I was browsing through old scores from the US Steel Championships in Titusville, and thinking about how fast the winners are when I came upon this line item of scores.  Steel Challenge recognizes a separate division for Single Action Revolvers – in the ultimate game of speed and accuracy you’re allowed to shoot your single action smokewagon.  Pretty cool, right?  While no one shot it at the 2010 Nationals, there were two shooters in that division at the 2009 Steel Nats.  Here’s the winner’s time:

1. Clyde Harrison 148.64 19.09 14.73 18.08 16.42 20.51 15.60 20.58 23.63

Those stage breakdowns are in order for 5 to Go, Smoke and Hope, Accelerator, Showdown, Speed Option, Roundabout, The Pendulum, and of course Outer Limits.  Now, here’s what is totally insane about those scores.  148.64 is fast.  How fast?  Fast enough that using a Single Action revolver, he would have been the 13th place finisher in Production division with that time.  That’s crazy fast.  His average time on Smoke and Hope was 3.68 seconds per run, which is my average time using a centerfire semi-automatic pistol.

Now, Clyde Harrison is an excellent cowboy shooter, so it makes sense that he’d be good.  But don’t ever let anyone tell you that an SAA revolver is at a disadvantage for speed (except for on reloads, of course) because you can run that gun at incredible speeds…if you’re willing to put the time and effort in to shooting it well.


  1. I am no SA revolver guy, but I read a lot of Skeeter Skelton in my youth. He wrote about converting old medium frame Ruger Blackhawks to 44 Special, which sounded like the slickest thing to me. When I saw the production 44 Spl Blackhawks were coming, I had to have one. I got one (this spring, and have had a lot of fun with it.

    Up until last week, my shooting of it had been handload testing and an occasional cylinder emptied at a bullseye target. All of that shooting was done slow fire, and never from the holster.

    For some reason last week, I got the bug to run an El Presidente with it.

    I had just changed targets, when I walked away, turned around, and realized an El Prez was setup.
    It had to be done.

    My times were too embarrassing to post, so I won’t, but it went better than I thought…except for reloading time, that is. Reloading was fully as slow as I expected, but the shooting went faster than I expected. I was reloading from my shirt pocket because this was unplanned and I had no loops with me, but they wouldn’t have helped much. Suffice to say, reloading time took two thirds of the total time.
    Most of my splits were in the .8s, which I didn’t think was too bad for me not trying to shoot a SA fast before.
    Power Factor was 250, by the way (250 grain cast bullet going right at 1,000 fps).

    Accuracy was better than the couple of runs I also made with the Browning HiPower I usually shoot. All were down zero, but the Ruger’s group was noticeably tighter.

    I gained a lot of respect for the old SA revolver. Things went better than I expected, especially just looking at the first six rounds out of the gun and onto the targets.
    I will probably work on this some more now. I will set a goal- it would be nice if my total time could match my reloading time for the first time out.
    See? This is the silly stuff I do instead of practicing what I should.

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