Single Shot Quick Follow-Up Shot


Norman Dog
October 31, 2004, 06:20 PM
In an effort to balance the "warrior" threads with a "hunter" thread :D , I put the following question out to you single shotists:

What is the drill for a quick follow-up shot when using a single-shot rifle?

Do you carry extra cartridges in a cuff on the rifle? On your arm? In your pocket?

How do you open the action, shuck the spent case, chamber another round, close the action, and sight in on the target in the most efficient possible way?


Edited for spelling.

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October 31, 2004, 06:30 PM
My dad tought me to hold extra ammo on my right hand between fingers (assuming you are a right-hander.) You would hold it at the base of the cartridge and have the bullet points away from your hand.

October 31, 2004, 07:05 PM
My dad has been using a Ruger #1 for many years in various calibers. He holds two extra cartridges between the fingers of his left hand. It ain't as fast as a lever action, but it works.

October 31, 2004, 07:17 PM
Well, with a single shot shotgun...
I keep the spare shell in my left hand between my fingers and snatch it out as I break the gun open.
I once got off 4 shots so fast that my dad didn't "recognize" me. He though I was someone else using a pump action.
And that was with an old single barrel Savage that didn't have an ejector (just an extractor).

I reach this speed by sort of keeping the barrel up and pivoting the rear of the gun down. Then I reload and snap the rear section back up. The gun comes to my shoulder and is cocked just as it comes onto target, then...
Rinse, lather, repeat. ;)
12 GA works best because it is easier to get them in the chamber by feel, but I imagine that a pointed/bottlenecked/tapered rifle round would work even better.

I don't feel handicapped using a single shot to hunt.

October 31, 2004, 08:20 PM
What they said. Watch Quigley Down Under or Zulu sometime (both have single shots, a Sharps and a mess of Martini-Henry's respectively).

October 31, 2004, 08:36 PM
Two cartridges in between the fingers of the left hand. When I drop the lever with the right hand, the same hand continues forward, grabs a round, and chambers it. Working on getting smoother with the technique before I go after the Cape Buffalo. (I'm sure that concept torques Fistful to no end...)

Andrew Wyatt
October 31, 2004, 09:03 PM
I use a butt cuff, base up. it's quicker than having a round in the off hand, IMHO.

Norman Dog
November 1, 2004, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the replies. Watching those movies sounds like a great idea. It may sound sacreligious, but I haven't seen either one!:(

The recurring technique idea seems to have the shooter make a circle with his trigger hand after firing:

1. Pull the trigger,

2. Move the trigger hand down opening the action (pull the lever down on a falling block, pull the buttstock down on a break-open),

3. Move the trigger hand forward along the bottom of the "circle" and then bring it up, grabbing a cartridge out of the off-hand,

4. Move the trigger hand back along the top of the "circle" and chamber the round,

5. Continue moving the trigger hand down until it grasps the lever/buttstock,

6. Reverse the motion of the trigger hand closing the action,

7. Sight on target,

8. Repeat.

Andrew Wyatt's method, though, would require a couple of shorter forth-and-back motions.

Has anyone tried keeping the extra cartridges in a cuff on the wrist of the off hand?

November 1, 2004, 11:31 AM
I bought an elastic wrist strap for cartridges but have never used it. I use a Browning 1885 in 45-70. If a second shot is needed with a 45-70 the deer is usually anchored so speed is not needed....Norman's got it , he must have practiced.

November 1, 2004, 11:39 AM
My son has a cuff he wears on the right wrist for his Contender, but he hasn't had a chance to really use it yet. Seems to work pretty well.

November 1, 2004, 06:22 PM
I have also carried extra ammo in my watch pocket of my jeans. It really isn't that hard to get the round out as it generally sticks out by about a half inch or so.
I would imagine that one of the belt cartridge holders would work pretty well for getting off a second shot.
With the pocket, I just reach over as I push the stock of the gun down and grab another. It really is fairly quick once you do it a few times.

The thing is, most of the time when you use a single shot you don't need another shot.
You gain an appreciation for aiming (no offense to you guys who use repeaters). You wait until it is just right to shoot.
I know that when I used a Mossberg pump to hunt, I had three shots to shoot at a squirrel and I usually used them.
My H&R is just as effective but more economical and lighter to carry.
I think that using a single shot for hunting has made me a better shot now, regardless of what gun I am shooting.
Again, I don't use a single shot rifle, but I think a single shot shotgun falls into this discussion too.

Norman Dog
November 1, 2004, 06:56 PM
"...but I think a single shot shotgun falls into this discussion too..."

You know, this discussion may be especially appropriate for single-shot shotguns because of the higher probability of multiple targets.

November 1, 2004, 07:08 PM
Make your one shot count.

If you have multiple targets, think you might miss, or will require more rounds to put down....then you're shooting the wrong gun.

Single shots are fun. I really like them, but just take the time to be sure or let the target go.

What would you do with a muzzle loader?


November 1, 2004, 09:04 PM
Some people use single shot shotguns for antipersonnel duty, since that's all that's available.

I outfitted a young lady that way, with a 12ga NEF breakopen. Living in the country and having a 2yr old, it's "enough" as a barricaded bedroom howitzer, with a cell phone. If someone comes through the door, they're coming single file (the way the house is laid out), and she's got one in the chamber and five on the stock. She put 50 rounds through it (birdshot) practicing, and I made sure she made her only shot count, but also got some speed-loading practice in. Until she can afford a .38 to keep on her, it's better than nothing. One round of 00 Buck is still a potent fight stopper if aimed right.

November 1, 2004, 09:41 PM
any birds or small critters are going to be long gone before you reload a single shot shotgun, after making all that noise.

I generally don't hunt birds. Just not my cup of tea, but I will shoot them if the opportunity presents itself. I will admit that when you are talking about birds, a single shot is only likely to get you one bird.

I do hunt alot of squirrels and some rabbits when I come across them. I usually use a .22 LR, but I also use a shotgun when I want to be "assured" of success. Hunting with a .22LR is alot harder.
With squirrels, hunting with a single shot is no problem. It has to do with how you hunt.
If more than one squirrel is in the area, I shoot the one I can get the best shot at but I let it lay. I don't go after it right away. When startled, a squirrel will often just freeze. With squirrel number two, you often get a chance at him just because of that. He will be stuck to the side of a tree or maybe in the "crotch" of a limb and the tree trunk, dead still, hoping you haven't seen him.
Even if he does run you should still just reload and stay still. Let the dead squirrel lay. He isn't going anywhere. Just remember where he is and you are good to go.
If you stay still and don't make any noise, the other squirrels will come back in 20 minutes or so. The woods will be completely silent for about ten minutes and then you will start to hear birds and chipmunks. Pretty soon it will get honest-to-God loud. Just be patient and you will get another shot.
Very rarely you can go running off after them with a shotgun and get them but it isn't really the most successful approach.
A shotgun will allow you to move more as you hunt because you have a much better chance of hitting them with that claymore mine while they are on the run. It is just alot easier.
With a rifle, unless you are phenominal shot who can hit a target about the size of a quarter while it is on the run up and down trees and leaping from limb to limb, you just about have to find a good position and wait for that one good clean shot. You will have to learn to pass up shots that you can't make.
Even with my bolt action CZ-452 which holds 5 rounds, I rarely shoot more than one shot at a time. I usually come back with a couple squirrels and down by only two or three rounds.
I am not a great shot, I just know my limitations and only take the shots that I know I will make.
A little off the subject, but while we are talking hunting...

November 2, 2004, 04:34 AM
What is the drill for a quick follow-up shot when using a single-shot rifle?

You, uh, get an auto-loader?

Bwana John
November 2, 2004, 09:24 AM
What is the drill for a quick follow-up shot when using a single-shot rifle?

You simply turn and take the next rifle from your gunbearer.

November 2, 2004, 10:47 AM
bibedo, "hunters" like you give the rest of us a bad name. You either make a clean kill, or you pass the shot. Everyone flubs one now and again, but a "Redneck heart shot" is for losers, no offense to us real Rednecks.

Andrew Wyatt
November 2, 2004, 05:59 PM
for break opens:
1. open action.
2. retrieve round from butt cuff.
3. insert round in breech.
4. close action.
5. cock hammer.

for rolling blocks:

1. cock hammer
2. open block.
3. retrieve round from butt cuff.
4. insert round in breech.
5. close block.

for falling blocks:

1. lower block.
2. retrieve round from butt cuff.
3. insert in breech.
4. raise block.

The butt cuff holds more than one or two rounds, and will not corrode them like a sweaty hand will. of the three systems, the rolling block seems to be the fastest for me.

November 2, 2004, 06:27 PM
With my break action shotgun I hold one round in my left hand, between thumb and first finger, thumb on base of round. The round lays against the forend, covered by other fingers as I shoot. On firing, right hand stays on grip, thumb opens action, and left hand little finger curls around breech of barrel after open to guide shell (which is now held in left fist with thumb on case head) into chamber. It is fast enough to bag two quail from a covey rise, if/when I do my part right.

November 2, 2004, 10:10 PM
brain a squirrel to stop him with a .22. A gut or ham hit will curl him up, then a chest hit brings him down. They almost never run nonstop, either.

I will take shots at the chest/shoulder area of a squirrel if need be but I prefer the head. I do not gut shoot them or shoot them in the A$$. I consider those shots to be inhumane. There also isn't much meat on a squirrel to begin with and I don't need to waste what little there is by shooting it full of holes and splattering guts all over it.

You hunt your way and I will hunt my way.

November 2, 2004, 10:29 PM
How effective is it to hold them in yout mouth.

Andrew Wyatt
November 2, 2004, 11:35 PM
How effective is it to hold them in yout mouth.

not very. corrosion and broken teeth are problems.

IMHO, the butt cuff is the way to go.

November 3, 2004, 09:01 AM
If they'd corrode in your mouth, how's keeping them stuck up there going to help?:eek:

November 3, 2004, 11:33 AM
Sure sounds damn inconvenient, at any rate. :what:

November 3, 2004, 12:26 PM
Shirt pocket worked for me last winter. I don't normally need a second shot from my 45-70 on white tails and yes, sometimes game will stand still in the midst of all that noise and a bullet flying past them. :what: All worked out as intended on the second shot.:o

November 3, 2004, 11:08 PM
I don't normally need a second shot from my 45-70 on white tails and yes, sometimes game will stand still in the midst of all that noise and a bullet flying past them

My boss shot at a whitetail once in muzzleloader season and missed. The deer just stood still as he went through all the motions of loading a flintlock, then ran just as he cocked the gun.

On holding a cartridge in your mouth, it might be better than nothing. Really, anything that gets you quick access to another round helps.
But your mouth is sort of in the wrong direction.
After you have lowered the gun from your shoulder and broken the stock down, your "trigger" hand will already be down around your hip somewhere. Might as well grab another round while it is there.
I would also consider it to be a risky thing to try with a gun that has significant recoil.
Might end up spitting teeth out...:what:
But what works for you and what works for me could be two different things.

November 20, 2004, 01:50 AM
I'm sure that concept torques Fistful to no end.. All right, I said I was sorry, and that I was wrong.

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