My preference, when wearing two guns on the belt, is to set one up for primary access with the right hand and one for primary access with the left hand.
My preference, when wearing two guns on the belt, is to set one up for primary access with the right hand and one for primary access with the left hand.

Just when I thought that I had run out of topics for discussion in this forum, I ran across and took exception with a blog posting presenting what I view as a somewhat distorted view of the so-called New York reload (As with my inability to reply to comments on my articles here because of my refusal to register for a Facebook account, I was unable to address my comments directly to the blogger).

…While the New York Reload… grabbing a second gun when the first runs dry, rather than reloading… lives mostly in the movies and gun-ninja blogosphere… I decided to give it a real try this summer… for thirty days. Shoot… ENDO even has a t-shirt out celebrating it…

…Would I recommend the New York Reload for EDC… nah… not for me. I’ll stick with my SR9 and a spare magazine… maybe a Ruger LCR or Ruger LCP for a BUG on occasion… but you know what… it was fun to try… and I learned that I still need more practice with my weak-side… so it was worth it… a summer learning experiment… 30 days with the New York Reload…

First, it’s useful to recognize that the term New York reload was coined by Massad Ayoob, after he learned that officers on the NYPD Stakeout Unit usually went to a second or even third gun when a gunfight had exhausted the first load. Back then, almost all of them the carried revolvers.

Second, as I recall the accounts of the SOU shootouts, I believe that most officers carried the second gun for primary access with the dominant hand, either in a crossdraw or shoulder holster. I don’t recall any mention of whether some may have carried a third gun intended for draw with the non-dominant hand.

One principle that I have retained, from among the many that I was taught by “Uncle Mas,” is, If you need one gun, you probably need two guns. My own “EDC” (Every Day Carry) includes three stainless-steel, five-shot S&W Centennial revolvers. For myself, the concept of going to a second gun in lieu of a reload does not even enter my top three reasons for carrying more than one gun:

  1. When most private citizens will lack the justification to draw a firearm until the assailant is close enough that one hand may already be deflecting the attack, it’s very useful to be able to draw and fire – without unusual contortions – with either hand.
  2. Guns, gun hands and gun side arms have a good chance of getting shot in a gunfight. (And a hand or arm may already be cut or otherwise injured by the time that you are justified to draw the first gun.) Being able to stay in the fight with a second gun, second hand, etc., is very appealing to my way of thinking.
  3. If I perceive a threat developing, such as a robbery in a restaurant, I like the option of being able to share one of my extra guns with a companion who may know how to shoot but who may not be carrying.

Even when I only carried two five-shot revolvers, I felt better armed with ten rounds split between two revolvers than I would have with 15 rounds in one pistol.

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