RevolverGuy Versus “That Guy”

You guys are probably with family, or have been recently. While we love our families, we’re also, dare I say, “stuck with” them? Here at RevolverGuy we can commiserate and empathize. Trust us, we’ve been there. When “That Guy” shows up around the punch bowl, we RevolverGuys all moan and look for the exit. But sometimes, we’re not fast enough, and the conversation usually sounds something like this:

“Hey Mike, come over here, I want to tell you about the gun I just got for my old lady.”

Please don’t.

“I want her to start packing, you know?”

Not a bad idea, but what does she want? Last time I checked, she hated guns.

“She hates guns, but I told her she needs to pack anyhow, ‘cause it’s dangerous out there.”

And about to get more dangerous, apparently.

“Since she’s a woman, I figured she needed a small gun . . . “

Sigh, here we go.

“. . . but I didn’t want to sacrifice stopping power, you know?”

Oh Lord, we’re really going there.

“I know she’s not strong enough to rack the slide on a semiauto . . .”

Of course not. She does triathalons and gave birth to your three kids, including one that came out sideways and two that weighed more than a Thanksgiving turkey, but she’s not tough enough to rack a slide with a 13 pound recoil spring after some instruction . . .

“. . . so I figgered she needed one of them revolvers you like so much . . . “

Even though they don’t hold many rounds.

“. . . even though they don’t hold as many rounds as my semiautos.”

Called it.

“They’re easier to work, you know. No training needed, just point and click.”

Oh sure, no training needed at all. It’s like working a hammer. Even a caveman could do it.

“So, I started looking at some .357 Magnums, because the .38 Specials are too small and don’t have enough stopping power . . . “

Of course! Get the non-shooter a .357 Magnum. What could go wrong?

“. . . and I figgered she doesn’t even need to hit the bad guy, you know? Just the noise and the flame coming out of that sucker would be enough to scare the guy off after the first shot!”

I hope so. There probably won’t be a second shot coming.

“The thing is, a lot of those Magnums are really big and heavy, but the guy at the shop showed me this cool little gun made out of some fancy material . . . un . . . unob . . . unobtanium, or something like that.”

Good Lord.

“It weighs next to nothing, you know. Darn thing weighs less than a fully-loaded clip for my Forty Five . . .”

Clip. Sigh.

“So I figgered that’s a perfect gun for her! Lightweight, small, easy to operate, plenty of stopping power . . .”

And plenty of recoil . . .

“. . . and even though it was expensive, I figured, what’s my girl’s life worth, anyhow?”

Apparently, not the cost of a good coach and training program.

“So I bought it, and I got a box of really good bullets for it.”

Bullets. Of course.

“They had some little ones, but I went for the big ones . . .”

Of course you did. You’re a Forty Five Man.

“. . . ‘cause I’m a Forty Five Man, you know? Those puny bullets, like the 9 millimeters all those Europeans carry, they don’t got no stopping power. That’s why we won the war. Big and heavy, that’s the only way to get stopping power, I say. Even if you only hit ‘em in the finger, you’ll knock ‘em down. Knockdown power and stopping power comes from big bullets.”

Indeed. Well said Sir, well said. I applaud your application of the scientific method.

“So, the biggest bullets they had were 180 grains. That’s a lot of gunpowder, 180 grains.”

Kill me now.

“So that’s what I got. 180 grainers. I figgered I’d better try ‘em out to make sure they worked ok . . . “

Wait, this is starting to get interesting.

“. . . so we went to the range there in the shop. All the employees wanted to watch me shoot it, so they crowded around.”

 I bet they did.

“Well, I loaded up five of those bullets, and flipped the cylinder closed with a flick of my wrist . . . “

Of course. Is there any other way?

“. . . and I took careful aim at the center of the target and I pulled the trigger . . .”

Wait for it.

 “. . . and when that darned thing went off it was incredible! The flash was so bright that the guys on the other side of the window said they wished they had their sunglasses on, and the boom was so huge that they were surprised the glass didn’t break! My ears are still ringing!”

That should match the buzzing in your head.

“That little gun kicked so hard that I busted my knuckle — that’s what this tape is on here for — and the little latch on the side sliced up my thumb —that’s what this Bandaid is on here for. I almost dropped it, but I got a hold of it before it fell.”


“Whoo-whee! That thing is a real rascal! A little nuke-u-ler bomb!”

It’s perfect.

“It’s perfect, I say! One shot from that and all the rats will scatter!”


“Well, I unloaded the other four bullets, ‘cause they were expensive and I didn’t want to shoot ‘em all up . . . “

Uh huh.

“. . . and I boxed up the gun and took it home and gave it to my girl.”

I’m sure she was thrilled.

“She said, ‘I don’t want no gun,’ but I told her to put it in her purse ‘cause she might need it someday and it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

You’re a sage.

“So, I thought you’d like to know that she’s armed and dangerous now!”

Well, you got it half right.

“Just like me!”

Yes. Just like you. Excuse me, I think I need to find a wall to bang my head on. 

Hey guys, we hope you enjoyed this little diversion from our regularly scheduled content. I’m glad Mike wrote this piece because. . . let’s just say that conversation hits very close to home for me and I wasn’t sure I could get away with it! Anyhow, I just want to give you all a quick heads-up and let you know that Mike, Steve, and I will be taking some downtime during the holidays. We’re still going to post here, but we might miss a week or two here or there, so don’t be too hard on us, OK? ~ Justin

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Author: Mike

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Mike Wood is a bonafide revolver nut, a certified law enforcement instructor in handgun, shotgun, patrol rifle, less-lethal, and diversionary device disciplines, and the author of Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis, the definitive study of the infamous, 1970 California Highway Patrol shootout in Newhall, California. Mike wrote the "Tactical Analysis" column at for 8 years, and enjoys teaching both armed citizens and law enforcement officers.

38 thoughts on “RevolverGuy Versus “That Guy””

  1. Groan. Been there.

    My wife’s and my friend changed recently her mind on the HD gun she wanted. We had, at her request, dutifully shot modern 9s with her at the range, bringing along our revolvers for ourselves. Never pushed them on her. She asked to shoot them, too, and we obliged.

    She soon decided, on her own, that she wants a full sized wheel gun. Every male had been “gunsplaining her,” saying “17 rounds” or naming their favorite semi. She just prefers a heavy DA trigger.

    Sometimes the best approach is quiet solidarity. Whatever the weapon.

    1. Unfortunately I’m “there” every time I see a certain husband/wife duo in my family. I agree with solidarity with anyone who knows what they want and operate it well. Unfortunately, in my case, it wouldn’t be solidarity with what she wants, it would be solidarity with what he *thinks she needs*.
      Over Thanksgiving my girlfriend and I were treated to all the gun-store one-liners and self-defense lore. It was a long weekend!

  2. I’m glad I wasn’t drinking (or eating) anything when I read that. It’s brilliant, and OH, so TRUE !!

    I love this irrational logic of Private Testosterone: “Those puny bullets, like the 9 millimeters all those Europeans carry, they don’t got no stopping power. That’s why we won the war. Big and heavy, that’s the only way to get stopping power, I say”

    Let’s see here. The 7.9m/m Mauser is a .323″ diameter projectile that’s much more bigger than our puny .308″, and the less than puny British and Russian .311″ in the .303 and 7.62x54R. It also had a standard much more heavier and badder bullet weight (Ss load) of 198 grains bullet versus the M1 ball at 150 grains, 174 for the .303, and 154 for the 54R. The Germans and Brits used the same 9m/m in machine pistols, Browning Hi Powers, and other assorted pistols – even match, darn! Well, it’s still much more bigger than the Soviet 7.62×25 . . . oh, heck, why let stupidity get in the way of rational thinking.

    When it comes to a woman picking out a gun, my wife would emphatically suggest this to all guys (in her best British accent): You don’t pick out her shoes or her knickers, so don’t try and pick out her gun . . . oh, and I’ll give you $50 for the gun you got her that she doesn’t like.

    1. Well partner, there you go using all that math and logic and stuff! Don’cha know that Gus down at the gun shop told me all that stuff about the .45, so it MUST be true? ; ^ )

  3. Great comedic writing! Insightful, funny, and all-too-true. You’re a man of many talents!

    The sequel— when the 5-year-old neighbor’s kid finds the gun in the woman’s purse— will let us see if you’re equally adept at writing tragedy….

  4. I could see this leading to several ‘spin-off’ articles:

    How a woman who “hates guns” might be led to the surprising realization that she actually *enjoys* shooting.

    Likely guns for new female shooters: what to let her try first. What to avoid.

    The pros and cons of .22 LR and .22 Magnum revolvers for old, disabled, diminutive, and/or female shooters.

    1. Good thoughts here, Bill. I might have to try my hand at some of those. Justin has written several that touch on those topics in these pages. I’ve got some .22 articles planned and will certainly work some of those ideas into them.

    2. Interesting you mention women who ‘hate’ guns. When I first met my wife, she had never been around guns. Her British background and guns didn’t collide. Her mother was scared that since I had a gun and badge, I might accidentally shoot her.

      For the next seven years, I did my job, she did hers, and nary did she go near a gun – until one day she was with me when an ‘incident’ went down in her presence, and I had to deploy a S&W .357 Magnum. The ‘incident’ came to a positive outcome (for me, anyway), but it was that same day my wife said she wanted to learn how to shoot, and wanted to learn how to defend herself. That watershed moment changed her. She’s been packing ever since, eventually claiming my former off duty 9m/m (when we went to Glocks in the mid 1990s). She’s shot everything from the .22 LR (her favorite practice round) to the .44 Magnum (not exactly her favorite). Her favorite centerfire pistol rounds are the .38 Special, 9m/m, and .357 Magnum . . . and the 5.56 in my AR.

      She also got to participate (sneak in student) in nearly every handgun training class I taught over the last 25 years. That’s what I call a happy ending.

  5. As a concealed weapons instructor, I was both amused and saddened by the truth of this article. I’ve heard the “little gun for the little lady” so much that I hear it in my sleep. Well written, Mike.

    1. Yessir, I feel your pain. It seems that every time I go to the range, there’s a woman who needs to be rescued from her knuckleheaded “coach” that is doing all the wrong things. Sometimes the circumstances don’t provide a good opening, but I try to help as much as I can, and have saved several from certain doom. I wonder how many ladies have been turned off by a negative experience on their first outing, due to the failures of a “teacher” that wasn’t up to the job of providing a positive, safe, and enjoyable experience?

  6. Great satire is always rooted in truth and this is great satire. The current trend of ultralight snubby revolvers in magnum calibers and tiny semi autos apparently is marketing genius. I carry a SIG P229 on the job, concealed, all day and I’m 5’7″ and 150 lbs. I don’t have a choice in what I carry at work. It’s big and heavy but after 11 years I barely notice it and its not that hard to conceal, you just have to get the right holster,belt and clothing. People ask me what I carry on the job and they are dumbfounded when I tell them. They are convinced you need the latest greatest ultralight micro gun in the most powerful caliber offered for concealed carry. Then they get one and can’t shoot it well and/or hate shooting it. One time I was asked to recommend a concealed carry/home defense handgun for someone who wanted a one gun solution. I suggested a round butt 3″ barrel S&W K frame and he responded, yeah but I want to be able to carry it concealed sometimes.

    1. Barry, you probably would have caused him to vapor lock if you had suggested that a 3″ round butt K-Frame was the Glock 19 of its era . . . only one of the best carry combinations that ever existed.

  7. Brilliant, funny as hell, and so true! For what it’s worth, my Significant Other loves my 3″ Model 13 -one of my old UC guns from the early 80’s. She’s left handed and prefers the Pachmayer boot grips. We’re still experimenting with various ammo types though I’ve always liked the old +p+ 110 gr .38 Treasury load.

    Thanks again for the hilarity and keep up the good work!

  8. I have often found myself on the flip side of this problem with family and friends (usually women) who are new to guns. I try and usually fail to convince them that they need to shoot guns before they buy guns. They have an affinity for small light guns that are hard to shoot even when they just want a home defense piece. So there is some cultural factor operating out there that is unrelated to the problem noted in the article.

  9. Oh Lordy…I just had this conversation with a neighbor and his wife. He bought her a Lady Smith (they think?!?) in 380. I carry a Walther 22, semi-auto. I shoot a 54 Cal black powder. I am a 73 year old woman. OK guys, I did have a slide issue with a Keltec. Just too stiff. Needed to use it and could not chamber a round due to arthritis in my hands. Managed to get the security lock on my door and I was OK. Tried carrying a 38 Smith Body Guard. Too heavy. The little 22 is just fine and I have an extra clip.
    I am going to take my neighbor and her new 380 to a class. She has agreed to not carry it until we attend.
    Best I can do. Stay safe out there.

    1. Donna, thanks for writing and sharing your experiences. I’m glad you found a gun that fits your needs. I think your plan to take your friend to a class is excellent, and hope you’ll report back on how it went.

  10. Been a Gun Shop Bubba for around six years, and have had maybe a half-dozen occasions to sell a gun to guy ‘for the little woman’. They’ll point at one, say ‘That one there, it’s just what she needs.’ I really try to convince them to at least bring her in and let her handle a few–we don’t have a range to test fire–but if they insist, I’ll sell them the gun. Those half-dozen have always come back within a week or two, with her and ‘her’ gun, so she can trade it towards something she likes. I just smile, tell him ‘I told you so’, and do what I can to make her happy.
    There have been a lot more guys who come in, and actually listen to the advice, and pretty much all the ladies have been pleased.
    My favorites are the guys who come to pick one up ‘for her’, but it just happens to be one he wants for himself.
    On the rare occasion I help ladies learn to shoot their new ‘fashion accessory’, I tell them flat out that hubby/boyfriend/Dad/uncle/whoever needs to go get a hamburger or something while we work. Most take it in good humor.
    Good story. I’d like to print it up for classes, if that’s allowed. Ace

  11. Thank you, sir! It is printed up, and will become a handout to those who need and will appreciate it–along with a recommendation of Revolver Guy as a source of both good information and good entertainment.
    In the FWIW column, this is one of only two sites I regularly recommend from the internet; the other is—good people on both. Ace

  12. I am new to shooting (1 year). I joined A Girl & A Gun Shooting League. Then took basic handgun classes. After that, I went shopping for a handgun. Most of the “Girls” shoot semi-autos. The first handgun I liked is a Ruger LCR .357. Snub nose. I love it. I now also have a Ruger SP101 3″. I am a dedicated and committed “wheel gun” shooter. No fuss, no muss. My LCR is a DAO and I love it.

    In all of my firearms classes, range time, and when selecting my handguns, I have taken it slow and methodical. My “Gun Girls” are so supportive of my revolvers and call me “Wheel Gun Judy.”

    Shooting is my new passion. No interest in competitive shooting. I’m all about self defense and home defense. No one makes decisions for me when it comes to my firearms or my ammo. Wait. I mean bullets, right? LOL

    1. Judy, welcome aboard! We’re so pleased that you found us, and hope you’ll be a regular here. When we say “RevolverGUY,” it’s just a matter of convenience for us—-we certainly mean to include all the wonderful RevolverGALS out there too!

      I’m a BIG fan of AG&AG, and hope my daughters will eventually discover it. I think what they’re doing is one of the best things to come along in the gun culture in some time. It’s important for us to have a place where women can jump into the gun world with a level of comfort, and receive quality instruction and moral support from their peers.

      We’ve got some articles forthcoming on the LCR that I think you’ll enjoy. It’s a super gun, and I think you’re well armed (no pun intended, reference the other popular women’s shooting group!) with it and your SP101. I hope you’ll continue to grow as a shooter with them, and I hope you’ll learn some helpful things here on RevolverGuy (Gal!). Be sure to let us know if there are particular topics that you might like to see us cover, OK?

      Be safe!

      1. Mike,

        Thank you for the warm welcome. I found your site while doing some research on SD/HD ammo, and was thrilled to find fellow revolver aficionados. Please don’t feel the need to change RevolverGUY to include Gals. I use “Hey, Guys!” when talking to my female friends. “Guys” is just a universal catch all, in my opinion.

        So I stopped by my local gun store today to see if my “Guy” carried any .357 SD ammo. He didn’t have in stock what I was wanting to try, so he is ordering me two boxes – one each of two different brands. Of course I can’t remember what he is ordering. LOL. I have only been using .38 Special ammo, but that isn’t sufficient for a SD carry ammo. At least not if MY life in on the line.

        It’s good to hear that you are well aware of AG&AG. We just had our National Conference in Burnet TX. I took some good shooting classes and some unarmed classes as well. My favorite Instructor so far for non-AG&AG classes is Tatiana Whitlock. I took a Basic Handgun class from her last September, a class at AG&AG Conference, and I have another class coming up in June on Accuracy. For some strange reason it occurred to me that accuracy in SD, and especially if one carries, is pretty darn important.

        One thing I have found is that taking a class and being the only revolver person can be awkward, depending on the instructor. Tatiana doesn’t even blink that I am shooting a revolver. She doesn’t have me at the left end of the line so that the semi-auto ejected brass doesn’t bounce on me. I’m right in the middle of the line, wearing a ball cap, and the brass doesn’t even get my attention.

        There is just so much to learn, and luckily I am willing and able to take classes to help me improve. I’m retired and older (67) but age is just a number and I never let it stop me from doing what I want. And what I want is to become very proficient with my two revolvers.

        I plan to hang out here and learn/absorb as much information as I can from those of you with valid experience to share. Bad habits are not something I desire to add to my shooting skills.

        1. Well, we’re glad to have you along for the ride, WGJ! I’ve heard Ms. Whitlock on a few podcasts, but haven’t met her yet. She seems like she’d be a great instructor.

          One thing I’ll caution about is that I’d disagree with your concern about the .38 Special not being “enough.” I’ve been studying these things for a long time, and have had the opportunity to interview lots of folks who’ve been involved in shootings, and it’s my opinion that a good .38+P load is certainly “enough.” It will do what can be reasonably asked of a handgun caliber. The .357 Magnum certainly has an excellent reputation, and I don’t discount it, but I find that it’s difficult to manage in smaller guns like your LCR. I much prefer .38 Special in guns of that size, because I have better control of the gun and can shoot at a higher rate of fire with better accuracy. If you try the .357s and like them, more power to you (literally!), but there’s nothing wrong with carrying .38 Special in your Rugers. That’s what most of us do!

          Welcome again, and be safe!

          1. Mike,

            Thank you so much for your caution about ammo for my LCR. I need input like yours when making these decisions. I was thinking, “I have a .357. I should be using ammo for SD that takes advantage of the .357.” I certainly didn’t want to dis’ my .357.

            I just called my gun shop guy, and he was at the range, where he needs to be, I guess. LOL He hasn’t placed my SD ammo order yet, and said it’s not a problem to change it to .38+P. So that is what I am going to do. I actually feel more comfortable ordering the .38+P, as I was a bit apprehensive that the .357 might be too powerful for me to shoot effectively with my LCR. I just didn’t want to not use my LCR to it’s full potential, and there isn’t another revolver person I know and trust to advise me.

            Wow. I am just delighted to have found this page yesterday. Finally, I have “family” I can discuss my revolver questions with. I just signed up as a Patreon. Always happy to support a good page.


          2. We’re always here for you, and glad to have you along for the ride! Feel free to drop us a line with any questions. You can use the “Contact Us” page.

            Thank you also for your Patreon support!

            Be safe

  13. I’m fortunate that I have a wide selection of handguns for my lady to choose. What did she settle on? A S&W 351 PD 22 Magnum, my favorite baby of course. No it’s not a “man stopper” what ever that is, but she shoots it well and has the manual of arms down pretty good. It’s an Airlite as S&W calls it and it’s the perfect ratio of weight to cartridge in my opinion and she thinks so also. I put a set of Crimson Trace green laser grips on it and she digs it. Unfortunately (for me) she has discovered custom holster makers. She has shoulder, cross draw and pocket holsters for “her” revolver. But now there is a cosmic void in my universe. I have to get another 351. I just cant go on living without one.

  14. Mike; only half way through that missive and you had be rolling on the floor. Well Done Brother! See you at next year’s Round-Up. Fly Safe / Check Six.
    W.F. O’Hara
    Prescott, AZ

    1. Thank you Sir! I enjoyed meeting you at the Roundup and look forward to the next. Glad you enjoyed the story—I think I was inspired, on that one!

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