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Semi-Automatic Handguns

 glock cutaway

A semi-automatic handgun is just what the name implies, with each press of the trigger a single round is fired and the rest is automatic. It is a magazine fed, recoil operated gun held in your hand. A handgun is just what the name implies, handgun. It was never named a 'handsgun', but of course using both hands to hold the gun is the best way to get the most out of accuracy.


With that being said, a great number of self-defense incidents with a handgun finds the operator using the gun with just one hand. Either there is not enough time to get the gun into both hands and line it up, or the other hand is doing something else like holding onto a wall or shielding a loved one from the danger.


Also in self-defensive incidents with a handgun, it's typical the operator doesn't even use the sights. There isn't enough time to line up the sights and the focus is on the threat. It is so important to practice shooting your handgun with one hand and most people don't.



In the above picture, the rounds around the edges of the center of the target are hits made when I drew my handgun from concealment, used only one hand and fired less than once per second at 15 feet. THAT is combat accuracy!


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A revolver is a handgun which has multiple cylinders and one barrel. Most have six cylinders hence the name 'six shooter', but some of the smaller caliber revolvers have eight cylinders and small defensive revolvers in minor calibers (.38 Spl) have five cylinders.


A lot of people refer to revolvers are archaic. They couldn't be farther from the truth. Sure, they've been around for eons  (so have semi-automatics) and they may have the look of an ancient design but they have features and capabilities that no semi-automatic handgun can match.

Semi-automatics and revolvers have advantages and disadvantages and even I will carry a small defensive revolver as a primary gun at times. Mind you, I also carry two reloads with the gun.

That gives me 15 total rounds for the gun, the same amount of rounds when I'm carry it as my BUG - BackUp Gun. In the self-defense arena, revolvers have a very specific purpose and can be more useful than a semi-automatic handgun when needed.


Revolvers are:

  • 'Ultra-reliable' and generally don't suffer from many malfunctions. Revolver didn't fire? Press the trigger again.
  • Revolvers are not susceptable to 'out of battery' conditions and will fire when pressed up against an object. They will also fire from inside a pocket (coat, pant, etc.) and keep firing. Semi-Automatics really can't do this and if you were to fire one from within a coat pocket, you would only get one shot off before the handgun gets caught in the fabric.
  • Revolvers are not sensitive to different types of ammunition. What won't feed in a semi-automatic works just fine in a revolver. Revolvers are capable of firing the lightest of target loads to the strongest of defensive cartridges. What would tear up a semi-automatic works just fine in an appropriate revolver.

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