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How Fast Are You When Speedloading Your Snub?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Joshua M. Smith, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member


    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.



    Josh <><
  2. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    You should be able to reload withoud switching hands. Are you Lefty or Righty?
  3. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Well-Known Member

    Joshua Smith, your name is familiar to me ;)

    I'm not as fast with a snubby as I am with my full size revolvers. I have large hands, and working the tiny 5-shot speed loaders is harder for me, than reloading with my 3" 686 CS-1 with the full length ejector rod. I need to practice it more. I'd say based on your description - your on par. TJ
  4. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member


    I'm a lefty. If you have any tricks, I'd like to hear them. This is how I've been doing it for years though, and I don't know if I'm an old dog yet.

    Mr. Jones,

    Thanks. Do I know you?

    Josh <><
  5. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    What kind of speedloaders are you using? The safariland are much better than the twisty kind.

    I would be concerned about the amount of debris in your chambers and what seems to be somewhat weak extraction. What kind of revolver were you using? There should be enough play in the chambers to deal with minor debris, and the extractor should be able to eject all six.
  6. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Well-Known Member


    With my SP 101 is use Safariland ...I think they are Comp II's for a J frame. Insert..press...close cyclinder. Reasonabley quick and clean.

    With my Taurus Model 85 its a bit slower and awkward. I use the same Safarilands, but the fit isn't as precise so more "play" has to be done to line up before pressing. But its still faster than using HKS or Speed Strips.
  7. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member

    I am using HKS. It seems to be the way to go for me, more natural for some reason.

    The amount of debris is definitely coming from the ammo. I've never shot anything this dirty. It's called Independence and I'm having to wipe soot off of it every 20 shots or so. It's got my bore snake very dirty and it left a string of something that almost looked like burnt paper down the barrel after one cylinder full.

    I fired some carry ammo to make sure it was not the revolver, and it wasn't.

    The revolver is a Rossi M68. I like the trigger better than the S&W J-frames.

    Some say they're trash; I don't think so.

    Josh <><
  8. Feanaro

    Feanaro Well-Known Member

    Under 3 seconds. I don't have a timer so I can't break it down to tenths of a second(I look at a digital clock that displays the seconds and go from there). If I am using a flap style speedloader pouch, make it 3. If you want the fastest reload, you have to look at the cylinders. If you have tactical concerns, leave the revolver at chest level during the whole process. I'm right handed, reload with my left hand. I'm not left handed but try this. Push the cylinder latch with your left finger while you grab the revolver with the right. Push the cylinder out with your right thumb, using the right index to work the ejector. Use your left hand for the speedloader, close cylinder, regain grip.

    Use Safariland Comp-IIs if they are available. I find the HKS speedloader very limiting. It's not just timing but the consistency. You are torquing the rounds when you twist the release knob. This causes them to stick. You have to jiggle the loader or lose a round. I've dumped the rounds while grabbing the speedloader. Scrambling around on the ground in an IDPA match is not good for your time. Expect to laughed at.

    You grab the Safariland speedloader by the body, which is much more secure. It also has evenly spaced grooves, which you can use to align the speedloader to the cylinder. The push-motion is more streamline than push/twist. I've never had one dump the rounds, even when dropped.

    351 WINCHESTER Well-Known Member

    Choose your ammo for speedloaders carefully. If it's speed you're looking for try and use ammo that is more pointed and less inclinded to hang up or better yet have a second gun.
  10. glockman19

    glockman19 Well-Known Member

    I'm a lefty.

    I'm righty so there's the catch. I shoot with my right hand release cylinder with my right thumb, eject spent cartridges with my right middle finger as I hold the cylinder open with my right index finger and only load with my left hand
  11. ChuckB

    ChuckB Well-Known Member

    Speaking of choosing your ammo carefully: My first attempts at using Comp II speedloaders with my GP100 were a dismal failure. The shoulders on the brass would repeatedly hang up on the charge holes. I was using UMC FMJ .38's at the time. When I switched to other brands- any other brand- the cartridges went in smooth as could be. I'm still considering having the charge holes chamfered, but still won't use the UMC for fast reloads again.

  12. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Well-Known Member

    if i remeber to bring them with me that is the first hurdle! :what: i would say very slow from a CW point of view but i figure the first 5 rounds will slow any attacker down enough for me to load the next 5 lol.

    i dont use speed strips i can never find those i use the cylinder type
  13. shooter58

    shooter58 Well-Known Member

    Let me see if I can adequately describe this...
    Use the left hand to force open the cylinder, pushing it open with your two middle fingers. use your right palm to slap down on the ejector rod and eject the rounds (gives a little more oomph to the ejection). Keeping the middle two fingers on the cylinder, place your left thumb on one of the cylinder flutes...high part.... grasp the speed loader with your right hand with your thumb over one cartridge. Guide the bullet into the chamber and close the cylinder with your left thumb. The hands have a natural tendancy to match up thumb to thumb. With a little practice, you can get quite fast that way. Back in my revolver LEO days, that' s how we trained to reload.
  14. Striker

    Striker Well-Known Member

    When I'm on, 2.0 sec average with Comp IIs and 2.5 with HKS's when utilized in an open top or Safariland metal carriers. Add .75 seconds to each type when using a snap down flap type carrier.

    However, I can present my second, airweight j-frame in 1.5 seconds or so, so thats the way I normally carry my spare, need it now ammo!!:D

    (BTW this also addresses the thread regarding carrying a second Snubbie):p

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