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Old July 17, 2006, 12:06 PM   #1
NRAhab
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Questions about Single-Action

I know that there are probably one or two people out there that have a single action wheel gun for home defense, or even personal carry.

So here's my question, then. When you draw, are you cocking the hammer immediately, or do you leave the hammer down?

This is an extended discussion from a buddy who works a ranch. He advocates using the hammer in a similar fashion to pumping a shotgun; ie as an audible warning.

Please don't reply with "get a 1911/glock/whatever".
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Old July 17, 2006, 12:30 PM   #2
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I'm interested in hearing the responses to this. I've never heard of using a SA revolver for home defense. I think it's safe to say that it's not the best choice for the average shooter. Too much "mind work" at the crucial moment, if you're going to have to cock the hammer, aim, and pull trigger. The less you have to think about, mechanically speaking, the better.
But I suppose one could argue that carrying a 1911 in a cocked-and-locked configuration is just as involved to activate, what with having to flick off the safety first.
I'm sure if you practiced enough at home with a SA revolver in mock scenarios, you could become proficient enough with it to make it viable.

But really, just get a Glock.
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Old July 17, 2006, 01:12 PM   #3
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I'm marginally curious as to why this was moved. While it is specific to revolver users, it concerns a tactical question.

To rephrase "If using a single action wheelgun, should you cover a target with the hammer cocked or not?"
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Old July 17, 2006, 01:33 PM   #4
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Cocked with finger off the trigger. Cock the hammer when presenting. If you are covering the target you don't want 2 things you have to do to fire.
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Old July 17, 2006, 01:34 PM   #5
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Sa

Today is one of those days avery month or so when I can't use my right hand because of an arthritis "flare". It may be here for a day or a week.

With a SA I can shoot with my left hand while using the edge of my right hand to cock it.

1. My hands aren't always strong enough to shoot DA.

2 No Ambi safety on my auto.

3. Right hand useless today for jacking a slide.

Days like this a SA is my everything gun, and to be consistent it is on it's way to being my always everything gun.

Cocked with my finger off the trigger.
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Old July 17, 2006, 01:37 PM   #6
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Aside from using a SA revolver for HD, that's one hellova question. If you were pulling the SA revolver from a holster, the first contact should be with the thumb on the hammer. (Some old gunfighters recommend the thumb wrapped around the hammer to avoid slipage). Either way you would be covering your target fully cocked.

If it's a bedside revolver, some folks would recommend covering your target, hammer down, just in case it happens to be unannounced company coming over for a late night beer.

For myself, I'd cock that sucker everytime...
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Old July 17, 2006, 02:04 PM   #7
timothy75
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Treat the hammer as if it were a saftey on a 1911. With your thumb on it you can have it cocked before you finish your presentation.
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Old July 17, 2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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My FWIW thoughts, as someone who owns both SA and DA revolvers, and who relies on a wheelgun for defensive purposes almost exclusively.

If I were to rely on a SA for defensive purposes, I would have my thumb on the hammer, but that hammer would be down.

If I were to cock that hammer, I would now have a weapon that is relatively easy to touch off. Less than 3 lbs of trigger pull on mine.

Perhaps a hair (trigger) too easy.

I hardly consider myself to be a Rambo and I can see me jumping from an involuntary reaction to something that might startle me. My senses would return within a second or so, but would that startled reaction cause me to place my finger on the trigger and squeeze it before I could recover? Maybe when it really wasn't necessary?

I dunno.

DA rules......if you practice.
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Old July 17, 2006, 03:17 PM   #9
Ala Dan
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I agree, thumb on the hammer with the hammer being "at rest" (down).
I don't advocate using a SA handgun for home D', as there are too
many particulars to have too deal with, when confronting an adversary.
Add too the fact, that the only SA revolver I own is a brand NIB Ruger
50th Anniversay Blackhawk .357 mag Flattop that has NEVER been fired.
While I like this firearm very much, I have others that are better suited
for home D'*~!

*FootNote: currently, a 4" service model Springfield XD-.45 ACP with a
Streamlight TLR-1 serves that purpose.
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Old July 17, 2006, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
MJRodney, If I were to cock that hammer, I would now have a weapon that is relatively easy to touch off. Less than 3 lbs of trigger pull on mine.
Maybe, but if you left your thumb on the hammer, or wrapped around the hammer it shouldn't go off if you have control of the weapon. Practice and familiarity with your SA will give you that edge.

Ever handle a cowboy gun? Whenever I pick one up I always work the trigger and the hammer. Cock the trigger, lower the hammer, cock the trigger, lower the hammer, with my finger still on the trigger. (Unloaded of course)

And the same action loaded, down range. Knowing your gun and how it will perform is the way to determine how you will handle it during an emergency.

Otherwise, trade for a SA/DA revolver.
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Old July 18, 2006, 05:25 AM   #11
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I will have to agree with Bullrock here. It is a matter of familiarity and comfort zone.
All things being equal, I would go with a double action revolver. However...If the single action is your thing, you can become just as safe and proficient with it.
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Old July 18, 2006, 09:20 AM   #12
NRAhab
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The point of this was more to settle a debate between a buddy and myself. A Ruger GP100 sleeps next to me.
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Old July 18, 2006, 04:26 PM   #13
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Hammer cocked coming up on target and finger off the trigger until ready to fire. It doesn't matter how light a trigger may be if the finger is not on it, but the revolver should be ready to fire.
Use and learn the single action. Too many people actually try to treat them like a double action by having that finger on the trigger and thinking the revolver is easily cocked when pointed at the target. A single action is easily cocked when the revolver is in a verticle motion as in during the draw and recovering from recoil.
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Old July 18, 2006, 05:07 PM   #14
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The point of having a weapon in that situation is to be able to use it. If you are presenting the weapon on target and the weapon is not cocked then you are just asking for trouble. I know of several range instructors who I have dealt with, both prior military and just plain LE, that will stick their index finger in the air when asked about how safe a glock is and say "This is my safety" and then they point at their temple and say "and THIS is my safety", meaning both control over their trigger finger as well as their mind and deciding when and when not to shoot are more important than just a weapon that may be in condition 1 or 2 or whichever you decide.

Don't know if I've answered any of your questions or not yet, but as far as I am concerned, if I used a SA revolver for home defense, I would be cocked with finger indexed when I was up on target. I would walk around with thumb on hammer with hammer down, but the minute I was presented with a target I would bring the weapon up while cocking the hammer.

Good luck with your debate with your buddy.
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Old July 18, 2006, 05:07 PM   #15
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I go with Majic on this.

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Old July 20, 2006, 01:41 PM   #16
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With practice a single action is about as fast as a double action as witnessed by watching any good cowboy shooter. From draw establish a solid grip that you will not move and as you present the gun bring your off hand to grip and use the off thumb to cock the gun. Once the master grip is aquired that hand does not move and repeated cocking is done with the off thumb. Of course the key to any speed and not fumbleing is practice. How ingrained is it? When my wife, who has been shooting cowboy for a several years, went to her first IDPA match, when the timer sounded she pulled her Sig (which she's shot for 2 years) and tried to cock the hammer. Why? Because that was what she was use to doing when she was on the line and the timer sounded, just her trained reaction. She still shoots her SA better than her auto.

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Old July 21, 2006, 07:41 AM   #17
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I carry a single action revolver daily. I cock the hammer with my lfet hand as I extend to fire. If handling it one handed cocking is done when extending arm. I shoot a single action in our local IDPA matches from retention I can fire the first shot accurately and fast as anybody else.
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Old July 21, 2006, 05:19 PM   #18
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Draw & raise gun to target.....cock hammer...keep finger off trigger until you're ready to fire.....

That's the way I handle all my SA's....revolvers AND autos....
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Old July 21, 2006, 05:26 PM   #19
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I always thought it was draw, use the cocking motion to lift the muzzle to line of fire, extend arm, fire. All with the right hand. Reaching across with the left hand works well for fanning the gun, but it is much faster to draw, cock, aim, and fire using the right hand. Try it. How else would you fire from horseback while holding the reins?
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Old July 22, 2006, 08:57 AM   #20
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Quote:
Scorch, I always thought it was draw, use the cocking motion to lift the muzzle to line of fire, extend arm, fire. All with the right hand. Reaching across with the left hand works well for fanning the gun, but it is much faster to draw, cock, aim, and fire using the right hand. Try it. How else would you fire from horseback while holding the reins?
You have described the correct way to draw and shoot an SA. Anything else is personal preferrence and modification.

With a good horse you don't need to hold the reins. Just tie them and drop them over the saddle horn. The horse will keep chasing whatever you set him on and if you need to turn him, just use the inside pressure of your leg...
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Old July 22, 2006, 02:56 PM   #21
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One hand gun

Cocking and firing the SA with one hand wasn't to let your other hand hold the reins, as previously stated, a good horse doesn't need the reins held every instant. Your non gun hand (usually the right) was expeced to be holding your saber!

It was, after all, originally intended for cavalry use!
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Old July 24, 2006, 12:40 PM   #22
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That's what I need for home defense.

A good old fashioned cavalry saber.
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