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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I need to know if I'm on par, behind par, or ahead of par on this issue.

I received my speedloader and belt pouch yesterday. I found i had to modify my Pachmayer grips and the old style cylinder latch in order for it to work, but no big deal. Still have to reblue the cylinder latch though.

Anyway, today I started practicing with the speedloader, just using dummy rounds.

The drill was

1. Bring revolver down from target

2. Switch hands, break open, work extractor 3x with my thumb while grabbing the speedloader out of the pouch

3. Point muzzle down, drop dummy rounds in

4. Close cylinder and switch back to lefty grip

I could do this in 3-5 seconds after I got practiced (I'd already been using the whole technique for years but loading loose ammo instead of using a speedloader). If I hurried, I messed up, and had to start over.

Live fire, 30 rounds:

First fire, reload, fire: Cases all extracted properly, but two live rounds hung up instead of dropping in. Dirty ammo.

Second fire, reload, fire: I emptied the gun then ran to a ladder (nearest concealment). While running I broke the action and ejected the shells. Squatted down behind the ladder, I had to "play" with the speedloader a bit to line up the round to the holes.

Third fire, reload, fire: Case extraction failure. The chambers were getting carboned. Had to clear them manually to use the speedloader.

Also, in cold practice, I can reload just fine without looking. In live fire, I have to look. Which is the preferred method, and which do you use?

I guess my main concerns are sticking cases and not being able to line the holes up quick enough should I ever have to use that reload "for real."

Any tips, tricks, etc would be appreciated. I know lining up the holes is a practice thing, but how about if the cases stick, or the rounds stick, keeping them from dropping into the chamber?

I do just drop the speedloader btw, and it falls away when I close the cylinder.

Help?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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I only rarely carry a snub as my only gun (and thats only around the house). I'd be much more likely to shoot the snub empty, drop or toss it and then draw my XD from my belt and continue fighting.

I will admit that I only occasionally carry more than 1 gun. But when I do, the gun that I grab first will depend on how much time I feel that I have. The XD will likely have more effect on the attacker(s) but the snub can be in my hand (still in my pocket) before trouble starts.

I've reloaded in practice using speedloaders and singles but never worked on speed so I'm sure my time would be horrible. I do try to always work the ejection lever fast and hard to help the cases leave but there is still the chance to have some hang up.

I've read different methods of reloading revolvers. One tip that sticks in my head is to keep the revolver at or near eye level so that you can see what you are doing and still try to keep an eye on the threat. Yes, this means you would be bringing the reload all the way up there but you will be able to see whats going on.

Another thought is that the fastest reload is another gun. For example, in Jim Cirillo's book "Guns, Bullets and Gunfights" he talks about carrying 3 revolvers (and sometimes a shotgun). The technique is much older than this but the current name is a "New York Reload". By the time he go the third one empties the trouble was usually over. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy as I lent it out to someone going to Iraq and they didn't return any of the books I sent over. Yes, this person no longer has access to the Steelheart Library. :eek:

Steelheart
 

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Three to five seconds for a snubby reload sounds about right. With enough practice it should become smoother and maybe quicker. Sometimes the darn speedloaders just don't seem to want to line up correctly and wiggling them into position is required. One of the reasons I switched to an auto-loader when the department gave us permission.

My wife uses 5 shot HKS speed loaders for her Taurus model 85, Ultralite, .38 spl.

I don't carry it any more, but my former duty revolver, S&W mod. 19 (no dash) is a six shooter. I have both HKS loaders and antique, 1st generation rubber speed loaders from Tex Shoemaker, vintage c. 1971. (If I could get photobucket to open, I'd attach a picture of the rubbers. Maybe later.)

I also have and sometimes carry a Taurus mod. 617. 7 shot snubby, with HKS loaders.

All work well, and being the old school kind of guy that I am, I actually prefer the old rubber loaders. Just stick 'em in and peel them off. Not much in the way of fine motor skills required for that. In a gun fight, you don't want to have to think too much about what you are doing. Someone shoot'n back at you tends to rattle most folks.
 

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Pioneer461 brings up a good point. The major brands of speed loader function differently. But the main this is to find what works for you and stick with it.

The HKS uses a know that you rotate to release the cartridges. They have the best selection for different guns. They even have some for the 22 revolvers.

Safariland (they have a couple of models but they function the same) have a plunger in the middle of the cartridges. Just push the rounds into the cylinder and it releases. They only have models for the major sizes/brands. For example, they don't have anything out that I'm aware of for a 7 shot 38/357 nor do they have anything for a 44/45 5 shot. HKS has covered both for a while.

Plus there are some older models that I'm not familar with.

Oh, there's the Maxfire brand rubber ones with the big loop handle. I've never used them but every site that I asked about them on the response was about the same. Unreliable after a while. Yes, I could have ordered some to try myself but felt that I had better things to spend money on.

I prefer the Safariland over the HKS but I do have some HKS around. I would load the HKS with a different load so I wouldn't accidentally stuff in the wrong ammo. For example, I might have my HKS loaded with a penetrator for bear if I was hiking in northern Mn but my Safariland would still have the JHP's for normal use.

Then there is the Speed Strips for another option but they're only in 38/357 to my knowledge. I do have some around as well to give me more options.

Steelheart
 

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I would say that 3-5 seconds is a good reload. There is no way to know how long you "might" have in a confrontation, so just practice and become proficient. Don't rush things. In a true confrontation, your hands may be shaking and you'll probably only be able to half concentrate on the reloading, while you're also concentrating on what the BG(s) are doing, etc. The last thing you want is to drop all of the rounds or the whole speedloader. So, in my book, speed is great, but the most important thing is to have it become second nature. That'll come with much practice.

Todd
 

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I got photo bucket to open up, so here is a pic of the first generation speed loaders. The were developed following the Calif. CHP Newhall incident, to replace the dump pouches we carried our reloads in. As I said earlier, I like still prefer them and although they may look kind of funky, they work well. But, they became a mute point when the department(s) began allowing semi-auto pistols for patrol work.

Sorry bout the size. I re-sized it in photo bucket, but for some reason remained large here.?

 

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It looks fine here. I can't enlarge it but there enough detail. Is the extra tool for loading the rounds into the speedloader or to help you load the revolver with it?

Steelheart
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think that extra tool is a speedloader holster/pouch/holder of some sort. If you look on the other end there seems to be another speedloader stuffed into it.

Could be wrong.

Josh <><
 

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It hadn't clicked that the other end was another speed loader. Good eye on that.

Steelheart
 

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Yeah, the leather piece with two snaps on it fit over the duty belt, holding the tube with two reloads, one on each end at the top of the belt. The whole rig is very stiff, and inside the tube is a latching device that held the reloads in place until needed. To release, simply push on a "button" on the reload, inside the rubber cup.

If I can find my scrap book, I may have a photo of (a much younger) me wearing them. If I do, I'll upload it.
 

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I dug through my Box-O-Pictures this morning and found this photo of a very much younger version of me, in uniform. You can clearly see the speed loaders sitting atop my duty belt. My weapon is a S&W Mod. 19 (no dash) .357, which I still own. The holster is a state of the art break-front, probably a Tex Shoemaker brand. Tan uniforms have since been changed to LAPD blues. I still have the hair, but it is mostly gray now. 8)

This was my first police gig, in the City of National City, CA, which is just to the south of San Diego, and to the North of Tijuana. It was (and presumeably still is) a tough little town, and a great place to learn the business. I moved north after getting married and thinking about where I wanted to raise children.


 
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