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Old January 4, 2010, 03:47 PM   #1
shafter
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S/A revolvers

I've been reading some internet articles and it seems that there aren't many who advocate the use of a single action revolvers for self defense. These same people like to advocate a sturdy single action for defense against four-legged creatures such as bears but view them as inadequate against two-legged theats. Usually they point to speed and having to cock the hammer as as faults. If its fast enough to stop a bear attack which can happen faster than many realize, why then is it too slow and clumsy for street use?
I know most S/A's are too big to conceal properly but that is rarely brought up.
Any thoughts on this?
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Old January 4, 2010, 07:45 PM   #2
Balog
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One generally only get one (maybe) shot vs bears, which is not the case vs humans. And needing to reload vs a bear would be even less likely.

Also, I think the objection to slide guns and DA revovlers is they tend to be for less powerful cartridges (slide guns) or heavier than an equivalent SA (DA revolvers). Ymmv etc.
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Old January 4, 2010, 08:02 PM   #3
w_houle
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S/A guns have become ideal for critters because a critter encounter is usually one on one as opposed to... being attacked by however many, although a kinda quite comes to mind
You only have one bullet.
Yeah, so which one of you is brave enough to take it?
...

Just as long as you have a back up gun (BUG) in the same caliber as your main: You really shouldn't have too much to worry about, but there are better options.
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Old January 5, 2010, 11:53 AM   #4
Dwight55
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My son and I have often joked about carrying a SAA in .45 LC, . . . the idea being that any knowledgeable bg seeing that hog leg with the hammer back, . . . all poised and ready for "BOOM", . . . would have second thoughts and maybe settle down.

Trouble is, . . . most bg's aren't very knowledgeable (part of the reason many are bg's ), . . . so instead I carry a 1911 and at least one spare mag.

But I have to admit, . . . I would give a wide berth to anyone carrying an SAA style handgun, . . . figuring he may not be good, . . . but he darn sure is confident.

May God bless,
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Old January 5, 2010, 03:32 PM   #5
Blue Steel
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If you are practiced and proficient with a SAA and are comfortable with the limitations of this firearm, then by all means carry it confidently.

How many people are carrying 1911's without a spare magazine?
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Old January 11, 2010, 12:50 AM   #6
Malamute
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As a bear gun, the action type difference between DA and SA revolvers isnt as much of an issue. With the upper power levels used as bear guns, the DA isnt really any faster than an SA for someone experienced in their use. The SA is also more comfortable for many of us to shoot heavy loads in than a DA revolver.

As a protection gun in the two legged predator type, I feel OK with an SA, tho I don't live anywhere that large gangs tend to hang out. In any event, if you dont miss much, it shouldnt be too much of a problem. I seem to shoot an SA revolver better than a 1911, and about as good as a Smith DA. So long as real fast reloads isnt an issue, it doesnt worry me too much. 45 Colt 250 gr Keith loads @ 1000 fps or so gives one some confidence after shooting some game with them, especially after shooting game with some ball 45 auto loads. HP loads in the auto improve it, but the 45 Colt loads work real well on critters (so long as you forget the RN loads). About the same results with 44 mag loads in the same weight and velocity. I like DA's and SA's. Whatever I happen to have on that day, I feel ok about, but I live in what most would consider a remote, sparsely populated place. Problems with critters are more likley than people.
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Last edited by Malamute; January 11, 2010 at 01:00 AM.
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Old January 11, 2010, 01:36 AM   #7
Jim March
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I'm one of the few weirdos who does carry an SA as daily CCW.

It's a Ruger New Vaquero in 357, meaning it's similar in size/heft to a Colt SAA but with a transfer-bar safety, OK for six-up carry. I think this is a good idea for a "street SA" - not only do you get another shot, but if you drop it after cocking it or after the first shot it won't go boom.

I live in Tucson AZ these days. I don't go deep into harm's way. I like the ergonomics of this thing, I like the relatively fast first shot speed, and I've tweaked on this gun to a near-infamous point where the sights are just how I like 'em. I've had it new since mid-'05 and...it's been shot some.

And yes, I think there's an element of "psychological warfare" going on which I've done my best to maximize.

I have a second "near clone of the Colt SAA" in 22LR - a cheapo Cimarron Plinkerton that's actually been a decent practice-grade gun. Not anything I'd bet my life on, but as a way to practice for cheap, works great. And yes, the sights are modified the same way...brass tube instead of chrome steel as I don't need it's sight to be as durable.

Custom sights meant custom holster...just finished this rig. I wanted something that looked decent enough for open carry if I want to (not very often) and said "I'm not a stereotypical right-winger"...

So far summers (in Arizona!) have involved a fanny pack, I'm now thinking about re-creating a "Safepacker" type belt setup for summer CCW.

Might as well post pics...











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Old January 11, 2010, 02:16 AM   #8
Colt46
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Jim, what made you decide on .357?

I was thinking that a single action almost begs for the larger bores. Those most obvious reason might be ammo availability and cost. Downside would probably be muzzle blast.
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Old January 11, 2010, 02:41 AM   #9
Jim March
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I went with the 357 for both cost and flexibility. I can adjust the power level to an almost absurd degree, from 148gr 38spl target wadcutters up through the monster 357 full house stuff by Buffalo Bore, Doubletap, etc. It's also flat-shooting - I'm fairly well practiced now at 100yd stuff out in the desert .
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Old January 11, 2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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Having personally witnessed a single action large bore (40 cal or larger) revolver successfully used to defeat multiple assailants using pump shotguns and semi-auto rifles, I consider them to be entirely up to the task of personal defense against 2 or 4 legged assailants.
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Old January 11, 2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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Elaborate, please... I'd love to hear the story and so would everyone else.
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Old January 11, 2010, 12:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Elaborate, please... I'd love to hear the story and so would everyone else.
Yes, I know I'd love to hear it!
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Old January 11, 2010, 06:49 PM   #13
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Two assailants firing, others driving vehicle etc. Shotgun fired point blank (less than 10 feet) defender struck in face and forearms. Rifle firing from concealed location (angle of impact indicated elevated location) Single armed defender protecting two unarmed targets dispatched shotgunner with single action largebore revolver, entered shotgunner's vehicle and retrieved shotgun. Rifle shooter fled the scene. Defender and both of those he protected survived. Attacker not so much. Assailants fired a total of 16 rounds. Defender fired three. Assailant was hit by round that passed through his door, through him, through the driver seat (driver had fled) and lodged in driver door. Shot placement is king, caliber is queen, defender had both.
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Old January 11, 2010, 06:52 PM   #14
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If you've never seen what a SA can do in the hands of someone who knows how to use it, try going to a CAS match sometime. Even the slower shooters know what they are doing.
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Old January 12, 2010, 01:11 PM   #15
batjka
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M14fan,

That sounds pretty wild. Point-blank shotgun shot didn't kill the guy and he had enough composure to return fire and neutralize the threat. What was the shotgun guy firing, bird shot? What kinds of injuries to the defender?

Sounds like you were investigating this incident. Or did you witness it yourself?
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Old January 12, 2010, 03:33 PM   #16
M14fan
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BG was firing #4 buckshot. I witnessed both the point blank hit on defender and fatal shot on BG. Both within 1 second or less. BG thought direct hit should have neutralized defender and turned SG on me. Defender did not even flinch!!!!!
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