A good piece of advice when one has limited rounds whether they are five or six in capacity. Normally I do not hold to the “stop and assess” school. If the attacker(s) is (are) still standing or approaching, you should still be shooting.
The comment at the bottom is from Steve Wenger and this piece came from his "Morning Mailer" newsletter.
This article and commentary reminded me that, after the huge switch from revolvers to high capacity automatic pistols by the nation’s law enforcement community, the hits to shots fired ratio declined noticeably, I am not aware if this is still the case. This was also in the heyday of “sights only” training except that is not my point. My point is that, consciously or subconsciously, when there is abundance humans tend to become wasteful creatures. In close combat with firearms that equates to “spray-n-pray”….
From John Farnam:
15 Oct 07
Many of us carry five-shot, 38Spl, snubby revolvers, like S&W's excellent 340PD, particularly as a back-up pistol. However, when reverting to the snubby, we often routinely fire all five shots in a single burst. It is bad practice!
Bad practice, because, once all five shots are simultaneously expended, you are faced with the prospect of a agonizingly slow reload, even with the aid of a speed-loader. Accordingly, once all five shots have been fired, (whatever the result) options dry up quickly!
Instead, I recommend thinking in terms of "Three-and-Two." When deploying your snubby, fire three rounds. Then, stop, move laterally while accessing, keeping the last two rounds in reserve. This strategy will provide you with flexibility and preserve your options a while longer.
The snubby's advantage is ease and thoroughness of concealability, extreme retainability, and speed of deployment. On the other slide of the ledger, the snubby lacks power, range, and has an severely limited reserve of ammunition, combined with, as noted above, a slow reload.
The "Three-and-Two" strategy, when thoroughly practiced, will be helpful in dealing with the latter.
(I carry two five-shot revolvers. When I decided to rely on revolvers, I made a conscious decision that I would have to shoot a bit slower and a bit more accurately than with a higher-capacity bottom-feeding pistol. My philosophy is to fire one round at a time, albeit as quickly as needed, rather than in any set pattern. I have found that speedloaders, at least the ones from HKS, do not work all that well with the small space available for them on a five-shot revolver. I carry my first reload in the second revolver. A DeSantis 2+2+2 pouch at the front of the belt allows for tactical reloads [replacing only the fired cases, once one is behind cover]. In the event that I am lying on my stomach, there is a Speed Strip with more rounds in each of my back pockets.)