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SEMI-AUTOS VS. REVOLVERS

The debate between semi-autos and revolvers for personal defense shall never die … and is largely irrelevant these days. With plus-capacity revolvers like the Smith & Wesson M&P R8 8-shot .357, and eminently reliable high-capacity semis like Springfield’s XD Tactical .45, there is no shortage of firepower or fine-tuned reliability in modern defensive pistols. The choice, then, comes down to the least common denominators between all of your authorized shooters: their familiarity with firearms, their ability to control recoil and the way the firearm fits the range of hands your household represents.

Ruger

Model: Super Redhawk
Action: DA
Caliber: .44 Mag
Capacity: 6
Barrel Length: 7.5 inches
Special Features: Scope mounting points, adjustable iron sights
MSRP: $1,049


 

Description
Ideally suited to experienced shooters with large hands and fair strength, the Super Redhawk packs six rounds of .44 Mag punch and is the largest pistol we feel inclined to include as a self-defense reference—both in frame and power. It will stop just about any wild or human threat, including some vehicles, and will of course digest .44 Spl practice loads to save your wrists at the range. Reloads are easy with double-action revolvers like this, but you probably won’t have to.

Benelli

Model: Nova Pump Tactical
Action: Pump
Gauges: 12 ga
Chamber: 3.5 inches
Chokes: Cylinder
Capacity: 4+1
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Special Features: Ghost right rear sight, magazine cutoff
MSRP: $459

 

Description
Designed for personal defense and police work, this pump action 12 ga accepts virtually any load in shells up to 3.5 inches, utilizing a front blade and rear ghost ring sight system to get your slugs or shot on target. Its polymer stock and lightweight receiver are integrated to keep moisture and dirt out, with improved strength for
improved service life.

Mossberg

Model: 500SPX
Action: Pump
Gauges: 12 ga
Chamber: 3 inches
Chokes: Cylinder
Capacity: 5+1
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Special Features: Ghost ring rear sight, adjustable M4-style stock with 5-shot caddy
MSRP: $637

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Description
This tactical shotgun is ready to serve in a pinch, with its 5+1 standard capacity and 3-inch chambers that are
ready for high-brass personal defense loads. The ghost ring rear and bladestyle front sights will get you on target
fast. The ported barrel will keep you on target for fast follow-up shots, while the unique strap on the forearm helps you cycle the pump without losing traction on the forearm itself. Should you need to switch ammunition
types—from shot to slugs or back—the five-round carrier on the collapsible M4-style stock holds ammunition
at the ready.

 

Beretta

Model: TX 4 Storm
Action: Semi
Gauges: 12 ga
Chamber: 3 inches
Chokes: Cylinder
Capacity: 5+1
Barrel Length: 18.5 inches
Special Features: Ghost ring rear sight, accessory rail atop receiver
MSRP: $1,450

Description
This shotgun is part of Beretta’s Storm series of defensive arms, and rounds out their pistol/carbine/shotgun collection. A 12-gauge with 5+1 capacity, it uses a rear ghost ring and front blade sight combination to get you on target like a rifle, while the traditional styling is pure shotgun through and through. The chrome-lined bore offers improved service life, and its overall empty weight—6.4 pounds—means that it’s a light-handling, responsive firearm.

 

Editor’s note: A version of this article first appeared in the October 2012 print issue of American Survival Guide.