Alec Baldwin claimed that he did not pull the trigger on the single action revolver at the center of the Rust shooting. It’s hard to believe and here is why: the single action mechanism requires multi-step manipulation in order to fire.
The best way to explain this is by noting that there are two classes of revolvers: single action and double action. Ironically, the single action requires two actions to be performed in order to fire while a double action requires only one.
For example, a double action can be fired by manually cocking the hammer then pulling the trigger to release it, allowing it to slam down on the primer and fire the bullet. But a double action can also be fired with the hammer un-cocked. This is done by simply pulling the trigger all the way back, allowing the trigger pull to cock the hammer and then that same trigger pull releases the hammer, striking the primer, and boom.
A single action does not have such options. It is only designed to fire after the hammer is manually cocked and the trigger pulled to release the hammer.
Moreover, the hammer has to be manually cocked in between each shot in order to fire multiple shots with a single action revolver.
Now, is it possible to accidentally pull the hammer back and release it while subsequently squeezing the trigger, thereby firing a single action revolver?
The answer is ‘yes.’ However, Alec Baldwin told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger.”
Baldwin added, “No, no, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger. Never.”
Asked by @GStephanopoulos how a real bullet got on the "Rust" set, Alec Baldwin says: “I have no idea. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
Could the trigger have been somehow trapped back, through a mechanical malfunction or outside interference, opening the door for the hammer to be manually pulled all the way and released to strike the primer and fire a bullet?
Or could the hammer have been cocked back by someone else before the gun was in Baldwin’s hands, thereby allowing a simple trigger pull to release the hammer and fire the gun?
The second question is important because it is not uncommon for people to unintentionally touch the trigger of their gun while learning to draw it from a holster. If a single action’s hammer was cocked it could fire if the trigger was touched while drawing the gun from a holster. However, touching the trigger and firing the bullet would be nearly simultaneous–it would actually happen so quick that human senses might not be able to detect time between touching the trigger and hearing the gunshot–and this means the shot would go into the ground right by the shooter’s foot or perhaps into the shooter’s leg or pelvic region, depending on where holster was located.
UPI quoted Rust director Joel Souza indicating Baldwin was “practicing cross drawing — pulling the gun from a holster from the opposite side of his body — at the time of the accident.”
FOX News Digital quotes Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza saying, “Guns don’t just go off. So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at email@example.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.