In the early moments of 6 April 1970, a desperate gun battle erupted between officers of the California Highway Patrol and two heavily armed felons in the unincorporated city of Newhall, California. The felons killed four officers, making the “Newhall Shooting” one of the most deadly law enforcement gunfights of the modern era, and the most deadly in the history of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).
The last officer slain by the felons was killed while attempting to reload his revolver and get back into the fight. Officer James E. Pence, Jr. had just completed filling the cylinder of his Colt Python with loose cartridges from his dump pouch, and was in the process of closing the cylinder, when he was killed with an execution-style shot to the back of his head. Continue reading “Blast from the Past: Popular Police Speedloaders of the 1970s”
There are two sides of the debate over shooting and carrying .357 Magnum ammunition in a small revolver. Both sides seem to be a bit dogmatic in their position, and I’ve been confronted with this a couple of times recently. I carry a J-Frame revolver as my primary defensive arm, and I carry it loaded with ammunition headstamped “.357 MAG”. I am a man who can appreciate a little nuance and I generally shy away from generalizations, so here are my thoughts.
WARNING: I’m about to take a hard right into revolver-geek territory. Proceed with caution. Continue reading “Ammunition for Small .357 Magnum Revolvers”
Last weekend I had spent half my Saturday at a private range with a friend and his son. It was just the three of us on the range. In addition to some true plinking, we shot the 5×5 drill, did some plate-rack work, and ran an informal competition or two. Toward the end of the day I let the other two guys take a few shots my my 686. When the 14-year old dropped the hammer on his first round, the result was an unimpressive fizzle. It was the first revolver squib load I’ve ever witnessed and my range session came to an abrupt end. But, I definitely learned a couple of things. Continue reading “Identifying & Clearing The Revolver Squib Load”
As I have mentioned in several blog posts, I have been on the hunt for the perfect speedloader pouch. Finding a good pouch is a process. Speedloader pouches are not one-size-fits-all. You have to know the gun you will be working with, as well as the speedloader you plan to use, then find one that works for you. Fortunately, I recently ran across JOX Loader Pouches made by Nick Jacques. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to get a couple on order. Continue reading “Speedloader Pouch Perfection: JOX Loader Pouches”
Once issued by both the New York State Police and the FBI, the Smith & Wesson Model 13 is K-Frame .357 Magnum. Like its little brother (the Model 10) the 13 is a blued steel model and features a bull barrel and fixed sights. It is functionally identical to the stainless steel Model 65. I recently got to spend a little time with this revolver and I’m glad that I did. I thought you all might enjoy a look at this retro revolver here! Continue reading “Retro Revolver: Smith & Wesson Model 13”
The search for the perfect revolver speedloader continues. While pretty much perfect in a vacuum, the S.L. Variant usually fails the test of “real life”. It is hard to find and extremely expensive if you do. For the past few weeks I have been working with another loader, the JetLoader Speedloader. Continue reading “A Look at the JetLoader Speedloader”
Back when I was flying KC-10s for the Air Force in less-than-friendly areas, there was a push to teach “tactical” arrivals and departures for large, heavy aircraft like my tanker. Our concern was that bad guys with missiles and guns could pick a spot outside the fence of our protected airfields and take shots at us when we were low and slow, on takeoff or landing.
Since we lacked the speed, maneuverability and defensive systems of other aircraft, it was decided that we would arrive at a high altitude over the field and spiral down within its secure confines to a landing, then do the reverse on the way out. This would supposedly frustrate the efforts of the enemy to get a good shot at us from outside the wire. Continue reading “Reconsidering the Revolver Tactical Reload”
I have been traveling a lot lately, so my shooting has been mostly limited to dry-practice. I have been thinking about revolver reloads an awful lot, and I’ve actually had time to read a little. I recently finished Newhall Shooting – A Tactical Analysis by Mike Wood. As one with an interest in revolvers, I am also keenly interested in what can be learned from historical events in which the participants used revolvers. Continue reading “Newhall Shooting – A Tactical Analysis”
If you are carrying a revolver for self-defense, competition, as a trail gun, or for just about any other purpose, a reload is a good idea. The best reload for a revolver (other than a second revolver, of course) is a speedloader, and speedloaders are best carried in dedicated holders. I am on the hunt for the perfect speedloader holder, so I recently purchased a few Ready Tactical Speedloader Holders to try out.
Continue reading “Ready Tactical Speedloader Holders”
To misquote Jerry Miculek, “your revolver is always empty during a match.” Because revolvers only typically hold 5-6 rounds they require a lot more reloading than semi-autos do. Exacerbating this situation, revolver reloads are pretty complicated. This post is going to be the first in a series on focusing on the detailed technical aspects of revolver reload. Continue reading “An Introduction to Revolver Reloads”