Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Practactical 101: Short stroke kit

The worst notions in the modern age are those which are preconceived. Even if some are unspoken.

Those such as, the immediate availability of dozens of rounds of ammunition in one's firearm will guarantee success in a fight. Or that someone is possession of that amount of rounds is destined for evil acts.

Though most of us would agree that the later of the two statements is not unspoken but, rather one spoke with unyielding beratement amongst the hoplophobes. "Educated" or otherwise.

For the better part of twenty years (or more) the personal defense community has said the revolver is dead. One might conclude that it did not "die" but, rather proceeded to excel in the twenty-first century in smaller form.

The small framed .38 Special and .357 Magnum lives well today in light weight frames, though having experienced the titanium-scandium-fun-to-carry-hell-to-shoot recoil of the .357 Magnum from a not quite so two inch barrel I'll keep mine in all steel. Thank-you-very-much.

Of my three normal carry pieces, two of them are revolvers, the Colt's Commander in the large Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge being the first. The other two being both Smith & Wesson's in .38 Special and .357 Magnum. Whenever one (or two) of these are being used the others rest in the gun safe.

However, I tend to keep my normal carry spare reloads all together. Where I keep all the other things that fill up my pants pockets for everyday usage. A few years back I made myself a small front pocket kydex...er..."system" that was designed to hold my flashlight and a 1911 mag. It turns out it does a semi-decent job of holding a speed strip, or five shot speed loader, in their proper place.

All was essentially fine with this "system" until I bought my Smith Model 66 a few years ago. Due to over penetration concerns as a general rule I carry both my revolvers loaded with .38 Special standard loads (my 442 is not +P rated anyway) but, with the Model 66, when I do carry it, I like to have a set of full house .357 Magnum loads as the reload.

Generally I use the speed strip to handle the reload because of the bulk of the cylindrical speed loader. Then one night I came home and took off my Model 442 (in .38 Special) and as I retrieved my reload/flashlight combo from front left pocket something looked off.

And there it was.

I had shoved .357 Magnum spare reloads into my pocket. Which no matter how hard you cram them into a .38 Special cylinder they just aren't going to fit.

So in order to remedy this from happening again I dug out a pair of scissors and cut the "tail" off the speed strip that holds the .38 Special reloads. Now, if I have to, or just so happen to, for one reason or another grab my spare revolver reload from it's place where all of my other EDC gear sits, I can tell by instantaneous feel.

Tail on the Speed Strip = .357 Magnum Loads

No tail on the Speed Strip = .38 Special Loads.

It is a simple and effective way to tell the difference. One could also apply such a tactic to tell the difference between standard and plus P loads if they were so inclined.

Lastly, one who carries the venerable .three fifty seven revolver with a short barrel, and equally short ejector rod, might gain a small advantage in carrying the .38 Special cartridge in the cylinder. In the event that a reload should have to be performed with deftness and social negotiations otherwise having failed, shaving a tenth of an inch off the start of a reload might make a difference in the end.

Firepower is a fine thing to have but, if all you brought to the gun fight is a gun you've already lost.

Fight Smarter.


Jay G said...

You can get different color speed strips, too.

My .357s are orange. .38 Spl. are black. Easy peasy!

Matthew said...

I should modernize.

Charles Lee Scudder said...

So, why the rubber band around one grip? Or did I miss that?

Anonymous said...

Another solution, which I use, is to carry only .38 Specials for the reload, wbich work in any revolver I might carry. In my ..357 revolver, I generally carry .38 Specials for the first two rounds, the rest in the cylinder .357s, figuring that once the firing starts, any threat will.have moved behind cover.

Home on the Range said...

Those things are a marvel, and I always have an extra in my "non going to the airport" purse.

knife said...

I typically carry only 5 rounds in my speed strip, even when I have a true six shooter and not my 5 shot pocket or ankle revolver.
I know if I have to reload my fingers will be numb and I want a place on the strip I can get a good grip. Even under match stress, I tend to fumble fully filled speed strips.

The strips are so small I usually carry two, one in each front pocket for a lower profile.

NotClauswitz said...

I think I need one of those round snubby guns for Moto Carry....

Weer'd Beard said...

I just went ahead and bought a .357 LCR, they're pretty cheap and shoot surprisingly well.

Also they fit in all my old J-Frame holsters.

Unknown said...

Back in the day when I carried a .357 as a duty gun and a .38 as a BUG all of my reload ammo was .38 +P

Nowadays a guy can buy bright orange strips from Tuff Strips, which is what my .357mag hunting ammo is carried in when I pack a 4" .357 while hunting.

Unknown said...

Back in the day when I carried a .357 as a duty gun and a .38 as a BUG all of my reload ammo was .38 +P

Nowadays a guy can buy bright orange strips from Tuff Strips, which is what my .357mag hunting ammo is carried in when I pack a 4" .357 while hunting.

Anonymous said...

What Model is that stainless revolver on the right?

Matthew said...

That is a Model 66.

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