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Speedload exercises?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by gearbox, Sep 13, 2005.

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  1. gearbox

    gearbox Member

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    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?
     
  2. 45+

    45+ Member

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    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'....
     
  3. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    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.
     
  4. slopemeno

    slopemeno Member

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    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.
     
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    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.
     
  6. Morgan

    Morgan Member

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    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.
     
  7. biere

    biere Member

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    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.
     
  8. Sheldon

    Sheldon Member

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    Chamfering the charge holes will make things a little easier too.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    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.
    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  11. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Important additions and qualifications by 9mmE:

    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.

    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.
     
  12. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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 ;)
     
  13. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    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.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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:
     
  15. TonyB

    TonyB Member

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    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......
     
  16. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer Member

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    Reloading Devices

    DSC00287.gif

    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 :

    TaurusTrackerCarryKnifeSet.gif


    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.

    BLACKCARRYGEAR.gif
     
  17. slopemeno

    slopemeno Member

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    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.
     
  18. jlh26oo

    jlh26oo Member

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    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?
     
  19. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Hold the strip between the pad of the thumb and the big knuckle of the forefinger.
    [​IMG]


    Insert the first two rounds. Slide your thumb down to apply proper pressure to fully seat cartridges into the cylinder.
    [​IMG]


    Peel strip away firmly and smoothly at a 90º angle. (The upper round is a little too far out of the cylinder for illustration only.)
    [​IMG]


    For five shot revolvers you'll have one round left over.
    [​IMG]


    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.
     
  20. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Very nice pictorial, Bluesbear. Gracias.
     
  21. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    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.
     
  22. WT

    WT Member

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    BB - very good pictures.
     
  23. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    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.
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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.
     
  25. gearbox

    gearbox Member

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    Very interesting and enlightening...
    Unfortunately I couldn't get out this past weekend.
     
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