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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know we frequent this forum because we are fans of the 1911, but how many of you feel that you could get along fine with a revolver
for your defense needs? I carry one quite a bit even though I know they have a few disadvantages. But I wonder if those disadvantages really matter for the average guy? Any thoughts on this?
 
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When it absolutely must be "powerful" you will find at least one usually two N frame Smiths under my suit coat.
Usually in .41 or .44 magnum, I know a lot of guys like the .357 but I do not have a use for it.
I will "downgrade" to .45 Colt or .45acp when I need a reduced power loading (yes, I know that you can load the Colt very hot).

I have several custom N frames and finds them to be the "near perfect" package/combo.

My primary weapon is usually a 1911 in 10mm or .45acp and the N frame will function as the backup.

The revolver is a very good choice in a defensive use firearm and despite the hype I would trade a truckload of high cap 9s and .40s for two good N frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
David, I see we have the same taste in revolvers. I favor a model 29 and a 57.
Hard to argue with these calibers! I guess you don't feel handicapped with 6 rounds of these. I really don't either.
 

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I also like my Magna-port S&W rounded but M-57 4" with gold bead front(interchangable) sight and a very good action job, add LBT heat treated hard cast 250 grain gas checked bullets and it's a keeper. I have had a couple of 29's and a 629 but will never part with my .41 :grin: Mike
 

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A well handled revolver is capable of dealing with most survivable defensive situations. A double-action revolver is the best choice for persons who will not practice sufficiently to attain expertise with an autopistol.

A 3" or 4" K or L-frame S&W is probably the best choice for most users.

Rosco

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rosco Benson on 2001-07-03 22:57 ]</font>
 

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Most times during the summer and wearing shorts, I carry an airweight J frame in my right front pocket loaded with 158gr.LHP. I like front pocket carry with a small revolver. If one 'senses' a problem merely placing the hand in the pocket, while not looking threatening still provides one of the fastest responses available to draw and fire.
Lou
 

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Have carried many revolvers over the years. Hunted with .44, .41, .357 maggies, and .45 Colts. I would guess between them they have killed more animals than your average SUV owner sees in a lifetime :smile:

I certainly agree with Lou's comment about the little lightweight S&W. My little ti is a great front pocket piece, no matter whether it is in shorts, khakis, or a suit. It has provided comfort more than a few times.

The one revolver I would pay good green for is a lightweight small 5 shot in 9x23. The S&W's Dane has done for me are great, but just a tad heavy for pockets of lightweight pants.

Btw Lou, still looking for a good hard use leather holster for my 627...if you find yourself with nothing to do some weekend :grin:
 

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I've been rethinking home defense guns lately and remembered an article by Sanow where I think he said that a particular MagSafe 44mag round was a 98% stopper. I think he said it is the most effective handgun setup. Does anyone have information on this? (I'm searching for the article in my stacks.) I'm considering the setup in place of a shotgun. Thanks. L
 

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I wouldn't make any self-defense choice based on what Sanow says about "one shot stops." It doesn't even qualify as junk science.
 
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On 2001-07-04 00:38, Ludwig wrote:
I've been rethinking home defense guns lately and remembered an article by Sanow where I think he said that a particular MagSafe 44mag round was a 98% stopper. I think he said it is the most effective handgun setup. Does anyone have information on this? (I'm searching for the article in my stacks.) I'm considering the setup in place of a shotgun. Thanks. L
Guys,
I believe he is kidding, as to the Sanow article I actually prefer his automobile tests in Police magazine. I have found them to be pretty good and so far he has not written that the new Police package Tahoe can fly so I will continue to offer the benefit of a doubt.
oh and I would believe that a handgun could be 98% effective with one round for 100% of the time when GMC does offer the "flying tahoe" as an option.....
 

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Ludwig,

Why do you want to replace the shotgun with the .44? One of the advantages of a long gun is the ability to shoot accurately with one under stress. It' a lot easier to nail a target with a shotgun than any handgun I've tried.

As to one shot stops, I'll put 00 buckshot against any .44 mag load as the winner. I would not lend much credence to Sanow's writings. It's widely believed that he made most of it up.
 

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What got me interested in the "98% 44mag MagSafe stopper" is the 12gauge stopping power at the same magnitude of 98%, as shown at http://www.powernet.net/~eich1/sp.html A 98% MagSafe load, if it existed, would give the same stopping power of the shotgun with all the advantages of the handgun.

But the best I can find for the 44mag right now is about 93%, so for the time being I'll have to say I remembered the MagSafe 98% figure in error, and misquoted Sanow. L
 
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Ludwig,
Please understand that the 98% or 93% number are not important or factual, the real number should be in the high 70% range.

The 12 gauge shotgun you mentioned when used in the real world with Federal & Remington #00 shot has proven to be one shot effective in 86% of the shooting incidents.

While we can cetainly understand the .44 Magnum and your desire to carry a "lighter and easy to conceal" firearm.

We also need to pay close attention to very accurate shot placement when using the Magsafe Defender round. When delivered in the upper chest/neck or face I believe this load will incapitate your attacker very quickly and probably with one good hit.

This round is not a good choice for cross torso, obstructed, automobile, or lower body shots.
Also, please be aware that typical accuracy with these rounds will be 4" @ 25 yards and you will need to use adjustable sights to ensure point of aim accuracy at distances exceeding 10 yards.

I should also explain that I do at times carry the Mag Safe SS, Agent rounds, and FMJ rounds.
I do know of shootings when they were extremely effective with two shootings by US Marshals Service SOG members that were 100% without a doubt, but boith of those were facial shots with very good shot placement that displayed true skill by the SOG man.
 

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David,

My "dead horse" remark was aimed at myself for going on and on about this. Sounded terrible, as if it was in response to your post. Not at all. Question: what do you think of the 686-Plus as a defensive revolver? Thanks. L
 
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The 686 is and always will be a very viable self defense tool, the extra capacity while not the end all be all of defensive capabilities is also worth having.

I have always liked the S&W revolvers w/some Rugers thrown in and would feel well armed with the L frame.

One point to note is that the .357 is very ammo dependent, it requires a careful selection of ammo for your specific defensive needs and thankfully their is a large selection of ammo available.

To answer preemptively, and I am well aware that my recommendations go against the popular "grain" but I don't care as I have a lot of .38 Spcl and .357 Magnum shooting info, what you pick is up to you.

Given, that the .357 is not an optimum defensive use cartridge you can work around it's shortcomings and high rate of failure with these loadings in the following order depending on your personal needs:

1. Short barrel 2-4" for urban carry.
A. Federal 158gr NyClad JHP.
B. Remington 158gr JHP.

2. Short barrel 2-4" for sub urban carry.
A. Winchester 145gr Silvertip JHP.
B. Hornandy 140gr XTP JHP.

3. Medium Barrel 3-6" for sub urban and rural use.
A. Hornandy or Black Hills 158gr XTP JHP
B. Winchester 180gr Ranger T JHP

4. Hunting Use 4-8" barrel.
A. Winchester 180gr Supreme Partition Gold JHP.
B. Hornandy 158JFP

I strongly suggest you do not carry the 125gr loadings or frangible loadings in .357 Magnum in any urban setting as I have several cases of missed shots that went a very long way before stopping and one in particular that went through several town homes end to end and was finally stopped by a pickup/tool box in the parking lot.

Also I would recommend that you do not use the "lighter" thin skinned Sierra/Nosler bullets for predators with two to four legs.

Only 180gr loads or "heavy" JSP, JFP rounds should be used for game over 175lbs or any dangerous animals.
 

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DD: Great post. Are the Nyclad and Silvertip for reliable expansion from the short barrel, and least chance of overpenetration? And the XTP for more penetration out where you can afford it, and may need it for use on large animals? As for the 125gr high-velocity rounds, I have the same picture of them sailing on forever, every time I think about using them. L
 
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On 2001-07-06 21:46, Ludwig wrote:
DD: Great post. Are the NyClad and Silvertip for reliable expansion from the short barrel, and least chance of over penetration? And the XTP for more penetration out where you can afford it, and may need it for use on large animals? As for the 125gr high-velocity rounds, I have the same picture of them sailing on forever, every time I think about using them. L
Yes, only a soft lead bullet will expand reliably and provide 10" of penetration in a 9mm/.38Spcl/.357 magnum at the velocities provided by the 2" barrel, the extra weight of the .158gr loads allow for reliable penetration. The NyClad coating reduces lead fouling and makes it easier to clean.
These rounds may over penetrate an arm or a neck shot but will very rarely over penetrate an adult torso, quite simply they do not have enough energy.

The XTP/Gold Dot/Ranger and to a lesser degree the Silvertip do not fail/fragment as rapidly as the thin skinned bullets.

One point to note is that again, the .357 is very ammo specific in it's ballistic/wound characteristics and the Ranger is not a good load for the short revolvers as it is designed for an optimum "window of velocity" as are a great deal of the .357 loadings.

The manufacturers of the lightweight 1,400 fps loadings must use these thin pre-stressed jacketed bullets as the .357 in light loadings will often clog, collapse inward, and completely over penetrate the torso.

The loads I have recommended are very limited but can be relied upon to provide enough penetration through obstructions and heavy clothing to reliably penetrate 12-15" in gelatin and average 7-9" in living tissue while reducing the risk of failure and or over penetration.

As you climb through the list you enter an increasing area of possible over penetration from bullet failure to expand.
Any narrow cross section high energy loading carries this warning.

The 125gr .357 magnum loadings are essentially high energy 9mm NATO ball when they do not completely fragment and will in fact provide the relatively poor wound ballistics and over penetration that is often present with the 124gr 9mm NATO ball to a much larger degree. Remington attempted to solve this by cutting/scalloping their bullets and Corbon solved it specifying a very, very thin and soft bullet that often fragments in just 3.5" of gelatin.

Velocity is not the cure to poor bullet cross section diameter and design flaws.
Please remember that all of these sub .40 caliber bullets must be carefully designed and selected by the end user or you run the very real risk of sending a highly penetrating, very dangerous round downrange for the next 400 yards.

As an example another very dangerous loading in the magnum class is the Federal/Remington 180gr .44 magnum loading @ 1,800fps.
This load fails to expand every time I test it and it will penetrate 36" of gelatin and 4" of timber behind the block before coming to rest.

Winchester very wisely designed a very, very soft bullet for the 9x23 and used the silvertip construction to keep it from failing/coming completely apart in tissue.

Remington designers were shocked when they realized during pre release testing that the Golden Saber .125gr and .357 Sig when loaded to ultra high velocity loadings penetrated so effectively that they would defeat even level 3a body armor and wisely decided to scale the loads back and refused to offer a .357 Sig Golden Saber bullet.
This was a very wise decision and is also information that they refuse to discuss outside of LEO sales.
 
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