Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Two Years Off

I shot my first pistol match since 2019 last night. All I knew going in was that it was a EDC ("every day carry") match. I brought a 3" Model 65 and a 2.5" Model 19 to the match, figuring that I'd shoot one or the other and, if one gun refused to run, I'd have a backup.

A side note: I try to shoot revolvers in matches. For me, they are more difficult to shoot and I need the practice more. It's not just the actual shooting, it's things like clearing them and reloading that take a lot more work and need polishing.

Anyway, I got there and the match was a low-light match. That sealed the deal as to which gun that I used, I shot the M65 as it has a laser.

What I learned was that reloading a revolver in low-light conditions is tricky. I needed to hit the ejector rod harder and get the gun close to vertical. In the back of my mind, I know that going a skosh past vertical is a disqualifying event, so I may let that control me a little too much. If an empty case hangs up on the ejection stroke, it's harder to see. Aligning the speedloader with the charge holes was a trip. It was only after the match did I realize that what I could have done was to use my index finger to feel the space between the rounds and align that with the cylinder flutes.

For me, the matches are good as they allow me to find weak spots in my technique and hone it. It's not about competing with others. It's about betting better.

In reality, I'm not competitive with the other shooters. The matches are timed; you take your completion time and then add time to it for each hit that is outside of the "A zone" of the target. The only penalty for extra shots is the time involved.

So, with most revolvers, you're reloading every six shots, which takes more time than dropping a magazine, slamming in another one and slingshotting the slide. Depending on the autoloader and any state limits, you can shoot three times as many rounds with a self-littering gun than with a revolver before reloading. The bottom line is that unless you're really good with a revolver (and/or you have a race-gun that has been set for moon-clips), you're not going to beat someone who has an autoloader unless they seriously stomp on their cranks with golf shoes.

It was a challenging match, especially considering that I hadn't competed in so long. I had a great time.

I won "high revolver" and "high woman". In other words, I came in last.


  1. I have mentioned that I sometimes lurk here, just to read things, since you tend to have some very intelligent people who comment. Today, I happened to run across this post, and it really hit home, mostly because I have been seriously considering purchasing a revolver. And noticing that you shot in competition with one, I think that you must have more than just a little knowledge of them. And so I would like to ask you a couple of questions, if I could.
    First, it would not be a primary carry gun, mostly just a plinking gun, and to help when I sometimes train new shooters. I have a Ruger Mark IV 22/45, and a Ruger SR9c. So this would be just one other gun that would fill a gap, and I think it would be right on the money for those who just want to have a gun for home defense, and in reality are not going to be a huge gun person, with the gun sitting a lot.
    I am thinking about a 4" barrel, double action, .38 special, and not concerned if it is not rated for +P ammo. Mostly due to how it will be used, and also due to the extra cost.
    If you don't care to answer, I understand, as everyone is busy, and I am not part of your regular group. But if you do have some tips for me, my email address that I use is
    No matter how you decide to handle this, I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, and safety and good health this coming winter.

  2. PP51, I am more than happy to discuss it here, maybe others might chime in.

    I think you should consider the used market. Look at the revolver checkout guide.

    Used guns that I would recommend: S&W Models 10, 15*, 19*, 64, 66 and 67. Ruger Security Six*, Speed Six and GP.100*. The ones with asterisks have adjustable sights, though there are some GP.100s that have fixed sights. All are six-shot.

    The Rugers are pretty tough guns. You can still, with luck, find Security Sixs and Model 10s for under $400. It wasn't too long ago (four years or so) that as for the Smiths, all but the 19, 66 and 67 could be found for ~$300.

    You might find one that is a little finish-challenged. I've bought two Smiths (a 1920s M&P and a Model 10) that were kind of gnarly on the outside but they were fine mechanically.

    You won't wear any of them out with standard-pressure .38s. If they are occaisionaly oiled and cleaned, they'll be in your family into the 22nd Century.

  3. Comrade Misfit,
    As always, thank you for your kindness, and especially for your suggestion that I go to revolver checkout. I have already downloaded it, and am reading it.
    You always have made me feel welcome here, even when I have at times, over stepped the bounds of your rules. So you have my gratitude for everything, and especially for your advice. It is because of people like you that I have come to appreciate the gun culture and those who truly " get it." There are some who can be of the Bubba types, and it seems like they are the ones who hurt the people who just want to have the freedom to enjoy guns, to be able to protect ourselves and our families, and to not have to apologize for the things that Neanderthals say.
    Again, many thanks, and I will keep an eye here, as I know that you have many intelligent and kind people, who would also love to help someone who is seriously asking questions about guns, with no political slant at all.

  4. Comrade, what is that rule about going past the vertical about?

    Pigpen51- CM's above comments are great. I will add one other option, though.
    Consider a .327 Federal Magnum revolver.

    The ammo is more expensive, and I think only Ruger makes them currently, but the max pressure is higher than .357 magnum and helps give a round that hits almost a hard as a .357 with a revolver that can be lighter than a .38 Special, has relatively low recoil, and may hold one more round. I have a revolver and lever action rifle in .327 and have as much fun with them as I do with my modern sporting rifle.

  5. 0_0, I'm not sure what the 180deg rule is about, but they enforce it.

    With regard to the .327 Magnum, the issue about plinking is that the ammo is more expensive. Even .32 S&W and .32 S&W Long is nearly twice the cost of .38 Special. I've not shot one, but I have friends who have them and they say that the .32 S&W is really accurate.

    But the thing is, that after the pandemic crap is over, .38 will be easier to find.

  6. .32S&W is used in Olympic shooting. I think in the longer cartridge.

  7. Yes, with some very expensive pistols.

  8. S&W Model 66 has adjustable sights. It's the 65 that does not.

  9. Anitbubba, yes, I messed that up. Thanks for catching it.

    I left the 65 (and the 13) off the list as those have gotten pretty pricey.


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