Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Left-handed revolver

Over on Guffaw's site, there's discussion on shooting left-handed, notably with revolvers, most all of which have traditionally been made for lesser right-handed creatures to use.

Now I confess that when I started shooting, all I wanted was "cool" semi-autos. I did not own a revolver until I bought one on the last day that my Federal Firearms License was valid. (Yes, I'm old enough to recall the days before Clinton when almost anyone could get an FFL for $35.00...) As I was packing away my FFL paperwork, several days after I thought that it was expired, I realized that it actually expired on that very day. Naturally I wanted just one more gun so I set about to ordering one. The only problem was that it was already 5pm on a Saturday.

However I was saved by the nice folks at J&G Sales in Arizona, who were still open and who had no problem shipping out a gun immediately once I explained my FFL issue. Now they didn't have much of a handgun selection at that time, but they did have some nice stainless Smith and Wesson Model 66 .357 Magnum revolvers for $219.00 so I grabbed up one of those and it showed up a few days later on the UPS truck.As a shooter, I was in love with it immediately. The sights, trigger and balance were fantastic, and the .357 Magnum rounds were a real attention-getter. However I could not manage to reload it quickly or reliably so I dismissed it as a carry gun and it sat in my safe for years other than a few range trips and a great summer spent in Colorado where it was my open-carry secondary firearm, complimenting a lever-action rifle in the same caliber on many day hikes and backpacking trips.
Over the years, I'd picked up other revolvers here and there, mostly collectables (and almost always Smith and Wessons because Colts turn and open the wrong way) but I'd never felt comfortable enough with my reload skills to carry one as a CCW arm. But that changed when I took a class from Mas Ayoob back in the late 1990's. Mas demonstrated how easy it was to reload a revolver from speedloaders and stripper clips, and even worked with me one-on-one after the class one day to ensure that I, a leftie, got it down right. I have confidently carried this and other revolvers from that time on, and I've taught this same technique to others that I teach to shoot revolvers. It's simple, instinctive with a bit of practice, and it's quick and effective. But rather than me explain it, I'll let Mas himself explain it, courtesy of one of his many wonderful videos posted to Youtube:

So lefties, you CAN shoot that revolver and reload it quickly in combat. Now get out there and practice, and then practice some more.


  1. Thanks for the link! And, the educated comentary.
    AND J&G Sales rocks!

  2. Thank you. That's the first really useful instruction I've seen for reloading a revolver as a lefty.

  3. "Colts turn and open the wrong way"- Blasphemer! Burn him!

    Actually ML, you and Guffaw have some insights that will help me when I run into left handed students, thanks!

  4. No kidding Keads! But you'll notice he DOES teach the two handed (and most effective) combat load proceedures.

  5. Neat video, I love wheel guns and have a few myself.