revolver especially for idpa


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boltbender
February 2, 2011, 04:56 PM
I carry a Smith & Wesson 642 with Crimson Trace and am interested in a similar gun for idpa matches. It seems that a six shot cylinder would be most popular. a 3 or 4 inch barrel would be best and good stock sights are a must. I guess .38 or better is required Any ideas?

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MrBorland
February 2, 2011, 05:16 PM
I assume you're interested in shooting in Stock Service Revolver, where the gun is speedloader-fed? A moonclipped gun with put you into Enhanced Service Revolver, which requires a Power Factor that essentially means a .45acp Model 625.

The L-frame 686 with a full underlug is probably the single most popular choice of gun. K-frame .38spls (e.g. models 10, 15, 64, 67) or .357mags (e.g. models 13, 19, 65, 66). Of the k-frames, I'd opt for a model with adjustable sights (15, 67, 19 or 66), though that's not absolutely necessary.

The 686SSR seems very popular, and if you're going to leave the gun stock, is an option worth considering. At the very least, IIRC, it comes with interchangeable sights, so you can easily swap in a fiber optic front sight, which is very nice to have.

The Ruger GP100 also appears here and there. It tunes up very nicely.

Remember, there's a 4" barrel length limit.

Once you get your gun, get some Safariland CompIII speedloaders or JetLoaders, some dummy rounds, and start practicing your reloads! :D

Sam1911
February 2, 2011, 05:50 PM
I think one of those $249 security company trade-in Model 64s would be THE hot ticket for a new SSR shooter. I've played around with the 686SSRs, and they're nice, but I don't see what I could do all that much better with the new high-dollar gun.

'Course, I shoot a 629 in SSR a lot, too, so what do I know? :)

ColtPythonElite
February 2, 2011, 06:32 PM
Colt Python.....Yes, they generally cost more than most of the other options, but if you buy a shooter and maintain it, it will not go down in value. Try the trigger pull on one and you will see why they are highly prized.

Sam1911
February 2, 2011, 06:40 PM
Colt Python.....Yes, they generally cost more than most of the other options, but if you buy a shooter and maintain it, it will not go down in value.Do you shoot that much in IDPA? I've seen a lot of S&Ws, and one or two Rugers. NEVER seen a Colt wheelgun of any slither in IDPA.

Shame, really, as I do like them, but competition is tough on a wheelgun, and it can be hard to find someone qualified to overhaul a Python after you've run a few tens of thousands of rounds through it. I'd definitely want to find a shooter-grade (read finish gone) example, too. Never seen a competition gun that kept the holster wear and range marks down below levels that might make most Python owners cry large, hot tears.

ColtPythonElite
February 2, 2011, 07:06 PM
No, I do not shoot in IDPA, but I do shoot a wheel gun lots (usually a gallon bag of ammo at a time) and carry it in a holster...If and when a Python needs work, Colt still does it. That particular gun in the pic is a nearly 40 years old, is no safe queen, gets shot, and so far has not been back to Colt for an overhaul. It's finish shows holster wear on the high spots, but she still looks pretty good, IMO.

MrBorland
February 2, 2011, 07:26 PM
Do you shoot that much in IDPA? I've seen a lot of S&Ws, and one or two Rugers. NEVER seen a Colt wheelgun of any slither in IDPA.

Shame, really, as I do like them, but competition is tough on a wheelgun,

That's what I was thinking.

No, I do not shoot in IDPA, but I do shoot a wheel gun lots (usually a gallon bag of ammo at a time) and carry it in a holster

The wear and tear on a competition revolver isn't from going in and out of a holster and putting X number of rounds through it. The real wear and tear comes from reloads & fast DA shooting, which really put a lot of strain on things like the crane, cylinder stop, ejector rod, firing pin, etc. And if you're doing daily dry fire & reload drills at home, the strain is accelerated.

For some perspective, I got bit by the IDPA bug about a year ago. A mere 7-8 months later, I had practiced with and shot it so much, it needed already needed a good tune-up. Replaced firing pin & plunger spring, and bent yoke screw. DAO hammer and front fiber optic had already broken & been replaced. The ejector rod's still a little bent, but I make do for now. ;) I'd hate to put a Python through that, and would hate even more to get it fixed every few months.

roaddog28
February 2, 2011, 07:59 PM
Here is my recommendation. A S&W model 66 4 inch barrel. Very popular in IPDA. Good trigger pull and is to me one of the Best. A 686 is a good option too but with a full underlug they are a little muzzle heavy. All of the rest of the suggestions are good too.
Good luck
Howard

S&W 66-4 4inch
http://i656.photobucket.com/albums/uu283/HPitt74985/model66-4.jpg

boltbender
February 2, 2011, 08:48 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. Just a little more info: I have a 6" 586 and my club will let me shoot it, heck they let me use my laser and there are no other revolver shooters. They do however setup the stages such that a 5 shot gun is very awkward. I am doing all this for practical reasons and the snubnose is my "real" gun but the 586 has a very different trigger feel.

David E
February 2, 2011, 09:53 PM
The guys winning SSR at the Nationals are running K-frames, such as the Model 15 and 19

Lucky Derby
February 3, 2011, 10:18 AM
Colt Python.....Yes, they generally cost more than most of the other options, but if you buy a shooter and maintain it, it will not go down in value. Try the trigger pull on one and you will see why they are highly prized.
Or go with a Trooper .357. Same gun without the bling and much lower price tag.

Guillermo
February 3, 2011, 10:30 AM
Same gun

nope...I do not think that any of the internal parts are the same.

Of course this is way off of the OP's original question.

A K frame Smith is what I would shoot. Great gun, easily maintained, parts readily available, lots of choices for accessories.

Jim Watson
February 3, 2011, 11:22 AM
Try the trigger pull on one and you will see why they are highly prized.

I have two Pythons (And once had another on a famous gunsmith's waiting list until he retired and left me hanging.) None were anything special in their double action from the factory. The pull was not too bad at the start of the stroke but stacked like mad.

Don Tedford or somebody trained by him at the Colt Custom Shop fixed that on the first one but left it dependent on Federal primers. That was ok, it was first a PPC gun, then IPSC; I did not depend on it for self defense.

The second one went to Reeves Jungkind for his standard action job which left enough spring and hammer fall to fire magnum primers. It still stacks a bit but is far better than factory, and served me well in IDPA until I went to the clip gun. I guess I was never at the same shoot with Sam1911. Might have been, Colts are so uncommon as to not be recognized. Heck, a gunzine writer once photographed my Python in its Kramer at the Nationals and captioned it as a Model 19.

My Pythons did not wear out or break down in regular competition but except for the occasional IPSC Revolver outing with low end .357s or .38 +P+ to make major power factor, they have only been shot with standard and midrange .38s.
I had the "muscle memory" for the action and the long trigger stroke, pull-back cylinder latch, and clockwise cylinder rotation did not matter. However, the rebound and trigger return in a Colt is done by the bottom leaf of the V mainspring instead of a separate spring like a Smith. That means that if you soften the mainspring, you get slower trigger return. This can matter to a fast shooter. Which I am not.

Nowadays I mostly shoot autos and if I want to shoot SSR, I get out the 686. Maybe I will take a nostalgia trip with the Colt this season.


As to the OP, I recommend a K or L S&W with adjustable sights. Not because you will be constantly fiddling with the sights like a PPC or BE shooter but because they are prominent and easy to pick up. The "hog wallow" fixed sight is hard for my eyes to find in a hurry.

boltbender
February 3, 2011, 07:41 PM
thanks for the input I found a S&W model 19-3 down the street at Cabelas for $499 looks unused. Should i grab it?

MrBorland
February 3, 2011, 09:42 PM
I found a S&W model 19-3 down the street at Cabelas for $499 looks unused. Should i grab it?


Sounds like a sweet gun - one I'd love to own myself, but...<flamesuit on> not for competition: IIRC, the 19-3 still had a recessed cylinder, in which the chambers are countersunk. The recess doesn't affect how the gun shoots, but it's a place where gunk can accumulate and interfere with rounds fully seating during a reload. For an IDPA, I actually prefer a non-recessed gun. Just one less thing to clean and worry about. JMHO.

Guillermo
February 3, 2011, 09:43 PM
I found a S&W model 19-3 down the street at Cabelas for $499 looks unused

that is a high price but if it is a very nice specimen...I would not hesitate TOO much

Lucky Derby
February 4, 2011, 09:03 PM
nope...I do not think that any of the internal parts are the same.

Of course this is way off of the OP's original question.

A K frame Smith is what I would shoot. Great gun, easily maintained, parts readily available, lots of choices for accessories.
A Trooper .357 is the same as the Python without the high polish finish, the full lug or vent rib. The Trooper .357 should not be confused with the Trooper MKIII that replaced it in 1969/1970. Or the Trooper MKV that came along in the early 80's. those are completely different revolvers.
Also the Earlier Colt .357 is essentially a Trooper .357, with the high polish blue of the Python.

boltbender
February 4, 2011, 10:19 PM
But it's just sooo easy to buy

Guillermo
February 4, 2011, 10:59 PM
The Trooper .357 should not be confused with the Trooper MKIII that replaced it in 1969/1970. Or the Trooper MKV that came along in the early 80's. those are completely different revolvers.

I stand corrected

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