Reload time, revolver vs semi-auto

This is a discussion on Reload time, revolver vs semi-auto within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; OK, I always hear so much made out of quicker reload times for semi-autos that I decided to do an experiment. I tried revolver reloads ...

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Thread: Reload time, revolver vs semi-auto

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Reload time, revolver vs semi-auto

    OK, I always hear so much made out of quicker reload times for semi-autos that I decided to do an experiment. I tried revolver reloads with a HKS speed loader in my Ruger Police Service Six and semi-auto reloads in my Ruger P95. Both large weapons in their respective platforms (and ones I don't carry much, so I'm not real familiar with one over the other). I started with my reload in my left front pocket and I also shot with a two handed grip. Same with both weapons. How I measured the actual speed was from last shot on target to next shot on target.

    I was very surprised by what I found. It takes me exactly 4 seconds from last shot on target to next shot on target.....WITH BOTH WEAPONS!!!! Consistently the same time with either platform. I believe I could have cut the total time with both weapons with belt carried reloads rather than pocket. I just thought I'd time it based on how I usually carry reloads with either...pocket.

    I found this to be a very interesting exercise that I just thought I would share my results. With practice with both of these weapons, I'm sure I could get it down lower, but I'm not sure I could get one lower than the other. YMMV.
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    Member Array MSteve's Avatar
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    Interesting.
    In my opinion, where the auto wins is not speed of reload, it's frequency of needed reload. Even with a compact magazine, I get more shots between reloads with my .357sig auto than I would with a .357 revolver, and that number only goes up with the full size mag.
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    My times are more like 4-6 seconds for the revolver, depending on how it goes, and 2-3 seconds for the semi. I've done both under pressure at Gunsite. Plus, if we were to take the average guy and time him we'd find a the time is approximately double or more.

    I also took into account muffs under pressure. They happen more frequently with a revolver than a semi. It's the simple concept of trying to line up two small objects (two rounds) in two small holes compared to one huge object in a huge hole.
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    The biggest advantage in a semi-auto for me is on the range. Anytime you have to shoot twelve or twenty rounds in one course of fire from one relay especially if it's timed like ours is two rounds in three seconds over and over for twenty rounds the semi-auto blows a revolver out of the water. As to real life saving encounters at close range. I trust a good six shot .357 magnum just as much as a fifteen round 9mm or 40s&w any day of the week.
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    That's an interesting result. Thanks for sharing.
    If anything, I expected the semi-auto to be a fraction faster because you can be ejecting the spent magazine with one hand while retrieving the fresh one with your off hand. All while keeping the pistol in relatively the same position as your last shot, (depending on the magazine's eject button). This is for someone with the same experience level with both platforms. I'm sure technique plays a major part, too.

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    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    I guess the bottom line is with semi-auto's initially you have more rounds before a reload. This is a true statement in most cases with exception to those low capacity micro guns. All I can tell you is I carry revolvers all the time especially in the summer time and I have no reservation about it. I don't care who you are five rounds of well placed fast shots to your forehead with a 158 or 125 grain hollow point cor-bon will do just fine.
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    Interesting....

    Time wouldn't be an issue for me as I'm hopping the next train out of Dodge during reloads.
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    I might suggest some more practice reloading your semi, or a better way to carry the spare mag. I am in the 2 second range shot to shot with a semi, significantly higher (with much more "flubs") with a revolver. And, as has been mentioned, I'll have already reloaded my SP101 TWICE and be ready for my third by the time I have to reload my P228 (using a P226 mag w/ spacer) the first time...
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    There are some things that I have realized, at least for me, in reloads.
    The proximity of the reload to the weapon, prior to its acquisition, and the ease of acquisition are important to reload time.
    High cap mags provide an advantage of low cap mags. High cap mags taper down from double stack down to single stack at the top. This provides the same advantage as a tapered mag well and aids in the proper insertion and the speed of the reload.
    An inertia slide release is slightly faster than a manual slide release.
    Speed loaders that mechanically inject the rounds into the cylinder are more positive and slightly faster than those that rely on gravity to accomplish the task.
    A speed loader that releases its rounds by mere pressure rather than requiring a separate action are faster.
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    Member Array charliej47's Avatar
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    I have to say that back when I "played" with guns on a daily basis until I had fired more than a thousand rounds through a 6 inch 357 carrying two speed loaders I "flubbed" two out of five re-loaders on a regular basis.

    Once I slowed down and started to really concentrate on which hand did what and practiced this on a daily basis did I stat to get better.

    When it came time to do the yearly qualification with the weapon and my two carries we had to get 15 out of the eighteen rounds on target and had to get 12 in the kill zone to qualify I can remember having to re-qualify at least twice because I dropped a loader.

    This shows that if you don't practice on a regular basis you will still screw up and get killed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by charliej47 View Post
    I have to say that back when I "played" with guns on a daily basis until I had fired more than a thousand rounds through a 6 inch 357 carrying two speed loaders I "flubbed" two out of five re-loaders on a regular basis.

    Once I slowed down and started to really concentrate on which hand did what and practiced this on a daily basis did I stat to get better.

    When it came time to do the yearly qualification with the weapon and my two carries we had to get 15 out of the eighteen rounds on target and had to get 12 in the kill zone to qualify I can remember having to re-qualify at least twice because I dropped a loader.

    This shows that if you don't practice on a regular basis you will still screw up and get killed.
    I am so confused now, in your other post you said it is a waste of time and money.....

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    Member Array charliej47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    I am so confused now, in your other post you said it is a waste of time and money.....
    I was committing on using speed-loaders and having problems with them back when I had to qualify with a revolver. My first quote dealt with a different topic. Right now if I was to try to use a revolver and a speed-loader I would be very slow as I am aware of how fumble-fingered I can be.
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    The vast majority of folks will reload a semi faster than they can accomplish the same task with a wheelie............UNLESS You Are.....this man.


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    That is just freakish!!!! What a monster!!!
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I find the average difference for me to be about one second.
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