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This past May, I attended Claude Werner’s one-day Snub Nose Revolver Skills Development course held in Pittsburgh. The goals listed in the course description for the class were “Make hits with the snub, not just noise. Reload the revolver efficiently and with confidence. Carry the revolver in a low profile way and practice deploying it. Employ the snub in re-enactment of actual life preservation situations. Shoot a state recognized Concealed Carry qualification course. Learn appropriate practice techniques and drills to keep your skills up after the class is over.” Claude was able to impressively deliver on those goals during the limited time of the class.

After the safety briefing, Claude began demonstrating grip techniques, and I discovered that using the thumbnail over thumbnail grip put my support hand thumb in the way of my trigger finger. For the class I shot a modified version of the typical thumbs forward autoloader grip, curling my thumbs down, though I had issues maintaining my support-hand grip with this method. After working through the grip and reloading the revolver from the pocket, we began shooting a series of drills on a six dot target from the ready, first running them dry, then spinning the cylinder in between each string to get even more repetitions in with a sort of revolver ball and dummy. Claude also had the students coming to a different ready position in between string, which would be applied during later drills. The drill progressed from single shots, to two shots, and up to a full cylinder on the last string of fire. I was able to provide a good teachable moment on a multiple shot string, where I shot a follow up round high without allowing my sights to settle back in the notch.

We broke to discuss the pros and cons of various types of prepackaged ammunition holding devices from the ubiquitous HKS speedloader to more uncommon ones like the Jetloader. Most of the students were using speedstrips or the HKS speedloaders. We shot the same series of drills from the holster, this time reloading with our prepackaged ammo. I ran speedstrips from a Tuff Products velcro pouch, which I found to be a great low profile method of carrying spare ammunition.

After lunch, we shot the Arizona CCW qualification course. Next, Claude had us verbally engage a hostage taker, then draw and make an ocular cavity shot – a stressful task with the rest of the class observing. We then shot a snake drill, moving between non-threats using the ready positions - such as Sul - that we had practiced before. The final drill was a command drill on variously colored and numbered dots, where we were to break and run away to a designated area once we ran out of ammunition.

During the final break, Claude brought out his box of holsters, giving a run down of different types he prefers and answering questions from the students. He also gave tips on how to optimize the snub, particularly focusing on the sights and the grip.

The greatest impression I left with was how systematically the class was run. It is apparent how well thought out Claude’s curriculum is when noting how everything seamlessly builds up from working the fundamentals to performing those skills under stress. I was also impressed with how economically Claude utilized time, using the breaks to discuss equipment while still providing adequate rest for the students. I felt the class was a tremendous value considering all of the material condensed into a one-day course.
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