May 29, 2015: Single Shot

The single shot as a training technique is recommended for new users and experienced users using an unfamiliar gun for the first time. 

After dry firing (not recommended for rim-fire guns) an unfamiliar gun to get the feel of the trigger pull and trigger reset, it is the perfect time to load a single round to test fire the gun once. 

The single shot sequence to load, fire and unload a single round is used in the NRA Basic Firearms Course to familiarize students with the three action types used in the class.  The repetition reinforces the operation of a single action revolver, double action revolver, and s semi-automatic pistol. 

The process is pretty straightforward with a semi-automatic pistol even for beginning shooters.  Load one round in the magazine, put the magazine in the gun, rack the slide and it’s ready.  Performing the single shot in a revolver is more challenging. 

As stressful as it is for the student, it is just as stressful for the instructor who is providing his/her own .22 caliber single and double action revolvers for the class.  Instructors don’t like to see their rim fire guns dry fired. 

A critical part of instruction for using the revolvers is teaching the new students how to determine which way the cylinder rotates in a revolver.  Fortunately it can be easily determined by looking at the slot and indention on the cylinder.  The semi-circular or half-oval indention and the slot form a crude arrow that points in the direction of the rotation. 

With a single action revolver like the six shot Heritage Rough Rider, the cylinder turns clock-wise.  With the hammer in the half-cock loading position, a round inserted through the loading gate then has to be turned 4 “clicks” to put the round to be in position when the hammer is pulled to the full cock position to be ready to fire.  The trick with new shooters on the firing line is getting them to remember to rotate the cylinder after inserting the round. 

The nine shot double action Taurus 94 turns counter-clock wise.  Closing the cylinder with a single round so that the rim can be seen to the right of the top of the frame is the tricky part.  Instruction about opening the cylinder to reposition is critical to prevent the students from dry firing the gun until the round rotates into position. 

De-cocking revolvers is another technique that needs to be covered before the student is on the firing line.  The sacrificial thumb technique can be covered and practiced in the classroom. 

Woo hoo the Lightning won game 7.  Returning to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since they won in 2004.  Go Bolts!


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