Monday, October 27, 2008

Double Action Friendly I Ain't

A recent post by Caleb at Call Me Ahab has managed to put a burr under my saddle. In said post, Unix-Jedi makes a play on the line from Star Wars: A New Hope, saying: "Not as clumsy or random as a automatic. An elegant weapon for a more civilized time." He was, of course, referring to revolvers.

Now, please don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way. I realize that this was (mostly) a bit of fun between friends. I also realize that everyone has their preferences and everyone's preferences are different. The world'd be a really dull place if there was only one style of handgun, rifle, and shotgun in it.

But, please, don't try to sell me that bit about revolvers being the perfect carry gun. Folks can (and have) debated for days on end, back and forth about reliability, capacity, and concealability. But, for me, it boils down to one issue that's the deal-breaker: revolvers are intended to be fired in double action. And I just can't shoot in double action.

Oh, I suppose I could hit the broad side of a barn with a typical DA pistol. The Smiths in particular have a DA that is smooth enough for me to do okay with. But I consistently do better with pistols that have a crisp, single action trigger. It doesn't even have to be that light. If I were to take a box-stock Rock Island Armory plain-jane 1911 and a slicked-up Smith .357 (whatever model), I can state with confidence that (barring poor workmanship) I'd hit consistently better with the 1911. This has been true since I bought my first handgun (a S&W 66). I imagine it's also true of said stock 1911 versus pretty much any DA/SA or DAO autoloader. I don't know as I've never shot many of those types of handguns.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't see how one can naturally shoot a double action better than a single action. The only way I can see that it's feasible to compare the two is to have someone who has worked with DAs long and hard enough that it's not a handicap any more (Jerry Miculek anyone?). It just seems to me that for the average joe a SA autoloader is going to be significantly easier to get good hits with quickly. And isn't that the point of a defensive arm?

1 comment:

Richard said...

Maybe back in the day when ammo was cheap you could practice enough to be comfortable with a DA revolver.

I have carried a DA revolver before, but with what I was carrying (S&W Mod 29) I really didn't expect to have to use it. I obviously wasn't concerned about too much concealability. :D