Interview With an Operator: Why I Prefer a Revolver for Personal Defense

Smith & Wesson Model 36 revolver

Don Gammill for TTAG

Greetings TTAGers. This is the last part of my interview with Male Concubine (see earlier posts here), who has persistently and consistently irritated TTAG readers with his love of guns and shooting. No doubt y’all won’t miss him a bit, but I’m sure he’ll be back for more interviews sometime in the future.

ED: Hey there, MC. I want to ask you about revolvers and why you prefer them for self-defense. What’s your favorite gun? Is it the one you showed me earlier?

MC: This is a Smith & Wesson Model 36 J Frame. It’s a pre-Chief’s Special, before they started giving names to weapons. It was designed in the late 40s and released in the early 50s and re-released in the mid-50s.

The particular weapon that I’m carrying was made in 1956. It’s a five-shot all steel exposed hammer double action .38 Special revolver, the ubiquitous J frame before they started naming the frames.

In this weapon, I’ve smoothed the grooves out of the trigger, radiused the trigger. I’ve taken the exposed spur off the hammer so I can draw it from a concealed position and it won’t snag on clothes. I’ve relieved the rebound block, rebound box, slide surface, trimming the rebound block spring and then putting on a different coiled main spring so that the lock time is marginally faster, but my cylinder stop release times are much quicker. I can fire this weapon much faster and much more accurately.

I was trained as a Smith & Wesson revolver armorer. I like the older non-electronically machined pieces. In the old fitted weapons with their hardened sear surfaces, that hardening is very shallow. So when you relieve that, when you tune that, a little bit is great.

You’re only relieving the sear two to four passes maximum on a square India stone that’s medium grit. Any more than that, you’ll get push-off, and you won’t be able to lock hammer back to single action without the hammer dropping.

You’ll lose the relationship between the pickup on the trigger sear as it grabs the hammer stirrup and then begins to articulate the rebound block, which is the device in the weapon that actually moves the trigger. If those surfaces are not trued properly, if they are relieved too greatly in this asinine quest to lighten trigger pull, that makes an unsafe weapon.

This particular weapon that I have, you could beat on all day long with the hammer locked back. The hammer won’t drop and the weapon is very safe to carry. BUT, it activates very quickly.

ED: And you prefer that to semi-automatic pistols…because? Although, I know you’ve carried those too.

MC: Three reasons why I carry a double action revolver versus a semi-automatic weapon for personal defense in an urban environment:

1. It’s more concealable. I can carry it in my pocket.

2. I don’t feel under-gunned with a revolver because I understand the limitations of the weapon platform. Again, per our earlier talk, the sole purpose of a handgun is to fight your way to a longer range weapon or to stabilize the threat so that you can leave the area and come back later with a bigger weapon to eradicate the threat. This is not a duty weapon that I’m going to patrol the streets with. This is exactly what it’s meant to do.

3. Most notably — and this has borne fruit on several occasions — it doesn’t leave expended brass on the ground. I don’t have to spend time to police it.

ED: Do you think that semi-automatic pistols have any advantages that you like as far as self defense?

MC: Oh, sure. There’s a multitude of statistics out there that prove this: the reason that the average defensive use of a weapon went from five rounds to stop the threat up to, I think it’s 14 rounds now, is because of the adoption by law enforcement agencies of higher capacity semi-automatic weapons.

It was becoming apparent in the early 90s that in the transition from double action revolvers to the wonder-nine years, all they did was endanger the public. Before you had six rounds before a reload; now you had up to 16 or 18.

Before spraying and praying, you knew you had six rounds, so you couldn’t really spray and pray that much before needing to hit your target. Now, the average shot count is 14 with a hit rate of 1 to 2. There is no numerical statistical improvement of hitting the target with a semi-automatic, but through pressing the trigger and firing rounds, they’re able to assuage their fear because they’re putting rounds down range and eventually one is going to hit the target.

ED: So you’re saying that six rounds is enough to take care of a self-defense threat if you master your fundamentals, practice regularly, train in tactics?

MC: Absolutely. I worked some very violent areas in south Florida where Miami PD wouldn’t go and most of the tac teams wouldn’t go. I carried a 4-inch Colt Python on my right hip and, in an upside down shoulder holster underneath my left shoulder, a 2.5-inch Python. Along with that I carried six speed loaders and two dump pouches. The only reason for that was that since I was shooting .357 and everyone else was carrying 9s, I had to carry my ammo with me.

My favorite round is a 158 grain non-jacketed hollow-point wadcutter. Excellent terminal ballistics, excellent expansion capabilities. Even if it deforms going through a chunk of glass or heavy clothes it’s still creating a great hydrostatic wound channel.

Being that it’s a 6-shot revolver, I can fire it close contact, it’s difficult to smother, it’s very robust – this is where Smith has it over Colt revolvers. I won’t bore you with the mechanical differences between the two weapons, but the mainspring orientation in the Colt is a leaf type spring that is very prone to going out of battery if you whack the grip, whereas you can use the Smith as a hammer on someone. If you did that with an O frame Colt, you can’t expect it to go into battery and still fire. It won’t do it.

Smith & Wesson revolvers aren’t necessarily accurate, but they’re accurate enough for my purposes. They go off under water. You can use them to beat someone off of you if you can’t shoot them. If you want to shoot a semi-automatic go ahead, but if your fundamentals are sufficient, you don’t need it.

ED: How often do you think a person needs to train to maintain skills that are already reasonably good? How long do you think it takes for a person to become competent?

MC: That’s highly individual and it depends on that person’s athletic prowess. In my experience, the most successful women shooters I’ve met were athletes in a different discipline, so they already understood movement and the effects of movement on performance.

One of the most skilled female shooters I worked with had been a semi-professional softball player. She had great hand eye coordination because she could hit an underhand pitch coming in at 80 miles an hour. There was an athletic prowess and understanding of eliminating variables that I could tap into, so her progress was very quick and linear.

So there’s that kind of person, and then there’s someone like my last girlfriend. It was hard work getting her to understand that just because a gun recoils in your hand, that doesn’t mean it’s going to hurt you. There was a lack of familiarity, there was a lack of physical capability and situational understanding.

When you have all of those hurdles to overcome, it’s more difficult to relate to the concepts of what you need to do to move from the unskilled to a more capable level. You have to move much more slowly.

ED: In dance, we have a saying that it takes 10 years to make a dancer. How many to make a shooter:

MC: It all depends on attitude and physical capability. If those aren’t a problem, someone can go from never having fired a weapon to performing very well in about six months. Dry fire every day, live fire once every 10 days, about 1 1/2 hours on the range if I’m teaching them.

Once the fundamentals are there, you can lean on them and start to encourage multiple target transitions, multiple reloading points, multiple engagement scenarios, and introduce variables. At the end of that time, you’d look back at the early days and laugh.

The basis of a competent attitude is not about self-aggrandizement or getting people to talk about you. If you have no ego and are methodical, in a year, you can go from novice to competitive ranks and have people genuinely respect your skills.

ED: What role do you think ego plays in making a shooter better or worse?

MC: It’s sunk more people in the shooting world than couldn’t swim away from the Titanic when it bounced off the iceberg. It’s the most debilitating bad habit, because it’s intrinsic, individual, and solely identified with that person. If they don’t have enough self esteem to understand that other people have greater knowledge and capability and that in order for them to meet or surpass that, they have to train intelligently – if they can’t get their own ego out of the way – they are doomed to a life of, at best, mediocrity.

ED: And with that, we’re done for now. Thank you MC. I hope you’ll come back for another round.

MC: Absolutely. See you sometime in the next year or so.

comments

  1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    huh, I didn’t know I didn’t like GuyHo for his love of guns and shooting . . . Now I know! I can’t believe I used to think it was because he’s an elite troll. Thanks so much!

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      Yeah that was a new one on me too. I thought I read TTAG because I *did* like guns and shooting. Have to admit though, I only click through Elaine’s nonsense articles for the comment section. Especially these fabricated interviews.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        Ditto

    2. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

      Trolling indeed. Pfft, everyone knows that real operators use .357 magnum and wouldn’t be caught dead with a snubbie .38.

  2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    “No doubt y’all won’t miss him a bit, but I’m sure he’ll be back for more interviews sometime in the future.”

    So you know no one wants this content, and you know many people hate it, yet you’re bringing it back? 🤔Any good reason or just for kicks?

    1. avatar Trampled Under Foot says:

      Yet, you read it.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        lol no I try to not make the same mistake three times in a row.

  3. avatar JMR says:

    Since when is TheYankeeMarshall and operator?

    1. avatar Biatec says:

      This made me smile.

    2. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

      While David may not be the badass, stalwart and staunch conservative that many might prefer, he does tend to take an absolutist approach to the 2nd Amendment. For this, Esoteric Inanity can respect him. He is also quite funny on occasion and loves comic books. However some of his views on the 1st Amendment and social justice dogma are disconcerting.

      1. avatar JMR says:

        I enjoy most of his content, even if I don’t agree with some of it.

        1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

          Esoteric Inanity shares these sentiments.

          Also, while David can come off as a tad whiny and didactic, one has to give him credit for his advocacy. The man is on the front lines in Oregon fighting the good fight. As this one understands it, he has been fervently attending hearings on gun control legislation in both Oregon and Washington. Another thing he deserves props for is his TYMP gun giveaway project for impoverished individuals.

    3. avatar tdiinva says:

      I think the YM is a blowhard dick but as a former 31B he is a lot closer to an operator than most of us guys around here.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        If 31B is close to an operator we’re using a REAL low bar (I bet he would admit as much)

  4. avatar Marty says:

    Can’t agree more with him. As a police firearms instructor, I found new female shooters were much better students than the men. Muscles and ego were the stumbling blocks for men. Men, as new shooters, tended to resist the recoil. Generally, my female students became better shooters more quickly than the men. I also tend to agree with the less ammo in revolvers vs semi’s. In my own practice, under stressful training out to about 15 yards, I tend to shoot my little S&W Shield 9mm better than my Sig 226. But will I ever go back to carrying a revolver, not likely.

  5. avatar James A. "Jim" Farmer says:

    I too love revolvers, including classic Smith and Wesson K and N-Frame .38 Specials
    and .357 Magnums. However not just only for “self defense/house protection/concealed carry.” But likewise for the great outdoors: camping, hiking, fishing, etc. And I know I’m being retentive here but next to a .22 or .32 the .38 Special 148 grain lead “target” wad-cutter can likewise be used for hunting small game: rabbit, squirrel, and grouse, for dispatching vermin: raccoon, skunk, possum, etc. and even for butchering livestock. CCI’s classic .38 Special shot or snake load: No. 9 shot can shred the head of a rattlesnake up close. My point: The .38/.357 holstered on your person will be present, while the .22 rifle, shotgun, or hunting rifle for say deer and elk season, probably won’t. The .38 caliber revolver: .38 Special or .357 Magnum remains ideal
    for urban, metro, rural, and *wilderness.

    James A. “Jim” Farmer
    Merrill, Oregon (Klamath County)

    *An example of the above would be the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness Region inside
    the Fremont/Winema National Forest situated between Bly, Oregon (Klamath County)
    and Paisley in Lake County, Oregon. This straddles the Klamath/Lake County line in
    Eastern Oregon. Fishing for Red Band Trout on the Chewaucan River, which runs through Paisley and t ZX Ranch land has rattlesnakes during the summer months. This
    region also has Mule Deer, Pronghorn Antelope, elk, an abundance of bird life including
    Sand Hill Cranes, and plenty of coyotes, bear, and cougar. Nothing is more comforting
    than having a loaded .38 or .357 (preferably the latter) next to the sleeping bag inside
    the tent in pitch black darkness! Marster Spring Campground West of Paisley is an
    example here. Also, another U.S. Forest Service Campground next to Dairy Creek which
    is the headwaters of the Chewaucan River, with Elder Creek nearby.

    1. avatar possum says:

      back to killing possums are we, why man whY?

  6. avatar enf says:

    To my thinking the wheel gun has its place for some people. Just far fewer than semi-autos. Not everyone is a spray and pray shooter, not everyone is a trained armorer either.

    My hide-away wheel gun is an old Charter Arms Off Duty in .38 Special, made back before the era (error?) of CHARCO and Charter 2000. Not the quality of the Colt or Smith & Wesson, but a solid and dependable gun that has always worked well for me be it dry and dirty (when I bought it used) or properly clean and oiled (way I maintain it ever since).

    I carried that for a while until I picked a semi-auto I could conceal. These days the .38 snubbie is more the safe queen than anything else, infrequently brought out for a little range time.

    Some of “Male Concubine”‘s claims have him looking like a jerk, an idiot, a damned fool. Hard to accept he’s a special forces guy from out there where the pointy end meets the bad dudes our warriors need to be killing. So there’s that.

    Have to say it, with so many cases of “Stolen Valor” exposed on YouTube and in the news, it takes a bunch more info than these stories to accept that Male Concubine is who and what he claims to be.

  7. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    All comes down to which is more important, the fit six rounds or rounds 7-18?. If you say the first six you’re a revoler guy. Or at least you should be.

  8. avatar A. Daniels says:

    Colt’s O-Frame is the 1911, not a revolver. The Python is an I-Frame.

  9. avatar Trampled Under Foot says:

    Agree with most of what he said. Especially the training. Never carried a a revolver as a duty weapon, but always carried one as backup. Lying next to me on a lamp table now. Also never carried a pistol that held more than 8 rds. fully loaded. Took a couple of classes under Bill Rogers. Advanced Firearms Instructor and Officer Survival. That guy can shoot! He told me his nightstand gun is a J frame Smith. Revolvers are not only a viable option, sometimes they’re a better one. As an aside, if you ever get the opportunity to shoot on a Roger’s Range do it. Be forewarned. You will not be shooting at silhouette targets, Millar, or even pepper poppers. You will be shooting at pneumaticly powered 8″ steel plates. Some exposed for as little as 1/2 a second. It’s tough and humbling.

  10. avatar Trampled Under Foot says:

    Milpark. Spell check sucks.

  11. avatar Bob Watson says:

    “My favorite round is a 158 grain non-jacketed hollow-point wadcutter. Excellent terminal ballistics, excellent expansion capabilities. Even if it deforms going through a chunk of glass or heavy clothes it’s still creating a great hydrostatic wound channel.”

    Some people think that hydro-static shock is a function of bullet velocities achieved in center-fire rifle calibers, not .38 special or .357 magnum, short barreled handguns.

    Now this is an old school operator, as in “hello, is this the party to whom I am speaking”. He has obviously logged many hours at a switchboard, patching calls.

  12. avatar DaveDetroit says:

    I made some adjustments to my 642 revolver to make the trigger pull smoother. That’s really all it needed. I do like it for cc as I am usually in dress attire for work- it’s easy to conceal and I practice with it often enough to be very accurate. I’d actually like to have a tailor customize an inside breast pocket with a holster. I feel it’s unlikely I’d every need more than a couple shots to escape a situation so don’t worry about capacity- most problems I’d face in Detroit are lone attackers. I do like a revolver’s robustness compared to a semi-auto. At home I have more options for self defense where more rounds might be needed (as seen by several recent news stories of group break-ins).

    Thx for the article. I feel there’s always more to learn and appreciate various points of view.

  13. avatar mrlyle says:

    Reads like a Mike Hammer novel than an interview with a real person. Zero stars

    1. avatar Mark H says:

      To be fair, it’s not nearly as ridiculous as his completely make up South American Drug war fantasy.

      That TTAG allows this level of trolling in actual articles shows how sad the site has become.

  14. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

    Translation: “Start getting used to revolvers now, because the next time my team takes the Executive and Legislative branches, that’s all you’ll be able to get… Until they come for those, too.”

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Dream on. When the new Supreme Court gets thru with your team, they’ll be crying their eyes out. 5-4 now, when the old lady retires or passes on, 6-3.

      1. avatar Iron Cat Beast says:

        Uh, guy? We’re obviously on the same team. The quotation marks I used (they look like this: ” “) meant that I was translating what Elaine seems to be obliquely trying to make, as separate and distinct from my own thoughts on the matter.

        Jesus Christ, man…

        1. avatar Marty says:

          Sorry, it went right over my head.

  15. avatar cg123m says:

    I hated the first two iterations of this series. I disagree with the author’s choice of subject, I don’t believe his experience was vetted, the author has no understanding of what an “operator” is, or any familiarity with the military whatsoever. The subject is clearly not an operator, and his stories, well, they stink.

    However.

    This piece was excellent, and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you!

  16. avatar Gadsden says:

    Expended brass doesn’t hold prints from before you fired it. The heat from the explosion burns off any usable prints on the case. Expended brass can be used to match up what kind of gun was used though, obviously. This is why even though gang bangers spew extended brass all over at eachother, they rarely get caught.

    1. avatar Miner49er says:

      The term is tool marks, it refers to the marks made by extractor, ejector, firing pin and chamber on the case. It’s a major investigative tool that can print an individual firearm from identical make and model samples.

      Competent forensic investigators can easily match expanded brass to the semi or full auto weapon.

      Revolvers are very useful, to dismiss them out of hand is not wise. Many experienced individuals choose the revolver with great success.

      1. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

        Um, no. That’s not what tool marks are, not even close. Tool marks are raised and depressed areas created by the machine tool which removed metal from a particular spot on a workpiece; in this case, a firearm.

        Granted, tool marks on a firearm can imprint onto soft brass, but you’re still using the term incorrectly. And I wouldn’t characterize that as ” a major investigative tool that can print an individual firearm from identical make and model samples.”. You watch too much CSI if you believe that.

  17. avatar Caesar E. Sanchez says:

    Oh wow another masterpiece by Elaine D, what trailer park did you find your “operator” in?

  18. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

    “3. Most notably — and this has borne fruit on several occasions — it doesn’t leave expended brass on the ground. I don’t have to spend time to police it.”

    If memory serves, ‘Male Concubine’ was or is a cop.

    Last I heard, SOP for a cop discharging their weapon in the line of duty IS TO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING after a shooting. Leave the evidence where it is and let the crime scene techs process the scene for evidence. That a cop takes strong interest in policing their own brass after a shooting screams to me…

    Dirty Cop.

    (And I can’t wait for Dyspeptic to critique his ‘gunsmith’ skills…)

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      more like someone who has all his ‘operator’ skills cribbed from a soldier of fortune magazine.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      Yeah, I don’t quite understand his obsession with policing brass either.
      If he’s operating legally, there is very little benefit to not leaving brass.
      His description of the bullets he uses is a little strange. A “hollow point wadcutter”? Isn’t that a hollow base wadcutter loaded backwards? Maybe that’s why he wants to retain his brass; he reloads.

  19. avatar NoID says:

    That’s exactly what I carry, my grandfather’s Model 36. The gun was built in the 50s, couldn’t say exactly which year.

  20. avatar Pg2 says:

    A lot of people pocket carry because otherwise they wouldn’t carry at all.

    1. avatar 22winmag says:

      What you call pocket carry, I call HAND CARRY.

      Nothing beats a 5 shot wheel gun IN YOUR HAND stuffed in YOUR COAT POCKET.

  21. avatar cgray says:

    They allow any conservatives to write articles over at Huffington Post or Vox?

    Yeah, didn’t think so.

  22. avatar Gregolas says:

    I really don’t care what his true identity is, he made sense in what he said. I carried a S&W Mod.15 as a reserve officer in 1983, with 2 speedloaders and 2 dump pouches. Shot competition and won 1st place in a PPC match with my wife’s stock Mod.64.
    There’s nothing wrong with revolvers as defensive arms if one so chooses. Since 9-11, though, I carry a G19 for EDC instead of a 1911 or a revolver, b/c in a terrorist incident, multiple bad guys are likely and it could be a while before the authorities arrive. We each have our own reasons for what we carry. The good thing is that we do.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Gregolas,

      I carry a G19 for EDC instead of a 1911 or a revolver, [because] in a terrorist incident, multiple bad guys are likely and it could be a while before the authorities arrive.

      That is EXACTLY why I carry a full size handgun with a 15-round magazine and cartridges with 180 grain bullets.

      If your threat profile is limited to saving yourself from an armed mugger, then a 5-shot snub-nose revolver is fantastic. If your threat profile includes getting away from and/or stopping multiple suicidal attackers, then a 5-shot snub-nose revolver is vastly inferior to a dependable full-size semi-auto handgun with 15+ round magazines. Fortunately, there are a LOT of options that fit that bill.

  23. avatar Mad Max says:

    I got ’em both covered.

    P225 on the right hip and a 649 in my left pocket. If I go to draw the P225 and the perp jumps at it, he’ll get the .357 in his right side.

    It’s funny that I’m a better shot with the revolver in my weak hand than the semi-auto in my strong hand.

  24. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    food for thought or fresh fruit for rotting vegetables?

    (with apologies to klaus flouride, et al.).

  25. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

    It is good to see that Elaine D. has returned. Her brief hiatus from posting had this one contemplating as to whether or not she had gone the way of Sarah Tipton and Liberte Austin. After all, it is said that variety is the spice of life, and Elaine D. single handedly brings variety to this site. Her incongruous perspective and willingness to engage in dialogue tends to liven things up. She also provides for endless entertainment with other posters due to the tendentious nature of her views here.

    On to the topic at hand: Esoteric Inanity is not a trained S&W armorer, but he does have some experience in regards to Smith & Wesson revolvers (Mostly with L and N frames). On this subject, is Esoteric Inanity to understand that Elaine D.’s friend asserts to have altered the timing on his revolver by simply changing out the main spring, shortening the rebound spring and “relieving the rebound block” (Not certain of the meaning of this phrase. Did he mean that he filed down the rebound slide?)? The statement:

    “I’ve relieved the rebound block, rebound box, slide surface, trimming the rebound block spring and then putting on a different coiled main spring so that the lock time is marginally faster, but my cylinder stop release times are much quicker.”

    Has Esoteric Inanity confused, especially as to his meaning regarding “lockup time” (Hammer?) being “marginally faster” but “cylinder stop release times” being much quicker. Perhaps the vexation is due to Esoteric Inanity’s limited experience with older J frames. Maybe somebody can provide some edification.

    This one is, however, pleased to announce that he did indeed learn something from this article. Esoteric Inanity was chompin’ at the bit to call out the error of stating that a S&W revolver was fitted with a coil mainspring. However, as a bit of caution, this one thought it best to do a little research first. To Esoteric Inanity’s surprise, S&W Model 36s do indeed feature a coiled mainspring.

  26. avatar Broke_It says:

    Wow, imaginary people prefer revolvers. Who’d have thunk?

  27. avatar 22winmag says:

    It don’t JAM out of battery when you stick it in someone’s GUT.

    The *hammerless* J frame stands alone.

  28. avatar Jon in CO says:

    The only advantage a revolver has over an auto is the ability to fire from inside a jacket pocket. There is no other upside. Auto’s are easier to manipulate, load/reload, fire, hold more rounds, and generally more reliable.

    Before some of you old guys have a fit about the reliability part, remember that guns made now are better than guns made in the 60’s. (The majority, there’s also an exception to the rule) Also, backed out primers, primers falling out into the lockwork, timing issues, hammer push off, there’s a multitude of issues that plagued revolvers. There’s a reason nobody short of a few actually carry them, use them. If they indeed were superior in every way, the advent of hi-cap guns that work would never have occurred.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      You’re right older revolvers are no good. By chance do you have an older 629 you’d like to sell?

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        His mom won’t let him.

    2. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

      Never seen a revolver fail to go bang. Have seen plenty of semis do so. Even supposed always shoot Glocks.

  29. avatar Rob says:

    Revolvers are for fudds, larpers, and those who venture into bear country, and want something bigger than 10mm.
    They’re an interesting piece of firearms history, but in no way are they the best choice for a defensive firearm. Even Jerry Miculek uses modern magazine fed guns more than revolvers nowadays. And that guy is a god with any gun.

  30. avatar Minuteman says:

    Why would you police empties unless you have done something illegal? This is classic fictional writing. Completely entertaining but utterly unreliable sources. How about we explore why New York City won’t legally allow a gun owner to leave the city with his guns. Or how about legalizing the procedure of ending a infants life right up to or after birth. Liberal thoughts from a legal liberal gun owner.

    1. avatar Geoff "Bring the EDIT button back, will ya, TTAG?" PR says:

      “Why would you police empties unless you have done something illegal? This is classic fictional writing.”

      He *could* be telling the truth, and have been a dirty cop…

  31. avatar Richard Steven Hack says:

    Drivel. And he claims the only reason he carried tons of backup ammo is because he had to “carry his own”. LOL Yeah, right. Sure it had nothing to do with the obvious limitations of a six-round “defensive handgun.”

    He may be right about the “spray and pray” nature of many modern day cops. That doesn’t change the fact that the “New York Reload” concept was created by the Police Union in New York City because cops kept needing more rounds than six in confrontations. Sure, if every cop in the world could shoot like a top of the line 3-gun Master, maybe they wouldn’t need more than six rounds – except of course for those cases where there are more than 3 assailants who don’t go down from two rounds each to the chest. And that happens in home invasions more than revolver fanbois care to admit.

    It’s a fantasy that “more training” means you don’t need an adequate round count. And it’s bad statistics – when you plan for survival, you plan for the outlier circumstances, not the statistic probability. And it’s never even been proven how many rounds are needed – just saw a Paul Harrell Youtube video on that this past week.

    Bottom line: Revolvers are for target shooting and hunting. Period. End of story.

    1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

      Richard Steven Hack makes some good points, and his comment brings to mind several instances of such things that he discussed. On that note, more people concerned with defensive gun uses need to familiarize themselves with the Newhall and Miami-Dade shootings. The aformentioned shooting sage Paul Harrell has some excellent videos on the subject.

  32. avatar tmm says:

    …in the transition from double action revolvers to the wonder-nine years, all they did was endanger the public.

    Huh. I suppose he’s assuming that folks would unequivocally just stop shooting accurately because they have all these rounds, and merely having more rounds makes “the public” less safe. It kind of sounds like he doesn’t trust other folks with more rounds (not to mention he’s apparently never heard of a Shield or LCP). Not a liberty loving stance. Seriously, I can dig preferring a revolver, but what works for thee may not work for me.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      In fact, he sounds like a liberal politician.
      Semi-autos are dangerous in and of themselves because they encourage people to fire more rounds, endangering the public. So we get said politicians doing their best to ban such guns.
      MC evidently believes that any training one gets with a revolver automatically goes out the window when he uses a semi-auto.

      “ED: So you’re saying that six rounds is enough to take care of a self-defense threat if you master your fundamentals, practice regularly, train in tactics?
      MC: Absolutely.”
      However, that’s not a reason to only carry six, unless you have no choice. He then goes on to say the others in his team (? He obviously wasn’t a patrolman, nor in a SWAT team; I don’t understand what special team he was on, then) carried 9s, so he obviously (according to him) had the training to make those extra rounds effective, but he made a conscious choice to limit himself to six rounds at a time. I don’t understand that mindset, given his claim that there were so many bad guys that other LEOs wouldn’t go where he operated.

  33. avatar Mark C says:

    It’s interesting to a handgun novice that there’s been no mention of Ruger in the article or comments. My “nightstand” gun for years was a Benelli 12 guage. But after retiring and living most of the time in VT now instead of NY, I got a Ruger GP 100 (7 round) with a 4.2″ barrel in 327 mag. I’ve been training with it regularly and there’s nowhere in the cabin where I’d have to make shot longer than ~6 yards and most likely less than that. I certainly gave a lot of thought to a 9mm semi but somehow the wheel gun just worked better for me. It’s been a lot of fun training with it. (Helped by a 75 yo retired LE who carried S&W his whole career until he retired 23 years ago. I keep a 12 gauge in VT as well, but it’s a turkey gun (nasty birds you need protection from)

  34. avatar Connie says:

    Wow. Why publish this kind of crap on your site if you would like to remain credible? This guy takes so much pain cow manure, and thou lost it up here and waste all of our time with it?

    1. He carries a revolver because it is so great… yet, how much did he have to modify that thing? Sounds like perfect fun out of the box.

    2. The number of rounds in shootings has gone up, but did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, it is because people do not shoot as frequently these days because of the price of ammunition and lack of availability of places to shoot?

    3. He is not concerned about the ammo capacity of his revolver, which is why he used to carry two revolvers and six speed loaders on him.

    These are just a few examples of the garbage in this interview.

    1. avatar Connie says:

      Well, sorry, everyone. I guess I need to keep an eye on my auto correct. That sentence should have read:

      “This guy talks so much plain cow manure, and you post it up here and waste all of our time with it?”

  35. avatar possum says:

    . revolvers are all right but when the shooting starts six shots runs out fasT.

  36. avatar strych9 says:

    These articles crack me up and the comments they elicit are even better.

    The only thing I would point out about the article itself is that if we look at numbers for the NYPD we find that in the 1980’s when the standard issue sidearm was a 6 shot revolver the average number of rounds fired at a suspect was 5.6 with 2.8 rounds fired to get a hit. When the standard duty weapon jumped in capacity to 18 rounds in the 1990’s the cops then fired 12.8 rounds to get a hit and 17.5 rounds per engagement.

    No matter the weapon the cops tended to empty the gun and use half or more the ammo in it to score a hit on the BG.

    As Clint from Thunder Ranch points out “Remember, in a fight most people don’t shoot to apply marksmanship. They shoot, OK, because it makes them feel good”.

  37. avatar Jack says:

    “it doesn’t leave expended brass on the ground” – What is he, a hitman?

    1. avatar Esoteric Inanity says:

      If that fellow’s a hitman, then he’d best swap out for an 1895 Nagant Revolver for its suppression capabilities and the extra round in the cylinder.

  38. avatar Dr. Michael S. Brown says:

    I enjoyed the article… nice change from the usual stuff. I look at it as entertainment rather than pro technical advice.

    1. avatar GDMF says:

      It is good that you see it that way because this sure isn’t sound advice…

  39. avatar racer88 says:

    Wowee, wow! TTAG?? REALLY?? From a legal standpoint, this has to be the WORST self-defense “advice” I’ve ever seen.

    Hoo-boy. This one is BEGGING to be fisked.

    Again, per our earlier talk, the sole purpose of a handgun is to fight your way to a longer range weapon or to stabilize the threat so that you can leave the area and come back later with a bigger weapon to eradicate the threat.

    This might be the most dangerous self-defense “advice” I’ve ever heard. Good gosh… the word choice is telling. From a LEGAL standpoint, this it UTTERLY wrong. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG. If you leave the threat, and come BACK to “finish him off,” you ARE NOW A MURDERER. It’s no longer SELF-defense.

    Most notably – and this has borne fruit on several occasions – it doesn’t leave expended brass on the ground. I don’t have to spend time to police it . . . .

    Ummm… whaaa???? WT actual F?!? You’re going to pick up the EVIDENCE? Holy $hit. This guy should NOT be giving out advice to citizens on self-defense. AT. ALL. EVER.

    It was becoming apparent in the early 90s that in the transition from double action revolvers to the wonder-nine years, all they did was endanger the public. Before you had six rounds before a reload; now you had up to 16 or 18.

    Really? Please name any… or just ONE case where a citizen “endangered the public” in a self-defense shooting. This guy is (allegedly) LE. Perhaps he’s taking LE incidents and stories and extrapolating them (incorrectly) to citizen self-defense scenarios.

    Before spraying and praying, you knew you had six rounds, so you couldn’t really spray and pray that much before needing to hit your target. Now, the average shot count is 14 with a hit rate of 1 to 2. There is no numerical statistical improvement of hitting the target with a semi-automatic, but through pressing the trigger and firing rounds, they’re able to assuage their fear because they’re putting rounds down range and eventually one is going to hit the target . . . .

    Who’s “spraying and praying???” Again, I think he’s projecting LE encounters onto citizen self-defense scenarios. I would also challenge him to CITING the “statistics” that distinguish revolvers vs semi-auto hit rates. I’d bet they don’t exist.

    I worked some very violent areas in south Florida where Miami PD wouldn’t go and most of the tac teams wouldn’t go. I carried a 4-inch Colt Python on my right hip and, in an upside down shoulder holster underneath my left shoulder, a 2.5-inch Python. Along with that I carried six speed loaders and two dump pouches. The only reason for that was that since I was shooting .357 and everyone else was carrying 9s, I had to carry my ammo with me

    Worked? In what capacity? Not PD. Another LE agency? Federal? Or an armed courier? Dump pouches??? Seriously? On the street (rather than the range)?? What is his deal with “policing brass” in a defensive or law enforcement scenario??? Very, very strange. And… a CRIME (to alter forensic evidence).

    Again… wow. TTAG can do better. TTAG used to do better. This is WAY down the rabbit hole of REALLY bad advice.

  40. avatar merlin says:

    absolutely correct about police shootings when transitioning from revolver to auto.
    many more misses.

  41. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Gotta say it seems like someone read a bunch of Pistolero and Combat Handguns from the late 80s and early 90s.

    Just saying.

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      …and here I was thinking that he built his story after reading old Soldier of Fortune magazines from 1975 – 1981. Same “No Shyte, I Wuz There” style of prevaricating, wanna-be’s fiction.

      I carried a revolver from ’77 to ’88 (before transitioning to a Sig P-220). Constantly looked for the “ideal” defensive ammo…never heard of a 158 grain non-jacketed hollow-point wadcutter. Fired lots of 148 gr wadcutters…fired lots of 158 lead round nose and 158 gr lead semi-wadcutters and even a few 158 gr lead hollow-point semi-wadcutters…but, nothing like his “favorite” ammo. Our duty ammo was Federal .357 Magnum 125 gr jacketed hollow points The old NIJ ammo reviews consistently ranked that particular combination as the best “one-shot fight-stopper”.

      1. avatar possum says:

        .I used to flip those wadcutters base forward for a pretty nifty hollow poinT

        1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

          Tried that years ago…never could get them to stabilize much beyond 3 – 4 yards…tended to tumble because their center of gravity was so skewed.

      2. avatar Marty says:

        Yup, I also carried a Sig 220 in my younger days. A very heavy sidearm, but no problem back then. I’m no longer able to carry it daily, but still enjoy shooting it just for fun. In the 70’s, I carried a model 19 as a primary and then a 66, both 4″. Our required duty ammo was the useless 158 grain lead round nose in 38 special. After one shooting I was involved in which proved that round useless, we finally went to the 158+p lead semi wadcutter. The department finally arrived into the 20th century and began using 125 grain JHP’s.

        1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

          The department I worked for gave me the choice of an old, beat-to-tatters Colt Trooper or a shiny, new Ruger Security Six…took the Ruger and loved that over-engineered hunk of steel for as long as I carried it. We carried 158 gr JSP’s when I started…moved to 125 JHP’s after a couple of shootings where the 158’s merely drilled a through-and-through with minimal energy transfer to subject. Considering that our back-up was sometimes hours away we wanted the best defensive ammo available at the time…management finally agreed

          The P-220 was on my dime…never regretted it…still occasionally carry it in an old El Paso Saddlery shoulder holster…gets shot at the range a half dozen times a year. Completely rebuilt by Sig a few years ago…the kids can draw straws for it after I go.

          My personal experience has been that a well-trained revolver person can successfully integrate both revolver and semi-auto firearms into their repertoire…whereas the reverse is not always true.

        2. avatar Marty says:

          Totally agree. My dept was behind the times on all things firearms. Hell, they didn’t even issue shotguns until every other dept in the state had already had them for years. Our only choice in the academy was a very used 6″ model 10. I chose to carry my own firearms. When they finally got around to semi autos for detectives, it was a S&W model 6906. I never carried it as I couldn’t shoot it worth a crap. I carried my own Sig 226 until they allowed 45’s, at which time I chose my 220. I loved my K, L and N framed revolvers. Shot competition with our revolver club in PPC matches for several years but finally went the way of the semis an never looked back, but still enjoy shooting revolvers for fun. Upon retirement, my dept let us keep our issued weapon, just wish it wasn’t a 6906.

  42. avatar Datahut says:

    Most complete article have read about the advantages of a revolver. Corroborates the experience of a friend who had a close in robbery and abduction encounter in NYC during the 70’s. Will add that the barrel, as one comment noted, jams into body parts very securely. Use the right tool for the job under one’s most encountered circumstances I guess. I agree physical fitness and mobility sounds like a plus (if I choose to just run for it). Ok, the policing the brass statement is interesting as many noted, but here’s one possible explanation. A special ops marine, wounded three times, asked me a few months ago if I could guess why he was trained to not drop his empty magazines on the ground and leave them unaccounted for. Answer, you WILL (not might) trip on them.

  43. avatar Mad says:

    I love my sw model 586 nickel plated 6in barrel, which I used to carry shoulder holster.now I carry a Glock 21.next to my bed is my Mossberg 500.iam comfortable with all of them.at 71 my 21 is the only semi auto I’ve ever owned,grew up with revolvers..IAM no Hickok 45but I can get lead on the target

  44. avatar Moltar says:

    I remember the military having a similar mindset all the way up till and into the first months of WW2. That’s why everything up till the 1903 had a magazine cut off. Military Arms Channel goes in depth about that on a few videos if yall want the info presented in a clear concise manner. That’s also one (small) reason I’ve heard mentioned about why the Henry and Winchester lever guns were never officially adopted by the army aside from the whole can’t run it from the prone thing.

  45. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

    This is such garbage. More BS from operator who has to endure gunfights with his wife every couple years.

  46. avatar possum says:

    .to see a vid of me firing a mini 14 you tube resbell palala ,i think it’s the forth one down, we r shooting in my (used to be front yard)

  47. avatar Charles L Tredway says:

    All that was said was true but lacked the knowledge of a Chiappa 20DS.

  48. avatar Kroglikepie says:

    Yet again, an article full of more horseshit than a clydesdale. This dude has just about zero knowledge of almost everything on which he opines. Especially for someone trained as an “armorer” and an “operator”. Good grief.

    1. avatar GDMF says:

      Apparently there aren’t enough trolls in the comments so writers have started trolling at the top level!

      If this keeps up this site will have to be renamed…

  49. avatar Minuteman says:

    Note the underhanded revolver is best angle in this piece. Semi autos are bad. Underhanded attempt by a liberal penetrating the gun community to get us used to the idea that banning semi autos won’t be so bad. Liberals always have a agenda under their belt and usually work behind the scenes accomplishing their goal till the very end. Elaine exposed herself in the very beginning by announcing she was a gun loving liberal hell bent on continuing to vote liberal even though they want to take her guns.
    A house divided against itself cannot stand. I will not be tricked by her. Apparently TTAG’s has been.

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      Agree!

      Considering that her (repeatedly) stated weapons of choice are the AR and semi-auto pistols…the very firearms her preferred political party is trying to abolish. Quote from the DNC Party Platform statement “…and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets.”

      ‘Nuff said!

  50. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    He plugged in phone lines to connect calls ?

  51. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Interview With an Operator: Why I Prefer a Revolver for Personal Defense
    I imagine manning a telephone switch board could be a dangerous occupation so it would make sense to carry a revolver. Never know when somebody who had a dropped call might show up.

  52. avatar GDMF says:

    As if I was unsure of Male Concubine’s reputability from the previous articles, this one sealed it. He may have “operated” but his words show that certainly didn’t make him a critical thinker or one to take advice from.

    There is nothing wrong with a revolver… aside from limited capacity, slow reloads, and reliability issues that cannot generally be addressed in the field. But, hey… any gun does the job if you don’t have to use it!

  53. avatar Suwannee Tim says:

    I was reading with interest until ths: “I don’t feel under-gunned with a revolver because I understand the limitations of the weapon platform. Again, per our earlier talk, the sole purpose of a handgun is to fight your way to a longer range weapon or to stabilize the threat so that you can leave the area and come back later with a bigger weapon to eradicate the threat.” First, it is not a weapon platform. It is a revolver. The USS Michael Mansoor is a weapon platform. A Model 36 is a revolver. Second, the purpose of a handgun is to end a life threatening confrontation as quickly as possible. It is not repeat NOT to fight your way back to another weapon, This idea is such rash stupidity it is hard to refute but I will try. While you are trying to fight your way back to your AR or shotgun or whatever your assailant is trying to kill you. While you might be able to fight your way back to another weapon that would be a rarity because in most cases these altercations are over in seconds and rarely will your other weapon be that close at hand. Fortunately this extravagantly stupid idea is not particularly dangerous because it is a rarity for law abiding citizens to find their self in a gunfight.

  54. avatar Del Mar says:

    Appreciate the articles, TTAG. All of it: the good, the bad, the ugly.

  55. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    I won’t comment on his technical details other than to agree with his assessment that it isn’t a good idea to pistol-whip someone with a Colt DA revolver.

    The grip/frame angle can change, and this will change the geometry of the timing pyramid on the right side of the rebound lever inside the Colt revolver, and this can change the timing of the action enough that it either locks up or no longer operates correctly.

    S&W, Ruger and other revolvers solve this issue by “splitting” the lockwork into two functional areas, and introducing a second spring (typically to run the trigger reset function).

  56. avatar Louis says:

    Another advantage of revolvers is that they better complement users with one good arm than semi-autos best served with both hands to load mags and chamber rounds.

    1. avatar Marty says:

      Good point, but such a revolver user would have just as much trouble reloading as a semi user, speed loaders or not.

  57. avatar Enuf says:

    My .38 snubbie is a Charter Arms Off Duty made back before the Charter 2000 and CHARCO eras (Errors?). Not the fine quality of a Colt or S&W’, but it is dependable. It is also no longer a gun that I carry every day. Five shots is better than nothing but I can afford to carry more gun than that, so I do.

  58. avatar Kap says:

    I Like 158gr lead hollow points in my .38 special also like a 230 gr JHP in my .44 special, the more Ammo you got the more you waste it! The American Nine {.38 spec) is a lot better man stopping cartridge than a 9mm.
    the test is to shoot accurately under the extreme pressure of incoming fire and mayhem. Does magazine Capacity beats courage, Tenacity, and will power! spray & Pray is a Joke as it only takes one to accomplish the task, however spray and pray does give a specious sense of doing something
    Both styles of pistols are mechanical devices and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, personally I like both!

  59. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    “It was becoming apparent in the early 90s that in the transition from double action revolvers to the wonder-nine years, all they did was endanger the public. Before you had six rounds before a reload; now you had up to 16 or 18.”

    “Before spraying and praying, you knew you had six rounds, so you couldn’t really spray and pray that much before needing to hit your target. Now, the average shot count is 14 with a hit rate of 1 to 2. There is no numerical statistical improvement of hitting the target with a semi-automatic”

    Thanks for the article Elaine B.
    I keep a Judge revolver as a night stand gun. I just ordered caliber adapters for it. I plan on doing some experiments with it. To include daily carry. In my research I have found that the police are terrible marksman. Below is just one example of many. We as civilians can’t afford to miss.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/san-francisco-cops-fire-65-shots-in-15-seconds-at-murder-suspect-in-dramatic-video

    1. avatar Old Guy in Montana says:

      A whole new definition for mag dump…

      I guess the S.F.P.D should go to an accredited Police Academy where the following rules are stringently taught:

      The Gun Safety Rules Are:

      1. All guns are always loaded.
      2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
      3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
      4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.*

      They completely missed the target on Rules 2 – 4…and pretty much proved Rule 1 beyond a doubt.

      *I wonder if any of the officers in the video were former Marines…they have the Rules drilled into them unmercifully.

    2. avatar Shallnot BeInfringed says:

      Holy crap… a total of 67 shots fired (including two from the suspect), but “Nobody was struck by gunfire during this incident.”

      These are the people gun-banners hold up as the only ones highly trained enough to handle guns. Reflect upon that for a moment. I’m just SMH at what has happened to our once-great country…

      “Gentlemen, congratulations. You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of Government training.”

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