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The first firearm I owned (that used gunpowder) was a break open 410/.22 Savage/Stevens with an exposed hammer. The first 12 gauge was a single barrel LC Smith with an exposed hammer. About my third .22 revolver was a single action, and the first two even though double action, had hammers.

To me, it was always just the way you fired a gun was to cock it with your thumb, it became second nature. This had been my early way of life with guns. I also felt like I could get off three accurate shots instead of 6 not so accurate shots, so I never really gave shooting Double Action much thought.

About 20 years ago, I did start practicing some double action shooting, and had revolvers with varying degrees of smoothness, none bad.

I have handled only three revolvers in my life where they had been tuned by a master gunsmith who knew what he was doing.

One was a Ruger Red Hawk and I regret that I didn't buy it.

The Model 14 S & W that had been my father in laws double action competition gun (he was captain of the SWAT team at Pan-tex), and is now my youngest sons.

The other was a Diamondback I handled in about 1978.

Point is, I can understand wanting to master double action firing, and the necessity of doing so if you are carrying a revolver, but if that were the case, I'd sure want a gunsmith to work it over.
 
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I like smooth crisp double action on the center fire revolvers, but also have a Ruger Single Six.

There's just something about a thumb buster and thoughts of the Old West. Plinking is a fun sport and the Single Six was made for it.

Yes, it does have a long hammer fall like it's cousin the Blackhawk, but it's fun to shoot.
 

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I started out much like you, Jake. Developed a strong thumb out of necessity. My dad said: "get good with the single shot .410 and maybe you'll graduate to your brother's single-shot .12 ga." (WHOOPEE) Of course, eventually we inherited one of my dad's 12 ga. pumps.

Never cared much for DA revolvers, smith-tweeked or not, until I bought my LCR. I practice with it a lot, and that's a trigger I can live with.

That being said, my favorite revolver is still my Smith 686. Just can't get away from 'THUMBED" upbringing. (In those days you could also hitch-hike safely)
 

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I carry a baby Glock 45 acp now, I'm old slow, and fight dirty if the need arises. For years revolvers were my favorite carry. Owned a few with bobbed or no hammers. Can hold my own double action. That said a single action in a two hand hold can be shot faster and more accurately than a lot of double action shooters can. Watched it done many times, with a timer on targets. The double action shooter will often "jerk" the trigger and throw patterns instead of groups. I am not knocking double action. It goes back to the thing of only hits count. An old man preached that one dead center hit is worth more than a thousand close but missed shots. A miss is a miss be it by a hair or a mile. Thumbing a hammer is like pumping a shotgun or working an action of any kind, it is a time to realign sights. That said a "Good" double action shooter with a tuned gun will eat your lunch. I have owned and shot custom double action Target revolvers that run with the semi autos any day.
 

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Man, I gotta listen to the OldRedneck.
I have a beautiful revolver that I practice with. I call it The Old Man,'cause it's the oldest handgun I have. It's a limited run target model and it is sweet, sweet, sweet in either SA or DA.
 

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I can shoot double action or I can hit the target with single action....just depends on the mood I'm in. And the current cost of ammo.
 

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I got interested in shooting IPSC while in college, 91-94, and had never shot a DA revolver. I shot in open class and had a very good shooter in our group that also shot in revolver class. He told me that if I wanted to learn how to shoot, then I needed to learn on a DA revolver. I took it to heart and bought a Ruger GP100. Like Jake said, I learned that it was a big advantage to have it tuned and did so, I became pretty good but gave up IPSC shooting and eventually sold the GP100.

Now many years later I still shoot a lot of DA, I have found Smiths usually have the best factory triggers but Rugers are a close second. The Smiths can also take more lightening and smoothing before I get light strikes and as such are my revolver of choice. My 2 favorites are my K22-22lr and M19-.44mag. The 19 has a full wolf spring set and some polishing and stoning which gives it a very smooth and lite (5.5#) DA trigger, the K22 is stock but is still very smooth and just a little stiffer at 8#. I hate to sound conceited but I am a good pistol shot and my SA is usually not much better than my DA.


I have no problem ringing this 12" 50yard gong with either and shot this 5 shot 10 yard group with the K22, all DA.




 

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For the first 30 years of my shooting experience my handguns were almost all single action revolvers. During the last two decades I've added some autoloaders. Cocking the hammer is just second nature to me and I do it without thinking on the DA revolvers I own. My Grand Dad taught me to shoot on a single shot .22 break action rifle. It had a hammer and you had to cock it in order to shoot it. His explanation to me went something like this; Never point your gun at anything you don't intend to shoot. When you do intend to shoot, line up your shot and then cock the hammer. That little extra time you use to cock the hammer gives you just one more little bit of time to make sure you want to shoot what ever it is you're aiming at. I realize that this flies in the face of "Ready, Aim, Fire", and is more on the order of "Aim, Ready, Fire", but for a new shooter that is only 6 years old that makes a bit more sense. It's a good extra safety step and it keeps the focus on what condition the gun is in when it's pointed at the target.

I have shot well more than a half million rounds of 44Mag and uncounted boxes of .357Mag, .38 Special, .45Colt, and .22Mag and .22LR in single action revolvers. I automatically shoot revolvers in SA even if they are DA guns. And I do agree that you can indeed fire a SA with two hands just as fast, or faster, than a DA. With one hand it's a bit harder. Oddly enough when I shoot an auto loader I never think about cocking it, I just draw and shoot and I prefer DAO guns for CCW. It all has to do with how you've been trained and what muscle memories you've built into your brain. There is no doubt that a well tuned DA will out shoot SA revolvers and autoloaders, but it needs to be in the hands of someone that has done it for a very long time. (Think Jerry Miculek).

I will also say that after more than five decades of shooting, there is a little part of me that dearly loves to cock the hammer on any gun, be it a revolver, rifle, or shotgun, because for the brief second that it takes to do that, I relive a connection with my Grand Dad and that means the world to me.
 

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I'm kind of opposite of most of you. I learned with a double action revolver, so that's natural to me. The majority of the handguns that I own are DA/Sa revolvers.
 

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I realize that this flies in the face of "Ready, Aim, Fire", and is more on the order of "Aim, Ready, Fire"....
For some reason that reminded me of a description of Barry Goldwater's sound bites as "Ready, fire, AIM!":)
 
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Yeah, practice makes perfect. The only single action revolver I have ever owned was a FIE .22 some twenty-five years ago. All the rest have been DA/SA. I personally have never had a problem with revolvers in double action mode, it simply takes practice. Also, perhaps I have been lucky, but most of my revolvers have had quite good DA trigger pulls.

However, I can also put in my thoughts on gunsmith work. Personally, I think that Charter Arms revolvers have about the best factory DA trigger pull out there. However, I decided that at least once in my life I was going to send a revolver to a gunsmith. I sent my Mag Pug to Magnaport for an action/trigger job, etc. If I thought it was good before, after the work it was a revelation. It was so smooth you couldn't believe it. Most of my fellow shooters at the range were amazed too. If I felt it was needed I would definitely send a revolver to them for work again.
 
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