Choosing A Carry Pistol Part III — The Traditional Double Action Revolver
There’s a lot to like about a Double Action Revolver, from its manual of arms to it’s inherent safety and reliability.
I’ve taught a number of concealed carry and advanced pistol classes, and usually the biggest speed bump with new shooters using semi-auto firearms is that there are too many buttons to push. While I’m a large fan of both semi-autos and revolvers, there is no denying that a good double action revolver is simpler to handle and operate.
Before we get too far, a quick reminder: Double action means that you can both cock and release the hammer by simply squeezing the trigger. No need to manipulate and other controls on the firearm. You also, usually, have the option of manually cocking the hammer and firing the gun in single-action mode, meaning that the shorter and lighter trigger squeeze is only releasing the hammer. The choice is yours for each shot.
I often carry a small (relatively speaking) revolver, like the Ruger SP101 pictured above, as there are a lot of advantages:
- Reliability: There are far fewer things that have to go right with a revolver compared to a semi-auto. While I won’t come close to saying that a modern semi-auto is unreliable, the fact remains that a good revolver is inherently more reliable. Also, lets say your revolver has a malfunction and the cartridge didn’t fire. How do you remedy? PULL THE TRIGGER AGAIN! That certainly doesn’t work in most semi-autos
- Manual of Arms: Simply put, there are less buttons on a revolver. They are typically more simple to load, operate, and unload.
- Caliber: Even small carry-sized revolvers are often chambered in big-boy calibers like .357 Magnum, which can really pack a lot of punch in a small package. Now…. if you ask me if a small revolver in a large caliber recoil bad, the answer is YES. My SP101 is an all steel revolver, but with hot .357s it kicks pretty bad. There will always be a trade off between size/weight and recoil. You must practice with your chosen carry round to become familiar with the dynamics.
- Size: A modest 5 or 6-shot revolver can be easily concealed in a number of ways. My preferred way is via appendix inside-the-waistband carry for small snubbies, but you’ll have to experiment to find your way.
- Safety: The heavier weight of a double-action trigger pull adds a bit of a safety factor, as you’d be very unlikely to inadvertently pull the trigger under stress. This is the same reason that double-action revolvers don’t come equipped with manual thumb safeties, as they’re unneeded. Personally, I prefer a carry gun with no manual thumb safety, as I view it as something I would forget to do under stress.
So take a dive in the deep end and try out a revolver! Personally, I was raised on semi-autos and that was all I was interested in. But after a few shooting sessions and carry trials, I’m SOLD on the benefits of a trusty wheel gun. Try one out and I think you’ll feel the same!
Check out our Gun Genie to see their vast inventory of firearms. They have anything you’d want to scratch that itch. Stay tuned for a wheel gun promotion on the Gun Genie!
Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time!