There are people in the firearms training industry that when they speak on the topic of their specialty, we would be wise to listen. One of those guys is Claude Werner, and snub nosed revolvers are his specialty. The DVD starts in the usual PDN format, with Rob Pincus introducing Claude Werner and giving some background before they jump into why snub nosed revolvers are useful as defensive firearms. I think in today’s age of Glock 43’s, S&W M&P’s, and other small autos this is an important conversation to have and builds the case for why the small revolver is still a relevant defensive tool.
Once past the intro the bulk of the DVD puts Claude in a class setting with three students, all shooting some variation of a snub nosed revolver and using various types of equipment to give the viewer the broadest perspective possible. Throughout the DVD, the viewer gets to see Claude address the various nuance associated with every kind of revolver or the different types of equipment used covering as much ground as possible, as efficiently as possible.
The DVD is split into segments, with each segment dealing with a specific fundamental aspect of shooting a small revolver. This chops the information up into more manageable pieces of information instead of overwhelming the viewer with too much to process at once. The lengths of the different segments, in my opinion, are just about right, and the information is relatively easy to manage. Each segment wraps up with a quick summary of what was covered in text format. Seeing and processing the information again in a different way is beneficial to the learning process and helps to solidify the lesson. It also gives the viewer another chance to catch some small nuance that may have been missed and to take notes if desired.
The first segment covers the grip, breaking down key aspects and offering a couple of different variations dependent on shooter hand size. It is a thorough yet brief explanation and demonstration. The gripping technique, especially with a gun as small as a J-frame where there isn’t really all that much to hold onto can be a real game changer when it comes to maximizing the available performance.
Next on Claude’s list is the trigger press. He uses an interesting analogy relating the trigger on a revolver to a gas pedal in a car. It can be pressed slow or quick, but always needs to be pressed smoothly. Included is an example of how to build good trigger skill with dry fire and live fire. This is perhaps one of the most useful parts of the DVD. Anytime we are dealing with heavier double action triggers, like those found on most J-frames, the trigger can be a real obstacle to good shooting. Having a path laid out in front of us for building good trigger skill so that the trigger on a small revolver won’t hold us back later on in skill development is exceedingly useful.
As they should be, reloads are also covered. Similar to learning to manage a double action trigger press, reloading the revolver is so different than with any other type of handgun that it deserves special attention. Claude shows his preferred method for dumping the brass out of the revolver, with some specific attention paid to addressing issues associated with running a revolver with a short ejector rod.
Three methods are shown for getting ammunition back into the gun. Claude demonstrates how to load loose ammunition, which I think is an often overlooked skill, and also how to load with speedloaders and a speed strip. The demonstration is very detailed, outlining all of the small things that need to be done and why, including the best way to close the gun back up to start shooting again. If we want to be good at shooting revolvers, we have to be able to reload them. In this DVD Claude does an excellent job of showing how he does it, and why he does it that way. The segment also includes a demonstration of a live-fire drill that can be used to perfect the skill.
The runtime from start to finish of the primary part of the DVD is only 40 minutes, but the quality of the information is incredible, and there is plenty there to digest and work on for a long time. Altogether, I think this is one of the best resources available for learning the fundamental aspects of shooting a small revolver, especially since actual coursework focused on the snub nose from good instructors is so uncommon. It is available in two formats, as a digital download, or as a DVD, for less than the cost of two boxes of .38 special. Money well spent in my opinion.