Today I want to break down the pros and cons of carrying a revolver vs semi auto to help you make an informed decision on this hotly debated topic.
Any Breaking Bad fans out there?
“If five rounds won’t get the job done, you’re into spray and pray, and another six isn’t likely to seal the deal.”
“You can’t get more dependable than a wheel gun.”
Recognize those words of wisdom imparted to Walter White just before he bought his snub-nose 38 Special?
So maybe you’re considering your handgun choices for daily concealed carry and the revolver has captured your eye. You’re drawn to the simplicity, ruggedness, reliability, ergonomics and even beauty of a wheel gun – but do they make good carry weapons?
In a day when many are carrying semi-autos with up to fifteen double stacked rounds of 9 mm – what good is a five shot revolver?
Actually, the revolver is a very good choice.
The Trusty Reliable Revolver
One issue with semi autos is that they must be kept pristine and oiled to prevent their bad tendencies such as jamming during feeding or stove piping during extraction. A little powder residue goes a long way to gumming up your semi-auto.
Suddenly your fifteen round 9mm becomes a single shot weapon while the small frame revolver still has four more rounds.
Revolvers can take a little powder residue and still function. In fact, it takes quite a bit of carbon build-up to jam up a revolver.
If you’re the type who does not keep his or her weapons in a pristine condition (and you know who you are) you need to fight the urge to invest in weapons that require this level of care. Or they may fail to function when your life depends on it.
Personally, I wouldn’t carry any weapon for self-protection in a dirty or neglected condition – but if you do – make it a rugged revolver.
One word of caution: I’ve often heard the advantage of a revolver is if you have a misfire you can just pull the trigger again to move another round into position for firing, unlike a semi-auto, where you will have to the rack the slide. This is true, however, keep in mind, if the reason the revolver failed to fire was a slow primer and you rotate the cylinder into the next position you run the risk of an explosion.
Pulling the trigger again moves a dud out of the way, but a hang-fire may result in an out of battery explosion, destroying the gun and whatever human parts happen to be in the way of the flying metal.
So again, it’s nice to have a double stack of 9mms, but have to hit the target.
And – by the way – we talk a lot about 15 round capacities and double-stacked magazines, but let’s get real for a moment. These full-frame pistols conceal carry with all the subtlety of an ISIS pick-up truck.