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Old July 1, 2009, 09:16 PM   #53
Join Date: June 8, 2008
Posts: 3,470
A cocked revolver may be an ND waiting to happen if you don't have training. A lot of human factors research has been done on gun handling under stress and a single action pull can easily occur.
And that's one reason why I chose a DAO revolver for concealed carry. Here's a worthwhile article on the subject:

Relevant excerpts:

...people who carry a revolver for self defense should practice almost exclusively for double action fire, as if the single action option wasn't even there. Why? Because there are almost no situations in which single action fire is appropriate in self defense. Most self defense situations unfold rapidly. There isn't time to thumb cock a revolver and take careful aim in the way one would do while target shooting. A cocked revolver is dangerous in the adrenaline dump of a lethal force encounter. The trigger is just too light. Its too easy to fire when you don't mean to. There was a well-publicized case in Miami several years back in which a police officer accidentally shot a suspect he was holding at gunpoint with a cocked revolver. The suspect was killed and the officer faced a lengthy court process which ultimately destroyed his career.

In a nervous situation, a cocked revolver is dangerous. When you're really nervous or scared, the heavy double action trigger pull is an asset rather than a liability. I can hear you say, Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire, and that's true, but we also know that people don't always do what they're supposed to do in the stress of a deadly encounter. The police officer in Miami is a good example. I'm sure he had heard the rules. A firm double action trigger can be a welcome piece of insurance against an accidental discharge. With a DAO revolver, manual cocking isn't possible, nor is it possible to be accused of negligently cocking the hammer in a civil action which could follow a self defense shooting.
About clearing the house, it is difficult against an opponent by yourself. The suggestions to train and/or rearrange the house for security make a lot of sense. Those are much more important than the issue of cocking the revolver.
Very true indeed.

No, I didn't know about not cocking the revolver before I took CCW training. And I had no idea how foolish it was to walk around the house with gun in hand to investigate a noise, though simple common sense should have made that very clear.

Yes, training is a good thing--maybe a lifesaver.
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