Which is the Better Bug Out Gun?

Since the invention of the semi-automatic pistol, the question of whether these weapons are better than revolvers has been the subject of much controversy.  Each of these weapons has its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you are looking for the perfect service weapon, you should consider the pros and cons presented in this article when making your choice.  Keep in mind that as a beginner, advanced shooter or expert, the weapon that best suits you may vary.

When assessing weapons for failure, always be aware of how your skills are developing and how you are assessing situations that may arise.

Semi-automatic pistols, advantages and disadvantages


The most popular type of weapon used for protection today is the semi-automatic pistol. The main reasons for choosing these pistols are the larger magazine capacity, reliability, lower recoil, easier to operate triggers, better aiming and faster shooting.

The ability to fire a gun quickly is one of the main advantages of this type of firearm. Most people who use semi-automatic pistols prefer to be able to fire multiple bullets, even if they are not as well placed, rather than relying on one or two better aimed shots.

Ultimately, this belief may be an advantage for some, but it makes the more experienced think twice, because surviving a firefight is always very important to hit the enemy in the optimal place as quickly and efficiently as possible.   That said, the fact that a trailer can carry 12 to 20 rounds versus 5 or 6 in a revolver always gives you the ability to hit multiple targets if needed. Since semi-automatic weapons are also equipped with better sights these days, large-capacity magazines are definitely at an advantage over revolvers.

Semi-automatic pistols are also much easier to reload.  Because the chargers are smaller and more compact, you can also carry several pre-charged chargers and be ready to shoot in seconds.  On the other hand, a fast charger for a revolver can be quite heavy and take longer to reload.  Even if you plan to wear them. Either way, it’s easier to put half the agenda in your pocket.


The semi-automatic pistol has some drawbacks.  First of all, they must be kept strictly clean.  They can also be very picky about the ammunition that passes through them without causing damage or blocking.  In a semi-automatic pistol, the cartridges must be the right shape to be reliably fed.  There must also be enough powder in the housing to allow the valve to function fully without crushing or breaking the internal components. The body should be the right distance from the head so that it can easily move in and out of the room without getting stuck.

A semi-automatic pistol can be a challenge for a new shooter because he has to learn how to handle guides, slide stops, magazines, disarm and safety features.  Moreover, some people are not strong enough to step back. This problem is as old as the design of the rifle itself, and is due to the heavy recoil spring and narrow width of the bolt.   If you have trouble removing the carriage completely, but still want a half-finished carriage for your alarm gun, try this:

  • First, with your left hand, hold the breech of the gun in the slots.
  • Hold the gun frame in your right hand with the trigger finger outside the trigger guard and push the frame forward to activate the slide. This loads the gun’s camera. This is because it takes less muscle power to push the frame forward than to pull the bolt back.

Another problem with pistols is that if the magazine gets lost or broken, the gun becomes a single-shot pistol. If your gun has a magazine safe and you lose the magazines, the gun may not fire at all.

Compared to revolvers, semi-dolvers have limited energy and penetration. Limited penetration may be beneficial in some shooting scenarios, but it won’t work in other situations. For example, the nine millimeter hollow-point bullet is much less likely to pierce several walls than the conventional 357 magnum projectile.  On the other hand, if you have to wear a harness on your lower body or shoot from long distances, the lack of penetration can be a serious problem.

If you’re holding a gun with a loaded bullet in the chamber. A gun is available with a safety or release lever to prevent accidental activation of the gun when the trigger is pulled.

Semi-automatic pistols present the biggest problem with malfunctions compared to revolvers.  You need to know how to recognize and fix the four most common types of weapon malfunctions.  The following steps may not seem complicated, but keep in mind that they can cost you valuable time and concentration in practice.

Suspended shot

  • The trigger goes in and doesn’t click. If the ignition of the gunpowder is delayed, a floating fire occurs.
  • Keep the gun pointed downward for about 30 to 60 seconds to make sure the bullet doesn’t explode.
  • Put the wood away.
  • Clean the gun by removing the latch.
  • Check if the camera is empty.
  • Recovery protocol.
  • Have another round.


  • This is an extremely deadly malfunction that can result in serious injury or death to the shooter.
  • This happens when the bullet does not exit the barrel during firing and a second bullet hits the front of the barrel, causing the barrel to bulge or break open.
  • If there is a possibility of loop loading, the sound of the affected round will be quieter than normal.
  • If something is wrong, clean the gun, close the slide and check for a blocked barrel.
  • To check the barrel, simply feel inside the barrel with a pencil to see if there are any obstructions.
  • If the barrel is dirty or bulging, stop shooting and take the gun to a gunsmith to have it repaired.
  • If the barrel is clean, you still need to take the gun to a gunsmith for a safety check.
  • An ejection charge may be present if the cartridge is fitted with an ejection charge but there is little or no powder in the case.

Power failure

  • This happens when the gun cannot get the next cartridge from the magazine into the chamber.
  •  In this situation, the sled does not go all the way around because the round did not go all the way around, which needs to be completed.
  • To solve this problem, first remove the magazine from the weapon. Then remove the cartridge from the magazine if it has not already fallen out.
  • Place a new magazine in the weapon and complete the circle.


  • Stovepipe occurs when worn casing cannot be properly drained. This locks the spent cartridge case directly into the ejection port.
  • Stovepipe is caused by mishandling of the weapon or a loose wrist.
  • To clean the weapon, remove the magazine.
  • Attach the back cover to remove the exhaust box.
  • Place a new magazine in the weapon and complete the circle.

Pros and cons of the revolver


Revolvers are known for their simplicity and reliability.  They are extremely safe weapons for single or double action.  New shooters can easily understand how they work.  To learn to use revolvers, you need as little training as possible.   Another reason why some people prefer to carry revolvers is that they just don’t have to worry about the power to pull the breech on the barrel and put the chamber on it.

It’s very easy to get the copper out of a gun. When the turret is empty, simply remove the drum and slide out the extraction rod. Exhausted patterns fall into your hand.  From there, the brass can be stored in a bag and used later with the reloading equipment to make a new bullet.

In addition, revolvers are much more forgiving when it comes to the choice of ammunition.  Basically, when the ammo is loaded into the cylinder and the cylinder is locked, the revolver should fire the bullet.  While you should never use ammunition that is too hot for this weapon, a revolver takes up much more room than a semi-automatic pistol.


Revolvers have few drawbacks as a primary means of personal protection. They have a limited capacity, charge very slowly, and the cartridges they fire can be too heavy for urban or home use. To solve these problems, practice regularly with fast mags and carry ammo that won’t shoot through walls.

In summary, there are advantages and disadvantages to semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.  Sometimes you may think that a revolver is the best gun for your needs, while a semi-automatic pistol may seem more appealing to others. As Jeff Cooper would say: At this stage of our development, the police cannot protect the citizen, and in many cases they cannot even protect themselves. An individual must protect himself and his family, which is not only permissible but mandatory. Ultimately, it’s a very personal decision, and the best weapon is the one you carry and know how to use best.

If you have any comments, please post them below in the Comments section.

Supplementary reading

About Fred Tyrell:

I’m an Eagle Scout and a retired police officer. I love the outdoors and conservation is very important to me. I want to pass on to other generations what I have learned in my life. I am a master pistol, rifle and shotgun shooter. You can read more of my articles on the Survivors Fort.

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