A reader emails: “Caleb, I shoot revolver in USPSA and I’m looking for a way to improve my times. What should I practice to get faster?”
The one word answer to your question is this: reloading. Shooting a revolver in USPSA isn’t like anything else, because you’re limited to 6 shots in a world of 8 shot arrays a lot of the time. To draw a parallel to military aviation, a friend once told me that flying a modern fighter jet meant that when you took off, you were basically out of gas, and when you landed you were REALLY out of gas. Shooting a revolver in USPSA is a lot like that inasmuch as when the string of fire starts, you need to reload, and by the time you’re done shooting you’ve probably reloaded 437 times for that one stage.
Now, this tip doesn’t apply if you’re not already shooting mostly a-zone hits at speed – if you’re not doing that yet, then focus on accuracy and trigger discipline first. But if you’ve got the shooting portion of the game pretty well in hand, spending a lot of time focusing on your reloading skills is going to give you a good payoff in improving your times. Especially focus on reloading on the move with your revolver; if you’re in a USPSA stage and you’re moving and not shooting, you need to be loading. The goal should be to have the revolver loaded, cylinder closed and ready to shoot by the time you reach your next shooting position.
Again though, don’t practice reloading at the expense of your regular practice. Rather incorporate static reloads though the use of training drills and moving reloads into your regular practice. I try to get 10-20 “clean” (no fumbles) reloads into every practice session I do. A good way to do this is that every time you administratively juice up your gun, load in the manner that you would during a match, focusing on good technique and control.
I’m not saying that you’ll be Jerry Miculek fast, but tuning up your reloads is a sure fire way to make any COF, be it IDPA, USPSA, or ICORE go quite a bit faster.