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Survival and The Semi-Auto vs. Revolver Decision

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:36 PM
Survival and The Semi-Auto vs. Revolver Decision:

OH, You walk into that gun store and there it is all nice and clean, shiny and deadly looking as all get out. 15 rounds in each magazine so you can just duck your head and spray bullets at your adversary… The heck with any innocent people that may be in the way, or downrange from your attacker.

While the words may not be spoken, this is often the sentiment when I broach this subject to Police Officers or civilians in the classes I teach. I NEED MORE BULLETS…


One attacker, one bullet, end of aggression….

More importantly, let’s discuss reliability. I have heard hundreds if not thousands of times; (I’ve been teaching firearms now for over 20 years) Revolvers are more reliable because they have fewer moving parts. NOT TRUE.. (Generally speaking) Revolvers have more parts than Semi-Autos… Yet, it is true that revolvers are more reliable than Semi’s.. Why?

Well the most glaring example is this… A bad bullet…. Yes they happen from time to time, bad primers, misplaced primer, wet powder etc.. Not often, but let us not forget Murphy’s Law shall we? If something bad, (Bad bullet) is going to happen, it will happen when you need the firearm the most.

Now let us suppose you get a bad bullet in your Semi; what to do, what to do, hmmmm

Slap, Tap Bang?
Slap, Tap, Rack, Bang?
Slap, Rack, Bang?

All valid methods of clearing a jam or replacing a bad bullet in a Semi. BUT….

Can you do it in an emergency, or while being shot at?

NO YOU CAN NOT.. I really don’t care what you say, unless you are an experienced Combat Vet, and I don’t mean one time under fire, you cannot function like that under fire. No need to argue, you will never convince me and as long as you never accept your limitations, you will never improve your chances of surviving an altercation with a firearm. Even if you do get it cleared, what is the “Bad Guy” doing while you are fumbling around there in the dark? HMMMM
Oh yeah.. Killing you..

Now, if you get a “Bad Bullet” in a Revolver what do you do?

Oh yeah.. You pull the trigger again…. Does not take much advanced training to teach that.. So… More reliable? YES and YES again…

Now, even with the fastest of us, speed loading is about the same as changing mags, in other words fairly slow.. So again.. What to do, what to do.. hmmmmm


Now to the real, hard hitting point to this dissertation.. TRAINING.. TRAINING.. TRAINING…. If you are not willing to train regularly, at least once every other month, do not, I repeat.. DO NOT bet your life on a firearm. YOU WILL LOSE and worse yet, you may kill me or some other innocent person in the process..

I carry a Semi on duty, a Glock 22, 40cal.. I usually grab a Sig Sauer GSR, C3, 1911 style Semi when I leave the house as I am intimately familiar with the 1911 single action weapon from my time in the Marines and the fact I have always owned one and shoot them all the time.


Lying next to my bed is a Dan Wesson 357mag Revolver.. ALWAYS… Because when I wake up as someone kicks my door in, I will be groggy and even with my decades of practice, (And I practice at least once each month) I am not 100 percent confident in being able to clear a Semi jam in that condition. Oh yeah, I’m an experienced Combat Vet too…

See for me, I don’t care about what is sexy, what is popular or even what other people think of me when it comes to this issue. The facts are clear and impossible to refute. All I want to do is to survive any altercation I may get myself into, and at certain times, the Revolver is the best choice for me. It should be for you too.

I will gladly answer any questions you may have and I encourage new gun owners, or inexperienced gun owners, to ask those questions. I do work a full time job, so I may be a day or so answering if you have a question.


posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:49 PM
Nice plug for revolvers.

I gave up on this argument awhile back. I really like my Springfield XD-40, but understand the benefits of my Smith SP101 in .357.

So, carry them both. 40 under my shoulder, .357 in my pocket. better to carry two guns just in case something goes amiss.

By my bed? I word hard, so I sleep hard. No guessing games with a pistol, Winchester model 1300 with 00 buck. Can't miss.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:57 PM
reply to post by salchanra

Same here, Remington 870 by my bed. I don't yet have a concealed carry permit but am in the process of getting time off to take the required classes. I plan to carry my XD .40 subcompact in that case. Absolutely love that thing.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:04 PM
Ive debated this in my head before and decided just to stick and train exclusively with the Glock 19, Glock 26 combination. Two guns with the same ergo's and trigger press. Both have been %100 reliable thru a few thousand rounds.
With my limited training time and budget it makes sense for me.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:11 PM
Agreed semper...a revolver is like a shotgun...almost perfect. The simplicity is the key. And looking at them from a survival aspect to me is key. Many times people don't look at the survival, they instead look at it from an offensive point of view.

Meaning, I am a combat vet, the unit I served with had ALL modern, state of the art weapons, and training, etc...and I am now a LEO with just over 6 years of my 9 years in SWAT and in these roles I am on the offensive for the most part, but the average citizen will be on the defensive...i.e. survival. In this mode EVERYTHING changes. You don't need an M4 with a triji site, surefire forend, laser, IR designator, need a RELIABLE, LOW MAINTENANCE, KISS (keep it simple stupid) weapon...and as my man semper has shared, the revolver is it.

I would just add, PLEASE make sure if your are going to carry any weapon..understand it..and if you have to pay alittle more and take the armor course for that gun. If you are one of those SHTF survivalist types you BETTER know how to strip, clean, fix, and reassemble what you carry....

Great thread semper...S&F

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:25 PM
REVOLVERS REVOLVERS REVOLVERS--Hands down the best for close range
1--never jams--just forget to keep it oiled, or take it out in really cold weather like here in wisconsin when its 20 -30 below zero, and see how the clip spring looses its feed force--JAM JAM
2-- You can get a bigger gun for the money--44 mag or larger.
3-- You can learn to fire it faster than a semi-auto -with practice
People whatch what people post about guns, very dangerous to listen to the wrong people. Join a gun range to get the best of all worlds on advice. All gun ranges have the gun-culture crowd who are very giving with info, You can ask anybody there to try their gun and i dought any would turn you down, not at my range anyway. Safty is first, and it takes a lot of practice to become good with any fire arm. You must practice rapid deployment in all situations you can think of, or when you need the gun in an emergency you will most likely fail. Some times my wife answers the door armed, or goes out the back door armed when somebody knocks at the door. UPS AND FED EX are used to our house, as is friend and family. SHE will not trust anybody these days on our property. She has practice at always keeping two hands on her weapon and backs away from the door with the gun pointing down, before anybody enters just for practice. We drill rapid deployment in our trucks just to stay on top of things---DRILL DRILL -- PRACTICE PRACTICE --she can shoot dixy cups at 25 yards 3 out of 5 times with near misses when she misses. My wife is armed on bike rides or just walks in the country. We have wolves and bear in our yards year round, and i dont worry [much]
my AR is 308 caliber, not the 222 peashooters most own --our pistols are 44 mag. With lots of hunting weapons we round out our gun-culture here in the woods.

SAFTY FIRST- PRACTICE WITH DRILLS- REVOLVERS-AND A 308 AR-RIFLE and you should be fine. SHotguns are fine next to the bed, otherwise just for hunting grouse .

Rember dont really listen to me or anyone else, it your life you defend, that means its your responsibility to educate your-self at a good gun range with the different people you will find there----HAPPY SHOOTING-and when you get good--start reloading your own

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:32 PM
If I would live in the US i would keep a Taurus The Judge in my home.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:34 PM
S&F for the post.

It is refreshing to see some points discussed on this topic rather than the normal things that all add up to personal preference anyway. I browsed a forum the other day where they were arguing about types of ammo, but the bottom line there is with the proper shot placement, dead is dead regardless.

My wife and I both have concealed permits. I normally carry a Glock 17 while she prefers a S&W .380 which is easier for her to handle with her smaller hands. Beside my bed I keep a S&W .44 mag for similar reasons as the OP mentioned, if I get woke up I do not want to be faced with a potential jam at the worst moment.

While it has been a long time since I got out of the Navy, (had weapons training there but no combat) we both get to the range about once a month.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:35 PM
reply to post by semperfortis

Interesting post. S & F for topic. I was advised by a beat cop several years ago when I lived in a very high crime area in Texas to buy a 357, (Taurus 6") and keep it by my bedside, similiar to what you do. He said that if someone broke into the home in the middle of the night, and I was groggy just point and shoot, and that I would either make a hole in them the size of a grapefruit, or the loud noise from that particular weapon would scare them off....His final advice was drag them inside, dead or not......and call the cops.

Never had occasion to use it, but was glad to have same. Thanks for the semi vs. revolver issue. Been debating lately due to ammo shortages etc.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by manta78]

[edit on 14-5-2010 by manta78]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:52 PM
I will never forget my first weapon malfunction. One trains, of course, again and again to perform immediate action without even thinking. (Safe) Slap, Pull, Observe, Release, Tap, (unSafe,) Shoot. You could do it in your sleep. Then it happens. Luckily for me it was on a range during qualification. Click. You knew something was wrong. The last cycle just didn't feel right. But it couldn't happen to you, right? You treat your weapon better than your spouse. All of those hours spent on maintenance. Was it all for nothing? "Now I'll never shoot 40/40" you think to yourself. You realize you've frozen, and you're not sure for how long. Dredge up that memory. Starts with Slap, right? And you're back in the fight. But you wasted two rounds and left yourself exposed for God knows how long... Lucky this time.

Just wanted to share. No matter what you do your semi can and will jam, and you won't be ready.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:48 PM
I keep a Mossberg 12 gauge barely legal (with an attached eye blinder) by the bed, a .380 on the nightstand, and a dobie in the yard.
For self-defense.

For anything else that might come up, the Springfield 30.06 is a solid rifle if a little heavy.

The key to a semi-auto pistol is keeping a firm wrist. I haven't had jamming problems with my Browning.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Stewie]

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 05:04 AM
Old yet interesting debate. Revolver vs semi.

If I had the choice, I'd always carry a semi for personal defence. I have done for years. It's purely down to experience. Being from the N Ireland we've been fairly lucky when compared to the rest of the UK with regards to handgun laws, but even I've been forced to get rid of my trusty P5C/L102A1 as I've been on the mainland for too long. This pistol lived on my hip for years. I was issued as a PPW and loved it so much that I finally bought it when it came up for decommissioning.

With most British people the only real handgun experience comes from either military or police experience, both of whome now issue purely semis. Military (depending on service/trade) would have experience with Brownings, Sig P226/228, Walther P5C/PPK/PP. Police may have experience with any number of pistols depending on the constabulary, from Glock 17 to Sig P226 to Walther P99. Up until recently police may have had some Ruger Speed Sixes or S&W model 10 or 19s. This past experience will cloud or at least sway the responses you get here.

Unfortunately too many people only have experience from TV/film/XBox. This is where you'll get some weird and wonderful suggestions unfortunately. The fact that it looks good/blows people through windows/shoots all day without reloading (depending on TV/XBox experience) creates some 'unique' results in these type of threads.

For a purely 'survivalist' scenario, I would always advocate a revolver. They can be left for long periods with minimal use or care with no springs to weaken. The biggest mechanical cause of malfunction in a semi is the magazine. If left for long periods the springs can weaken and will not feed. Not a major problem for those who can take the time to care for their pistol, but this is not always an option for the survivalist on the move.

Home defence doesn't really factor in for me as I live in the Mess on camp and have a number of guards with assault rifles looking after me at night.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:41 AM
Something beyond revolver vs. semi I have been thinking about lately is synthetic vs. metal.

Granted polymer frames still have metal slides and parts.

But for long-term camping style living which would hold up better? The metal may tarnish or even rust. The polymer may warp or crack. Hard hits may crack the polymer and may bend the metal.

Would I want an XD or Glock with me or a 1911 or Hi Power?

I've read that over time the polymer may warp or shrink as the material ages. Certainly this would take decades to happen but it may still be a factor.

posted on May, 15 2010 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I carried a Beretta, Sig, and Glock in the military and from my experience and how much I shoot, train, and my job also requires me to carry, they all have their benefits and downfalls. I think you would have to ask what scenerio before giving a definite most things. Just from experience, a poly framed weapon is a godsent when your on a manuver that will be covering 20+ me when i tell you...a Sig 226 (all metal) weapon WILL become a pain in your

EDIT TO ADD: Also, your hands will also thank GOD when your in a cold enviorment and have a poly frame when shooting....

[edit on 5/15/2010 by rcwj1975]

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 02:18 AM
My only objection to your Dan Wesson is need for adjustments on the cylinder. A minor annoyance, but something to consider while in field for long stretches. Losing that shim and/or the other tool for the barrel wrench, would be a morale issue. I won't fire anything that I don't trust, so each shot and hard bump would weigh on my mind.

That said, I would never want to be on the business end, the accuracy is better than my old Ruger Security Six. Six inch, stainless, I went for solid dependability. Your Dan will fire faster due to the trigger weight alone, not counting the design. Despite (or because) being Ruger's first dual action, it is best used as a single action revolver when shots count.

Still, I feel that wheel gun will be far more useful for more years than I will.

[edit on 17-5-2010 by Ahabstar]

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 02:23 AM

Guns do NOT protect you from flying bullets.

Maybe a bullet proof vest,

but a bullet is virtually impossible to hit with another bullet even if you could see it.

Survival = bullet proof shielding.
A safer place to fire from when targeting someone who decided to shoot at you.

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 05:37 AM
I will stick with my 1911.
I carried a 1911 in the Navy and am a 1911 smith.
I have rebuilt all my 1911s over the years and never had a problem.

I use 165 gr hydro-shocks for defence and 200 gr bullet 5 gr bullseye hand-loads for practice.

I have never had a stoppage or fail to fire with the hydro-shocks and very few with my hand loads.(none traceable to the weapon)

With proper cleaning and lube the chance of a fail to fire with factory loads in almost nil.

If you are having problems with a semi auto 1911 you have a damaged gun, magazine or cleaning problem and and you need to find out which.

The 1911 used 230 gr full metal jacket.(ball)only to correct for the lack of care by the person carrying it.
And it needs tuned for other ammo.
It also was never made too fire 10.000 rounds of 230 gr ball.

The military built the 1911 as a backup weapon and put the hottest ammo in it.

Many military 1911s were used and very few ever had more then 200 round fire through them. The 230 gr ball was used to cover for dirty guns and lack of lube.
The same 1911 could have 10.000 round of lighter loads put through it and never have a problem.

This tells you what to do to tune a factory 1911

My main defence 1911 has also had the barrel changed to one that is two inches longer (7 inch) and its been ported to reduce recoil.
plus i use a EGW firing pin stop to reduce recoil.

I carry with a 10 round mag +1 in the chamber.
and can get off all 11 in the time most people fire 8+1 230 gr military ball.

And unlike a glock if i go empty i can use a 1911 as a club and not damage it.

[edit on 17-5-2010 by ANNED]

[edit on 17-5-2010 by ANNED]

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 06:42 AM
reply to post by semperfortis

I prefer a revolver as well.I have a ruger sp101 and
I really like this gun.It's not too heavy and fits well in
my hands.It is a .357 mag and I practice once a month
using 38 ammo.

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 06:57 AM
reply to post by slank

One question for you...
How does a civilian get a bullet proof vest?

posted on May, 17 2010 @ 07:14 AM
reply to post by mamabeth

Just Google something like "kevlar vest" and there are all sorts of businesses more than happy to sell you one.

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