View Full Version : Can you use two pistols simultaniously, with any passable accuracy?

01-14-2004, 05:41 PM
You see this all the time in movies; a hero or villain blazing away at their foes with a pistol each hand.

Now, even disregarding those scenes where a character is holding both guns "gangsta" style; or is shooting at targets in such different directions that he'd have to have chameleon eyestalks to even aim; or the movies where the shooter is blinking and flinching so much that it's obvious that the actor has never fired a gun before...Is it possible, at all, to use and fire two pistols at the same time, with any passable degree of accuracy?

Well, thanks for your time,


01-14-2004, 06:41 PM
I doubt it.

I'm ambidextrous with many things (switching hitting, bow shooting, golf etc) but when I tried my "gangsta styles" dual paint gun shooting I couldn't shoot for beans. I would assume any real firearm with recoil would be worse.

Hail Ants
01-14-2004, 06:50 PM
Just firing one pistol rapidly you'd be amazed at how awful you're accuracy will be.

My favorite thing to show people who have never really shot guns before is to give them a pistol and have them shoot quickly at a standard outline target at seemingly point-blank, maybe 15 feet, and show them that not only do they not get any in the bullseye circles, they miss the entire target completely with every single shot!

Horatio Hellpop
01-14-2004, 07:00 PM
When real-life cowboys packed two revolvers, it was in case they lost one. Firearm professionals use one gun at a time, and they don't hold them sideways (If they're automatic pistols, holding them sideways will likely cause them to jam).

01-14-2004, 07:02 PM
When real-life cowboys packed two revolvers, it was in case they lost one. Firearm professionals use one gun at a time, and they don't hold them sideways (If they're automatic pistols, holding them sideways will likely cause them to jam).

Unless the port ejector is facing down.

01-14-2004, 07:09 PM
To shoot a pistol accurately, you want the sights to line up. I know this seems blatantly obvious, but hey, half of Hollywood's wealth was built on ignoring this little factoid. I imagine one would need superhuman spatial senses, muscle control, and an impossibly accurate sense of how objects relate to each other on a straight line. So, basically, whenever you see a "badass" in a movie pulling the John Woo style, it's a cheap way of saying, "Oooh, this guy's GOOD!" Bonus points for any movie that actually has a character say that about the hero.

01-14-2004, 07:21 PM
There probably are one or two freak show residents out there that can maximize the pistols' accuracy whilst shooting from the hip with both hands. Just like there are people who can climb a rope feet up/head down, mass-produce accurate replicas of masterpiece oil paintings, recite the first 200 pages of the phone book, etc. Humans are great, especially BORED humans.

But as a general rule you'd be wasting ammo unless you just wanted to put down some supressive fire.

01-14-2004, 09:01 PM
I never assumed that was an act for accuaracy... just a plan to get the most bullets in the air at once because your totally outnumbered and its hopeless.

01-14-2004, 09:25 PM
It can be done but it isn't particularly easy even if you're a good shooter. I'm only aware of one competitive category where a shooter has a revolver in each hand, SASS (http://www.sassnet.com) Gunfighter category. It's shot with two single action revolvers, alternating shots R-L. I've only shot that category once and it was harder than I expected to stay coordinated. I already shoot with both hands in my category (strong and weak side holsters, cavalry twist draw so both guns are backwards) so that wasn't an issue but remembering to not push one gun forward of the other (a safety violation) and keeping target sequences straight with the alternating shots made for some pretty dismal scores.

Shooting both guns simultaneously and accurately is a trick. You'd have to focus a different eye on each gun and have them almost touching in order to use the sights. Nobody in his right mind does that. The shooting I was describing alternates shots so one gun is moved to the side while the other is brough into the shooter's line of sight.

What I've learned from various forms of action shooting from cap and ball revolvers to H&K submachineguns is that he who fires the fewest bullets wins.

01-14-2004, 09:39 PM
Annie Oakley used to do it in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, although she prefered a rifle over her shoulder aiming with a mirror.

'possum stalker
01-14-2004, 09:41 PM
That's one thing that always irks me in films. The hero is blasting away at the Bad Men with some hand cannon w/o any sign of recoil, aiming, etc. The first time I fired cousin Dan's .44, I though I had broken my wrist. One hand, indeed.

Maybe a master marksman w/ a .22 could do it. But the mass of a handgun is pretty small, and it doesn't 'absorb' much of the recoil. The larger the shell/ powder charge, the greater the recoil.

01-14-2004, 10:09 PM
It all depends on the size of the targets and how far they are. I could easily shoot two people simultaneously if they are both in the same room with me. A little further if they are within, say, a 30 degree arc in front of me.

Recoil would not be a factor with anything like a 9mm or .380. Come to think of it, it wouldn't really matter with .44 if you hit your targets on the first shot.

01-14-2004, 11:47 PM
Well, since you're supposed to hold a weapon with BOTH hands, firing two weapons one in each hand seems kinda over-the-top.

01-15-2004, 12:30 AM
Well, since you're supposed to hold a weapon with BOTH hands, firing two weapons one in each hand seems kinda over-the-top.
In your opinion maybe.

Not saying about anybody, just in general.........

Shoot for effect. What ever works. Ever walk a can down the road. With practice, it is easier than you think. How much do you practice? Would I do it? no likely, unless UI was in a panic ( should not ever happen but..... ) I was the only one with a gun and a lot of folks needed killing and I had lots of ammo and no one was shooting back, etc.
As Padeye said, hard to do and dismal scores but it is not impossible.
If you are looking at movies and learning something or think you are seeing something good about guns, you should not have a gun to start with. IMO

I am not a spray and pray type but I will not stand and dare "Spooky" as he circles with my chest bare and a cigar in my mouth either. Sometimes and places, more is better.......

What I really want to see in a movie is an uniformed officer double tap a bad guy, holster his weapon and then get shot buy the bad guy who did not get hit nuff. Really show the effects of strong habits and incorrect training.


01-16-2004, 08:16 AM
My wife and I have matching .357 revolvers, rather large ones (S&W 686) so they help absorb some of the recoil.

I have shot competitively and am a pretty fair shot.

My wife has asked me on several occaisions to do the 2 gun thing. She thinks its rather macho or something, I call it a total waste of ammo. Shooting alternatively in rapid succession, but allowing the sights to come close to lining up, I usually get a bit more than 50% on paper at 25 feet. I have also hit the side wall.

Strictly Hollywood, as is the tiny silencer on a magnum revolver that goes: 'pfft'. As well as holding the gun sideways and other gangsta stuff. Most real gangstas can't hit a thing.