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Forgotten revolver tips and tricks.

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

  1. YJake

    YJake Member

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    Amen...

    -Jake
     
  2. 91/30

    91/30 Member

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    As a young revolver guy I was very pleased to find this thread. I'm saving my pennies for either a model 1917( either colt or smith) or a model 19, and either a detectives special or cobra. Thank you for passing on the knowledge, it's greatly appreciated.
     
  3. easy8

    easy8 Member

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    Wow, great tips. I carry a snub everyday. At the range I only reload from strips its amazing how fast you get when you practice. I leave the middle blank so i have two rounds a blank space than two rounds easy to drop two in like this very fast.
     
  4. kBob

    kBob Member

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    For a bit I carried a six shot strip with a five shot revolver loaded 2 space 3. This allows easy two load easy two of three and maybe the fifth if it did not get knocked off.

    Anyone tried those rubber speed loaders Dillon has in his catalog that hold cartridges arranged like an HKS type but is pulled off to the side? Of course I have no catalog on the desk at the moment to find the name of the blamed things........

    I had some issues with the Taurus 85 while working as a range master. SOme of the early guns had such close cylinder gaps that only a little shooting could bind them up. It made me pay a lot more attention to keeping the front of the cylinder and the face of the forcing cone not just clean , but carbon free after seeing a few of those stop and wedge themselves shut to the point a rubber mallet was needed to open them. I took to using a "carbon Free cloth" (not sure the EPA allows those any more) or even a mild abrasive to the affectied parts

    Of course all the auto shooters on hand for those were all over the whole revolver more reliable argument as obviously one COULD NOT just pull the trigger and keep going. Oddly in the midst of that time I had a shooter come up with a Browning P35 High Power that was well and truly jammed shut on a commercial reload that also required a rubber mallet to open and that shut some folks up.

    Of and on the 1917 issue I would really love a Colt, but in my experience the S&W actually is a better all around gun. I like modern full moon clips of steel better than the old half moons and the newer plastic full moons so I am half old fashion. Quit loading Auto Rim as cases got hard to find.......

    -kBob
     
  5. 91/30

    91/30 Member

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    kBob, thanks for the input on the 1917s though the price isn't very different I am looking for the better reviled. Is there anyone who has vast carry experience with both smith and colt 1917s who could have some input?
     
  6. kBob

    kBob Member

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    During the months and few hundred rounds I owned a Colt 1917, I just found it more unwieldy or "clunky than the S&W. I had heard much of the supposed super DOuble Action trigger pull, but honestly it was dreadfully long and not at all like say a Python, Diamondback, or even a Mark whatever.

    When all wsa said and done that S&W was still an N frame and fit right in with the Model 27, 28, 29s I was also shooting at the time and that may be part of my bias against the Colt.

    To me the Colt just seemed.....well big bulky and late 1800's and the S&W seemed more modern and sleek.

    I sold my Colt to a Buddy that was a Marine Officer and he wore it in a shoulder holster while on a Med tour serving as Beach Officer in Spain, Greece, and Italy. The fact that he wore than and a S&W 1917 on his right hip and a big honking Randel Number 2 with Polished bone grip and gold colored fittings on his left caused him to receive all sorts of attention.

    He shot qualifying scores with both, something he had trouble doing with the 1911A1 dispite my best efforts. I think his Navy Flier Dad implanted a fear of the 1911A1 in him at an early age as his Dad carried a Victory Model S&W in the pacific and when he needed a pistol later in life.

    When he married and started to thin the herd, the Colt left and the S&W stayed for the rest of his 27 years service. I might consider that if I was in an either or situation or wanted one or t'other for a defensive handgun.

    BTW I still have a S&W 1917. For what ever reason in North and Central Florida it seems at shows that the Colts cost more for less quality that is condition.

    -kBob
     
  7. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    I'm quite surprised and very happy to see this thread continuing! Well done gentlemen! Please keep passing on the fine information for the younger six gunners here!

    I was given a book a few weeks back. The authors name escapes me, as my oldtimers is acting up today, but the title is "The modern day gunslinger."

    It is of course slanted primarily to the employment of semi auto pistols but it is chock full of fine information on gunhandling and shooting techniques/training/drills. I've not yet finished it, but I hope to in the very near future.

    It brought back many things I'd forgotten over the years and quite a few new ideas, to me anyway. I highly recommend it.

    I will be taking the 4 inch 66-4 to the range this weekend to employ some of the suggested drills in the book. I will post back on how it goes.........IF I remember to do so....... ;) :D

    Carry on gents! :)
     
  8. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    A few of things I was taught when we still had revolvers was when you go to empty it, face the muzzle up to let gravity aid and let your thumb slide off the ejector rod after fully depressing it to let it snap back up on it's own. It will positively eject all empty cases.

    If loading single rounds, let the hand holding the revolver cup under the cylinder to catch any rounds you may drop.

    Count your rounds as they go off.
     
  9. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    Forgotten by whom? Youngsters who thing every firearm has to have plastic parts, perhaps? But older shooters haven't forgotten. Well, maybe they have just forgotten more than younger shooter will ever know.
     
  10. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Holy thread revival, Batman.

    Lots of good techniques in the thread! I had forgotten that I had subscribed.

    Glad to see it fired up again.
     
  11. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    Easy there, Gramps! ;)
    Lets not get one of *those* threads started again!

    Lots of us younger folks still appreciate the classics.
    Heck, I busted out my 1936 Pre-Model 10 the other day and shot it better (double action, of course) than the Sig P226 that I shoot for competition.

    Threads like these are a wealth of knowledge that otherwise would not be discovered and passed on. Not every youngin' is a know-it-all.
     
  12. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    While I am very far from young, by your standards (cops who carried revolvers) I am fairly new to revolvers and posts like yours are few and far between.

    Thanks for sharing!
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Some words to add to your experience, for the new revolver shooters: Learn which way your revolver rotates, and practice partial loading and indexing the partially loaded cylinder to fire. Colts go clockwise, S&Ws counterclockwise, with one notable exception; The Bodyguard 38 (the polymer-framed .38) indexes clockwise, like a Colt. Most others follow the S&W, except the Armscor copies of the Colts. It behooves a revolver owner to know which way theirs works, and practice partial loading and indexing.

    That said, I recommend Safariland Comp I speedloaders for J-frames.

    How did I miss this thread before? Good info all the way through. I'll add some more good books;
    The Jerry Kuhnhausen series of shop manuals on Colt and S&W revolvers.

    I was lucky enough to know an excellent Police Armorer who did great work, especially on Pythons. The two I bought from my Dad when his PD (St. Paul, MN) switched to Glocks were butter-smooth and locked up tighter than a bank vault. Wish I still had them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  14. azrn

    azrn Member

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    great thread; lots of good info. It makes me want to pull out all my revolvers from the safe and clean them. I guess I am going to take all these wonderful tips and practice them. man I love this thread.
     
  15. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    I'll add another one that was pounded into us, "never holster an empty gun". This goes for leaving the range or after a firefight, revolver or semi-auto.

    Leave the range and you may well forget to reload later, with dire consequences, or you might think the firefight is over, but another perp comes out of hiding.

    So, never holster an empty gun!
     
  16. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    Removing the trigger stop is a good idea. However if you can't get the screw out the trigger stop isn't going to move. That was the situation with the issued M66 I carried. Seven years after removing the trigger stop came out I turned in the gun for a 659.

    Don't commit yourself to one way of reloading. When carrying a revolver I carry a reload in a speed strip in a dump pouch or a speed loader and a reload in bullet loops. The speed strip or speed loader is for full reloads and the bullet loops for partial reloads.

    The old FBI PPC Qual course back in the 70s gave one the confidence you could hit something at 50yds. My agency required you to shoot that with any gun you carried. I'd shoot in the 290s with a J frame and shooting a 300 was not unheard of. So much for the "inaccuracy" and "belly gun" myths.

    Newer shooters complain of the long heavy pull of a DA revolver. This is the result of the desire for instant success. You don't get that in anything in real life be it sports, driving, martial arts, or shooting. You need to develop those muscles used for shooting a handgun. Millions of shooters have learned to shoot a DA revolver well. Thats what I suggest to new shooters. Learn to shoot that DA revolver well and the rest is easy.

    Many new "revolver" shooters don't know the importance of light vs smooth triggers. I know a guy who shoots a S&W with a 4 1/2 pound trigger in USPSA. He has to use Federal primers (softer) to achieve reliable ignition. I can see how he achieved this by substituting reliability for trigger pull. Austin Behlert, one of the best revolversmiths ever, used to advertise a 6 pound pull trigger job that would reliably ignite any primer, factory or handload.

    This young guy who's been shooting a few years thinks he's discovered a way to defy the laws of physics with his 4 1/2 pound trigger.

    This guy was also surprised to learn Miculek uses full power or extra power springs in his revolvers. Thats something Ed McGivern discovered long ago. Smooth is much more important than light. The triggers on my Ruger DA revolvers are not light but they are smooth. Work on those muscles by using a hand exerciser or squeezing a rubber ball a couple of hundred times a day. You can do this in your car while driving.

    Millions of dinosaurs like me learned to shoot a DA revolver well. No reason. Newer shooters can't too as long as they are willing to work at it.
     
  17. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I agree with muzzle straight up. Ive found that a sharp slap to the extractor rod with the heel of the off hand gives the most positive extraction and seems to end up with less crud under the star over time. If the cases stick at all, the slap powers through it. I think its slightly slower than some methods, but very consistently effective. Shooting a lot of rimfire in Smiths started the habit. Chambers can get so cruddy the thumb has trouble pushing them out. Carrying it over to centerfire has given zero failures to extract on the first try since adopting it, even with really dirty guns.
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Actually there is a correct way to do this and has been for years.

    If you are an ICORE competitor, you'd know that there is only so much you can do with a S&W trigger. However you can step outside the box and go with a hammer from Apex Tactical Specialties. Apex has a trigger tune that the factory can't touch, because they are restricted to factory parts. Apex re-engineered the geometry of the hammer

    Just for clarity, the extra power springs he uses is not the Mainspring but the Rebound spring. It allows the trigger to reset faster.

    As it was explained to me, "The trigger should push your trigger forward to begun the next trigger stroke". Which is different than releasing the trigger and letting it catch up to your finger...as you do with a pistol
     
  19. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I'm talking about a guy with a Dremel on his kitchen table. No Apex parts.
     
  20. Thaddeus Jones

    Thaddeus Jones Member

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    I must say I am astonished and quite pleased, that this thread is not only still going on, but that somany have benefitted from it! And some appear to have enjoyed it as well! ;)

    Much has changed in my life since I started this thread. A consequence of some of those changes is that I started a new life. As I was practicing one day at the local indoor range with my 2.5 inch model 66-2, the owner of the range - a good friend - inquired if I would be interested in coming to work for him part time. "Me? Doing what?" was my reply. He explained that he had more new shooters coming to the range than his staff of very good and experienced instructors could handle. And his instructors were all younger men and women who only worked with semi auto pistols. As fully 1 out of 4 folks seeking basic instruction were wanting to learn how to operate a revolver, he needed someone to teach them.

    So, of course I accepted. Since I do not yet have my NRA certificate I operate under the auspices of the chief instructor. I only teach basic revolver shooting and I must say it is the most rewarding thing I have done in some time. I had read about how many new shooters were out there and how they were all buying guns and seeking to learn how to use them. But I had no idea of the volume till I started witnessing it first hand. Literally hundreds of people per week. Fully 60% of them female.

    And as the females have no experience, no preconcieved ideas, seldom have an ego and did not form any bad habits, they are the easiest to teach! AND THEY LISTEN. :)

    A by product of this new found enterprise is that I have gone back to shooting 500 rounds or more per month. And it shows in my shooting too. My trusty former duty gun, a 4 inch 66-2 (called MRS JONES, because we have a thing going on ;) )has come out of retirement too. It is my teaching revolver. Although I frequently use the range rentals as well. Sometimes because I need a snub for a lesson and also to keep the wear and tear off my nice pre lock 6 guns.

    I am very happy to see that so many are buying and learning to use revolvers. They are a fine tool for defending oneself and much good work can still be done with one. Of course that is if the user does their part. ;)

    I had heard and read that "revolvers are making a comeback". I must say that until very recently, I did not lend much credence to that thought. But with Kimber now making a very nice revolver and Colt finally coming back into the DA revolver business, I see a possible resurgence in revolver use. Iknow I will be purchasing and using a new Colt Cobra as soon as my name is reached on the waiting list at the LGS.

    Thanks again to all the folks who have contributed to this thread. I am so very pleased that this old revolver wisdom has been preserved. I hope that new revolver shooters will obtain some benefit from it. The revolver has been used in self defense, successfully, for many decades and appears poised to continue to do so. And that is a very good thing. :) Best, TJ
     
  21. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Just saw this and realized it didn't come across as intended. The "off hand" meaning hand not holding the gun, which, during a reload, the left hand is holding the gun (right handed shooter),and right hand hitting extractor rod and doing the manipulation of the speed loader/fresh shells.

    Having the gun sideways instead of muzzle up contributes to unburnt powder getting under the extractor star, and the possibility of cases getting under the star. Slow manipulation of the extractor rod to save the cases or avoid having to pick them up off the ground also contributes to poor extractor performance and crud getting under the star.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  22. bangswitch

    bangswitch Member

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    I've had a M19-2, a M66-2, and now have a M19-3, and don't see the trigger stop being spoken of. Is it behind the side plate? I never had an issue with any of the three K-frames I've owned doing this.

    Speaking of trigger stops, I remember a trick we used, shooting PPC back in the '70s. We'd take a small pencil eraser and glue it to the back side of the trigger about halfway to the trigger tip. When you pulled double action, the eraser would hit the inside rear of the trigger guard and stop the trigger short of the double action break. Then we'd take an emery board (fingernail file) and shave the eraser a little at a time, testing the trigger's double action break until we could rapidly pull the trigger back until the eraser stopped the trigger travel just before the break; then you'd squeeze just a little to compress the eraser and allow the trigger to break and drop the hammer. In some classes it wasn't allowed, but Service Revolver didn't disallow it. It allowed you to rapidly pull the trigger double-action, get it right to the break, then pause slightly while you steadied, and then fire. It felt like shooting single action without doing so.

    Because cocking the revolver to single action brought the trigger closer to the guard, the eraser interfered with cocking the hammer manually. It was a totally and instantly reversible modification, and only took a couple of minutes to install and adjust..
     
  23. Drail

    Drail Member

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    A great S&W smith, Tom Kilhoffer (TK Custom) taught me the trick of fitting a very short piece of surgical rubber or neoprene tubing just a hair longer than the OT pin. You could pull the cylinder right up to that point of contact on the rubber, hear the bolt drop in and just an ounce or two more and the hammer would fall. And it was pretty consistent from shot to shot. You could really concentrate on the sight picture and drop the hammer without moving the sights. It really helped when mowing down a plate rack or a pin table. Once you got the hang of it - it almost felt like cheating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  24. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Yes, the over travel stop is behind the side plate on target grade/target sighted K and I believe L frame guns. I don't think guns like the model 10 had them, but I may be mistaken. It was discontinued in service grade guns, as it loosened and changed, and didn't allow the gun to fire in several instances that Ive heard of. The cut and screw was still there, they just stopped putting in the stop. The over travel stop screw is reportedly the same as the rear sight screw, if you lose the sight screw, theres a spare safely stored inside the gun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
  25. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    Ive seen a number of Kilhoffers trigger bumpers. I believe he drilled the rear of the trigger and installed a stud for the tubing to slip over. My dad had several done by Kilhoffer when he was shooting pistols in the 90s. They did work well for staging the trigger on pin and plate guns. Staging seems to have fallen from favor, I believe the commonly accepted method is a straight through pull.
     

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