TRAIN

THE ORIG­I­NAL POINT-AND-CLICK TECH­NOL­OGY THAT DATES BACK TO THE BLACK-POW­DER DAYS OF EARLY RE­PEAT­ING FIREARMS

Gun World - - Contents -

When it comes to re­volvers, train­ing can be dif­fi­cult to find. The re­volver is a spe­cific weapon sys­tem; and, like the 1911 or the AR15, it re­quires spe­cific train­ing and cer­tain skills that per­tain to that sin­gu­lar type of gun.

Re­volvers are the orig­i­nal point-and-click tech­nol­ogy, and they date way back to the black-pow­der days of early re­peat­ing firearms.

Sa­muel Colt sub­mit­ted a Bri­tish patent for his re­volver in 1835 and an Amer­i­can patent (num­ber 138) on Fe­bru­ary 25, 1836, for a re­volv­ing gun. He then made the first pro­duc­tion model on March 5 of that year.

Re­volvers might be “old news,” but they have a tremen­dous amount of re­deem­ing qual­i­ties. When I call them the “orig­i­nal point-and-click tech­nol­ogy,” I mean it. It’s a re­volver. Point and click. If it doesn’t go bang … press again. Re­volvers can be fired eas­ily from a va­ri­ety of po­si­tions and locations. Take the ham­mer off, and they be­come even more re­li­able and vi­able in self-de­fense sit­u­a­tions.

How­ever, the way we run a re­volver is very dif­fer­ent from how we run a semi­au­to­matic pistol. Much of what we do with our strong hand us­ing a semi­au­to­matic is done with our weak hand us­ing a re­volver. Yes—I said “strong” hand and “weak” hand. I am right handed, and I con­sider my left hand my weak hand. It is the “less strong” of my two hands. (If you are one of those lucky free­dom fight­ers who doesn’t have a “weak” any­thing … God bless, and carry on.)

As any good trainer should know, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Al­though I don’t use a tra­di­tional-style re­volver grip, I am aware of them and know how to ac­com­plish them. There are two “old-school” ways to grip a re­volver, and each has its mer­its.

“THUMBS CROSSED” GRIP

Ex­posed ham­mer or no ham­mer, thumbs crossed across the back­strap works. If you can’t picture the crossed thumbs grip, let me as­sist. Think about see­ing some­one hold­ing a semiauto pistol with his or her thumbs crossed across the back of the re­cip­ro­cat­ing slide. You know you’ve seen it ... and you cringe when it hap­pens. Thumbs crossed has no busi­ness on a semiauto.

Crossed thumbs goes wrong when re­cent con­verts from re­volvers try to ap­ply it to a newly pur­chased semiauto. How­ever, when used with a re­volver, there are ad­van­tages. Im­proved re­coil man­age­ment comes with this grip when it is done right.

It also aids by plac­ing the weak-hand thumb in just the right place to cock an ex­posed ham­mer spur. The weak-hand thumb can reach for­ward to slide the ham­mer to the rear. The thumb slips off the ham­mer spur and plants firmly on the back of the strong hand for fir­ing. This is a great grip for fir­ing mul­ti­ple shots in sin­gle-ac­tion mode.

“THUMBS LOCKED OVER” GRIP

Prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar grip for fir­ing a re­volver two handed is thumbs locked over (to the side). Un­for­tu­nately, many still use this grip method for fir­ing a semiauto. It’s not the best way to hold a semiauto, but it works.

Not my per­sonal fa­vorite, the thumbs-locked-over grip just doesn’t work well for me. As with any­thing I don’t like, I don’t prac­tice it; there­fore, I likely won’t mas­ter it. It places my hands a lit­tle lower on the frame, caus­ing re­coil man­age­ment to not be as ef­fi­cient.

It can be a com­fort­able grip. It is very pop­u­lar and is a fa­vorite of my friend, Jerry Miculek—so it can’t be all bad.

THE RE­VOLVER IS A SPE­CIFIC WEAPON SYS­TEM; AND, LIKE THE 1911 OR THE AR15, IT RE­QUIRES SPE­CIFIC TRAIN­ING AND CER­TAIN SKILLS THAT PER­TAIN TO THAT SIN­GU­LAR TYPE OF GUN.

A THIRD OP­TION: “MOD­I­FIED THUMBS FOR­WARD” GRIP

The re­volver grip for many is very dif­fer­ent from how we hold a semi­au­to­matic. And, if it’s a small re­volver, it can be even more dif­fer­ent.

I tend to grip the re­volver the same way I hold a semi­au­to­matic pistol: very much like the pop­u­lar “high thumbs for­ward” grip. How­ever, what I do dif­fer­ently is that I don’t run my thumb down along the frame, un­der and along­side the cylin­der. I plant my weak hand thumb di­rectly on, or close to, the rear of the cylin­der shroud.

For me—and for many oth­ers—this hand po­si­tion is more nat­u­ral, be­cause it is very sim­i­lar to my semiauto grip. It helps me man­age re­coil bet­ter and keeps my thumb away from the es­cap­ing gases that bleed off be­tween the cham­ber and the forc­ing cone as the bul­let leaps into the bar­rel.

Whether it’s a ham­mer-fired re­volver that fires dou­ble/sin­gle ac­tion, or it’s a shrouded or en­closed ham­mer, this grip works well.

One is­sue that crops up with some shoot­ers try­ing this grip is the cylin­der re­lease. The re­lease ends up just about be­neath the first joint of your thumb. Some say it’s hard not to put pres­sure on the re­lease; oth­ers never even no­tice it.

I’ve used this grip on a wide va­ri­ety of re­volvers and found it to work well. There are those who complain that the re­coil of the re­volver bangs back into the pad of that weak-side thumb. They say that cer­tain cal­ibers are harder to shoot be­cause of this. I’m no tough guy, and I’m not sure why it doesn’t af­fect me, but I shoot all cal­ibers, in­clud­ing the Smith & Wes­son .500, in this fash­ion.

The re­volver is a great carry gun and de­fen­sive tool. Too many peo­ple have moved past it for trendy semi­au­tos. With sec­ond-strike ca­pa­bil­ity, not a lot of mov­ing parts and mod­ern re­volvers cham­bered in some pop­u­lar semiauto cal­ibers, they are worth keep­ing around.

I still own sev­eral, and I carry them reg­u­larly. Train­ing with them gives me an­other skill set. With no mag­a­zines to go bad, they are low main­te­nance, and I never worry about them not go­ing bang! GW

... THE WAY WE RUN A RE­VOLVER IS VERY DIF­FER­ENT FROM HOW WE RUN THE SEMI­AU­TO­MATIC PISTOL. MUCH OF WHAT WE DO WITH OUR STRONG HAND US­ING A SEMI­AU­TO­MATIC IS DONE WITH OUR WEAK HAND US­ING A RE­VOLVER.

The “mod­i­fied thumbs for­ward” grip in ac­tion clean­ing the fall­ing plates at the Bianchi Cup. The au­thor is shoot­ing his fa­vorite 6-inch S&W 686 with a bobbed ham­mer.

The “thumbs crossed” grip works well on a re­volver with an ex­posed ham­mer. The thumb is nearby to cock a sin­gle ac­tion and plants out of the way to help man­age re­coil.

“Thumbs locked over” is a strong grip and is very pop­u­lar. It is as easy to per­form on a small­framed re­volver as it is on a large-framed re­volver. Note how it places your thumb close and ready to the cylin­der re­lease.

A “mod­i­fied thumbs for­ward” grip can be used with all re­volvers—small frame, large frame and his­tor­i­cal. The au­thor has had great suc­cess im­ple­ment­ing this grip. A well-known re­volver shooter had just one ques­tion, “Does it work?” Yes, it does!

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