Last night at an entirely too late hour I was watching the season premiere of NCIS: Los Angeles (now with 50% more running LL Cool J) which you can watch at CBS’s website. It’s called Human Traffic, and as episodes of the lesser NCIS go, it wasn’t too bad. Except for one scene. One part made me facepalm myself clean out of my chair. If you watched it, and you’re a fan of this blog you can probably guess which scene.
Linda Hunt, who plays the local boss (and who I will always cherish for her magnificent performance in Silverado as Stella) is on the NCIS firing range practicing with what appears to be her carry gun. It’s either a small frame revolver, and while I didn’t get too good a look at it, it appears to be a fairly generic J-frame. Guess what she does for every shot – that’s right, she ears back the hammer and fires the gun in single action mode. I was borderline shouting at my monitor “YOU PAID EXTRA FOR DOUBLE ACTION“. Seriously, how many times have I talked about that on Gun Nuts? It’s a serious pet peeve of mine, especially in compact, defensive revolvers. Then, at the end of the scene, what does she do after reloading her gun? She flicks her wrist to snap the cylinder closed…which is really hard on the crane of the revolver and done enough times will break your gun.
Now, interestingly enough though that particular clip demonstrates two of my favorite points. Number 1 being obviously that you should shoot your DA carry revolvers in DA mode; but the second one is my other big revolver pet peeve. That of course is that small frame, compact revolvers are terrible guns for women shooters. Let’s take Linda Hunt as an example. According to Wikipedia, she’s 4’9, is 65 years old, and I am willing to venture possesses less than 1/3 of my upper body strength. I have a S&W Model 60 that I carry and has been tuned up a bit; even on that gun the double action trigger pull is over 10 lbs. It is not an insignificant amount of weight, and extended dry-fire sessions will rapidly induce forearm fatigue. In the hands of someone with reduced upper body and arm strength, that trigger becomes a tremendous chore to manage for even the five shots in the gun. Every time I see someone recommend a snub-nosed revolver for a first gun for any shooter, but especially a female shooter it makes my head spin right off my shoulders. And I say this as a devoted revolver shooter.
That does wrap up my rant, but seriously – shoot your defensive revolvers double action, and stop recommending snubbies for first carry guns. It’s just good sense.