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9mm revolver good or bad?


Trigger Mike

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I saw a 9mm ruger revolver in the store the other day.  Is there an advantage or disadvantage to 9mm in a revolver verses in an automatic?  how does it compare to a 38 revolver?

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Advantage?  Probably ain't one.  It's more of a case of "do you want one"?

 

I've got a Smith 940.  J frame 9mm.  Stainless gun, where all my 38 Js are aluminum framed, so it's much heavier.  One day, just for gits and shiggles, I stuck some 380s in the moon clip.  They fired.  355 bullet went down that 355 barrel and hit the target where I was pointing.  So I guess an advantage would be that, in a pinch, I can shoot 380s in my 9mm revolver.  I can't do that in my 9mm autos.

 

Why get a nine when you can get a 357 in the same size gun?  Again, 'cause you want one.

 

Why get a 45 ACP revolver, when you can get a 44 mangle'em in the same size? But you know, I got one Smith 44 magnum, but I got four Smith 45 ACP revolvers. 

 

Never have understood people needing a reason.  If you want it, get it.  If you don't want it, don't get it.  Justification is not necessary.

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Take all the discussions and debates about a semi-auto vs a wheel gun, and they apply here.

 

The semi-auto can typically carry more ammo.

 

The revolver is inherently easier to train with and use.

 

Jeff Cooper carried a 1911.

 

Elmer Keith loved big revolvers.

 

It's an age-old debate.  Lots of fun with friends at deer camp or here in the Saloon.

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I had a Smith 940 stainless steel j-frame many moons ago.  Due to the weight, more enjoyable to shoot than an aluminum .357.

I had issue with extracting still-warm cases.  Very sticky with nickeled cases.

YMMV

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I shoot a modern scoot and shoot type match.  The 5th Saturday of a month (if there is one) is a revolver match.  I shoot a S&W 625 that uses 45 ACP and moon clips.  Moon clips are so quick to load they really help me reduce my stage times.   A 9 mm revolver with moon clips would be competitive too.

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If you have a 9mm pistol and don't have a .38 revolver or want to buy and load .38 ammo but want a revolver I could see buying a 9mm revolver.

 

One would think that a 9mm revolver would have an edge over a .38 in overall size but that doesn't seem to be the case, Even if the cylinder is shorter it appears that the frames are just as long as the .38 revolvers by the same maker.

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Question: Was this a double action revolver, or a Blackhawk convertible with a spare .357 Magnum cylinder?  IIRC, there were a few of the latter made by Ruger. So far as the efficacy of a 9mm DA revolver is concerned, the only reason for one would be it is something you don't have, but would like to own. Also, it would allow you to use 9mm ammo from the military, in a pinch. Ballistically, I would say a revolver would lose a little MV due to the barrel/cylinder gap, but probably not enough to worry about inside of 25 yds. Beyond 25 yds, I'd want something larger in diameter (and a rifle if possible).

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this was one of those small LCR Ruger makes in 9MM .  the store prefers to trade and I want to get rid of some so thought i could trade to make up the difference and they have a 9mm.  I know the air weight 38 is fine for me but will be too much for a girl or lady to handle so i wondered if a 9mm would be better for them.

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Personally I prefer the 38spl in a small revolver. I see no advantage to the 9mm.

 

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I have one of those answers, made by Charter Arms in 9mm Federal.  For those that aren't in on the strange guns, a 9mm Federal is a rimmed 9mm round. In 1989 charter Arms decided the world was ready for a rimmed 9mm for revolvers.  In 1991 they realised they were wrong. The world could care less.

NO ammunition or brass is available.

 

To shoot it you have to uses a 38 S&W shell holder with 38 S&W cases, size them in a 9mm Luger die, charge and flare in a 9mm die, seat the bullet in a 38 S&W die to get a good crimp.  After all this you get a very wimpy round.  Most folks do what I did an have it rechambered for the 38 special.

After all this is really is a nice little 5 shot gun.

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What you now have Noz, is basically a modern collector's piece that you can only shoot if you dedicate yourself to making ammo for it? Ugh. :blush:

 

I vote for the 38 Special caliber S&W J frame or Ruger LCR revolver in this discussion. Ammo is everywhere, 38 Special +P is not a self defense slouch, and the guns are just plain reliable... the S&W ILS being a topic unto itself however.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dantankerous said:

What you now have Noz, is basically a modern collector's piece that you can only shoot if you dedicate yourself to making ammo for it? Ugh. :blush:

 

I vote for the 38 Special caliber S&W J frame or Ruger LCR revolver in this discussion. Ammo is everywhere, 38 Special +P is not a self defense slouch, and the guns are just plain reliable... the S&W ILS being a topic unto itself however.

 

 

A collectable Charter Arms gun?  I don't think so!

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Howdy,

No advantage? Really?

That 9mm can shoot 5 and be reloaded in a blink of an eye.

Shoot a LCR in .357, hey I will buy the ammo cause I just want to watch.

I bet 10 rounds will bring tears to your eyes.

The other thing is that the 9mm can have ammo switched if one wants to

change out the expensive sd ammo for cheap ball or lead ammo for practice.

POP out one moon clip, pop in the other. Done.

The 9mm can have all five reloaded in just about the time of one shell of 357 magnum.

I have one and one friend was so impressed he got one as well.

He is a retired cop and very well acquainted with all sorts of revolvers and autos.

 Need another advantage? The revolver isn't spraying brass all over.

The empties are all neatly held and ready to recycle or reload.

If anyone has a bad back, NOT having to lean over and pick up empties--BIG advantage.

SO there are three advantages if I count right.

And I didn't even mention the very nice FACTORY trigger pull.

Who needs nice trigger pull? Save a couple hundred on a fancy trigger job?

Best

CR

 

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I shot the Ruger LCR in 38 Special at EoT when a vendor had them there when they first came out.  It shot very nicely. Easily controllable and accurate, decent trigger pull. I've wanted one since then, just keep buying other stuff instead. 

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37 minutes ago, Chili Ron said:

Howdy,

No advantage? Really?

That 9mm can shoot 5 and be reloaded in a blink of an eye.

Shoot a LCR in .357, hey I will buy the ammo cause I just want to watch.

I bet 10 rounds will bring tears to your eyes.

The other thing is that the 9mm can have ammo switched if one wants to

change out the expensive sd ammo for cheap ball or lead ammo for practice.

POP out one moon clip, pop in the other. Done.

The 9mm can have all five reloaded in just about the time of one shell of 357 magnum.

I have one and one friend was so impressed he got one as well.

He is a retired cop and very well acquainted with all sorts of revolvers and autos.

 Need another advantage? The revolver isn't spraying brass all over.

The empties are all neatly held and ready to recycle or reload.

If anyone has a bad back, NOT having to lean over and pick up empties--BIG advantage.

SO there are three advantages if I count right.

And I didn't even mention the very nice FACTORY trigger pull.

Who needs nice trigger pull? Save a couple hundred on a fancy trigger job?

Best

CR

 

You can reload just as fast with a speedloader as you can with moon clips!

 

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Certainly you can. That's why Jerry Miculek used a model 29 with 44 specials and speedloaders when he set his speed record.

 

Wait, no, thats not right. He used a 625 in 45 ACP, using moonclips.

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14 minutes ago, Alpo said:

Certainly you can. That's why Jerry Miculek used a model 29 with 44 specials and speedloaders when he set his speed record.

 

Wait, no, thats not right. He used a 625 in 45 ACP, using moonclips.

 

The video of the record run in 1999

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2 hours ago, Chili Ron said:

I have one and one friend was so impressed he got one as well.

Hey Chili Ron, I think Trigger Mike wants to also know how much kick it has compared to a .38 Spl. Have you made a comparison?

 

I would think the recoil would be a little less but not a whole lot.

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Howdy,

I haven't shot the lcr in .38.  The factory 9mm is just about all I need.

I have always been under the impression that standard 9mm and standard .38 is very similar.

 

btw the speedloader is fine but the moon clips hold the EMPTIES as well.

The very first thing I managed to do is lose the tiny batch of moon clips.

The ruger folks shipped me another at no charge.

Now I keep rounds in the moon clips.  Full or fired, much easier to find.

 

I did finally find the lost moon clips.  They managed to slide down into the recliner

and caught on the upholstery under the side.

 

Word is  the 9mm can be loaded and will fire without the clips.

I was told this by a fella who works fer Ruger.

I haven't tried it myself.

 

The 625 in 45 acp uses moon clips NOT speedloaders. Wonderful and darn accurate.

I asked the ceo if .380 could be fired in the 9mm lcr. I was advised NO.

Best

CR

 

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Smith would have probably told me NO if I'd asked. The cases swelled a lot, because the back end of a 9 is a bit bigger than a 380.

 

But they didn't rupture, they resized back down, and the important thing is, it worked.

 

I betcha that if you asked Ruger, they'd tell you not to fire shorts in a 10/22. But it'll work.

 

Ask any manufacturer of a 32 H&R or 327 Federal if it's okay to shoot 32 ACP in them, and I'm sure they'll tell you NO. But it'll work.

 

I even bet Shiloh would say to mot shoot a 45/70 in a 45/90. But it'll work.

 

Sometimes it's nice to know what'll work.

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23 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

I saw a 9mm ruger revolver in the store the other day.  Is there an advantage or disadvantage to 9mm in a revolver verses in an automatic?  how does it compare to a 38 revolver?

 

A 9mm is going to be moving a bit quicker then a comparable 38 Special +P  

 

9mm out of a 3.5" barrel at the muzzle: 124 gr Gold Dot,  1150 fps, 364 foot pounds of energy

38 Special out of a 2" barrel at the muzzle: 135 gr Gold Dot, 860 fps, 222 foot pounds of energy

.357 Magnum out of a 2" barrel at the muzzle: 135 gr Gold Dot, 990 fps, 294 foot pounds of energy.    (I'm fairly certain that Speer loaded down the .357 to make it more controllable out of a 2" revolver)

 

Both are Speer Gold Dot short barrel loads, Link: http://www.speer-ammo.com/ballistics/ammo.aspx

 

I doubt a 9mm is going to lose almost 300 fps when fired from a 2" barrel, so a 9mm revolver provides more power then a 38 Special with similar recoil.

 

 

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very good info Chantry.  thanks.  Based on that and the other postings here, it will be less recoil for a faster bullet, and if a semi automatic ever got banned i could use any 9mm ammo on hand in the revolver.  probably a lot less recoil than my S & W air weight that I carried as a backup when on duty.  

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Trigger Mike,

 

If semi-automatic handguns ever get banned we're going to have a lot bigger problem in this country than just what concealed carry piece to have because concealed carry will probably also be banned. However just for argument's sake let's say it's not. Can you even begin to imagine the price of revolvers at that point? But I digress...

 

Some good information here. Carry what fits you and you shoot well.. All the time. Is a 9mm revolver better than a 38 Special revolver? Who knows as it's all a matter of preference largely. But I bet it's better to have a 9mm revolver, or a 38 Special revolver, then nothing at all.

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i probably won't ever carry it myself, just thinking it might be effective for my daughter to carry someday (the youngest is small frame and 5 as I type.)  I prefer a 1911 or a Sig 938.  but a 9mm revolver would fit nicely with the latter.  

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Chantry makes a good point.

 

I went on the website Bullets By The Inch to compare 9mm Luger and .38 Special in a 2" barrel. .38 is slower than 9mm. But many people argue "Yeah, that's because 9mm bullets are lighter so of course they are faster"

 

I was going to use Chantry's cartridge, the Speer Gold Dot for a comparison but BBTI didn't fire the 9mm out of a 2 -3" barreled gun. So, I picked the Federal Hydro-Shok rounds because there is only one grain of difference in bullet weight.

 

Federal Hydro-Shok - real world test

9mm - 124 grain bullet out of a 2.9" barrel = 927fps

.38 Spl - 125 grain bullet out of a 2" barrel = 847fps

My guess is that in this instance recoil would be similar with the 9mm probably being a bit stouter, in this instance.

Now the advertised velocity out of these rounds out of a 2" barrel (not real world) is 900fps for the 9mm and 700 for the .38.

BBTI .38 page: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/38special.html

BBTI 9mm page: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9luger.html

 

OLG makes a good point below. Always verify what your revolvers and pistols are rated for in regards to power levels before firing them. I know a guy that shot an old S&W model 10 with +P ammo and had to have the gun reworked by S&W after he shot it all loose. Luckily he realized the mistake he made.

 

Lets look at (and don't beat me up over this term) "One Shot Stops". These are derived from real world stats but I would still only use them as info only.

The best "man stopper" in .38 is the 158 gr. +P

The best "man stopper" in 9mm is the 115 gr. +P

Which one do you think has the most felt recoil?...I'd go with the .38 on heavier recoil.

This is where I got that data: http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/article_archive/results/details?id=4593

 

So, if your looking solely at felt recoil from a revolver between those 2 rounds and you want to use the best statistical round for stopping an aggressor I would go with the 9mm.

 

I own 3 J-frames. Model 442 in .38, Model 36 in .38 and a Model 60 Pro in .357. I love my little revolvers and I love the .38 Spl round (as well as .357 Magnum and .45 Colt) I have owned a couple 9mm pistols. They were nice firearms but I sold them. I have nothing against the round. The guns just didn't do it for me. I still have 2500 rounds of 9mm ammo left. I may get another 9mm someday. So, even though I love my .38s I still say go with the 9mm if you are buying it for a young lady.

 

Also, Chili Ron's comment about firing that revolver without clips may be true. I also read that on two other sites when I was looking for 9mm vs 38 info.

 

Regards,

PR

 

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17 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Pat-Note that there are 3 SAAMI  different pressure level specs for 9mm ammo. :o

You have 9mm Luger(lowest), 9mm +P and 9mm NATO(highest)

One has to know what the pistol was made to fire.

OLG

 

Yes, I know. I was trying for a basic 9mm vs .38, 1 to 1 comparison and not so much for power ratings. BUT, you are right. I didn't mention +P in my post. SHould  have done that.

 

Honestly, I don't shoot many +P rounds in my J Frames. The 442 is rated for them but I am much more accurate with standard loads with quality bullets. The model 60 Pro is .357 Mag. Pull the trigger on a few of those with that light revolver.. :blink:  It's a bit rambunctious...

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On 7/6/2017 at 11:41 AM, Trigger Mike said:

I saw a 9mm ruger revolver in the store the other day.  Is there an advantage or disadvantage to 9mm in a revolver verses in an automatic?  how does it compare to a 38 revolver?

S&W made a model 547 years ago, they dropped it because it was too expensive to manufacture, because it did not use moon clips. So the time it took to

make the cylinder so it would grab the 9mm shells to eject them was not worth it.

However S&W does make the 929 9mm revolver now which is a very good gun to shoot competition with in revolver classes. It uses moon clips and is an 8 shot.

The short 9mm rounds makes for very fast reloads. The one I have is a great Steel challenge gun. Must use Federal primers though because I had the springs lightened. 

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I have a 9 and 38 lcr with the 2 inch barrel and concealed hammer and a 3 inch lcr with the exposed hammer and adjustable sights. The 9 quickly became my favorite pocket gun of all time and that takes in a wide territory.

 

With the moon clips the 9 is MUCH faster and easier to reload than the 38s. I carry the 9 and short 38 with me everywhere I go.

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Howdy,

That  929  is one BAD 9mm.

8 holes, WOW.

And probably two seconds to reload?

WOW.

Best

CR

 

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