Defensive DVD Review: Secrets Of The Snubby with Claude Werner

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Secrets Of The Snubby
Presented by Claude Werner
Produced by Armed Response Training Inc.

One of the pleasures of my job is getting to review the work of my esteemed colleagues, and today I get to do just that!

Claude Werner, who I consider to be one of the more important people in the defensive training field, has put out a DVD dealing with one of his areas of true expertise: using the snubnosed revolver as a defensive tool.

Claude has a long background in the training world; he was for many years the Chief Instructor at the Rogers Shooting School, one of the toughest shooting academies and one of the few whose diploma I truly respect. He’s also a longtime fan of the snubby, and despite the fact that the “tactical” training world looks at them as old-fashioned he understands that they still have application in the world of self defense. At the same time he acknowledges their limitations and has devised training techniques to work around them.

In this DVD Claude has attempted (and to a very great degree succeeded) to put together a “one-stop shopping” source for all the information you could ever want to know about using the snubnose revolver as a self defense weapon. He starts at the beginning with trigger manipulation, giving some good details about how and why you need to manipulate the revolver trigger differently than you do an autoloader. This first section is perhaps the most important of the whole DVD, because trigger control (or lack thereof) is perhaps the biggest determinant in accurate revolver shooting. Claude has some good exercises for developing proper trigger manipulation.

He goes on to talk about revolver stocks (“grips”, as most people call them — a point of argument second only to the infamous “magazine or clip” arguments on the internet!) He talks about choosing them, how to fit them properly, and even how to modify them (I had no idea Brownell’s sold a product call “Spray Grip”, but you can bet I’ll be ordering some to have on hand!) He then follows that section immediately with one on how to properly grip (grasp) the snubby.

Next up is a discussion about sights and sighting. Claude has an interesting method for painting the front sight which I’ll have to try with my students, and then he goes into detail about how to use the sights when you’re actually shooting. He even talks about “alternative” sighting for close distances and low light; while he and I differ on the precise application of sighted and non-sighted fire, the information he has is functionally solid. He even goes into a little talk about the use of lasers as sighting alternatives.

One of the most useful parts of the DVD is his discussion about developing a proper draw stroke. He and I are pretty much on the same page with the way we teach the draw (though again we differ in some particulars), and his explanation of the dangers of “scooping” the draw is quite well done.

Getting into carrying spare ammunition and reloading, Claude talks about some of the alternatives and even goes into great detail of the various kinds of speedloaders which have graced the market over the years. While I have all the speedloaders he shows, I only really deal with the two most common (HKS and Safariland), so it was interesting to watch his take on the others. I was pleased to find that he and I independently developed almost exactly the same method of configuring our SpeedStrips/TuffStrips! He even goes into the issues with loading loose rounds, an often neglected aspect of living with the revolver.

From there he goes on to talk about his favorite targets, how and why you need to find out your ammunitions’ point of impact, and then goes right into some range drills. I particularly liked his “Russian Roulette” version of the old ball-and-dummy drill, and wondered why I didn’t think of it first (I am stealing it for my own use, of course!)

All in all, this is a very good DVD and a “must have” if you own a snubnose revolver (or, really, any revolver.) Highly recommended!

My one complaint about this DVD it has absolutely nothing to do with Claude or his information: the producers of the DVD felt it necessary to add a “bonus” segment  with some additional range drills, featuring a law enforcement trainer with whom I’m not familiar. The material presented in this mercifully short segment is a combination of the out-of-date (the “Speed Rock”, which has long since been deemed by most contemporary trainers to be an ineffectual technique) and the just downright silly (dropping into a nearly-kneeling non-symmetrical contorted crouch to shoot *after* having reloaded standing up.) Frankly, the effect was a little like capping off a beautiful filet mignon dinner in a superb restaurant with a glass of green Kool-Aid. Luckily it only lasts a few minutes!

This is a terrific DVD, a great addition to the revolver shooter’s library, and I recommend you get a copy (just make sure to eject it when Claude is finished.)

You can buy your own copy of Secrets Of The Snubby at Claude Werner’s site.

-=[ Grant Cunningham ]=-

Disclosure: This DVD was supplied by Claude Werner for review. I’ve known Claude for a number of years; I receive no compensation should you purchase this DVD.

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About the Author:

Grant Cunningham is a renowned author and teacher in the fields of self defense, defensive shooting education and personal safety. He’s written several popular books on handguns and defensive shooting, including "The Book of the Revolver", "Shooter’s Guide To Handguns", "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals", "Defensive Pistol Fundamentals", and "Practice Strategies for Defensive Shooting" (Fall 2015.) Grant has also written articles on shooting, self defense, training and teaching for many magazines and shooting websites, including Concealed Carry Magazine, Gun Digest Magazine, the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors ADSI) and the popular Personal Defense Network training website. He’s produced a DVD in the National Rifle Association’s Personal Firearm Defense series titled "Defensive Revolver Fundamentals" and teaches defensive shooting and personal safety courses all over the United States.
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