Simple in operation, but difficult in utilization

Revolvers are SIMPLE in operation, but DIFFICULT in utilization. The long, DA trigger pull takes work to perfect. Sending that shot straight, takes precision and care. Of course, any of this can be addressed through practice, but I absolutely believe that it is easier to train a novice on a compact framed or full sized semi-automatic pistol, than it is to train the same person on a revolver. As much as I love K frame revolvers for all around use, the learning curve is steeper with the revolver, versus the semi-auto.

From Dr. Sherman House, emphasis added.

Simple in operation but difficult in utilization. This is the phrase I’ve been struggling to find. I see many people recommend revolvers for people who don’t train, aren’t willing to train/practice, etc. under the premise that they are simple to operate — “just point and click”. But most people cannot shoot revolvers as well as a semi-auto for all manner of reasons, and isn’t the desired goal to be able to shoot well and effectively?

A Glock operates just as simply, and more people can shoot it well and effectively. Certainly when you look at a semi-auto like a 1911 or a Beretta, the revolver operates more simply; but we live in the 21st century — our tools have improved. 🙂

Thanx for the phrasing, Doc!

13 thoughts on “Simple in operation, but difficult in utilization

  1. mostly disagree except where i strongly disagree that a glock is ‘better’. sure, you can run back and forth over them with a hummer, wet them down, drag them through the dirt and still come up shooting. but, to me at least, it matters little how reliable it is if it’s so ergonomically twisted that you can’t hit anything with it.

    but i digress–i just wanted to use this post as a jumping-off point to ask for some tips and ideas and help with a recent purchase, a fns-9l (longslide). i’m thinking i should have gone with the hk p30 version instead, but the fns was half the price and i couldn’t pass it up without at least trying it. i have an fn-57 and two fn rifles, so i like the brand.

    in any case, the fns9 arrived and the magazines rattle around in the grip well. i hate that–i really can’t live with it. i can’t measure it, but it’s got to be 1/32-1/64 clearance all the way around the bottom of the magazine. none of my other handguns do this nor none i’ve owned in the past no matter the brand or model, so i’ve never had to try to deal with it. so i’m hoping that someone on the group has addressed and solved or worked around this problem. and i’m no ‘smith or mechanic, so anything more complicated than wrapping foam around it i probably can’t handle.

    i of course ordered a safariland belt clip holster for it and it came in this morning. and the damm gun rattles around in it. when i insert it, it will slide up and down by nearly 1/2″. there is one allen screw for tension, but if i crank it down tight enough the pistol doesn’t move, i can’t remove it from the holster. so far i can’t strike any balance and worse, when you adjust it and holster and unholster a few times, it loses the tension.

    i hate rattling. it’s pure slop and should not be tolerated in the build or the accuracy of a weapon.

    thanks! /guy

    • You can’t hit anything with a Glock? I think millions of people might disagree with you. 🙂

      As for your others….

      If it’s rattling that much, I’d contact FN USA about it — that can’t be right. A cheap and quick thing might be going to a store, trying another instance of the same gun — if it doesn’t do it, something’s likely wrong with yours. But either way, contact the manufacturer.

      And is that Safariland generalized or made specific for that gun?

      • after i posted that i visited the gun store again (i didn’t buy the fn there, btw, and they didn’t have one) and actually found a glock i liked! a lot! and i want one!

        but it was owned by a gun store employee who was a retired dps trooper who had spent years refining it. it was the 17 longslide and two of the things he modified which made all the difference was: the trigger, no way to describe how incredibly smooth and light it was–no resistance hardly at all. and he’d changed the grips to something tacky and rubbery and that had finger grooves in them and it fit my hand perfectly. and, of course, he’d changed the sights to large rear dots and a fiber optic front.

        but this guy has a wealth of help and knowledge in his quest to make it perfect. but, having said that, i could put together much the same pistol by getting a list from him and devoting several months, so i haven’t ruled it out completely.

        meanwhile, i got the pistol i should have gotten in the first place. when i decided i wanted a long slide i had about 10 to choose from and i read all about them all and watched youtube reviews. there was the fn, a cz, a s&w, that glock, and a hk among a few others i can’t remember off the top of my head. the hk came out in the top 2-3, but the fn finished in the middle–maybe a notch or two higher–but for half the price of the hk. normally i’d only consider the hk, but i had just taken possession of one of their new fn ar15s and was extremely pleased with the quality of it and figured that maybe fn was better quality overall than i’d given them credit for–they have a lot of rabid fans online, that’s for sure. and i have 3 fn products i just love, but i’ll never trust their fns pistol line again.

        so, in a very timely fashion, just last week my local wholesaler (cdnn sports) put the very hk i was looking for on sale for $300 off. why couldn’t they have done that a few days earlier and i wouldn’t have had a choice when it came to hk over fn? it was the p30-9l v3 (they make a lighter trigger lem model, but da only and i love hk for the exposed hammers and sa mode) and i ordered one. and indeed, when it arrived i immediately realized i had made a huge mistake choosing the fn over the hk.

        note, i have a hk vp9 and while i consider it much the superior choice over the glock, it’s da only and that’s not my preference. and i have a safariland holster for it:

        Model 7379 7TS™ ALS® Concealment Clip-on Belt Holster,
        Model 1183360 | SKU 1183360 | Part 7379-593-551

        the fn holster i got was:

        Model 579 GLS™ Pro-Fit™ Holster,
        Model 1180953 | SKU 1180953 | Part 579-683-551

        i found to my surprise that the vp9 fit ok in the fn holster and the fn fit better in the vp9 holster than it did in the fn holster. the holsters have different adjustment methods and the vp9 has hardly any user adjustment and is stamped ‘vp9’. and the new p30-9l also fits perfectly in the vp9 holster. also, the mags are identical between the vp9 and the p30.

        at any rate, the bottom line is that i have boxed up the fn9 and the vp9 and will use them for trading at the gunstore in the future. the p30-9l will handily satisfy my need for a full-size 9mm although the trigger could be better in da mode.


        • This is the good thing about guns — you can generally buy, and if the decision didn’t pan out you can trade/sell and not really lose much on the transaction.

          Glad things are working out.

          • btw, here’s the nice bonus about having a place like cdnn in your town. now granted, they get a lot of surplus stock and unpopular brands and models and you can’t count on getting a very popular model except with some luck. but their prices are generally closer to what the gun stores themselves pay–i know when i’ve compared the gun stores were consistently at least 15% higher.

            anyway, i ordered the hk p30l about 3pm on the friday before the memorial day holiday over the phone instead of online. the salesguy said he’d do his best to get it over to my ffl before everyone left for the weekend. at 4pm nearly on the dot i got a call from the ffl that the pistol was in and even with a 30 miles round trip, i was cleaning off the storage grease by 5pm. can’t hardly beat that unless you buy one over the counter, eh? [g]


  2. While I understand the point made I have to also point out there are few options for folks who cannot manipulate the slide on most semi-auto hand guns.

    It also seems to me those same people are not going to train even if you give them a semi they can manipulate. So in the end I’d rather see a weak woman with a wheel gun rather than a semi she cannot manipulate and could potentially cause to stop running due to limp wristing or other strength issues.

    I am not endorsing the idea of people not training with whatever gun they have. But the reality is most never train.

    • Indeed. Thing is, I’ve found it rare that people cannot manipulate the slide on SOME sort of semi-auto. What it often takes is a couple things. First, making sure they have a larger gun. The small/compact/micro guns run tighter/stronger springs, whereas larger guns have less tight/strong springs — often giving someone a larger gun and they can manipulate it simply because of “weaker” springs. Second, technique. There are some better techniques people can use for slide manipulation that tend to involve “physics” over just trying to brute-strength the slide back. I see lots of people trying to slowly muscle the slide back and failing, but we give them a little better technique and viola.

      These two things often handle things just fine… because all too often someone that can’t even do this then also tend to be unable to work the long, heavy trigger on revolvers.

      Oh another thing that can help? “smaller” gun — like lower caliber. Most .22’s are very easy to manipulate — and I’d rather someone have a .22 they can run than anything they can’t run.

      • I was in a gun-shop over waaaay east of Dallas a couple years ago. The fellow behind the counter was demonstrating a technique to an elderly lady for easy slide manipulation. Of course at the time I was not too interested in learning that sort of thing. Now I’m wishing I had paid better attention.

        Another thing I’m getting the feeling that some folks are somehow intimidated by the semi-auto guns. I had a fellow member of the VFW Men’s aux approach me about his interest in a handgun for self defense. He very specifically said he wanted a revolver. Or has he put it “not one of those things with a slide” (he was making the motion of racking a semi)

        I could not get an answer out of him when I queried why a revolver…..

        Funny you mention 22’s… I do have a semi my elderly lady friend can rack…. Astra Cub in 22 Short! 🙂

        • It’s a lot of old-school thinking. And people will only come around if they want to come around.

          Nothing wrong with a good .22. I know it’s not preached as the ideal thing — and it may not be. But it’s a lot better than the alternatives.

    • indeed! i’ve found a couple of pistols over the years which i couldn’t come to grips (!) with, so to speak. the s&w m&p was one of them. i absolutely could not rack the slide unless i stood up and prepared myself mentally and physically like a weightlifter and if i missed the first time i just had to put it down until later. the keltec 380 was another one, but that was because it was just so small. i took the m&p back to the gunstore and no one there had the slightest problem with it.

      i have absolutely no problems with my ‘full sized’ handguns though.


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