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Posted: 5/2/2004 6:21:09 PM EST
I know someone already had a "first pistol post" but my question was slightly different so i thought i'd start a new thread. Anyway's i'm turning 21 in 13 days, and i'm gonna buy my first pistol. I've shot pistols a fair amount mostly a .357 SA revolver, and a ruger .22 semi-auto. My question is this, i've looked at the Sub-Compact 1911 and several different revolvers chambered for .357 I'm leaning towards the revolver to start with, due to cheaper ammo, i.e using .38, plus i know the revolver design. My question is this how is the recoil on those short revolvers especially when firing the .357, and does anybody have anybody have any good revolver suggestions, or for that matter any arguments to get me to buy the Sub-Compact first.

Homemade sig line: For those who have fought for it FREEDOM has a flavor the protected will never know.
Link Posted: 5/2/2004 6:41:59 PM EST
I personally would stay away from revolvers, why? They can be uncomfortable for ccw, not to mention revolvers carry 6 rounds typically. It sounds to me like you are looking at a low recoil, reasonably priced firearm. I would seriously consider glock, especially the glock 19 or 23. I have the glock 22 which is chambered in .40. I have fired other .40 caliber pistols and find that the glock line has less "snap" recoil. The reason is because the barrel sits lower in your hands then any revolver and most other pistols,. Also, you are looking at 13rnds. of .40 cal. which is substantially more firepower then any revolver packs. Go to your local range and test fire one before you buy it though, especially glock. Some people do not care for the trigger.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 1:31:24 AM EST
Revolvers are easier. This may sound alittle silly especialy if you have been shooting for a long time. If you decide to go with an auto loader get formal training on how to use it. Combat shooting is diffrent that target shooting where you have all the time in the world to clear a jam. Your life could depend on how fast you clear the jam. Either way what ever you do practice practice. Most people seem to buy the gun shoot it than never practice again. Also learn to fight with out a wepon. Guns do not always stop somebody.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 6:48:32 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 6:50:36 AM EST by Dog1]
When it comes to your first pistol and this is for CCW, I have to suggest a revolver as well....as for recoil, there a wide range of different rounds for the .357. Some are tactical rounds, for low recoil, P+ and +P+ rounds for extra punch, to standard tried and true rounds.

Buy a box of each, shoot them to find the round that is best for you and the pistol. I always buy several different boxes of ammo, from different makers on every pistol I buy. You need to do that to find the right ammo/gun combo. Most gun rarely shoot all brands well.

Shooting someone else's pistols are not like owning one. Owning one, you get to know it, learning to strip it. Get a couple of snap caps and when you are at home not doing anything, practice your trigger pull.

One thing about Sub-Compact auto-loaders in the heavier calibers, they sometimes have sharp recoils...I had a Springfield Sub-compact 1911 that had a wicked recoil.

If you are new to owning a pistol, get a revolver. A .357 so you can shoot .38. Shoot the .38 first, then move up to the .357.

As I stated in the other "First Gun Post" , I have traded and sold all kinds of pistols, mostly autoloaders, but I always keep the revolver.....

Hope this helps and good luck....Dan
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 8:22:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 8:28:01 AM EST by JimTh]
I didn't see anyone answer your question about .357 recoil in "short" revolvers. If, by short, you mean ~2" barrels and light frames, then I'm here to tell you, it's wicked. Wicked as in bad. My neighbor has a S&W 357 titanium/scandium, whatever that material is. I shot it twice and handed it back to him. Brutal!! Painful!! I have a S&W model 642, alloy frame, steel cylinder, .38 special. The recoil is snappy, but very managable. I can shoot it repeatedly without pain.

I went through the process of finding a carry gun recently. In fact, I'm still sort of going through it. I first bought an Officers 1911. Sweet little gun, a joy to shoot, makes big holes. Would not consistently feed hollowpoints. (I've since learned that this is not uncommon for 1911's, they were designed for FMJ) I was going to carry it with FMJ, and tried that for a while. I wanted to do in-the-waistband carry at 3 o'clock. I found that the cocked hammer always dug into my side when I sat down. I looked at more expensive holsters, but I didn't see any with a flap tall enough to keep the hammer off my side. I was told by forum members to buy a more expensive holster, I don't see how that would've helped. I was using an Uncle Mike's nylon holster, open top, which worked well except for the hammer digging in.
My next carry gun was (is) the 642 mentioned above. Lightweight, 5 shots, doesn't dig into my side. I am carrying this gun now and it's very comfortable. It rides higher than the 1911, but that's not really a problem. It doesn't have any problem feeding hollowpoints. I do wish that I had more rounds and a more potent caliber. I'm considering trying out Smartcarry with my 1911. He offers a 60 day evaluation, so I may take him up on it soon. I'm also considering purchasing a subcompact 9mm(Keltec, Taurus, and Springfield XD come to mind). More rounds for the size and no hammer sticking out the back to jab me. Oh, I'm using a nylon Uncle Mikes with the 642, I would like a holster that snapped onto my belt better, and maybe make it leather so it forms to the gun and holds it in good.

Hopefully my short experiences and observations will help.

Edit: I'm back, I decided I would take a stance. Buy a small revolver in .38 or .357. You know it will work with hollowpoints. I'm 99% sure you'll be able to carry it comfortably. Use this as your carry gun. Later, when you feel like buying more guns, buy a semi-auto and experiment with carrying it.

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 1:55:33 PM EST
thanks for all the replies and advice. I was worried about that with the short barreled .357 revolvers, I'll probably end up going with a revolver in .357 anyways, but before i do there's a range near me that rents everything from .22's all the way up to full auto M-60's so i'll probably go try out a few different kinds of pistols autoloaders as well as revolvers. Thanks again i'll let you know what i decide
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 3:28:00 PM EST
I have a Glock 19 as a carry gun. I love it... low weight... 15 rounds in the mag... untra reliable... I would recommend CORBON's 115 gr +p JHP ammo for personal defense... if you look at the test results, its an effective an ammunition as even the famed "fabulous fourties", with far less expensive practice ammunition available.

Since you mentioned price keep in mind that calibur is secondary to being able to put your shots on target. The only way you are going to be able to do that is PRACTICE.... and of course the only way you can practice is if you can afford the practice ammo. Walmart has a Winchester Value Pack of 100 rounds of 9mm ammo for less than 11.00. NOT 50 rounds... but 100.

Remember that a well practiced shooter with a .380 is far more likely to come out of a gunfight alive than a nervous inexperienced unpracticed shooter who has the most advanced high powered mucky muck hand cannon out there.

I think the idea of renting a series of different pistols is a great idea. Give each style/brand name a fair shake. If possible try one on with a holster and see how it would feel to carry. Different body types work with different sizes, styles, and weights of pistols.

Keep in mind also the "pucker factor". I would recommend against any pistol that has multiple functions that have to be performed prior to putting the pistol into action. (cocking, safety, etc...) The only way to become truly efficent and "pucker proof" with these types of pistols is to train at nearly a professional level for stress shooting.

Pulling your gun in a defensive situation and pulling on the trigger and wondering why it wont go bang is a bad way to realize you still have the safety on. Quite frankly it can get you killed, becasue remember your body will looose some of your fine motor functions in a high stress situation like that. With a glock you have no such concerns.

Stay safe and let us know what you decide...

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:32:54 PM EST
this is going to start to sound like an echo. BUt as your first CCW gun, a revolver is a great idea. It's a no thought gun. pull the trigger and nothing..... just pull it again. A lot easier than going through a clearing stage. Look at something like Ruger SP101 . I carried one for a long time. Felt great in the hand with a hogue , concealed easily. And for the person who made the comment about the lack of ammo capacity. If you can't do it with 6 , you'll be dead before you reload.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:03:48 AM EST
Hmmmm... I disagree and agree with the previous post.... if you have to reload you'll be dead... with a revolver very likely.... with a high cap glock he will have a lot more ammo to go through before he has to reload... and 2. reload is faster... much faster. And 3. a glock is just as simple as a revolver in terms of use. Just draw, and pull the trigger. No external safety, no external hammer.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 6:22:01 AM EST
i was wondering how long does it take someone who's fast to reload a revolver, i've never tried to speed load before, but i'd heard that someone who's good can be just as fast as someone with an autoloader.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 6:56:14 AM EST
How about instead of worrying about capacity, work on shooting accurately.

I have found that people with hi-cap guns tend to work less on accurate shooting and just throw more lead down range.

When I was in Law Enforcement I had a Firearms Instructor that would preach the following-"I would rather have a accurat shooter with a 6 shot .38 than a so-so shooter with a high capacity pistol."

If you get into a situation that requires you to use your weapon, in public, you better make damn sure that you are accurate as well as being fast.

None of my pistols are hi-cap...I don't need them...

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 8:44:41 AM EST
My 1st ccw pistol was a police trade-in Sig Sauer P226 9mm, still is most of the time.
All I put into it was Trij NS and a new factory spring kit.
Runs like a champ, never, ever had a failure.

~ s0ulzer0
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:29:29 AM EST
The revolver will do just fine for you. If you need to reload you are in deep ahit anyway, but you certainly CAN reload a wheelgun as fast as an "average" shooter can recharge an auto with some work...2-3 seconds from last round fired to the first fired after the reload. If you really want the magnums, look at something like the 3in. barreled M65...very nice little gun, but not for pocket use. Hit your targets solidly and you will be fine, even with the .38+P.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 10:37:30 AM EST
A few things to keep in mind:

The rule of 3s; the average civilian gunfight is composed of 3 shots at 3 yards in 3 seconds, then it’s all over.

Jeff Cooper; “the best gun to have in a gunfight is the one in your hand!”

…and on a similar note; a 22 in your hand is better than a 44 magnum on the night stand.

What do I carry? A 3” Colt 1911 with Rem 230 Golden Sabers, but then I compete with a 1911 and shoot 1800-2000 rounds a month. It’s the perfect choice for ME but it would be a poor choice for someone who didn’t shoot a 1911 on regular basis.

It’s really hard to go wrong with a revolver, no safety to remember, just point and shoot and as for only having 6 shots, well frankly I don’t think any of us have the skills to survive a gunfight that requires more then 6 shots. YMMV
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:02:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/4/2004 12:06:06 PM EST by SilentHunter]
I do not have a whole lot of experence with revlovers nothing beyond just target shooting at the range, but it seems to me that reloading a revolver is out in a fight unless you are extreemly good at it or you are able to get away and reload. Under high stress situations fine motor skills go away. If you need more than 5 or 6 rounds you are probably up Sh** creek with out a paddle, and there is a whole in your boat. I work at a jail and unfortunately I have seen people that had been shot many times and they did not stop fighting the officers had to stomp them into the ground to stop them. I did not actualy see the incident but I saw the holes in their torso. If some one is majorly drunk or high on a substance like PCP or Meth. They will not even know they have just been shot, and if they are on PCP or Meth get ready for the fight of your life. They will keep fighting long after the normal person would have stoped fighting, with what appears to be super human strength. If the heart is destroied the average person is able to continue volentary movement for 5 to 10 seconds!! That is a long dam time. Check out firearmstactical.com. A lot of good people get killed because they believe the movies where the BG gets shot and they fall down right away and stop fighting. This is just worst case, most likely it will be the 3,3,3 thing. If you decide to go with a revolver or an semi-auto practice, practice, practice. I am not saying that one is better than the other. I am planning to buy a revolver in the neer future for different carry options. Late night run to the gass station or to thump on the beach an ultra light revolver is a lot nicer just stick it in your pocked and go.

If you do the pocket thing you might want to look in to a pocket holster, some people say you should use one some say they are a waste of money.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 1:40:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bear_B:
Hmmmm... I disagree and agree with the previous post.... if you have to reload you'll be dead... with a revolver very likely.... with a high cap glock he will have a lot more ammo to go through before he has to reload... and 2. reload is faster... much faster. And 3. a glock is just as simple as a revolver in terms of use. Just draw, and pull the trigger. No external safety, no external hammer.

Ok first off accuracy by volume is a great way to injury a non-combatant. Secondly, There is no semi-auto as simple as a wheel gun. I own serveral glocks ranging in all calibers but, if I had to choose which gun to have a failure in, it would be my ruger sp 101. If you have a failure in a semi-auto you have to clear it. Which if you ever had to do a timed clearing stage , you would appreicate just being able to pull the trigger instead. What good is 15 rounds of 9mm, 40 s&w , .357 sig etc etc if you can't hit your target to begin with.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 1:58:51 PM EST
True... and the whole accuracy comment I talked about in my first reply. He was asking about price of practice ammo... see above... as I stated having the best hand cannon in the world will not do you a whole lot of good unless you can afford the practice ammo... here where I live the local Wallyworlds sell 9mm target ammo for 10.94 for 100 rounds. At that price its not even worth reloading. I can put 200 rounds a week down the range with just over 20.00. A .45 may be a more effective round but with no practice who can be an effective shooter?

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 3:52:06 PM EST
Since when did 38 spl become expensive? Or here's another idea.. a Ruger SP 101 comes chambered in 9mm... reliability of a wheel gun and it won't break the bank to practice with.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 2:35:23 PM EST
.38 is not expensive... but 9mm is cheaper... at least here in Jax.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 3:10:09 PM EST
A quality revolver is still hard to beat for CCW use. It'll take a butt load of abuse and still keep on running, won't fail to feed and isn't ammo sensitive either. Pick one in your favorite ctg.(9mm,.357,44spl,45ACP or 45Colt) and don't look back. I've been using my wife's Taurus M-85 UltraLite for a CCW gun until I can find a good 45ACP somewhere. I don't feel under gunned and it's a hoot to carry, almost like it's not even there.
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