Revolver Practice

One of the advantages of shooting a revolver competitively is that with a little imagination and enough snap caps, a shooter can simulate entire courses of fire in the comfort of their own home.

Of course, we can’t simulate recoil, but for a major IDPA match for example, you can practice everything but managing the recoil of each round. To get even more creative, you can hang printouts of standard action shooting targets in your “practice area” to help with sight picture and trigger management.

The big gain here is that with a revolver, there’s never any racking the slide to get a fresh trigger pull. This means you can simply press the trigger each time, just like you will in the match. Dry firing this way is a great way to plan out the courses of fire ahead of time. Hopefully you’ll be able to do this enough to prevent the “crap, now what?” moment that is so common in matches!


  1. I work a lot with the Steve Anderson Dry Fire books and the advice he gives is to just keep pulling the trigger. On almost any gun, except the GLOCK, there is enough reset where it simulates the trigger pull anyway.

    Pete Milionis’ advice with the GLOCK was to either put the cardboard slot in the slide or just forget about it…

    On another topic, I think that “Oh Crap!” moment is more indicative of 1.) unawareness of what your gun is doing and 2.) the fact that you have no plan when shooting a stage and don’t have an idea of what you’re doing.

  2. Oh, man, pdb’s going to have fun with this one… 🙂

    That said, I’ve had the same thought about practicing high power rapid fire stages with a bolt gun compared to a semi-auto.

  3. That “Oh crap” moment for me is always because my brain overloaded on the other 736 things in a given course of fire, and my reloading/movement strategy gets shoved out of my mind. I’ve begun walking around and looking at each stage and using Steve Anderson’s Stage Analysis sheets prior to handing in my card for each run, and it makes a difference. I offload the strategery portion of the COF to the stage sheet, and concentrate on the mechanics of the shoot as I run it.

    Seems to be working. Every time I’ve used it, I’ve shot the match clean.

  4. We take time from your regularly scheduled blog post to remind you that DA/SA automatics are still available, and work just like DA revolvers for practice. Think DA/SA, “DAO just won’t cut it”.

    This comment brought to you by Sig Sauer, manufacturers of fine previously owned pistols.


  5. EX:

    That is a great tool, isn’t it!? I’ve been cleaning up at the local matches because I’m not spacing out anymore!

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