I recently asked Marcus Wynne about the advantages of a two-snub revolver carry vs. a standard-cap pistol. Marcus has lived and worked in high threat environments, and taught in places like South Africa which was then, as now, a land where violence touches everyone. I thought I’d post his answer to preserve the insights.
I should add that Marcus – hardly a slouch when it comes to the things – regards his sunbby gurus as Ed Lovette, Claude Werner, and Michael deBethencourt. This post should be read in light of their writings on the subject, as well as the article I wrote detailing Michael’s 25 reasons that a revolver beats a pistol here.
1) First, we are assuming pocket carry for two 5-shot snubs, or belt carry + pocket carry, or pocket carry + ankle carry, and at least one speed loader and at least a speed strip. Advantages are:
2) 10 rounds readily available, with a 5 round reload fairly quickly if practiced. Meets the ten round minimum recommended by all the tactical gurus because people often need to be shot a lot if they need to be shot, and they often have friends.
3) Access to either hand with each gun, i.e. right hand can get to gun on the left as well as on the right, and vice versa.
4) With ONE gun, if tied up with an attack directed at the gun (like a smothered presentation) your firepower is out of the fight till you get it clear. You could carry a knife to protect your gun but with TWO guns, if somebody goes for one of them, you can get the other out and shoot them, instead of stab them or wrestle for control of the sole firearm.
5) With two guns you are covered for the (albeit unlikely) event of a failure or fouling or cylinder lock up on one revolver.
6) With two guns, you can arm somebody with you who is capable. (I have had occasion to do this.) [I’d add Mas Ayoob’s insight that everyone can handle a revolver: just point and pull trigger, while not everyone may be familiar with the manual of arms of a pistol, or more likely, the particular pistol you’d like to hand them.]
7) With two revolvers and a fixed blade knife, you have flexibility in terms of striking with one hand (while maintaining lethal force potential in that same hand), and still being able to access a firearm with the other.
8) You can also utilize an expended revolver as an impact tool or facial rake while deploying another (loaded) revolver to continue the fight.
9) You have an immediate back up if you are disarmed of your primary.
10) For the “average” taxpayer street context (which does not include the vastly larger criminal use of guns in drug and gun culture in the U.S…) of 3 shots/3 seconds/3 yards, two revolvers is overkill. However, if you have a drug amped bad guy at snubby range, or more, who are not dissuaded by the initial shots, ten fast rounds keeps you relevant in a fight.
11) If you include the criminal paradigm of shooting incidents, you see multiple armed attackers, high volume of fire at close range, complete disregard for discrimination, and even reloading. So if you happen to be caught up in this sort of thing, having two guns with ten rounds readily available gives you the means to credibly break contact and get away (though you might be in a hurt bag if they pursued you, which happens often in gang/drug shoot outs.)
12) I’d consider the two snubs and two reloads a minimum, and only for a specific context: civilian defense against a lethal force at ten yards or less. That of course doesn’t help you across a parking lot, or a food court, or a Wal-Mart, or the mall, if somebody is either shooting at you from a distance or posing a threat from a moving car.
13) If I lived…I’d be happy with a two revolver carry. In higher threat environments, more makes sense.