Has there ever been documented dual wielding gun battles?


March 20, 2010, 04:09 PM
I got onto Google and only found video game references.:barf:

But how effective is dual wielding in a gun battle? Any military documented events? Are there tactical courses that teach a shooter to use both guns effectively?

Let's start a discussion. Thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about "Has there ever been documented dual wielding gun battles?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 20, 2010, 04:14 PM
Very few people could hit Diddly Squat with either gun shooting two guns at the same time.
Mainly because you can't use the sights on both or either at the same time.

Then there is the sticky issue of reloading quickly, or clearing malfunctions with a gun in each hand.


It's for the movie hero's & video gamers.


March 20, 2010, 04:18 PM
If you were being attacked by two barns @ 30 feet you might have a 50/50 chance of hitting both with the first shot(s).

March 20, 2010, 04:20 PM
I would bet that back in the days of blackpowder muzzle loading pistols, dual wielding was a sound a legitimate tactic, and could have conceivably been so until about the adoption of the metallic cartridge revolver. Once reloading the gun in your one hand became fast enough to be done while in a gun fight, having the second hand occupied with another gun would loose its usefulness.

That said, many people believe if you are going to use a small "J frame" type revolver for personal defense, a second identical gun accessible by your weak hand could be brought to use much faster than a reload or the first gun.

You could say that "dual wielding" does still hold a small amount of tactical sense in some situations. but generally speaking, its hollywood/video game nonsense.

March 20, 2010, 04:27 PM
Its Bill Ruger's fault. http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/smileys/evil.gif






March 20, 2010, 04:50 PM
I tried this one time on private land with a mountain as a backstop. The man size target was about 10 yards away. At that distance and standing still while attempting this, it's not hard to hit most of the shots. It's about the same as shooting one pistol at a time, one handed, without using the sights. Like most, I'd say it's less effective than using both hands on one pistol and actually aiming. I know I'd be hard pressed to make any hits using two pistols on a target at 20 to 25 yards.

I also tried shooting a 22 rifle from the hip that day, also at a man size target about 10 yards away. Accuracy was similar to the two pistols experiment. Again, much more effective to actually aim.

I'd say both techniques are just hollywood. Heck, the only reason I tried them was to see how well movie style shooting works. Forgot to mention, also tried holding the pistol sideways that day.

murdoc rose
March 20, 2010, 05:43 PM
you might be able to hit someone if you had a shotgun in each hand otherwise it would take years of dedicated practice and thousands of rounds to even come close to having a skilled shot

March 20, 2010, 06:00 PM
Jerry Miculek can, at least at about 5 yards or so, but he will probably also be remembered as the greatest shooter of all time.

March 20, 2010, 06:03 PM
I have no proof of this (And for the life of me can't even find it on google now.) but, I once HEARD, and fairly sure read, that Russian officers would dual wield M1895 Nagant revolvers and fire from the hip, but, it was supposed to be more for just throwing a a bunch of rounds down range at once, not for hitting anything.

Once again, until I can find proof though, it's just something I heard awhile ago, so, don't take anything from it.

March 20, 2010, 06:39 PM
A detective on a robbery stake out in Akron, Ohio, engaged a robber by himself with a 6 shot Colt snubnose in one hand, and a S&W 5 shot in the other. He fired 11 shots, and I believe he hit the guy all 11 times, but I could be wrong on that. It was at a Lawson's (later became "Dairy Mart"), on W. Market St. near Merriman Rd. in the late 1970's.

March 20, 2010, 08:45 PM
I would say it's pretty effective nut useless with te advent of high capacity pistols.
However if you want to train for it go for point shooting with either hand and take it from there.

March 20, 2010, 09:31 PM
It was a common practice by mounted partisans during the Civil War. "Bloody" Bill Anderson used two(ala,Josie Wales) revolvers while holding the reins between his teeth. The resulting "slobber" is what led to the myth that he foamed at the mouth when fighting.

March 20, 2010, 09:45 PM

probably not what you are looking for...

March 20, 2010, 10:10 PM
If it was me and I had two guns, you better believe I would shoot one until empty and then take up the other with my strong hand and repeat.

March 20, 2010, 10:13 PM
I am sure this has happened somewhere in a gang related shooting, and I too have heard they used to do this in the days of the black powder pistols.

buy guns
March 20, 2010, 10:14 PM

March 20, 2010, 10:33 PM
One of the competition categories in cowboy shooting ("gunfighter") calls for double wielding. However, the revolvers are fired alternately and may not be fired simultaneously. Most of the shooters are quite accurate and fast with their weak hands.

A more difficult task is drawing and firing two guns simultaneously at two different targets. This is, of course, strictly a point shooting endeavor. I've seen a few who are quite good at this

March 20, 2010, 11:12 PM
Real life? No idea. In something like the Matrix (where they are plugged into a huge video game for life, basically), Neo having eleventy-billion guns under his coat makes (relative) sense.

Say you have a couple of Glock 18s that are expendable and you need a massive amount of rounds in a short space of time, in a confined area. You could dump 33 rounds from each of them and then drop the suckers.


Seriously though, I'm sure that having an MP5K or an UZI with a few spare mags would be more practical.

The Lone Haranguer
March 21, 2010, 01:08 AM
Movie guns have no recoil, either.

March 21, 2010, 01:11 AM
in the black powder era using two pistols was fairly common,and for a couple of good reasons.First,because of the slow reload,as a couple of other members mentioned before me.The other,is that BP revolvers are prone to jamming due to cap fragments.Think how embarrassing that could be in a gunfight! It just made sense to have another gun to continue the fight...

Full Metal Jacket
March 21, 2010, 01:21 AM
there sure have:


hollywood guns don't kick lol

March 21, 2010, 01:36 AM
If you are facing 12:00 and you point both guns at 10:00 and shoot without thinking, you are very likely to shoot yourself in the left hand.

March 21, 2010, 03:55 AM
Back in the flintlock days, I believe it wasn't unheard of to wield two pistols. With repeaters there's no real point to it. If anyone did it IRL it would probably have been one of the crazier bank robbers from the 20's or 30's.

March 21, 2010, 05:03 AM
Speaking of the BP days (primarily flintlock days) there are reliable accounts of men, particularly naval men, who would carry a brace or 'bandoleer' of pistols. Perhaps 4-6 being common. The idea was that when one weapon had expended it's only shot; that weapon would be discarded for the next. As to whether they were fired simultaneously from both hands, I highly doubt it. The revolving BP percussion guns of 50-100 years later offered more firepower and accuracy; if a 2nd was carried it would be used as just that - a back up in case shreds of cap jammed up the action, or you expended your ammunition from the 1st gun. While studying the Civil War I have never heard of an officer carrying a 2nd pistol, but that doesn't mean it never happened. I would say 'dual wielding' is a Hollyweird and video game fetish with little to no historical or practical grounds.

March 21, 2010, 08:00 AM
Oct 2, 1996. We had a federal fugitive hiding out in a local hotel room. As soon as our breecher hit the door when our team tried to make entry he opened up with a TEC-9 in one hand and a Colt Mustang .380 in the other just as fast as he could work the triggers. In just a couple of seconds he fired 11 rds. It sounded like he was running full auto. The computer reconstruction of the event showed that our point man should have been hit 4 times, the #2 in the stick hit twice, and I should have been hit twice. How we all missed getting hit is still a miracle.
He was standing about 3/4 of the way into the room. Forget the exact distance in feet. It was just a typical, common size room with 1 bed, a desk, chair, and TV so he wasn't far.

March 21, 2010, 08:12 AM
Isn't it just a kind of spray and pray.

March 21, 2010, 09:59 AM
There is a pic somewhere of a recent Mexican Police raid being carried out by a group of officers, and one officer is poised with a pair of pistols. Everyone else had some sort of rifle. Wish I could find the pic.

March 21, 2010, 10:57 AM
It does make sense for black powder guns for faster reload.

But despite accuracy, dual wielding would benefit for more firepower...with two Glock 17s you can have a total of 66 rounds on both pistols with 33 round magazines on each.

I would say more firepower and putting more lead out for suppressive fire?

Doug, for laughs:

The Lone Haranguer
March 21, 2010, 01:04 PM
I can see going to a second spare gun - preferably but not necessarily matching - if the primary is lost, shot empty or malfunctions, but this is not "dual wielding" in the sense being discussed. One could alternate dual guns - i.e., firing the left, then the right, or vice versa - but this would undoubtedly be much slower than firing multiple shots from a single gun.

March 21, 2010, 02:50 PM
firing the left, then the right, or vice versa - but this would undoubtedly be much slower than firing multiple shots from a single gun. Not necessarily. A person mounted on a horse firing at multiple targets on each side of the horse would be faster than one revolver switching sides. All that would be required would be turning the head not shifting the weapon.

March 21, 2010, 04:03 PM
If you're good at visual manipulation -- for example, with Magic Eye pictures -- then I can see how you could aim down the sights of two pistols at once, at the same target. But I've never tried it so I can't say for sure. :)

March 21, 2010, 04:37 PM
Way back in the BP days, two-pistolers would usually either shoot the guns alternately, if they were ambidexterous, or shoot one empty then swap guns between hands and keep shooting with the strong hand. Considering that it takes an extra second or two to cock a hammer, it would make some sense to aim and shoot while cocking the other pistol, for a better rate of fire.

Texas Gun Person
March 21, 2010, 05:00 PM


March 21, 2010, 06:43 PM
After retiring from law enforcement, and having gained a fairly respectable ability with both hands, I thought it would be a great challenge to learn to shoot with both hands, at the same time ... effectively.

Seeing that dual 1911's would probably be the most practical, due to my familiarity with them, and their ability to be fired fast (single action auto), and loaded rather easily, I got myself a double shoulder holster from Idaho Leather, in the style of "Last Man Standing". Now I've been doing this off and on for about 3 years, and I've learned a few things.

First of all, where in the hell did Bruce Willis carry all the magazines? My guess is a prop guy was standing just off to the side of the camera, and handed him mags between cuts. I don't have a prop guy, so I found that double Galco pouches for the Glock 21 could be stretched to hold four 1911 mags.

With two in the guns, and two pouches with eight more mags, I had a good start. I soon found out that both guns don't naturally point at the target, and my weak hand was the problem. It wanted to "cross over" a bit too far past the target, towards my strong side. I also found out that aiming with my strong hand was almost instinctual, so I could worry about aiming LESS for that hand. Then, I concentrated with correcting natural aiming with the weak hand, and this was like overriding your brain....not easy to do. When shooting, I do very quickly alternate triggers, not like the double gunslingers in Cowboy shooting, that bring each gun up separately and aim with each.

Two hands, held high point, side by side seems to be the most effective, although waist high, "hip shooting" can be achieved with a bit more practice. That is basically done by "feel", to get the hand positions correct. To practice, just hold the strong hand gun in position, and devote practice to the weak hand until you get point-proficiency with the weak hand, then start adding the strong hand to the shooting.

For loading, I found that if I shoot dry, then dump both mags, I can shove the empty gun from my weak hand upside down into the crook of my strong elbow. This puts both empty mag wells almost side by side in front of me, and weak hand goes for two of the mags from one side of one of the double mag pouches, mounted behind my hip. Quickly insert both mags, grasp the weak hand gun from the strong elbow crook, operate slide releases with left index and right thumb, and both guns are charged, ready to go.

There may be faster ways to load two pistols, but this works for me, and maybe I like it because it looks cool, too. Shoot and repeat. You can dump two boxes of shells so fast, it hurts your wallet to think about it.

March 21, 2010, 06:46 PM
1. The guys name is CountGlockula.
2. He asks about "Dual Wielding" pistols. As opposed to.. "Single Wielding?" What is "Wielding? even MEAN in the non-video game world.
3. And the term "Gun Battle?" Gun Battle? Really?

"Yes officer, a drunk broke into my home, I engaged him in a gun battle, dual weilding my glocks. He is in fact dead now."


There is no reason to shoot with 1 pistol in each hand, it is hard enough to defend yourself accuratly with 1 pistol, and even harder to defend yourself legally with that sort of non-sense.

March 21, 2010, 06:46 PM

March 21, 2010, 06:55 PM

There was a MOH winner from the Second World War in the pacific who used 2 1911's to stop a Japanese attack,

And then there was a Korean shop owner during the 1993 LA Riots who was running a Glock and a smaller pistol.

March 21, 2010, 07:12 PM
Depends on what's meant by "gun battle". In your house? No. Somewhere in combat, where your goal is to suppress an area with volume of fire and not having access to a better weapon for that purpose, sure.

March 21, 2010, 07:28 PM
The two gun officer was Andy Nuss--Second Chance used to have a two snub-nosed event to commemorate this shootout!

March 21, 2010, 09:19 PM
Why bring two handguns to a fight if you could bring a rifle or a shotgun?

March 21, 2010, 09:27 PM
Why bring two handguns to a fight if you could bring a rifle or a shotgun?
Not an option during the Civil War. There were very few repeating rifles(a 3 band 1858 Enfield from horse back?) available and the enemy had all of them. Shotguns were single or double barrel muzzle loaders. So a mounted partisan's best option was multiple revolvers. Made a lot more sense than anything else available at the time.

March 21, 2010, 10:26 PM
My dad has worn a two gun rig everyday of his life since June 1968. He says most guys in his unit wore the same rig. I know he and several others used two 1911's in combat many times. He shoots damn good with both weapons drawn.

March 21, 2010, 11:26 PM
It might not be practical, but you have to admit, it's kind of fun to do at least once.

March 21, 2010, 11:44 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I practice duel wield with two revolvers, S&W 586,with a very nice trigger job, and S&W 442 with extended grips but no trigger job.
To me there might be a time and place, so why not practice.
I "aim" down range shooting the 6" .357 at multiple targets strong hand.(medium size pizza boxes)

I have the 1 7/8" .38 pointing down and left and slightly forward as if guarding a door or other weak spot.
Every other shot, I "aim "and shoot with weak hand a medium pizza box to my left.
By just a turn of my head and a slight shift of my feet,, not having to pivot my whole body. Swinging the .357 to cover a target 45 or more degrees to my left or even around a object is much slower. If BG was extremely close,almost on me, I would point shoot but I do not practice this.

I don't know much about autoloaders just revolvers.
I do not even -try -to point shoot in different directions while duel wielding.
I sometimes aim alternately with each hand at targets in different positions, but I use the sights.
I do practice shooting both from the hip from 20 feet in but I've never fired both at the same time.
I holster the .38 when reloading the .357 and visa-versa.(smooth is fast,slow is smooth, so slow is fast when reloading)

IMHO Once you have practiced weak hand enough Duel Wield is the next step to me, especially since I am a revolver guy :DYMMV

March 21, 2010, 11:59 PM
1. The guys name is CountGlockula.
2. He asks about "Dual Wielding" pistols. As opposed to.. "Single Wielding?" What is "Wielding? even MEAN in the non-video game world.
3. And the term "Gun Battle?" Gun Battle? Really?

"Yes officer, a drunk broke into my home, I engaged him in a gun battle, dual weilding my glocks. He is in fact dead now."


There is no reason to shoot with 1 pistol in each hand, it is hard enough to defend yourself accuratly with 1 pistol, and even harder to defend yourself legally with that sort of non-sense.

wield (wld)
tr.v. wield·ed, wield·ing, wields
1. To handle (a weapon or tool, for example) with skill and ease.
2. To exercise (authority or influence, for example) effectively. See Synonyms at handle.

And, I am pretty sure that by "gun battle" the OP meant either a civilian or (more likely) military engagement which utilizes firearms. Seems pretty obvious to me. :rolleyes:

And: There is a very good reason to fire two handguns simultaneously from each hand (aside from all of the practical reasons contained in this thread): Some might construe it as fun. :)

March 22, 2010, 12:09 AM
These days other than looking cool its kind of pointless.

I mean if you need more firepower than one pistol use a sub gun. An Mp5 can lay down a heck of a lot more accurite fire than two pistols.

Sebastian the Ibis
March 22, 2010, 12:17 AM
I took a pistol class several months ago where we spent some time using two pistols at once. The main situation was (for officers) to keep a hand in their pocket on their BUG. The secondary use was to hold two bad guys at gun point at once, the third which was not practiced but was discussed, was clearing tight areas.
Keeping your arms crossed at your forearms you primarily use your strong hand, but keep the weak gun aimed as best you can at the greatest unknown in that direction so you can immediately fire if necessary.

As for the 18th & 19th centuries, I think the most viable short range tactic was to carry as many pistols as possible and then switch to a sword. Assuming you can only carry so many pistols reachable with your strong hand, you may as well have some that can be reached with your weak hand too.

March 22, 2010, 12:26 AM
So Jeff Quinn just likes to write articles and walk around like this for fun...


My dad says they carried the two handguns because from the ground, on your back, two pistols were a hell of a lot easier to maneuver than the a rifle, specially in multiple directions and in the jungle and for tunnels.

I'm trying to find some photos of his unit now, forgive me, he has over 10,000 photos of Vietnam from 1950 to 1975.

March 22, 2010, 12:26 AM
Assuming you can only carry so many pistols reachable with your strong hand, you may as well have some that can be reached with your weak hand too.
Hence the advent of the saddle holster.

March 22, 2010, 09:41 AM
Hence the advent of the saddle holster.
Would have been more usefull if monstrositeis like the Walker Colt and such like weren't invented. Seriously though, saddle holsters are a good idea. but isn't there a saying about: "If you ever NEED more then 4 or 5 revolvers, your're not short of revolvers, you're short peolpe on your side of the fight", or something like that?

March 22, 2010, 10:00 AM
Ed McGivern has a chapter in 'Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting' about dual wielding.

1.) Learn to shoot strong handed.
2.) Learn how to shoot equally well with your weak hand.
3.) Start shooting dual pistols slowly in practice sessions.
4.) Speed up.

Oh, and expect to by ammo by the palette if you actually want to do anything but make noise.

March 22, 2010, 10:18 AM
"If you ever NEED more then 4 or 5 revolvers, your're not short of revolvers, you're short peolpe on your side of the fight", or something like that? That and the lack of raw material is why we lost( plus the fact that the north got Spencers at the end).

March 23, 2010, 07:48 PM
I say why not. It would enable you to cover more territory without turning your body from side to side. "If you can shoot one handed", "some do this better than others" you can shave off enough time to possibly save your butt if you are alone and facing more than one BG in a house or apartment. Like walking down a hallway and suddenlly being faced with two BG's, coming up in 2 different directions. Granted most of us arent going to ever have that happen. But when I started combat shooting in the 70's, before the "schools" and not many people other than cops used to shoot combat, we were taught to take a one handed shot, rather than turning and using two hands if it was to the extreme right side. "and you were right handed, or ambi" The second shot would be two handed. So I could see using a second gun if you practiced that way. But how many folks really practice with their weak hand, maybe once in a while, but I would bet not many.

March 24, 2010, 08:19 AM
Wyatt Earp. I am pretty sure that it is well documented that He used two pistols at the same time on several occasions.

I was/am a Cowboy action shooter who shoots double duelist. Double duelist is not an official category but what it means is that you shoot one gun with each hand though not at the same time. Gunfighters draw both guns at the same time and fire each alternately. My brain just doesn't work fast enough for me to engage the targets in the proper order while shooting both guns simultaneously. I got pretty good with my weak hand and thought that it might be a skill worth devoloping with my carry guns. I pactice a fair amount with my weak hand. I have also just started duel weilding with a pair of Glock 23's and a a pair of 1911's. I find that can hit two targets spaced about 15 feet apart, from a distance of 15-20 or so feet quite rapidly. The closer the targets are together the easier it is to hit rapidly.

Lately I have been toying with the idea of getting a dual rig for a couple 1911's. Since I am still a cowboy at heart I will probably have a dual "cowboy" style rig made eventually but I would also like a double shoulder holster like Sharp dressed mans.

By the way, I just watched Boondock Saints and the new one, Boondock Saints-All Saints Day. They all shot with two hands and now I really want a vest like that, I already have plenty of pistols to fill it.

March 24, 2010, 12:50 PM
Hatterasguy, I don't know about you, but when I go to the gun rack here at my place, there aren't any MP5's, or other subguns. There ARE a bunch of .45's, and they shoot bigger bullets than MP5's. I've fired a lot of subguns, and in close quarters, I'd still take two .45's, if not for the simple advantage to cover two places at once.

green country shooter
March 24, 2010, 04:34 PM
I tried with two identical glock 17s once. By alternating i could make some decent hits, but it was much much slower than i could shoot one strong and then switch.

If you enjoyed reading about "Has there ever been documented dual wielding gun battles?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!