The consensus was that it certainly was a very prevalent technique back in the day, but it was useful only in very limited circumstances. There was a reason why people didn’t haul around two swords all the time.
So what about dual wielding handguns? Do I address this in my charity course?
Most of my students are, shall I say, of a certain age.
They tend to be extremely down to earth. Practical, realistic, logical.
This is generally not the case with younger students. Instead of a wealth of past experiences to draw upon to make decisions about the real world, they tend to filter reality through what they have seen and done on their computers.
That is why I sometimes get questions about dual wielding.
I must admit that I often cannot help becoming flippant when first confronted with this question. I like to say that I can always tell if someone tried to dual wield by counting their fingers.
The truth of the matter is that shooting two guns at once is simply a bad idea when modern firearms are involved. The main reason why is that shot placement is the single most important factor in ending the rampage of a violent criminal, and trying to bang away with a gun in your off hand is a big distraction when it comes to placing bullets where they need to be.
Fantasy replacing reality in the minds of the inexperienced isn’t something that is new. I remember reading numerous articles in gun magazines from the 1960’s and 1970’s where the author discussed how many people were heavily influenced by the westerns they saw on TV.
Situational awareness, use of cover, and shot placement were pretty much ignored in favor of developing a quickdraw. Just like in their favorite television series, the path to surviving a violent criminal attack was how fast one got their defensive weapon into play. The fact that one had to incapacitate the bad guy, all while avoiding getting shot themselves, took a back seat to clearing leather.
That having been said, there actually is a place for dual wielding handguns. Although modern designs do not lend themselves to dual wielding, there is a place for it when using antiquated single action revolvers.
Since the sixgun has to be cocked each time before being able to fire, it is possible to train oneself to point the off gun in a safe direction and cock away while concentrating on firing the ready handgun. Then you switch off and repeat. You can see people doing this at the various Cowboy Action Shooting events held in the United States.
Please note that one may be able to greatly increase the rate of fire of those old Western handguns by using this technique, but it still pales besides the average performance of a modern design. Technology continually improves, as they say.
So what is the bottom line? Keeping in mind that this blog is concerned with personal armed defense in a modern setting, I would say that dual wielding is a waste. It is a waste of time, it is a waste of ammo, and it won’t improve your chances of getting through a violent attack.