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Backup Gun- Semi-auto vs. Revolver

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by kayl, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. kayl


    Nov 14, 2004
    SE WI
    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)
  2. blueiron


    Aug 10, 2004
    I have tried them both in Glock 27 versus Smith and Wesson 640.

    I always returned to the revolver.

  3. rockapede


    Sep 3, 2009
    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.
  4. bikerdog


    Feb 11, 2009
    Out of the two I prefer the revolver because it can not be pushed out of battery.

    posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
  5. Gombey


    Oct 10, 2011
    I've never even fired a revolver :'(

    So I carry a 27.
  6. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    Smith 642 for basically the reasons you stated.
  7. Spydermonkey

    Spydermonkey in ur rearview

    May 26, 2005
    Upstate NY
    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
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  8. 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.
  9. Hugo R

    Hugo R Gaff G26 User!

    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.

  10. 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.
  11. oldman11


    Mar 1, 2012
    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.
  12. DustyJacket

    DustyJacket Directiv 10-289

    Oct 16, 2008
    Missouri, East of KC
    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.
  13. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

    Mar 14, 2005
    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.
  14. SCSU74

    SCSU74 St. Cloud Proud

    Jul 24, 2010
    The Northwoods
    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
  15. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  16. boomhower


    Feb 14, 2010
    North Carolina
    For my carry location slimness is a requirement so a P938 has won the right. Tried a g27 and was way to thick.
  17. The Hawk

    The Hawk

    Aug 22, 2008
    LaGrange, Ky
    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.