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Forgotten revolver tips and tricks.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Thaddeus Jones, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Congrats on your Colt Cobra Baldman!! :) I carried my 1st generation Cobra as my BUG/off duty for many years. Fine sixgun. I wish Colt would make another run of it.

    My family was all police. Father, Uncles, Great Uncles. All Colt men too, except for my Grandfather. He was a S&W man. He put a 5 inch M&P 38 in my hands and taught me to shoot when I was 7 YOA. He had old 5 gallon pickle buckets full of lead round nose.

    We would go out to the potato farm fields and shoot all morning...........sometimes all day, till I "got it right!".

    My family was quite perturbed when I bought a S&W model 19 for my first duty revolver. I got the Cobra to placate them. ;)
     
  2. BADUNAME2

    BADUNAME2 Member

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    I don't know much about "real street experience," but I do know a bit about competition. It takes several months of practicing and match experience before most newbs start counting shots. It's an essential match skill, and one that can be learned.

    I just don't know whether it can be learned by the average defensive shooter who shoots a box a month.
     
  3. BRE346

    BRE346 Member

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    WOW! There's more smarts here than I've seen in a long time.

    Thank you, Officer Jones and all you other LEOs.
     
  4. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Mat, not doormat - Competition, excellent point to bring up!

    Unlike many who decry that competition is somehow negative or teaches you "habits that will get you killed", I feel competing with your revolver is excellent practice!

    While competition is a sport, or game if you will, and is not "training" in the sense that you are not recieving instruction in the use of your firearm to fight and prevail, from a qualified instructor - competition IS good gun handling practice!

    Where else, other than in competitions like IDPA, will you practice reloading your revolver all afternoon? And under "pressure" as well, from the clock and your peers. Where else can you "compare notes" with like minded folks on what equipment works - or doesn't work? You may discover during a match that you are having difficulty with your chosen handgun - either with firing it quickly and accurately - or perhaps getting a good grip and fast draw due to the grips you have chosen.

    Much better to discover these things about your revolver AND your skill set under the pressure of a clock rather than the terror of live fire from a determined miscreant.

    And despite the underlying serious nature of our revolver conversation, let us not lose sight of the most important factor we experience while practicing and shooting our revolvers in competition, it is FUN!! :)

    Speaking of revolver grips - or stocks as some prefer to call them, I prefer rubber grips for revolvers used for serious purpose. In fact, my competition revolvers also wear rubber grips. As was previously mentioned by a contributor in this thread, rubber still affords you a grip with wet, sweaty, or bloody hands. Very important.

    I remember the armorers getting revolvers ready for issue. They removed them from their packages, took off the wooden factory grips and discarded them in the dustbin. Replaced them with Pacmayrs. I've always used Pachmayrs although I like Hogues as well and there is nothing wrong with Uncle Mikes grips either, if you can find a set.

    Wooden grips are for your BBQ gun or your "lookin at" revolver, IMO of course. Some of those pistoleros older than I will disagree and perhaps wooden grips worked well for them. Try both and decide for yourself.

    In fact, that topic should be included here in this revolver thread as well. Read all you can. Research using the internet. Talk to fellow shooters at the practice range or the monthly competitions. Try out what you learn that interests you. BUT!! YOU DETERMINE WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU! You decide. Not some instructor or author or TV hero. You. Because ultimately the only person we have to please is ourselves.

    Do not be disuaded from a technique, or piece of equipment, because some anonymous person on the internet tells you its junk, or you are foolish for using it, or doing something in a particular fashion. You do what works for you. Regardless of what others tell you.

    Allright then. Enough from me today. Lets hear from someone else who has information that will help you handle and shoot your revolver quickly and accurately. :) TJ
     
  5. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    A smooth DA trigger pull can be more difficult to maintain when things speed up, since there's a tendency to milk the grip or yank the trigger, even if you've got terrific control when going slower. So here's a tip: Dry fire to a metronome (link below). With something setting a tempo, it's easier to develop a smooth and even DA pull. Slowing increase the tempo while watching the front sight. It's a good time to experiment with your grip as well.

    You can also use a metronome to work on smooth and even transitions: set up 2 - 3 targets, and practice dry firing 2 rounds per target with no extra "beat" between targets - IOW, keep your splits and transitions the same.

    A metronome is also very useful for working on your reloads.

    http://www.metronomeonline.com/


    A good point. Too often, it seems, questions about some aspect of shooting a revolver are met with, say, a Miculek video, as though it's definitive, and nothing more needs to be discussed. Not taking anything away from JM's skill, but his is one way, but not the only. Be a student of the revolver by reading and experimenting as much as you can.


    TJ - If you haven't seen it yet, you may enjoy my version ;):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmy5mkjpUNI
     
  6. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Excellent MrBorland!! :) I quite enjoyed that. Well done sir!

    I encourage our revolver afficianado readers of this thread not to despair and fear they cannot duplicate MrBorlands magnificent demonstration of EXCELLENT trigger control.

    I'm aware MrBorland is very skilled with a revolver and an accomplished competitor as well. I'd venture a guess that MrBorland devotes time to practice. I'll bet he competes often and works to maintain those impressive skills.

    I challenge those who choose a revolver as a carry gun, to practice and work to match his excellent revolver skill! :) TJ
     
  7. Vica

    Vica Member

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    Such good stuff. I'm enjoying this class. Keep it up guys. Thank you
     
  8. fbks ak

    fbks ak Member

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    Learned so much

    What a great thread guys Thank u so much for all the info.
    Really learned a lot about my gp100. Would love to see another
    thread for single actions. I know most don't like single actions
    for Cd but they feel better in my hand and I shoot them better.
    Tom
     
  9. showmebob

    showmebob Member

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    Some great reading on this thread!
    One thing that I do (being a tight wad) is to tape a $5 laser pointer under (or on the side) the barrel of revolvers for dry fire practice. Pick a spot on the wall and dry fire without moving the red dot. Really shows up trigger control and grip issues. Cheaper than laser grips and fast on and off.
    I agree with the post to pick what works for you. I'm a lefty, right eyed and practice loading and shooting both left or right.
    Keep the great post coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  10. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Deleted.Deemed to be ancient, obsolete, and irrelevant.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  11. MartinS

    MartinS Member

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    Good idea showme, going for tape now.
     
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Don't ever shoot single action with a double action gun.. even for that squirrel way up in that tree (but learn to shoot first, lolz). PPC shooters shoot only DA and keep all their shots within a coffee saucer or smaller out to fifty yards.
    There's nothing better, more accurate, fast or deadly than a good revolver.
     
  13. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    Certaindeaf makes an excellent point. As my instructors from my Grandfather forward drilled into me; "The proper way to fire a double action revolver is in double action. Don't be cocking that hammer boy!"

    So, I have spent my decades of revolver shooting.....shooting double action. In fact, one of my favorite, and perhaps one of my most accurate revolvers is a double action only S&W model 64-3. It was a Brinks turn in that J&G had for sale. Based on the NY-1 variant 64.

    It has a superb trigger. Smmoth as glass with a crisp release. IMO accuracy starts with a good trigger. You can have a Performance center revolver with a match grade, air guaged barrel and if the trigger is lousy you will not hit squat. A good revolver should have a great trigger. This trade in 64 has a BETTER trigger than my S&W Performance center revolvers. I sh...spit you not!

    One can be amazingly fast and accurate when they master double action shooting with a revolver. You don't have to fork over a fortune either to get the equipment to learn how. I saw five DAO model 64's on the auction boards this AM. All of them were between $220 and $269. Get one of those, a case of ammunition........well......that might be problamatic these days.....but, you get the idea. A nice DAO revolver with a great trigger and a case of ammo will give you a good start on your skill set.

    While examining my old Colt Cobra last night I recalled another "trick" we use to do. Only police use holsters - according to bad guys anyway. ;) So the plain clothes guys use to take the 1/4 inch rubber bands from the office and wrap them around the grips of their Cobras, DS, Agents and Chief Specials. This way you could stick it in your waisband and the rubber bands would keep it there. I'd forgotten that trick till I saw the rubber bands still on my Cobra.

    Heres another trick too, that I mentioned in another thread, but see I've left out of this thread. The old tale that a bad guy will grab your revolvers cylinder and keep you from shooting him. Well, in 25 years of close quarter contact with felons I never saw this even attemted by any mope. I think I saw it on T.V., maybe. Anyways, should some miscreant grab your revolvers cylinder - and you are carrying a S&W - simply twist your revolver clockwise by the grip while squeezing the trigger. It will go boom. Try it. WITH SNAPCAPS ONLY PLEASE!! :uhoh:

    If you are carrying a Colt revolver simply twist it counter-clockwise while squeezing the trigger. Same results. Snub revolvers are harder for a miscreant to get hold of vice larger guns. Makes it tougher to disarm you.

    My personal policy always was that some mope may get my gun - BUT - he would get it bullets first! Surrender is not in my vocabulary. Id advise everyone who contemplates carrying a revolver to train for the worst and hope for the best. Always be prepared to fight for your life, because someday you may have to. Our close combat instructor use to say; "Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog!" Mindset matters as much.......if not more.....than skill with a firearm. Although it would be optimal to possess both simultaneously. ;)

    Oh, speaking of close combat with a revolver, in a grappling fight try to push and block with your off hand. With your revolver in your strong hand, go for contact shots. Lower abdomen, pelvic girdle hits will often drop your attacker to the ground enabling you to put distance between you and them or to seek cover, whichever is more approprite at the time. Contact shots to the head work welll too. Just be aware of where your off hand is in relation to your revolvers muzzle. Feet as well for that matter. Sucks to shoot yourself. :(

    Lets talk about nice revolvers for a moment. A nice revolver for defensive use will have an excellent trigger and should be accurate. Almost every snub Combat Magnum, model 15, Colt DS, Cobra, Agent I've ever shot sufficed as a carry revolver.

    In the J-frames I've ever only owned two. A Chiefs Special and a 640-1. I prefer the 640-1 in a J-frame. It is heavy enough to practice with regularly, something I have not experienced with other small and light weight revolvers. But once again, GO WITH WHAT WORKS FOR YOU!

    The last revolver I qualified with and carried on or off duty was a 3 inch 13-3, rendered DAO by my talented gunsmith, with a spurless hammer. It was one slick little carry gun. I have always preferred 3 inch K-frames as "for serious" guns. They simply point naturally and are......."lively" handling guns. The full length ejector rods aid in the positive ejection of empty casings as well.

    On that topic, make sure you get in the habit of giving that ejector rod a VERY HEALTHY SLAP! Tilt the revolver up as much as possible while doing so. Nothing messes up your day like having to pick out empty's whilst trying to reload.

    Whew! I haven't typed this much in decades. Alright, time for lunch. :) One of you lads take it from here! Best TJ
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Ha, great words. I really miss my Model-13 with a 3". Had my armorer hack the spur and disable the full-cock notch too.. smoothed it up too. Long live the K's! Speaking of smoothing, only smooth, don't lighten springs. ever. If the thing won't light CCI's DA (the DA hammer strike is less than the SA strike/hit), something is wrong with it so get it fixed.
     
  15. PaisteMage

    PaisteMage Member

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    This is a great thread.
    I wanted to do more drills at home with snaps or dummy rounds.
    The quarter on the barrell, wow , that is something I could do.

    To me, carrying any weapon, it is vital every shot counts. Being a multi-instrumentalist, and a drummer, I know about muscle memory.

    All great things I can learn from this thread alone. Things I will pass down to my kids.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Some guys would load/have wadcutters or semi-wadcutters in the cylinder for the greater glee/glory and then some more roundy types after that, just for the speedier re-load. I never had a problem either way but it's true that the more blunt it is, the more finesse might be required to stick it/them. Then you could chamfer the charging holes but only slightly. but you knew that
     
  17. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    I eject with my thumb, but regardless, it's good advice to eject with authority and get the muzzle nearly vertical. When practicing your reloads, then, I recommend pre-filling the cylinder with spent cases for each run, otherwise, you run the risk of developing a wimpy ejection stroke, which can certainly bite you when you need it least.

    TJ - Did you mention grip yet? About it, I'll only say "get it high". Looking from the side, you shouldn't see exposed backstrap. Looking from the top, the web of my hand meets the very top of the backstrap. It's common to see people grip a revolver too low, which leads to problems with trigger finger placement, as well as excessive muzzle rise during recoil.


    Multi-task your reload, eject with authority, and get the muzzle near vertical:
    [​IMG]


    A high grip aids good trigger control:
    [​IMG]


    A high grip offers much better recoil management too:
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Chris-bob

    Chris-bob Member

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    This thread rocks. Thanks.
     
  19. willypete

    willypete Member

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    Agreed, this is an excellent thread. Thank you to all who have contributed your experience. I prefer revolvers to semi-autos and I'm learning a lot!
     
  20. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    MrBorland I had not really gone into grip. I thank you for your excellent coverage of that very important factor in accurate revolver shooting! :)

    Folks, you should also practice getting a good grip from your holster during your draw, as well as when you are on the square range and getting ready to fire. MrBorlands second, or middle photo illustrates how you should grip a revolver. As we cannot see the left side of his hand/revolver in the pic, I'd wager that his thumb is curled downward. Aiding in control and minimizing lateral motion. Please correct me if I'm mistaken MrBorland! ;)

    Practice hitting the "sweet spot" at the top of the grips/grip frame with the flesh between your thumb and trigger finger as you practice your drawstroke. This is another area that competition helps you refine.

    I had not really intended to cover the fundamentals of revolver shooting here. I do thank MrBorland and all those who have touched on them. I had mearly wanted to pass on some the things that we as revolver shooters had learned back when revolver usage for serious purpose was more prevalent.

    But perhaps a quick review of fundamentals is useful here. Stance - Grip - draw - push out/bring up/point - sight picture - trigger control - bullseye.

    You must practice bringing all these elements together - in unison - to be successful with a revolver. Now, again, I'm no expert. I'm just an old revolver guy who, through a combination of training/instinct/experience/tactics/a little bit of skill and alot of luck managed to survive on the streets to reach retirement.

    I would encourage anyone interested in being accomplished with a revolver to read some of the following works. "No second place winner" by Bill Jordan. This book has more of an LE revolver useage theme, but is still relevant and very useful.

    "Tales of the stakeout squad" and "Guns bullets and gunfights" by the late great Jim Cirrillo NYPD. What this fine man forgot about fighting with a revolver, most of us will never even know. Very interesting reading and an excellent training aid, IMO. These also contain the best explanation/instruction on point shooting that I've ever read.

    "Fast & fancy revolver shooting" by Ed McGivern. This man could make a revolver sit up and sing. Amazing shooting by a fine marksman. Hard to read due to his writing style and a bit slow.....boring, in places, but it made me a better marksman.

    There are other fine works on using/learning revolvers in print out there as well. I hope some of the participants in this thread will list their choices. I can't recall all of the really good ones. Simply the ones I refer back to most often. Oh, Grant Cunningham recently did the Gun Digest publication - "Book of the revolver". Excellent book for the beginner as well as the seasoned revolver shooter.

    Do also read the internet writings of the late great Mr Stephen Camp. I learned much from Mr Camp. He was a fine teacher and revolver expert, as well as a great gentleman. He is missed.

    Everyone who elects to carry a handgun for serious purpose should seek out some training. In person training with a qualified instructor. I won't comment on the various.....and expensive.....schools out there. Research them and decide whether you wish to spend your hard earned money with them. Do a cost/benefit analysis.

    There are less expensive and equally valuable ways to obtain training. Start at your local indoor range. Check the bulletin board there and make inquiry with the range master. Odds are they know a silver haired "revolver guy" willing to give you some instruction.

    Ask around at the local matches or competitions. Odds are there is a fine gentleman like our own MrBorland, who is willing to share his experience and skills with you. However, please do keep in mind their time is valuable!! ;) :D There is no free lunch in this endevour!!

    I thank all our members who contributed to this thread. I hope the aspiring revolver shooters as well as the old hands learned a bit that might assist them in the future. I know I did, and rediscovered some things as well.

    Please continue adding information as you recall it. I know I will be out shooting/practicing with my model 66 and think; "Hey! This is something those kids on the internet board might be interested in!" ;) If/when that occurs I'll be sure and post again here! :) Best, TJ
     
  21. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    TJ - I'd like to thank you for your kind words, and for an excellent thread containing some excellent advice from a wheelgunner with some "in the trenches" experience. Revolvercraft demands strong fundamentals, so some review is always a good idea. They might also help one implement some of the fine points you and others offered.

    As to revolver writers and famous lawmen you mentioned, I agree and can only add one other name - Jelly Bryce. Well worth a quick read.

    You also bring up another terrific point - revolver shooters are generally very friendly and very willing to help if they can, so don't feel shy about asking or even trying a local match with your revolver. If the latter, ask to squad up with another revolver shooter, and I'm sure they'll be more than happy to help.

    I started competing with a revolver because it's what I had at the time. But, to my great fortune, the revolver community in my area is strong and has been very helpful, so I learned a lot and progressed quickly. I try to emulate their example whenever possible. If you're in the Raleigh/Durham, NC area and are interested in shooting a match with your revolver, feel free to PM me.

    Well...:eek:...eh...:eek:...I personally use a thumbs-forward (and "thumbs-off the gun") grip, like one would use on a semi-auto, but that can be a hot topic, and one best left for another thread. ;)

    Good shooting, all!

    MrB
     
  22. spm

    spm Member

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    Best revolver post

    Best revolver post I have ever read on any forum. Thank you Mr. Jones, Sir!
     
  23. Vica

    Vica Member

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    I agree with spm, great post. I just finished lunch with my wife in our home above our our office here in Sarasota, Florida and I said that I wanted to sit down for a few minutes with my Ipad and see if there was anything new from Thaddeus Jones. She said, "who???". Uh, never mind.
    I'm a pretty inexperienced range shooter and even more inexperienced with CCing my sp101/ 2.25. So I (many of us) ate up this thread that TJ and MrB spent time sharing. I'm sorry it is over. Many thanks,
     
  24. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    It's never over! lolz. Though I've been trying to rack my remaining braincell to help contribute, I'm sure the collective will come up with something further though.
    Speaking of over, what I said is true, especially for half n00bs.. practice until it is over.. ie you are dead.. and grip that thing like you mean it.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I am going against the grain (!) on wood grips. I have been shooting double action so long I think Adam was my first student (something about fast shots at a snake), but I did not have a modern DAO revolver. So when I got my 642 with the rubber factory grips, I went out to try it and my hand got so beat up and sore I couldn't hit anything.

    So I rummaged around and found a set of the old wood stocks that let my middle finger fit right up against the frame like I was used to. Sure enough, no sore hand, and I was back to normal accuracy (under 2" at 7 yards). So for me at least, all that business about super grips made of goose down or horse... or whatever doesn't cut it. I think the folks who designed those grips really did know what they were doing.

    Jim
     

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