Is A Small-Frame Revolver Enough Gun?

This might be akin to asking “what is the meaning of life?”  I have tackled this subject numerous times in my writing in the past.  The bottom line is, most of the time a revolver will get the armed citizen out of a jam.  There is no denying that.  However, I reiterate, most of the time.

Here we refine the discussion to small-frame revolvers, AKA J-Frames and Ruger LCRs.  I think a revolver like a 7-shot S&W 686 stoked with 357 magnum is a different class of weapon.  However, most who carry revolvers don’t carry 36 ounce medium-frame revolvers, but carry small five-shot revolvers.  Is it enough?  I can say with certainty that I would rather go into a fight with my Glock 26 than even a 7-shot medium frame revolver.  I would rather go into a fight with a Smith and Wesson Shield than a medium frame revolver.  Would we choose a small-frame 5-shooter to go into a fight with?

Well, obviously, most of us don’t plan on getting into gunfights, but we carry a gun in case trouble finds us and forces us to defend ourselves.  And, for this, most of the time the snubby is enough.  However, I can’t help but be shaped by personal experience.  I have been in several situations where the hair on the back of my neck stood up while I was armed with a 5-shot revolver.  I never had to use that gun to shoot someone, but in those situations I thought it might get nasty.  In each of those incidents the immediate thought that crossed my mind was, “shit, I am carrying my snubby.”

The late, great, Todd Lewis Green of Pistol Training (who I was fortunate enough to have met on quite a few occasions) wrote about the snub a few times.  He actually wrote about having several friends who found themselves in potentially dangerous situations while wearing a snub and feeling under gunned.  Todd argued that those who condone the snub claim that the sheer deterrence of any gun was enough to consistently save the civilian self-defender.  Todd even said that a “pop-gun” shooting blanks could accomplish the same.  While I would offer that a snubby is a hell of a lot more gun than is a pop gun, his point still resonates.

Those five rounds go fast, and that reload comes really slow.  I have been in situations where I thought things might go bad while wearing a double-stack 9mm, and while many things crossed my mind, having too few rounds available was not one of them.

I still love the snubby and carry one quite often because it is the only gun I can conceal in some situations.  However, I have concluded that when I have the option a double-stack auto is the gun to be wearing in the 21st Century.  Your millage may vary, but I like having more gun whenever possible.  With that said, an individual who carries a snub all the time is far better armed than someone who carries a full-size service pistol only part time, and we all know that.  Carry on.

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