Snub Training – Reloading videos

September 11, 2009

John M. was kind enough to pass along these links to some interesting revolver reloading demos.

– Thank you John.

 

Dear Michael:

Mas Ayoob shows some reloading stuff – 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXUwI_d8JlA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAXlT3ZLzs

Additionally, here are some other vidoes – 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TijBlQUlW_g&feature=player_profilepage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4mVI27Msyo&feature=player_profilepage

This is definitely the fastest reload method of the bunch –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8lxqpdHi_0&feature=player_profilepage

– John M.


Snub Training – Non-indexing vs. Auto Indexing

September 1, 2009

Even after noting the advantages in triggering past empty charge holes rather that manually orienting the cylinder there is one method of unconsciously indexing loose rounds that is worth noting. This auto-indexing can be done in poor light and does not require you to take your eyes off the target. Refer back to the auto-pistol style reloading directions for right hand reloading up to the point that the tip of the right hand’s index finger is through the window of the frame and in contact with the cylinder:

1.   Start with the snub in your right hand

2.   Move your right thumb to the rear of the hammer spur.

3.   Take your right hand’s index finger comes off the trigger and is repositioned flush and below the cylinder.

4.   Move your left hand’s index finger flush and below the cylinder on the left side of the frame. Your left hand index finger should be in a mirror position to your right hand’s index finger.

5.   Use your left hand’s thumb to make contact with the cylinder release.

6.   Use your left hand’s thumb to operate the cylinder release. Press forward with Smith and Wesson, etc., push in with Ruger, Retract with Colt.

7.   Use your right hand’s index finger to press up on and roll the cylinder up and out to the left of the window of the frame. Be sure to keep your left hand index finger extended and use it as a bumper as the cylinder comes out of the frame. Once the cylinder is out of the frame, make sure that the tip of your right hand’s index finger remains in constant contact with the cylinder. Keeping the tip of your finger through the window of the frame and in constant contact with the cylinder is the key to this skill.

8. Lower the snub. Make sure that the butt of the snub makes contact with your belt line and that the muzzle is pointed straight down. Note that if you move your right hand’s thumb from behind the hammer spur and onto the knuckle of the frame of the revolver, the muzzle will be more inclined to a consistent muzzle down orientation.

9.   Use your left hand and load in a single round. Note that the charge hole most commonly loaded when you are not consciously trying to load a round into any particular charge hole will be at the 10 o’clock position.  This is natural because within the common range of arm motion loading either in the 12 o’clock or 9 o’clock position is awkward A few practice runs and you will confirm this for yourself.

You are now looking to get the cylinder to rotate so that the round in the 10 o’clock position outside the frame ends up at the 1 o’clock position back in the frame. This is in fact going to be easy to do. Without removing your index finger’s contact with the cylinder rolls the cylinder up and over the finger until the cylinder physically forces your finger out of the way and out of the frame.  Remember do not actively remove your index finger. Make sure that the cylinder rolls up and over the finger then forces the finger out of the frame. If you have done the exercise correctly the cylinder will roll the round into place at the 1 o’clock position.  If you are shooting any counter-clockwise rotating revolver: Smith, Taurus, Ruger, Rossi, etc., then you now pull the trigger the snub will rotate the cylinder counter-clockwise and will deliver the live round under the falling hammer. 

After many years of sharing this tip I have noted the less you consciously think about loading the single round in the correct charge-hole and if you deliberately roll the cylinder over the finger the sooner you will discover that the round will consistently end up at the correct index position. 

Remember the ability to consciously index the cylinder so that the first pull of the trigger puts a live rounds under the hammer is useful but a much more important skill is training to pull the trigger as many times as you need until that live rounds ends up under the hammer.

This is a skill development exercise only. Though there is a version of this exercise for left hand reloading and for Colt revolvers (with their clock wise cylinder rotation) this exercise is best practiced with a snub in the right hand and with any make of revolver expect Colt.


Snub Training – Clearing Snub Malfunctions

August 12, 2009

The malfunction of most concern to revolver shooters is the round under the star ejector.  Fortunately for the snub shooter with the abbreviated ejector rod, getting a round under the star ejector is rarer than with other revolver’s with full length ejectors.  Still the snub owner may wish to have a few range tricks for dealing with the problem.

For the shooter using the Smith & Wesson J-Frame, a neat trick worth knowing is that while the ejector rod can only be pushed down a short distance, the star ejector can be pulled away nearly twice the distance.  In the event of a round caught under the star ejector, the shooter can often create enough space to clear the jam by pulling the star ejector forward and away from the face of the cylinder.  This trick is usually only effective with J-frame revolvers.  For shooters with a snub other than a J-frame, one of the best emerging tools is the De-Jammer.


Snub Training – Self Defense Reloading

July 24, 2009

Reloading skills can take one of several forms; Skills that develop familiarization with the weapon, Skills that develop tactical awareness, Skills that develop self defense competence and, Skills that develop range competence.  Most reloading skills blend two or more of these attributes.  As a general rule I try to avoid any reloading skill that is predominately a range competence skill.

A classic example is the traditional reload where the shooter takes a 1/4 step to the rear before he unloads the revolver.  The usual rationale for this 1/4 step is to ensure that the revolver’s muzzle remains pointed down range.  This is all wonderful on a static range but what does this 1/4 step have to do with self-defense? 

Do you want your shooter to take a 1/4 step away from cover during a gun fight?  Are there not equally safe range-reloading mechanics that don’t leave “training scares?”  How many old style reloading drills required the shooter to catch his empty brass in order to avoid having to police the range at the end of the training? 

Even Bill Jordan in his text No Second Place Winner recounted an incident where a long time reloaded had unconsciously stuffed spent brass into his pockets during a gun fight, an unconscious result of catching spent brass rather than training to let it fall to the ground.  I have no qualms with any reloading drill as long as it has some passing relevance to a weapon familiarization, tactical awareness or self-defense skill.  The following reloading skills are a case in point.


Snub Training – Left Hand Reloading

July 22, 2009

As note before, the revolver is a non-symmetric loading weapon. Here is a left hand reloading method that I find takes bits and pieces of the best of the non-traditional reloading systems.

Start with the snub in your left hand.

1.   Left hand thumb moved to the rear of the hammer

2.   Left index finger off trigger and flush under cylinder. Turn left hand palm down

3.   Right hand thumb on cylinder release

4.   Right hand index finger under the cylinder

5.   Right hand thumb operates the cylinder release  

6.   Right index finger lifts and rolls the cylinder up and out of frame

7.   Right hand firmly “pinches” the snub’s frame between the right thumb and the right hand’s index and middle fingers, taking the whole weight of the snub

8.   Lift and twist the snub and “thread” the left hand’s thumb through the window of the frame. Insert the thumb until the cylinder contacts the web of the left hand. Wrap the left hand fingers around the bottom of the snub’s trigger guard.  Note the snub’s muzzle is pointing up and the snub’s butt is pointing forward

9.   With the fingers of the right hand flex up, strike the ejector with the heel of the right palm

10. Rotate the snub’s muzzle down (90º) until the muzzle is facing forward and the corner of the butt is at or against your belt line

11. Thread right hand’s thumb through window of the frame, behind the left hand’s thumb, and pinched the ejector rod between index and middle fingers of the right hand*

12. Un-thread the left hand’s thumb from within the window of the frame

13. Rotate the snub’s muzzle down (90º) until the muzzle is pointed straight down and the butt of the snub’s is in contact with the shooter’s beltline

14. Reload with the left hand. Re-grip the snub with the left hand

15. Close the cylinder and recover


Snub Training – Right Hand Reloading

July 21, 2009

1.   Right thumb moved to the rear of the hammer*

2.   Right hand index finger comes off the trigger and is positioned flush under cylinder

3.   Left hand’s index finger under the cylinder

4.   Left hand thumb on cylinder release

5.   Left hand thumb operates the cylinder release (press forward with Smith and Wesson, etc., push in with Ruger, Retract with Colt)

6.   Right index finger rolls the cylinder up and out of the window of the frame. Tip of the right index finger remains in constant contact with the cylinder

7.   Right hand turns palm up

8.   Lifts snub up toward shooter’s shoulder, muzzle pointing straight up

9.   With the fingers of the left hand flex up, strike the ejector rod with the heel of the left hand’s palm

10. Lower snub, butt contacts belly with the muzzle pointed straight down

Note that if the right hand’s thumb is moved to contact the “knuckle” on the frame of the revolver, the muzzle will be held in a consistent muzzle down orientation

11. Reload with the left hand

12. Close the cylinder and recover

 


Snub Training – Snub Manual of Arms (Cont.)

July 20, 2009

For lack of a better description and though it sounds counter-intuitive for a revolver reload method, we will call the first two of four reloading methods an “Auto-Pistol” style Manual-Of-Arms.

Before walking through the steps that make up the “Semi-Auto” Manual of Arms, lets set the stage by looking at how not to reload a semi-auto pistol.  If I suggested that after shooting the semi-auto to slide lock-back, that you should:

1.   Shift the frame of the (empty) pistol to the non-shooting hand

 2.   Re-grip and re-orient the muzzle in order to remove the empty magazine

3.   Re-grip and re-orient the muzzle a second time in order to insert a fresh magazine

4.   Re-grip (third time) to close the action, then

5.   Transfer and re-grip the pistol (fourth time) into the shooting hand’s firing position

Objectively, you would think that it was (at best) a complete waste time and motion.  But isn’t the above manual-of-arms a fair description of most of the reloading methods commonly employed with a revolver? Don’t most shooters employ a reloading system along the following lines:

1.   Shift the frame of the (empty) revolver to the non-shooting hand

2.   Re-grip and re-orient the muzzle in order to empty the cylinder

3.   Re-grip and re-orient the muzzle a second time in order to insert fresh rounds

4.   Re-grip (third time) to close the cylinder, then

5.   Transfer and re-grip the revolver (fourth time) into the shooting hand’s firing position

Well, if the above manual of arms is unreasonable in a semi-auto pistol; it is just as unreasonable in a revolver?

Wouldn’t a system that either keeps the revolver in the shooting hand (for right hand shooters) or minimized any gun shifting (concession for left-handers due to the asymmetric nature of the revolver) offer some advantages over the above system?

The following “Auto-pistol” reloading offers at least the following advantage:

1 – Less time expended shifting the snub from hand-to-hand

2 – Maximum advantage of gravity is used when un-loading

3 – The callous heal of the hand is always used the strike the ejector (rather that the occasional use of the web of the hand)

4 – Maximum advantage of gravity is used when re-loading

5 – Maximum control is maintained if there is a struggle over the weapon

6 – The snub is properly orientated for emergency impact weapon strikes

I think by taking a new, unbiased look at the mechanics of revolver

reloading, and combining some unconventional pieces from Chuck Taylor and Massad Ayoob, we might have a method that offers a few advantages over the majority of conventional revolver reloading methods.

Before describing this “Auto-pistol” revolver reloading method, let me offer an apologies.

Please don’t be put off by the number of step-by-step directions. Because text and printed photos are by their nature less effective in conveying directions than any live action media, (video or DVD) the directions below are going to be broken down into a larger number of steps than may be necessary for the majority of readers.  I would rather over-explain the steps and have every reader follow along that under explain a step and confuse a fellow shooter.