Teaching the Snub Nose Revolver

No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot. —Theodore Roosevelt, (26th President of the United States) The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

Last night I taught my ‘Introduction to the J Frame Revolver’ class. It’s probably the last time I’m going to teach it; the market just isn’t there anymore and it’s hard to get much enrollment.

However, I’ve been teaching the snub heavily since before 9/11 and think I’ve evolved a very workable program. There are still many people who have snubs and some of them may be interested in knowing what they’re doing with it. To that end, I’m going to post my entire Program Of Instruction for anyone who wants to use it. The live fire portion is exactly 50 rounds. What I found was that casual shooters of the snub tend to experience a noticeable dropoff in performance after 50 rounds, so I cut it down to that.

Course Overview – A skill builder short course particular to 5 shot revolvers.
The intent is to show basic techniques and give a methodology for subsequent practice. “I cannot make you an expert in three hours but I can show you what to do and how to practice to increase your skill.”

•    Explanation of strength and weaknesses of the snub
•    Demonstration of proper grip for revolvers. Some modification may be necessary based on an individual’s hands.
•    Show different kinds of grips that can be installed on a snub to better fit a person’s hands.
•    Explanation of sighting techniques and how range affects them
•    Disciplined learning exercises, including ball and dummy and dryfire
•    Ball and dummy is achieved by opening the cylinder after a few shots, spinning it, and then closing it without looking where the fired case(s) end up. Do this once or twice per cylinder.
•    Concludes with a Qualification Course because everyone should have a benchmark of where they are. Shooters should also be able to demonstrate in court that they have a measureable degree of competency.

Snub Revolver Intro Class Practical Exercise (single relay)
Six Circle w/dot target (5 yards)

1)    Demonstrate how to load with loose ammo and explain why that’s important.
2)    Explanation of Spot shooting and how to pick a spot on your target
3)    On top left row, fire a 5 shot group.
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/5) (Spin cylinder 2X)
4)    On center left row, from high ready, fire 1 shot 5 times
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/10) (Spin cylinder 2X)
5)    Explanation of proper drawstroke
6)    On bottom left row, draw and fire 1 shot 5 times
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/15) (Spin cylinder 2X)
7)    On top right row, from high ready, fire 2 shots 2 times
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (4/19) (Load with four plus fired case, spin cylinder)
8)    On middle right row, draw and fire 2 shots 2 times
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (4/23) (Load with four plus fired case, spin cylinder)
9)    On bottom right row, from high ready, fire 5 shots 1 time
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/28)
Tape hits outside of circle (this wasn’t necessary because the class was hitting pretty well)
10)    On top right row, fire a 5 shot group, strong hand only.
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/33) (Spin cylinder 2X)
11)    On middle right row, from high ready, fire 1 shot 5 times, strong hand only.
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (5/38) (Spin cylinder 2X)
12)    On bottom right row, fire a 2 shot group, weak hand only.
a.    Dryfire
b.    Livefire (2/40)
Change targets [B-27]


13)    Shoot the LAPD Retired Officer Qualification Course
a.    “The starting position for this qualifying course of fire will begin at the 7 Yard Line. When the target faces, the shooter will draw and fire 10 rounds at a single silhouette target.  A score of 70 percent is required to pass the qualification. All rounds impacting anywhere on the body and head will receive full value and rounds impacting upon the arms are half value.” (10/50)
b.    I chose the LAPD Retired Officer Course because the LAPD is a respected law enforcement organization, known for its emphasis on firearms proficiency. Since the LAPD considers this Course sufficient for its Retired Officers to demonstrate their ability to defend themselves, I think it’s a good choice for Armed Citizens, as well.
14)    Record Student Performance on Qual Course.

15)    Show various types of speedloaders and speed strip, where to get them, and how to use them. Explain strengths and weaknesses of each type.
a.    HKS
b.    Safariland
c.    Jet Loader
d.    SL Variant
e.    Dade
f.    Speed-Strips and Tuff-Strips
16)    Explain idiosyncrasies of pocket holsters and how to use them correctly.

Adjourn to classroom to award certificates.

Pass out Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network booklet What Every Gun Owner Needs to Know About Self-Defense Law

Conclude with the message that we are more likely to be injured or killed in a car wreck than by a criminal. Mention that a Defensive Driving Course costs only $35 in Georgia and auto insurance companies are required to lower your insurance premium by 10% for taking it.

Some of the coursework is shown on the Personal Defense Network DVD Fundamental of Snub Nosed Revolvers for Defense


6 responses

  1. Claude– Sorry to have missed your snub class (I’m in MI for an airshow). It’s good stuff — I took it several years ago and think it was enjoyable and very practical. Thanks for sending the syllabus.

    See you sometime soon– Mike Holland

  2. I think this PDF link might be a little more direct as regards the LAPD Ret. Odfficers Qua.l Course.

    Click to access ao_6-2011.pdf

  3. Well I am interested in attending a snubby class. I wanted to come to the last one but did not see the notice until 2 days before. Not enough time to make arraignments to come down from Greenville. Please consider putting on the class in the future. I would like to make it if given enough notice.

  4. Thank you for posting this. I’ve just started trying to shoot a snub nose revolver, and can use all the help I can get! Any advice or links to the proper grip you demonstrate?

  5. Usually carry a G27. I recently kept my Ruger SP101 in a Galco IWB holster. No problem. I felt well armed. Im going to throw away the Fobus polymer pancake holster. P.O.S. Anyway, the snub nose revolver is still viable.

  6. […] have to say that between this DVD and Claude’s article Teaching the Snub Nosed Revolver, he has nearly put himself out of business for teaching the snub. This DVD contains the majority of […]

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