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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Massad Ayoob


Monday, November 14th, 2011

So…I just finished teaching a class with a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver as my teaching gun…and out of 21 students, only one was using a revolver instead of a semiautomatic pistol. He was 78 years old.  This told me something.

That said, though, he finished with a score of 220 out of 250 possible with his snub-nose Ruger SP101, and there was at least one instructor on the line with the same kind of gun to show him how to work it, since the “least modern gun” on the hips of my staff instructor cadre was a 1911 .45 auto, and all the rest had Glocks, S&W M&P autos, or the Springfield XD. Today, I start an advanced class, and have seen the writing on the wall: I’ve switched to a polymer Glock 26 9mm autoloader as my teaching gun for this week.

About ten days ago I was in Phoenix, competing in the South Mountain Showdown, and using the S&W in Stock Service Revolver class. Significant Other and I found ourselves shooting one stage with some other revolver fans. “Cool,” I said, “we’re in a nest of revolver shooters.”

“Or maybe a gaggle of revolver shooters,” she suggested helpfully.

“A cylinder-full of revolver shooters?” I ventured hopefully.

“Or a speedloader of revolver shooters,” she said supportively.

Now, I know the proper term.

We were obviously a “museum” of revolver shooters.

Help me out here…I’m not the LAST dinosaur, am I?

It’s hunting season, for Heaven’s sake. How many of you are going to be hunting birds with a good old classic double barrel shotgun, and how many are going after the Thanksgiving turkeys with a shotgun made of Fiberglas and synthetic stocks with Sorbothane recoil pads?  How many will be stalking the winter venison with good ol’ bolt action or lever action rifles made out of blue steel and walnut, and how many will be using something that’s plastique fantastique and tactique-al?

Like that guy said to Clint Eastwood in the first “Dirty Harry” movie… “I got to know.”


128 Responses to “TRADITIONALISM…”

  1. TOR Says:

    Well Mas, I’m an old guy (62) and I carry a revolver everyday. Right now, a S&W 242… L frame, airweight Ti, 7 shot, hammerless .38+P. I like it so much, I just took delivery of my second one yesterday. They were only made for 9 months, but are just right for me. I don’t expect to face the zombie hoardes anytime soon, so this old “point and shoot” DAO ugly humpback is just right for me. I fitted mine with a “big dot” illuminated front sight and I’m good to go. Just right for me!

  2. Matt Says:

    Hey Mas,
    I guess I’m a little nostalgic when I go hunting. It reminds brings back fond memories of hunting with my Grandpa and Dad. I don’t think I would feel right going into the woods with a plastic gun. I’m 34 and I’ve always harvested my deer with my Browning Lever-Action 243 and birds with my Remington 870. But my EDC is a Walther PPS 9mm. Although I do love to shoot my S&W 637 38 special. It shots so sweet. I keep it by the bed.

  3. Grant Cunningham Says:

    I would comment, but I suspect I’m somewhat out of the norm!

  4. Gene Hoffman Says:

    Surprisingly your post was not created on a printing press or an IBM Selectric Typewriter…


  5. Karl Erich Martell Says:

    “A museum of revolver shooters”! Love it!

    Carrying my Rhino today . . . and you are to blame, amigo.

  6. Karl Erich Martell Says:

    Wait . . . maybe that should be “mausoleum” . . .


  7. Tim Says:

    Well, I do a little with both kinds, have Plastique, will travel and Blue Steel and Wood, to go to the woods with. I like them both and don’t have to side with one or the tuther…. and I know which way a loading gate or a cylinder swings to go along with my 1911.

  8. Pete Sheppard Says:

    At a very young 55, there’s an S&W 49 (the *Real* Bodyguard ;P ) comfortably nesting in my pocket.
    Happy & Safe Holidays!!

  9. Unlce Dave Says:

    The other part of this is that guns are becoming commodities. Just a black blob… In the long run that does not help shooters, because it does not help dealers. While you may buy at a low prices now, you will also sell at a low price later. Since the guns are so much the same it will only supress prices. Used to be that if you bought a quality gun it would hold it value, if not keep pace with inflation or even better. You could shoot your toy and sell it if times got too bad or give it to the grand kids if thing were good.

    Now, a block is a block, is a block. There is no magical blueing or figured wood to say that one is better than that one. That means there is not an extra margin for you or the dealer. It becomes just sell it to me, by being the lowest bidder.

  10. Mike in VA Says:

    I’m 36, cut my teeth on the double to single action wonder 9’s. I prefer Glock for the last 10 years simply because they’re so simple. However, My ankle adornes a Taurus Ti .38 wheel gun and I love it. With the light weight polymers and compact size of late, it’s just too comfortable to carry the newer, lighter, stuff.

  11. Chris Says:

    I carry a revolver daily – either a S&W 642 .38 or a Charter Arms Bulldog .44. I’ve even been known to hunt deer with a revolver, either a S&W 686 .357 or a Taurus .44 Magnum, though my preferred Deer gun here in Missouri is a Marlin lever gun.

  12. Paul Edwards Says:

    Well, I am only 76, and I still pack an old Model 19, 2 1/2″ when I am traveling.
    The same weapon I carried and qualified with on duty, the last 12 years before I retired in 1990.
    I also like and own 1911s as well, but an old tried and true friend is easy to keep around, and fall back on.

  13. Jace Says:

    I carry a wheel gun but I can see why many do not. Magazine capacity and ease of reloading. My CCW instructor trains law enforcement also and he is finding an increasing number of LEOs who do not know how to unload a double action revolver. One guy had to call his Sgt to help him figure out how to check the 38 special he found on a traffic stop.

    But I think there will always be a place for wheel guns. I don’t worry that my little J-Frame will jam or that it won’t cycle with some types of ammo. I just pull the trigger and it works.

  14. Tim from CO Says:

    I enjoy the best of both worlds here. Springfield XD with a SW442 for back up. Everyday. Planning on a SW640 for Christmas as well.

    One of my first guns was a SW 686 that’s about the same age as me. Still love that gun too. I know I should get the hammer bobbed or made DAO for self-defense but I’ve been having a hard time bringing myself to do it.

    I may end up retiring that 686 and getting a new 686 to replace it for self-defense. No problems converting a new 686, just not my first 686… yeah I’m attached to it.

  15. Rob G Says:

    I’m now 50 and even as a child, I always saw revolvers as ‘cowboy guns’. I certainly appreciate their simplicity and reliability, but the German Lugers and 1911 semi’s always seemed more grown-up and even elegant to me.

    I never understood why the police chose to live in the past and carry what looked like a cheap ‘cap gun’ back in the day, but I’m glad to see they carry ‘big boy’ guns today.

  16. Alan Says:

    Hi Maas,
    I have used many semi auto’s, but still love my model 19 best, then my 629. I reload, so I’m not raking shells afterward (or spraying others). At the range, I’ve let younger shooters try ’em (including LEO’s), and I’m usually asked if I’m interested in selling. Many have simply dismissed wheelguns without trying them, but as Jim says “share your sport.”

  17. STW Says:

    We have 3 .357s in our house and only one 9mm and one .45 acp. That being said, the classes I’ve taken don’t lend themselves to revolvers. Maybe I should take the 686 next time. I’d like to see just how I’m supposed to do a weak side one handed reload. That’d be worth the price of admission alone.

  18. Rob Reed Says:


    I switched from a 3″ S&W Model 65 to a Sig 239 about a year or so ago. I had both guns side by side and realized I’d rather have 9 rounds of 9mm than 6 rounds of .38 +P for the same weight and bulk.

    I do have a J Frame I use as the occassional backup gun or sometimes carry in a coat pocket when my what I’m wearing makes it harder to conceal the Sig.

    When I took Farnam’s DTI class awhile back there were no students shooting revolvers in the class. In fact, at least one student didn’t even know how to open the cylinder of a revolver when Farnam brought one out for the “battlefield pickup” part of the class.

    I still see the occassional J Frame in the classes I teach for the Michigan CPL.

    Rob Reed

  19. mike Says:

    You mean there is another method of hunting that does not require chasing the quarry until it runs off a cliff and then picking up the carcass in a ravine?

    When did all of that happen?


    ps…I enjoy all types of firearms and attempt to gain at least a working knowledge of as many as I can.

  20. Wolvie Says:

    I routinely wear either a 1911, a S&W 586 or a S&W 629. This is, by no means, the extent of my double-digit handgun collection. They are just the guns that I feel most comfortable with, the ones I can shoot best and the ones I am confident will always go, “bang” (call it the Holy Trinity of carry consideration).

    When I am instructing students who are totally new to guns, I strongly suggest to them that their first 2 purchases should be a 357 full-size revolver and a 22 rifle. These 2 guns, I tell them, will handle more than 90% of their needs (and in some cases 100%). So far, I have never had a student ever come back to me to tell me my advice is bunk.

    Its hard not to be attracted to the sexy, hi-capacity pistols available today. That being said, there is something rock solid in the decision to carry a revolver or to choose to use one for training.

    As an aside, is there anything cooler than going out in the woods with a revolver chambered for the same cartridge as your Marlin rifle?

  21. Brian K. Anderson Says:

    I own both and like both. My cowboy action guns and antique revolvers though, are my favorites, and when I go on the hunt next year it will be with either a wood stocked Winchester 94 or a traditional muzzleloader.

    From a CCW standpoint I think both wheelguns and semis have their place. I owned a S&W J-Frame for a while and loved how easy it was to conceal. However I also am comforted by semi-autos and the firepower at my disposal if I chose to carry a Glock or 1911.

  22. Jeff in WI Says:

    Last fall I finally switched from my tried and true Remington 870 Wingmaster to a side by side double for grouse. I’ve always had a hankering for the SxS and got a great deal on a Stoeger Uplander 12 gauge. As for my handguns, my primary carry gun is a Kimber 1911. My secondary is a Springfield XD sub-compact. I DO have one revolver, however, just to satisfy my belief that I was born a few generations too late; a U.S. Patent Firearms SAA in 45 Colt.

  23. Jeffrey H Says:

    As someone who is 34 years old I don’t really understand the appeal of revolvers. I am not a fan. But hey Doc Wesson still likes his Revolvers so you aren’t alone.

    For hunting growing up my Dad used 12 gauge slugs for Deer (as rifle’s weren’t allowed in our part of MN), but now he uses a Thompson/Center .50 Muzzleloader.

    For me every firearm I currently own is Semi-auto. I don’t see myself ever getting a revolver, I might be willing to go bolt action on a rifle, but maybe only if I were buying a Mosin Nagant or some other historic rifle, for a new rifle I will stick with Semi Autos.

    If I buy a shotgun it will probably be semi-auto as well, no interest in pump action even though that is what everyone used when I was growing up.

  24. Andy Says:

    Might as well chime in, since I turn 30 this month: the first gun I ever shot was my dad’s Ruger Single Six at age 6. My first owned handgun was a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum, bought for javelina hunting by my father and gifted to me.

    I own 8 revolvers, including the classics like the S&W Model 29 and Colt Python, but I have about three times that many in semi-auto handguns, to include Glocks, 1911s, and a good number of pocket guns. I can see the pros and cons in each, and in all my time with them the most pros land on the side of the semis.

    However, just last night I shot a “wheel-gun hoedown” match at my local range. Only 11 out of the 38 shooters brought revolvers (the rest were party poopers who just brought their regular match guns), and of those 11 I was rare in that I don’t regularly use one in a match (I brought a Ruger Security-Six, 5 speed loaders and full-power .357 magnum factory ammo). I got 6/11 among the revolver shooters and 31/38 overall; you just can’t compete revolvers with semi-autos unless you train feverishly and solely in revolver-craft to such levels that probably would have to surpass the practice rates of most semi-auto shooters.

    My two favorite revolver pros are: you can shoot magnums through ’em, and you can’t drop or lose your magazine because it’s built-in to the gun!

  25. Francisco Says:

    I don’t think it’s an age thing, I’m a life long revolver lover and I’m relatively young (29). I gave semiautos a chance, owned quite a few of them, but I just didn’t enjoy them as much as my wheelguns.

    All of my handguns are S&W and Ruger revolvers, and I’m enjoying my hunting trips and days at the range more than ever.

  26. pax Says:

    Great photo. Was that the Evil Princess, or you?

  27. John Says:

    Ruger LCR w/ Crimson Trace grips is my daily carry. The right combination of new technology and old-school reliability. I’m 46 years old, if that makes any difference. I love autos and revolvers.

  28. Chris - VA Says:

    35 years old.
    First hunt this coming weekend with my Marlin .30-30 lever action.
    My carry gun is a Charter Arms undercover snub nose .38 special. My house gun is a Rossi .357 magnum. I just don’t trust semis and that is fine for me.

  29. Kentucky Kid Says:

    First gun . . . Mossberg 142K in .22LR

    Second gun . . . Savage 220, 28-ga

    Third gun, first I bought myself . . . Stevens 311A, 16-ga

    First handgun . . . Ruger Single-Six, pre-Supers

    First handgun I bought myself . . . Ruger four-digit .41 Mag Blackhawk

    I’ll be 68 in a few days, but that might have been sorta obvious.

    Oh, yeah . . . and a Glock 26, just because ya never know.


  30. Matt G. Says:

    I love revolvers, as a novelty. They are cool looking, shiny, fun to operate, and can handle kickass monster cartridges. But I will probly never own one, for one reason, the way I shoot my autoloaders is with the thumbs forward grip, but REALLY forward, when I pick up a revolver at the gun store to fondle, I always end up with over half of my thumb past the cylinder gap. I don’t want to make that mistake at the range and lose half my thumb.

    So, I may own a revolver one o these days, but it will be a huge one that my thumb won’t stick past, and itll be a long time in the future.

  31. EN Says:

    At the end of the day Glocks are better in every way, more reliable, simpler, and if the fight goes “long” you might be able to stay in it. If it comes down to reloading you’ll be able to do it faster and with less danger of making a mess of the process than with any revolver. If you have to show a twelve year old girl how to use a gun she’ll be loading her Glock as fast as Jerry Miculek in thirty minutes, Not by firing a couple of thousand rounds a day for 30 years. That said, I don’t like Glocks, and never have. They don’t feel good in my hand. But XDs do and a few years ago I bought one just for grins. That’s right, a few years into the 21st Century I finally journeyed into state of the art 20th Century. However, there was no way I’d ever give up carrying my trusty 70 Series Colt Commander… Right now my family has 7 plus XDs and not one has had a malfunction of any kind through many thousands of rds fired. This past summer I gave the Commander to my youngest who likes to take it out and shoot it, although he carries an XD service model. Looking back even 1911s can’t hold a candle to the “Polymer Kids”, and why I stuck with 1911s for so long is nothing short of mysterious and must have something to do with government mind control and aliens. As for revolvers, sure their fun to shoot, we have some. But I’d never want to fight a war with a Trap Door Springfield or 45-70. Nothing wrong with the 19th Century per say, but I’m not good with leeches and “bleeding” the patient either. things change, so did I… although I have nothing against 1911s or revolvers and would only feel “marginally” disadvantaged with one in a fight.

  32. Jaji Says:

    Not LEO or a daily carry guy, but my go-to for concealed is a 5-rd SP101 hammerless. I figure there’ll be enough pressure if the SHTF while I’m carrying and fewer moving parts is better under pressure.

  33. Drake Says:

    As far as pistols go, my dad has a .40 caliber S&W (the SD40), but he’s planning on getting a revolver for concealed carry.

    As for hunting? I think I’m using a gun that’s older than most hunters. It’s a huge, 1928, four-foot-long Mosin-Nagant 91/30. It’s got an abnormally good finish for a Mosin, but it’s FAR from tacti-cool. Kicks like a mule. My dad is also picking up a bolt-action – leaning towards a Savage.

    Now I’m gonna ask for some advice – can you speak as to .308 vs .270 for whitetail deer hunting? My dad’s leaning towards the .270, I’m thinking .308, but I’m not an expert by any means.

  34. Matt, another Says:

    Revolvers are/were my first true love for handguns. Only hav 4 right now, love them and shoot them. The few times I’ve faced trouble it has been with a revolver in hand. I do have and shoot autos, generally steel and bluing, the “newest” design is as modern as the 1950’s.

  35. Mike Says:

    Newbie gun nut here, and my first (and only, so far) gun is a revolver. Which is unfortunately on its way back to Ruger today to deal with something gone wrong in the action… it makes me very sad.

    Although my next purchase is probably going to be a semi-auto for carry, after handling the new LCR I don’t know why anyone would pick one of the failure-prone .380’s over it as a pocket gun.

  36. Midwest Patriot Says:

    Well, I just came in from the field, unsuccessful I might add. I head out to hunt Whitetails here in Nebraska with a Marlin 336, in .30-30, of course, sporting a Williams’ peep (what?) and my side arm in the woods is my trusty S&W 28.
    Had to laugh this last weekend when I came across a fellow hunter sporting a nice big caliber bolt action with a scope you could view craters on Mars with, we were hunting the same corner of a 20acre parcel of land, I’m not sure his scope could ‘zoom out’ to focus at that close of range.
    As my younger brother puts it, stomping thru the woods with a lever gun and your wits is hunting. Sitting in an elevated blind with your super scoped sniper rifle, over the top of your food plot and mineral licks, that you’ve been watching over with a camera, is simply a HARVEST of the buck you GREW throughout the year.

  37. Tim Says:

    in august i bought my wife a S&W 642. i like it so much i may buy one

    we’re in our early 40’s


  38. Ron Says:

    My wife carries a Ruger LCR with a CT laser grips, and I carry a Glock 32 with CT laser grips. Between us we own 4 revolvers and 3 Glocks. Love both styles, but our bedside guns are both revolvers.
    We are both over 60.

  39. Jack Zeller Says:

    Mas, I carry a Glock 31 24/7, and I am good with it. But when hunting, or just casual walking, I carry my favorite gun of all time, a S&W model 28 6 inch Highway patrolman. It was my first duty gun, and I can hit an eyeball at 100 yards with it! Jack

  40. Charlie Edenfield Says:

    Well with the hunting, I got you all beat. On the 28th I’ll be after a Red Deer hind with a longbow. Since retirement I’ve kept the freezer full with that ancient weapon. More to the point of the discussion, I still love my early Nickle plated M37 stubby tho spend more time with the XDs

  41. Dan W. Says:

    I have my share of Glocks, but find there is simply no substitute for a enclosed hammer snubbie revolver for use as a close range pocket pistol. For the average Citizen, most real-world self-defense scenarios are going to up close & personal at muzzle contact distances and the revolver will function in these sitautions much more reliably than a semi-auto will.No tap-rack-bang needed in the event of a failure….simply pull the trigger again plus a shrouded hammer revolver can even be fired from inside a pocket,purse or if entagled in clothing which is a very real possiblity during an attempted rape or any other CQ grappling or disarm attempt.
    My Mother recently took a basic instruction course & got her CCW and spends her Winters in Florida alone since my StepFather passed away and was wanting a gun to keep around for self-protection .I recommended a S&W 442 for it’s relative lightweight,reliability and ease of maintenance & simplicity.She is not a “gun person” and won’t be shooting much nor pay her gun a whole lot of mind, but she wanted something on hand “just in case” and a revolver makes a lot of sense.
    Most of these points made come from Mas’ various writings & articles that I’ve read over the years and there is no expiration date on good solid ideas.I can go back and look at Mr.Ayoob’s articles from magazines 20-30 years old and find his advice & recommendations just as practical & relevant today as they were then.The revolver is not going away anywhere soon since it is simply without peer for the uses I described as well as for Hunting/Large Predator Defense. Also, I’ve found that although just about everyone takes tricked out high capacity semi-automatics to classes or the range, in their real everyday life many opt to actually carry small lightweight revolvers.

  42. Old School Says:

    I love winter, because it means I can switch to my 325 Night Guard. It will always feed those 230gr +P JHPs.

    The rest of the year? Old-school single-stack S&W 908.

    I will admit I’ve looked long and hard at the Walther PPS in .40…

  43. Roger in NC Says:

    I will be using my Remington Model 11 (Remington’s version of the Browning Auto-5), produced in November of 1936. Handed down from my father, it is almost exactly 6 years older than I am (another child of the Cretaceous period). Although certainly a family heirloom and my pride and joy, the old 12 gauge auto sees action several times a month during clay season. Taking the limit is never a problem but the darn things are only good for soup.

  44. Jack Says:

    Every handgun I own- and most of the ones I have owned are Revolvers. I’m one of the few traditionalists my age- I’m 32. I refuse to own a polymer frame gun, an AR of any type, or any gun with a synthetic stock. My idea of a proper shotgun is a Browning Auto-5, Ithaca 37, Winchester Model 12 or Model 50. I’m not a fan of “modern” designs. The old tried and true designs work just fine.

  45. Mas Says:

    Pax, I think it was The Evil Princess’s interpretive portrait of me…

    Drake, .270 versus .308 (and .30-06) is one of the all-time great debates that has been argued through the night at many a hunting camp and never resolved.

    The .270’s higher velocity gives it a flatter trajectory for long shots on deer size game, and seems to anchor whitetails quite decisively. The .308 gives more options for the shooter who might be hunting larger game with the same rifle. The all-time great .270 proponent was the late Jack O’Connor, and being that he hunted largely in the West at longer ranges than us Easterners, I can understand why. I personally went more to the .308, but will never claim that I know more about deer rifles than Jack O’Connor. Bottom line: either one should do a fine job of bringing home the venison.

  46. Henry Says:

    I’m 50, and my first CF handgun was a revolver, followed by a 1911. The rest or my purchases have all been wheelguns. I love the simplicity, and the fact that my wheelguns handle whatever I feed them. My revolvers digest light target loads, stout hunting loads, hollow points, soft points, jacketed, or hard-cast lead bullets. There are no stovepipes, or failure to feed issues, and no complicated safeties or de-cockers to fumble with, and a lot less small parts to lose or to have fail. There few things that an auto can do that an appropriate revolver can’t. And, for fun and nostalgia, it’s hard to beat a cap and ball revolver!

    Don’t get me wrong, I like both autos and revolvers. I have yet to find a handgun that fits me like my 1911 does. But, if forced to choose, for me, the revolver wins, hands down.

  47. marine-mp Says:

    I do tend to migrate back and forth as my days have me growing longer in the tooth!! One month it may be a .327 3 inch revolver, nex month the Detonics in .45 or maybe the S&W 642. I never feel at a disadvantage with any of them. Shot placement is the order of the day and all of the above are capable. As for the turkey or venison, what time are we eating!!!!!!!!!!!! Semper-fi MIke (in the Smokies)

  48. Mel R. Says:

    Mas that poor cylinder in Dino’s mouth is well shamefully filthy! Not the way to treat a well used trusted bit of hardware 🙂

  49. Greg Tag Says:


    there is a place for both. I note Grant Cunningham made an appearance in this thread, but didnt really comment, but Ill secon what he was likely thinking.

    I just came home from work, took off the Colt Officers Model .45 ACP I have been carrying since 7 AM and changed into my ” bum around the house” clothes. This includes putting on a Colt Detective Special that Grant DAO’d and slicked up for me. With Speer Gold Dot +P’s and a speedloader of same, it is plenty for any likely task. Yes, I know I carry the 1911 most days, but with good ammo I do not feel “badly armed” with the DS. 12 rounds of properly applied Gold Dot will solve almost any tactical problem… if they wont, I should have brought my AR.

    Reloading requires a speedloader, but thats just ” revolver drill”.

    A good, solid, uncomplicated revolver is what I recommend to students who dont want to become” gun-ninjas”. Smith and Wessom Model 10 with a heavy barrel, a Model 64, Ruger Security-Six, Speed Six or Service Six, GP 100, or Colt Diamondback if you an find one. Simple to shoot, simple to load/unload and plenty , far more than merely adequate , – with the right ammo -for home defense. And those folks never have to worry about a misfire drill-just pull the trigger again.

    Even the Glock is not as simple as a modern revolver.

    There is indeed a place for the wheelgun.

    Let me here also publicly note-Grant Cunningham did a really fine job on my two Detective Specials-he made a couple of outstanding guns into even better sidearms.



  50. Speedyfish Says:

    Started LEO career with a S&W 64. Still carry a S&W 442 nl or Colt Cobra off duty. M&P 340 rides shotgun on duty.


  51. Vin Says:

    I’m 43. I have 2 Glock 17’s and 2 S&W 38 Specials. Glocks are honorary revolvers.

  52. Racer Says:

    Mas, I’m heading to WV next week for deer season and I promise I’ll make an effort to take the Ruger Redhawk .44 mag out on at least one day in your honor. I usually take it when it rains cause I hate getting my M1A wet if I can help it. Day one I will be “Auto Man” with the M and my Ruger P-94 as backup (in case one charges me), but I think day two they’re calling for rain. That’ll be wheelgun day. Taken quite a few whitetails through the irons on that hunk of stainless over the years. Very fulfilling, to say the least. But, I gotta say, I like the cases flipping through the sunlight out of Tupperware for my daily duties. Just too much to love from a practical standpoint, IMO. I admire your work with the revolver, though. Don’t quit on anybody elses account. You be you.

  53. Heather Says:

    Big fan of bolts and levers for rifles. Upland hunting, I’m saving for a nice SxS, but have been making do up till now with my mossberg.

    But I HATE revolvers.

    I take that back. I like single action revolvers, but those are just for funsies. I hate double action revolvers, so for self defense I’ll take my M&P.

  54. Bulldog Chuck Says:

    I have an even mix of revolvers and semi autos, about 10 each, plus some rifles and a shotgun. All steel and wood grips/stocks, except one, a S&W MP15-22.
    I shoot them all regularly over the course of a year, and enjoy every one of them. My favorite? A Ruger 77/22 22WMR bolt action rifle with a 4X scope that can shoot 3/4″ holes at the range.
    Semi autos, yeah. Revolvers, OH YEAH!

  55. Glenbo Says:

    While I have my share of Glocks, and in cool and cold weather the Model 36 is usually on my hip, the brutal heat and humidity of the Texas Gulf Coast make carrying uncomfortable. So for warm to hot weather, I’ve usually got my S&W 642-2. This winter I will start carrying my new SIG-Sauer 1911 Scorpion my sweetie gave me a month ago because it’s so fine. For her, on our first Christmas in our house 15 years ago, I gave her a SP-101, and recently put CT laser stocks on it. Is that a romantic gift or what? Of course, she has several others, Glocks and a SIG P229 that she stole from me for 12 years and has just now let me have it back sometimes. No hunting for us, it costs too much in Texas, and it’s from stands anyway, which seems like bushwhacking to me.

  56. Marc-Wi Says:

    Wheel guns, they ain’t dead yet. Been thinkin’ about buying another. but then I’m always thinkin’ about another 1911 too. That colt you shot at Cedar Rapids was a beaut. Something magical about worn grips and honest wear on bluing.

  57. Mas Fan Says:

    We needed to find something tough, reliable, safe and simple for an older guy living in a bad area. The SP101 DAO proved to be ideal. We just had a young teenaged girl killed in our area when she surprised a burglar inside the home. The Chiefs Special .38 was perfect carried IWB around the house and grounds until the killer was caught. Revolvers are still great for protection in many situations. You cant beat a snubnose revolver for close quarters defense . My full size 9mm ended up playing second fiddle to Mr. Snubnose during this last local event.

  58. Olddog Says:

    Mr. Ayoob, funny that you would post this. I have an extensive variety of self defense pistols but I myself have been turning back to the old revolver lately. I was reading one of your books on my Nook (new school) about great handguns and it moved me to finally purchase one of the guns I always wanted: a 4″ Colt Python. It is everything I had hoped for. After sighting it in, I started carrying it with Remington 125gr 357 Mag SJHP. As a bonus, I brought out my old Colt Cobra (1968, skinny barrel vintage), loaded it up with 158gr LHP 38 Special +P, and stuck it in my pocket as my backup. I feel very well protected by that combo. My BACK, however, is not as thankful! There if still somethign about blue steel and good wood…

  59. Long Island Mike Says:

    Come on now, everyone really knows that a Black Powder wheel gun is the only way to ride !

  60. Brian Parramore Says:

    1895 Marlin in .45-70 for deer, pigs, and water buffalo. Iron sights of course.
    Building .45-70 double on a 100 year old shotgun action.

    Taurus 1911 on my hip.

  61. Rob R. Says:

    Taurus 85CH Stainless was on my hip for many a year when I ran service calls. I also love my S&W 686, but don’t carry it a lot due to weight. I also have my trusty mouse gun, a little NAA .22LR mini-revolver that allows me to always be in compliance with Rule 1 of surviving a gunfight.

    I also have some semis, but I still loves me my revolvers. One day I even plan on running a competition with the 686 (but have no illusions about winning it, I just want the fun).

  62. Steve Says:


    I will be going afield with a classic Holland-pattern 16ga sidelock shotgun this year and I shoot a Smith & Wesson 625 in IDPA. Not everyone knows how to properly drive a Ferrari and fewer understand the true joy of shooting a well made revolver.

    You’re not old my friend, you have style!

  63. Michigan Swampdog Says:

    I carry my Taurus model 606 stainless steel snub-nose .357 Magnum appendix-style in IWB and my truck gun is a 5 inch Springfield XD in .45 ACP. This morning, on Michigan’s opener for whitetails, I was lurking in my swamp with my trusty Remington 870 in 12 gauge waiting for “Bullwinkle.”

  64. micko77 Says:

    I confess to having read only about half of the comments, as I must get some work done, but I’ve taught more than one new deputy how to clear a revolver–sad statement. I can shoot all 5 thru my coat with my old “humpback” S&W’s. No, they don’t hold 19 rounds, and if I ever get into a situation outside the home where more is necessary more is available, but a s secondary; after putting over 250k .38/.357 rounds downrange, and killing untold rabbits and squirrels, and several deer with revolvers, I just don’t feel the nee on the street. Home defense can be a horse of a different color, and I have that color of saddle and bridle in the form of Mr. Mossberg and an older ParaOrdnance for starters, and revos almost always on the hip or in the pocket (hard to do on the john). All this from one incident years ago for which I was prepared, as was my wife; the kids are grown and gone, but the risks remain. Pray for peace, but prepare for predators.

  65. Jim Says:

    I like revolvers and when I retire I will probably start shooting them again. For now, semi-automatics are pretty much the only guns I shoot. Either H&K P 2000, BERETTA 92D Compact or 92D Centurion or compacts like the SIG 232 and BERETTA Tomcat.

    I honestly cannot see where a revolver will do anything as well as these pistols.

    By the way, is that an AYOOBOSAURUS with the cylinder in its mouth?


  66. SheepDog1968 Says:

    I’m proud to say I went hunting this year with my 30-30 lever action that has blued steel and a nice walnut stock. If the house were on fire and I had time to get only one firearm, this would be the one.

    I’d love to go hunting with a double shotgun. Currently in the market trying to find a SxS with a single trigger and ejectors (SAS cowboy shooting is not a requirement for this firearm). If I can’t find that soon, I plan to get a H&R single shot 12 gauge.

  67. Bill Says:

    I’m only 45 and have preferred revolvers for most of my now 30 years as a shooter. S&W’s in J-, K-, L- and even N-frame sizes. A few Charter Bulldogs. An early Ruger SP-101 as well as Service-Six and Security-Six medium frames. Then there was a dearly departed Colt Magnum Carry. All were carried concealed at one time or another in all manner of environmental conditions. Some worked better than others but all have shot with total reliability and at least decent accuracy. To this day you’d most often find a Model 649 or 3-in. Model 65 on my person.

  68. Tom606 Says:

    The proper quote was “I got’s to know” uttered by actor Albert Popwell in DIRTY HARRY, who also played black activist/con man Mustapha in THE ENFORCER, the third movie of the series.

    I like both round and square guns. My first handgun was a 4″ S&W model 19, followed by a Ruger Super Blackhawk, then a Colt 1911 Series 70 in .45 ACP. Over the years I have owned twice as many pistols as I have revolvers. The one firearm I sold which I most wish I still have is a S&W model 29, blued with 6 1/2″ barrel I bought new on my 21st birthday.

    When I first started in LE in Colorado, I carried the department issued S&W 686 with .38 +P ammo as nothing else was allowed. Several years later in Florida with another PD, I carried a S&W 625 for several months until I went through their semi-auto training, required to carry a square gun, then packed a SIG 220 until I quit eight years later. For my backup guns, I had a S&W 37 with bobbed hammer and an old flat latch S&W 38, both with Teflon finish carried in holsters attached to my Kelvar vest. Those alloy framed .38 revolvers were light and more powerful than the .380 pistols many other officers carried as backups. This was before the polymer framed Kahrs in .40 S&W were available.

    For my purposes, I carry pistols in .45 ACP for defense and .40 S&W for backup, and revolvers in .44 Magnum and .454 Casull for longer range shooting or hunting.

    I like blued steel and wood in firearms and have several on them, but all my serious working handguns, rifles, and shotguns are Teflon/Black-T finished or Parkerized with synthetic stocks.

  69. Jack Says:

    The only concession I have made to “Modern” stuff is rubber Hogue Mono-grips on 2 of my revolvers- and that is solely because I didn’t feel like shelling out $70 per grip set for wood ones. The Polymer guns can disappear for all I care. Ditto the AR-15 and AR-10s etc.

  70. David Salmon Says:


    I am 48, but I own three revolvers and no semi-auto handguns because I am low-tech, and in a high stress situation, I want something SIMPLE. Well, guess what, I took a course on Sunday, and the instructor says a revolver should NEVER be shot single-action in a defensive scenario, even at long range! His reasons were because of legal liability. To make a long story short, I will soon be purchasing a Glock 26. I love my revolvers in single-action, but I hate them in double-action. I was told no gunsmith around here, NJ, will lighten up the double-action trigger. Maybe I can get Red Jacket Firearms to do the trigger job for me. Anyway, I love semi-auto handguns, but my revolvers will never be sold. To clean them, I don’t even take them apart, I simply swing out the cylinder. Simple is BEAUTIFUL, especially in today’s world.

  71. Spanky Says:

    The only time I use a revolver, other than range time for fun, is for pig hunting. S&W 651.

    Otherwise, Kimber Ultra CDP II for everyday carry, slimmer profile.

  72. Fred Says:

    I’m a relatively young 36 and the handgun that I carry most frequently is a Taurus Model 415 (2.5″ .41 Magnum), and I’m shooting in a trap league with a LeFever single-shot trap gun that was manufactured in 1927. I prefer more traditional weapon designs, but I’m certainly not blind to the advantages of modern materials in their construction for certain applications.

  73. Boomer Says:

    Like my Glock mod. 22, but still have a S&W mod 66 .357 handy if the need arises. Filled my deer tag this year with a Savage 110 left hand bolt action 30-06. Always faithful and truly reliable. Best of both worlds.
    I would like to add for any of those anti-gun nuts reading this: I have a carry permit for 2 states, Minnesota and North Dakota, which allows me to carry in the vast majority of the USA. Now before you go off half-cocked, I am a former LEO, (law enforcement officer) now retired, but still concerned enough about my and my family’s safety that I carry concealed. Although I am not a LEO any longer does this make me any less qualified/educated than when I wore the uniform? Absolutely not. Would you rather have me carrying concealed or some miscreant in the bowels of Chicago carrying without any training with evil on his mind?

  74. 45MoonClip Says:

    Interesting blog entry from my perspective. Ever since completing MAG-40 in Hattisburg in September, I have been focused on carrying and shooting my revolvers. I’ve always been more secure and comfortable with the wheel guns.
    I was inspired by your carryibg that big old S&W 686 and shooting it so well. Thanks for the demonstration!

  75. D .O. Reichard Says:

    The world is round everywhere, and real men are wheelmen. First and last.

  76. Lou G Says:

    I carry a CZ75, but have a Mdl10 snubby for backup. Like the S&W’s immensely, have 4 Mdl29’s, 2 586’s a Mdl 65 a K22 plus a Thunder Ranch 44spl. But then I’m only 74 & have some more to acquire!!!

  77. WI~Jeffrey Says:

    My first gun was a Ruger GP-100 & I still have it, “Love My wheel gun”,
    all my shotgunning needs are still being met by my Mossberg 500 or Winchester 1300 models, My good old’ Eddystone model 1917 30-06
    takes care of the White tail, the only “plastique fantastique” pistol i
    own is my Ruger P-95 i just never seen the need for the XD- M&P or Glock… anyway if i had to chose just one i would go back to were i started.
    The all American .357 Magnum Revolver 🙂 ~ I just turned 50 this fall

  78. Will Says:

    It is always jarring and annoying to be already out of ammo after only six shots.

    Revolvers can jam on bad ammo. When they do, it is usually a lot harder process to un-jam than just tap-rack-bang.

  79. J M Swanson Says:

    It’s interesting to read the posts. I carry a Ruger .357 stainless revolver in my pickup, and I have a nicely blued S&W 22-4 revolver in .45 ACP on my nightstand (used to have wood grips, but the Hogue rubber grips fit my hand best). I hunt birds with a 16 ga. sxs (wood, of course), but I hunt deer with a synthetic stock Steyr prohunter in 25-06. My favorite shooters are an old 1890 winchester pump in .22 WRF my dad gave me (and which I cherish), and an EMF Hartford 1892 in .357 with a 24″ octagonal barrel. I’m mostly traditional.

  80. LarryArnold Says:

    I’m 64. My carry gun used to be a 1911-style, but I found that carrying any steel gun required weekly maintenance to keep rust off the grip screws, etc. (That’s my skin, not the gun.) My Glock 30 solves that problem.
    I’m not sure where you’d fit me on hunting. For deer I favor an H&R break action (single-shot being my method of choice) in .308, but it has a modern laminated stock. OTOH my shotgun is a synthetic Benelli Nova 20ga pump.
    When I teach the Texas CHL class I cover both semiauto and revolver. My 1-on-1 beginner classes I teach whatever the student brings. I take half-a-dozen guns to teach Hunter Ed.
    But contrary to spousal opinion, I don’t own one of everything.

  81. Alan from Chgo Says:

    Older 69. A city kid taught to shoot handguns on 1911s in the Marine Corps. I must have been born with good genes, and blessed with a good instructor, learned quick and still shoot well.

    At 22 went on a large LE agency (guess) which required wheel guns but allowed (for a time) any weapon as a second carry, most of the veterans carried a 1911 or the complete opposite a 2″ 38. In the 1970s the agency banned single action automatics; the new kids who had not been in the service kept shooting holes in the car seats, the radios off the dashboards, and sometimes holes in each other (they had not been trained by instructors who would give them a crack upside the head if they made a mistake).

    Got to-thin to comfortably carry a 1911. Nine months of the year I wear a jacket, a 2″ 38 in the pocket, I know it will work, no slide to catch, after all these years it feels a part of me. In extreme hot weather I carry either a LCP or a LCR in the trouser pocket, walking along playing pool. We do have a couple of 1911 stashed in the house and in the car when traveling: too skinny to fight, too old to run.

  82. CaptainBob Says:

    Gee, I haven’t seen this many posts since the big “cop” debate…. At least these are all friendly.
    At 67 I’m kinda’ set in my ways and my daily carry varies between a S&W 625 (.45 ACP) in a crossdraw when clothing allows and a Taurus 741 (.32 H&R Mag.) in a pocket holster when it doesn’t. Reloads for the 625? I carry 3 full-moon clips in a cell phone holster. I’m not as fast as Jerry but I can beat many a magazine loader. For the .32 Mag. it’s two speed strip in a little pouch.
    I like the comfort having the .45 but not the uncomfort of wearing it. The .32 mag. is unnoticeable.
    As for guns other than my daily carry’s I counted and revolvers have a slight edge in numbers. If not for the 1911’s it would be much greater.
    So, I guess I’m a revolver man and, thinking back, my first handgun was a Colt Frontier Scout revolver, my second was a Ruger .357 Blackhawk and my third was a Cold Gold Cup. Today, 47 years later, I still have the Colt Scout and the Blackhawk but the Gold Cup is gone. There’s a clue there somewhere…

  83. Drake Says:

    Mas, thanks a ton. We will be going with the .270, for use strictly on whitetail. You would not believe how helpful your articles have been to us, being fairly new to the gun scene.

  84. David Salmon Says:

    We really are blessed to have such a discussion, semi-auto vs. revolver. I’ll bet in the United Kingdom they discuss which is best for home defense, a crossbow or a compound bow. Then again, maybe they discuss whether a hatchet, hammer or mace (not the spray) is best to have on hand. Sad.

  85. Jeff Says:

    Elk hunting I carry a Ruger Super Blackhawk (Bisley model) in .44 magnum. It’s also my favorite gun to reload for – I’ve done everything from .308 Win cases modded as shotshells to cowboy velocity target loads to rip-your-lips-off hunting loads.

    I actually like my wife’s Ruger SP101 in .357 better than my 9mm for carry. It’s only a bit lighter, but much more comfortable. It’s also a ball to shoot!

    At 42, I’m in the middle of the pack, but I’ll take a wheel gun any day. Then again, I’m a sucker for anything that revolves, levers, or requires patches and balls…

  86. Doug Says:

    I’m 63, and being so was also fortunate enough to grow up in a place and time which allowed plenty of opportunity for handgun shooting.
    An early predisposition to revolvers (my dad had an 1894 Colt DA Army) gradually morphed into a passion for auto-loaders (in particular Glocks) at mid-life. Since then, DA revolvers have once more become my choice of handguns. For almost any conceivable self defense situation I am likely to find myself in, the pair of S&W 640’s and Ruger LCR’s I have will be adequate. There is something in the revolver’s ease of operation and functional simplicity which inspires confidence and facilitates competence.

  87. Mark C Says:

    I carry a 36, 64, 642, 637, 66, or 15 every day.

    I am packing up to head to Pennsylvania in a few with with my grandfather’s 100 year old Savage 1899….

    All of the above work in self defanse and hunting….

  88. Amy Mckenzie Says:

    I’m the traditionalist in the family, hunting this and every year with my Winchester 1892. My hubby has the latest and greatest of everything plastique, and looks more like he’s ready for a covert ops mission than deer season when we head to the woods.

    But, IMHO, if whatever you wanted to kill ends up dead, who cares what you shot it with!

  89. Joe B Says:

    I’m 44, and my progression of handguns is going backwards. Started with Glocks, then moved to a 1911, then to double action revolvers, and now I am madly in love with a new Ruger Lipsey’s Blackhawk Flattop.

    For me, the progression has been about power and accuracy, not capacity. Once I realized how much more accurate I am naturally with a nice revolver, there was no going back.

  90. 18DAI Says:

    I’m a dinosaur too Mas and the meteor is coming! 😉

    Make mine a 4″ 66-2. I still shoot 100’s during quals and reload a good second ahead of the Glock babies. I started with a revolver and will finish up with one. Best regards, 18DAI

  91. Winston Smith Says:

    I’m hunting deer right now (well, not at this exact instant) with a DS Arms FN FAL in .308 (7.62×51) with a Glock as a side arm. Love the semiautos!

  92. Myles Says:

    I am 26 and I trained on a black powder cap and ball brass frame gun, due to ahem age restrictions. I still have it and I still love it. I usually carry an autoloader but I am a big believer in the old, if you can’t get it done with six you are in big trouble, philosiphy.

  93. Ross Says:


    I’m a 51 year old kid (I’m much too young to have all this grey in my beard!) and last weekend my shooting buddy & I were out in the woods, she with her pre-64 Win 94 and me with my 94AE. On my hip was a 629 (my 94 is .44 mag, so I HAD to have the same caliber on my hip!).

    At the fun store Tuesday, I just picked up another S&W wheelgun, a model 29 in pristine shape. Hey, I needed another .44 for pin shoots! For IDPA I use one of my S&W Model 19s. Daily carry gun is a 637. (Why, yes… I do think S&W makes the best revolver in the world. How’d you guess?)

    Nope, the wheelgun is NOT dead. Neither is the lever gun. They’re merely under-appreciated these days.

  94. Fruitbat44 Says:

    A collective noun for a group of revolver shooters?

    How about a bunch of old fa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .shioned fellows who never-the-less appreciate a fine design and know what works for them?

  95. David Salmon Says:


    I’ve heard you opine about getting old. I’ve seen you shoot and you are fast and fantastic! This idea that everything “new” is better ONLY applies to technology. The men who lived in the 1700s were better than us moderns at politics, languages, religion, marriage, child-raising, education, English, art and music. We are living in the Golden Age of Technology, but every other field is in a Dark Age!

  96. Hobie Says:

    I’ve got a Jovinoized S&W 25-2 here with me right now.

  97. Marc-Wi Says:

    Went out on an ammo run yesterday. No, I didn’t come home with a wheel gun or 1911. Hauled home a REAL nice 20 ga. 870 youth model. Short barrel and the kid size stock is just right for shooting with a squared away stance. Used and the price was right. And no plastic on it.

  98. ALE Says:


    YOU are the man responsible for putting me permanently back in the snubbie carrying (and touting) group, when I took LFI-1 in McKinney, TX, a decade ago. Since then, numerous courses and competitions have validated the choice for me (though shouting “That’s why I carry a revolver!” when a Front Sight instructor had a malfunction made me unpopular there ;-).

  99. Capt Bart Says:

    I became a 1911 bigot when I carried one in Viet Nam. That said, my “walk the dog” gun is a Ruger Blackhawk (yep SA) loaded with a 3 shot shells and 3 JHP. My 1911 won’t cycle the weaker recoiling shot shells. The shot shells won’t over penetrate if I miss or need it for a small animal in the green belt.
    I strongly recommend revolvers for field guns – no bang if dropped = good! I also suggest them for new owners for expense and ease of clearing drills. One handed clearing of my 1911 is NOT my strong point in weak hand shooting. I have .38, .357 and .45 Colt. The reliability of a revolver, simple clearing drills and the psychological effect of looking into the loaded cylinder of 6 .45 Colt rounds is convincing. Also, a started newbie won’t get a second round if the noise/recoil causes them to drop the gun and if it is “limp wristed” it doesn’t misfeed. Since I don’t see the need for 17 immediate action rounds, the 6 in my Ruger or 5 in my Smith or even the 4 in my stubbie are enough.
    I carry the .45 because one saved my life. I carry the Kel Tec P11 because in a Houston summer a pocket 9 is something I CAN actually carry concealed. I figure the “War of the Northern Aggression” (I am from Texas!) proved that a revolver is quite efficient at dispatching our fellow man. Once the slug has left the barrel, it neither knows nor cares what launched it. Use a gun you trust well enough to play “you bet your life with”.

  100. Capt Bart Says:

    OK, I’m double posting my apologies for missing half the question. I find lever guns much more natural than bolt actions. I have levers in .45 Colt, 30-30 and 45-70 Marlin. I don’t feel under armed. My shotguns are a Moss pump, a double barreled coach gun, and several single shots. Again, the simplest gun is a single shot. A double is just two singles on a single stock. I’ve never in over 40 years had a mis-feed, jam, or fail to fire from a lever gun. Spraying 30 rounds downrange is not my idea of rifle shooting (my 1911 save my backside when my M16A1 went click with a half full magazine). I’m big on reliability and aimed fire. With a revolver, lever gun and double barrel I can get aimed fire down range as fast as the guys with their plastic wonders. Besides, I LIKE beautiful wood stocks.

  101. Matt Says:

    I love some semiautos – but the FACT is that I just shoot better with either a J-frame or a K-frame revolver, much better.

  102. Bob from Illinois Says:

    At 42 I am in the museum crowd. I carried a 1911, M14, and was a gun captain on a M2 in the navy. As a deputy sheriff I proudly carried my S&W M29 44 mag daily (and was the only one in the department to carry a 44 as a primary weapon).

    I currently own 4 pistols –

    My all time favorite – a S&W M29 44 Mag.
    A S&W 686 that I have “owned” since I was 15.
    A Ruger 10 inch Super Balckhawk 44 Mag.
    And my Citadel Compact 1911.

    If I could afford any pistol I wanted my next one would be the shortest barrel S&W 500 I could find.

    Safe to say that I am in the revolver crowd.

  103. Manny Says:

    I started out with Ruger SA’s that still hold a place in my heart though I no longer own any. Was a firm revolver guy for years not really trusting semi auto’s. The gun that changed my thinking was a Glock 21 SF, ran like a sewing machine and shot great.

    These days after winnowing out the collection my go to handguns are Glock 9’s for defensive use and Ruger DA .454’s for field use. I just read Mel Tappan’s Survival Guns recently and saw he had an inclination towards auto’s for defense and revolvers for working guns as well, so I feel in good company with my choices. My defensive rifle is a 5.56 AR, hunting is a Ruger 77 hawkeye .338 win mag. My only shotgun is a semi auto FN SLP, though I have hopes of getting a Browning Cynergy for sporting use. Only wood on any of my guns is the laminate stock on my 10/22 Charger.

    Though I admire pretty I view my guns as tools for working and want them to be as tough, weatherproof and durable as possible. As much as I admire history, I’m all for incorporation of improvements where possible for the best utility and function.

  104. Markus Says:

    Mr. Ayoob,
    First off, Im a huge fan and read as much of your writing as I can set eyes on. In regards to your blog, my everyday companion is a S&W Model 36, it is the only handgun I own. I carry it everywhere I go, my girlfriend made fun of me because I took it to the mailbox the other day (honestly, I didnt even notice that I retrieved it, its just habit by now). I desire to own other guns, but have decided the revolver is the way to go for me, so I will be purchasing more revolvers. I trust it and shoot it well. At the range I often notice Im shooting, reloading and shooting again faster (and making good hits) than most of the autoloader guys around me, although they are admittedly mostly untrained and novice, there are a few guys there that really know their gun and those guys would smoke me in a competition… unless we were shooting wheelguns. Chances are the thug I’ll run into here where I live will also be untrained (I dont think there are any professional “movie” hitmen out to get me). How does the saying go, “Beware the man who only owns one gun”? Last thing, Im only 32 years old.

  105. Gary Says:

    Hey Mas,
    My first abbreviated wheel gun was a S&W Mod 37 Flat Latch that I liberated from Dick Riley in 1977 for $105. Gee I’m getting old, that was when Bill Weber was there and Ralph was just a young silk sheet commando. That 37 is in my pocket as I type, sporting a set of Crimson Trace grips seated comfortably in a Don Hume 001 front pocket holster. When traveling I prefer a 13.3 ounce S&W Scandium 360 .357 snubbie charged with Federal 147 grain +P+ Hydra-Shoks. High cap semi’s are nice for a fire fight but light is nicer for me and the 360 is easy carry even in shorts. After the first Perp takes a hit, the question of who’s next is not one they often want to answer. In addition to the wheel gun, bedside there is a 1911 with night sights, laser grips and two extra mags of 230 grain Hydra-Shoks. Like you said, a weapon won’t help if it’s in the safe when the glass breaks at 3AM.

  106. Terry Kelly Says:

    Mas, I’m a 57 yoa Deputy Sheriff on his 14th month of recovery from a work related car accident. I hope to go back to (modified) duty as a Sgt of CID in a couple of months.

    The first handgun I ever fired was a S&W Model 15 in USAF SP Tech School. I (to paraphrase Spock) “…have been and always will be…” a wheelgun guy. I will be limited to desk duty for quite some time.

    I have carried SIG P-226’s, Glock 31 and 22 and a 1911 on duty. Our new Sheriff allows us to carry our gun of choice. Mine will be a 4″ S&W 19.


    Admittedly, it’s partly nostalgia. The 19 is very close in feel to the 15.

    But I am convinced that I am not “undergunned” in any carrying a 6 shot revolver and three speedloaders vs an issue Glock 20 or even my Kimber Raptor with 2 spare mags. I recently took my first trip to a square range since my accident. I was hitting pepper poppers at 70 yards consistently with that Model 19 and Remington 125 grain magnums, single action, sitting, two handed unsupported. While I love my Kimber, I wasn’t having the same kind of results with it.

    Power, reliability, accuracy and ease of carry. Not to mention blue steel and wood. Call me an old fogie all they want. Just meet me at the range…

  107. Bill (WI) Says:

    I deer hunt with a Colt Python, King Cobra, or S&W 460, at 44 yrs old. The latter is newer, but the revolver theme is in place. I like the “old” style revolvers, mainly the double actions. Occasionally I will bring out my pre-’64 Winchester 30-30 lever action. My carry guns include a J-frame, depending on what type of clothing I have on. I enjoy both types of firearms…new and old. I qualified for your instructor course, with some 300 scores, using my M&P, but my back up gun was a .357 revolver.
    See you in Dec., in the frozen north.

  108. Travis Says:

    Im 25 and I love revolvers. I carry glocks and 1911s sometimes. But they dont mean as much to me as my Smith’s do (N frame mostly). I took my first handgun kill on black friday with my 6″ 44 model 29. It was great.

  109. JP Says:

    I am 48 and carry a Ruger SP-101, 3.06″, .357. It will shoot a knat off a fly’s rear at 25 yards and make a coffee can dance at 100 with any .38/.357 I put in it. That kind of accuracy is hard to find in an out-of-the-box semi- auto.

  110. Bud Says:

    Hello Massad,

    I realize that this thread is a year old but then hunting season is here again and I thought I’d add my two cents. It may be a little obsolete but my deer/bear rifle is an original 1895 7mm Mouser. My bird gun of choice is a replica 1887 lever action shotgun. My usual carry piece is a little more modern S&W 642 revolver but I have been known to carry a single action revolver from time to time.

  111. hammeredbean Says:

    I am 37 and didn’t have my M&P 9c long before I swapped it for a Ruger SP101 w/ 3″ barrel. It never leaves my hip…..ever. It carries easy, handles full power ammo like yummy M&M’s, will never jam, and best of all…….it doesn’t send me to my knees scratching the friggin ground looking for brass! It is the gun I harvest deer with, practice with, and protect my family with. Sadly, it reloads a mere five rounds of ammo much more slowly than an auto…….but I do carry a reload, and while I am not a competition shooter, I would not want to be on the wrong side of my sweet little wheel gun! I intend to trade my Flat Top 44 Special for a 4″ GP100 in the future. By the way, it is legal for me to take deer with it here……it has always killed quickly and humanely leaving a nice entry and exit hole………much better than a pointy stick!

  112. Roy Odhner Says:

    I’m 49, and I carry a Taurus Model 85 as my EDC. It is rugged and reliable, acceptably accurate, easy to conceal, and delivers a nasty punch. I’m not a “gun guy” and I don’t get my jollies by showing off my gun. I just want a reliable and effective self-defense gun that is easy to conceal and that doesn’t require that I strap on ten pounds of gear to go about my business. The humble snubby and two speed loaders full of Nyclads give me just what I need.

  113. Old Cop Says:

    I guess I’m a geezer too, at 66 I’ve been carrying a revolver since rookie school in 1968. It saved my hide more than once during my 30 year LEO career using both Colt and Smith service revolvers in .38 spl. In retirement either my Smith 442 or ’68 Colt Cobra (first off-duty gun) is carried daily.

    Old Cop
    LEO (Ret.)

  114. Phil Says:

    My father gave me a Browning BL .22 for Christmas when I was nine. Two years later I recieved a model 1200 pump shotgun. 30 years later the act of thumbing back the hammer after acquiring my target, moving my finger into the trigger guard and firing is second nature. I ran BRICKS of shells through that .22. My 686 has a similar feel. I am the only one left in deer camp with out a scope, still using a lever action 30-30. I am also the only one in that duck blind with a pump. These actions are so familiar to me I see no need to change. I still shoot semi-autos, but have not found one I am comfortable in carrying. Not quite 40, so I have time to change, but have not found a reason to change my choice of actions yet.

  115. Dennis M Says:

    Since I can not run very fast anymore ( 73 ). I carry either a Ruger LCR in 38 spc. or a HK4 in 380 ACP. when I’m running the dog in the woods. I got started in hand guns with Models 12 & 15 Dan Wessons. With barrels from 21/2 inches to 8 inches who could ask for anything more? These were followed by a Ruger Single Six and a Ruger Blackhawk 45 Conv. Then I moved on to 2 model 58 S&W’s, a 3 inch SS and a 83/8 inch with a 2X scope. I’ve had several 1911’s and other autos, but I guess I just like revolvers the most. As for hunting birds my old 20 ga. Ithica SKB O/U can’t be beat. Or my Rem. 11-87 Special Purpose for turkeys and ducks. I retired my Rem. 1100 to my grandson. As for deer my SAKO .243 and my Mossberg 500 12 ga. with a scoped rifle barrel does the job. Over the years I have seen all the new stuff come on the market but nothing out there is any better than what I already have. And mine is paid for!

  116. Smitty Says:

    At 52 years of age I have been privileged to serve for over 30 of those years first in the Marine Corps and then and up to today in federal law enforcement. Around ’86 while serving in Okinawa as a cannon cocker I recall we transitioned over to the then new Beretta 9mm from our well-worn Colt .45s. Scores went up and fewer duty desks got dispatched by over imaginative 2nd Lts on duty reenacting Gunsmoke episodes. Maps ain’t the only things Lts are infamously dangerous with. Left the FBI Academy in ’90 with a solid S&W model 13 .357 with several thousand flawless operations of that finely tuned cylinder and smoothly predictable trigger that produced complete confidence in my old wheel gun. Almost got to buy her back, but a certain female AG of old decided to turn my trusted old friend into just so much scrap metal when us feds caught the semiautomatic pistol bug. Since then I’ve carried 10mm, 9mm, .40 cal, and .45 semiautomatics. All great weapons that have needed some tlc to stay in fighting trim whether it be cracked frames, bag mags, or finnicky feed ramps. That little ole 5 shot Smith is still with me as a backup/off duty weapon that hasn’t seen a gun plumber since it defected from that Yankee factory for the sweet southern breezes of the Southland many years ago. And my Smith will get handed down to my own son someday. Sure makes me nostalgic for the good ‘ole days of shooting semi-wadcutter ammo and hearing your classmates shout, “you’re spittin lead” as those rounds shaved off a piece ‘o lead that would land on your partner’s neck. ‘Ya just can’t have that kinda fun with modern polymer guns. Thanks for making me nostalgic for the early days of chasing after bank robbers and fugitives with nary a wheelgun and a speedloader or two. And with iron sights we were trained to shoot back to the 60 yard line. The spray-n-pray crowd doesn’t know what they missed out on. God Bless and stay safe out there. Smitty from somewhere in the Carolinas…

  117. bruce Says:

    hey massad i went through your class. speaking of revolver , i do carry a l frame 7 shot 2′ sometime. i carry sigs,xds auto,s but i still hunt or back pack the wheel gun in 44 mag,41 mag or my 445 supermag. i reload my own ammo & when you shoot in the winter with revolvers you don,t have to pick up brass in the snow like you do with my auto,s

  118. Greg Says:


    I’m 66 years old. I definitely would be considered old school. That said I do have 9mm Glocks. But for carry (I live in Florida) I prefer either my Ruger lcr or my S&W 642-1. I’m a retired Florida corrections officer and was trained on .38 revolvers and feel well armed with one. For deer and hog I use a 30-30 Win. and for turkey and duck I use a Benelli M-2 with wood stocks.

  119. Steven B. Rigdon Says:

    Retired LEO with 39 years on the jay-oh-bee. Started with a S&W model 13 about in 1975, ended with a Glock model 22. Now that i’m retired, my first handgun choice is a RUGER GP100 3 inch, my second choice is the CHARTER ARMS POLICE UNDERCOVER, (6 shot snub-not the undercover). Long arm of choice is the HENRY Big Boy in .357 Magnum. Scattergun choice, Mossberg 500A 18.5 inch barrel. I have sold all of my semi-auto pistols except for my RUGER P95DC, which I haven’t shot in a long time. I just prefer the simplicity of these small arms under stress. Their ability to get the job done is second to none. Guess I’m old school.

  120. Paul M. Niemi Says:

    I own both a Ruger SP101 w/3″bbl and a S&W 686 w/3″ bbl. After shooting both, I enjoy the S&W better of the two. Besides having 2 extra shots, I like the sights better because I was raised on S&W sights.

  121. Jay Turberville Says:

    I’m a 55 year old not-really-a-gun-guy. Just traded in my 9mm TZ-75 and a Ruger 10/22 carbine that sat almost completely unused for 14 years for a new 642-2. I’m mildly bothered by the non-traditional finish and finding out later that it has some MIM innards. It does seem more like a commodity than something made to be durable. That said, as a novice shooter I was able to shoot a few five inch groups (5 shots) with it at 10 yards after my second visit to the range.

    It is dirt simple to use. Should be reliable. Is light and easy to carry. And recoil isn’t far more manageable than the online whining led me to believe – even with +P ammo. This is a gun that a non-shooter like me can put to practical use with a good level of safety. If the finish chips or wears a bit, no big deal. With a few more trips to the range I should be able to get those groups a little smaller. That’s clearly my limit, not the gun’s.

  122. Vince Says:


    The .270 is good but even Jack O’Connor, quietly, admitted that the 30-06 was as good, if not better, than his beloved .270 Winchester.

    As for round gun versus bottomfeeder, while I own both I’m relying on a model 58 and it’s brother, the 57. I’m a troglodyte whose knuckles drag the ground when he walks.


  123. Jonbw Says:

    I ran across this while goggling something I forgot. At 74 my memory is not wonderful but that is more something of too many hours over the years spent at a computer going to who knows how many places and not knowing where I started.
    I think round guns are a matter of what we know and being one who grew up on round guns it is like family. They are part of us and not open for discussion.
    Over many years I had single actions and double action revolvers and loved every one of them.
    I migrated to the 1911 around 1980 or so and then for a while had none and tried the 1911 type again and loved them too. Then I found the glocks and after much thought and research I bought the first of several and the fit was good and they shot beyond good.
    While the round types still feel good, it is the glocks that feel the best and I shoot the best. One cannot argue with the way a gun fits the hand and points. I never met a gun I did not like, just some I shot better. It was fun reading this and I appreciate the different guns we all like knowing it is a common thread that brings us all to this thread. Thanks to all who posted and to all you have done to further my knowledge in all things gun related.

  124. AyoDep Says:

    I’m staring down 30 here in a few weeks, and am still finding myself a revolver guy. I’m former Army and current LEO. I carry a Sig P229 at work due to policy, but off duty I find myself carrying either my 642-2 or my 2.5″ 686 most often.
    I do have a Glock G30sf, a Kahr K9 and an XDm 5.25 in .45. The XDm is a nightstand gun with a TLR-1s. It still often times plays 2nd fiddle to my 686. The Kahr and Glock are rarely carried, as I just love my wheelies more.
    I take my Marlin .44mag levergun to the woods for deer, and have a side by side 12 for upland birds.
    Do I have an AR? Yes. Do I like it? Yes. Do I feel the same affinity for it as I do my other guns? No. Same holds true for my semis and my other shotguns. Out of my decently sized collections including other rifles, handguns and shotguns not listed, I still find myself gravitating to the “classics” even if they are outdated by some standards.
    Perhaps I truly was born a few decades late.

  125. Rob Says:

    I am just shy of 60 and use a .44 Magnum revolver (Colt or Super Blackhawk) when after deer or hogs and carry a .357 Colt Magnum Carry
    for protection against 2 legged predators. I am confident in all of them and don’t miss very often. There is nothing like a magnum revolver for size/power ratio, except maybe a .357 SIG.

  126. George Says:

    Trying to decide right now, If I want to trade my S&W Mod. 19 .357 mag 4″ for a Glock 32 .357 Sig. It boils down to: blam, blam, blam. blam, blam & blam, blam . . . . vs. KA-BOOM! The single KA-BOOM! with 140 gr HP seems more defining to me. And no brass to pickup.

  127. Indi'n Joe S Says:

    First handgun, a pinned S&W M-13, has accompanied me on all desert adventures from the 70s on. Early 80s, I acquired a shrouded, .38sp. Colt Cobra for the more discrete city carry.
    I purchased “Tupperware”, a Kel-Tec P-40, after amazing Wife adopted my M-13 as her desert adventure sidearm.
    Bilateral hand arthritis has compelled me to acquire a Glock 36.
    It is so much more forgiving to shoot than either Colt or Kel-Tec!

  128. burns Says:

    I carried a 38 special, model 60 for 25 years in NY, also had a DS, taken in a robbery prior to that, and a ppk’s for 20 years around the same time frame.
    If it were not for Glock and several others making the hi-cap Dbl stack guns popular for the NYPD to switch over to them back then. We would still be using them, as they were effective, easy to use and fired every time.
    Also a gun lasted a lifetime, not like now when every month a dozen new guns come out that for some reason people think the need.
    the entire industry has turned into a marketing ploy. Let’s understand that if you are shooting 15-30 rounds of ammo at something that requires that mudh lead, the chances are that you were already hit a dozen times, unless you are shooting against the Lighthouse shooting team.
    AT this point Body armor should be a consideration prior to a new gun. Very few people can shoot on the fly and hit the broadside of a barn, that’s the truth. 5-10 rounds should cover any possibility for the normal human being, especially when Special ops teams only carry 4 mags tops, including the 1 in the gun. The newbies have played too many video games, when you get shot, you are usually done for.
    Oh I cary a single stack 9mm, with 7+1, and a extra mag.

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