Snub Training – QuickStrip skills

Before attempting any of these loading tips practice with dummy rounds until you feel comfortable with the techniques.  Always train in a safe area and always keep your muzzle in a safe direction.

Terms and descriptions of note:
We fill the Quick Strip
We load the revolver’s cylinder
The rounds are held in the Quick Strip’s holding holes
One end of the Quick Strip posses a flange tab

Loading Tip # 1 – Filling the Quick Strip

Photo 1

Photo 1

Position the QuickStrip diagonally across the length of your non-dominant hand’s index finger.  Keep the QuickStrip in place by pinching one end of the QuickStrip between the thumb and middle finger of the same hand. (See Photo 01

Photo 02

Photo 02

While holding the base of the cartridge at an angle, insert the edge of the rim into the holding hole of the QuickStrip.  (See Photo 02)

Photo 03

Once the edge of the rim is in the holding hole, lever the remaining portion of the rim into the holding hole.  (See Photo 03) Move to the next holding hole and repeat until you have filled the QuickStrip.

Loading Tip # 2 – Reloading with the QuickStrip – Method One

A shooter has five options for reloading his revolver with the QuickStrip. The recommended method is to peal or pry off the rounds from the QuickStrip in line with the length of the QuickStrip. Do not use any “twist parallel to the face of the cylinder” method to reload with the Quick Strip. Doing so will only risk peeling off an excessive number of rounds and causing you to drop them to the ground.

Of the five common methods to reload a revolver with a QuickStrip, there are two that are exceptionally reliable. Here is a practice exercise for mastering the first of these two methods:

1 – Fill the QuickStrip with one round using the filling method described in Loading Tip #1. Position the round in or near the middle of your QuickStrip.

Photo 4

Photo 4

2 – Open your revolver and using the QuickStrip insert the round into a charge hole. (See Photo 04)

3 – Then let go of the strip completely (This is a learning drill so we won’t be making this a habit.)

Photo 5

Photo 5

4 – Place your thumb on top of the QuickStrip that is directly over the round currently in the cylinder’s charge hole. Place your index finger under the end of the QuickStrip. (See Photo 05)

Photo 06

Photo 06

5 – Load the round into the cylinder by peeling the QuickStrip in a straight line toward you. Remember to keep your thumb on and directly over the round while you are pealing the strip off. (See Photo 06)

Once you have practiced this a few times you can repeat this practice exercise while filling the QuickStrip with an increasing number of rounds. 

Loading Tip # 3 – Single Round Indexing Exercise

Photo 07

Photo 07

Here is a simple two-part training exercise. You will need a friend with either a stopwatch or a PACT style timer and a safe shooting area.  Fill a single round into the any of the QuickStrip’s holding holes except the first or the last hole on the strip.  Have your friend start the timer at the same time he gives you the “load” signal.  Load the single round into any available charge hole using the method described in Loading Tip #2.  (See Photo 07)

Photo 08

Photo 08

Now drop the QuickStrip. When the round is seated in the cylinder’s charge hole manually index the cylinder so that with the next pull of the cylinder the round will come under the hammer. (See Photo 08) Aim in a safe direction and fire. Have your friend record the time from the “load” signal to your first shot.

Photo 09

Photo 09

Now repeat the drill with one small change. After loading the cylinder with one round from the QuickStrip make no effort to mechanically index the cylinder.  (See Photo 09) Simply close the cylinder and trigger through the empty charge holes until the round rotates to the fire position. Remember to keep the muzzle pointed at your target and in a safe direction. Again, have your friend record the time from the “load” signal to your first shot.

Compare the time differences between manually indexing the round versus reflexively triggering past the empty charge holes.  You will almost certainly find that triggering past the empty charge holes is faster than trying to manually indexing the next available round. This knowledge can be of valuable in certain self-defense situation

Loading Tip # 4 – A Paired Round Loading Exercise

Photo 10

Photo 10

Many shooters are unaware that the spacing between the holding holes on the QuickStrip is designed to permit them to load two rounds into the cylinder’s charge holes simultaneously.  You can practice this technique by filling several QuickStrips with two rounds only.  Position both rounds side-by-side near the center of your QuickStrip.  (See Photo 10)

Photo 11

Photo 11

Keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, open the cylinder and inserting both rounds into a pair of side-by-side charge holes. (See Photo 11) Reload the cylinder with these two rounds by using the same method described in Loading Tip #2.  With a little practice dropping in two rounds simultaneously will become second nature. 

Loading Tip # 5 – Interrupted Loading Exercise

Photo 12

Photo 12

This is another fun and practical training exercise.  You will require another revolver armed shooter and a safe shooting area.  Fill your QuickStrip with three rounds all side-by-side and centered in the middle of the QuickStrip.  (See Photo 12) On an agreed upon signal both shooters open their revolver’s cylinder and start loading their rounds using the same method described in Loading Tip #2. The first shooter to load all three rounds drops the QuickStrip, closes his cylinder and starts shooting at his respective target. When the first round from the faster reloading shooter goes off, the second shooter must immediately stop trying to reloading any more rounds. As long as at least one round is in the slower reloader’s cylinder he must drop the QuickStrip, close and start firing his revolver “as is” at his respective target. Most handgunners practice shooting quickly but few ever practice reloading quickly. Hearing your shooting partner getting back into the target while you are still reloading can be a startling reminder to the importance of a speedy reload.  If you should happen to be the faster reloader then repeat the drill only this time you will load four rounds to his three.  As your reloading speed improves you can continue to add more rounds to the exercise.

Loading Tip # 6 – Four Round Loading Exercise

For this exercise you will need a safe shooting area.  Fill several QuickStrips with four rounds each and position all four rounds side-by-side. Keep at least one holding hole on both ends of each QuickStrip empty. (Photo 13 Here) On the range open your cylinder and load in the first of pair of rounds then load the second pair of rounds using the same method described in Loading Tip #2. (Photo 14 and 15 Here) Drop the Quick Strip and shoot your target. 

Why practice loading four rounds into a five revolver?  There are two reasons. First, too many shooters train only when all available charge holes are full.  These shooters are making the mistake of assumption that a five round revolver loaded with four rounds is only eighty-percent loaded.  This is dangerously untrue.  A five shot revolver loaded with four rounds is loaded one hundred-percent four times over.  Second, consider the reloading speed advantage. The shooter trying to load a final fifth round in his sole remaining fifth charge hole requires time out of proportion to loading those first two sets of paired rounds. When loading the first two rounds the shooter has five sets of charge holes to choose from (1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 or 5-1). (Photo 16 Here)  After loading the first two charge holes the shooter still has the choice of two sets of remaining charge holes (1-2 or 2-3).  (Photo 17 Here) Loading that last round requires indexing that single round with the single remaining charge hole. Closing the cylinder with four loaded rounds now and getting back on target rather than trying to index that single remaining charge hole will save a disproportional measure of time. Maybe someday vital time 

Loading Tip # 7 – Four Round Loading Exercise – Part II

This is a simple self-defense exercise you can test on a willing range partner.  Fill your QuickStrip with four rounds as described above.  On the range give your friend the following direction: “On the signal, load your snub as quickly as possible.”  When the shooter is ready, give him the “load” signal.  If your shooting partner is like most shooters he will take the time to load all four available rounds. Your shooing partner just made the mistake of thinking that the only way to load a revolver is will all the available rounds that the cylinder will hold. Remember the command was to “load as quickly as possible” and not “load with all the rounds available.” One or two rounds now are quicker than three or four rounds later. It can also be a life saver. Look into the Newhall, CA shooting to confirm this. 

Loading Tip # 8 – Reloading with the Quick Strip – Method Two

There are two schools of thought on reloading with the QuickStrip.  Loading Tip #2 describes one of these methods.  Here is another one from the shooting legend and master firearms trainer Massad Ayoob. 

1 – Fill your QuickStrip with five rounds while keeping the holding hole closest to the QuickStrip’s flange tab empty. (Photo 18 Here)

2 – Hold your open and unloaded revolver in your non-shooting hand.

3 – Hold the QuickStrip in your shooting hand with your thumb and ring finger holding the sides of the QuickStrip.  Place your index finger along the length of the back of Quick Strip, with its flange tab closest to your wrist. (Photo 19 Here)

4 – Insert the two side-by-side rounds that are under your index finger into two side-by-side charge holes of the cylinder.  Keep the pad of your index finger on the QuickStrip and directly over these two inserted rounds. (Photo 20 Here)

5 – Lever out the rounds by peeling the Quick Strip forward and away from you.  Remember to peel in a straight line in relationship to the strip and do not attempt to twist rounds out of the Quick Strip. (Photo 21 and Photo 22 Here)

6 – When the first two rounds fall into the cylinder’s charge hole, insert the next two rounds in the same fashion but do not attempt to remove these two rounds yet.  Release the sides on the QuickStrip and pinch that part of the unloaded QuickStrip’s that a moment ago held the first two released rounds. 

7 – With the pad of your thumb over the two new rounds peel the strip in a straight line back toward you and your center line using the method described in Loading Tip #2. (Photo 23 and Photo 24 Here) Remember to keep the pad of your thumb on that portion of the QuickStrip that is holding these two fresh rounds. Load your last round in the same fashion you just loaded the above two rounds. (Photo 25 Here) Drop the QuickStrip and return to the target.  This can be an effective reloading method for handgunners with six- and seven-shot revolvers and who prefer to fill more rounds onto the QuickStrip rather than fewer.

Loading Tip # 9 – Ball and Dummy Exercise

Flinching is the universal curse of all shooters.  At a safe shooting area have a friend fill up a quantity of QuickStrips with a random number of both live rounds and dummy rounds. When ready then practice any number of the above loading tips. If you focus on your target rather than on the QuickStrip you will not notice which rounds you are loading are live and which are dummy rounds. You will also be developing an important self-defense skill by learning to reload by feel while staying focused on your target area. Additionally, by introducing an equal number of dummy rounds you can 1) double the number of your range loading drills without doubling the number of live rounds, 2) reduce your training ammunition expense and 3) reinforce your good shooting skills by exposing any possible flinch you might be developing.

Loading Tip # 10 – Spare Ammo Exercise

More available ammo is always better than less. A simple trick for optimizing ammunition access is to fill a pair of QuickStrips and keep one in your front pocket and the second in your back pocket.  Why two QuickStrips in two different pockets?  First, with a QuickStrip in both a front and back pocket a shooter can access at least one QuickStrip from almost any disadvantageous position, including right and left side kneeling and face up or face down shooting positions.  Second, if you are forced to load a cylinder quickly and only have time to load one, two or three rounds you are more likely to discard a partially filled QuickStrip and immediately return to the situation if you know you still have another filled QuickStrip available.  (Again see Newhall, CA incident)

You now have ten QuickStrip loading tips.  I hope you find a few of them of value and will give all of them a fair evaluation.  If you discover some of your own QuickStrip training tips I invite you to forward them to me care of  I will be collecting your ideas and offering up the best submissions in a future expanded QuickStrip loading tips sheet.

Keep safe and good shooting.


Michael de Bethencourt
Lead Instructor – Snub


2 Responses to Snub Training – QuickStrip skills

  1. Seth Cathell says:

    Great info! Hope to see the pics soon. What are your thoughts on speedloaders and which do you prefer (Safariland or HKS)?

    • Michael deBethencourt says:

      Dear Seth:

      Great question.

      I have a blog pending on the eight (8) currently known and available (?) Speedloaders.

      I hope you will like it. 😉



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