JUNE 30, 2016

Skill Set: Carrying Revolver Ammo

Carrying ammo for a semi-auto pistol is easy. You carry extra ammunition in magazines. For revolvers there are a lot of different options. Each carry mode has advantages and disadvantages so you'll need to experiment to discover what works best for you. In the old days you carried spare ammo in "dump" pouches. They work like this: Open the pouch and it dumps ammo into your hand. Trying to feed rounds into the chamber while holding additional loose ammo is hard to do under good conditions. Under stress it's extremely difficult. Today there are belt pouches that hold the rounds in place, such as El Paso Saddlery Company's "2x3 Pick Box," which is a pouch that holds six rounds, segregated into three compartments. You open the pouch, and then you can pull out one or two rounds at a time to load into the cylinder. Ammunition "loops" or "slides" fit your belt and have loops that hold individual rounds. They are similar to the pouches mentioned above, except they don't offer as much protection for the ammunition. They do have a tight fit, a slim profile that is easily concealed. Speed strips are flexible rubber strips that hold rounds. Once the rounds have been inserted into the cylinder, usually two at a time, you bend the strip, releasing the rounds. This is an excellent way to carry spare ammo, but you don't want to just stick it into a pocket. A pouch, whether it's on a belt or in a pocket, protects the rounds and keeps them from collecting dirt and grim that can prevent the ammunition from feeding or possibly locking up the cylinder. Speed loaders are another option. Loaders are made specifically for the type revolver you have and hold five, six or more rounds. This is the quickest way to feed the revolver because you're loading all the rounds at once. But this can be a disadvantage because you have to load all rounds. If you fire two shots and just want to reload those two rounds - a "tactical" reload – you need some other rounds on hand, or you have to dump everything, including the live or unfired ones. Loaders are also bulky, and while there are pouches to carry them, they are difficult to conceal. Since there are many options to carry ammo you'll have to work with the different methods to determine what will work best for you. Also you may need one method of carrying ammo for one way you dress, and another method for other clothes you wear. Carrying ammo is just like holsters. You either dress to conceal how you carry, or how you are dressed dictates how you carry. Time and practice will let you determine what works best. Regardless of how you carry spare ammo, make sure it's good ammunition. This means it's a well-known brand hollow point or defensive round, one that has proven to perform well and shoots accurately in your pistol. Next "Revolver" session we'll talk about working the trigger and shooting the wheel gun. Tiger McKee is director of Shootrite Firearms Academy, located in northern Alabama. He is the author of "The Book of Two Guns" - http://shootrite.org/book/book.html writes for several firearms/tactical publications, and is featured on GunTalk's DVD, "Fighting With The 1911 - http://shootrite.org/dvd/dvd.html Website: www.shootrite.org http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shootrite-Firearms-Academy/156608611038230?ref=ts