Thoughts on carrying a Ruger Single Action...

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Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,987
Thoughts on carrying a Ruger Single Action for personal defense......

I've been carrying a Ruger Blackhawk, either .44 Special or .45 Colt for over ten years now. Here's my experience and observations. Thank God, I've never been called into use. But here are my ideas about the carrying of such.

First off, I dress around my carry style. I wear western clothing down to boots and hat. Tennessee, my home state, is open carry, but I find it more prudent to conceal, at least to some extent. I normally wear a sport coat or jacket, and in summer a western cut leather vest. So what if the tip of my holster may show at times, its only leather and could be a phone or computer. I carry on my pants belt, strong side. My advice is to avoid inside waistband carry especially if covered by a Polo shirt of any garment that requires the offhand to grab and pull it up to expose the gun butt.

When I make my draw, my elbow pushes back the covering garment and my hand falls naturally on the gun butt, thumb automatically goes to the hammer, trigger finger does find the trigger. I lift the gun clear and swing it in an upward arc, cocking the hammer as I do so. When the gun is level and directed to my assailant I press the trigger. I make no wasted "steps" as presenting the gun nor trying to cock with the off hand.

I carry my gun in a leather holster with no thongs or straps. The mouth of the holster is about mid way or my belt. And my holster has a slight forward cant. Too much cant and my thumb has trouble finding the hammer spur.

And as to color, while many of my holsters are light tan, I have found brown, oxblood, or cordovan to be less noticeable, while tan and black do seem to draw attention.

Here one of my favorite rigs, Doc Barranti's No.1 Schuck:




These my thoughts and practices.

Bob Wright
 

A.J.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
481
I say carry what you are most comfortable carrying. I like your rig. Don't change a thing. Your single action has some advantages over even the most beloved, flavor of the day plastic framed semi auto.

I normally carry a .38 snub nosed revolver LCR and sometimes a .357 full size GP100. I always carry concealed.
 

krw

Blackhawk
Joined
May 29, 2003
Messages
567
To each his own on what you choose to carry. But, a Glock 19 is smaller, lighter, nearly 3x’s firepower. A good 147gr HP aint like a 250gr HP, but it will sure take the aggression out of em
 

Jeepnik

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
5,219
Bob, I think somewhat along the same lines. Mostly carry a .45 Blackhawk with a 4.58" barrel. I don't find the barrel length to be a problem. But I carry cross draw. With that cant the bottom of the holster sits a bit higher than a strong side.

Oh, and as to attire while western dress isn't a problem here, I've found that an old, fat, white guy in a Hawaiian shirt is pretty much invisible.
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,333
Always carry two, one holstered, and one in a pocket.
I have a nice light 5 shot 38 in my pocket no matter what! Back up. ps
 

blume357

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,704
As mentioned, carry what you are comfortable with... my father taught me to shoot a double action revolver but always using single action. If you posted what you did on other gun forums there would probably be a number of folks flaming you to an extreme... I doubt that will happen here.
 

Stoble

Bearcat
Joined
Sep 3, 2011
Messages
6
My personal thoughts are that technology provided us with the double action for advancement over the single action for defense. Followup shots are slower and more fire power is available with other guns. It would not be for me. Nevertheless, I know you are into your western rig and I don't believe you would change due to my preferences. Regardless of these issues you are probably having more fun than many of the rest of us with your setup. Enjoy my brother.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,550
I've been known to carry a Colt Single Action 4.75" .45 tucked into to my pants Mexican carry. Five beans in the wheel. More often it's a Colt Combat Commander .45 ACY IWB appendix carry with an S&W M60 .38 Spl. in my pants pocket. Whatever works for you, go for it.
Paul B.
 

Mike J

Hunter
Joined
Aug 5, 2007
Messages
3,496
I carry about as differently as humanly possible from how you do. I carry a compact (mid) sized striker fired pistol in a kydex IWB holster with a spare magazine in a OWB mag carrier on my off side. I use my shirt tail for my cover garment. While I have practiced pulling my shirt away with my off hand I also practice sweeping it out of the way with my strong hand as I reach for my gun. We all make our choices & take our chances. I would not/will not criticize your choices. We all have to find what works for us.
 

Pat-inCO

Hawkeye
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,729
Nice looking carry rig!

I have one thing that . . . I . . . prefer; retention.
I think it is fairly easy for someone to come up behind you and grab
a hand full of your gun, unless you use some type of retention.

Personal opinion, your choice.

:D
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,987
Pat-inCO said:
Nice looking carry rig!

I have one thing that . . . I . . . prefer; retention.
I think it is fairly easy for someone to come up behind you and grab
a hand full of your gun, unless you use some type of retention.

Personal opinion, your choice.

:D

Nobody comes up behind me unnoticed. I'm very alert and aware who is where. And they would have to know exactly where the butt of my gun is as it is covered by my vest or coat. And likely most men who might try that have no idea what to do with a Single Action once they have it in their hand.

The time when I am most vulnerable is at the gas pump or in a "bump and grab" carjacking. I am never in such a crowd as to prevent "social distancing" which I have practiced long before I ever heard of Covid-19.

All retention devices with which I am familiar require use of the thumb. I want the only job for my thumb is cocking the hammer.

I am at church, a Ruger .44 Special Blackhawk is on my hip:



I am out with my family, a Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt is on my hip:





Bob Wright


P.S. These kids are some of the ones who earned my Silver Eagle Award. The young man in the green choir robe is now teaching school in Twin Falls, Idaho. The church made up funds to give him a Savage .30-06 with scope.
 

RSIno1

Hunter
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
2,156
powder smoke said:
.......I have a nice light 5 shot 38 in my pocket
This has become my favorite carry. Quick light easy.
I bought a Glock 26 but sold it because it wasn't much smaller than my Glock 19 which had 5 more rounds. I take the 642 S&W when I'm local. The Glock 19 is for trips to the big city and if I'm going to or through the ghetto it's the 45ACP Glock 30.
 

blume357

Hawkeye
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Messages
8,704
Actually the person coming up behind you and taking your gun is a good if not best reason for concealed carry. It looks like open carry may actually become legal here is S.C. sort of kinda .... if you have a permit or S.C. recognizes your permit (maybe?)

I actually burned my breakfast yesterday reading about it in the paper... I knew it was proposed buy never expected it to make it through.

One of the funny things I realized later is no one (media or politicians) mentions that open or concealed carry is actually legal for anyone in S.C. if they are going to, actively doing or come from ... hunting or fishing.
 

kmoore

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,035
Not having a safety strap is also my issue. It is not only someone coming up and taking the gun. It is there to keep the gun in the holster no matter what happens until you want it out. Being that it has a longer barrel does help.
But, than again I have read and been told about people who had a handgun drop out of a holster for bending over, falling, getting into a fight, getting into a car wreak etc. etc. Any good strap will prevent that and any good strap will be undone with practice until it's 2nd nature to the draw. I would never rule out 1 or more nut jobs trying to disarm a open carry person. Again having a safety strap will help kept it on you.
Crazy to think this possible, but I was there. A head on car wreck, I arrived to help 1st officer. I seen a 1911 lying on street and quickly grabbed it before a bystander did. The guy was wearing a cheapo shoulder holster. We never knew if it went out the broken windshield or side window. He did thank me for finding and returning the gun.
 

mlazarus5388

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
179
Nice gun. Nice rig. While I prefer to carry a semi auto for the most part, and occasionally a K6S depending on circumstances, there is something elegant about a SA revolver and a large bullet.
 

InjunBro

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
95
A single action can work fine for defense... if you practice w/ it until you draw & fire w/out thinking. The advantage is they're about as rugged & foolproof as you can get. Whether I carry a revolver or auto mine function the same: point & mash the bang switch, others have trained to release the safety or cock the hammer when presenting. Either is fine if you do it enough. Anything that requires 2 hands to draw is a recipe for disaster, what if you need a light or to open a door or if a thug just jumped from behind a car & knocked you down or...
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
5,987
InjunBro said:
A single action can work fine for defense... if you practice w/ it until you draw & fire w/out thinking. The advantage is they're about as rugged & foolproof as you can get. Whether I carry a revolver or auto mine function the same: point & mash the bang switch, others have trained to release the safety or cock the hammer when presenting. Either is fine if you do it enough. Anything that requires 2 hands to draw is a recipe for disaster, what if you need a light or to open a door or if a thug just jumped from behind a car & knocked you down or...

I wish you hadn't called it the "bang switch!"

Bob Wright
 

GA Cracker

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 12, 2013
Messages
714
After retirement I ran a "Tractor Supply" like private business for a friend on a regular basis when he was out of town with a gun store with lots of inventory. Some young "folks" were asking to look at high capacity pistols that would hold 17-19 rounds and openly making a little jest about the revolver on my belt. So I asked how many shots does it take to win a gunfight? Are there any second place winners in a gun fight? I told them most of the time a man that carries a revolver has practiced with getting it into action faster than you can and he has most likely practiced making his first shot count. I also, not pointing at them, let them see the end of the barrel and told them a man carrying a revolver has confidence in his ability and most likely is carrying a large caliber and ammo that will get the job done because he is carrying to save his own life or the life of someone else only when absolutely necessary and is thoughtful enough to know when it is necessary.
Personal carry is that just personal to a man's individual needs. I would bet Mr. Bob's single action is an extension of himself. Whatever you carry daily you should be comfortable with the pistol or revolver and you should handle it enough that it is an extension of yourself just like it's a part of you and you are a part of it. I've hunted black bear since 2001 with dogs on the edge of the GA Okefenokee Swamp. On two occasions I had up CLOSE action trying to put down wounded bear with my Ruger 45 Colt Vaquero using 1300 FPS 300 grain Corbon loads. Later on I pondered there was no thinking no planning just bam bam two shots like a semi auto so close together due to muscle memory and practice. I often wonder had I needed more shots would it have been the same but those Corbon loads body slammed the bear. If you carry do you practice making the first shot count and getting them off quickly and accurately? At night I prefer my Springfield 45ACP XDM with a 300 lumen light underneath only because of the light. In my XDM I shoot Winchester PDX1 230 grain hollow point ammo that will get the job done. Game officials told us to finish a wounded bear right after dark and I didn't turn the light on until the bear was right there at 15 feet one round to the shoulder was a complete pass through and the other was under the skin on the far side dropping the bear right there then one shot to the head when the dog got out of the way finished that bear. At night and traveling or going to "metro" areas my XDM with 4 extra 13 round mags are always near my hand but my philosophy and thoughts with revolvers or high capacity are ALWAYS being an extension of me and practice to make the first one count.
In my career I would be fired if caught carrying concealed but I had a 380 then when they came out a 7 shot 9MM in my pocket daily. In my 380 or 9mm or 45 ACP's Wichester PDX1 is my defense load. Retired with my shirttail out I carry in my right front pocket of my wranglers or short pants I wear daily in hot weather in a clip pocket holster that has the butt of my single action 45 Colt revolvers or my S&W Performance Center 45ACP Shield or my Rossi 720 double action 44 special, (that I really like), right beside the palm of my hand. I have western style and other style leather holsters I use and like but I make sure I know how they feel with muscle memory. I had leather holsters for belt carry made, after seeing a video, that I designed and drew myself with a rear cant and practiced the using the "C" hand motion method to draw and present the weapon to eliminate the having to clear the holster going up and then flip the barrel and weapon up and forward in the forward cant style. That just worked for me and may not for everyone.
Mr Bob keeps it simple and always the same and after many years I would wager that single action is an extension of Mr Bob and should he be forced to use it muscle memory will prevail. I like it Mr Bob! May God allow us to be safe and never have to use our carry weapons and to our law enforcement officers THANK YOU and may God keep a hedge of protection around you!
 

sjs

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 22, 2016
Messages
171
Every time I read someone talk about the single action trigger being to light (whether a SA or DA revolver) and your adrenaline too high in a defense situation, and going on about how it is just too dangerous and only DAO should be carried, I wonder why that is less safe than a 1911 locked and loaded with the safety off. Many military men have had that situation while being shot at and did not find it to be a problem.
 

Biggfoot44

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 6, 2009
Messages
676
No issue with Power , or with speedy first shot hits . Only marginally slower for * aimed* follow up shots .

BUT , reloading is too slow , and should be considered strictly a 6 ( or 5) shot proposition .

Are their people who carry a snub revolver or subcompact auto with no reload ? Yes . Would they be any worse off with 5 or 6 accurate rounds of .357/ .41/ .44spl/ .45LC , than with 5 or 6 rounds of .38spl or .380acp ? No . Are either optimal ? No .

When a SA revolver is carried, another gun with reload is carried also .

Holster with or without retention ( and what constitutes retention) are endlessly debated . For me , my 3.5in Vaquero goes forth in Pancake , or crossdraw , both with thumb snaps .
 

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