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When single-action revolver when there are DA/SA revolvers?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by AirPower, Apr 8, 2004.

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  1. AirPower

    AirPower Member

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    Just wondering why singleaction revolvers are still popular with numerous SA/DA capable revolvers are out there. Does SA/DA sacrifice anything for the DA capability compared to SA only wheelguns? Or is this just a sentimental reason dating to the Wild West revolvers?

    (By the way, this is a question stemming from my consideration for Ruger Single Six. I found there are other options, many SA/DA revolvers.)
     
  2. valnar

    valnar Member

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    That's partially my reason. Certainly you can fire the DA revolvers single as well, but in some cases an SA only revolver may be more accurate in it's "native" mode. Look at Freedom Arms.

    The same could be said about almost any other gun. Why shoot a bolt action rifle when a semi-auto is available? Same reason applies.... why not?

    Variety is the spice of life.

    -Robert
     
  3. popbang

    popbang Member

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    Nostalgia may play a role in some decisions, but to be honest some of the single actions made today are far stronger than those of the old west era. Examples would be Freedom Arms, Rugers, and the BFRs. Any of those three far exceed the capabilities of Colts in strength.

    One thing you must look at is feel and fit. To me I like the feel of a single action. It is comfortable to shoot and points naturally. Double actions just don’t feel the same. Of course this is most likely because I started out with a single action and have never really left them.

    In the end, I think much of the reason that single actions still exist is that people genuinely like them.
     
  4. Majic

    Majic Member

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    In certain roles, such as hunting, the Da mode is seldom used so the cheaper single action does an excellent job. Also for it's size it's stronger due to not having a swinging crane to lock up and hold the cylinder in place.
     
  5. VictorLouis

    VictorLouis Guest

    The SA can withstand

    some hard-knocks of field use that would shut down a DA for service.
     
  6. Grunt

    Grunt Member

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    Because you can't use a DA in SASS. :D
     
  7. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    ---------------------- SA PROS-----------------------------------

    1. As some have already said, with a SA you can fire a heavy caliber in a smaller package. This is important if you are on long treks in the back country and every once counts.

    2. SA are very durable under field conditions, but some DA such as Ruger and Dan Wesson are stronger and as durable as most single actions.

    3. The ergonomics on a SA are different and therefore they handle recoil in a different way. SA tend to roll up under heavy recoil, therefore making it a little more comfortable to shoot than a comparable DA which tend to drive into the web of your hand more than a SA.

    4. SA look cool while you are riding a horse. (This is actually the most important reason to own one.;)

    ------------------------SA CONS-------------------------------------

    1. Slow rate of fire due to having to manually cock the hammer for each shot. I know there are men and SA guns that can fire amazingly fast, but for the average person, the SA is much slower into action than a DA. This is why LE uses DA. This is also imprtant in any defensive situation against 2 or 4 legged critters.

    2. Slow reload. This becomes less important for field use unless you happen upon a drug operation while hiking in the back country.

    3. Slow follow up shots due to more muzzle flip under heavy recoil.

    I do not own any SA guns since I do not own a horse (See #4 under SA PROS). The only real disadvantage of the DA's I own (Dan Wessons) is the weight, and since I am a large and fit individual, that has not become a hiderance to me yet. Even while hunting, defense is always a possibility, so I tend to stay with DA.
     
  8. WheelMan

    WheelMan Member

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    Another plus to SA is easy conversion cylinders, you generally don't see that with DAs
     
  9. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    Some other SA points:

    * Since the cylinder is "fixed in place" versus swinging out on a crane, inherent accuracy can be higher in many cases, at least at the same price range. A DA does a fresh "alignment" of the cylinder when you close the action, and unless a LOT of money is spent on serious hand-fitting such as on classic Pythons, the Korths, etc. the alignment may not be perfect every time.

    * The "roll up in your hand" method of recoil control often allows a lighter SA gun to handle the same or more recoil as a heavier DA gun in the same caliber. 39oz worth of 44Mag Vaquero Bisley is often more comfortable for people than 50+ ounces of SuperRedHawk in the same caliber. (This does however depend on your hands and your shooting style - John Ross for example is an excellent shooter but just doesn't get along with SAs at all, as he's quick to point out :).)
     
  10. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    Wheelman,
    Great point! There are probably some others I left out too. I wish there was an easy way to convert cylinders for a DA.

    Jim March,
    ************************* Since the cylinder is "fixed in place" versus swinging out on a crane, inherent accuracy can be higher in many cases, at least at the same price range. A DA does a fresh "alignment" of the cylinder when you close the action, and unless a LOT of money is spent on serious hand-fitting such as on classic Pythons, the Korths, etc. the alignment may not be perfect every time.***************************

    With modern machining, metalurgy, and design, this is pretty much a non-issue in most well built DA guns. Of course older DA guns, especially smaller ones, can definitely have that problem. Production SA guns still suffer from about the same difficiency in tolerances as Production DA guns, although the SA "system" is capable of very fine accuracy for the very reason you point out so well. Dan Wesson took care of that problem decades ago with a latch on the crane, for which they have been roundly critisized. The result is accuracy unrivaled by any production DA gun and only Freedom Arms rivals it in a SA, (if you consider the Freedom Arms a "production" gun.) Of course the custom gun makers are more careful with their tolerances and well paid for their efforts.

    While new prices of Dan Wessons are climbing, used ones with all the same features are usually a real bargain on the used gun market.
     
  11. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Here within central Alabama it seems like the Ruger SA's
    in .357, .41, and .44 magnum are the handgun hunters
    choice. I even know a few that don't own any other type
    of firearm; other than the Ruger SA's!

    And here in Dixie, stalking game is essential when one
    is hunting with a handgun; cuz the under brush is mighty
    thick.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  12. Majic

    Majic Member

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    The DW biggest accuracy gain came as a bonus of it's switch barrel system. By stressing the barrel with support on both ends the harmonics are lowered during the shot and the POI becomes more consistant.
     
  13. BlkHawk73

    BlkHawk73 Member

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    I prefer SAs over DAs. Why? For me, yeah, I guess it is the nostalgia with them. I just think the lines of the SA are nicer than those of the DAs. Also, I like the overall feel and balance of the SAs and the way they react under recoil.
     
  14. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    50% less action to screw up. :)
     
  15. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I don't think thats the reason law enforcement uses DA, but my reality my be different than yours.
     
  16. rolltide

    rolltide Member

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    Majic,
    You are absolutely correct. The tensioned barrel is inherently more accurate. DW has the whole package for accuracy: tensioned barrel, adjustable cylinder gap, strong crane lockup, correct direction of rifling so that the torque impulse of the bullet hitting the rifling tend to press the cylinder in the closed direction as opposed to the open direction (i.e. S&W and most others) S&W finally got that part right on the S&W 500, but they had to or that beast would have shaken itself loose like their 44 does with heavy loads. S&W did a very smart thing when the consulted with Dan Wesson on the design of that new 500 firearm and borrowed several Dan Wesson features (including the tensioned barrel, crane lockup, and direction of rifling), much to the credit of both companies, and we the consumers are the beneficiaries. If they would incorporate some of those features on their Model 29, I would have to get one, but then again, it would probably end up the size of the Dan Wesson 44, and I already got one.

    For all the advantages of the DW DA guns, I still would like to get a fine single action someday, and a horse to go with it. Like Blkhawk73 said, they sure are easy to look at.

    Roll Tide

    [​IMG]
     
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