The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 25, 2019, 01:25 PM   #1
aarondhgraham
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 8,349
Another revolver vs. semi for newbies thread.

Yesterday I was in my favorite restaurant/watering hole,,,
One of the cooks got off shift and sat next to me at the bar.

I know she owns a few handguns and we were talking about going to the range when the weather warms up a bit.

She said her Bersa (Thunder 380) wasn't working very well,,,
It was "jamming up" on her lately.

She's had that Bersa for several years now,,,
She gets out to her Brothers farm to shoot every month or so.

I asked her how long since she cleaned it,,,
Her answer was, "I don't know how.",,,
She's never cleaned any of them.

It turns out she has three semi-auto pistols,,,
And doesn't know how to disassemble/clean any of them.

The immediate solution is I offered to teach her how,,,
I own two of the pistols she has.

But this examples why, when I am asked for a gun recommendation,,,
I always ask if they are going to actually "learn" the gun,,,
Or just load it and "stash" it in a dresser drawer.

If they are "learners" I recommend one of several semi-auto's,,,
Higher capacity and all that.

If they say they are "stashers" I usually recommend a revolver,,,
This is not to say that revolvers don't need to be cleaned,,,
But we should all agree that they are more forgiving.

Okay, I've simplified that process a bit,,,
But I believe the core of my reasoning is valid.

So I'm going to visit her shortly and teach her how to clean her guns,,,
Then I'm going to try and convince her this should be done after every range session.

Her daughter is turning 17 real soon and likes shooting,,,
I will probably gift her a universal cleaning kit,,,
And some ammo for their one .22 pistol.

Aarond

.
__________________
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 01:34 PM   #2
BarryLee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 29, 2010
Location: The ATL (OTP)
Posts: 3,705
Yes, I had a friend a couple of years ago ask me what he should get for home defense. I knew we were in trouble when he told me he was considering a GLOCK Forty in 9mm. I then suggested he consider a .357mag and load it up with some nice .38+p ammo. I took him to the range and let hie shoot one of my revolvers and explained the ammo differences and pros of a revolver over the semi-auto. He then found a nice S&W 686 and he could not be happier.
__________________
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman
BarryLee is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 01:40 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 10,786
There is no 'revolver vs. semi' for anybody. It's revolver or semi. Sometimes it'll be revolver and semi. The whole thing is similar to automatic or standard transmission. Even though automatic transmissions should be illegal.
The Bersa Thunder 380 issue is either ammo or mag related. Mind you, how it's jamming will tell you more. It does sound like it's in desperate need of a bath though.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is online now  
Old January 25, 2019, 02:52 PM   #4
BobCat45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: East Bernard, TX
Posts: 320
That line about "automatic transmissions should be illegal" cracks me up.

Next time someone tells me "semiautomatic guns" (sic) ought to be illegal, I'll try to keep a straight face when I 'agree' and add that automatic transmissions should be illegal, too.

Aarond, the daughter may be a key ally. If you teach her to clean the guns, she'll probably make sure Mom's guns stay clean and serviceable.
__________________
Retractable claws - the *original* concealed carry

http://www.bayourifles.org
TinyURL.com/qgdojvh
BobCat45 is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 05:57 PM   #5
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondhgraham View Post

Then I'm going to try and convince her this should be done after every range session.

Revolvers are harder to master, but with practice make people better shooters.
Semi-autos are a bit of a crutch and can foster bad habits if not trained properly.

Revolver function is much simpler to teach and learn.
Semi-autos are more complex when they malfunction.

Both have pros/cons, both can be learned by a novice.

With either, most folks go wrong by stepping right into full power cartridges in small frames, which is dumb dumb dumb and DUMB!

And no, one doesn't have to clean after every range trip, that's frankly quite goofy to suggest. It's akin to suggesting an oil change and car wash after every trip to the grocery store. Learning basic maintenance is important, but overwhelming by saying "You have to clean every time" will simply turn most people off.

Last edited by TBM900; January 25, 2019 at 06:03 PM.
TBM900 is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 06:37 PM   #6
tallball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2014
Posts: 2,333
I have two "non-gun" friends who purchased HD handguns in the past couple of years. Both of them did research, shot a lot of guns, you know... did the whole thing intelligently.

Both take their handguns to the range a few times a year and seem unlikely to do so more often.

One chose a Ruger SP101, and the other chose a Smith and Wesson Model 10.

IMHO those were wise choices. With no firearms experience and no wish to practice with great regularity, they both chose a firearm that they felt was simple and comfortable for them to use.

I enjoy my semiautomatic pistols very much and I think they are good choices for many people. However, I agree with the OP that someone who is closer to the "stick it in a drawer and let it stay there" type is better served by a revolver.
tallball is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 07:09 PM   #7
bamaranger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2009
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 6,691
which?

I've long been an advocate of revolvers for ANYBODY that is just starting, or intends to "stash". The only issue is hand strength regards shooting double action.

Open the gun, fill the holes, pull trigger 'till gun quits shooting, open and eject empties, repeat as necessary. The DA revolver ruled in LE for years, one reason being it was simpler to teach to LE personnel that may or may not have been keen shooters.
bamaranger is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 07:43 PM   #8
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by tallball View Post
I have two "non-gun" friends who purchased HD handguns in the past couple of years. Both of them did research, shot a lot of guns, you know... did the whole thing intelligently.

Both take their handguns to the range a few times a year and seem unlikely to do so more often.

One chose a Ruger SP101, and the other chose a Smith and Wesson Model 10.

IMHO those were wise choices. With no firearms experience and no wish to practice with great regularity, they both chose a firearm that they felt was simple and comfortable for them to use.

I enjoy my semiautomatic pistols very much and I think they are good choices for many people. However, I agree with the OP that someone who is closer to the "stick it in a drawer and let it stay there" type is better served by a revolver.
The 3 inch gutter sight SP101 loaded with full wadcutter makes for an excellent SD handgun, especially for novice shooters.
TBM900 is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 07:56 PM   #9
ice monkey
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 416
I know that I, and most of you are all “enthusiasts,” but the things people do with guns amazes me sometimes. “I don’t know how to take em appart.” Good lord. Guns come with manuals people. If you can’t read, there’s YouTube!

Heck, I got a good story that to this day still has me shaking my head. it happened to my buddy who I love dearly but... seriously lol?

I get a text from him saying he’s just bought himself a beautiful new 1911 in .40 caliber. I’m happy for him and ask for a range report as soon as he’s done (he was on his way). Then, 10 minutes later, I get a text with a pic of a 40 cal case all cracked and mangled.

He bought a 45!! The guys at the store told him what he said was a 40 and sold him the ammo to go with lol! No one thought of looking at the slide to verify! Dang lol...

Revolvers are great in that there’s very little mystery to them.
ice monkey is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 09:02 PM   #10
TBM900
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2015
Posts: 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
I've long been an advocate of revolvers for ANYBODY that is just starting, or intends to "stash". The only issue is hand strength regards shooting double action.

Open the gun, fill the holes, pull trigger 'till gun quits shooting, open and eject empties, repeat as necessary. The DA revolver ruled in LE for years, one reason being it was simpler to teach to LE personnel that may or may not have been keen shooters.
If hand strength is an issue, I recommend a 3" LCR in 22 Magnum.
The trigger is a bit stiffer than a standard LCR but still nice and easy.
If a person has strength issues regarding pull, then its likely they can't handle a centerfire cartridge. 22 Mag out of a 3" barrel has excellent penetration and is plenty potent.
TBM900 is offline  
Old January 25, 2019, 09:40 PM   #11
Drm50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 735
I sold guns to a lot of PDs back in 70-80-90s. Just about the time the big depts were going to semis. A lot of the small town Chiefs would allow officers to pick a 357 S&W or a Semi.
The bulk of the officers stuck with 357 revolvers. There were a few officers that wanted semis that were nixed by the Chief. Now in same Depts you don't see a revolver of any kind.
A good DA revolver is just about a fool proof weapon as been made for the masses.
Drm50 is offline  
Old January 26, 2019, 12:45 AM   #12
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,228
You can keep a semi or a revolver "running" a lot longer than most people think, without cleaning them. But, not cleaning them doesn't mean doing nothing. Oil will, over time, thicken and eventually turn to something like varnish if left long enough. Takes about a decade or so, I figure, based on my father's 1911 that spent his last decade in a dresser drawer, without any care.

Mag was fully loaded with ball ammo, but when I cleared it, and released the slide, it slooowly moved forward, stopping about half way shut. It was gummed up with old, degraded oil.

After cleaning off the old stuff and re-lubing it, it ran flawlessly as I remembered. A S&W revolver, stored on a closet shelf in the same house for the same period of time (or maybe longer) functioned normally with the old oil still in it.

You don't have to detail strip a gun to clean it enough to keep it working. you don't even have to field strip it, and there are some guns I would recommend NOT taking apart if it isn't actually NEEDED. You do need to know how to strip and clean or have that info available if needed (like if you and your gun unexpectedly go swimming together, etc) but you can keep nearly everything working for an amazingly long time just by wiping our what you can get to without taking it apart. Spray cleaners and oils really do work, just be sure they won't eat any plastic parts (like grips) before you use them.

If they want to learn, teach them. If not, make sure they know what can happen with no care at all.

Good Luck!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old January 26, 2019, 11:26 AM   #13
tallball
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 17, 2014
Posts: 2,333
"The 3 inch gutter sight SP101 loaded with full wadcutter makes for an excellent SD handgun, especially for novice shooters."


That's what his is, a 3" fixed sight 357. He keeps it loaded with some 38 special hollowpoints I gave him. (He had it loaded with ball before that.)

He's not going to win any target contests, but he can empty it onto a paper plate quickly at seven yards. With that and the bunch of dogs he has, he is pretty safe at home, IMHO.
tallball is offline  
Old January 26, 2019, 03:24 PM   #14
seeker_two
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 31, 2002
Location: Deep in the Heart of the Lone Star State (TX)
Posts: 2,143
There's "cleaning"....and then there's "CLEANING". After a range trip, I'll field strip and wipe everything down with a clean shop towel sprayed with CLP....maybe a Bore Snake if I have time. This takes about two minutes and can be done at the range. I'll do a more thorough cleaning [including soaking the barrel in a bore solvent] once every three months. So far, I haven't had any problems.

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
seeker_two is offline  
Old January 26, 2019, 04:47 PM   #15
FITASC
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2014
Posts: 4,856
Quote:
The only issue is hand strength regards shooting double action.
Then you cock the hammer and shoot single action; more accurate that way anyway.
__________________
"I believe that people have a right to decide their own destinies; people own themselves. I also believe that, in a democracy, government exists because (and only so long as) individual citizens give it a 'temporary license to exist'—in exchange for a promise that it will behave itself. In a democracy, you own the government—it doesn't own you."- Frank Zappa
FITASC is offline  
Old January 26, 2019, 08:54 PM   #16
kenny53
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2015
Location: My back yard
Posts: 567
My darling bride has a revolver in her nightstand. I can't remember the last time she shot it. She does not like guns and does not like to shoot. She does know if she has too " point the gun and keep pulling the trigger until it quits going bang". For me I like most all hand guns. I make sure all the guns are clean and ready for action.
kenny53 is online now  
Old January 27, 2019, 08:06 PM   #17
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,848
Quote:
That line about "automatic transmissions should be illegal" cracks me up.
Love it, of course that is why we pay the taxes on it so we can own one.

All guns are difficult to master. A revolver is simply simpler to deal with.
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old January 28, 2019, 09:49 AM   #18
stinkeypete
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 22, 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 126
I feel less twitchy about a woman that’s willing to learn than a man that thinks he knows everything. It still makes me twitchy.

Teach that gal how to clean her gun, the thunderer is a good place to start.

I just bought a beautiful Single Six .22 off a fella that thought he knew a lot. “Yep, Rugers jump their base pins a lot. I even installed a heavier release spring. Maybe if you put in a Belt Mountain base pin. Rugers are tricky, that’s why I am sticking with my Smiths.”

If you don’t know Ruger Single Actions- 327 Federal Magnum will jump the base pin. 22 won’t. Ever.

The guy had the spring on the base pin release button installed on the wrong side. The button was permanently pushed to release the pin. Pushing the button (from the wrong side) locked the pin in place.

I would feel bad about not telling him, but he gave me such a line of baloney, reckoning I didn’t know better, that I don’t. I can only image how long he’s had that thing with the base pin sliding out every time he took a shot.

More on topic: my opinion is semi-auto, bolt single shot or pump for squirrels or bunnies, revolvers, bolt or single shot or pump for deer, and pump, single or double barrel for birds.

I haven’t shot any people, I have shot a lot of critters. I reckon it’s best to not shoot people or take advice from fellas who haven’t actually done it.

If I had to shoot people, I speculate that whatever one knows how to make go “bang” in a pinch will do. It ain’t more complicated than that.

The complicated question is: at what point does not having enough training make carrying a dangerous tool around more dangerous than not carrying around a tool that might be misused.
stinkeypete is offline  
Old January 30, 2019, 08:23 PM   #19
Leaf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 11, 2018
Posts: 129
Problem is, stinkypete, I'm also starting to see woman at the range who think they know everything too. Example- Wife brought her .380 to a shoot and knocked down metal plates substantially more accurately than ANY of the other ladies present and then the know-it-all proceeded to tell my wife how to "properly hold" the weapon.

My sig-other just smiled but I KNEW she was thinkin to ask the gal if she wanted to go head to head. But my wife is a lot nicer and more polite than I am so she just kept her thoughts to herself and said thank you for the advice.

Yeah, we're old school but I'm willing to bet we've been shooting longer than that gal has been alive, bless her heart.
Leaf is offline  
Old February 1, 2019, 09:53 PM   #20
kymasabe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 10, 2005
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 2,225
I have both. My EDC is a semi auto in pocket holster that gets cleaned every month to make sure there's no dirt, lint, etc in it. My house gun is a nice simple .38 that gets cleaned about once a year, or after a few range sessions.
__________________
God's creatures big and small, eat them one, eat them all.
kymasabe is offline  
Old February 2, 2019, 10:58 PM   #21
Doc Holliday 1950
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2014
Location: Bout as south as it gets
Posts: 1,151
When I hit 21 & joined my hometown Force as an aux.LEO, my instructor kept harping us about cleaning your revolver each time you use it. That stuck with me all of these years. I clean my revolvers & pistols after every visit when I go to the range & I helped to teach my wife to clean her revolver after each session at our range too. IMHO, I also think revolvers are easier to shoot than Pistols but that's for a different post.
The qustion is very simple. Why do you brush your teeth? To kept them from rotting away. Same goes for your guns.
__________________
Shoot well and be Accurate,

Doc
Doc Holliday 1950 is offline  
Old February 7, 2019, 07:43 PM   #22
labnoti
Member
 
Join Date: April 2, 2018
Posts: 73
It's ironic that the revolver is both the best gun for the unlearned and the gun best for the expert. This is because it is both the easiest to shoot, and the hardest to shoot well.

In response to the OP, I would say the revolver is better for the "stasher" not because it can better be expected to function without regular cleaning, but because it is easier to maintain in a ready condition. The stasher is unlikely to get a gun dirty enough from firing to cause a problem. But it is possible that with an autoloader they may or may not have a round chambered and not even know which it is. They might have a magazine inserted or not. Maybe it's partially inserted. They might remember the difference between the safety and the slide release, or not. The revolver, on the other hand, doesn't have thingies that fall off or stuff you have to do. It will also shoot whatever random ammo they buy and it won't matter if they even know whether it will feed and cycle reliably.

A lot of people think the double-action trigger is the hardest to manipulate skillfully and accurately. A lot of "stashers" are likely to choose little tiny lightweight ones with short barrels because they're easier to hold. They're not going to carry them though, because they're stashers. But they get the little ones because they're easy to hold. They're the hardest to shoot well, but they don't shoot, they stash.
labnoti is offline  
Old February 7, 2019, 08:32 PM   #23
Drm50
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 10, 2014
Posts: 735
I don't get that a revolver is harder to master than a auto. Unless you are talking auto against DA mode in revolver. I've been shooting revolvers and autos since I was a kid. My
interest was accuracy & hunting. I've never practiced DA and never was into rapid fire with
autos. I've got quite a few handguns and only 5 are not target grade handguns. Just for the
purpose of accurate shooting one is no better than the other. Many 1st timers do well with
a k22 or K38 over a target auto RF or CF. For people not focused enough to handle an auto
a revolver is best. For those who want to put forth some effort an auto may be best.
Drm50 is offline  
Old February 10, 2019, 11:01 AM   #24
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,742
Quote:
Semi-autos are more complex when they malfunction.
I'll disagree with that; WHEN an auto pistol malfunctions, a tap-rack-bang will usually get it back in action, even if you don't know the cause.
A revolver malfunction usually requires good light to assess the problem, if it's not merely a single misfire, and revolvers are usually more complex internally, with more things to go wrong, even if there's a belief that they rarely do go wrong.
__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old February 10, 2019, 12:58 PM   #25
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,228
Quote:
WHEN an auto pistol malfunctions, a tap-rack-bang will usually get it back in action, even if you don't know the cause.
While this is often true, if you don't know (or have some idea) of the cause, a tap-rack-bang could be a tap-rack-KABOOM!

I understand the need for "training as real as it gets", and how one does need to be proficient getting the gun back in action rapidly. However, I think its a mistake to train a beginning shooter to do this, as an automatic, unthinking response. Save the emphasis on combat drills until they are a little further along.

When you are training, target shooting, plinking, or even hunting, when the gun malfunctions (for any reason) it should be "game over" until the reason is determined. Failure drills should be done, but these should be planned events by the instructor, for safety. Keeping them unknown to the shooter helps train them for the unexpected, but the instructor should have set them up. Misfires, hangfires, and squibs are rare but they can, and do happen, and have even happened with factory ammo.

Consider that, while clearing a dud, getting a fresh round in the chamber and firing might be needful when someone is shooting at you, that "dud" might have been a squib, and if the bullet is far enough in the barrel to allow chambering another round, firing that round could be a disaster. Acceptable risk in a firefight? sure. Acceptable risk on the firing line? Not worth the risk, I think.

When working with complete "newbies" don't try to teach them to run before they can walk. Neither of you will be pleased with the results.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09624 seconds with 8 queries