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Old 10-28-2012, 13:36   #1
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Backup Gun- Semi-auto vs. Revolver

What are your thoughts on back up guns? Specifically, what are your thoughts on Semi-Autos vs. Revolvers?

I'm debating between the semi-auto is the compact version of my duty gun, the revolver is a S&W 442.

Semi Auto:
Higher capacity
Easier to shoot accurately at distance (vs. DAO J-frames)
Quicker Reloads if needed, depending on what your duty gun is, you may have mag interchangability between the two
Night sights

Reliability- can be pushed out of battery
Less concealable- Not really a factor for vest carry, but the J-frame is pocketable

Can't be pushed out of battery
Reliability- "Five for sure"
More concealable

Bad sights/non-existent sights
Slow reloads
Harder to shoot accurately at speed (for me)
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Old 10-28-2012, 13:45   #2
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I have tried them both in Glock 27 versus Smith and Wesson 640.

I always returned to the revolver.
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Old 10-28-2012, 14:47   #3
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I carry an autoloader simply because I'm more comfortable shooting and reloading an auto vs. a revolver. My uniform pants have a great narrow pocket for a spare mag, as well. Concealability is a non-issue for me.
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Old 10-28-2012, 14:51   #4
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Out of the two I prefer the revolver because it can not be pushed out of battery.

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Old 10-28-2012, 14:59   #5
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I've never even fired a revolver :'(

So I carry a 27.
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Old 10-28-2012, 16:49   #6
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Smith 642 for basically the reasons you stated.
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Old 10-28-2012, 19:08   #7
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I ran a P3at as a BUG for about 2yrs. Although small it never really instilled confidence in me due to having had malfunctions and breakage that required trips back to the factory with both my gun and those of 2 friends. I already owned a 642 and decided to go with that for 2 reasons

1 - more reliable than the P3at
2 - when I retire and am on my death bed, at least to me, a revolver that dad carried on duty every day that could be passed down to your children would have more sentimental value than some pos cheap plastic gun
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Last edited by Spydermonkey; 10-28-2012 at 19:09..
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Old 10-28-2012, 19:11   #8
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I'm just a CHP guy and not an officer. I prefer my Ruger LCP over the j frame because I struggled with shooting the revolver with any accuracy and follow up shots only got worse. I have a ton of respect for the people that can handle the small revolvers, I am not that guy to this point.
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Old 10-28-2012, 19:39   #9
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The revolver is being touted as the best BUG mostly because of the out of battery thing. Contact shots to the head, neck, heart, etc.

If that's really important to you then that's what you should carry.

I carry an LCP that has been 100% reliable since day one. Follow-up shots are easy and with todays HP ammo the .380 is deadly.

Sentimentality apart, the J Frame revolver is a great gun. If you can handle the heavy trigger, the recoil and are ok with the five shots (it can actually be reloaded very quickly with speed loaders) and weight (if you're still carrying a steel framed J) then by all means carry one.

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Old 10-28-2012, 20:00   #10
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my department bans revolvers for back up or off duty use so i've been alternating between a Glock 32 and Glock 33 as my back-up/off-duty weapon. makes sense at work in case my duty gun (Glock 31) goes down, my backup can use the mags off my belt.

i also carry a S&W Shield 9mm in my pocket.
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Old 10-28-2012, 20:22   #11
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Hey Kayl, you just answered your own question. The gun you shoot the best is the gun you carry. If you're pushing the pistol out of battery then change holster, or carry area, or whatever is causing it to be pushed out of batter.
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Old 10-28-2012, 20:25   #12
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My final department mandated your BUG be the same tpe as your main carry gun.

Rovolver or revolver; auto for auto.

I've alway thought that it was sage advise.
"...our quick technology allows use to indulge our deepest stupidity and tastelessness with out first thinking...."
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:53   #13
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If I was issued a G22 for duty it would almost be a no brainer to carry a G27 as a BUG.

The baby Glock is as small as I'll go in a semi-auto. If need something more discreet than that I prefer a Jframe S&W revolver.

I have been carrying a 442 as a BUG to my P226 for years.
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Old 10-28-2012, 23:58   #14
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Originally Posted by oldman11 View Post
Hey Kayl, you just answered your own question. The gun you shoot the best is the gun you carry. If you're pushing the pistol out of battery then change holster, or carry area, or whatever is causing it to be pushed out of batter.
Pushing it into bad guy causes it to go out of battery... Revolver all the way, j frames excel in this role, especially with the gold dots made for short barrels.

Sent from my iPhone... which probably auto-corrected something wrong
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:55   #15
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the first thing you must do is realize that a BUG is to get you out of the crap, not to keep you in it.

shoot and scoot, not stay and play. if for some reason you have to resort to your BUG you better be looking for ways out of where ever you are....too many rookies think its so they can continue to try to effect an arrest.
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:21   #16
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For my carry location slimness is a requirement so a P938 has won the right. Tried a g27 and was way to thick.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:39   #17
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I retired from law enforcement in 2008. I carried a 5 shot revolver in an ankle holster as a BUG for over 20 years. I am thankful that I never had to fire it except during training exercises. I started my law enforcement career carrying a .357 revolver and retired carrying a .40 Glock. I felt the 5 shot revolver was a fine BUG. Our dept. required us to qualify with the issued firearm and BUG every year.
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