Revolver use case

#1
Do circumstances exist in which a revolver is preferable to a semi-automatic handgun for self defense? The two cases that are usually mentioned are carry in deep concealment for non-permissive environments, and situations requiring contact shots. I don't quite understand either of these justifications, and will go into my confusion in detail.

Deep concealment, it is said, favors revolvers because snub nosed revolvers are more reliable than pocket pistols. While I don't disagree that a proper snuby is more likely to work than a .32 Kel-Tec, I don't think the comparison is fair from the concealment standpoint. The unreliable Kel-Tec can realistically be concealed in the front pocket of any pair of jeans, but I don't know that the same can be said of a snub nosed revolver. I can tell you that a Ruger LCR or S&W Model 60 (both of which I really want and will probably buy practicality be damned) are thick enough to look weird in my pockets even if I managed to break up their gun shape. So concealing a snuby requires either an AIWB holster, belly band or kangaroo pouch. I currently conceal a SIG M18 with X-compact grip AIWB, and have stashed a Makarov and Ruger LC9 in a kangaroo pouch quite well. The idea of concealing a five shot revolver with techniques that could conceal a subcompact or even compact 9mm isn't exactly appealing.

Contact shots, sometimes even shooting from one's own pocket, are another justification. An immediate counterargument is that my SIG has a light on it, allowing me to use the light to contact whatever I'm shooting and keep the slide in battery and out of the target. With the TLR-1 I'd struggle to do anything different if I tried, while even the almost flush fitting TLR-7 can protect the muzzle simply by angling the gun so that the bottom of the light is the point of contact with the target.

More importantly, I'm increasingly convinced that pulling a gun in a grapple is a very bad idea. Everything I've seen from ShivWorks and Sage Dynamics regarding ground fighting advocates for breaking out of the grapple, preferably avoiding it altogether, while protecting the weapon in the holster. Eventually the gun is employed, but only when it is at least some distance from the assailant. Retaining custody of the gun in a grapple is, I suspect, the reason that pulling out the gun is delayed. Unfortunately I live in the middle of nowhere and have not been able to attend any class on the matter, nor even a Judo class.

So I circle back to my first question: when, if ever, should a revolver be carried in self defense? I started out this line of thought pretty convinced that I should buy a revolver as a pocket carry backup gun to my SIG, possibly using it as my only gun in certain circumstances. At this point I'm looking at revolvers as a novelty, but suspect that I'm missing something.
 

jnc36rcpd

Regular Member
#2
You clearly have thought this through, so my recommendation is to choose whichever platform you prefer. Preference would include your ability to conceal the handgun and to shoot it well.
Pistols may have greater capacity then revolvers though that may be outweighed by stopping potential (e.g.: the .32 KelTec versus a .357 snubby). Revolvers tend to be more of a challenge to reload than pistols generally, but reloading a subcompact pistol may be an issue. I
A revolver may be more likely to function after a contact shot, but that shouldn't be the major factor in your decision. I tend to agree with the doctrine you've learned from ShivWorks and Sage about the risks of going to guns when grappling. If you do have to contact shoot some miscreant, you're aware of the potential for a malfunction. That awareness seems to largely correct the problem. Either pull the pistol back from the suspect or be ready to cope with the malfunction. While I realize clearing a malfunction on a Glock 43 will not be as easy as with a G-17., life does happen.
I wrote the proposal for my former agency to transition from the Ruger Service Six to the SIG 226, so I may be biased. I've always carried pistols as back-up guns. That said, I don't think you go wrong with a wheel gun for a BUG and NPE weapon.
 
#3
A benefit I see in a snub for such things is the option of more potent handgun cartridges. 380 may be adequate but some might prefer a 38 special or similar. The snubby modcast had some reall good points about where a revolver could be better for some people/circumstances.
On a personal note, I recently switched from a ruger lcp in the pocket to a smith 442. It is absolutely bigger and bulkier but it’s handing (for me) is much preferred.
I absolutely still will carry small autos as well, both are good.
 
#4
Contact shots, sometimes even shooting from one's own pocket, are another justification. An immediate counterargument is that my SIG has a light on it, allowing me to use the light to contact whatever I'm shooting and keep the slide in battery and out of the target. With the TLR-1 I'd struggle to do anything different if I tried, while even the almost flush fitting TLR-7 can protect the muzzle simply by angling the gun so that the bottom of the light is the point of contact with the target.
Revolvers with an internal hammer (S&W 442 for example) can shoot a whole cylinder from inside a jacket pocket. A semi-auto fired in a pocket likely gets one shot before a jam.
 
#5
On a personal note, I recently switched from a ruger lcp in the pocket to a smith 442.
What sort of pocket rig are you running, and in what sort of pocket? I was thinking about bolting a Phlster City Special to a Raven Pocket Shield and dropping it into my right front pocket, before realizing that can't actually conceal anything there.

I absolutely still will carry small autos as well, both are good.
My question was mostly "when is a revolver better than a automatic?"
 

nyeti

Moderator
Moderator
#6
Reliability-the revolver does not require the ammunition to function the gun and they will not malfunction when “shot in space” or asymmetric unlocked positions common in very close quarters engagements. Little autos malfunction regularly in actual street engagements and the are hard to fix those malfunctions and require dedicated protocols for them.
Their shape helps deploy from clothing versus hindering it. They have trigger systems that provide a practical additional firewall for not going bang when deployed and snagged from many of the places they are carried. The work well from the support side that is another malfunction factor for small autos.
Pocket carry requires the right pockets and pocket holster just like any other type of carry. They also work really well from off body hidden locations.
They are “have a gun” and “get out of trouble” guns. Using outside of that context there are better choices.
For normal outside the house there is a compact service pistol carried front appendix and a lightweight snub in my pocket. They have different roles. They compliment each other well.
I can’t get the video from the P&S Summit to load but it is a good illustration of how I deploy these guns.
 
#7
For normal outside the house there is a compact service pistol carried front appendix and a lightweight snub in my pocket. They have different roles. They compliment each other well.
I can’t get the video from the P&S Summit to load but it is a good illustration of how I deploy these guns.
This sounds extreme similar to what I was thinking of doing as a backup gun. Looking forward to when you get the video uploaded.

What kind of pocket works best for stashing a snubnosed? My jeans front pocket completely failed.
 
#8
For normal outside the house there is a compact service pistol carried front appendix and a lightweight snub in my pocket. They have different roles. They compliment each other well.
I can’t get the video from the P&S Summit to load but it is a good illustration of how I deploy these guns.
This sounds extreme similar to what I was thinking of doing as a backup gun. Looking forward to when you get the video uploaded.

What kind of pocket works best for stashing a snubnosed? My jeans front pocket completely failed.

This is long and took me a few days to get through but really great cases made for the use of a revolver over an auto.

Whoever said it above. It’s a get out of trouble gun versus look for trouble. Contact shot, putting a snub into a hole in someone’s face/head. That’s their role. Easier to hang onto when in hand to hand if using as a BUG. Really great MODcast.

I alternate between a full appendix carry g19 and a snub.

Usually what dictates it is if I’m carrying my son on me in a carrier, the snub is more accessible and easier to have.


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nyeti

Moderator
Moderator
#10

This is long and took me a few days to get through but really great cases made for the use of a revolver over an auto.

Whoever said it above. It’s a get out of trouble gun versus look for trouble. Contact shot, putting a snub into a hole in someone’s face/head. That’s their role. Easier to hang onto when in hand to hand if using as a BUG. Really great MODcast.

I alternate between a full appendix carry g19 and a snub.

Usually what dictates it is if I’m carrying my son on me in a carrier, the snub is more accessible and easier to have.


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I am the guest on that podcast, which is why the info sounds familiar. Glad you enjoyed it. That Modcast has changed a lot of minds on what role snubs play.
 
#11
What method do you use to conceal the revolver?
Depends on what I’m wearing but usually i just toss it into my pocket, i also have a sticky holster for when I’m wearing gym shorts and running to like the gas station.

I use it a lot when i know I’m gonna be wearing my son in a carrier on the front of me which makes appendix difficult. It probably will get shame but i don’t see much pulling a 12-14lb trigger


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#12

This is long and took me a few days to get through but really great cases made for the use of a revolver over an auto.

Whoever said it above. It’s a get out of trouble gun versus look for trouble. Contact shot, putting a snub into a hole in someone’s face/head. That’s their role. Easier to hang onto when in hand to hand if using as a BUG. Really great MODcast.

I alternate between a full appendix carry g19 and a snub.

Usually what dictates it is if I’m carrying my son on me in a carrier, the snub is more accessible and easier to have.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I am the guest on that podcast, which is why the info sounds familiar. Glad you enjoyed it. That Modcast has changed a lot of minds on what role snubs play.
If your name is an any indication as to which one you are on that podcast, i loved the information. I have a great affinity for wheel guns and still think they have a place no matter how much people tell me they are obsolete. The stories were top notch too. Hope your recovery is going well (if that’s you).


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#13
What sort of pocket rig are you running, and in what sort of pocket? I was thinking about bolting a Phlster City Special to a Raven Pocket Shield and dropping it into my right front pocket, before realizing that can't actually conceal anything there.


My question was mostly "when is a revolver better than a automatic?"
The holster I’ve been using is one from aholster. This goes in front left pocket of carpenter pants from Walmart.
For me it’s only a pocket gun and superior(in this place) to any auto I’ve tried out of the pocket.
My setup is a snub in offside pocket, compact Glock appendix. Like yeti said, they compliment each other well.
 

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nyeti

Moderator
Moderator
#15
Thanks for asking on the recovery. It has been a long road and was a difficult surgery due to the size of my leg muscles. It will never be great but better than the alternatives.
As far as pocket holsters go, I have had great luck with the Safariland #25 and Mika holsters made by Robert Mika. I have a bunch of both and the Mika’s I have in both round and square bottom to tailor to the pocket. Dultuth Trading Company pants are awesome for pocket carry. Many even have a small inner pocket that perfectly fits a speed strip. Jeans and pocket carry is tough. In these cases I often carry my back up small revolver on my support side on the belt or in an ankle rig. Hope this helps-DB
 
#16
No issues with the cylinder being partially exposed? The idea of lint getting into a finely tuned rotating assembly terrifies me.
If pocket lint would stop up the gun then all my work debris(construction)would absolutely deadline it. If it were a problem I feel it would be known and documented. Every day I blow it off with compressed air, no problems so far. Function check is dryfire. The cylinder cutout is for reducing bulk in the pocket. It does rust.
 
#18
Another advantage I forgot to mention is the revolver will never have the mag release popped accidentally while in the holster. In fact one of the big reasons I switched over
This is a big deal. Pocket holsters need to cover the mag release on an autoloader for this exact reason. There are a lot that don't.