Revolver or Pistol for beginners?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by knfxda, May 28, 2011.

  1. knfxda

    knfxda New Member

    I found this in a book review on amazon and I found the reviewer's position interesting. It seems to me that the convential wisdom is that pistols are the best choice for the untrained and many here have espoused this point of view. The reviewer provides reasoning for chosing the pistol over the revolver.

    Not taking credit for anything above, just thought that it was an interesting take that I have heard put this clearly before.

    (Not sure if linking to amazon or alternatively, not providing the link in bad form. So, sorry if I'm not following procedure for this type of thing. It's a review on a public site, so I don't think I'm showing bad form froma copywrite perspective.)
  2. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    Rubbish! While I think pistols have the cool factor going, the only advantage they have to a new shooter in my opinion is the ease in which it can be reloaded...assuming you have extra loaded magazine not just a box/pocket of shells. I don't think speed loaders are very practical **for a new shooter**.

    It seams that I remember hearing something about the LEO that had issues with his revolver because of his own blood, but for the life of me I can't figure out how that would occur. Something that is quite common for pistols is to have a empty case stove pipe, or stick on the extractor, or just bounce off the ejection port and land back in the action, or any number of other jams which the new shooter is now going to have to stop and clear in the middle of a firefight. Of course if he had a revolver it would only be a matter of pulling the trigger again.

    I also think that DA triggers are a + for new shooters who are in any sort of adrenaline inducing situation, as it slows them down slightly and they might remember to aim before they are out of ammo. However with the DA pistols out there that's not much of a pistol vs. revolver argument any more.

  3. wmille01

    wmille01 New Member

    I can see as to where semi auto would be good for beginners it automatically resets the trigger to single stage making it easier for them to shoot. On the other hand there's more moving parts and more things you have to learn operation wise. But when it comes to revolvers for single action you have to cock the hammer each time yo have less rounds to shoot so you have to think about your shot before you shoot it. Also there are less moving parts so cleaning is easier, and it takes almost an act of god to break a revolver (at least in my experience). As for blood gumming up a revolver I've never heard that before, for practical shooting purposes a revolver is the better way to train shooters it also makes people learn the fundamentals more then just being able to shoot 9 shots in a row.
  4. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    And with a revolver when you open the cylinder and it's's empty.

    To the very new and sometimes even to the experienced, it's easy to forget when you remove the magazine from a semi-auto, there is still a round in the chamber.

    I'm newbie to guns and a revolver was recommended to me for safety reasons for a beginner. I think I might be ready for a semi-auto.........because I really, REALLY want a Ruger Mark II.
  5. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    As long as it fits their hand properly, I almost always recommend a revolver for a raw beginner. Some people lack the hand strength to rack the slide of a semiauto. With a revolver you don't have to worry is the 1 in the chamber? Is the mag in the gun? Is the mag loaded? Is the safety on? etc
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Consider that normally 6 are all that is loaded in a revolver. That means the beginner has to reload when 6 have been shot.
    Too often, I've seen beginners load their high capacity pistols to the max, shoot at the target, tire out quickly before all rounds are expended, and wonder why they aren't hitting the bull's-eye.

    Sometimes being forced to reload allows the new shooter to evaluate their progress.
  7. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    Another point to add to the revolver side of this discussion...weight.

    And I mean the ease of shooting a heavy steel gun is going to make the recoil more manageable than a polymer, striker-fired semi-auto.

    If a newbie starts with a steel .357 revolver (as Winds-of-Change did), preferably with a longer barrel for more weight, they can choose to fire .38 specials. That round is great to practice on and is still a dependable round to protect your family.

    I vote for revolver first. I didn't do that, but it is a regret of mine. A 4" Smith & Wesson 686Plus is still waiting somewhere to find a home in my safe.
  8. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    My wife did not like loading magazines so I started her on a 22 revolver then went to a 4" S&W 19 with 38 spl. She got over the magazine thing and can handle a slide so now she is shooting her Ruger SR9c and a 22 Sig Hamerelli Trailside. She was cocking the revolvers for every shot because she could not handle the double action pull and stay on target. She wont touch my Kel-Tecs or my SP101.
  9. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member


    I also think that a DA trigger on a revolver is great practice for an auto. It can really make one appreciate the importance of trigger control!

    But then again, I'm biased
  10. tiberius10721

    tiberius10721 New Member

    My automatics will never give the accuracy my ruger gp 100 will give me. There is just so much a person can do with a good revolver.
  11. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    I don't know why I didn't think about this earlier, but the quote the OP posted seems to be talking about training cops for tactical shooting, not training a new shooter to shoot.

    There's a deference. Teach a new shooter is about introducing them to firearms safety, aiming, breathing, stance, trigger control, muzzle control, how firearms function, etc.

    I believe the quote used by the OP is talking more about getting them to a proficient level of combat readiness, not teaching them how to shoot for the first time. Yes, it is going to be easier to get someone to a certain tactical skill level if they have the advantage of higher capacity magazines, and the ease of changing magazines, but that hardly has to do with teaching someone how to shoot.

    I hope that made sense, I know it was kind of a rambling.
  12. Jay

    Jay New Member

    A properly taught class should have a variety of handguns for beginners to shoot. Take a class...... try different handguns, THEN decide. Absent a physical handicap, virtually anyone can shoot any handgun, given proper training, and practice. If a physical disability, or inability presents itself, that's a different ball game. To generalize who should shoot what platform is simply guesswork, and cannot always, or even most of the time be accurately determined.

    Just my two cents......
  13. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

    Another part of being a new shooter is building confidence with firearms. That obviously is going to happen quicker with a revolver because of the simplicity of the machine...less controls = less complicated = more self confidence handling/operating.
  14. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

    I really don't think it makes a bit of difference. There are pros and cons to every gun, and it really comes down to the user.
  15. WDB

    WDB New Member

    First, a revolver and a semi auto are both pistols. I'm pondering how blood could make a revolver not operate, it's a fluid and unless it started to dry I can't imagine how.

    A DA revolver is a fine chioce to start with as it has less moving parts and is truly simple to clean/maintain. They rarely fail to fire and reloading is basic. For the average person six shots in a hostile situation will likely be more than needed if they have practiced with the firearm. I like/shoot and CC both revolvers and semi auto pistols. Both have there place and when comes to a new shoter IMHO a revolver is a fine way to start. This guy is talking out his starfish, one of those that believe the more rounds the better and not too concerned with shot placement.
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  16. Phelenwolf

    Phelenwolf New Member

    When I started training my 5 kids to shoot handguns I let them fire my Ruger 22/45 for a little while so they could have some fun at first, about 2 mags at the most.

    When it actually came time to teaching them the basic's, I started them with the same handgun I was taught with, a old S&W K-frame .22LR. A semi is fine but they did not take their time and just sent rounds down range. With a revolver they had 6 shots to take out 6 targets. They learned to get a correct sight picture and hit what they shot at. In time there speed will increase as they get more experience. Then they will start with the semi's.
  17. Wambli

    Wambli Member


    A long time ago in a galaxy far away from here I too used to espouse the ol' give them a revolver to start theory but the fact than many of the folks I've trained HATED working with a revolver (and the advice of many knowledgeable friends) made me re-evaluate that stance. My son, daughter and wife were picture perfect examples of this. All three discarded the revolvers for semi auto pistols early in their training and all are excellent shots today and all carry semi-autos for SD.

    So I have learned to never make predetermined assessments and let the shooter decide.
  18. utf59

    utf59 Member

    And the teacher.
  19. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

    !! WARNING !!
    Thread digression​
    I have been looking for just such a 'properly taught class'. I haven't found any. Either you have to already have your gun, or you use/rent one of their SIGs, at least 'near me'. Where are there beginning classes where one can try different revolvers and autos in different calibers?
  20. Wambli

    Wambli Member

    BINGO!!!! If the teacher leaves his preconceived notions and prejudices at home it is amazing what the student can accomplish...