Fastest way to reload a revolver using speedloaders?


November 19, 2006, 12:07 PM
I have shot a few IDPA matches with my CZ 75 Semi-Compact, and while I really like that gun, I want to try to shoot some of my revolvers in competition. I plan on shooting my 64-5. I picked it up for a decent price (~$250 shipped and FFL fees), and it has the best DA trigger I have ever used. I have a holster, speed loaders, and speed loader holders on order from Talon Tactical. I have three Comp IIIs and a few Comp IIs for my initial “loading” chores.

I learned to shoot a revolver when I was a Med-HACK working for the California Depart of Corrections. We were taught to load with our shooting hand and to hold the revolver in the non-dominate hand. This works ok, but is there a way to do it quickly and reliably with the revolver remaining in the shooting hand?

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November 19, 2006, 12:25 PM
I don't know about a reloading technique using the shooting hand. I've found Grant Cunningham's suggestions ( work well for me.

November 19, 2006, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the link!

That is pretty similar to what we did, but we used the non-dominate hand and "pushed" the cylinder open with the middle and ring finger. The barrel is pointed up and the ejector rod was hit with the thumb of the non-dominate hand. The dominant hand reached down and grabbed a speed loader from the strong side to reload.

November 19, 2006, 04:10 PM
I use this same process myself with great speed and little effort. The only modification from what Mr. Cunningham does is that I used the thumb of my non dominant hand to accuate the ejector rod twice in rapid succession. This allows my dominant (right) hand to reach for the next speedloader sooner.

The tip about letting go of the empty speed loader is a good one, I do the same with spent magazines. I do have a padded container that I let them fall into, to avoid damaging anything. In a high stress situation, we often fall back on trained "muscle memory". I met a guy at a range who worked security at Camp David back in the late 80s/early 90s. He told me the story of a some LE organization (can't remember which) who would train their shooters to pick up their spent brass after each reload in an effort to keep the range clean. This policy changed when one of them was gunned down while kneeling to pick up his spent cases in the middle of a shootout!

Strange, but true.

November 19, 2006, 06:49 PM
I don't know of a different procedure for left-handers, so please bear with me if I use "left" at any time instead of "non-dominant." (The only way I can picture anything different is if there were any revolvers that swing the cylinder to the right.)
When I went to the S&W Academy all those years ago, we were taught to push the cylinder open with two fingers through the frame, as Newguy1 mentioned. That also enabled you to turn the cylinder to align empty chambers if you were using Speed Strips™ or a "loose rounds" two-at-a-time technique, picking up the fresh loads from the palm of the left hand. (Any whippersnappers who are saying "What the heck are Speed Strips™?" can look here ( Not as fast as cylindrical speedloaders, but easier to conceal when you've got a snubbie in a bellyband or similar arrangement.)

That's good advice about hitting the ejector rod twice. It might take a second (at most), but it's way faster than prying a case from behind the star.
Great idea about the padded box for dropping speedloaders into. I have some of the older Safariland ones (rubber, no moving parts), but am standardizing on HKS now, for both my Python and my Detective Special.
I wonder if maybe the practice of immediately picking up empty brass was as much to keep it from being stepped on and flattened, and thereby saving the agency money on reloads, as for cleanliness of the range. Either way, it's a scary example of how people will "fight as they were trained."

Once you get both hands performing their individual tasks, I don't think there's any faster drill for reloading a revolver.
Next week, we'll go over some one-hand emergency reloads. ;)

Phil DeGraves
November 20, 2006, 11:02 AM
Mike DeBethencourt advocates keeping the revolver in the strong hand, turning the muzzle skyward as you eject the cylinder. Hit the ejector with the opposite hand, retrieve speedloader while bringing the muzzle down and then loading with the opposite hand. This way, you don't spend time switching hands. I tried it and got pretty fast with it, in fairly short order, but I was still smoother and faster the traditional way. But then I've done it that way for years. I suppose if I had done it his way from the beginning, I would likely be just as fast that way.

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