The recent Steel Challenge Match at Atlanta CC got me thinking a little bit about revolvers. I’m still editing the video, so I won’t have that up on Youtube until later in the day, but I wanted to talk a little bit about revolvers. It’s no secret that I like wheelguns, and in fact in the past I shot them pretty much exclusively. Then I started shooting competitively on a regular basis, and I shifted my focus to semi-automatic pistols, because being a guy with a relatively short attention span, I like to go FAST. I can go much faster with an auto in general than I can with a revolver, so I set aside (and sold off) my DA wheelguns.
Saturday, watching the Steel Challenge match, I started thinking about revolvers again, but this time as a serious competitive pistol. My squad had the usual assortment of semi-auto blasters, my CDP gun included, but it was unusual in that we had three or four wheelgun shooters as well.
|From Steel April 18th
Both the shooter and the RO in that picture are running wheelguns, and I was fascinated by the way they had to “manage” their guns during the competition. With five targets to hit, and only six rounds in the gun, accuracy was at a premium over speed for the wheelgun shooters. Even my 1911 had a distinct advantage – loaded with 8+1 in the first magazine, I’ve got room for four misses/make up shots before I’d have to reload. The thing with shooting Steel Challenge is that if you have to reload, you’re probably hosed anyway, and the revolver guys know that just the same as the auto guys. But unlike the guys with the Limited Guns, or even the production guns, a revolver shooter doesn’t have the luxury of hammering make up shots downrange.
So how do the wheelgun guys manage it? Well in short, they don’t miss. By far, the most accurate shooters on the range that day were the guys running the revolvers – without the luxury of all those rounds in the magazine, they made sure that the rounds went where they needed to go.
That was ultimately what got me thinking about revolvers – in that if a shooter can learn to properly manage a revolver in competition, be it Steel Challenge, USPSA, IDPA, etc; then that shooter is (in theory) going to be able to transition very easily to an auto from a strategy and round management point of view. The skill that Master Class revolver shooters demonstrate is one of those things that will never cease to impress me – truly “a more elegant weapon, from a more civilized age.”