She Wants a Revolver or Semi-Auto

One of my very best friends, who I met in college, messaged me the other day asking for advice in regards to purchasing her first gun for concealed carry.

Some people had told her that she has to have a revolver because she wouldn’t be able to pull back the slide on a semi-automatic handgun. Still, other people said that the semi-automatic is easier to shoot, so she should get that. Since she knows I’m a firearms instructor she wanted to know my opinion regarding the matter.

She is a really tiny person and has small hands so I wanted to delve further into this topic. It’s one I’m asked all the time. As a matter of fact, a lot of firearms instructors are asked this question. We’re not just asked, “What type of handgun should I buy?” but also “What is better the revolver or semi-auto?”

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Kimber America’s K6S revolver and Ultra Carry II semi-automatic

This debate has been going on for days, months, no YEARS among the gun-owner family. I’m not here to say which is right or wrong, but how to know which one is for you, or rather HER.

Some of the primary differences in semi-autos and revolvers are of course the operation. Some notable differences are the moving slide versus a rotating cylinder.

There are those who like the semi-auto because they say you can carry more rounds. The number of rounds varies depending on the caliber, make and model. For example, you can purchase a .357 semi-auto, take the Glock G3 for example, that holds 15 rounds, whereas a revolver of similar size, say the Kimber K6s, holds six rounds.

The .357 isn’t as common as it once was, but I’m mentioning it because, thanks to my friend Paul Glasco of Legally Armed America, I’m currently reviewing the K6s. I’ll share more about it, in the future. In the meantime, let’s get back to my friend’s little hands and some key aspects she needs to address in choosing a handgun. These may help you in choosing a carry model as well.

If you’re going to be carrying the gun, there’s the issue of where you intend to carry it. This is an issue for everyone, but it seems to be of added significance for women. It sounds simple to carry it in your handbag, but I suggest you carry it on your body so you’re in command of it at all times.

In comparing semi-autos and revolvers again. Some semi-autos are hammerless, the hammer is concealed within the slide, and some have an exposed hammer. The same goes for the wheel guns, aka the revolver. This is an attribute to look at because the smoother the exterior features are on the gun, the easier it will be to produce under pressure. You won’t have to worry about the hammer snagging on your clothing or getting hung up in your purse.

Rapid reloads are possible with both the revolver and the semi-auto, provided you have speed-load clips for the first and magazines for the latter.

Operating the revolver can be rather simple, however, the trigger pull can be cumbersome on some double-action models. This K6s I mentioned has a match-grade trigger, which allows me to shoot, one handed, and stay on target.

Operating the slide of a semi-auto becomes a breeze after you learn to properly pull it and practice regularly.

There are plenty of handguns that will fit little hands. If you can get to a range and shoot a variety of models that would be ideal because your small hand is going to fit differently than say my small hand is going to fit on a grip. You need to shoot and find one that fits YOU.

While you’re at the range, you should also see about trying various caliber guns. For example, I like a .45 caliber, but my friend Anne likes a 9mm and my friend Becky likes a micro-carry .380. 

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Remington RM380

So, you see, there’s a lot to consider, but the main thing is to go shoot some. Find out what YOU like, and once you decide to take the step and purchase a firearm, go take a class and also practice regularly.


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