The Single Action Revolver (With Video)
The single-action revolver has been used for self-defense, putting meat in the pot and for just plain fun shooting. When I was 12 years old my Granddad mail ordered a Remington Black Powder Single Action .44 copy for me from an add in one of the hunting magazines of the day. I practiced drawing and firing that gun for hours every day. I used a holster brought back to Michigan from Mexico for use as a decoration on someones wall. I wore the holster out drawing firing and re-holstering.
The single action revolver was one of the most used handguns well into the 1940′s. Colt and Smith & Wesson, introduced the double-action revolvers in the late 1800′s and the semi-autos like the Colt 1911 came along in the early 1900′s. However most stayed with their single-actions since there were reliability problems with the early double actions and they were not originally manufactured in large calibers. The 1911 and other semi-autos were not easily obtainable when they were first manufactured, further persons of that era did not trust these new semi-autos and in their mind were nothing more than a passing fancy. The Colt SAA was simple to use and reliable, there was no need to fix what wasn’t broken.
General George S. Patton carried a Colt Single Action Revolver .45 that he purchased in Texas before heading out with Pershing after Pancho Villa in 1916. General Patton used the gun to shoot two of Villa’s commanders during that campaign which. made him an overnight sensation with the press. Everyone knew about Second Lt. George Patton and his Colt .45 SAA. He carried the same Colt until his death following World War II, the sixgun getting almost as much press during the war as the General.
A good deal of western law men held onto their Colt Single Actions into the 1970′s. Some of them being forced into the switch because it was no longer politically correct to use a firearm where the hammer had to be cocked before being fired.
Some hand gunners today exclusively use and carry the Single Acton Revolver. People Like Skeeter Skelton, Sheriff Jim Wilson, and John Taffin have spent years singing the praises of the single action revolver. Skeeter passed away a number of years ago on but Jim & John still churn out articles about one of their favorite firearms.
I have friends who are retired police officers and have turned in their badge to become for lack of a better term gentleman farmers, ranchers or woodsman. They also traded in their semi-autos and double action handguns for the single actions. I am not ready to do that yet but I sure do like them, and they hold a special place in my heart.
Copyright © 2010 by Steven L. Doran All rights reserved under international and Pan-American copyright conventions. No part of this article may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means without written permission from the author Steven L. Doran.