Of the autos I own or have tested, the .380’s always seemed too small (in the hand) and a .40 was too much gun (a brick on the ankle). I want something concealed carry size, but one on which I can find sure purchase. Grip size and carry considerations are at the forefront of my personal selection process.
Besides these, I am concerned about the functioning of a semi-automatic in a truly close quarters fight. Revolvers fire on each trigger pull. And they fire again, without the cycling of the more sensitive slide action. There is a near 100% probability that a small framed revolver’s five bullets will blast down the barrel.
True, I have practiced a ballistic vest-indexed, 45 degree cant that enables an auto pistol to run fairly uninhibited in CQB, but I don’t know that this physical position can always be achieved. Add in that the back-up gun may be employed with the support hand, where a higher likelihood of an incorrect grip can cause a failure to cycle with an auto-pistol. Advantage, revolver.
If your primary goes down, you are wounded and cannot access your duty sidearm, or you need to arm another officer or citizen, the back-up gun comes into play. Since something has undoubtedly gone horribly wrong, simplicity in the manual of arms is necessary. Here, the Wheel Gun is in its Wheelhouse.
A back-up gun is insurance, like AAA is for an unexpected vehicle break down. I want a gun with which I feel comfortable, not necessarily one some gun writer thinks is terrific on the square range. I am not at all dismissing the auto-pistol for back-up carry. A revolver just checks all the requisite boxes for me.
Several years ago, a Florida sheriff’s deputy had her holstered primary handgun damaged and made nonfunctional by an assailant’s bullet. Wounded, she retreated to relative safety, but she was, from a gunfight perspective, disarmed. In an all-out fight, a reliable second firearm may be that life-saving piece of equipment one truly needs.
Lately, I pack a S&W 442 no lock with department-issued Speer 135 grn. Short Barrel GDHPs. Crimson Trace LG-205’s augment my target selection. A speed strip with five more rounds finds a home in my dominant side front pants pocket. Forty-seven rounds, two guns, two knives, two hands, and survival on my mind… Sounds like I mean to be home for The Glenlivet at the end of shift.
I don’t intend for my duty Sig Sauer to go down or my personal vehicle to strand me somewhere, but in either event I have a simple contingency plan. Two fewer things to worry about. Life seems less complicated.