Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aren't all revolvers, by design, backwards?

I am primarily right handed, and have a hard time doing fine motor tasks with my left so at the range, I always put it down on a counter or table to load it with my right hand.

It seems that a lefty would have an easier time than a righty when reloading a revolver; hold it in the right, while the left hand loads it up.

I have a hard enough time loading it at the range in a stress free environment, loading under fire would be down right impossible.

Anyone else notice this, or am I making this up?

How do you right handed shooters reload your revolvers?

Do you turn it upside down so that you can load it with your right hand or do just learn to use your left??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
There are at least some self-defense instructors who advocate learning to load with the left hand (assuming you are right handed and holding the gun in the right hand) -- this probably makes some sense tactically, but requires a lot of training with the left hand, at least for me.

This the way I learned, and a lot of folks I know use it:

1. While holding revolver in right hand (muzzle down range of course), bring left hand underneath, thumb towards muzzle, so that the two middle fingers press on the right side of the cylinder. I tilt the revolver towards the right to make it easier to get my left hand around it. (Do I need to say finger off the trigger? Didn't think so! :) )

2. Operate the cylinder release with the right thumb, and push the cylinder out with the aforementioned middle two fingers of the left hand. Push the fingers clear thru the opening for the cylinder, and hold the cylinder securely at full extension, i.e. push it out as far as it will go and keep it there. Don't let the cylinder flop back into the frame. I usually am reaching for ammo with my right hand while holding the revolver with my left at this point.

3. Punch the ejectory rod VIGOROUSLY with the left thumb to eject the spent brass. I also tilt the barrel up a bit so as to get some help from gravity, but watch muzzle direction.

4. Tilt muzzle down, reload with right hand. If you are using speedloader or individual rounds, you can rotate the cylinder with the two middle fingers.

5. Snap cylinder closed with left thumb, regain master grip with right hand. Get back in action.

A picture makes this a lot simpler to explain, but don't have one handy right now. Maybe later I can get one posted.

elb

Update: Okeydoke, here's my chunky little grabber holding a S&W Model 60 while punching the ejector rod with my thumb.



Hope it helps.

elb
 
G

·
Nelson,

Have you ever used a single action revolver? The unloading of spent cases and inserting new rounds is done with the right hand while holding the revolver in the left hand. At least that is how I do it.

Bruce
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy Mr. Nelson,

+2 on what has already been mentioned and suggested sir. I am right handed, and a firearms instructor. When I was training folks to shoot revolvers back in the cavemen era, the folks that made me tear my hair out with the southpaws (lefties). Reloaded a revolver quickly was much more difficult for them than for the average right hand shooter. Or maybe it was more difficult for their frustrated instructor to try to help them understand the proper and best way to do it.

We still have a few folks who carry back up guns that are J-frame Smith revolvers, so I still have to talk about proper reloading methods with the revolver. For revolver shooters were are required by policy to teach the method described by Mr. ELB. He is also correct that in this situation a few pictures would be helpful, but I don't have any handy right now either. I will try to find some and email them to you, unless another member is quicker and posts some here.

We do some tactical drills that will require a right handed shooter to reload his revolver with his left hand only (and right hand only) to simulate they have been injured and either hand/arm is no longer available to use. These drills just reinforce it is much easier and faster to reload using both hands.

If you have never considered it, and want the practice/training with your revolver, you will find that either a speedloader or a speed strip will greatly increase your reloading speed. If you do not want to use them as you feel you would not carry them, then I suggest you try to get used to loading two rounds at once. With a little practice it is not as difficult as it sounds. There are also some companies that make 2x2 ammo carriers, that are designed to allow you to draw two rounds at the same time for reloading purposes. So if using a 6 shot revolver it only takes 3 motions to fully reload your cylinder.

If we have confused you and you simply can not picture what we are suggesting as the best reloading method, post your questions please sir. To me that is the benefit of a fine site like this - being able to help out other members when they have questions or want to learn new techniques.

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you to all who answered. :)

After reading through this a couple of times, it finally seems obvious. ::)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
While I think we can train oursleves to use our weak hand (after all we catch a baseball with it) even I was not willing to work hard enough to do that with a normal speedloader (I was able to pick it up quickly with a S&W 25-2 and full moon clips).

Normal weelguns I do it just as ELB described, recognizing that it takes me longer than I am likely to have in a fight...that is why I carry more than one gun.

Jim H.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,132 Posts
You might consider consulting the pictures and instructions for reloading a revolver with a speed-loader or with loose rounds, using the left hand, and indexing them with the right thumb (for right-handed shooters) so that one can reload in the dark and keep eyes closer to the threat, found in the book: Chris Bird, _The Concealed Handgun Manual_ (San Antonio: Privateer Publications, 2004), 252-57. You could probably obtain a copy through interlibrary load at a good library, or consider buying a copy for yourself. Perhaps an area gun store has one you could look at too. As folks up post have indicated, there are a number of drills for more dire scenarios too. Reloading with one hand is such a case.
Another might be what to do if the cases stick in the cylinder after you have vigorously hit the ejector rod with a left thumb, right thumb, or whacked it with the heel of the right hand... Hold the cylinder immobile with the frame with the left hand and (carefully if at the range) whack the ejector rod on an inanimate object that is more solidly constructed than the heel of your hand. Best of luck practicing your revolver craft. Some snap-caps or dummy ammunition might come in handy to practice your reload skills with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
525 Posts
I updated my original post in this thread with a picture of how I hold a revolver when loading it. Interestingly, updating a post does not seem to ID it to the forum software as a new post, so it didn't appear under the 10-most-recent-posts function. So for anyone interested, click thru to the original thread and see my grubby grabber grabbing a gat. (sorry, couldn't help myself with that last sentence ::).)

elb
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy Mr. ELB,

Thanks for posting that pic, it really is worth a 1000 words I think.

Now if Mr. Nelson can just envision you lowering the revolver so the barell is now pointing down, your fingers left as they are, except now your left thumb turning the cylinder to bring empty chambers up to about 11-12-1 postions as you load fresh rounds, hopefully your written explanation will be very clear to him and any others now. You simply regrip your revolver in your right hand, remove your fingers and use your left thumb to close the cylinder gently.

(When you see in movies or tv shows someone flipping their wrist to slam the cylinder closed - that is a perfect way to damage the weapon.)

Shucks sir, you posted such a nice pic to help the thread along, I can grin at your closing too, lol.

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
Having completed the Police Academy nearly 30 years ago, I remember being trained to 1) open the cylinder with the right thumb, 2) take the revolver in the left hand and open the cylinderwith the center two fingers (without bashing it about), 3) point the muzzle into the sky and with the right hand 4) smack the ejector rod with the right hand hard.

Then, with all the empties clear, 1) bring the gun back to the belt buckle with the muzzle pointing at the ground (note there has been no change in the left hands grip of the gun), and then 2) recharge the cylinders. In those days it was two at a time from loops in uniform or from a dump box. I was a "radical" to Sandy our RangeMaster for using HKS/Safariland SLs. when the cylinder was refilled, 3) regrip the stocks and close the cylinder.

I think Defense Trainings John Farnham has pretty good photos in his book for defensive handguns. Twoguns - I hope you are too young to remember Mason Williams Law Enforcement Book of Weapons, etc... that was my text in 1977.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy Mr. Oberstlt,

I wish I could say that yes sir I am, but my police academy was in 1973. I used to have that book until Hurricane Andrew decided it needed it more than I did.

Oddly enough, I was the firearms instructor, pushing for issued HKS speedloaders, fighting my last Chief, who felt he knew everything there was to know about firearms. He had retired from NYPD where most of his time was spent in their firearms academy, and felt loading from a pouch or his preferred mode - his pocket, was the fastest means possible for anyone.

During a range qualification, I began my push for issued speedloaders again. He made the mistake of telling me if I could beat him two out of three times with strings of 12 rounds, all rounds on paper, he would let me buy them for issuance.

I beat him 3 of 3, using a model 57, .41 mag with my loads, against his HB 4" model 10. Plus my groups were tighter, lol. To add insult to injury, I pulled out my K frames loaders for a 19 and 66 I was going to shoot, gave a Sgt with a 4" model 65 a 30 second course in using the HKS. Even thought he had never used one before, he beat the Chief 3 out of 3. Of course I was smart enough to pick a Sgt who really knew how to handle a revolver quickly, and did well on pouch reloads.

At that point I was told to buy the speedloaders for issuance, and to make sure I gave the Chief at least 4 of them.

I know the Safarilands were popular back then too, but in some informal testing we did in my department, when tossing both the Safariland and HKS loaders charged and letting them hit a hard surface, the Safariland would lose its rounds sometimes, when landing in the wrong way. The HKS loaders did not lose theirs.

In fact although they do not appear to be built like a Sherman tank, I still have a couple of HKS loaders from the 70s that are still working perfectly. They have more honest battlescars than my newer ones do, but they still work. So I have to give HKS credit for building a dependable loader.

If not using a speedloader or speed strip, my preferred method is the 2x2 pouch as well. Loading 2 rounds at a time is not difficult, it just takes some practice. Thanks for the memories sir, although these old bones are aching a bit more now too, lol.

Shoot well and shoot often,

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Hi. I am familliar with revolver reloading (shooting IPSC). I use jet loaders for competition and HKS 586 for selfdefence.
I don't know how to reload revolver with one hand only (selfdefence scenario if one hand is injured). Pleace let me know this technique if someone is familliar with. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,053 Posts
Hi. I am familliar with revolver reloading (shooting IPSC). I use jet loaders for competition and HKS 586 for selfdefence.
I don't know how to reload revolver with one hand only (selfdefence scenario if one hand is injured). Pleace let me know this technique if someone is familliar with. Thanks in advance.
Jose;

There certainly may be more than one way. The trick is to learn to get the cylinder open and eject the empties with one hand (better learn it with either hand).

Once it is empty stick the barrle down in your front waistband (cylinder out), grab a speed loader (or speed strip or loose rounds) and load the cylinder then lift the gun enough to clear the ejector rod and close the cylinder.

Re-establish the firing grip and go back to the war!


Or...just pull your backup gun which is easier


Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
I am sorry TwoGuns that I brought back such painful memories. I had POTU (princess of the universe - my wife's clone) find me a copy in Gotham because it had two articles by Lt.Col. Jeff Cooper after my original went under in Hurricane GASTON. Lost a lot of good books to include old John Farnhams for that.

Now, I am a firm proponent of HKS for revolvers because they are idiot proof (I tested them myself). HKS are not as fast but when when you fumble one, the cartridges stay put. Also, I forgot the dreaded Bianchi Speed Strip. If you have to use dump boxes, use speed strips to keep the cartridges going in the same direction. My sergeant thought them ok before I went rad on them. And Brother Jim, even if you pull your NY reload (2nd gun), you still need spare ammo! Thus saith Clint Smith.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy Mr. Oberstlt,

No painful memories, except like you, I miss all the great books I lost then. It was not that they were too water damaged to salvage. I simply never found them period. I would have probably had more items left, except the house in front of mine and behind mine, ending up collapsing and landing on top of mine. For those of you who have never encountered a vicious hurricane up close and personal - think of the start of the first Terminator movie. As I drove closer to my house suddenly the highway looked like that opening scene - rubble and debris everywhere.

The area I live in has a lot of retired folks and many used bookstores. I just need to search more often, as I bet I could stumple across a few that I lost before. I would rather have a used one than not have the book at all. But sir, please don't worry about the memories - it is just life. You pick up the pieces and start over and move on. There are some bright sides if you look hard enough. At least all your furniture is all new at the same time, lol.

I still have a ton of HKS loaders for my L frames, just no L frame yet. Guess I really need to work on solving that problem now too. I normally kept several HKS loaders in each coat pocket when a detective, and a few speed loaders in both front pockets.

Once I went federal and began to gear up with much more items for tactical deployments, I had so much equipment on, I simply put 3 speed strips in each cargo pants pocket for my J-frame on my ankle.

I still have a few HKS loaders for my new to me 3" model 65 and several speed strips. I am taking a break from digging through some boxes in my gun room checking the site. I may well find some more K frame loaders before I am finished too.

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
[quote:tn6y0ti3]Hi. I am familliar with revolver reloading (shooting IPSC). I use jet loaders for competition and HKS 586 for selfdefence.
I don't know how to reload revolver with one hand only (selfdefence scenario if one hand is injured). Pleace let me know this technique if someone is familliar with. Thanks in advance.
Jose;

There certainly may be more than one way. The trick is to learn to get the cylinder open and eject the empties with one hand (better learn it with either hand).

Once it is empty stick the barrle down in your front waistband (cylinder out), grab a speed loader (or speed strip or loose rounds) and load the cylinder then lift the gun enough to clear the ejector rod and close the cylinder.

Re-establish the firing grip and go back to the war!


Or...just pull your backup gun which is easier


Jim[/quote:tn6y0ti3]

Thanks Jim. I agree that backup gun is something very usefull. But our law in Bulgaria permit to carry only one handgun for selfdefence.
:(" title=":mad:" border="0"/>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,430 Posts
Jose, as I recall the one hand revolver reload, you open the gun, bump it as best you can, put the barrel into your belt and then fumble with the only one you have from behind cover. Won't be pretty but there is a lot to say about going NYC on them with your other gun. You can explain later through your lawyer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Howdy Mr. Jose,

I understand that you simply have to live with your existing laws and do the best you can with them. As a couple of folks have already suggested, it is not really rocket science, it just takes some practice. It is like riding a bicycle was for you early on - the more you began to ride, the more comfortable you were riding.

If you reload or have a friend who does, ask them to make you up some empty rounds to practice your one handed reloaded with - just a fired case and bullet. My suggestion is to punch the spent primer out and leave that opening empty as a ready visual that it is indeed a practice round. Try to use the same type of bullet that you carry for self defense - either a semi-wadcutter, round nose, hollow point - whatever you actually carry. Doing so in my opinion will make your practice reloads more realistic for you.

Remember you are using a one hand reload because you have already been injured and lost the use of your other hand/arm, so you will be hurting, bleeding, and possibly going into shock. So if you ever had to actually do a real one, it will be much harder than those you do in practice. But being accustomed to how to operate your revolver and reload it with only one handed will help you greatly if you ever need to do a real one too in my opinion.

As has been suggested you can stick the barrel down into the front of your pants. I have found in training, if I suggest the revolver (with cylinder opened) is shoved down as deep as possible the waitband and belt will both catch the gap in the cylinder opening and help to hold the weapon a bit more securely while doing the one handed reload. If you draw the weapon from your pants with you left hand, use your trigger finger to close the cylinder then gain your full draw. If you draw with your right hand, use your right thumb to close the cylinder. If you had to you could also push the cylinder against your body to close it as well, but do not let any clothing get stuck in your weapon while doing so.

You can also place the barrel down to the cylinder opening into a pants pocket as well if your postion is one that makes it hard to use the front of your pants. Use you imagination a bit, and you will think of other ways to execute the reload as well. But try to practice it with both hands using at least the front of your pants and both pockets at least.

I think it is an excellent survival skill for any armed person to add to their abilities. You can do the same reload with a pistol, but that has it own unique set of problems assoctiated with it to me, and is not what the question here was anyway.

IF SOMEONE IS PRACTICING THIS WILL LIVE AMMO please be very very careful. I really can not suggest anyone use live ammo while learning this technique.

Hope this might help a little anyway folks.

twoguns
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Thank you. This information is very usefull for me. It's very hard to find this techniques in owr country, because here in Europe, the pistols are the prefered for defence. Only 2-3% of people (incl. law enforcement) carry revolvers and know their advantages. This is the reazon that there are many people competent ot explain the proper techniques to use pistols, but very little to explain correct use of revolver .
The only source for me is internet and J.Mickuleck DVD.
I have already dump ammo (for practicing IPSC reloads). Today I will spend some time to practice one-hand reloads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
580 Posts
In reading this series of post I thought I saw that one of you is a Firearms Instructor that had to teach lefties how to load the wheelgun.
Heck, loading for a leftie is faster than a rightie if you ask me. I shoot left handed and have always used my trigger finger to release the cylinder latch. My right hand thumb then pushes the cylinder out, and then "cradles" the ejector rod between the Index and second finger. This allows me to rotate the gun upward to a 90 degree angle to SLAP the ejector rod with my left palm.
Now I grab my speedloader or moon clip and proceed with my left hand. After the rounds are in I close the cylinder using my right hand as my left goes to the stocks. I don't know where I learned this, but it's less fumble prone than switching the gun over to the right hand to reload as I was "taught" at my state LE Academy. In fact I refused to reload their way, and they left me alone when they saw that I could do it as well or better using my way.
OK, that's my $0.02 and I'm off to bed. Stay safe and have a nice night all.

Biker
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top