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Old 02-15-2020, 08:21 PM
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Using revolvers instead of semi-automatic weapons


I was noting recently that at banks or ATM centers, any security personnel usually sport revolvers as their sidearm. This surprises me, since virtually all police officers use semi-automatic weapons as their sidearm. Is there any specific reason security guards would prefer a revolver to a semi-automatic? And are there any police or public safety officers who still use revolvers?
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:30 PM
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Less likely to jam but other than that I don't know.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:35 PM
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This surprises me, since virtually all police officers use semi-automatic weapons as their sidearm.
This surprises me since virtually all armed security I have witnessed carries semi automatic pistols as well. This seems more like a local issue for you ...or me.

Still some possibilities pop to mind for justifications.
- They might have gotten a good deal on revolvers which tend to have lower demand. - Since the rounds are not feeding through the grip revolvers tend to be more adaptable to different sized shooters by changing the grips. That might let them get away with lower cost by buying all one pistol instead of managing different types.
- The fail less often. The reaction to a round failing to fire in a revolver is to just pull the trigger again and try and fire the next round. It takes out the need to train to deal with failures to feed or eject on semi-autos. If you are only worried about deterrence and being able to shoot 5-7 rounds that can reduce training time and cost.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:48 PM
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Those I’ve spoken to who preferred revolvers (not professionals, I mean amateur shooters) do so for personal preference. The big one is comfort; revolver grips are more contoured and just feel better to some people. Also, you don’t have brass to pick up afterward; it stays in the gun until ejected. And you don’t have to take the gun apart to clean it. Just a bunch of little things that add up to liking them more.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:54 PM
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My guess would be that the security company didn't want to shell out for any training on semi-autos, so they just handed the rent-a-cops surplus revolvers they bought cheap from a local police department that upgraded to Glocks.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:45 PM
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There seems to be a wide-spread feeling that revolvers are obsolete.

If your sole criterion for choosing a sidearm is how many bullets it can carry, then you'll want a semi-auto. If almost any other criteria are taken into account, a revolver is very often a more logical choice.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:09 AM
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Probably because the weapons security guards carry don't matter much as they're intended to create some kind of threat to dissuade robbers more than anything else. Revolvers tend to be simpler, more reliable and durable than pistols.

Also, .357 magnum revolvers can shoot .38 Special which is cheaper and milder.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:28 AM
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Also, you don’t have brass to pick up afterward; it stays in the gun until ejected.
I feel like that wouldn't be a deciding factor in choosing your sidearm.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:39 AM
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I recall reading and hearing somewhere, that many police departments switched to semi-automatic handguns because of the higher round capacity and faster reload time that may be required in a firefight. This is also the reason cited for why both the police and U.S. Military switched to smaller caliber ammunition vs the 11?, 12 with one in chamber? capacity of the Colt M1911, plus being lighter weight.

A security guard is unlikely to need more than six rounds as the primary purpose of a firearm is deterrence as mentioned above. I believe armored cars have more powerful and larger capacity firearms to point out the gunports if necessary.

Last edited by lingyi; 02-16-2020 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:40 AM
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I'd think a consideration would be that if the guard was required to actually shoot they would presumably have more control and less likelihood of shooting everyone in the bank in a reflex action. As someone from a non-gun-toting culture this is entirely informed by what i've seen on TV cop shows, so reality might be different.
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Old 02-16-2020, 06:29 AM
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Banks and such often contract security to private security firms.

These firms do not pay the guards especially well. In some cases the guards are required to purchase their own arms. In addition to saving money, this avoids a number of problems for the security company, such as keeping track of the guns, Dealing with a guard that skips town with the gun, keeping them in working order, guard complaints about what they are issued. etc. etc.

Given that the pay isn't great, the guards are likely to procure an inexpensive gun. New revolvers can be even more expensive than automatics. However, due to the fact noted by the OP that most police departments have converted to auto's. there are a huge number of former police revolvers on the used gun market, so former police revolvers can often be had quite reasonably, and are generally of much higher quality than a similarly priced automatic.

In addition, used holsters speed-loaders, etc. are often available as police surplus.
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Kevbo View Post
Banks and such often contract security to private security firms.

These firms do not pay the guards especially well. In some cases the guards are required to purchase their own arms. In addition to saving money, this avoids a number of problems for the security company, such as keeping track of the guns, Dealing with a guard that skips town with the gun, keeping them in working order, guard complaints about what they are issued. etc. etc.

Given that the pay isn't great, the guards are likely to procure an inexpensive gun. New revolvers can be even more expensive than automatics. However, due to the fact noted by the OP that most police departments have converted to auto's. there are a huge number of former police revolvers on the used gun market, so former police revolvers can often be had quite reasonably, and are generally of much higher quality than a similarly priced automatic.

In addition, used holsters speed-loaders, etc. are often available as police surplus.
I'm not too sure on the "affordability" thing, yes you can buy cheap used revolvers but a brand new Glock 9mm is only about $500 and you can even buy a brand new 9mm pistol for only $200 from budget makers like Hi-Point. If affordability was such a major concern we should be seeing a lot more security guards with Hi-Points.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:05 AM
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A bulkier gun just looks more intimidating.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:08 AM
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A bulkier gun just looks more intimidating.
So, why do all the other privates in this man's army have a rifle, but you have a gun?
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:10 AM
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Probably because the weapons security guards carry don't matter much as they're intended to create some kind of threat to dissuade robbers more than anything else. Revolvers tend to be simpler, more reliable and durable than pistols.
I'm not sure what background you have. But revolvers ARE pistols.

Any gun that is short in length, designed in such a way that it can easily be fired with one hand, and is generally carried in a holster, is a pistol.

Pistols come in 2 common varieties (revolvers and semi-autos) and 1 uncommon (autos).
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:17 AM
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Is the OP in a jurisdiction that restricts magazine capacity? Revolvers are limited to what their cylinder holds.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:17 AM
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People making such decisions for banks have little incentive to assure that guards can fire off a dozen rounds at robbers inside a building full of employees and customers. The possibility of winning a fifty shots fired gunfight at the Third National Bank's local office requires a fairly unrealistic definition of "winning."

Most banks think "give them the money" has a better long term cost/benefit consequence for
the bank. Mechanical infrastructure designed to make access to amounts of money over ten thousand dollar very time consuming are far more effective deterrents than high capacity magazine handguns.
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:21 AM
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So, why do all the other privates in this man's army have a rifle, but you have a gun?
Sir, the private believes that any answer he gives will be wrong! And his senior drill instructor will beat him harder if he reverses himself, sir
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:43 AM
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I recall reading and hearing somewhere, that many police departments switched to semi-automatic handguns because of the higher round capacity and faster reload time that may be required in a firefight. This is also the reason cited for why both the police and U.S. Military switched to smaller caliber ammunition vs the 11?, 12 with one in chamber? capacity of the Colt M1911, plus being lighter weight.
As is usually the case it took murdered cops to get any change to happen. There were a few other incidents but two big ones that brought on change in weapons were the Miami FBI shooting and the murder of Trooper Lamonaco in New Jersey.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout
https://apnews.com/4c1bbe998d14bfce6dda3c9511049cc1


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Is the OP in a jurisdiction that restricts magazine capacity? Revolvers are limited to what their cylinder holds.
That is a possibility.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:10 AM
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As a bank customer, not a bank robber, the visual of an automatic rifle, slung over the shoulder, scares the poop out of me.

Here, the folks that replenish the ATM's have sawed off shotguns. Now, that is a deterence.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:40 AM
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Military switched to smaller caliber ammunition vs the 11?, 12 with one in chamber? capacity of the Colt M1911, plus being lighter weight.
The capacity of the M1911 is seven in the magazine plus one in the chamber but the latter was considered unsafe. The M9 that replaced it has a capacity of fifteen in the magazine, later bumped to seventeen in the M9A3. I don't know enough about them to comment whether one in the chamber might be dangerous or not.
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Old 02-16-2020, 12:51 PM
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I'm not sure what background you have. But revolvers ARE pistols.

Any gun that is short in length, designed in such a way that it can easily be fired with one hand, and is generally carried in a holster, is a pistol.

Pistols come in 2 common varieties (revolvers and semi-autos) and 1 uncommon (autos).
It's still common for laws or regulations to be phrased 'pistol or revolver'. It dates from when revolvers were introduced and distinguished from pistols, which meant the single shot muzzle loaders used up till then, before there were automatic* pistols. Even in 1935, long after the introduction of automatics, Julian Hatcher (famous gun author) still titled his work "Textbook of Pistols and Revolvers". I agree though that in common modern usage 'pistol' can refer to an automatic pistol, revolver or single shot pistol. I just don't think you can say 'pistols and revolvers' is wrong exactly.

Speaking of state laws, that's what generally prohibits or makes it more difficult to license private security carrying other than 'pistols or revolvers', IOW pistols, handguns. Also some states limit ammunition, like no .357 Magnum ammo, though a guard can have a .357 revolver loaded with .38 Special ammo. I don't know of a state law requiring revolvers and prohibiting automatic pistols for private security guards. It's possible that insurance company preference might explain guards carrying revolvers in some cases though, they may feel less potential to fire a lot of rounds lowers liability without compromising the mainly deterrent purpose of insuring armed security guards at all.

*somewhat similar here, references to 'semi-automatic pistols' have been non-negligible only in the last 20 yrs or so per Google ngrams, which confirmed my sense of it. Prior to that (one shot per trigger pull) 'automatic pistols' were almost always (not quite always) referred to that way in English. Unusual full automatic capable pistols, not submachine guns, like the Schnellfeuer version of the Mauser C96, a notable weapon in the 1930's especially in China, were not common enough to cause confusion. I think 'semi-automatic pistol' may come from the gun control context, to make handgun and rifle terminology more consistent for non-gun people.

Last edited by Corry El; 02-16-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:12 PM
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I own both, but my personal concealed carry these days is a Ruger LCR (lightweight compact revolver) because it is easier to wear all day if I need to and very reliable (less likely to jam).

My LCR holds 5 rounds, and I carry 6 more, which is plenty for most real-world shoot outs and to scare off someone or something that threatens me. I mostly wear it when hiking as a "Plan C" if I encounter an aggressive bear, mountain lion, wolf or dog. "Plan A" is to back away slowly and not engage, "Plan B" is to use bear spray and then hope that deters an attack... "Plan D" is to drop to the ground and roll up into a ball when you run out of ammunition and the animal keeps charging.
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:25 PM
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The capacity of the M1911 is seven in the magazine plus one in the chamber but the latter was considered unsafe. The M9 that replaced it has a capacity of fifteen in the magazine, later bumped to seventeen in the M9A3. I don't know enough about them to comment whether one in the chamber might be dangerous or not.
The main issue is whether the gun's firing pin is in place on a live round. That was originally the justification for not carrying a revolver with all chambers loaded or a semi-automatic with a round chambered. Most handguns of modern make have a safety that disengages the firing pin so it cannot strike a round until the safety is off.

P.S., the increased capacity of the M9 is mostly due to using a somewhat smaller 9mm cartridge rather than the M1911's .45 caliber.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:08 PM
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A lot of security companies, even the larger ones, run on shoestring budgets. If they had a bunch of of revolvers from back in the day they’re going to keep using them instead of retooling. A properly maintained firearm can last virtually forever. This is the story I got from several different higher ups in local security firms.

Can’t find a cite but there used to be something called “The rule of 3” (or something like that) in that police firefights involved a total of 3 rounds fired, 3 yards or less, 3 seconds or less, and only 3% of gun fights fell outside those statistics. Under that rule a five or six shot revolver is adequate. But it probably is not true any more.

Not that I’m a revolver guy. My first issue weapon was a Smith .357 (model 66 IIRC) and I hated it. Kicked like a mule with full 158 grain rounds and after multiple firing that cylinder gets damn hot. Plus speed loaders are a PITA. My first semi-auto was a Ruger P85 in 1989 and I never looked back.

We sell very few revolvers at our shop except for hunting.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:18 PM
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The capacity of the M1911 is seven in the magazine plus one in the chamber but the latter was considered unsafe. The M9 that replaced it has a capacity of fifteen in the magazine, later bumped to seventeen in the M9A3. I don't know enough about them to comment whether one in the chamber might be dangerous or not.
The 1911 pistol is perfectly safe to carry with a round in the chamber and the hammer cocked (condition 1) provided the thumb operated safety is engaged. do discharge the round, the thumb safety must be disengaged and the grip safety must be depressed.

The M9A3 can also be safely carried with a round in the chamber. When the hammer is cocked, pushing the thumb operated safety to the "safe" condition disengages the firing pin and de-cocks the hammer. In this position, the trigger is completely inoperable.

The weapon can not be fired until the thumb operated safety is returned to the "fire" mode. This releases the trigger and the weapon can be fired by a long trigger pull, much like the pull of a double action revolver.
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:44 PM
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As is usually the case it took murdered cops to get any change to happen. There were a few other incidents but two big ones that brought on change in weapons were the Miami FBI shooting and the murder of Trooper Lamonaco in New Jersey.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_FBI_Miami_shootout
https://apnews.com/4c1bbe998d14bfce6dda3c9511049cc1...
Go back even further, to the Newhall Massacre involving the California Highway Patrol, in 1970. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newhall_incident Though that didn't change their sidearm for about 15 years, it did start the ball rolling in people's heads that maybe six and a reload wasn't going to cut it anymore in a gunfight. Miami's big lesson was to not take pistols to a rifle fight, and to improve terminal ballistic performance of handgun ammunition. Which led to the FBI briefly trying 10mm Auto, going Ow! Ow! Ow! at the recoil, thence .40, and then back to 9mm, once bullet technology caught up.

As for the OP, my guess is those revolvers were the cheapest overall way to arm their officers. Now, it'd probably be police Glock .40 S&W tradeins. Which work just fine. Mostly, I see old farts with revolvers---there's one HPD or Harris County Sheriff who always works security each year at the rummage sale I like to go to, and she has a beautiful stainless Smith. She's also 60 if she's a day.

It used to be that concealed handgun licenses were classified based on whether one qualified with a revolver or semi-auto. Perhaps armed security licenses operated in the same way, and people who'd trained on a revolver didn't want to change to learning a semi-auto?
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Old 02-16-2020, 04:52 PM
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Past time, so:

EDIT: Glock also has to take a lot of credit for the adoption of semiautomatic pistols by law enforcement. Their pistols may not have been the most accurate, or powerful, but they were and are ridiculously durable and easy to maintain, required little retraining from a revolver (due to their consistent trigger pull and lack of additional manual safety to manipulate), and were very reliable. Plus, they were sold very inexpensively to police departments.
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Old 02-16-2020, 07:33 PM
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We sell very few revolvers at our shop except for hunting.
Why for hunting? And do hunters ever buy semi-automatics?
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Old 02-16-2020, 08:49 PM
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Why for hunting? And do hunters ever buy semi-automatics?
Three Rangers were charged by the bear that killed and devoured Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend. One of the guys had "a large caliber hand gun". The other two had 12 gauge shotguns with slugs. It took all three of them to kill the bear before it got to them.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:49 PM
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Why for hunting? And do hunters ever buy semi-automatics?
Of course. But to hunt with a handgun here the barrel has to be at least 5.5 inches long, and most common semi-auto pistols don't qualify OEM, an after market barrel usually has to be acquired. But there are a lot of revolvers that come with 5.5 inch or longer barrels over the counter.

My original point was for personal carry semi-autos outsell revolvers by a huge margin. At least at my dealership.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:30 AM
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Here, the folks that replenish the ATM's have sawed off shotguns. Now, that is a deterence.
Here, it'll usually be an R4 assault rifle or R5 carbine. Well, actually, one hopes it would be the semi-auto civilian variants.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:11 AM
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Why for hunting? And do hunters ever buy semi-automatics?
In addition to the legal requirements pkbites mentioned upthread, revolvers often come in more powerful cartridges than do most semiautomatic pistols. There are exceptions, such as the Desert Eagle, which can be chambered in the typically-revolver cartridges of .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. The AR family of rifles also has pistol versions, which enable shorter barrels than allowed under the National Firearms Act.

In addition, the 10mm Auto cartridge, as the name suggests, is available in a wider variety of semi-auto pistols, and may be hand loaded to factory .41 Magnum levels. The Glock 20 is a notable semi-auto pistol for this cartridge with a 15+1 shot capacity. Though usually a shorter barrel than the legal requirements listed by pkbites, although longer aftermarket barrels exist. Finally, the largest handgun cartridges of all are usually only available in revolvers or (single-shot pistols, like the Thompson Contender family). Some of the handguns fire what are usually thought of as centerfire rifle cartridges

Anyway, more powerful cartridges enable flatter-shooting trajectories, making range estimation less of a concern. With proper bullet selection---most handgun personal defense bullets expand too readily for use on medium-sized and larger, heavily built game, and most of the handgun 'hunting bullets' are made for typical revolver cartridges---more powerful cartridges penetrate deeper.. Too rapid expansion may lead to inadequate penetration to reach the heart, lung, and major blood vessels a hunter is trying to hit.

All of those are reasons why a hunter might choose a revolver for handgun hunting.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:21 AM
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I've heard a recommendation for a revolver for home defense perhaps a decade ago. A large part of that is that a revolver is 'large' and may be more intimidating then the more compact guns.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:57 AM
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Florida, for the longest time, restricted security guards to carrying only revolvers. It was not legal for any security guard to carry a semi-automatic on duty. It is now permitted. However, it still requires additional training to gain the proper credentials. Because of the costs of the additional training, these guards are going to require a higher salary.
Maybe the OP's state has something similar going on? Either it isn't allowed, or it required additional certifications?
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:50 AM
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I've heard a recommendation for a revolver for home defense perhaps a decade ago. A large part of that is that a revolver is 'large' and may be more intimidating then the more compact guns.
Revolvers come in all sizes. I personally have a .44 magnum revolver that is basically, Dirty Harry's gun, and it probably has a certain amount of intimidation due to its size and style (do you feel lucky, punk?), but a little pocket revolver is just going to make your average criminal giggle.

While you can get ridiculously large revolvers these days (it's easier to make a huge over-powered revolver than a huge over-powered semi-auto), the average revolver isn't any larger or more intimidating than the average semi-auto.

And the really big revolvers are painful to shoot and difficult to keep on target.

A revolver has advantages for home defense though.

Revolvers are ridiculously reliable. They don't jam or misfeed, even with cheap crappy ammo. You can even be very neglectful with regular maintenance and end up with an old, crappy, rusty gun and it will probably still fire.

If you get a dead round that doesn't fire, just pull the trigger again. A revolver doesn't rely on the previous round working to cycle to the next round. Every time you pull the trigger, the cylinder rotates. Period.

You point the revolver at the bad guy and pull the trigger, and it goes boom. You don't have to remember to rack the slide or flip the safety off, which you might forget to do in the heat of the moment with a semi-auto.

A double-action revolver has a heavy trigger compared to a semi-auto (assuming you haven't cocked the hammer), which makes you less likely to accidentally pull the trigger when you don't mean to.

Revolvers can also have better ergonomics, because the handle doesn't have to be filled with rounds and therefore can be formed to any shape desired. A semi-auto that fires big bulky ammo is going to have a big bulky handle to accommodate those rounds.

Revolvers aren't picky about their ammo. If it fits, it shoots. Semi-autos may not cycle properly with too hot or too light of ammo (this is a bigger issue for some semi-autos significantly more than others).

Revolvers have their disadvantages, too.

Revolvers are slower to load. They do make speed loaders for revolvers, but a lot of folks don't use them. Then again, it takes a while to reload a magazine for a semi-auto too, so if you don't have a spare magazine already loaded then the revolver isn't so bad. With some revolvers you can also have pre-loaded cylinders ready that you can swap out almost as quickly as a magazine.

Revolvers generally hold fewer rounds. It's very easy to shoot at a paper target on a range. In the heat of the moment under great stress, and against a moving target that is actively evading your shots, it is much more difficult to actually hit what you are aiming at. You'll probably need more shots than you think you'll need.

One thing you need to consider for both home defense and for security personnel is what happens if you miss. In a home, those big rounds from your intimidating weapon will go right through drywall, possibly injuring or killing someone you care about. On the street or in a bank, it's the same general issue, those heavier rounds will go further. Shotguns have the advantage of being deadly up close, but less so at longer ranges, and have lesser penetration through things like drywall. But then shotguns aren't as easily carried as a pistol in a belt holster.

For intimidation, if someone ever broke into my house I'd be tempted to point one of my old muskets at them. Sure, it only gets one shot, but a 6 foot long, .75 caliber musket is a really big f-ing gun.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
With some revolvers you can also have pre-loaded cylinders ready that you can swap out almost as quickly as a magazine.
Yeah, if you use black powder revolvers as a home defense weapon!

(Quick check)

Yep, I've got one of these in the cabinet above my monitor. But it's sitting right next to one of these, which is the more likely weapon I'd grab if needed.
  #38  
Old 02-17-2020, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
Of course. But to hunt with a handgun here the barrel has to be at least 5.5 inches long, and most common semi-auto pistols don't qualify OEM, an after market barrel usually has to be acquired. But there are a lot of revolvers that come with 5.5 inch or longer barrels over the counter.
You can also hunt deer with a handgun in Ohio. The minimum barrel length is 5 inches, and the caliber must be a straight-walled cartridges .357 caliber or larger. A friend of mine goes deer hunting with a S&W 500 with 8 inch barrel and outfitted with a scope. I've shot it. Thing is a beast.

As for the revolver vs. semi-auto discussion, there's a rather interesting hybrid called an automatic revolver. They seem to be pretty rare. Would like to shoot one someday.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno View Post
Florida, for the longest time, restricted security guards to carrying only revolvers. It was not legal for any security guard to carry a semi-automatic on duty. It is now permitted. However, it still requires additional training to gain the proper credentials. Because of the costs of the additional training, these guards are going to require a higher salary.
Maybe the OP's state has something similar going on? Either it isn't allowed, or it required additional certifications?
This was true of many states. I used to be in the armed guard business and actually trained some of the new hires. Scared the crap out of me.

Training a guard on a revolver makes a lot of sense, especially when one considers how differently semiautos are operated. Learn how to shoot a Colt or S&W revolver (we used S&W 65s) and you can pretty much shoot and operate any revolver.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
For intimidation, if someone ever broke into my house I'd be tempted to point one of my old muskets at them. Sure, it only gets one shot, but a 6 foot long, .75 caliber musket is a really big f-ing gun.
Please tell me it includes the bayonet. That will make ANY miscreant conclude this is the wrong house.
  #41  
Old 02-17-2020, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
...
If you get a dead round that doesn't fire, just pull the trigger again. A revolver doesn't rely on the previous round working to cycle to the next round. Every time you pull the trigger, the cylinder rotates. Period...
This would be my greatest decider, either home use or professionally. I've had many times that using crappy range ammo has dudded. In a real shooting situation, I wouldn't want to be a victim of the dud-round lottery in a semi-auto.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:17 PM
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I was about to mention the Webley Fosbury but I see I was ninja'd. I didn't even know this was a thing until last week when an acquaintance at work mentioned he has two of them. I'd like to try shooting it if I ever get the chance.His are early 20s models, .455 I believe.

Another pistol I'd be curious to try and shoot would be the Taurus Judge. Home defence indeed.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:39 PM
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The main issue is whether the gun's firing pin is in place on a live round. That was originally the justification for not carrying a revolver with all chambers loaded or a semi-automatic with a round chambered. Most handguns of modern make have a safety that disengages the firing pin so it cannot strike a round until the safety is off.

P.S., the increased capacity of the M9 is mostly due to using a somewhat smaller 9mm cartridge rather than the M1911's .45 caliber.
9mm allows for a 'double stacked' magazine, but that also makes the grip fairly bulky. You can get an M1911 chambered for 9mm, but it still has a single-stacked magazine and only holds 8 or 9 rounds depending on the model.

The M1911 isn't popular anymore with police because it was designed to be carried 'cocked and locked', but seeing a gun in a holster with the hammer cocked back tended to alarm the citizens.

A revolver makes perfect sense for someone like a security guard who has very little training and whose gun will likely never be removed from its holster except at the range. Revolvers aren't finicky about being properly cleaned, they are harder to shoot by accident, and they are fine for the primary purpose of being a visual deterrent.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:09 PM
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Boris the Blade: Heavy is good. Heavy is reliable. If it doesn't work, you can always hit him with it.
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Old 02-17-2020, 05:00 PM
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Revolvers have a distinct advantage over auto pistols. When I was assigned to my battalion's .45 ACP team, the senior NCO coach, also the battalion armorer, showed us the correct way to hold the pistol. He held it in his left hand, fingers on grip, thumb down. "Like this." He raised his thumb behind the slide. "Not like this." He held up his right hand - which lacked a thumb. "First time I fired this, it took the sucker right off." I think we all learned.

Revolvers offer less chance of traumatic amputation. Hurried security guards might forget and get sloppy. Sad.
  #46  
Old 02-17-2020, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Revolvers offer less chance of traumatic amputation.
A revolver can still hurt you quite severely if you hold it wrong. The cylinder on a revolver needs to be able to rotate freely, so it can't make too tight of a seal against the barrel. As a result, hot gases and bits of powder and lead come spewing out of the cylinder gap at extremely high velocities. Put your finger over the cylinder gap and you can lose your finger.

There have been a few revolvers over the years that move the cylinder forward when firing, so that it makes a better seal. This is done more to put more energy into moving the bullet downrange instead (no wasted energy spewing out the sides of the cylinder gap) than for safety reasons, but as a side benefit these pistols won't remove digits so easily. The Russian Model 1895 Nagant is probably the most widely known of this type and is commonly cited as such.

A video from youtuber hickok45 with a good demonstration of the issue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFBAcz16GvU

Mythbusters also tested this "myth" and found it Confirmed. If I remember correctly I think they used a piece of chicken to simulate your fingers.

A similar video from the same youtuber about semi-autos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r573VYk88eM

ETA: The important lesson here is that no matter what type of weapon you are firing, go to the range and practice often so that proper use of the weapon becomes muscle memory, and you just instinctively use it in a manner that you won't accidentally hurt yourself with it. In the heat of the moment, you're not going to have time to stop and think.

Last edited by engineer_comp_geek; 02-17-2020 at 06:51 PM.
  #47  
Old 02-17-2020, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Revolvers have a distinct advantage over auto pistols. When I was assigned to my battalion's .45 ACP team, the senior NCO coach, also the battalion armorer, showed us the correct way to hold the pistol. He held it in his left hand, fingers on grip, thumb down. "Like this." He raised his thumb behind the slide. "Not like this." He held up his right hand - which lacked a thumb. "First time I fired this, it took the sucker right off." I think we all learned.

Revolvers offer less chance of traumatic amputation. Hurried security guards might forget and get sloppy. Sad.
He may have told you that, but he was fibbin'. See, e.g., this video of a guy shooting a Glock 20 in 10mm Auto with his thumb behind the slide: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tnfkCFnaUZg

No traumatic amputation, though I think you could break your thumb that way, especially if you were frail. The author of the video did admit his thumb was sore a few days later. But it's not something like an Abrams' main gun breechblock in recoil.

Or the flame gap on a large revolver, which can cause serious wounds, as e_c_g notes above. I wouldn't doubt that the flame gap on something like a .460 S&W Magnum could take a finger tip off. I wouldn't even want to be near the gap on even a .38 Special.
  #48  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by swampspruce View Post
Another pistol I'd be curious to try and shoot would be the Taurus Judge. Home defence indeed.
There's just something wrong about a revolver having a cylinder longer than its barrel. (ETA: although some models do have a longer barrel).
  #49  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:36 PM
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My .02 worth as someone who did a little competitive shooting.

as others have implied
A revolver is pretty much idiotproof. A security guard is a ton less likely to fire their weapon in the line of duty than a cop and most cops never do.

They are way more reliable, and for the gun you will probably only pull once in your career, you want to make for damn sure its going to fire when you need it.

You can neglect the hell out of them, and they still work. if anyone is going to get complacent about caring for their weapon, a guard who spends most of his career wandering apartment complexes and office parks at night is going to be high on that list.

some folks find ejecting brass distracting, unless you shoot alot it can be, not an issue with a revolver.

I dont find the "intimidation" factor a compelling argument. Most revolvers are about the same size as their semi-auto cousins. you can buy "big ass" revolvers, but they are far less comfortable to carry all day. Practical carry needs are a bigger deal for people who carry guns every day than one shot stopping power.
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  #50  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
a little pocket revolver is just going to make your average criminal giggle.
Nobody with 3 firing brain cells casually dismisses even a little .22 . They are plenty capable of killing and way more likely to put multiple rounds on target because they are very easy to control.
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