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Massad Ayoob on Guns

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.



Massad Ayoob

RETRO MONTH IN RETROSPECT

Friday, September 1st, 2017

“The Guns of August” were, for me, retro; see earlier August blog entries here.  It’s August 31, and tonight I’ll regretfully clean my classic old Smith & Wesson Model 19s and put them back in the safe.

Some of the students asked if I didn’t feel disadvantaged carrying something that only held six cartridges.  You know, I can’t say that I did.  At any given time, I had a speedloader or two. The very fast, very reliable Safariland Comp III looks bulky, but it rides with amazing comfort and discretion in the cell phone pocket of cargo pants, or one of the pockets in a photographer’s vest.  You may not get to where YOU can reload a six-gun faster than YOU can reload an auto pistol, but you can damn well get faster with a revolver than the average street mope with a stolen autoloader:

Or view the video here.

I usually have a Bianchi Speed Strip somewhere on my person, too. Very easy to carry, so flat and discreet you can hide one in the watch pocket of a pair of jeans, but certainly slower than a speedloader:

Or view speed strip video here.

And, for that matter, I usually have another whole damn gun, anyway:

Or watch the video here.

One of the main reasons I tried a revolver for the four 40-hour classes on my August teaching tour was that a double action six-shooter allows the student to better see the distributed trigger pull: they can watch the revolver’s long trigger pull through both retraction and return, they can watch the uninterrupted cylinder rotation, and they can see the rise and fall of the hammer.  By the end of the month, at the wonderful Harrisburg Hunters and Anglers’ club in Pennsylvania, there were three of us staff on the line with revolvers and I told the class, “If any of your coaches this week told you that you were jerking or mashing the trigger, watch the revolver shooters. And do something else: bring your empty gun hand up in front of your face as you’re watching, and run your index finger at exactly the same pace as the shooter you have in view.”  That gave them sixty repetitions of running that trigger finger before they shot their own qualifications…and their own qual scores, including some new shooters, averaged about 97%. Roughly half the class said that demonstration helped them with their own trigger pulls when the pressure was on.

I think I might be onto something with this revolver as teaching tool business. I’ve said for decades that some quality time running a revolver in double action mode will teach you to better control the trigger of your semiautomatic pistol.

My September has a vacation week in it, and one all-classroom CLE program, with two 40-hour MAG-40s that include live fire. As it happens, I have gun magazine assignments to write up a couple of Polymer Parabellum Pistols, so my teaching guns will be 9mm autos, the new Gen5 Glock and the almost-as-new FN 509.  I’ll have a wheel-gun along, though, if only for demonstration purposes.

 

14 Responses to “RETRO MONTH IN RETROSPECT”

  1. TN_MAN Says:

    Interesting that you included a demonstration of the “New York” reload. Certainly a viable option if one wants to pack two guns.

    My normal carry gun is a five-shot stub-nose revolver. I carry it (in a pocket holster) in my strong-side front pants pocket. For spare ammo, I carry two (2) speed strips in my strong-side shirt pocket (actually, a handy location). This gives me a total of 15 rounds (5 in the gun plus 10 more in speed strips).

    There is no doubt that, if I carried a full size semi-auto pistol with spare magazines, I could do faster reloads.

    I know that there are professions out there that can speed reload a semi-automatic pistol in less than a second. I am getting old plus I never had athletic reflexes so I cannot match such times. Not even when I was a young man.

    With my 1911 (which I can reload as fast as anything I own) and with spare magazines handy in a belt pouch, I can do a speed reload in about 3 seconds. Maybe a little less on a good day. If the magazine is in my pants pocket (instead of a handy belt pouch) and I have to “fish for it” and re-orient it before loading, it can take as long as 5 or 6 seconds to do the reload.

    With my stub-nose and fishing a speed strip out of my shirt pocket, it takes from 10 to 15 seconds. The lower number denoting a smooth reload. The longer time if I mess it up a bit.

    So, subtracting the lower range from the upper one, it seems that carrying the revolver will likely add 7 to 9 seconds to my reload time. This is a significant difference which points to the desirability of getting behind cover before reloading.

    Even so, I will continue to carry the revolver for the following reasons. Its loaded weight is less than half the loaded weight of the 1911 and it is small enough to be carried in a pants pocket and without the need of a cover garment. These are important considerations for someone who lives in the South and who carries the gun a whole lot more than he shoots it.

  2. WR Moore Says:

    Your comments about trigger pull rather mirror my thoughts about why the trigger on the S&W M&P 1.0 series was designed the way it was. When we did our transitional training from TDA pistols, the folks who weren’t 90%+ shooters had the most rapid transition and got the most initial benefit from the system. [OK, having the same trigger stroke all the time helped too.] I don’t recall any qualification failures at the completion of transitional training and none for quite awhile afterward. Those of us on the upper end of the skill curve had more trouble adapting. Fortunately, I started on round guns and once I got my trigger digits reset, there was no issue.

  3. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    I hate to hijack another thread, but we’ve talked here many times about the practical need to do what a LEO tells you to do and, if your rights are being violated, to work it out with Internal Affairs and/or the Courts later. (A position with which I agree, so long as the “do what you’re told to do” involves physical things, not — mostly, at least — things involving speech or giving consent to searches.) But what if doing what you’re told to do would require you to violate legal obligations to third parties for which you could potentially be sued for damages by the third party? Case in point:

    https://www.ksl.com/?sid=45629038&nid=148&title=stop-ive-done-nothing-wrong-nurse-shares-police-video-of-crazy-arrest-by-sl-officer

  4. Dennis Says:

    TN_MAN,

    Since you said you carry two speed strips with five rounds each, you may already be practicing what I’m about to say. I carry my six round speed strips loaded with five rounds, configured three rounds, an empty space, then two rounds. That space allows a place for your pointer finger to stabilize the strip as you press down with your thumb to seat two cartridges at a time, rotate to the other end for two more, then seating the remaining cartridge as a single. That finger resting in the open space near the center sure helps old arthritic hands when using speed strips. If you’re already doing it this way, disregard and carry on. If not, try it.

  5. TN_MAN Says:

    @ Dennis,

    My plan, if I am forced into a defensive shoot, is to hit the perp(s) hard. If I hit them hard enough, I (hopefully) will not need more than the five (5) rounds in the gun and the reload becomes a moot point.

    Therefore, my carry stub-nose is a Charter Arms Boomer in .44 special caliber. I have more faith in a .44 than in a .38 to hit hard.

    All of my speed strips are five (5) round capacity although I think Tuff Products does produce them for six (6) rounds in .44 caliber. Nevertheless, given the size of the .44 rounds and given that I carry them in a shirt pocket, the length of the five (5) round strips are as long as I want to carry.

    I don’t really have any problems manipulating the five (5) round strips. I just need to practice more with dummy rounds. Maybe with enough practice, I can push reload times down into the 8 to 9 second range. I don’t ever expect to do much better than that with a speed strip reload.

  6. Paul Edwards Says:

    One the USBP 7 yard, most of us would try to draw a good sight picture as possible, then get as good a grip as possible, and try to maintain those, while firing as fast as possible, until needing to reload, and then repeating the process, adjusting aim for the Point of Impact, as needed.

    This work great on the old Coke Bottle (Circle/Strip) targets, and the Xring phrel (Newer) PPC targets, so long as you could shew out an XRing hole to use to align your sight-on for the second string?

    Paul

  7. David H. Says:

    Thanks for doing this.

    Waaaay back in the day, I wouldn’t have done as well with a 1911 in Paulden as I did if it weren’t for the trigger control I learned running DA revolvers.

    There is still a place for the Old Ways, more than for simple nostalgia.

    My question for all Students of the Gun, “Can you you the gun you find in your hand?”

    Thanks, Mas.

  8. Dave (the Liberal, non-Uncle one) Says:

    David H said: “My question for all Students of the Gun, ‘Can you you the gun you find in your hand?'”

    Is the most common answer to that question, “Huh?” or “What?”?

    ————————————————————

    Let me immediately apologize. I don’t generally criticize other’s grammatical or typographical errors because FSM knows that I make enough of them myself. But every now and then my funny bone gets tickled to the point that I just can’t help it. David H, be assured I’m not laughing at you, but laughing beside you.

  9. Mas Says:

    Dave, I appreciate your apology, and realize that you like me understand David H. meant, “Can you use the gun you find in your hand?”

    I remember in the early 1980s the Norco incident, a running gun battle with multiple terroristic bandits that left eight cops wounded and a ninth dead, several patrol cars shot off the road and a police helicopter shot out of the sky. One officer responding to that was handed an AR15 he had never been qualified with. When he faced the gunmen in a shootout, he couldn’t make it work and found himself trying to dig a hole under a car to hide in when he came under hellacious fire.

    I think David was trying to remind us all that in an emergency, the gun we need to use may not be our own. If the only shotgun we’ve ever fired is a break-open double barrel, and we’re house-sitting for a neighbor who left a pump gun for us, will we know how to run it if home invaders kick down the door? If we’re just coming into baggage claim from the secure part of the airport terminal and a terrorist attack breaks out, will we know how to run the AK47 we pick up from a dead terrorist?

  10. Spencer B. Says:

    Here, as a teaching and training aid, we find yet another great benefit of the revolver!

    I figure that David H and subsequently Mas are making a great point and fine tie-in with the topic of Mas’ previous blog entry. Training with as many firearm styles and types as possible is not only educational and fantastic fun but also highly beneficial! Likewise with training mirror image.

    Regardless of handedness (or lack thereof) or preferred type of arms, it is perfect practice that makes perfect! Sure, perfection is a fallacy and some display greater natural aptitude than others but we can all improve through proper practice, no doubt. Something like seeing the trigger worked properly can really help Students of the Gun put things together for themselves technically.

    Haven’t mentioned this in awhile so I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the quality and value found in the comments section here. As always I enjoy them, you are all appreciated and looked forward to as much as the new blog posts!

    Thank You

  11. Two-gun Steve Says:

    TN_Man: Any experience with CCI snake-shot from the ported .44? I see that at least some people say that CCI with blue plastic capsules are OK in ported barrels. The only objection that I might have would be if a capsule is cracked and leaking. The capsules are definitely prone to damage from rough treatment, especially as loose rounds in a bag or something. All my experience is with either .38/.357 or .45 Colt CCI snake-shot. I had a light, compact, ported Taurus in .45 Colt that I rather liked, but it had some issues with crimp jump with some factory loads. I never tried it with snake-shot. The 225 gr. Winchester Silver-Tip hollow-points that I used all maintained crimp, though.
    Mas: the idea of companion 9mm revolvers and semi-autos is appealing.

  12. TN_MAN Says:

    @ Two-gun Steve,

    I have some of these shot capsules and I have reloaded them in the past. However, I rarely use them nowadays. A few years ago, I acquired a lightweight, alloy-frame Taurus Judge with 3 inch barrel. I now use it as my “trail-gun” and, if I am concerned about snakes, I’ll load a couple of 2 1/2 inch 410 shotshells into this revolver. With #9 shot, it will shred a snake at ranges of less than 10 paces.

    So, I have never tried shooting the shot capsules out of my Charter Arms Boomer.

    The Speer Reloading Manual #14 warns (page 940) that “Shot capsules must not be used in firearms with ported recoil compensators.” It does not give the reason for this warning. I can only guess that there is some concern that the capsules will fragment in the port area which might allow some shot to fly out of the ports (instead of going downrange) and might prove a hazard to the shooter or other bystanders.

    In any event, since the Reloading Manual warns against it, I’ll stick to carrying my Judge on the trail and refrain from shooting shot capsules out of my Boomer.

    I have four (4) revolvers chambered for either the 44 special or 44 magnum cartridge. The Boomer is the only one that is ported. So, if I do shoot these shot capsules again, it will be in one of my non-ported revolvers.

  13. Bobster Says:

    Those vids of Mas reloading really helped me when got my first CC revolver (I alternate between a Ruger LCR and S&W 686P). When it comes to reloads for my LCR (my usual carry), I’ll have either a speed strip in my watch pocket or a Speed Beez in a Jox pouch, depending on my clothing. With my S&W, a HKS in a Jox pouch if clothing allows. As an aside, I prefer the HKS over Speed Beez because its much easier to grasp it with fingertips past bullet tips. I make an exception for my Ruger because the Speed Beez is made specifically for it, fat Hogue tamer grip and all.

  14. Karen Says:

    Mas, in the video is you Flag patch on correctly… just looks a bit off
    Hugs!

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