Snubbie Lessons Learned, Part 1

May 3rd, 2012No Comments

Carrying a snub nose revolver is very much a learning experience.  I’ve carried a Glock for almost five years, so I find myself relearning old lessons and learning new ones almost daily.  Thought I’d share a few…

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Getting a Grip:  There are three primary techniques to gripping a snubbie.  I’ll discuss them further when I’ve had a chance to take some pictures.  In the meantime here are a couple of tips.

  • Grip as high up on the backstrap as possible.  The small stocks (grips) and light weight of the snub nose revolver result in more of the recoil being transmitted to your hand and many shooters find muzzle flip to be a problem.  By gripping high on the backstrap, the shooter gains more leverage and better weapon control during recoil.
  • Adjust your finger on the trigger.  The snubbie has a much shorter distance between the trigger and backstrap than larger pistols.  I’ve found I need to put more finger on the trigger to accommodate this.  This also makes it easier to control the long, double action trigger pull.
  • Grip hard.  With a Glock, my grip is firm but relaxed.  The snubbie wants to jump around and demands a solid grip.

Sights?  What Sights?:  Many snub nose revolvers have horrible sights.  To be diplomatic, let’s just call them primitive.  The shallow channel along the top frame and stubby front sight provide very little contrast and are difficult to acquire even under good conditions.  If you can replace your front sight with a high contrast post then do so.  If not then get some day-glo model paint and have some fun.  (See Claude Werner’s article, Improving Your Snub’s Sights)

Buddy, Can You Spare a Reload?:  Ammo capacity is touted as one of the main disadvantages of the revolver, more so for the five shot snubbie.  Personally, my preferred tactics are avoiding contact, breaking contact, and running, however there may come a time when five rounds just won’t cut it.  It is pretty easy to throw a couple of speed loaders or speed strips in the pocket.

Is that a Mouse in Your Pocket?:  Speaking of throwing reloads in the pocket, you may want to think about what else is in there!  If your pockets look like little thrift shops, then you may want to carry your reloads on your belt.  I intentionally left all of the normal clutter in my pockets, and, yes, it does slow down the reload.  Do you really want to untangle your keys (or drop them) from your speeds loader during a gunfight?

Tactical Reloads:  Time is of the essence in a gunfight and when you are empty you want to get back in the fight as quickly as possible.  When using speed strips, Michael de Bethencourt recommends only reloading four rounds during a fight.  His logic is that this gives you 80% of the guns capacity in 2/3 of the time.  I agree and my timed drills bear this out.  I still load the speed strip to capacity.  That way if I drop a round, I can still feed four.  Also, I have extra rounds in case I am in a position to top off after firing a round or two.

That’s it for now.  Check back for part two, and if you have a snubbie lesson learn or tip to share, you can do so in the comments below.

See you on the firing line.

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