Same for .357 Magnum and any more powerful semi-auto round. I don't know where you get the idea that 9mm is "twice as powerful as .38." Any modern defensive loads for those two calibers are going to be directly comparable. (Not identical, but in the same range. My prefered load for my revolver, for instance, has less velocity then my 9mm load, but also has a heavier bullet)
Reliability: A well made and well maintained revolver is more reliable, in practice, then most semi-autos. There are exceptions on both ends of the bell curve, but they are exceptions.
Btw, I do NOT consider Taurus to be a "well built revolver." Ask Bear B about his experience with them if you want more info. I don't consider Taurus semi-autos to be well built either. I'm amazed at how many malfunction's I've seen with those, especially the plastic Taurus guns.
I teach CCW and other pistol classes for a living and it's amazing how many malfunctions and problems I see with semi-autos on a regular basis.
What's *really* interesting is how often the student tells me, "I don't know why this keeps jamming. I've fired hundreds of rounds through it before and never had a problem..." Some guns run fine for years, on normal range trips, and the problems don't surface until the guns are run hard for a class. Even with a round count as low as 100 rounds, it's amazing how many guns won't go the whole 100 rounds without some malfunction. And I've noted that a gun that malfunctions once is more likely to have multiple malfunctions in that same class. I'm talking about good quality guns here: Glocks and Berrettas and Sigs and Taurus (supposedly good quality) and Rugers and Walther's and Bersa's and such. Not High Points or Jennings or other crap.
Btw, when you said you ran "thousands of rounds" through your Sig and Glocks, where those with FMJ ammo or with defensive JHP's? The true test of semi-auto reliability is how a gun runs with JHP's as most any gun will run well with FMJ's as they are the most "forgiving" ammo type.
(I will say my Sig 239 is probably the most reliable semi-auto I own though. I can't recall any malfunctions in my hands and I've only had one student manage to "limp wrist" it once, and it gets rented out a lot. I've seen plenty of Glocks fail in my classes though)
I have seen some mechanical problems with revolvers. Nothing mechanical is perfect after all. Of all the students in my classes though, I can only recall one instance where a revolver locked up tight and would not fire. I blame the fact that the gun was borrowed, hadn't been fired for at least a couple years, and was bone dry. I have seen light strikes and guns that are out of time, so that does happen, but not as frequently as I've seen semi-auto's jam.
Accuracy: A fixed barrel revolver is going to be more accurate, in general, then a tilting barrel semi-auto. The semi-auto barrel has to go into battery each time and the lockup is never 100% precises. That slight variation gives a fixed barrel revolver a slight edge on accuracy. This is assuming you are comparing a "standard" revolver to a "standard" auto. Match tuned guns are different. (And there are still variations. Some guns do shoot better then others.)
Sights: There are plenty of revolvers with good sights. Just avoid the fixed "U Notch" sight on S&W revolvers. Any S&W with an adjustable sight provides a nice sight picture. There are more options available for hi-viz or night sights for revolvers then before as well. This one is a wash.
Twice the firepower: This one I'll give you. For a gun that is about the same weight and size, you'll get more rounds with the semi-auto.
There are some *advantages* of the revolver that you completely ignored.
Ease of Use: There are no safeties to fail to disengage under stress. There is no decocker to worry about. There is no chance of Failure to Feed, Double Feed, or Failure to Eject malfunctions. The revolver failure drill is simple: Pull the trigger again. Compare this to clearing a double feed in an auto. The trigger pull on a revolver is the same every time, which is an advantage compared to a DA/SA pull, but is a wash when compared to a DAO trigger or a Glock trigger.
Shootability: This really comes into play with the smaller guns. I was able to directly compare a J Frame S&W to a Ruger LCP and a Kahr PM 9 recently. Those are all designed to be "pocket pistols." The S&W had it hand's down on the Ruger. It was *much* easier to shoot, and shoot accurately, then the Ruger. The S&W fired a more powerful round then the Ruger .380. The Ruger held either the same number of rounds or perhaps one more then the S&W. (I can't recall) The Ruger was slimmer, and lighter to carry, but they both disappeared into a pocket with a pocket holster.
The Kahr PM 9 was a more interesting comparasion. The Kahr was very "shootable." The trigger was very "revolver like" in that it was a long DA trigger that was the same for every shot. The Kahr held either 6+1 or 7+1 rounds, depending on the magazine, compared to the S&W 5 rounds. But, the Kahr printed horribly in my pocket. I really felt I needed a belt holster. The S&W slipped neatly into that same pocket in a small pocket holster with only a small lump. (The Kahr looked like a *GUN* in my pocket. The S&W just looked like I had *something* in my pocket, instead of an empty pocket. It could have been anything though and wouldn't have screamed "GUN.")
Oh, and a mini-Glock vs. a J Frame snubbie? No comparision. The Glock is going to hold more rounds and might be easier to shoot. The J frame though is going to conceal *much* better then the Glock. You really can't "pocket carry" a Glock 26, unless you have huge cargo pockets. I can slip a J frame, with a small pocket holster, into the front pocket of my jeans.
I agree with you on ankle holsters though. They are best suited for carrying a second gun as a last ditch hold-out, not a primary gun.
My every day carry gun is a S&W Model 65 with a 3" barrel. I load .38 Special +P loads, although the gun is a .357 Mag. This is six-shot K-frame gun with a standard grip. I shoot this gun as well as any handgun I own, pistol or revolver. I do use a IWB belt holster and so far the Smith has been the most comfortable gun to carry in it's size or class. My Makarov is *slightly* more comfortable, as it is thinner, but fires a less powerfull round. The only thing comparable to the Smith that I own is my Sig 239. The Sig also requires a belt holster and isn't quite as comfortable to carry as the S&W for some reason. The Sig does carry 8+1 rounds instead of six.
Now, if I were going to go into COMBAT (or Zombat) I'd strap on a full-size semi-auto for the greater ammo capacity. But, I wouldn't be concerned with comfort of even conceability at that point. I'd still carry the J Frame as a back up. Short of that, a revolver suits me fine.
So, the revolver is not dead, or even reserved for those "too stupid to shoot automatics." There is a place for an accurate, reliable, easy to shoot handgun for personal defense, and the revolver fills that role nicely.