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Another thread here got me thinking about something important, I decided not to hijack that thread but rather to start a new one.

When one carries a handgun he should practice drawing and reloading with his strong hand and weak hand. He should practice two handed and single handed techniques. This includes RELOADING. Yes, I do believe you should practice reloading one handed and especially one handed with the weak hand.

My thoughts are that if you're shooting and especially weak handed chances are your strong hand has been put out of action. This it might be very likely you need to reload with one hand, your weak hand.

I'd like some of you to share your thoughts on this.

Here are mine, after recently accquiring a .38 snubby, I began to consider how I would reload with only one hand (weak) from a speed loader or speed strip. I discovered with some careful manipulation I could safely unlatch the cylinder and open it using my fingers and thumb. Here is what I do:

After firing, I shift my grip at this point my thumb and index finger are on either side of the cylinder (my weak hand is my left so thumb on right side of cylinder). My other three fingers remain wedged against the stocks behind the trigger guard. I use my forefinger to work the cylinder latch and my thumb to push the cylinder open. From here, I wrap my index finger around the frame top strap and my middle finger follows immediately I invert the gun and using my thumb reach around and depress the extractor. The next part requires access to a waistband or pocket. I invert the revolver and place the barrel section into the pocket or waistband and cant the gun slightly to get as much of the gun into the pocket/waistband to keep it from falling, WITH the cylinder still open! I then reach over and grasp a speed loader or speed strip and begin loading the cartridges once loaded I discard SL or SS and draw revolver again from here after I attain a firing grip and am moving I close the cylinder using my index finger.

There ya go now you're in position to start shooting again. I realize of course this is a rather slow and cumbersome method, but I feel it is one that must be addressed. I find a very similar method works for autoloaders, except there is no cylinder manipulation only magazine release, then pushing the gun into the waistband or pocket and retrieve a fresh magazine and feed into it, then release the slide. With practice either method is quite possible, albeit difficult to pull off!

Remember folks, proper planning and practice are key, so don't forget to practice your one handed weak hand reloads.
 

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Good post sir.

This is something we practice every range day at my office. It is real world. Let me just offer a few thoughts to your excellent post.

As you noted the reason to practice weak hand reloading AND shooting is because your strong arm may become injured and out of play. I am a firm believer that what you do in training is what you will do in real life.

If you have been shot or injured (broken arm, dislocated shoulder, whatever), the pain and injury is going to be a major distraction to handling the threat as you normally would. For that reason I teach finding a couple of different locations to place the pistol while it is being reloaded, so that you have more than just one option to use that you have practiced.

With a high number of situations taking place in low light conditions, even during day shoots, I do not let the shooters look at what they are doing...I make them focus on the target down range and do everything by feel.

I also make them use positions to reload where they must still retained some security over their pistol. Examples are placing it back in their holster reversed, in the front of their pants, weak side front pocket, or behind their weak knee if kneeling (so their body helps to hold it securely).

They have already been injured and thus behind the power curve so to speak. If they had to hurriedly relocate their position while trying to reload, they can simply lock their hand holding the mag against their weapon to retain it while moving. That is the only downside to locking it behind your knee while kneeling. I teach that only to give them the exposure, should they be pinned down and can not move freely - it is another trick they can draw upon.

I do not let anyone reload with the weapon on the ground in front of them. For the reason at night or once injured, you now have to add to your situation by wasting time trying to feel around and find your weapon. And if rushed you may be forced to leave it on the ground - then what?

Don't think it can't happen folks. I intentionally put a lot of pressure on folks during this training. When I yell move now, move - you would be amazed at the number of pistols still laying on the ground 7 to 10 yards in front of the shooter. That was all I had to see when the training first started to say ok...no pistols on the ground during this training, you have to maintain positive control of it at all times.

Murphy's law being what it is, do not be surprised if your slide locks forward before you have loaded your magazine. I teach using either the back edge of your boot/shoe (if kneeling), the edge of your belt, the edge of your holster - anything that you can place your rear sight against and force the slide back to load the fresh mag, with your trigger finger locked tightly to the side of your frame.

This is normally done with shooters in equal number to the instructors on the line for one on one, plus one instructor calling. I can do both, but don't like dividing my attention from the shooter if I can avoid it. If you don't have enough instructors assign strong, safe shooters as coaches. But it is crucial to keep the shooters aware of their muzzle at all times. Teaching a bad habit may make them shoot themselves. So you have to really stress safety while doing this sort of training.

You don't have to try for land speed records at first. I make everyone go slow and smooth, at least until they are very comfortable with all of the concepts involved with this scenario.

Great thread. Thanks for letting me add my two cents for what little they might mean.

twoguns
 

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It is indeed good to practice. However, running into real world instances where folks had to use their weak hand (and several had their weapons actually shot) lead me to adapt the policy of always carrying a readily available second gun of serious caliber.

You simply dont have time to reload or clear malfuncitions *during* a fight. At least you cannot count on it, to be sure, some people have been involved in the occasional exteneded fight.

It is good to practice because you need to top off after the fight, even if you are hurt. The odds of another fight have just increased.

Good thought!
Jim H.
 

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Jim,

An excellent point I failed to mention. My first supervisor in my current office tagged me with "twoguns", because he never bothered to do a frisk. Otherwise it would have been "threeguns". Even when I am off duty, I have a minimum of two concealed on me at all times.

twoguns
 

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Hello. FWIW, I always carried a BUG when an officer and do recommend this to anyone in law enforcement as well as lawful private citizens carrying in higher risk scenarios or lifestyles.

Best.
 
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Ah, yes, and we come to another reason why I prefer the speed strip.

I can successfully and completely reload a revolver using a Bianchi Speed strip, my off hand, ( I do not have a "weak" hand) and my face, in under thirty seconds.

1. Press latch with thumb.

2. Force cylinder open with nose.

3. Briskly Press ejector rod with chin.

4. Pick out any not-quite-ejected cases with teeth (generally unnecessary)

5. Reaching through cylinder window with index finger, remove speed strip from watch pocket, by grasping the tab, and pulling.

6. Insert Tab into teeth

7. Get as many rounds into cylinder as possible in self-imposed time limit.

I learned to do this while studying how to reload my backup gun with one hand literally tied behind my back.

It's not lightning fast, but I can do it consistently.

I don't have the option of hanging it in a pocket or my belt, since it's a J-frame, and tends to slip out, by the way. I've also done it by tucking the gun under my arm, pulling out some loose rounds from a pocket, and sticking them in my mouth, casehead first. This way is faster, but I don't usually carry loose rounds -- maybe I should?
 
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I carry an automatic, so I just jam it upside-down between my knees, insert another mag, and I'm ready to cook. The crook of your elbow works too, but is much more heat sensitive and the exposed barrel of something like a Beretta will burn the crap out of you. I'm stuck with my Bersa .380 as back-up until I can talk my wife into buying me a Kimber Ultra-Carry. ~Pistolero
 

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Pistolero,

Just a suggestion - pay attention to your environment while using that technique. The range we use the most is gravel. But in my neck of the woods - southern Arizona, there is a lot of loose dirt, sand and scrub vegetation too. I have noticed when my shooters get too aggressive with that technique they often end up with gravel in the ejection port if they try to release the slide too early. That just produces a jam for them to now have to clear one-handed during a gunfight. It is more pressure during great training, but not something I really want them to have to contend with in real life if they are already injured during a shooting.

So just a suggestion - pay close attention to what is under your pistol while using that method, to avoid possible reloading problems. I have been hit before during shootings, but fortunately they have always hit my body armor. Even that is a bit distracting, but extremely motivational. So I always try to suggest methods that add to their edge in a "bad scenario".

As I said earlier, I do not allow them to place the pistol on the ground now to reload, and really don't like seeing them let it contact the ground for the possible jam issue that can happen. I am a huge believer in Mr. Murphy.

But I am really glad you make yourself practice that reloading technique. I just hope neither you or other members even need to make use of it for real. But it is a survival skill that should be practiced, just in case.

twoguns
 
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