The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 18, 2013, 11:24 AM   #1
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
Why single shot pistols?

Post on the Revolver Section of this forum tells of finding/seeing a Colt Camp Perry Model single shot. Over the years the single shot has surfaced and submerged again. Sort of why this model continues to find interest is my reason for this post.

The single shot pistol has a perceived advantage over the revolver as there is no barrel/cylinder gap, hence no loss of velocity. And over the autoloader (and revovler) as there are no parts required to feed, eject, nor rotate a cylinder. The single shot is sheer simplicity. Theoretically, since there is only one chamber, it should have better accuracy than a revovler, and since the barrel does not move, offers better accuracy than the auto. This is theoretical only, I hasten to add.

Single shots can be made very inexpensively and this is an attraction for the plinker, trapper and informal target shooter. And for the long range varminteer, single shots can be made chambered for cartridges unthinkable for revovler or auto.

And nothing looks as "old timey" as a replica Remington Rolling Block with walnut stocks and case hardened frame.

I'd better quit writing for now. Another "want" is something I sure don't need.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 11:34 AM   #2
Ferretboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2012
Location: Longview, WA
Posts: 214
Look at the Contender and the ease of swapping barrels, so you only have to buy one action, and have lots of fun with varrious cartridges. I have fired the .223 and 30-30 barrels, very entertaining.

If i was gonna get a single shot though, I would want a rifle, specifically a Ruger No.1 in 30.06.
__________________
There is no such thing as Overkill, Dead is Dead!
Ferretboy is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 11:49 AM   #3
LarryFlew
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2009
Location: Minnesota CZ fan
Posts: 897
TC Contender - had MANY barrels from 35 Rem to 22. Narrowed down to a scoped 14 inch 5.56 and 45/410. Held steady enough the 5.56 is within a 2.5 inch circle at 100 yards. Hand held within 5 inch, certainly good enough for large varmints even if you can't find a tree or ? to steady your aim.
LarryFlew is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 11:52 AM   #4
buck460XVR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 2,136
Single shot handguns are like single shot rifles and single shot shotguns. They are simple, easy and safe to load and unload, generally inexpensive, relatively accurate and are fine for applications where a quick second shot is not in the scenario.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:21 PM   #5
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
Had my first experience with the Thompson Contender many years ago. I was visiting my daughter and her family and my son-in-law had some of his friends introduce me to that pistol. One of them made custom barrels and they started me out with the .30-30 and we ran up to, and through the .45-70. They had three frames and a box full of barrels.

Once, while firing the .35 Remington, I had a hangfire. I squeezed one off only to have the hammer remain cocked. I held it pointed down range for a minute, with my trigger finger alongside the frame, then brought the gun to the "pistol ready" position, gripping with two hands and held at forty-five degrees, prepatory to opening the action and ejecting the unfired ropund. At that point the pistol fired, whipping the front sight back into my right cheekbone. We were outdoors, and downrange was nothing for miles, so no danger. Other than my seeing stars for a minute or two. And putting a new slot in my cheek.

This frame had been used for load development and barrel testing and was pretty beat up from the abuse. Apparently some burrs held the hammer back, then let go.


Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:23 PM   #6
Ferretboy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 2012
Location: Longview, WA
Posts: 214
Was it a reload or factory load? I have actually never experienced a hang fire.
__________________
There is no such thing as Overkill, Dead is Dead!
Ferretboy is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:27 PM   #7
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
Ferretboy said:
Quote:
Was it a reload or factory load? I have actually never experienced a hang fire.
I edited my post as you were posting your query.

The ammunition was a custom load. But the ammunition was not the fault, it was the burrs in the pistol's action. Even though the sear had broke, the hammer stayed back. For awhile.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:31 PM   #8
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
As far as the gun/barrel combination was concerned the slickest one I fired that day was the .30-40 Krag, topped with a 2.5X scope. I'm not used to scoped handguns, but did take one groundhog that day with it.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:43 PM   #9
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 2,432
Technically it doesn't sound like a "hangfire" if what Bob describes is accurate...

Quote:
Once, while firing the .35 Remington, I had a hangfire. I squeezed one off only to have the hammer remain cocked. I held it pointed down range for a minute, with my trigger finger alongside the frame, then brought the gun to the "pistol ready" position, gripping with two hands and held at forty-five degrees, prepatory to opening the action and ejecting the unfired ropund. At that point the pistol fired, whipping the front sight back into my right cheekbone.
A hangfire is when the hammer drops on a round but the primer does not ignite immediately. This can be because of a bad primer, light strike of the hammer, hard primer or another reason. But in the case Bob describes the hammer did not fall and did not strike the primer. Bob says that when he raised the gun to the ready position it was then that the hammer dropped and the round fired. If he had placed his thumb over the hammer while it was cocked and held it back till he could safely lower it to the half cock notch then the gun would not have fired.

In the case of a true hangfire you can do what Bob began to do, hold the gun pointed down range for 30 seconds to a minute to see if the primer will ignite the powder. Then while holding the gun still pointed downrange and away from you and not in the ready position, open the action and eject the round. In the case of a single action try dropping the hammer on the round again, it won't hurt anything and the round may go off this time.

IF you shoot 22 l.r. regularly hangfires are common. In a revolver when the hammer drops and the round does not go off wait 30 seconds or so. If the round does not go off within a few seconds it usually will not go off till another hit on the primer occurs.

Single shot handguns are excellent tools for a number of things. In general they are stronger than other types of handguns and are, mechanically at least capable of greater accuracy.

tipoc
tipoc is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:50 PM   #10
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
tipoc:

What you say is true, and I agree with your terminology. It was a malfunction to be sure, not a hangfire.

Hangfire just seem the right word at the time. Kept me hangin'.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 18, 2013, 12:54 PM   #11
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
I have experienced a true hangfire. I was shooting a borrowed Remington 1849 Pocket Model. The mercury had played havoc with the nipples, and I touched off one round only to have a "click" of the falling hammer. Maye ten seconds elasped with a little smoke curling from the cylinder area, then the gun fired.

Replacement nipples were hard to come by in those days, so the owner made do with what he had.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 02:46 AM   #12
kozak6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2005
Location: AZ
Posts: 2,322
What inexpensive single shot pistols are there and where do you find them?

The only single shot pistols I ever see are TC Encores and Contenders, and I don't see them often. Or cheaply.
kozak6 is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 07:17 AM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 8,343
there are some cheap single shots... but I got started on the Contenders ( wish I had started on Encores... though they didn't have them "back then" )

I've seen single shots bind up the action if everything isn't right ( just like everything can ) the change barrel guns are a big hole to throw money into... I've got 20-30 barrels, so I know... plus it's always nice to have a scope on a gun that accurate $$$
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 07:50 AM   #14
BlkHawk73
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 1999
Location: Maine
Posts: 744
Cheap ones will not give the same quality or performance as the pricier ones. BIG difference between the Rexio and the HS Precison. Sure there's the TC's, the Contender and the Encore, but there's the bolt action repeaters as well...Remington, Savage, Weatherby. Then there's the others...Witchita, Uberti and my favorite, the Competitor.

__________________
Shoot safe, shoot often

Last edited by BlkHawk73; March 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
BlkHawk73 is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 07:55 AM   #15
CajunBass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 6, 2005
Location: North Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 3,454
I want a Thompson Center in 22 LR, with a scope for squirrel hunting. I don't want it bad enough to actually go out looking for one, or enough to put off buying somehing else, but I want one.

One of these days, I'll trip over one and buy it.
__________________
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
CajunBass is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 09:45 AM   #16
Bob Wright
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 2012
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Posts: 1,893
Well, no gun is cheap nowadays, though it may be cheaply made.

Up until fairly recently Uberti had a single shot replica of the Remington Rolling block. And I occasionally see Stevens single shots at gun shows.

Bob Wright
Bob Wright is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 09:52 AM   #17
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
I love my Encore because it allows me to hunt in zones where "rifles" aren't allowed and still use a "rifle" cartridge, because it's a "handgun" and can be used in any zone where firearms of any kind are allowed.

Making the shot... well... that's another matter entirely.

__________________
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
---
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
-----
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old March 19, 2013, 09:19 PM   #18
James K
Staff
 
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 19,647
The old-time single shots, like that Colt Camp Perry model, were made for the slow fire part of match shooting for the reasons Bob mentions. Slow fire is ten rounds in ten minutes, so there is no problem using a single shot pistol if the rules allow different guns in a match. (Timed fire is two five-shot strings, each string in 20 seconds. Rapid fire is the same, but each string is 10 seconds.)

But other single shots have been used for other reasons, like simply having something different.

Jim
__________________
Jim K
James K is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 01:42 PM   #19
aarondhgraham
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2009
Location: Stillwater, OKlahoma
Posts: 7,107
Cheap single shots,,,

There are some inexpensive single shots,,,
Rossi makes this one that's actually quite accurate.

Matched Pair Pistol .22 LR and .45 Colt

I've looked at them for quite a while now,,,
One of my range acquaintances bought one early this year.

The .22 barrel is a very nice shooter,,,
The trigger seemed a bit stiff,,,
But it's a new gun after all.

I hit a 1 quart milk jug at 50 yards with the .45 barrel,,,
I was resting the gun on a range bag though,,,
But I still thought it was a good shot.

Aarond

.
__________________
Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
aarondhgraham is offline  
Old March 21, 2013, 02:18 PM   #20
dajowi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 979
Why single shot pistols? Because that's what Obama is aiming for And then right after that 0 shot pistols.
dajowi is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 11:15 AM   #21
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,485
Why single shot pistols?

Because there is no law, rule, or reason why all handguns should be repeaters! Not every handgun needs to be best suited for personal defense. Celebrate diversity!

Single shots are for sport. Wheather that sport is hunting, formal target shooting or informal plinking.

Single shots are also lighter than repeaters in the same calibers. And they are available in a wide range of cartridges that repeaters are not.

AND, they're FUN!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 24, 2013, 01:47 PM   #22
Gmony.308
Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 47
I prefer my TC Encore single shot for whitetail, it's more sporting, more challenging and more all around fun to use than a rifle or shotgun. Besides, it's the only handgun I own that is capable of dropping anything on the NA continent and the only handgun I own that shoots a group under 1" at 50yds.

PS. I'd give you the group size at 100yds but I shoot offhand and rarely (never) attempt that range without sticks or sandbags.
Gmony.308 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11394 seconds with 9 queries