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Single Action for defense?

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:42 PM   #21
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Better than nothing. And a single-action semiauto is OK. May be better (double-action) choices for CCW. So many good ones today, at good prices.

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Old 02-12-2013, 11:58 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by 7point62 View Post
My advice for HD or as a back-up for hunting wouldn't be a single-action...unless you're really good with it. I've seen some Western-style shooters with pretty amazing speed and accuracy with single, but they didn't get that way overnight. My only reason for suggesting double is that in a crisis situation you don't want to waste time or risk fumbling with the hammer...and because of the adrenal rush and other unpredictable factors, you may need multiple rounds quickly to stop the momentum of your attacker.

The only time I carry revolvers is while hunting and hiking when 4 legged treats outnumber 2 legged ones and both of mine are DA/SA.

I too would love to add an old S/A Army or Scofield to the collection but for critter defense... I don't think it's gets any better than a DA revolver.

Most cat and bear attacks I read about left the shooter with milliseconds to respond, especially with big cats... most realized they had a problem when that cougar knocked them to the ground with teeth and claws firmly attached.

It's a miracle any of them were able to employ a sidearm at all and for those that did, it was "contact distance"... so based on lessons learned by others, I would not be depending on a gun I needed to cock...

But then again... People did it for decades before the DA came along so to each their own.

Good Luck

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Old 02-13-2013, 12:41 AM   #23
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I have a ruger 357 super blackhawk and a uberti stallion in 38 spl. I also have 2 other SAA revolvers. They are fun to shoot and accurate. Push comes to shove, you can certainly use them for SD, but you'd be better served with a good DA revolver or a semi for carry. good luck
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:30 AM   #24
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No problem with adequate training. I carry a .22 single action mouse gun as a BUG to my .40 S&W. Just takes LOTS of practice.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:52 AM   #25
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In my earlier days, I had only a single action revolver at home. I kept in in the night stand. I remember a number of times waking the night in a semi dream state - thinking I heard something. I would creep out of bed, get the gun as quietly as I could, pull back the hammer to full cock, and walk around the dark house. It occurred to me that as light as the trigger was on the gun in cocked mode that I could have shot my foot off accidentally as a sleepily stumbled around the dark house.
Back then I did load the first two chambers with bird shot, though.
I stopped having those semi-dreams that got me up - but I did question the wisdom of it all.

The single action - if it was what I had in the house - it would do for personal defense, I think. You don't hear of many big shoot outs of many shots fired in a home invasion. One gun - and one shot - that's pretty much gonna change a bad guys mind about his priorities at that moment. Same as the always great sound of a pump shotgun cycling. Those guys are not highly dedicated to their profession - they don't mind abandoning their "work".
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:58 AM   #26
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I have occasionally carried my a Ruger Blackhawk. I have an OM 357 that conceals well. I am pretty proficient with this revolver. Problem is I have to carry on an empty chamber and reloading time is long. I have a NM convertable 357/9mm that can safely carry six, I just don't like it as much.

I love the four clicks of an old model.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:34 AM   #27
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How often are citizens involved in multi shot shoot outs? I have never read where any civilians needed to fire even 7 rounds. Civilians unlike police are using a firearm for personal defense. Police are attacking and using their weapons for offensive arms.
I can not see why a single action revolver would not serve a civilian.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:07 AM   #28
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It depends on how much you wanna train with it I have went to quite a fue cowboy action comps and those guys can shoot em faster and more accurate than I can with any of my semi autos but takes a lot of work I have a heritage .45 long SA and I Cary it hiking but its so expensive to shoot I don't think ill ever get proficient enough with it that I'd choose it over my 1911 for SD
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:39 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by MattyT
Is a single action revolver a bad idea for defense purposes? I have wanted one for a while but I have never shot one, I just love the way they look and the history behind them. I have no idea how the firing speeds compare to a double action when youre trying to get them off quickly. I have a lot of interest in the Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero. In the .357 models they can also shoot 38 specials, correct? I wonder how the shotshells work in those loads for snakes and little critters. I realize the GP100 and SP101 are double action and better suited for defense purposes. I mainly use my handguns for hunting sidearms and HD and very few range outings now that ammo is on shortage. I guess my question is what are your opinions on using a single action revolver for HD/SD? Does anybody or would anybody choose it over some other types of handguns as a HD or hunting sidearm gun? and why?
Yes, a single action is a viable option. The manual of arms is different than with a semi auto, but not any more difficult if you practice with it. In a typical self defense encounter as a private citizen, the SA is a lot easier to defend your actions in event of a trial as it is obviously not a high capacity gun. Also, a private citizen will most likely never fire the gun anyway, so 6rounds is plenty. On the other hand, if you are jumped by a gang, reloads are slower ( but you can reload on the fly if you practice).

As for practical accuracy, the SA is often better than a DA revolver as you are firing in single action (a typical DA revolver does not cock as easy and the prosecutor could use this against you as you premeditated the action of shooting since you cocked the hammer on a DA revolver). The 38 special is adequate as a self dense round (in modern JHP or JSP ammunition) so you need not feel under-gunned. The 357 magnum is generally adequate for critter defense unless you are in grizzly territory (you would want a large bore rifle for that). Oh, the lowly wad cutter (typically 140-148 gr lead) is also a very effective home defense round in temperate climates where the BG is not wearing heavy clothing (plus they would never be able to say you were carrying man killer hollow points in court).

Holsters for concealed carry of an SA revolver are not common. I used a Mernickle high rise for a Vaquero 44 special for ccw ( still, it is not easy to conceal the gun except in the winter. Open carry is a lot easier, and very few BGs would mess with a person with a single action on his belt (most know how to effectively use it).

So it is possible with the right holster and it is no more difficult to master the manual of arms than it is with a single action auto. But the gun is harder to conceal.

As for shot shells, I never trust a handgun shot shell to kill a snake with one shot. I encountered a rattler while hiking on a narrow trail (my cousin was in front and froze, the snake was ready to strike), drew and shot the snake with a Speer shot shell (38spl), and had to dispatch the snake with the second round (supervel 110gr 357 jhp - yes, this does date me as these were made in the 70's and 80's), which cut the head off the body. Since then I do not rely on the shot shell for rattlers.

Hope this helps.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:35 PM   #30
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I've been around a long time and watched a number of people make suicidal choices over the years. I know what it is to be shot at and a friend of mine in 1980 was shot and killed, while trying to reload his DA revolver by someone with a high capacity automatic and he had the very best training, but was still at a disadvantage and paid with his life.

My friend was required to carry the weapon he had and if given the choice would've chosen something else, but you aren't restricted to those rules. You can carry the very best available. This ain't the movies and GOD forbid if I ever get involved in an incident where I'll have to use my gun I hope at least the other guy if armed is armed with a SA revolver in any caliber of his choice. We don't often find ourselves in those terrible situations with such a great advantage.

Depending on the situation and what the element of surprise is at the time, using a DA auto, or even a DA revolver is unquestionably a substancial advantage over a SA revolver. I should also include the SA autos like the 1911, or BHP that I've carried cocked and locked. Anyone with any desire to go up against any of those with a SA revolver is just plain looking to die.

No one knows how many rounds will be fired during any particular gunfight and depending on the statistics makes no sense. The one who wins is the one prepared for most anything. Carry whatever you like, after all it's only your life.

Last edited by gunsmoke11; 02-14-2013 at 06:38 PM.
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