Originally Posted by globetrotter
LS - welcome aboard.
I like the idea of the .357 revolver.
what is your feeling on this - for learning purposes, I have the feeling that a semi-automatic is better, to some extent in the same way it is better to learn to drive with a shift and then go to automatic when you are more experienced. the auto-loader will require one to learn more than a revolver.
what are your thoughts?
Situatons vary, but if I am starting someone out with handguns, I like to start with a .22 semi auto. I prefer to use my Smith & Wesson 422 because is is closer in configurtion to the big autos like the 1911 or Glock or Sig than is the Ruger. It is single action with an internal hammer and, once "set up," less confusing and distracting than a revolver to shoot. I am there to help address any failures.
But if I am introducing someone to handguns, I usually bring a few variations and they usually want to try something else after about 50 rounds of .22. That's fine. It's not my intention to create an expert with one trip to the range! But the principles they learn with the .22 auto -- sight alignment, trigger control, and safety -- transition to all other handguns. If you start them with a revolver, there is a secondary, distracting learning curve when they pick up the automatic.
For those who simply want a firearm for defense and don't intend to train and shoot a lot and regularly and continuously, I cannot recommend an auto. There is just too much that can and does go wrong and you have to understand it thoroughly and be ready to keep it running under stress and in the dark. My wife used to shoot a lot and during that time I provided her with a compact 9mm semi-auto. One day, I realized she had not been shooting for more than a year. I replaced it with a revolver. I know it will work ("five for sure") and that she will remember how to operate it. Also, revolvers are safer. Their readiness condition is verifiable with a quick glance. Most semi-auto accidents happen over confusion over whether or not it is truly unloaded.
All revolvers work the same -- point and click. All semi autos are a little different. There are "hammerless," exposed hammer, internal hammer, single action, double action, double action only, and a variety of manual safety configurations. Unless you are very experienced, you need to train on each one you might expect to shoot. Then there is the fact that you have to understand and maintain two systems: the pistol and the magazine, and in the event of failure, figure out which caused the problem. Learn to shoot one revolver, you can pretty much shoot any revolver.