Ever since I wrote an article on the revolver speed strip reload for USA Carry several years ago I have received many questions about it. Therefore, I will attempt to offer a much more thorough overview of this technique here.
I use the “four-round speed strip reload” method which utilizes only four rounds in a six round speed strip. This concept, as far as I can tell, originated with Michael Debethencourt, a noted snub revolver expert. Other revolver experts such as Chuck Haggard and Claude Werner also teach this method. Everyone who has put this method of loading only four rounds on the clock against reloading all five rounds from a strip into a five round snubby generally come to the same conclusion: the fifth round is not worth the time. Loading the revolver with four rounds from a speed strip seems to be the best compromise between time and capacity back in the gun.
I find that I can consistently reload my Ruger LCR in 6-7 seconds with the four round speed strip method with the strip carried in the pocket. That is a long reload. However, I am of the opinion that getting a snubby reloaded mid-fight is a pipe dream and a reload is much more likely to be a post-fight top off of the gun. With a speed loader carried in the pocket I can pull off the reload in 4.5-5 seconds. Again, I think this is still too slow and fumble prone to be relied on for mid-fight reloading. Therefore, in my opinion, the imminently more concealable strip gets the job over the notoriously bulky speedloader that contradicts the deep concealment role of the snubby revolver.
As learned when I wrote the article some years ago, describing this technique in words is not so helpful. Therefore, see the two videos below to get a better handle on this technique. The first video explains the process and the second gives you a clear live-fire example of the execution. Enjoy: