One of the things covered frequently in this blog is the issue of self defense and of course firearms are a topic I often bring up.
Today during my instructor’s class we covered revolvers. We have to know how to use and train others in the use of revolvers and pump shotguns because due to our legislation, these are commonly the firearms used by security company personnel. Generally they are issued some of the worst revolvers in the market just to cut costs, so that makes matters even worse.
Today we shot with two revolvers, a 5-shot Taurus model 85, 38 special snubby (2” barrel) and a nice Smith & Wesson 686 with a 2 1/2” inch barrel.
The Taurus was having problems from the beginning. Sometimes you would pull the trigger and it would lock up. Maybe the hand was worn out, maybe it was some other problem. An important amount of patience was needed to shoot it and projectiles would keyhole (hit the target sideways instead of flying straight) Accuracy was non existent even at 7 yards. You would aim to the head and hit 10 inches away in any given direction.
The Smith and Wesson 686 is of course a much better firearm. It had been customized a bit for competition shooting and soon we where experiencing miss fires because the hammer wasn’t falling with enough force to ignite the primers. Of course people that read a lot but have little hands on experience will tell you that’s not a problem because one of the nice things about revolvers is that you just keep pulling the trigger and go to the next round in line. Let me tell you though, its not fun to go through the cylinder 3 times and still not get half of the rounds left to fire. I had to remove the cartridges, put them in the gun again and that time it did fire the rounds I had left. I wouldn’t want that happening to me in a gunfight. After tightening it up a bit with a screwdriver it fired ok, VERY accurate too. After 50 rounds it started having problem as well. You pulled the trigger and nothing, it just locked up. Some manipulation of the cylinder was required to fire a shot, maybe two, but soon enough it would fail again, the double action mechanism not working. The star was in good shape and the gun was tight, but I noticed the hand was chipped. The problem kept getting worse until it was just impossible to shoot it consistently.
Taurus are junk, no secret there. I’ve owned 3 and got rid of all of them and so has everyone I know that has shot them more than average. Not saying there aren’t exceptions out there, just saying that’s what I see occurring most often.
|Taurus? I'm sure your life is worth more than that. I would not recommend a Taurus for Self Defense.|
A S&W 686, on the other hand, that’s a well made gun, made by a reliable manufacturer. The model 686 is tough pretty tough, you’d have to go for a Ruger if you want something even more solid, yet this gun failed as well.
The Lesson of today’s blog? GUNS FAIL PEOPLE, AND REVOLVERS DO SO AS WELL. In fact, for anyone that does a moderate amount of training, revolvers are more likely to fail than service autos, specially autos such as Glocks that are at another level of ruggedness. Another thing to consider is that in spite of its simple users interface, the revolver is MORE complex than autos mechanically speaking and a failure with a revolver will most likely be complex and hard to solve, usually requiring a visit to the gunsmith.
Meantime a round that didn’t fire in a pistol gets cleared in a fraction of a second by a trained operator.
Revolvers do have a place, but a) they do have failures b) they are more fragile than modern service autos c) When they fail, the failure is not easily resolved.
For anyone choosing a handgun and willing to put the amount of training they should so as to master their weapon, a pistol is the way to go.
Take care folks,