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Old December 16, 2013, 05:34 PM   #26
RX-79G
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The most common DGU involves 0 shots fired.
This is why I'm considering carrying a gun shaped block of foam rubber.

It is legal to carry without a license, it's light, safe for pocket carry, ammo is universally (un)available and doesn't hurt when you fall on it. 100% reliable in the most common DGU.
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Old December 16, 2013, 06:00 PM   #27
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This is why I'm considering carrying a gun shaped block of foam rubber.

It is legal to carry without a license, it's light, safe for pocket carry, ammo is universally (un)available and doesn't hurt when you fall on it. 100% reliable in the most common DGU.
I suppose that's one take away.

I prefer to consider the possibility of 1 or more determined attackers, so I carry a Glock 19 Gen 4.

High 5 for individual choice!
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Old December 16, 2013, 08:26 PM   #28
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I am not so sure revolvers are more reliable that semiauto handguns.

I have used a S&W 5904, a Sig P-229, & an H&K USP, and never once did one fail to do anything except fire when I pulled triggers. In contrast, I have seen a Model 566, a Model 15, and a Model 60 fail.

For me, I'd trust my life to a Sig P-229 before I'd trust it with any revolver. I am sure others see it differently. I'm good with varying mileage.
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Old December 17, 2013, 05:33 AM   #29
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SGT127:
Thanks for those stats, veeeerrrrry interesting, Im looking forward to setting aside some time where I can really dig in to them!

But alas... It seems we're not getting much data as to the original question on this thread...

I'm beginning to conclude that in the the SD "semi vs revolver" debate, there really seem to be no stats to back up either side (which means Ive learned something: that the debate seems to be all based on opinion).
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Old December 17, 2013, 06:29 AM   #30
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Been hearing that hoary story about the sound of a shotgun being racked for years, never heard much saying it was true.
I have no idea about the "effectiveness" for SD, but the sound does count as a "warning shot" for the USCG when boarding.
As far as "giving away your position", the vast majority of buglers are in it for the easy money, not to get into a firefight. If they know you're awake, and armed they'll most likely move on to an easier haul. I think a lot of us tend to overestimate the determination and cunning of the average criminal. Even if they are the murderous type, who wants to go through a door that's being covered by a shotgun?
That being said, I use an AR rather than a shotgun for my HD long gun.


As to the original question:
With modern autos kept in good condition, is there even a real statistically significant difference in reliability? Other than ammunition issues related to cheap practice stuff, I very rarely have any issues with my autos.
Maybe 1-2/1000 rounds when I had my 1911, and none yet with any of my polymer wonder 9's.
It's entirely possible that revolvers are still more reliable, but we're talking about 0.01% to 0.001% chance of failure.

On the flip side, the chances of needing a semi's extra capacity are also quite low.

It seems like it's really a more a question of preference than anything else.
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Old December 17, 2013, 10:55 PM   #31
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So we have a post where someone has never had an auto fail, but has seen 3 different revolvers fail.

One side of the coin.

In the past 30+ years, I have owned over a dozen auto pistols and revolvers (each). EVERY one of my autos has, at some time had at least one malfunction. NONE of my revolvers ever has.

Other side of the coin.

Basically, if you have a good auto (and ammo) it won't malfunction.
If you have a good revolver (and ammo) it won't malfunction.

If you don't, it will.

Flip your coin, take your pick.
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Old December 17, 2013, 11:20 PM   #32
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The revolver v semi auto reliability debate is to me like manual versus automatic transmission,

When auto transmission came out they were clunky, heavy, burned fuel like hell, and prone to expensive mechanical problems, for years manual transmissions were better, then as years went on people decided auto transmission was easier to use, the technology improved every decade, by the 1990s the stick shifts advantage was 2 or 3 mpg over a similar auto car. By 2002 all advantages had dissapeared entirely.

Same with revolvers, the new semi autos have eclipsed the revolver in reliability and practicality, but the revolver, much like the stick shift, will always be better in the minds of a devoted fan base.

Now I own revolvers, I love my revolvers, even carry them sometimes, but the glock 19 has every advantage over the model 10 ....
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Old December 18, 2013, 12:02 AM   #33
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<-- the glock 19 has every advantage over the model 10 ....

A statement like that assumes there exists only one type of gun owner, and one type of shooting scenario. What you have there is a sweeping generalization, and there is plenty of evidence to the contrary - from, "arthritic hands have trouble with slides," to, "3rd and 4th Gen glocks throw brass in the face," to, "revolvers are point and shoot, and clean more easily," to, "not every self defense situation will call for 15 shots of 9mm." I could go on...
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Old December 18, 2013, 01:09 AM   #34
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Generally agree that SAs today are pretty much similar to revolvers in reliability, but not totally equivalent. Having said that, all the data (including the comprehensive NYPD annual reports) indicate that firearms confrontations seem to be settled with an average of less than three rounds fired by both sides. So my own take based on the available data is that the capacity argument is based on opinion and emotion, rather than data from actual shootings. If having a lot of rounds, as opposed to 5 - 8 is important to you, then own a SA. OTOH, a revolver allows you to select a variety of power (38, 38+P, 357) & bullet types (WC, SWC, HP, etc.). I know the females in my fmily prefer revolvers because it's easy to determine whether it's loaded, and the "point and pull the trigger" simplicity is important. Note that the NYPD duty and off-duty arms are now virtually all SAs, and their data show almost one-fifth the discahrges by police are unintentional.
I am biased about the NYPD data, having worked for them for 3 years, but they are the largest city PD in the nation, and they are compulsive in their data collection.
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Old December 18, 2013, 10:40 PM   #35
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Stats?

Hey, all, remember, the intention of this thread was to share stats that could shed light on this "semi vs revolver debate"...
I guess there are really no such stats.
Oh well, if we've learned nothing else, we've All learned that!
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:10 PM   #36
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Bill,

A lot of the more recent NYPD stats list malfunctions also. They have been doing that report for years. I recall hearing that in the history of the NYPD, there was never a revolver malfunction that resulted in an officer being injured or killed. They may have run out of ammo, but not a revolver failure. I don't know where you could find the firearms reports back from the revolver era though.

I cannot remember where I heard that. Or even if its true. But, with 40,000 Colt, Smith and Ruger revolvers on the street at one time, the NYPD would likely be the best source for info.

They had some issues with the Glock 19 when it first came out, a really funky hard jam that was tough to clear.
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Old December 19, 2013, 03:35 AM   #37
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Hey, all, remember, the intention of this thread was to share stats that could shed light on this "semi vs revolver debate"...
I guess there are really no such stats.
Oh well, if we've learned nothing else, we've All learned that!
I gave you some stats earlier. The Colt 45 ACP semiauto - 6000 rounds with 0 malfunctions in 1911. Our military found that acceptable so replaced their revolvers and the 1911 performed admirably as our issued sidearm for 74 years. Its successor was another semiauto.

Worldwide, compare the number of revolvers vs. semi autos used by military, government agencies and police. The stats are overwhelming. But still all that doesn't mean that your sample of one (your choice of a defensive handgun and its individual performance) will live up to the statistics.

So no matter how much data you have ... go ahead, choose what you want, either type of handgun is reliable if you do your homework and buy quality ... and don't get a lemon.

Last edited by Quentin2; December 19, 2013 at 03:45 AM.
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Old December 20, 2013, 05:42 PM   #38
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I have both. Why limit yourself to 50% ?
Each caliber has it's strong and weak points.
I do have a 40S&W revolver that shoots with moon clips, but as a rule only a few of the calibers are available in both formats, (revolver and Pistol). Once you know the round that you want to use, the rest of the decision making should be easier. I like the 9mm or 38 Special in town, and a 44mag in the woods.

The problem with statistics is they do not match the situation I am usually in. You can site military data, but I am not using a handgun for a backup to a rifle, nor am I carrying ball ammo for defense. Even experts disagree on what is best. Look at the different rounds used by the different Police agencies. some 9, some 40, some 45, some 357sig, some 10mm, Many carry revolvers as backups. The #1 one shot stopper is still the 357 mag in 125gn I believe.

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Old December 21, 2013, 01:16 PM   #39
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The #1 one shot stopper is still the 357 mag in 125gn I believe.
It is, providing you believe in the validity of the one shot stop statistics, or the concept in general.
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Old December 22, 2013, 09:35 AM   #40
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The handgun, revolver or semi, is just something to use until you can get to a real gun.
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Old December 22, 2013, 01:21 PM   #41
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I have little doubt there's a significant difference between civilian self-defense round count and that of LE engagements. The latter appears to typically be a mag dump in the general direction of the target.

One that comes to mind is the hundreds of rounds LAPD expended shooting nearby homes, trees and vehicles while shooting at two newspaper delivery ladies in a pickup that "could possibly have contained" Christian Dorner.

Any time you hear about the use of firearms by the NYPD, it's a similar story. Dozens of citizens injured while these brave, but unskilled public servants unload their guns in the general direction of their target.
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Old December 22, 2013, 01:21 PM   #42
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The handgun, revolver or semi, is just something to use until you can get to a real gun.
That cliche is SOOOOOOO old.

The reality is the fight will be what the fight will be and you will win,lose or draw with what you have with you.
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Old December 22, 2013, 01:29 PM   #43
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If there were a way to track such things, I believe that it would prove true that a defender is far more likely to fire more than 6 rounds than they are to experience a malfunction during the course of a DGU. I suspect that revolvers are significantly more likely to cease functioning during a DGU than semis are, for this reason alone.
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Old December 23, 2013, 12:07 PM   #44
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I believe that it would prove true that a defender is far more likely to fire more than 6 rounds than they are to experience a malfunction during the course of a DGU. I suspect that revolvers are significantly more likely to cease functioning during a DGU than semis are, for this reason alone.
I will happily agree that if you shoot your gun dry, no matter if it is 5 shots or 15 that it will cease functioning. I also agree that a person is statistically much more likely to do that than have a malfunction.

I do not, however see the point when comparing autos to revolvers, for personal defensive use.

If you shoot your gun dry, either through inclination or because someone has trained you to "shoot to slide lock", it has little to do with auto or revolver, it has to do with you missing,... a lot.

Available data suggests the vast majority of "defensive gun uses" don't involve the gun being fired at all. Decades of data from actual defensive shootings show that less than 3 shots is the average. Sure, this means many take more, but it also means many only take 1, or none.

Hollywood is (and has been for quite some time) teaching us exactly ALL the WRONG things to do, almost all the time. Sadly, that is all the "training" a lot of people ever get.
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Old December 23, 2013, 12:50 PM   #45
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We can only estimate the number of times per year people draw a gun for self defense. Could be over 100,000 time a year in the U.S.A. This is because shots are seldom fired in these situations, and subsequently, the cops are not called. And yet there are people who want to carry an auto with 18 rounds in the mag like they're going to storm a beach or ward off a horde of Comanche galloping through town.
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Old December 23, 2013, 01:13 PM   #46
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What is a DGU?

The only times my revolvers have ceased functioning is the same reason my AK-47 does, no more ammo.
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Old December 23, 2013, 02:23 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
If you shoot your gun dry, either through inclination or because someone has trained you to "shoot to slide lock", it has little to do with auto or revolver, it has to do with you missing,... a lot.



Available data suggests the vast majority of "defensive gun uses" don't involve the gun being fired at all. Decades of data from actual defensive shootings show that less than 3 shots is the average. Sure, this means many take more, but it also means many only take 1, or none.



Hollywood is (and has been for quite some time) teaching us exactly ALL the WRONG things to do, almost all the time. Sadly, that is all the "training" a lot of people ever get.

No. Shooting until empty absolutely does not mean that you are missing. The fact that this myth is perpetuated mystifies me, because we have MANY examples of situations where multiple attackers were involved, or where one attacker simply refused to stop.

Around last summer, a woman emptied a 6 shot revolver into an attacker, getting 5 hits, including two in the head. The attacker walked away, got into a car, and tried to drive to get medical attention.

An officer I know was in a gunfight where he fired 7 shots, scoring 4 hits, and the BG lived. The officer was hit once, and also continued to fight. Had he been carrying a revolver, the officer would have run dry. He didn't shoot seven times because he was missing. He kept shooting because it took multiple hits.

There is also the simple fact that it takes less time to fire than it does for a bad guy to react, because Hollywood is wrong, and BGs don't instantly drop when shot. You keep shooting until they stop. You do not shoot, check for a hit, wait to see what happens, then shoot again.

Please, STOP with this nonsense about only firing X rounds because of misses. It is strictly false.
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Old December 23, 2013, 02:23 PM   #48
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Defensive Gun Use (?)
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Old December 23, 2013, 02:48 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Lt. Skrumpledonk Ret View Post
Defensive Gun Use (?)

Yup
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Old December 23, 2013, 09:07 PM   #50
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Shooting until empty absolutely does not mean that you are missing.
I think it does. You may be hitting your attacker, but you have missed stopping them.

I do recognize that there are cases where this is not the shooter's fault. But, you must also recognize that there are also cases where the shooter just blazes away (spray and pray), even some folks in uniform do this. Few, however will admit to it after the fact.

Look, we can both come up with plenty of cases of no rounds fired, and cases of guns being shot dry, reloaded and shot dry again. All exist, and so does everything in between.

Times change, attitudes change. At one time, a double tap, then assess was commonly taught. Today, its not. At one time, cops were "taught" to pick up their brass before firing the next string. That training proved fatally flawed on the street...

I'm not saying how often you should shoot in any given situation, You do what you think best, at the time.
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