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Old August 1, 2020, 09:29 PM   #1
Deja vu
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Is it time to upgrade carry gun? Training question...

I learned to shoot pistols on revolvers. For about 20 years I carried and practiced with a S&W 640 j-frame. I loved the gun and got so I shoot it pretty well. About 2 years ago it was stollen. At that time I still wanted a revolver as I still shoot those better than semiauto pistols. So I upgraded to a S&W 627 8shot 357 as I have a lot of 357 magnum ammo. This gun has served me well. I am a big believer in both alone range practice as well as paid practice with and instructor.

Flash forward to today. I find I have an extra $1200 and think to my self I could get another gun or I could take a nationally well known pistol class. I decide to take the class as I have not seen another gun I really want in a long time (I guess I’m maturing)

I find that the vast majority of self defense pistol class only accept semiautomatics. I do own 2 semiautomatic Pistols but I would consider them novelty guns rather than self defense guns (Coonan 357 and a Desert Eagle 357).

So should I just take another local class that allows revolvers? Should I finely just bite the bullet and get a semiautomatic in 9mm (or may be 45acp) or should I just keep looking? Or should I try to take one of those classes with the Coonan or the Desert Eagle? I do know that I shoot revolvers much better that autos, this is likely do to the once a year 2-7 day class and my 1 box of ammo a pay day practice.

Any advise?
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

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Last edited by Deja vu; August 1, 2020 at 09:52 PM.
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Old August 1, 2020, 11:16 PM   #2
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Both the Coonan and the Desert Eagle are very large handguns. IMHO they are not what you should consider for a class, because a class worth taking is going to include a lot of work on drawing from concealment (or from open carry). There is no value in taking a class using a gun that you wouldn't carry. If you are firm that you want to carry a revolver, then by all means find a class that will allow you to train with a revolver.
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Old August 2, 2020, 12:02 AM   #3
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Musings in no order.

***

Dump the Desert Eagle, add the proceeds to the $1,200 and go to Thunder Ranch. Your revolver will do just fine there. Gunsite 250 also allows revolvers.

***

Keep in mind that you should always take a spare gun when you go to training. It should be setup identically to the first. This way, all gear works so you're not swapping gear on the line. An identical setup means no transition time in your mind and you can focus upon the lesson.

***

In revolver training, your gun is going to get very hot. I swap it out with the spare to let it cool off. This matters after the 10th burn from the forcing cone... You'll also cook yourself if you carry IWB--been there, done that too.

***

That Coonan is now hard to get. Acquire spare parts while you can. I wish I had purchased one years ago. I shot a rental Coonan 357 5" recently and it was great!!

Never sell it!

***

Or, just suck it up and buy a "Glock-19" CLASS 9mm pistol (HK P30 LEM, S&W M&P 9 Compact M2.0, CZ P10C, HK VP9, Glock 19, Glock 48, etc) for around $500 and just go to training with it. You'll figure out how it works and will be proficient by the time you leave. 9mm used to be a cheap training round, but the shortage is causing problems. 357 Magnum and 38 Special were always expensive to train with.

***

If you do take your revolver to training and use speed loaders, acquire loading trays. Get two that hold the most number of cylinder loads. Keep them full as you go through the course. Get a ton of speed loaders.

Use moon clips if the cylinder is cut. In that case, get a "moon clip tool" with demooner. But, just get 100 from Ranch Products and load them all before class. Put them in a 5 gallon bucket or a bag with lots of pouches. This way you're not rushing to demoon and reload moonclips. It takes too long between strings and time will be short. You don't want to miss anything because you're stuck back at the bench loading up.

Last edited by tomrkba; August 2, 2020 at 12:34 AM.
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Old August 2, 2020, 01:17 AM   #4
Deja vu
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Thanks for the encouragement from both of you, yes I do think I’ll just stick to my revolvers.

I do have 3 loading blocks that hold 64 rounds each. I all ready do use moon clips too so that’s easy.

Thanks for pointing me to thunder ranch and gun sight I have heard of both of them but forgot when I was searching!

You have both been a good help...
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...
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Old August 2, 2020, 05:46 AM   #5
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Nothing wrong with revolvers, I prefer them myself. If you have a good dependable S&W and it works, why change? A no load index fund mirroring the S&P 500 would be my preference, instead of a semiautomatic.
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Old August 2, 2020, 10:39 AM   #6
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It may be time for me to get a carry gun that holds more than 5 rounds. I had a dream, took 3 rounds from my 642 to put down 2 guys bashing in my car windows to get at me, only 2 rounds left, what to do if a couple more attack me. Could this be a vision(I have a Native American ancestor way back), what to do????? I will try to stay clear of Dallas, Houston etc. Don't want to get caught in a BLM/Antifa riot with only a 5 shooter.
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Old August 2, 2020, 10:44 AM   #7
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Train with what you plan to carry imo. If you carry revolvers then train with the revolver. I’ve done close to 30 shooting courses now. If I had been motivated I don’t see why I couldn’t have done them with a revolver. Now keep in mind you will likely want a lot of speed loaders. Most strings of fire for drills are based around semiautomatic handguns. You will end up doing a lot of reloading. I would also ask the instructor up front if he or she thinks it will be an issue. Send an email, make a call. I can’t think of an instructor I’ve had that wouldn’t be willing to give that information.


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Old August 2, 2020, 12:08 PM   #8
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If you got a spare $1,200, I would recommend staying with a revolver and get a S&W 327. Light as hell and holds 8 rounds. Practice with 38 Spl. Load for bear for 2 legged critters. May hurt when you shot it with full house 357 but you ain't gonna feel it if you have to use it for SD.
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Old August 2, 2020, 02:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete2 View Post
It may be time for me to get a carry gun that holds more than 5 rounds. I had a dream, took 3 rounds from my 642 to put down 2 guys bashing in my car windows to get at me, only 2 rounds left, what to do if a couple more attack me. Could this be a vision(I have a Native American ancestor way back), what to do????? I will try to stay clear of Dallas, Houston etc. Don't want to get caught in a BLM/Antifa riot with only a 5 shooter.
3 rounds for 2 bad guys would be better than average, exceptional.
Looking at this study:
https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alte...stopping-power
1.8 rounds = 2 rounds. (Can't shoot just part of a bullet)
On average it took 2 rounds of 38 special to incapacitate an attacker, two hits.
What about missing? Police hit what 50% of the time with a "service" size pistol.
Might entertain the idea of missing in a high stress dynamic event, especially with a "pocket" gun.
Two attackers, on average two rounds each to incapacitate is 4 rounds, but thats a 100% hit ratio.
Given a 50% police hit ratio its not unrealistic that 8 rounds might be fired to stop two attackers.
9mm averaged 2.4 rounds which equals 3 rounds, hits.
40 S&W similar with 2.3 rounds which also equals 3 rounds, hits.

8 rounds for two attackers based on average hits to incapacitate and average police hit ratio.

ETA: My minimum carry is a Glock 23 with 14 rounds total, heck with averages, stack the odds in my favor.
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"Wouldn't want to / Nobody volunteer to" get shot by _____ is not indicative of quickly incapacitating.
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Old August 2, 2020, 04:19 PM   #10
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Lots of good instructors still teach Revolver skills. Thunder Ranch and Gunsite as named above would be my first choices.

Its not the arrow, its the Indian.
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Old August 2, 2020, 06:02 PM   #11
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Come back and let us know how things went.

P.S. The Glock 19 suggestion, IMhO, is good. I was going to suggest a Ruger Security 9 but pretty much the same idea.

Good luck.
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Old August 3, 2020, 08:43 AM   #12
pete2
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I have a G19 but no safety on it. I may buy a Security 9, my son has one and it seems ok, has a safety on it.
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Old August 3, 2020, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
3 rounds for 2 bad guys would be better than average, exceptional.
Looking at this study:
https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alte...stopping-power
1.8 rounds = 2 rounds. (Can't shoot just part of a bullet)
On average it took 2 rounds of 38 special to incapacitate an attacker, two hits.
What about missing? Police hit what 50% of the time with a "service" size pistol.
Might entertain the idea of missing in a high stress dynamic event, especially with a "pocket" gun.
Two attackers, on average two rounds each to incapacitate is 4 rounds, but thats a 100% hit ratio.
Given a 50% police hit ratio its not unrealistic that 8 rounds might be fired to stop two attackers.
9mm averaged 2.4 rounds which equals 3 rounds, hits.
40 S&W similar with 2.3 rounds which also equals 3 rounds, hits.

8 rounds for two attackers based on average hits to incapacitate and average police hit ratio.

ETA: My minimum carry is a Glock 23 with 14 rounds total, heck with averages, stack the odds in my favor.
Aside from the obvious mantra of utterly ignoring anyone who uses the term “stopping power”...
The data provided and used in that “study” is utterly useless as it ignores critically important factors.
Not the least of which is shot placement.
I’m amazed at how some folks can still give such credence to that “data”.
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Old August 3, 2020, 11:16 AM   #14
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OP
IMO your money would be far better spent just honing your skills in practical & productive way.
It’s overly used and utterly cliché, but... “It’s the indian not the arrow”
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Old August 3, 2020, 03:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBM900 View Post
Aside from the obvious mantra of utterly ignoring anyone who uses the term “stopping power”...
The data provided and used in that “study” is utterly useless as it ignores critically important factors.
Not the least of which is shot placement.
I’m amazed at how some folks can still give such credence to that “data”.
Nowhere did I use the term "stopping power"

I used that study as an example of rounds fired to incapacitate, that is not to suggest (or imply) that I give blanket credence to all of it.
That same study shows the 32 acp having better results than 9mm/40/45 - I'm not subscribing to that.

Main idea (mine) is even with lethal (but not CNS) hits an attacker could still have 10 seconds (or more) of voluntary hostile action.
Two or three hits required to incapacitate an attacker is not unreasonable to expect.
Expecting every round fired to be a "good" hit might be a bit optimistic, so 3 - 4 rounds total fired to incapacitate one attacker aint unrealistic.

If one is content to bet their life on a 5 shot snub it doesn't impact me, oh well.
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Old August 3, 2020, 07:00 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDW4ME View Post
Nowhere did I use the term "stopping power"
No where did I say that you did

It is however right in the title and used throughout the linked material
Hence my entire point about ignoring tripe from such a source
Ever hear the phrase "garbage in garbage out"?

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Old August 3, 2020, 09:53 PM   #17
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If you are more comfortable shooting revolvers and very proficient with them, stick with them. I am much more comfortable with semi-autos so that is what I carry. I find revolvers harder to conceal due to the width of the cylinder and I also prefer to have more rounds that revolvers can hold. But as I said, if they work for you stay with them.
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Old August 5, 2020, 02:21 PM   #18
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thoughts

To say that one should not get more training would be a mistake, training is a good thing. Buy a new gun and not train would be foolish advice. But...

The OP's comment that he shoots revolvers better than auto-pistols is interesting, as that has not been my observation. Marginal shooters have almost always improved when shooting a good auto, and good shooters got even better. Jerry Miculek can shoot the pants off all of us with his wheel guns, but I'm betting he can shoot an auto even better. If the OP is basing that statement on his two .357 autos, there may lie the reason. Shooting magnums at an indoor range has never been pleasant experience, blast, flash and concussion simply amplified to extreme levels.

I do not see the the 8-shot S&W 627 as a particularly easy gun to conceal, but must admit to never owning one. I do have two 4" N-frame revolvers however, and carrying them consistently, comfortably and concealed , for me, requires an good belt, OWB holster and a cover garment. In my world, climate and circumstances do not always lend themselves to that arrangement. I am of large framed stature, but the 'Smith N-frames are simply big guns o with sharp angles and hard for me to carry. I find even full size auto pistols, big bore Glocks and 1911 pistols, to conceal and carry better than a big revolver. My experience..... perhaps the OP CAN carry an N-frame with ease and often.

That said, I am not saying an 8-shot .357 suitably loaded, would not make an adequate defensive weapon. Quite the contrary, but carrying the thing, and it being comfortable and convenient enough to do so regularly, , might be a challenge. Such challenges might lead one to take less gun......the one reason I think the tiny .380's and 5-shot .38's are popular.......so easy to carry. A gun..... is better than no gun, but with life on the line, I want all the gun I can get under the circumstances.

With access to an indoor range, I'd encourage the OP to experiment with rental, basic medium frame autos, starting with something like the Glock 17 and see if his ability and opinion on auto's doesn't improve. Dedicated revolvers shooters are a rarity these days, and the switch to auto pistols of adequate size and power, by LE and military worldwide, is not without good reason.
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Old August 5, 2020, 05:05 PM   #19
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I would just stay with what you are comfortable with. Nothing wrong with a good revolver that you shoot well. I often carry a Smith 442 or a three inch Model 60.
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Old August 6, 2020, 06:20 PM   #20
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Bring what YOU are comfortable with! To blazes with the rest.

Take your revolvers, 8 or 10 speed loaders and show up for the class with what you like to use. Gun Site allows wheel guns, and that is about a 2 hour drive from my front door. Jeff Cooper liked his 1911s, but he sure trained plenty of people with .357 Magnum revolvers up there in Paulden. I have set my Sig Sauer P228s/229s back in the safe and am running a Daewoo K5 in the same shoulder rig. I have plenty of spare parts, plenty of Daewoo magazines, and the K5 parts are getting very hard to find in the USA now. I am going to medical buildings a lot so when I stash the K5 in the car it's broken down into 5 or more pieces. Unless someone can find all of the parts, it's not a gun. Does that mean I go into see the doctor unarmed? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Odds are I will have some pocket pistol and or a mouse gun somewhere. I am neither above nor below putting aside the Daewoo or the Sigs, or Glocks, or CZs, or Berettas or S&W M&Ps, or H&Ks or whatever, and carrying an old 1970s Colt Detective Special. 6 rounds is generally enough. My backup is still a flat compact Glock 43 with TruGlow sights, 6+1, and a spare mag. If 6 won't close the deal, I should have brought an AR15. .357 Magnum is a darn fine round, and I am happy to run a Model 19/66, 586/686 or 27/28/627 S&W any day. I love the Python's accuracy and action, despite the fact it has a slow lock time, but the Python just did not stand the test of time well at all. I can screw up a Smith & buy parts to fix it, but when it comes to the small frame wheel guns, I am a die hard Colt Detective Special fan until the end. I even bought a Colt Police Positive Special MkV to go with my 2 & 3 inch Detective Specials. I run a shoulder rig under an open Hawaiian shirt. The floral pattern breaks up any printing quite well. I have been doing that way longer than any of this Bugaloo Boys nonsense has been in the leftist media. I have some S&W Model 15s and 19s in .357 Magnum with 3 inch or shorter barrels too. Make your shots count with good aim and good tactics and the .25 ACP in your pocket still beats the 10mm you left at home every single time. I have a lovely K & L frame shoulder rig for 4 inch guns too. I also have Dirty Harry I rig and a 6 1/2 inch 29-2 with 10 speed loaders loaded up with .44 Magnum. I love shooting that Model 29 just as much as I do the K and L frame .357s. My Detective Special rig is an old Bullitt (Steve McQueen) upside down retention shoulder holster. It's still an excellent holster, even though they quit making them back in 1981.

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Old August 6, 2020, 07:55 PM   #21
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There are plenty of us who are alive today because we were able to tactically utilize revolvers in an effective manner.

If the training program doesn't handle training for your selected form of defense, look elsewhere. I don't mean to sound like a paranoid nutcase but some of us keep broad perspectives regarding the topic and engage in all sorts of defensive training.
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Old August 7, 2020, 11:48 AM   #22
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I'm not great with any handgun's really but now and then I get a kickout of shooting DA revolver's, I have a few of them. With an auto loader I'm worse but something I found with an auto loader, they can be far smaller and lighter without much recoil and self defence doesn't require a lot of accuracy out past maybe 10yds. Re-arrainged my thinking and went from trying to aim the semi auto to pointing it, I got much better with it. Not great mind you but at 10 yds a watermelon is in great trouble. I have two semi auto's, a Ruger P89 and a S&W Shield c9. I carry the Ruger rarely and the S&W daily. Problem with the Ruger is it's big and heavy and harder to conceal. Advantage to the Ruger is it hold's 15 rds against 8 in the S&W. I have convinced myself that in most case's that won't matter because I suspect a gun fight will be over in 8 rds or probably less What I want is something light weight, hides away easily and low recoil. And a watermoelon should be in grave danger at 10 yds! :-) I think if I were to go to Portland for some reason I can't imagine, the way to go would then be the Ruger for fire power. But easier than carrying the Ruger is avoiding Portland and any other area like it. Best way to avoid confrontation with a gun is learn area's to avoid. Then even in those area's there are still areas to avoid and learn to be aware of where you are all the time. If I were to OP I would get something like the S&W Shield c9 or what ever brand you want. I think I'd also have something with more capacity for an unplanned trip into one of america's war zone's! Much as I like my revolver's they are simply to bulky and low normally on fire power and hide ability. One exception to size would be somrthng like a Detective Special. I fired one in 38 Spec with factory ammo one time and didn't like the recoil at all, numbed my hand pretty good. Had a Colt Trooper years ago with a 4" barrel and used 38 Spec loads in it and carried it all over the country. Weight didn't bother me then and reciol wasn't bad in a 357 using 38 specials. Of course that was 40 years ago! Two things change I'm sure of with age, the color of your hair and tolerance! Anyway, I did not select my carry gun's based on what I like to shoot but rather what I felt would serve me best and I could still work with at closer range, semi auto won that one hands down! Rephrase that, compact semi auto won hands down. I carry my Ruger now and them just for grins Hard to believe the difference the weight makes all day and the insecurity of thinking the thing isn't hidden well enough.
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Old August 7, 2020, 02:55 PM   #23
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@ Don Fischer,

These days, there are a lot of guns that hold a good amount of ammo that are very small and light. I switched to the Springfield Hellcat about half a year ago from my Glock 43. I went from 23 rounds (6+1 with two +2 mags) to 38 rounds (11+1 with two 13 round mags). It is very compact and has a decent trigger.
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Old August 7, 2020, 04:44 PM   #24
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My advice?

Get a practical semi auto ( a glock or similar) and enjoy your next class. It aint rocket science.

Could you take a class with a revolver? sure. Are revolvers good EDC weapons? sure. Are you likely to give your trainer a headache and potentially lag or hinder the training if you use a 6 shot revolver? yes

Can you find a class that is specific to revolvers? sure

Are they prevalent? not really.


Which brings us back to what I have already suggested
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