One of the appeals of revolvers, especially for self-defense, is their reliability. To be sure, wheelguns can malfunction, but overall they are rare.

With that said, the platform does present its challenges, none more pressing than the reload. There is no two ways about it; revolvers require many more movements to get back in action than do semi-automatics once they’ve run dry. But take heart, if you aim to carry a revolver, replacing the five or six spent cartridges in an expedient fashion is more than doable.

In the above video, iconic gun instructor and Gun Digest author Massad Ayoob advocates and demonstrates a method he popularized—the stressfire reload. As Mas shows, this technique has some distinct advantages that help ensure a smooth and timely reload, while protecting the integrity of the revolver.

Like all systems, there are some cons to the stressfire reload. In particular, some may not like the gun switching hands in the course of the reload. But as the start of the clip shows, there are some distinct advantages to a system that does not strictly rely on the offhand holding the revolver.

As an added bonus, the video gives some key pointers on how to use a speed loader to maximum effect. It also shows how to execute a stressfire reload if you happen to be a southpaw.


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