Of all the skills that a serious student of defense needs to consider, an emergency reload using only a single hand is probably the least important. Since training time is always limited, it’s important to prioritize and spend our time on the things that give us the best return on investment. For most of us, that includes more “pedestrian” things like the basics of weapon presentation and marksmanship, and doesn’t include preparing for the remote possibility that we might need to conduct a one-handed revolver reload.
As regular readers here know, I’ve taken up the revolver only recently. In years past I’ve carried the Beretta M9, the MEU(SOC) .45 1911, and the Glock 17 and 19 in harm’s way. I’ve invested hundreds of hours of training on these platforms, both at work and at my own expense. So when I made the switch from flat guns to round ones I tried to bring some of that knowledge with me, including how I grasp the gun. It turns out that I didn’t know what I didn’t know and inadvertently adopted the thumbs-forward revolver grasp. Continue reading “The Thumbs-Forward Revolver Grasp”
It’s been said plenty of times before, but there are a lot of pretty experienced shooters out there that don’t know how to shoot a revolver. This number seems to grow every year, as more and more people pick up the shooting sports and fewer and fewer pick up wheelgunning. In fact, a friend (who is really into revolvers) recently told me that he believes revolver mastery is truly a dying art. I mostly agree, were it not for a small handful of people keeping the skillset alive.
I have been accused by some of you of ignoring the New York Reload. Honestly, this criticism is totally fair. I haven’t written about it and I don’t think about it very much. However, this is a technique that should be addressed. If you know me, you know I’ll address the good, the bad, and the ugly of everything, including the New York Reload, so let’s get started. Continue reading “A Critical Look at the New York Reload”
Last weekend I drove out to an old military buddy’s house. He has a multi-acre yard with his own range and I was looking forward to clanging some steel. We set up the range, I loaded up, and began with six shots at his dueling tree. As soon as I hit the sixth plate I brought the gun back to my workspace to conduct a universal revolver reload. Something was wrong. The middle and ring fingers of my support hand could barely budge the cylinder open. I put a little “oomph” into it and the gun popped open, but I knew I had a problem. In a first for me, I had just experienced a backed-out ejector rod malfunction. Continue reading “The Backed-Out Ejector Rod Malfunction”
If you’re a Revolver Guy, you’re probably a pretty serious student of handgunnery. We can acknowledge to each other that there are a couple different categories of shooters out there. There’s guys like us that dry practice all the time and run through several thousand rounds a year. Guys that know what their carry gun will do at 100 yards and have sore knees from crawling around in gravel looking for that sixth piece of brass. You guys and gals aren’t the group I am concerned about. If you want to carry a revolver, a 1911, a DA/SA gun, or… well, whatever blows your skirt up, you won’t get too much argument from me. You know pretty well what you’re doing and I won’t pretend to know better than you what works for YOU. Continue reading “Contradicting Myself: Revolvers for Non-Shooters”
It’s not too often that I get to shoot up a car, but it has happened a few times in my career. What is really rare is getting to shoot up a nice, clean car, and being the only one shooting it. I had this opportunity about a year ago as part of a military exercise I was working on. I can’t get into too much detail, but there was a requirement for a shot-up car and I was lucky enough to be asked to fulfill the requirement. This isn’t one of those articles about shooting cars filled with gelatin blocks and there aren’t any real insights to be gained here – just some fun pictures! Continue reading “Shooting Cars with a .357 Magnum”
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”
With modern autoloading handguns, the viability of the revolver as a defensive weapon may fairly be called into question. Any thoughtful individual considering arming him or herself with a revolver should reflect on this question. After having spent the last year using revolvers exclusively, I have reached some conclusions, and one of them is: there are a lot of reasons you probably shouldn’t rely on revolvers for defensive purposes. Continue reading “Is The Revolver Viable for Self Defense?”