Post Your Revolver Speed Loading Technique

Post Your Revolver Speed Loading Technique

This is a discussion on Post Your Revolver Speed Loading Technique within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The main reason that I personally only carry a wheelie during presumed "low threat outings" and locally...AKA "Bopping The 4 Legged Beast Around The Block" ...

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  1. #1
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    Post Your Revolver Speed Loading Technique

    The main reason that I personally only carry a wheelie during presumed "low threat outings" and locally...AKA "Bopping The 4 Legged Beast Around The Block" etc. is that it is so much easier (under extreme duress) to reload the pistol over the revolver.

    It's my personal opinion the the true weak link with the revolver has always been in accomplishing a lightning fast reload when the heart is pounding and with the high level of adrenaline coursing through the old veins. In such extreme situations "fine motor skills" tend to fly out the window.

    For the average defensive shooter and even the "above average" seasoned shooter accomplishing a split second reload tends to favor the semi~automatic pistol.

    I'm not coming down on the revolver but, facts tend to support the fact that far less intricate and "involved" movement (in life threatening situations) is required to re~stoke the auto than the revolver.

    With the revolver (obviously) the speed loader is quickest with the speed strip running a slower second.

    Hopefully, all are at least switching the revolver over to the non~gun hand and accomplishing their speed reload with their most dexterously able strong gun hand.

    So do you use the old F.B.I. revolver reload method or the Ayoob method...or the interesting ~ "2" ~ "2" (if possible) or some other variation of your own creation?

    I'm just curious to know how some of you have personally gotten "over the hump" of the comparatively slower revolver "high~stress" reload.

    And yes, I am aware of the fact that the pro top revolver shooters can effect an extremely fast revolver reload but, most shooters just cannot under extreme S.H.T.F. conditions.

    So chime in.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array BlueLion's Avatar
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    You are so right, that is why I am considering investing in a decent belt and holster and carrying the 1911 as my full time piece. However, I do carry the wheelie, at the house, but only to get to the 1911 or soon enough shot gun...
    Listen, Think and React.....Nuff Said.....

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I personally use, and I'll try to describe it, what I call the "Spiderman" method. This assumes a Smith and Wesson revolver or clone thereof.

    The shooting hand depresses the cylinder release while the support hand goes around to the right side of the frame, palm facing the frame of the gun. The pointer and pinky fingers serve as a shelf on which the gun can lie, and the cylinder is pushed outwards with the middle and ring fingers.

    The thumb then depresses the ejector rod to dump the empty cases.

    Meanwhile, and hopefully simultaneously, after the cylinder release has been pressed, the strong hand retries the reload be it speed strips, a speedloader, or loose cartridges.

    Once the empty cases are visually confirmed to be ejected, the strong hand reloads the empty chambers.

    I'll let others reference speedloader preferences in more depth (I think I'm becoming more partial to the Safariland Comp 3) but I will address loose cartridges: I grab two at a time and reload one at a time in opposing chambers, filling the cylinder in a star pattern.

    This may seem perplexing to some, why not simply fill the chambers in order? Well I'll tell you why: I can reload in the star pattern without really thinking about it because it requires lest conscious thought to go to the opposite chamber than it does to count rounds. The other reason why is if you train flinch and malfunction drills with snapcaps or dummy casings (you do train for that don't you hehe), you know that the malfunction drill on a revolver is pull the trigger again!

    I figure if I a close the cylinder in some random weird position with only two cartridges in it, my odds of getting the chamber with the ammunition in it sooner are improved if they're in exact opposite places. I shouldn't have to fire any more than 3 times assuming a 6 shot cylinder.

    Admittedly I don't think reloading loose cartridges is all that terribly practical and I don't claim to practice it a lot on purpose, it's just that I spent years without speedloaders and developed this technique in response to that.

    Anyway once you reload as much as you can however you can, close the cylinder with the support hand. Do not wrist snap the cylinder back into the frame. For one thing if you're shooting a beloved old revolver, you're stressing it unduly. For another, you are incredibly likely to not lock the cylinder in place.

    I also think it's a terrible misconception the revolver is slower to reload. I hear this all the time: you only need one hand to reload a semiautomatic pistol but two to reload a revolver. That is the usual argument offered.

    No, you need two to reload either of them. Try it with one hand tied behind your back.

    Now it may be slower from the perspective that if you have a semiautomatic with a capacity of say 12, and you can reload 12 rounds in the time it takes to do 6 with the wheelgun...

    I also think it's ridiculous to assume a human being can load a slender little magazine into a small hole uniformly, make sure it catches, and then either rack the slide or manipulate a small slide release under stress, and do all that in the course of an actual fight, and then come around and say it's impossible to open a cylinder, eject the empties, reload, and then close the cylinder.

    Granted it is perhaps a finer motion, but I try not to be a defeatist. I will assume I can operate under stress because if I don't assume that I might as well just give up now.

    Also, just for the sake of argument, I can reload a loose round of ammunition into a wheelgun and fire it much faster than I could with any self loader, so it depends on the situation. You have to make the "This one is faster" argument in context.

  4. #4
    Member Array duckhunter's Avatar
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    Euc,

    Sounds good to me. I'm curious to see what other systems folks are using. I think I'm going to get out the old M66 and try it "spiderman style."

    One thing I do recommend for those that roll their own is make up some dummy rounds to practice with. I leave the primers out and paint the base with nail polish (don't tell my wife) to ensure they don't get mixed in at the range or heaven forbid on the street.

    DH
    "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." - Bill Jordan

  5. #5
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    revo speedloads can be done fast with practice. I trained thru the PD academy with a M66 S&W.

    about how Euc. explained. I will add the weak hand holds the cylinder from rotating during the reload. I found this method exremely fast, i am a LH shooter and could still get 12 rounds on target fast. Don't remember actual times , but it sure felt fast.

    Also to add, my buddy has the newer speedloader, Safariland I think. the reload drops the rounds by seating the speedloader against the cylinder. Seems to be quicker than the old twist style loaders.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky
    about how Euc. explained. I will add the weak hand holds the cylinder from rotating during the reload.
    Excellent point! The cylinder is cradled in the ball of the hand with the middle and ring fingers for support.

  7. #7
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    Thanks So Far Folks

    I am so glad that this is not turning into a revolver VS Semi~Auto debate. That was not my intention.
    Years ago when I decided to make my "switch" from revolver to Semi...I traded back all of these super fine revolvers In a rather dumb and impulsive "spur of the moment" decision.
    A few of them I really miss a lot to this very day.
    One was the slickest & smoothest Ruger Police Service Six which I really miss.
    The other was a custom S&W Bodyguard with the early action job done by Mag~Na~Port...where they micro~polished the internals and did a full internal & external Armoloy(sp?) or Metaloy Chrome.
    I had that Bodyguard "ported" also ~ Why? I don't know...but, it was great & was a butter smooth DA shooter with a light, perfectly crisp SA pull. I sure do miss that one.
    It was sold to a Pgh. Detective who used it to "take out" a Druggie BG with one quick head shot.

    Oh....let me search the web & see if I can find something already typed up on the Ayoob revolver reload method & maybe the FBI.
    I'm getting to hate endless keyboard typing.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    Excellent point! The cylinder is cradled in the ball of the hand with the middle and ring fingers for support.
    Well you described it better than I could, too bad I don't have a good camera and a DA revo. Hmm.................might have to pick up a wheelie next.

  9. #9
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    OK Credit To Whoever Typed This

    My computer is acting up tonight & bumped me off while I was doing a copy & paste of this text from some forum page.

    I'll probably type it all later if someone's interested, but Ayoob's method (if it's still what he teaches) has the palm of (for a right hander) the support hand slap down on the ejector rod, instead of the thumb pushing it.
    Then, the left hand grabs the revolver and indexes it near the bellybutton, vertically oriented, while the strong (and therefore more dexterous) right hand goes to the belt to retrieve the speedloader.

    The right hand does the load, opposed to the left like the FBI load teaches.
    His technique supposedly uses gravity to aid the extraction and also the load since you index it more vertical, opposed to the other techniques, which usually have the gun on an angle.
    The firm slap instead of the push gives a more positive extraction, especially when you have a short extractor rod.

    Personally, I like revolvers, but recognize that their weak point is reloading. This is not only an issue of speed, but also of position.

    Reloading a revolver while lying on your back and trying to remain behind cover is not an easy proposition.

    The fastest reload with a revolver (and sometimes with an autoloader) is a New York reload - drawing a second gun. Next fastest is a speedloader, but these are usually hard to conceal.

    On the other hand, it's not a difficult proposition to carry four single column magazines concealed for use in your autoloader.

    My point is that I believe that a tactical reload is a more critical issue for the user of the revolver than of the autoloader.
    If you're not carrying a whole bunch of speedloaders you may not want to dump two or three good rounds on the ground in order to get a full cylinder again.

    If you're using a five-round revolver of the .38/.357 persuasion the short crane may not give you enough clearance between the speedloader and the left grip panel to let you use a speedloader anyway.
    Since you may already be relying on something like a Speed Strip or a 2+2+2 pouch, why not learn how to reload on a fire-two/reload-two regimen?

    This doesn't mean that you would want to train yourself to a strict cadence of only firing two rounds before returning to cover to reload. There's no reason not to vary it and fire three or four rounds some of the time.

    My point is that lack of a magazine to cram more rounds into your gun means that you might want to work an extra drill to develop some compensatory skill.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Close, but missing an important part of Ayoob's technique, which I described above. Folowing is from an article I saved from an old Guns Magazine where Ayoob described his tech.

    "The old FBI wheelgun reloading was to hold the revolver in your left hand and punch the ejector rod with your left thumb as your right hand sped to your belt for fresh rounds.

    Nice theory, but in practice, the thumb often didn't have the power to clear magnum casings that had fire formed snugley into the chambers, nor would the hand naturally turn the muzzle up to allow a clean drop of the empty shells. This often allowed a full length ejector system to skip over a rim and create every wheelgunner's worst nightmare under stress - a spent casing jammed under the ejector star.

    The improvement by the FLETC didn't go far enough. Here, the left hand would hold the gun while the fight palm delivered a hard slap to the ejector rod. Alas, the left hand's grast of the cylinder often foreshortened the ejector stroke, the right hand could easily deviate off angle and hit the ejector rod the wrong way, hard enough to bend it, and the sharp edge of the cylinder yoke often ripped the shooter's hand in training.

    In both of these methods the gun winds up being held with the muzzle at an angle to the ground istead of pointing straight down during the reloading process. This is OK if you're loading single rounds, which you can snap firmly into a fully seated position in the chambers. Today, however, we generally use speedloaders, and they work by gravity, and gravity goes straight down.

    This is why you've so often done a fast reload ...and the cylinder wouldn't close or wouldn't rotate once closed ecause at least one cartridge hadn't gone all the way in.

    Skip to technique - I'm going to attempt to paraphrase Ayoob's writings here where possible for brevity's sake.

    Cylinder opened similar to older techniques - Thumb of right hand hits release latch as support hand slides upward and forward, its middle fingers pushing cylinder out of frame.

    Next part is Stress Reload's improvement - No hand change is required as with the old FBI and FLETC methods. the left hand continues its natural pattern of movement, traveling along the barrel, as the gun is grasped by the right and with the web of the hand unde the hammer spur and the thumb parallel to the barrel.

    The muzzle is now automatically pointed skyward, where gravity will assist it best to ensure clean dumping of brass. The right thumb is holding the cylinder all the way out of the frame window and minimizing chances of a casing catching on something. The thumb is kept from blocking the path of the ejecting brass.

    Now, the left palm is situated where, guided by the edge of the barrel, it can come down with one sharp stroke and blast even snugly fire-formed cases cleanly out of the chambers in a single stroke. It's impossible for a rim to get caught under the star using this technique. It's also the one tech powerful enough to generate sufficient momentum to make sure that even if the gun has a very short rod, all the brass will be kicked clear."

    The instruction continues on, with his method of manipulating the speedloader and making sure that the revolver is indexed with the butt tucked into the abdomen, assuring that the gun is in the same place everytime, minimizing the distance the hand with the loader has to travel, and guarantees that the muzzle is nose-down, to allow gravity to work best to load the rounds.

    Good stuff. I can see where it wouldn't be the fastest, but his logic seems clear about it being the most positive, and perhaps foolproof method. With Ayoob's background, and the number of students he's taught over the years, I think it warrants serious inspection. I'll be using it if/when I ever get a revolver.

  10. #10
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    OD - no sweat - I dumped that one altogether for you. I have done exactly that - more than once! (QK - have also removed the other posts relevant to that - to ''tidy up'' some more!)

    QK - I did get quite fast with speedloading way way back when shooting a lot of practical revo - plus I shaved grip on that side to assist the dump. Danged if I recall make now but the loaders were the ones with a circumferential spring - they worked real quick but could dump all rounds if dropped!!

    I did shoot some pics way back of my favored method but I also ''cradle'' cyl during the process - I have tried various permutations and find my own way works best using weak hand to hold gun while strong hand delivers the loader.

    Once all rounds in, the weak hand smoothly closes cyl as strong hand re-aquires the grip. As with so much else - for any individual it is what works.

    I doubt tho unless your name is Mikulec - most folks will be as fast with speedloaders, as a mag change in a semi. That said - if the size of a Comp III is acceptable - they are fast - real fast.

    Real deciding factor tho I still think - is the efficient dump without one empty hangin' up!!! To aid this I used to dump and spin cyl at same time - weak hand thumb operating ejector and fingers turning cyl.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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  11. #11
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    Ayoob's method of ejection sounds slower to me. I would have the left hand droppping empties with my thumb while the right would be pulling the speedloader.
    We would tip the gun barrel up to insure the empties would clear the gun and not hang up.
    I think dumping live rounds and speedloading would still be quickr than single loading or using a speed strip, but don't see a pressing reload unless the gun was empty. either way I would just speedload .
    I am not sure Chris, revos can be loaded pretty fast if you pratice enough. If speedloaders are slower than autos , it isn't by much.

  12. #12
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    Agreed Rocky - certainly not by much - I do think tho ''in extremis'' the ''Murphy factor'' could be greater - call it maybe the ''fumble factor'' too.

    Seems the drop of a mag' and slam home of new is less likely to be called by Murphy - that's all And fractions of seconds will always matter.

    BTW - this is a revo man talkin' too!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  13. #13
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    Thanks Chris, I did go back and deleted it, well, I thought I did.

    There I go thinkin' again.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

  14. #14
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    I gave up revos for auto a while back, but still was impressed how well a revo could be manipulated.

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    It was deleted OD, in effect, but to me it was still ''there'' (shows to us, just as deleted) - and so that was my ''tidy-up'', plus the following posts about that! Deep six!

    I'll bet - I have done better than that one before - so you ain't alone. I put it down to shere enthusiasm
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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