By popular demand, we are going to offer a two-day double action revolver class. With all due modesty, I’ve been teaching cops and others to survive with revolvers since 1972, have won numerous state and regional championships and one national title with revolvers and have assembled a staff of ace wheel-gunners to assist in putting on this class. Learn double action trigger mastery, various street- and competition-proven reloading techniques (including one-hand only with either hand). Bring service and/or hideout revolvers with appropriate gear. The class will go toward taking advantage of revolver attributes (contact distance shooting, shooting through coat pockets, etc.) and shoring up revolver weaknesses (capacity and reloading speed). I’ll be lead instructor. 500 rounds, fired in balmy Florida during the worst of 2024’s Northern cold!  Tuition is $500 for two days of training. Information is at our website.


  1. I wish I still had my very first handgun Mas, a 4″ S&W 586 classic. Today I still like revolvers but as secondary/backup. Even so, at least one of my colleagues insists on nothing else.

    • “Her name was Jo Ann, she lived in a meadow by the sea-ee-ee.” Every time I see that name, I think of that song, and inevitably of our Jo Ann. It is already after Thanksgiving, I admit, but I am still grateful for what is to me her deft (I don’t mean “daft”) feminine irony. Hello Jo Ann, T Y for you all, and may your wheel-gun triggers trip ever so smoothly. Please always remember the comforting option of the New York Reload!

  2. Over Thanksgiving an extended family member was surprised to see me toting a revolver. Day to day around the farm, it makes more sense and for most of my short trips it’s adequate. On Turkey Day figured it would be sufficient to carry out Clint Smith’s reason to carry a pistol.

    I’ve found on the close in and personal sitations (on the range), I’m actually faster with my first shot than with an auto. No difference in accuracy.

    • Much later after the above post I recalled an experience relating to one hand reloading with the revolver. This was pre LFI and involved our training staff. When the cylinder had been emptied, it was suggested that the barrel be stuffed inside your pants at the body centerline to allow the cylinder to be recharged. [Think this was if you were reloading with your “other” hand? Been decades.] I’m not real sure who certified them as LE trainers, but they obviously had never stuffed a revolver barrel that had just had 6 Federal 125 gr Magnum rounds run through it inside their pants. Admittedly, it did give you considerable incentive to make that reload most expeditiously. It’s also of very limited use if you use a snubby.

  3. Wunnerful! Wunnerful! I actually believe revolvers are the better choice for people who won’t practice a lot, and for those who have a hard time racking the slide. To clean them, I remove the grips, and then just swing out the cylinder. I don’t have to refer to the instruction manual for that.

  4. I have a confession to make. Revolvers have an attribute that I love, but it is not good for self-defense. I love pulling the hammer back, and getting that wunnerful single-action trigger pull. I’m addicted to the feeling I get, but it is a no-no for self-defense.

    • “it is a no-no for self-defense.”

      It depends on the situation. “Self-defense” includes protecting other innocents. If you are engaging a killer at long range, single action steadied against a column or some such can make a lot of difference.

    • try a 1911.
      it’s got that “…that wunnerful single-action trigger pull…”.
      with more shots and faster reloading too!

  5. Alas, the revolver is under-appreciated in these dark days of Marxist Ideology and Tupperware pistols.

    I remember when Obama was first elected POTUS. That was when I first became serious about (a) getting my carry permit, (b) getting some training, and (c) stockpiling ammo. Anyway, after getting my carry permit, I signed up for some additional pistol training. It was a small handgun class put on by a local trainer associated with the Nashville PD.

    Even back then, the semi-automatic was taking over the World. I showed up for this first class with my 4-Inch S&W Model 19 (I shot 38 Special ammo in it for this class). Everybody else had various flavors of semi-auto. Mostly in 9 mm. I stood out like a “sore thumb” in that class. The other students nick-named me “Will Bill” for using a revolver. 🙂

    Nevertheless, by using speed-loaders, I mostly kept up with the semi-auto blasters. I also did not have a single malfunction all day. I don’t think that manyl of the semi-auto shooters could say the same thing. When the instructor decided to set up malfunctions for the other students to practice clearing jams, he told me to just stand to one side and watch. He said: “This does not apply to you.” I was struck by that remark.

    I would like to take a pure revolver class. I don’t know if I can make Florida or not but I will keep it in mind.

    Quote of the Day:

    “Not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”

    – Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars)

  6. TN Man brought up an excellent point. Contrary to myth and legend, revolvers can malfunction. This was something we discovered during the “tactical” phase of training. If you shoot enough, you may experience malfunctions.

    Despite our instuctors being graduates of the S&W Training Academy Instructor courses, either they didn’t bother to share that factoid with us or it wasn’t mentioned. We learned stoppage reduction on our own. Or at least I did. Many took alibis, which don’t happen on the street. One of those I had was a hot round that prevented ejection of spent brass. When the aupport hand thumb pressed the ejector/extractor rod, it didn’t move and my gun hand had a speedloader in it. Fortunately, it happened at the 25 yard line barricade stage and I whacked the end of the rod on the barricade to solve my problem. Trigger won’t move with finger pressure, yank the hammer spur (and pray there’s no bullet between cylinder & forcing cone).

    • “Contrary to myth and legend, revolvers can malfunction.”

      Quite true. I have had occasional problems with revolvers over the years. In each case it was either (a) a problem due to faulty ammo, or (b) a rare mechanical problem with the revolver itself. Revolvers are mechanical devices. Wear, abuse, or part breakage can affect them like any other machine.

      I would think that (a) as long as you use proven, high-quality ammo in the revolver and (b) you maintain the revolver properly and don’t abuse it, then the chances of a malfunction occurring are very small. Under such circumstances, revolvers are about as reliable as it is possible to make any machine.

      Quote of the Day:

      “Never trust a woman, a District Attorney, or an automatic pistol.” – John Dillinger

      P.S. – Mr. Dillinger failed to follow his own advice. In the end, it was a woman that betrayed him and he died with an automatic pistol (a Colt Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless according to online sources) on his person. Personally, I think his advice is sound wisdom. 🙂

      • Online sources were a little off, TN. The 1903 model was a .32. Dillinger died holding the 1908 version of the same gun,chambered for .380.

      • There’s a third category of malfunction: operator error: failing to pin the trigger all the way back can cause the hammer to catch on the trigger very slightly and cause a failure to fire. Same with not letting the trigger go all the way forward will lock the trigger. [If you get the trigger in just the right spot, the cylinder will rotate but the hammer won’t move.] While it’s not operator error per se, glove material caught between trigger & frame will prevent the trigger from going fully forward and not allow it to be pulled. This is one of the situations where yanking the hammer can cure the problem.

      • @ Mas – Well, a .380 is better than a .32 auto. Certainly, if I was on the FBI’s most wanted list, I would want something better than a .32 auto too. 🙂

        If I had been in his shoes, I would have carried a Colt Model 1917 revolver, in 45 ACP, cut down and modified into a “Fitz Special” for concealed carry purposes. That would not have violated Dillinger’s maxim, given better stopping power, and (with half moon clips) provided for a good reload speed.

        For reference on the Fitz Special, see this video:

      • @ WR Moore – “There’s a third category of malfunction: operator error:”

        I suppose that “operator error” is theoretically possible. However, I was speaking of my own problems with revolvers over the years. Naturally, that rules out “operator error”. 🙂

        Quote of the Day:

        “A man who goes around with a prophecy-gun ought never to get discouraged: if he will keep up his heart and fire at everything he sees, he is bound to hit something by and by.” – Mark Twain

      • > Revolvers are mechanical devices.

        …and full of tiny, high-precision parts, at least by comparison to modern tupperware autoloaders.

        And if by some bad luck you wind up with grit or some other small object getting into its naughty bits and jamming the mechanism, it’s down for the count, as it will require a screwdriver to disassemble and clear it. Fortunately that’s quite rare in practice.

  7. Do they still make the gadget that allowed one to wear a special ring that made the gun only work for you?
    Soon as i heard that, anything else was eliminated as an open option carry for me.
    Struggling with a suspect, when a loaded gun was within their reach, didn’t sound a life extending strategy to me.
    Or is it a myth that officers get their own weapons used against them?

    • Indeed, it is passing strange. JMB did all kinds of firearm designs. Here is a partial list:

      Rifles – Single shot, lever actions, pump action, and semi & fully automatic designs.
      Shotguns – Over/Under, Lever action, pump, and semi-automatic designs.
      Pistols – Semi-automatic designs
      Plus, he did a number of fully automatic machine gun designs and contributed to automatic cannon designs.

      Yet, to my knowledge, he never designed either (a) a revolver or (b) a bolt-action rifle despite the popularity of these types of firearms with the shooting public.

      Perhaps he felt that his genius was directed at back-and-forth or up-and-down movements (like the slides and bolts of lever, pump, semi-automatic and automatic weapons) rather than with transverse rotating movements as in the cylinder of a revolver or the rotating bolt of a bolt-action rifle.

      Note, he never designed a Gatlin gun either. Perhaps that is more proof of my thesis.

  8. Just as a casual observation from my competition days in IDPA, seems to me, the revolver folks, most always solved their scenarios with six, while the bottom-feeders, excuse me, semi-auto competitors, managed to fire many more rounds, alas sometimes being accused of a mag “dump”, to employ an expeditious reload. Heaven forbids! But, having received my training at the Rodman’s Neck training range, from some of the “Finest” range instructors in the country, I’ve always felt very comfortable with my “wheel-gun”, thank you.

    • Some local ranges run revolver matches. But they restrict the wheelies to wimp cartridges, usually nothing hotter than .357 Magnum. The revolver’s advantage over the autoloader is *more power*. .50AE is about as hot as it gets for autoloaders; I’m not sure it that would even make the top 10 for wheelgun cartridges nowadays.

      Something about the 9mm Europellet guys get sad if the steels are beefy enough to withstand a .454 Casull.

  9. I’m not really getting the message on how to register from what’s at the link. Do I send my info to Herman Gunter at the iiisales email address?

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