Before the Great War the value of the revolver as a weapon
for hand to hand fighting was insufficiently appreciated in
the military sense.
In this country practical interest in the expert use of the
weapon was mainly confined to a small number of enthusiasts.
For lack of a sound method of training for use in war, the
revolver was quite commonly a greater danger to the owner
and his friends than the enemy, the result being that the
weapon itself was generally blamed and regarded as a some-
what perilous instrument.
With those who had experience of Service, whether military
or civil, in certain distant quarters of the world, matters were
different. It was freely admitted and appreciated that in
many localities a man’s life often depended on the quick
and accurate use of the revolver.
It was a matter of personal care with men thus situated
to study and practise with the weapon, Officers, for instance,
of the Indian Army realised this necessity.
During the early stages of the War, the casualties which
occurred amongst officers, both in trenches and in billets,
through careless and uninstructed handling of revolvers,
were numerous, if not altogether surprising, and strongly
emphasised the need of correct training.
Latterly, owing to the realisation of this need and the
gradually extended adoption of the authors method, accidents
have proportionately diminished and much effective work
has been done with the weapon.
In war it has been proved to demonstration that a revolver
in properly trained hands is a most deadly weapon both of
offence and defence. In the hand to hand fighting and action
at close quarters it is of very high value. Not a few
decorations have been earned by valiant and daring deeds
wrought against the enemy with the revolver in hands
soundly trained to its effective use.
Parties armed with revolvers, and specially trained on the
practical lines of instinctive shooting, have proved to be
very effective in trench raids—especially so in dark night
“During a political rising in South America,
I was shot at close quarters, when mounted.
My opponent was also mounted and we fired
point blank. His bu1let—a small copper one,
.25 calibre, I think—passed right through my
left lung and also passed through some of the
fleshy part of my heart. I got my man in the
chest and, as far as I know, killed him, as I was using a revolver similar to the Colt. His shot
did not stop me, for I rode on and took part
in the affray for some twenty minutes afterwards,
when I dropped. The bullet remained in me
for three days. It was then extracted from the
back. After two winters in France in this War,
I am still carrying on. I owe my life to my
opponent using such a small pistol.”