Speedload exercises?


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gearbox
September 13, 2005, 06:02 AM
I've got a Ruger GP100 that I'd like to smoothen out and quicken up my speedloads with.
I've got some of those run-of-the-mill HKS speedloaders that hold the cartridges "securely." I'd like to know what techniques to practice to get faster speedload dumps. A link to a site with photos and slo-mo video would be best, but I can also RTFD ;)
Also, aside from technique, what gear would be best? I'm not interested in the hard-core competitive Level 17 Ultra-Super-Shrouded-In-Mysticism Safariland spring-powered speedloaders. I want something realistic and practical for carry, etc.. Should I try the MaxPull`s or the simpler Safariland SLs?

Should I just fill 5 cylinders, shoot the live cylinder, dump, shove, twist and pull or is there some zen-like woop-de-woop I should know?

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45+
September 13, 2005, 09:59 AM
Gearbox,

Work for smoothness and consistency and speed will come in its own time. I use the HKS in several different models (I have since they were introduced) and it has been my experience that although the equipment matters, it is not as important as the practice.

Good shootin'....

ChristopherG
September 13, 2005, 10:15 AM
The Safariland Comp I or II's will be faster than the HKS's, with their rattly twisty function.

As far as technique, I'm not sure what you're doing now to improve on. Forgive me if this is too rudimentary:

1. Fire last shot.

2. Move weak hand (I'm assuming that's the left, here) up to grasp the cylinder from under the frame with the thumb on the left side and the two middle fingers on the right (my pinky just stays clear; this may vary by hand and/or gun size).

3. Push the cylinder release with the strong (right) hand thumb.

4. Push the cylinder up and out, and the gun down and sideways, until fully open.

5. Right hand moves to belt to grab speedloader.

6. Meanwhile, left hand thumb leaves cylinder to depress ejector rod fully and smartly, at the same time as the gun is turned muzzle straight up in the air (i.e., so cases drop straight down). Gun is supported primarily by the middle two fingers through the frame.

7. Left thumb leaves ejector rod and rests on the yoke--not the cylinder-- to hold it all the way open, as the gun is turned to point straight down (or almost straight down) for the actual reload. Get the middle finger off the cylinder, too; you want the cylinder to be untouched and to be able to rotate freely, so it will allow the bullets to wiggle into place.

8. Right hand has returned from the belt now, speedloader in tow. It holds the speedloader by the body, which gives it secure control (this assumes the Safarilands, which release by pressing against the ejector star; the HKS's demand that you hold them by the twisty-knob). Eyeball the bullets straight into the holes, and press until the speedloader releases and the cartridges drop in.

9. Right hand clears the speedloader and returns to its grip position as left thumb closes the cylinder by pushing in the yoke, upon which it is already resting.

10. Left hand returns to complete grip, and gun is pushed back out to index position.

slopemeno
September 13, 2005, 11:36 AM
Chris-G
Good explanation. If I can add one thing, when you have your fingers through the frame "window", get in the habit of rolling the cylinder with your left hand as your right goes for the speedloader. This will help clear an empty thats in the position thats against the frame. It doesnt take any longer.
Also, I like the Comp-II's also. Very quick as speedloaders go.

RyanM
September 13, 2005, 12:46 PM
ChristopherG described one of the most common ways of speedloading.

Two additional things to keep in mind, though:

If you continue to use your HKS loaders, you will need to hold onto the cylinder to keep it from rotating, so that you can twist the knob.

When speedloading on the range, give the gun plenty of time to cool down between drills. I still have a scar on my middle finger from touching the forcing cone. Ouch.

Morgan
September 14, 2005, 02:44 AM
Christopher is right - switch to Safariland Comp II speedloaders. Better, faster, and more options for reloading as you don't have to twist the knob.

biere
September 14, 2005, 03:06 AM
Run a search on maxpulls since I think there are some posts saying they suck.

I have hks and safariland IIs and I like both for different reasons.

When I want to go plinking and want a lot of ammo loaded in speed loaders so I can just take a pouch of speed loaders the hks hold their rounds better. Please note this is me just dumping them in a pouch and letting them bang around and what not.

The comp IIs do pretty well at being in a pouch bumping around but now and then they will lose their rounds. My comp IIs came to me used and have been used plenty since then so that is part of the problem I think.

For actual carry in a speed loader pouch on the belt either one still works perfect with no dumped rounds.

One thing I learned to do when using the comp IIs was to learn how to orient the grooves in those speed loaders while holding it and my other hand orients the cylinder in the revolver using the grooves in the cylinder. This way I do not look at the gun while reloading. You can do this with the hks stuff but I was slow on figuring out the best way to do the hks reloads compared to the comp IIs since the hks needs little pressure downward but needs some turning pressure. The comp IIs are all downward pressure.

So depending on what you pick you will have a slightly different way of doing things.

And this gets discussed now and then and I recall a decent discussion about lefties doing reloads since there are some possable differences in how you do it depending on which hand is the strong hand. Basically you can take the above example and realize you don't have to shift the gun to your weak hand since it is already in that hand.

But if you want to see what else has been mentioned, run a search or 4 and see what pops up.

Overall the hks and safariland comp IIs are the standard speed loader I have seen mentioned for folks who want something that holds the rounds well and will last and what not.

The comp IIIs are more for competition from what I recall of the last discussion.

Sheldon
September 14, 2005, 03:24 AM
Chamfering the charge holes will make things a little easier too.

9mmepiphany
September 14, 2005, 04:14 AM
another plus for the safariland comp II.

i prefer to stroke the ejector rod with the fleshy part of my strong hand...it drives out the occasional stuck case.

as you drive down the body of the speedloader, you'll feel the shells release. as soon as you feel the release, let go ot the speedloader...it is now useless to you...and close the cylinder. you'll be surprised how much extra time it takes to pull the loader body away from the cylinder.

if you practice indexing the notches in the cylinder with those on the speedloader body...of the space between the shells...you'll be able to load without looking at the gun or the loader. just a little skill i picked up in my youth...loading in the dark.

BluesBear
September 14, 2005, 06:07 AM
I have both HKS and Safariland loaders. In all calibers from .22 to .45 Auto Rim.
Both brands are excellent. Both work well. With practice one is just as fast as the othter.
I practice exrensively with both since Safariland doesn't make as many models as HKS does.

One trick I learned using HKS is to twist the knob and then reloase the cyliner and twist a little more.
This will rotate the cylinder as well and allow all of the cases to clear the loader.
With some guns the loader rubs against the grips. This rubbing cat tilt the loader just enough that some of the rounds are reluctant to leave the loader.
A little twist of the loader is good with the Safarilands too.

Another advantage of the HKS is that if your hands are wet with sweat, blood, kickapoojoyjuice or anything else that big knob makes it much easier to pull from a pouch.

The old Dade speedloader pouches made by Tex Shoemaker are the best soeedloader pouches ever made. The front dropped away giving you full access to grab the loader.

The guy who owns the remaining Dade inventory selles the pouches on eBay. But he only had the medium frame size and only in black basketweave and plain tan.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=28832

If anyone has a Dade N-frame pouch they're willing to part with I'll either buy it or trade you one of my Dade medium frame pouches for it.

ChristopherG
September 14, 2005, 09:31 AM
Important additions and qualifications by 9mmE:

i prefer to stroke the ejector rod with the fleshy part of my strong hand...it drives out the occasional stuck case.

This is an important modification to the technique if you're shooting a gun with a less than full length ejector rod, or if you're shooting a long cartridge--like .357's in your GP100, Gearbox. .357 shells might not drop free reliably (depending on your ejection stroke, your grips, the polish of your chambers and the load you're shooting). The thumbstroke is a competition move, in my book. In real life, the strong-hand-palm-swack is probably a better move to practice, though it does add an average of about a half second to my reloads.

you'll be surprised how much extra time it takes to pull the loader body away from the cylinder.

I've tried this move--just letting the closing of the cylinder push the loader out--but found it hung things up on occassion, and decided to incorporate just a little wrist-flick to get rid of the thing. 9mmE is right, though; if you can do it this way without trouble, it will speed things up a hair.

9mmepiphany
September 14, 2005, 02:04 PM
one of the best ways to perfect your reloading technique is to practice loading with wadcutters...not semi-wadcutters, full wadcutter like us old PPC guys use.

the flat noses really force you to align the bullets/cases properly with the chambers. when you later switch to your carry loads, the bulletnoses will make up for any fumbling of loading under stress.

bluesbear - i didn't realise there was still stuff made for dade speedloaders on the market. i've used dade loaders in competition but they dropped too many rounds for me to trust for duty carry. i have seen those loader pouches and they are really slick...a bit bulky, but very slick ;)

TonyB
September 15, 2005, 02:54 PM
HKS are easier to carry in a pocket(for me anyway)I believe the "Comp" is for compitition.....like someone else said..go for smooth,and it will become fast.If you start out going for fast,you drop a lot of ammo on the ground.

9mmepiphany
September 16, 2005, 01:02 AM
the "comp" may stand for competition, but the comp I, and later the comp II, very the most commonly used speedloaders used by the officers on my department (1K+ officers) back when we used wheelguns. it does away with the fine motor skill of twisting the release knob...all you do is align and jam the loader home.

having said that, i should also add that the fastest reload i've seen with a speedloader was with a HKS loading duty ammo into a smith M-19. it was during an officer survival class and this officer beat every wheelgun and semi-auto during the reloading drill. i could believe him beating guys slamming staggered mags into giant mag wells :eek:

TonyB
September 16, 2005, 12:43 PM
You know,after looking at that picture above,I realized I've only seen the Comp.Speedloaders with the really big knob.....that wouldn't fit in a pocket very well.
Yeah I shoot idpa with a guy who reloads his s/w mod 60(I think)pretty darn fast w/ the HKS's......

Bulldozer
September 16, 2005, 06:23 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v671/roblipp/DSC00287.jpg

The items you see are:

forefront -- Bianchi speed strip
left rear -- Safariland Comp I speedloader
right rear - Safariland Comp II speedloader

The Comp series of speedloaders engage against the cylinder star, NOT a twist knob. They are the fastest, smoothest tools I have come across in my many years of toting a wheelgun.

Below are some pics of HKS turn-the-knop speedloaders :

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v671/roblipp/TaurusTrackerCarryKnifeSet.jpg


Finally, take a look at the two different speedloader pouches found below in the picture:

Hume Pack-Sixes in the rear. Del Fatti's excellent SLC-2 is open in the foreground. The other excellent speedloader pouch design that is out there is the Cunningham leather variant that places the loader horizobntally above the belt.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v671/roblipp/BLACKCARRYGEAR.jpg

slopemeno
September 17, 2005, 01:04 AM
If you're looking to improve your technique and speed, maybe you should check out some USPSA/IPSC/Bowling Pin shoots in your area. Nothing shows you flaws in your technique more than competition. Find a good revolver shooter and start chasing his scores. Follow him-get on his squad-ask questions-have him coach you.

jlh26oo
September 17, 2005, 03:01 AM
What's up with that Bianchi strip? How does it work? It looks like you could fill that thing by just laying it across a row in your ammo box. HOw does it load the cylinder though- bends around in a circle?

BluesBear
September 17, 2005, 05:08 AM
Hold the strip between the pad of the thumb and the big knuckle of the forefinger.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=22852


Insert the first two rounds. Slide your thumb down to apply proper pressure to fully seat cartridges into the cylinder.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=22853


Peel strip away firmly and smoothly at a 90 angle. (The upper round is a little too far out of the cylinder for illustration only.)
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=22854


For five shot revolvers you'll have one round left over.
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=22855


With practice you can open the cylinder, dump your empties, reload from the strip and close the cylinder almost as fast as with a speed-loader.
Lady45 can do it in 6 seconds all day long.

ChristopherG
September 17, 2005, 10:03 AM
Very nice pictorial, Bluesbear. Gracias.

BluesBear
September 17, 2005, 01:30 PM
Oh yeah by six seconds I mean she can open the cylinder dump the empties, reload from the strip and close the cylinder in six seconds.

My best time is 4.5 but it took (takes) a lot of practice to get (stay) there.

WT
September 17, 2005, 03:29 PM
BB - very good pictures.

Malamute
September 17, 2005, 06:08 PM
I also prefer to use the heel of my right hand to forcefully eject empties. Even 2" barrels and dirty chambers clear the empties well.

I also turn the barrel straight up, it helps clear the empties, and seems to get less crud under the extractor star.

I'm willing to trade a small fraction of time for utter reliability.

9mmepiphany
September 17, 2005, 07:42 PM
it really is important to have the barrel pointing straight up while you are ejecting the spent cases. the tendency is to "cheat" toward the horizontal to get the cylinder ready to accept the reload.

at the very least, you'll keep unburned powder out from under the ejection star. more importantly, you'll prevent cases from getting under the star and tying up the whole gun. it also keeps rounds from hanging up between the frame and grips.

gearbox
September 20, 2005, 05:01 AM
Very interesting and enlightening...
Unfortunately I couldn't get out this past weekend.

pax
September 20, 2005, 05:13 AM
Like many posters above, I think the fleshy part of the hand gives a more positive ejection of the empties.

Remember gravity is your friend, so use it. Turn the gun all the way up to empty, all the way down to fill.

When putting the new rounds in, I always anchor the butt of the gun against my stomach so I've got a felt index where the gun is if I have to do it in the dark.

pax

Malamute
September 20, 2005, 11:33 AM
"When putting the new rounds in, I always anchor the butt of the gun against my stomach so I've got a felt index where the gun is if I have to do it in the dark."



Good idea, I never thought of that detail.


I put the butt of single action revolvers in my solar plexus when ejecting empties. It's very quick done this way.

9mmepiphany
September 21, 2005, 03:21 AM
i index by putting my support thumb in one of the flutes of the cylinder. my strong hand index finger then indexes between two cases. then strong hand index finger finds support hand thumb. on my K-frame and python this lines the bullets up with the chambers.

this allows you to reload in the dark while moving. yup us old timers have all kinds of skills they no longer teach.

.38 Special
September 17, 2006, 01:41 AM
Sorry for dragging up an old thread, but I didn't want to start a whole thread for a single question.

So, what's fast? That is to say, how fast can a top guy reload? I'm working with a model 19 and comp IIIs, and haven't yet gotten below three seconds. I see Miculek doing it in 1.5 or thereabouts, but that's with moon clips.

9mmepiphany
September 17, 2006, 02:17 AM
jerry can run a reload about as fast as folks shooting bottomfeeders. with moon clips, you have the advantage of being able to just drop the full clip into the cylinder (at least with the .45acp rounds)

with speedloaders, you have to add the time to push the rounds into the chambers...hopefully you've already learned to just let go of the loaders after they release...before re-establishing your shooting grip.

i'm thinking, with some practice, you should be able to go from last shot to first shot in about 2 secs.

your goal should be to be able to reload just as fast with either a wheelgun or a slabside

.38 Special
September 17, 2006, 03:29 AM
Heh. I suck out loud with semiautos. Too many parts flying around.;)

Managing the speedloaders is my trouble right now. My background is Bianchi style shooting so I've never worked on rapid loading before. Chief among my problems seems to be the aftermarket rubber stocks are catching the loader just a touch and slowing the process considerably. Some Jordan Troopers are in the works and will hopefully solve that. I also mean to try the Comp II which looks to be a good bit shorter.

If I can get to two seconds I'll be faster than anyone I personally know with a semi-auto. Which would be nice.:neener:

9mmepiphany
September 17, 2006, 03:36 AM
the first time i saw a wheel gun reload beat a semi-auto i went into shock :what:

what made it even worst was that he was shooting a smith M-19 and using HKS speedloaders (alot slower than a comp III) against a beretta 92 (with the huge magwell) :banghead:

FWIW...there is actually less movement in reloading a semi-auto

Pat Cannon
September 19, 2006, 10:15 PM
Oh yeah by six seconds I mean she can open the cylinder dump the empties, reload from the strip and close the cylinder in six seconds.

My best time is 4.5 but it took (takes) a lot of practice to get (stay) there.

Bluesbear, that gives me something to shoot for (so to speak)! The best I've done yet with the Speed Strip is 10-point-something. Thanks -- you and everybody -- for the tips!

shooting on a shoestring
September 19, 2006, 11:12 PM
First, great thread, good responses, I'm even sitting here with a full HKS in my pocket and am seriously thinking of dumping the live rounds out of my ccw and practicing some of these ideas with snap caps. BUT....

I my world, reloading happens after the gunfight. If I am facing one or two opponets, my revolver carries enough ammuntion. Three opponets or more, I expect to run out of time before I run out of ammunition.

Dad has an original flat top Ruger, five rounds, hammer down on the empty chamber. A buddy told him to get a modern revolver and load it with six. Dad said "If I can't hit it in 5, I can't hit it."

Outside of the shooting games, is there really a need for fast reloads? If I've placed my shots will I still need to do a tactical reload? If I haven't placed my shots from the first cylinder, is it realistic to expect speedloader skills to save my skin?

.38 Special
September 19, 2006, 11:31 PM
I'm a gamer, to be perfectly honest. I like guns and I like shooting and that's all the excuse I need. When something catches my fancy (the "Bill Jordan" method, at the moment) I pursue it until I get bored with it, and then I move on to something else. I'm aware that being handy with a gun carries with it some remote possibility of actually being useful to me someday, and I do keep a revolver in the nightstand, but like I said, I'm really just playing with guns.

Do I think being quick with a speedloader -- let alone being .32 of a second quicker than the next guy -- is serious business? Not in the slightest. In point of fact, at least part of the reason I'm practicing with the speedloader is the hope that I will someday have the opportunity to embarrass some "tactical" goofball with his thigh-mounted semiauto.

Hey, at least I'm big enough to admit how petty I am! :D

9mmepiphany
September 19, 2006, 11:40 PM
it hard to say how useful it might be.

i learned it because, when i was working patrol we used to practice in the dark. then i got into PPC shooting and the faster you could reload, the more time you had to aim.

i keep a speedloader by the nightstand gun just because. it i do have to use the gun and i put someone down, i think i'd like a fully loaded gun in my hand before i moved from cover.

having seen how fast moonclips work, i may have to get an 8 shot M-627 PC and have it worked over by randy lee of apex tactical

9mmepiphany
September 19, 2006, 11:42 PM
at least part of the reason I'm practicing with the speedloader is the hope that I will someday have the opportunity to embarrass some "tactical" goofball with his thigh-mounted semiauto.

you can really have fun by learning how to shot a J-frame really well and winning "beer money" from folks who don't think you can hit out to 25 yards

.38 Special
September 19, 2006, 11:54 PM
you can really have fun by learning how to shot a J-frame really well and winning "beer money" from folks who don't think you can hit out to 25 yards
I spent a few years being "serious" about long range sixgunning with .44 Magnum and .45 Colt, burning candles to Elmer Keith, etc.

There was a point in time when I maybe could have made a living betting "one box a year" hunters on 200 and 300 yard shots. :evil: :D

I think that's a big part of the fun with revolvers for me: a lot of folks think they're useless, and opening their eyes can be a real kick!

Headless
September 20, 2006, 12:42 PM
Outside of the shooting games, is there really a need for fast reloads? If I've placed my shots will I still need to do a tactical reload? If I haven't placed my shots from the first cylinder, is it realistic to expect speedloader skills to save my skin?

i can see alot of scenarios where you've got a few seconds before being engaged by a second badguy after emptying your cylinder into a first attacker..being able to do it in 4 seconds sure beats needing 10 seconds when there's a guy leaping out of a car with a gun, right down the street, because you've shot his accomplice

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