Duel-wielding firearms in movies?

I have to say, they did better than I would have expected. Still, their test was at close range with stationary targets. I don’t recall numbers from any other target-shooting tests by Adam and Jamie, but I think both are pretty good shots under normal conditions. Do you know of a clip showing their accuracy with a single weapon, for comparison purposes?

Yeah – I gather you mean someone using two guns at once? I was all ready to talk about duels. :smack:

Accuracy wasn’t the issue. The point of shooting was to send as many bullets toward the other guy as possible, accurate or not (and pistols are not known for accuracy; they are close-range weapons, and 19th century pistols probably were nowhere near as accurate as Mythbusters’*). At the same time, many of the shots that didn’t count in the demonstration – hitting the leg, for instance – would disable the victim, allowing for a kill shot while he was down. Any shot to the gut – which got no score given the targets – was a death sentence before antibiotics. I spotted at least three killing shots of that nature that got no score, not to mention at least three shots that missed the target completely (no score) but hit the picture in the face. There were also a bunch of shoulder shots that would have put the person out of commission.

12 bullets without reloading are more likely to hit your target than six, and, in the 19th century, your goal was just to hit the other guy and finish him off once he’s down.

John Woo made it his signature in Hong Kong action films most recently. In an interview, he said something like “guns are the modern equivalent of samurai swords”.

Presumably, this is also why the NKVD liked it. You can carry two pistols with a lot more subtlety than anything automatic (barring a few machine pistols, which have their own issues), but still multiply your firepower and your ability to intimidate your target(s) and potentially remove the threat.

I must say I’m of the ‘accuracy over firepower’ school of thought when it comes to personal firearms. Of course it helps that I know not the meaning of fear so wouldn’t be intimidated when confronted with a dual (!) handgun wielding maniac… :smiley:

Thanks for the answers everyone!

Carrying more than one pistol seemed to make good sense back when pistols were single shot and not terribly reliable. Blackbeard was famous for carrying multiple pistols on his person at the beginning of the 18th century. As far as fictional representations, I believe in Treasure Island Jim Hawkins dual wields pistols to dispatch Israel Hands. Treasure Island was published in 1883 (slightly earlier for the serialized version). I think the two pistols come directly from the book, but maybe one of the many film adaptations planted the idea in my head.

Well, the Confederate geurillas in Missouri and under Mosby were known to carry four or five revolvers because cap-n-ball revolvers were so hard to reload (especially from horseback). They sometimes fired them with each hand, so that might be an early origin of the practice.

Me too. And I was going to suggest that using two dueling pistols would be wise because they were only single shot.

Wild Bill used to carry a [del]brace[/del] pair of 1851 Navy Colts in a red sash. These may be them. He was also a very good shooter with both hands and there are stories and dime novel illustrations showing him with one in each hand, but I’m not sure how credible that is.

I’ve just checked the passage in question, and you’re right.

“12 bullets without reloading are more likely to hit your target than six”

maybe in the hand one shoots with. make it baseballs and strikes and how accurate are those six in your off-hand going to be?

As you fire more bullets, accuracy becomes a moot point. A machine gun doesn’t have to aim at a target; you just throw as many bullets as possible in the general direction. Similarly, if you’re firing two guns, you just need to get in the same general area of the target – who probably isn’t standing still to be shot and may leap into a bullet that was far off target.

I believe that in the table at 1:39 the control was firing single weapons to establish a baseline for comparison.

“‘One more step, Mr. Hands,’ said I, ‘and I’ll blow your brains out!’” --J. Hawkins, Slayer of Pirates and Purveyor of Pints.

It may depend on what you’re doing with your smart hand at the time. The linked Mythbusters clip suggested that they did better firing two pistols in parallel (simultaneously), than alternating between the two. It has also been my observation that it’s easier to perform complex operations with my off hand if it’s “slaved” to my smart hand performing the same operations, either in parallel or mirrored. That isn’t really possible with pitching, but it is possible with handguns.

Thanks, I missed that. There’s an anomaly, though. If the control line was for a single weapon, Jamie did substantially better in both dual-fire tests than in the control. His dual-fire tests also both beat Adam’s control score, though not by as much. I have to suspect that he had an unusually bad run in the control test for some reason.

“As you fire more bullets, accuracy becomes a moot point”

Only when also considering number of rounds and rate of fire and what one means by accuracy… The example I was responding to suggested 6 additional rounds from a hand gun.

The Desert Eagle .50 automatic has a “practical” rate of fire of 20-30 rounds per minute. The Mac-10 ate is 1,100 rpm.

If a shooter cannot come closer than 6 feet from the target with the off-hand, might as well, in fact would be better, to steady primary hand with off.

Accuracy is a moot point with the MAc 10, not with the Eagle.

Confused me too. We just watched North And South, and I was trying to think of other films where duelling was featured.

The Duellists?

The best duelling scene ever is in Woody Allen’s Love and Death.

So, what’s Chuck Norris, chopped liver?