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Old June 1, 2013, 02:37 PM   #1
Old_Dog
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The Lost Art of the Revolver Speed Loader

The following article by Dave Lewis will demonstrate how to use a revolver speed loader. I personally have a few and use them when I can. With practice you can load a revolver almost as fast as a semi auto.

The Lost Art of the Revolver Speed Loader
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Old June 3, 2013, 07:02 AM   #2
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A question

In reviewing the article, it says that the speed loader should be in your "gun" hand in order to drop them into the cylinder. Being more familiar with semi guns and carrying my extra magazines on the weak side for quick work, where/how do you carry your speed loaders for the same process. When looking at photos of police officers when they carried revolvers, I could swear I saw the guns on their right side and speed loaders on the left side. At what point in the process due to grab the speed loader and then switch it to your gun hand?
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Old June 3, 2013, 07:25 AM   #3
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Good article. Thanks.

Qtiphky - The article demonstrates a strong hand reload (looks to be the FBI version), in which case the speedloaders are kept on your strong side, just forward of your holster. The photo below shows the FBI reload and position of the speedloader(s) (holster is concealed by the vest).

The weak hand reload is a viable reload as well, in which case, the speedloaders are kept on your weak side.

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Old June 3, 2013, 07:58 AM   #4
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I grew up hog hunting with a revolver and had my first speed load back around '76 I think?? I was a right hand shooter and right hand speed loader but never as good as a pistols mag change. You do need a certain kind muscle twitch to move as fast as the good revolver guys are. I used a DW revolver .
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
where/how do you carry your speed loaders...
You carry them where you can reach them with either hand so that if you get injured in one hand, you can reach them with the other.


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Old June 3, 2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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There are two methods in using speed loaders, the one mentioned where the revolver goes to your non-shooting hand which dumps the empties while the shooting hand grabs and loads.

Then there is the method where the revolver stays in your shooting hand which dumps the empties, then points the revolver down and the non-shooting hand grabs and loads.

Neither is wrong, both work and both can be pretty fast depending on how much practice the shooter does.

Take in an ICORE match, (revolvers only) and watch the shooters using the two methods.

Practice both and see what works for you.

Edit to add: The trick to either method is keeping the cylinders clean so the empties fall out under their own weight.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:29 AM   #7
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Lost art?
Better not say that to ICORE revolver competitors.
The folks who use moon clips, rather than speed loaders, often keep the gun in the strong hand, and drop the clips and ammo downward into the cylinder with the weak, or off side hand.
Dang, got beat out by one minute.
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Old June 3, 2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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I'm left-handed, so a weak-hand reload is pretty awkward for me. It's very natural to let the gun slide into the right hand and reach for my speed strips with the left while the right hand ejects the empties. Also seems to offer a very secure grip on the open revolver while reloading.

Here's how I reload my SP101: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRt2hbtWxg4

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Old June 3, 2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
I used a DW revolver .
I still do. The weak hand hold/strong hand reload works well with the DW because of the positioning of the release catch in front of the cylinder.

As you transfer the empty gun to the weak hand you pop the catch with your left thumb, tilt muzzle up & whack the ejector rod with the same left thumb. The right hand grabs pops & extracts the speedloader from just in front of the holster on the right/front. It just seems to work better ergonomically for me that way.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:31 PM   #10
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I like revolvers and carried one for many years, but no matter how fast you are in using a speed loader, you are still reloading five or six rounds after firing five or six rounds, giving most semis at least a bit of an advantage.

Definitely a useful skill to have for a carry or HD revolver, though. I kind of chuckled at the "What was that round black thing?" line.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
I like revolvers and carried one for many years, but no matter how fast you are in using a speed loader, you are still reloading five or six rounds after firing five or six rounds, giving most semis at least a bit of an advantage
That's why most competitions have different classes for revolver, also most have separate classes for speed loaders and moon clips.

Some of the people I shoot with use moon clips with 8 shot revolvers and let me tell you, they are at a disadvantage to no one.

If you're talking self defense you need to be behind cover when reloading. Standing up reloading in front of a bandit shooting at you is a loosing situation whether you are using a pistol or revolver.
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Old June 3, 2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
As you transfer the empty gun to the weak hand you pop the catch with your left thumb
With your LEFT thumb? Not with your right thumb which is already in the area when you're in shooting grip?

I'm assuming you're RIGHT handed.


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Old June 3, 2013, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtLumpy
With your LEFT thumb? Not with your right thumb which is already in the area when you're in shooting grip?
The cylinder release on a DW is at the front of the cylinder.
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Old June 3, 2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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Yep thats it!
Quote:
works well with the DW because of the positioning of the release catch in front of the cylinder.
The DW has a catch in front of the cylinder on the left side of the action. It is pushed vertically down to disengage.
What you do is transfer the left (weak) hand to grasp the frame from below as you raise the pistol upwards. The left thumb just naturally falls onto the top of the catch & as you push down you "pop" the still locked cylinder (DWs also have a dual locking system, the catch at the front of the cylinder & a spring-loaded ball detent at the rear) to the right with the fingers of the left hand. This places the left thumb directly over the ejector rod with almost no movment.
You can see the catch (the square thing) in front of the cylinder in this pic.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:06 PM   #15
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OK thanks. I overlooked the DW part.

Thanks -


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Old June 4, 2013, 06:38 AM   #16
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Awesome replies. Thanks, they cleared up a lot of questions.
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Old June 4, 2013, 06:40 AM   #17
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The Dan Wesson revolver might have a tactical advantage there.
If the wrong person wound up with it, say after a struggle, they might not know how to open the cylinder to reload.
Might be a life saver, under certain conditions.
Just a thought.
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Old June 4, 2013, 06:59 AM   #18
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Id go with the "slight" part of that. The bad guy got to unload 6 rounds at you in close quaters first!
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Old June 4, 2013, 09:33 AM   #19
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I used the method Massad Ayoob mentioned some years ago, where the revolver is tilted straight up after releasing the cylinder, then the ejector rod is smacked down by the palm of the weak hand, negating the fine motor skill of locating the thumb on the tiny ejector rod tip, and giving more smack to any stuck brass, and helping overcome the less-than-full-length stroke of the snubby. I got good enough with it to win a match at Jensen's indoor range WAAAY back in the day with my Wells Fargo issued Smith Model 64. I'll have to do up a quick video on it...and see if I still "have it".
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Old June 4, 2013, 01:06 PM   #20
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The length of the ejector rod can introduce another influence to be considered when developing a technique. This usually means that short barreled snubs (2 1/2" & shorter) may need some "help" in getting empty cases reliably cleared from the cylinder.

Pointing the opened revolver muzzle straight up and briskly smacking the ejector rod will usually dislodge empty cases a bit more reliably than tipping the revolver and only using a thumb to push the ejector rod. It will also help reduce the possibility of an empty case becoming caught under the extractor.

Some folks like to get the spare speedloader in one hand while the other hand is still trying to manipulate the ejector rod, but having the spare ammo in your hand doesn't do you much good if you haven't briskly & properly cleared the empty cases out of the way.
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