We've seen the recent bear story, but what if...?

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Would he have killed the bear w/a single action?

  • Yes, the SA would have been just as quick

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • no, he would have been bear scat

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wouldn't have made any dif'

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
  • Poll closed .

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,214
If he was holstering a single-action... would he have made the life saving kill?
 

Yosemite Sam

Hunter
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
2,113
I didn't vote, but my position is, "It depends".

If I remember, it required multiple shots to bring down Mr. Brownie. Did the shooter have both hands free? Was he "capable" with a single action? I've seen some guys that were astoundingly fast, but usually it involves two hands. Not necessarily fanning, but using the off hand to cock. I admit I've never even been to a CAS meet though, so I don't know how "fast single action shooters who aren't Bob Munden" do it.

I'm sure there are shooters on this board capable of pulling it off, but it wouldn't be me... Some even carry SAs. I shoot 'em, but slowly, at targets, cocking the hammer with my shootin' hand thumb.

-- Sam
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
The guy's post mentioned that he had about one second total before the bear was on him. He fired 3 shots from the hip, and figured the killing shot was either the 2nd or the 3rd shot.
There is no way I could have handled a single-action fast enough to save myself. And hip shooting probably doesn't lend itself to using two hands.
I love my single-actions and I even have some nice ones made by John Linebaugh... but even John says he carries a double-action so that he can get off multiple fast shots if required. And John has probably fired powerful single-actions 100,000 times or so.
JMHO.
Sonnytoo
 

AzRebel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
216
I agree with Yosemite Sam. It depends...on a lot of things.

One, I'm not sure too many people could shoot three 350 grain .454 Cartridges from the hip in less than one second, especially if they had to draw as well. On that issue, I doubt this guy did either. I don't doubt that it happened just as he said, but I think his time frame under stress might be off a little.

Not much is faster than a SA for an accurate first shot from the holster; the speed and accuracy of that shot, as well as additional shots depend on the shooter.

Shooting from the hip isn't the best way to save your life in a situation like that. The guy was extremely lucky. One aimed shot COULD have achieved the same result, as long as the shooter was capable of hitting a moving target under stress. Hey, some are, some aren't.

If I were in that situation, I'd probably want a DA revolver (err...can I opt for a double rifle?). If I happened to be carrying a SA revolver though, I'd certainly use it.

And I'd hope that God was watching out for me as much as He was for that guy...and I'd hope I had the same kind of luck that this guy did.

He was almighty lucky.

Daryl
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,301
I think an SA is great if that is all you have. I personally carry DA because the SA's are too darn slow for me. I've never shot a .454 and don't really have a hankerin to because I've heard of too many people ruining their wrists with this caliber.
gramps
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
This is a good time to tell a story I heard last week. I was ordering hard-cast .45's from a well-known but relatively small-time bullet manufacturer. By that I mean, not Federal or something. One of his clients is a guide in Alaska. The guide was going back to a downed moose through heavy alder thickets the next morning when he was jumped by a griz who was feeding on the carcass.
The guide drew and fired his hot-loaded .475 Linebaugh. The severely recoiling gun actually got stuck momentarily over the guide's head in the alder branches and he could not get it back into play immediately for a followup shot.
Fortunately, the bear died three feet before it got to him. However, the upshot of this is that the guide went back to using his Blackhawk .45 Colt, in order that he could get in a followup shot with the lesser recoil.
I own, and truly enjoy, my .500 Linebaugh. However, the recoil is severe when I shoot 400-450 grains at 1400 fps. I do know that the front sight comes very close to my forehead at the height of recoil when I am doing load development from the bench. Recovery in time for a rapid followup shot is sort of a laugh with heavy loads. Something to think about.
Sonnytoo
 

WingMaster

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 5, 2005
Messages
29
AzRebel":3t5vpd20 said:
I agree with Yosemite Sam. It depends...on a lot of things.

One, I'm not sure too many people could shoot three 350 grain .454 Cartridges from the hip in less than one second, especially if they had to draw as well. On that issue, I doubt this guy did either. I don't doubt that it happened just as he said, but I think his time frame under stress might be off a little.

Not much is faster than a SA for an accurate first shot from the holster; the speed and accuracy of that shot, as well as additional shots depend on the shooter.

Shooting from the hip isn't the best way to save your life in a situation like that. The guy was extremely lucky. One aimed shot COULD have achieved the same result, as long as the shooter was capable of hitting a moving target under stress. Hey, some are, some aren't.

If I were in that situation, I'd probably want a DA revolver (err...can I opt for a double rifle?). If I happened to be carrying a SA revolver though, I'd certainly use it.

And I'd hope that God was watching out for me as much as He was for that guy...and I'd hope I had the same kind of luck that this guy did.

He was almighty lucky.

Daryl

Yep.
 

lumbering.buffalo

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
114
Suffering from a bit of senility I posted some questions over in the gallery thinking that that OP was actually the person involved. :roll: I probably should learn how to read.

As far as hip shooting back in the day when I was a reserve officer we were taught "hip shooting" for short distance encounters. It is very fast and effective for those 7 yard and under situations. We were using DA revolvers.

My question is how much does adreneline play in overcoming things like recoil so that a 454 is actually controllable for that brief period of time?

While I have a Vaquero 44-mag I tend to think that DA would be the better way to go. Unless you have a reason to (CASS) I don't think that most people practice SA draw and fire as much as they would need to .
 

Knuckles

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
1,214
I'll chime in again and say that if SA was all you ever trained with then I recon it would be a natural reflex.

Now I have seen Quick!... some of the stunt shooters are amazingly fast... I just don't think I am ready for a country walk down some dirt road in central AK with a SA for my protection... I ain't even close to fast with SA. :roll:
 

TexNekkid

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 2, 2004
Messages
52
The guide was practiced and adept with his Alaskan, which saved his life. Had he chosen to carry a single action, I'm guessing it would have been because he was just as practiced and adept with it. Under those circumstances, the result would have been the same.
 

AzRebel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 24, 2006
Messages
216
The guide was practiced and adept with his Alaskan, which saved his life. Had he chosen to carry a single action, I'm guessing it would have been because he was just as practiced and adept with it. Under those circumstances, the result would have been the same.

Remember, he missed it twice. I'd say, and in fact HE said, he was extremely lucky. I'm sure skill had something to do with it too, but he was lucky. Making an CNS hit (which I'm assuming he made, considering how fast the bear stopped moving), while missing the bear completely with two other shots involved a bit of luck.

I can draw a SA and cock it with my weak side hand as fast as I can draw my DA, and I'm pretty sure I'm even somewhat faster with the SA...for the first accurate shot. That's what I carry in the outdoors, so I've practiced it a bit (and I'm not "fanning" the gun, just cocking it with the off-side hand while taking a two handed hold). Not that I'm all that fast compared to a lot of other shooters, especially trick shooters, but I can manage to draw and fire either with pretty good accuracy.

Could I kill a charging bear? I hope I never have to find out. I'd do what I could. Like I said above though, I'd also hope that God and luck were with me at the moment. Those bears are big, and don't lose blood pressure from a hit as quick as a smaller animal, so anything but a CNS hit might very well leave the animal alive enough to kill you before it dies.

Daryl
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,255
There is always "What if" .... And you could speculate all year .... But I think it comes down to what you are used to using and how well you can shoot under pressure. I don't own a DA revolver... All mine are single action. Even when I owned a SRH I never shot it DA. Again point is ... what you are comfortable with and can shoot well, is what you should use ...

Remember to ... Indians had spear, knife, bow. Early settlers had single shot rifles and pistols.... Then revolvers that you had to stuff powder in ... and so forth.... I sure don't feel under powered with a modern .45 Colt on my hip. Did the job then, will do it now... Again point is ... what you are comfortable with and can shoot well, is what you should use ...

Oh, and the 'under pressure' part ... won't find out what you'll do until your in the situation... Experiences will teach us how we react ... if we live through them! Training can take us only so far.
 

bnewberry

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 17, 2008
Messages
225
He would have done just fine with a single action, assuming he spent the same amount of time practicing with it that he did the double action.
 

maxpress

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
1,280
idk, for me a sa and da fire at the same rate until they run dry. the reload is the deal breaker of course. thats not as fast as i can shoot each one, its how fast AND hit well. alot of people say they cant shoot and cock a single action one handed like i do though so again i dont know.
 

NMCB3

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 6, 2005
Messages
54
I love the single actions but there is no doubt double actions are quicker to shoot. If in bear country carrying a double action is wise.
 

Bear Paw Jack

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Messages
9,412
Interesting topic. Usually people who are promoting the double action is faster theory they are doing it with an empty gun. I've been in Alaska almost 30 years and most of that time I've carried a Stainless 44 Mag SBH cut down to 5 1/2" and I've used heavy 325 HC Bullets for it. Regardless of which gun you are using you will have a recovery time with the recoil and with a modicum of practise you can cock the hammer of a Single action during that time. If you don't do that practise you probably won't hit a bear any way. I know of several instances where people have had to DLP from a bear attacking. Off the top of my head I'd say 1/2 used a SA and 1/2 used a DA. I don't see any difference in out come. I think it's apparent there is a certain amount of luck with any of those out comes and for me the better your handgun points the luckier you are going to get. FOR ME a SA points very well and points fast so I will probably continue to use mine. I have DA hand cannons both Redawks and an Alaskan in 454. Do I carry them from time to time? Yes the Alaskan is pretty handy and smaller to have something with you. I really have taken a liking to the looks of the 4" Redhawk and I did carry it once. I haven't had to shoot a bear to protect my self but have been in two instances where I thought I was going to have to. Neither time did I wish I had a DA instead of the SA I was carrying at the time. I was just hoping I could maintain my cool long enough to shoot accurately if it came to that. Part of that is you get a real adrenalain shot that makes it difficult to even think. I agree with the guy who suggested that 3 shots in 1 second probably didn't happen. I can do that with a semi auto but not a 454. I'm sure it seemed like that time to him. I'm sure distances werent' "exact" either . things seem very close right after the adrenalain dump. Regardless the guy obviously had some skill in addition to luck and we've all said both are an important factor on many outcomes. My vote was it doesn't matter.
 

JimMarch1

Blackhawk
Joined
Feb 19, 2007
Messages
525
I know for sure I'm not a good "hip shooter". But if I could get an SA to anywhere near eye level that had decent sights and enough power, I'd have a chance.

I also have the best "iron" sights on my gun that I could get, and I had to build them myself. It's the best "flash sight picture" sight system ever, a homebrew clone of the Goshen Hexsite:

http://www.goshen-hexsite.com/index2.htm

That sight on a high-powered SA, and the right shooter, and you'd have a decent chance at a first fast hit to the shoulder or spine to slow it down. The SA's advantage is in a first fast shot, so combine that with a fast sighting system and you've got a chance.
 

Dale53

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
925
It is NOT an equipment problem. It is a PERSON problem. If a person is resolute and TRAINED (whether by himself or others) the equipment is not so important. A good first shot is what is required.

Now, if I had my druthers, it would be a double action 4" .44 magnum with a 250-300 gr bullet. However, I would not feel undergunned with a single action.

However, I have practiced a LOT and on moving targets also. I can shoot moving, etc.

But-t-t, if I REALLY have my druthers, I hope I NEVER have that kind of an adventure. I can do just fine with out it, thank you!

Dale53
 

rhatimi

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
94
My guess is that he was firing in double action due to the stress of the situation, so in this case the double action capability was of great aid. That being said a single action in the right caliber could also get the job done, but it would require a lot more luck. The lesson here is that in a defense situation against big bears a double action would probably make the better choice in a surprise attack scenario, and the ruger Alaskan in .454 casull is a great choice as a pack'in gun.
 

Lost Sheep

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
407
All I know of recent Defense of Life & Property shootings is this one:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/897940.html

but the story does not say what kind of gun it was, other than "Ruger .454 Casull revolver". Ruger makes the Super Redhawk in 2.5", 7.5" and 9.5" and I know of at least one gunsmith customizing the SRH to about 5", and a few people have made other barrel lengths and even fitted SRH .454 cyinders into Redhawks. I am not at all sure Blackhawks have not been converted to .454 Casull.

Does anyone know what specific configuration the gun was?

EDIT: I found a more extensive posting (where this shooting was referenced in an earlier thread, ("Very Lucky to Be Alive!"......Thanx to his Ruger) thread # 62699, with pictures that show the gun. It is definitely a very short barrel, thus very probably an Alaskan.

Now, reasons for my vote:

I know of one guy who was involved in a DLP shooting when surprized by a sow with two cubs and there is no doubt that the short barrel made the difference. The first and only shot was straight down through the top of the bear's skull and was immediate upon clearing leather.

I know I am faster with a double-action revolver than single action in point shooting, especially one-handed. I suspect strongly that, unless the killing shot was the first one, that this was a double action revolver and that the action type did save this guy a mauling. Though, being a guide (and therefore, presumably more invested in training), he may be more well-practised than most.

My vote is the DA made a difference to the outcome.

Lost Sheep.
 
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