Single Action for defense?

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by MattyT, Feb 12, 2013.

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  1. MattyT

    MattyT New Member

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    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?
     
  2. Colby

    Colby New Member

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    Yes ... any .357 will shoot .38 Special.
    Single action for defense? It was done by necessity by everyone up until the first double actions were invented. That's all there was. Sure, it could be done.
    You'd have to teach yourself to always cock the hammer - as a natural reflex in using the gun. And you could do that. After cocking, the triggers are usually quite a bit lighter A(more sensitive) that double action - so you would have to be more careful with the trigger once cocked to avoid accidental discharges. All things you could learn - or recognize.

    Would a double action be better? Probably - actually, not much doubt that they would be better. It will always fire when the trigger is pulled. But just because it would be better, doesn't mean a single action could not be workable. You've got to know what you've got and become very familiar with it.
    If you have a double action, you could use that to practice with - to see how you feel about the constant cocking. Or, if you don't have a double action revolver with an exposed hammer, you could get one - use it in single action mode - and maybe even forget about the single action gun.

    Figure out what it is about single action that you like. Double action does the same thing - except it loads easier - and it can go double action in a panic situation.
    It is the grips you like on many single actions that draws you to them? Figure out what it is.
    Heck, it you can spring for it - buy one of each. Many, many people on this forum have multiple guns.

    Double actions tend to be large, so concealed carry would be more difficult. And the slow loading is an issue. Also, spent casing extraction of a single action is more cumbersome and slow - using the push rod. Double action swing-out cylinders are kind of convenient - and they load and unload much faster. There are some very heavy calibers available in single action, too, but so are they in double action - but you mentioned liking .357.

    But try not to let people tell you it can't be done. It was done for a century. It's kind of what you want to do. And, myself, I can see the draw of the old single action. I own one myself...

    Keep us posted. We're interested.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013

  3. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    They were used for nearly 200 years for self defense and war. Some designs can be fired faster than a semi auto with proper dedication to training.

    The main difference between da and sa revolvers is hammer design. The hammers of da revolvers do not lend well to shooting rapidly in sa mode.

    Sa revolvers do not typically lend themselves well to concealed carry since they are pretty big. I wouldnt feel unarmed with one as they do fill the number one rule of self defense:

    Have a gun.

    That being said there is a real sound reason most folks dont use sa revolvers for self defense.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  5. AR10

    AR10 New Member

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    A brick or a stick are not bad items for defence and are better than nothing. A good firearm is much better. Nothing wrong with a single action.

    I had an older Ruger .357 that had four loud clicks when you cocked the trigger back and that sound was like a thousand rattle snakes shaking their tails.

    The newer Ruger revolvers or ones sent in to have an internal trigger block safety added no longer have the four loud clicks, and I don't like them as well because of that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    I believe front sight has a defensive single action revolver clinic. Good enough to convince me that it's still a viable option.

    If it's not front sight, then it's one of the other big name defensive handgun training facilities.
     
  7. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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    A single action sidearm wouldn't be my first choice for HD. However, if I already owned one, I'd spend the money to buy an HD/multi-use shotgun before purchasing another pistol.
     
  8. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    'Twas never any doubt!

    [​IMG]


    Bob Wright
     
  9. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Vaquero in 45colt I have thought about carrying. I feel I could defend myself with it. But there are simply too many options in my gun safe. A good problem to have.
     
  10. FrontierTCB

    FrontierTCB Active Member

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    You should spend many hours getting familiar with, firing, drawing and handling any firearm you intend to use for defense.
    A S/A revolver will take much more practice to be nearly as efficient as a D/A or semi auto but many people have conditioned themselves to be very fast and accurate with them. Then you have the reloading issue which think would be a bit stressful if in a gunfight.
    I have a S/A S. Blackhawk and love it. But it would not be the first second or third gun I go for in a combat situation.
     
  11. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    How'd I know this guy would drop in with his 2 cents? ;)

    Bob, do you even own any semi autos?
     
  12. blindshooter

    blindshooter New Member

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    I hope you guys are friends.
     
  13. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    For a .38 or other low energy round I would much rather have a double action revolver,now when you're talking a light warm .357 or warm .45LC,then I would have no worries using it for like-home defense.I would feel safe in knowing with those powerful rounds,one shot will probably do the job.
     
  14. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Nope. Well, we aren't enemies or anything, but we don't talk to each other much. Why? I'm just curious if such a single action aficionado owns any semi autos.
     
  15. Overkill0084

    Overkill0084 Active Member

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    With proficiency it should work ok.
    My issue would be reload speed. There's a reason swing out cylinders caught on.
     
  16. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Thats a great lookin hogleg and seeing that just makes me wish I lived back in the day when every man carried one and a man's word was his bond.
     
  17. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Both of those are holliwood myths.

    There were just as many per capita liars cheats and thieves then as there are now.

    The aproximate same percentage of folks then carried guns as do folks today.

    The shoot out at the ok corall was all about vile scum like doc holiday trying to disarm citizens.

    Weapon design has always been an arms race to get a better mouse trap out the door. Thats why the muzzle loader drifted out of sd favor and why cap and ball revolvers went to the wayside and then single action revolvers drifted into the past. Better came along.

    Thats not to say you couldnt successfully defend yourself with a flintlock pistol, its just not the ideal way to do it.

    Getting good with a single action revolver definately wins the style points however.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  18. Bob Wright

    Bob Wright Member

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    Indeed I do! Somewhere I've got a little Mauser M1910 .25 ACP that's a WW II bringback. And a Ruger 22/45 auto. And, I've had considerable experience with a .45 ACP Colt Gold Cup set up to handle hardball.

    But when I want to do serious shooting, its my Single Actions.

    As to being friends, everybody here on this board I consider "friend."

    Bob Wright
     
  19. lukeisme

    lukeisme New Member

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    I carry a 44mag Virginian dragoon made by interarms while hunting in bear country. I have also taken a few does with it at hurry up close range. I would feel very confident with it for home defense. I prefer a shotgun with #4 shot for home defense. Over penetration and stress are really the two biggest factors to be concerned with.
     
  20. gunsmoke11

    gunsmoke11 New Member

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    A SA would be wonderful for SD only if you can draw and shoot like Bob Munden. With all the high quality DA's out there you'd have to have a death wish trying to get away it. My favorite gun of all time is the Colt SAA and Dennis Weaver when he played McCloud on TV looked very cool carrying it:cool:, but it would be stupid to go into a gunfight knowingly at a disadvantage. We're talking about scumbags that shoot back and not furry forest critters here.:eek:

    Getting into a combat situation at home, or in the street when you have a SA and the other guy has a high capacity automatic, is like a mma fighter getting into a ring with his laces untied. Chances are he's gonna trip and land on his face and get his azz kicked.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
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