For my fourth visit to the gun range, I decided to try something a little different, and try shooting a revolver instead of a semi-auto.  The range rented me the specimen you see to the right, a Smith & Wesson .38 Special.

The gun shot fine; I was about as accurate with it as I was the Taurus 9mm I had shot before.  I suspect that given my relative inexperience with handguns, my skill or lack thereof has a lot more to do with where the rounds land than any variations in accuracy inherent to the gun.

Recoil felt to be about the same as with the 9mm as well, which for some reason surrpised me a bit.  I was expecting a .38 to kick more.  For one thing, I was thinking that .38 rounds were significantly larger than 9 mm rounds.  (In fact, .38 caliber is 9.13 mm, barely enough difference to notice.)  I had also expected a revolver to transmit more of the force of the shot to my hand without the recoil mechanism of a semi-auto absorbing some of the energy.  I didn’t find this to be true in practice, either.  If anything, without the distraction of the action moving, it was easier to stay sighted in on the target for consecutive shots.

On the other hand, I found the gun less comfortable in my hand than the Taurus.  I’m not sure why; it wasn’t actually uncomfortable per se, it just didn’t feel as "at home."  I also found I like that with a semi-auto, the slide locks open when you’re empty, eliminating the question of whether you’ve fired off all your rounds. 

On the whole, I think I like the semi-autos better.  But it was a good experiment.

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