More and more Americans are buying handguns for the first time.
Most all first time buyers want a handgun for self defense and personal protection.
YOU are the first line of defense. While seconds count, having adequate defense may save your life.
One question that often arises is this… Which type of handgun should you get? A revolver or semiautomatic pistol?
A semiautomatic pistol might seem like the best handgun to get since it is indeed the majority market. However one might argue that pistols can be somewhat complicated to use (although not always), especially in chaotic, high-stress situations. Each additional step necessary to operate a handgun may be one more chance for something to go wrong.
For a pistol to operate reliably EVERY TIME, you HAVE to make sure –
1) the magazine is properly loaded and inserted.
2) The pistol must be cocked and/or the slide must be pulled back and released. Note though that not all pistols require it be cocked and/or slide pulled back (e.g. the Glock)
3) The safety must be in the “fire” position.
4) The slide must be all the way in the “forward locked position” or the pistol won’t fire.
5) If you get a “dud” round of ammunition not only will the pistol not fire but you will also have to “rack” the slide again hoping the “dud” round just falls out easily and make sure the slide locks all the way into the forward position before you can again try to fire the pistol.
Now imagine trying to go through all of these steps during those seconds of crisis.
With a revolver however, you just squeeze the trigger. Most revolvers don’t have or need a safety, as the trigger pull is “heavy” enough to prevent accidental firings. If you get a dud round, you just squeeze the trigger again and a new round is fired. The Police carried revolvers for 100 years and it served them well, some individual officers still choose to carry revolvers in part because of their absolute reliability.
For a first time handgun owner a revolver might be a better initial choice. Revolvers are utterly reliable and easy to use. With that said, the semi-auto Glock might be the equivalent ‘reliable’ choice if one wishes to go the route of the pistol.
Note: Some might argue the difference between a revolver having fewer shots than a semiauto. While that is true, most personal protection shooting incidents are over with quickly. With that said, reloading a revolver (unless practiced with a speedloader) will likely take longer than reloading a magazine in a semiautomatic.
Note: Mounting a laser to a revolver makes it even simpler during a highly tense critical moment — point the red dot on the target and squeeze the trigger. I have mounted a Crimson Trace laser grip to my S&W 642-1 and can attest to the simplicity.
I will also add this… Take a class and get training from an instructor.
And then practice, practice, practice.
Safety, safety, safety.