what type of pistol would you recommend for personal protection and concealed carry, revolver or semi-auto ?

what caliber also ?

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    For concealed-carry, you want something easy to conceal and relatively comfortable to wear for most circumstances. In the nineteenth century, this meant a revolver in .22 rimfire, or .32 and .38 caliber center-fire revolvers. Some could pack big-bore single-action revolvers in .38 WCF, .44 WCF, and .45 Colt . . . with the barrel cut back even with the ejector housing, or cut back further with the ejector removed completely (one called these 'Sherrif's Special' or 'Storekeeper's Specials.')

    In the twentieth century, the .38 caliber revolver is still one of the best choices for the concealed-carry self-defense handgun. Except these days, it's a double-action revolver with a three-inch or shorter barrel firing .38 Special, or .357 Magnum. I have a nice Ruger SP-101 in .357 Magnum sporting hardwood grips. Recoil, with full-house .357 Magnum loads, is . . . interesting, but at self-defense ranges, I can put all five rounds the revolver carries into a target the size of a human torso very quickly. At slow-fire, it's as accurate as any other revolver. Some other .357 Magnum/.38 Special revolvers have their hammers concealed, making them effectively DAO. These are nice, because you have no hammer spur to get caught on your clothing during a quick draw. There are compact revolvers in other calibers, but .38 Special/.357 Magnum is second to none in the concealed-carry revolver.

    However, revolvers have disadvantages. For the typical snub-nose, you get five shots. And reloading is slower than a semi-automatic, even with a speed-loader. Fortunately, most self-defense scenarios are typically over within the ammunition capacity of a revolver. Generally, revolvers also don't have safeties, so if you draw one with your finger inside the trigger guard, and you apply enough force, you could fire the revolver.

    You can have concealed-carry semi-automatics in a dizzying variety of calibers. In the early 20th century, pocket pistols in .25 ACP and .32 ACP were sold in great quantity. They're still sold today. Their chief selling point is their tiny size. Their chief disadvantage . . . is their tiny size. The .25 ACP is a marginal self-defense round. The semi-automatics chambered for it range in quality and accuracy from "okay" to "why don't *you* shoot it first?" The .32 ACP is a bit better. Especially in European loads, which are hotter than those manufactured in the United States (in Europe, the .32 ACP has had a long, distinguished history of service in police and military forces.)

    .380 ACP is a better concealed-carry round. Good pistols exist for it . . . however, at the upper end of size for .380 ACP pistols, you can have concealed-carry pistols in 9mm Luger, and .40 S&W. Both of these are much better fight-stoppers than the .380 ACP. Especially the .40 S&W, which splits the difference between 9mm Luger and .45 ACP . . . and is ballistically identical to the third most popular large-bore revolver chambering in the 19th century, the .38 WCF . . . a proven fightstopper in its day. You can even have concealed-carry semi-autos in .45 Auto. The full-sized M1911A1 can be carried concealed, due to it's slim profile. And there are compact M1911 pistols out there too. There are also baby Glocks and other compact pistols chambered for .45 Auto . . . and since the original .45 ACP hardball load threw a heavy bullet at modest velocities, you're not losing too much stopping power by going to a compact pistol.

    Concealed-carry 9mm and .40 S&W pistols can have double-stack magazines with up to ten rounds of ammunition. Many, like baby Glocks, are reliable with any ammunition and under many conditions. And a semi-automatic has a flatter profile than a revolver, making it easier to conceal.

    The disadvantage of a semi-auto is that some either have safety-levers you have to remember to deactivate first. And some people carry their semi-autos hammer-down on an empty chamber, requiring working the slide to chamber a round. Which can be a hard thing to do without shooting one's self, when panicked.

    The choice between semi-auto and revolver ultimately comes down to what you're comfortable with carrying. You'll also have to practice, practice, and practice some more.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is not as simple a question to answer as you might think. There are many factors to consider. First, I would ask whether you are very experienced in using a semi auto handgun. If you shoot regularly and run through defensive shooting practice such as clearing gun jams, then I would suggest a semi automatic handgun such as a .45 ACP. They hold more rounds of ammo and are easier to conceal due to their flat profile. However, if you do not shoot regularly and keep in practice for dealing with the various jams that are possible with a semi auto, then the handgun of choice for you would be a revolver. Revolvers are almost jam-free and you will be much less likely to find yourself with a gun jam when the stakes are down. However, the down side of a revolver is that it holds fewer rounds and is not as easy to conceal due to the thickness of the cylinder. As for the caliber of choice, if you are capable of handling a semi auto, I would recommend something like the old tried and true .45 ACP. It is a proven man stopper. Any caliber is capable of killing a person but a small caliber won't stop them in their tracks and they may be able to reach you before collapsing and injure or kill you. That is why you need to select a caliber capable of stopping an enemy in their tracks. Another good round for a semi auto is the .40 caliber. Personally, I do not favor the 9mm because if its poorer stopping characteristics. For a revolver, I recommend nothing smaller than .38 special. if you can handle the greater recoil of a .357 mag., that would be the caliber that I would recommend. Anything larger is overkill and you have the problem of over penetration and the possability of the bullet going all the way through your intended target and hitting someone behind them. The law does not excuse such accidental shootings. You are responsible for anything that your bullet hits, period. To minimize over penetration, use a fragmenting bullet such as the Glazer ammo. This ammo is quite expensive and is usually sold in packets of 6 rounds. Upon impact, it fragments into many tiny pieces which remain within your intended target and do not penetrate to become a danger to innocent bystanders. Also, if a bullet misses its intended target, it will fragment upon impact with a hard surface rather than ricoccheting.

  • Jon
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Ive carried glock 19 (9mm), S&W 640 (357), Kahr k 9 (9mm), and k40 covert (40 cal), S&W 36 (38spl), Hk usp40 (40 cal), Kimber 1911 government (45 acp), Kel-tec p32 and p380 (32 acp and 380 acp), Hk p7 (9mm).

    over all the most comfortable guns I have carried are semi auto due to the flatness of the design, revolvers are wider and harder to conceal because of that, also can be uncomfortable because of the sharp edges on the cylinder.

    Right now I carry the glock 19 in the winter months when heavier clothes aids in concealment and durring the summer I carry the Kahr covert 40 or the keltec 380, if the Kahr does not conceal well with my clothes. As to caliber I dont not subscribe to the tought that you have to have a big caliber, but you must be able to place your shots on target well. Just find a gun that fits your hand well and dont worry about caliber (read practice with it weekly or monthy) load it with a quality hollow point and you will be well protected.

    Source(s): 9 years in law enforcement
  • H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Both are good. To someone who is not a gun enthusiast I would recommend a revolver for convenience, user friendliness and simplicity.

    In a personal protection scenario you don't expect to be in harm's way all the time (like police officers & soldiers) so excessive ammo (if there is any such thing) is a moot point. Typical revolvers hold five or six rounds and with one or two speed loaders one should be fine.

    If you opt revolver strictly for personal protection consider a stainless .357 Magnum (of your choice, Smith, Taurus, Ruger, Colt) with a two to four inch barrel. Take a safety course and learn to shoot it. The .357 will also shoot the milder .38 Special. Comply with your State's carry laws and load with quality personal defense ammo (again of your choice: Federal, Gold Dot, Remington, etc. in .38 Special or .357 Magnum).

    If you are proficient enough to opt for a semi-auto, then pick one out (Glock, Beretta, Sig, Colt) chose the caliber (from .32acp to .10mm) take your gun safty course and always comply with your State's carry regulations.

    Good luck.


  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A revolver go with a 5 shot 38spl that is double action and hammerless. I would go with Taurus, S&W or Colt.

    Glock makes about the most reliable auto-loader. They make sub-compact models 9mm #26, 40sw #27, 380acp #28, 10mm #29, 45acp #30 and 357sig #33 that are made for concealed carry. Most of these hold 9 or 10 rounds.

  • Tara
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    For carrying purposes, a semi-auto would be more compact and easier to handle and I'd probably choose a 9mm or 45acp. I'd also get it in a compact model. Springfield Armory makes a sweet compact 45.

    I prefer a revolver, however, and my favorite is a .357 mag., for self-protection.

    If you're looking to buy, make sure you handle the gun before you buy. Different models feel different in your hand, much like a shoe on your foot. A handgun should fit your hand, just like a glove.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    One the most favored caliber's for personal protection is the .45,it is your preference revolver or semi-auto.I would prefer a revolver without a hammer spur in .38 for a ankle holster or a compact .45 in any style holster as long as it is concealed and make sure you have concealed weapon license.Make sure you have at least two speed loaders if you choose a revolver and at least two extra mags for a semi.Smith and Wesson makes dependable and safe revolvers and semi's,also I would recommend Springfield Armory and Glock for nice semi's.Good luck and safe shooting!!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Semi auto they be flat easy to hide, work fine if you use the right ammo and are quite accurate. Remember, the gun is only as accurate as the hand holding and the eye sighting it may be. If you are going tocarry, you got to practice, practice, practice. At least a box per week 'till you be able to hit your target without hurting yourself.

    As to calibre, try as many as you can to find whatever is comfortable for you. The lowly .22 is deadly close in. The 9mm is ok if you practice and the best choice in a center fire is probably the.40 cal.

  • 1 decade ago

    Nothing under a 9 MM Marakarov. It comes down to personal choice. I carry a 1911 .45 and have no problem concealing it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A revolver. They are simpler to operate and don't jam. A .38 special has good stopping power and very little recoil making it easy to shoot. By the time you flick the safety off a pistol and slide the action back you'd already be dead. That is, if your pistol doesn't jam first.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.