Thursday, November 19, 2015

Revolvers, Choice and Emotional vs Rational Decision Making

My buddy Displaced Louisiana Guy talked about revolvers and I did my own kinda brief post then well we got here. This hit on a couple things that merited a larger discussion.

I can not put words in my buddy's mouth. Don't know him that well and really knowing what someone is thinking is an iffy proposition at best.

To close at least as far as this discussion goes the revolver vs semi auto discussion. While the difference in capacity is huge in a service sized pistol it is less so in a sub compact carry piece. A G17 with one in the pipe holds as much as a wheel gun with 2 reloads. They are to modern gun fighting what the Henry repeater was to the civil war AKA a game changer. When we narrow it down to sub compact CCW type guns the real capabilities are a lot closer. If we go to single stack auto's, which probably carry closer to a J frame, the capacity is darn near the same though the auto still has a reload edge. A Kahr CW9, S&W Shield, etc all holds 7-8 and a typical J holds 5. Sure 2-3 rounds is something but it's not the game changing 3x advantage a Glock 17 has on a standard wheel gun.

Finding a scenario where a J frame falls short but a single stack like a Shield/ CW9/ etc comes through is iffy. A round or two more and a faster reload to lose the contact shot and easy button failure drill (squeeze trigger again) might not be a great trade off. Make it a Glock 26 or the M&P equivalent which hold about double the bullets at 10ish and it could well matter.

Still at the end of the day for a normal guy doing normal guy stuff facing normal guy problems a J frame is probably plenty. The cliche 3 rounds in 3 seconds  at 3 yards thing comes to mind here.

This brings us to a larger point. Being sentimental is part of what makes us human. Often survivalists and gun types are sentimental about kind of odd things like revolvers or old case folding knives or ALICE packs.  I think we gun types and survivalists can get so focused on making the right rational decision that we try to justify things that way. Instead of just saying that we like X, in this case wheel guns, and that we prefer it to another option which might actually have some rational advantages.

I think being honest about this has value. Why? First and foremost being real and honest is just plain useful. Second and more significantly being honest with ourselves lets us make decisions more rationally. Say item A has 85% of the overall capabilities of item B but I really like it for whatever reason? Well instead of trying to justify why A is as good as B I can look at whether A can do enough of the job to be good enough for me. Maybe item A only has 50% of the capability of item B and even though you love it you should put it up on the mantle above the fireplace and carry B instead.

So be honest with yourself and accept when you are being emotional about stuff. It will actually let you make better decisions in the end.



Anonymous said...

I think a large part of the sentimental aspect is being confident in trust with that item. If it has done the work without getting in the way, carrying for EDC makes sense to the user.

I get a little bored with the 'this has extra power - this has extra capacity - this is better' arguments. If the shooter is accurate with his firearm of choice, that makes him / her more effective - period. Because misses don't count except for damaging what is beyond the target.

joetentpeg said...

Paraphrasing Wyatt Earp.

Goes something like: "Fast is good, accurate is deadly."

riverrider said...

i here ya. just can't let go of that ol' 1911. its heavy as hell, only 7 rounds, too many safeties, not the most accurate, single action, hammer fired. the list of deficiencies goes on, but like you said, it'll do the job if i do mine and has done so for over 100 years. can't get used to the new fangled shooters no matter how good they are.

Anonymous said...

J frame OR: Ruger SP101

The Displaced Louisiana Guy said...

Bravo, Ryan. I think, in many ways, this is what I was getting at. Firstly, while I never said it, (hell, never consciously thought about it) I like revolvers more, WHEN IN THE CONTEXT OF CONCEALED WEAPONS. If we are talking full-size duty guns, I want a semi-auto with lots of bullets.

Secondly, while I was having a hard time articulating it, I completely own that my preference to carry a revolver has a basis in emotion. I am more comfortable with, and like better the look and feel of, a revolver. I don't want to take anything away from other people, and want everyone out there to carry what they are most happy with. I, personally, am just most happy with a revolver for concealed carry.

I'm glad you have followed up on these posts. It made me better examine my thoughts on the subject, and I feel I can more accurately defend my position, now.

Anonymous said...

mabe a wheelgun bought years ago with no paper?

Theother Ryan said...

DL, even though I said it I concur with you that the real capabilities of subcompact ccw auto's and revolvers is a lot closer than most will admit. 2, just maybe 3 rounds. On the other hand with full sized handguns I concur it is a totally different discussion. A loaded g17 is a wheel gun plus 2 reloads. The auto guy carrying reloads makes it an order of magnitude difference. If caliber is a concern (despite all evidence saying that argument is bogus) a .40 s&w holds a round or two less than a 9 but can be pretty hot. If you have the paws a full sized double stack .45 is worth thinking about.

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