When considering a personal-protection gun, a double-action revolver can be your best bet for several very good reasons.
You don’t want a gun to fail in a crisis, and a double-action revolver is inherently more reliable than any semiauto. The only things that cause malfunctions in a revolver are either an unexpected parts breakage or a defective round that lodges a bullet in the barrel, while semiautos can fail for many additional reasons.
A revolver requires no maintenance for long-term storage. You can keep a clean, loaded gun in a drawer for 10 years and it will still fire when you need it to. Semiautos require more frequent “exercise” and maintenance. Springs can take a set and lubricants can congeal. They can’t be ignored for long periods of time. This is an important consideration for home-defense guns that may end up sitting around without seeing any use.
You can jam a DA revolver against an attacker and fire all rounds, whereas a semiauto can have the slide pushed out of battery and jam. This may be the reason why the most popular revolvers today are the compact, hammerless, 2-inch “snubbies” that can vanish in a pocket.
Revolvers do hold fewer rounds and can be slower to reload; however, FBI statistics show that the average civilian self-defense incident is over with no more than three rounds being fired. Even the smallest compact revolver will contain five rounds, and there are larger models that hold six, seven, or even eight. As a savvy self-defense expert once remarked, “I’d rather have five that I know will fire, than a dozen I’m not sure of. ”