You know , there are a lot of folks in the firearms industry that believe that a double action revolver is the “perfect” starter gun and a great concealed carry gun for a lady to carry in her purse. The philosophy behind this is simple. There are zero external moving parts, so the gun can be fired through a purse for self defense. They are simple to use and do not require much dexterity to operate the gun. All well taken points. All true.
HOWEVER…for many folks, IF they even train with their handgun, they go to the range and only shoot a couple of cylinders worth of ammuntion. They are only shooting 10-12 rounds through it! And then they do not know how to utilize or deploy a speedloader or a speed strip, to reload it on the fly. These two practices present some big problems for the double action or the double action only (hammerless) revolver owner.
- They do not get a really good feel for what that stiff, double action trigger really feels like after shooting a couple of courses of fire. The trigger on these handguns is stiff. The average shooter, if only shooting a couple of cylinders of ammo, does not get an accurate feel of extended use. If after shooting about 20-30 rounds, you feel like shooting with the bend of your finger instead of the center of the last joint of the trigger finger pulling the trigger straight toward you, you will slowly slip into some poor marksmanship habits.
- How about recoil? The lightweight polymer frame of models like Ruger’s LCR or Smith & Wesson’s J-frame are made light for the purpose of comfortable concealed carry. If you shoot these guns at all, you will find that due to the light weight of the frame, they kick (recoil) like a mule! For a very informative instructional video on using various revolver grips with various types of revolvers, see Jerry Micheluk’s Revolver Grip video.
- Revolvers are not comfortable for everyone to shoot. If a gun is uncomfortable to shoot, do you really want to continue to train with it? If you don’t train with it, you will never get proficient with it!
- No matter what kind of gun you have, you need to know how to reload it on the fly. Revolvers have a very limited number of rounds. If I have a 5 shot revolver that I carry for self defense, and I get attacked by 7 thugs in the parking lot of the mall, then I am unprepared for the situation. The first step in preparedness is to be PREPARED! You know, always be ready! If I am carrying a gun that has a 5 round capacity and no other means of quickly and efficiently reloading that gun in the heat of a battle, then I am grossly UNPREPARED for that gun fight.
Most of the gun stores that we deal with don’t try to corner anyone into any certain type of gun, but many still do! Please do your homework, especially if it is your first handgun. Try them out, ask to dryfire it. See first hand what it is like before you purchase it. Many ranges rent guns, see if they have anything close to what you are looking for. Go there and rent that type of gun and see first hand what you want to try out. This is a game changer for many.
Men of good intentions, go out and just buy their spouse, what they want them to have. Many times, for the reasons listed above, this type of gun selection does not work out very well. So then you have a gun that will never see any range time. And worse yet a spouse who never improves because she doen’t enjoy shooting that gun.
Just today, I got an email from a student wanting to know if he could use a revolver for his Concealed Carry Class. I told him, as long as he could shoot it comfortably and could use a speedloader effectively. Nothing wrong with them at all, but they do require some additional training to shoot them well.