My passion for revolvers is no secret. I’ve experienced many specialized revolver matches, matches not in any way specialized for revolvers, and “revolver-friendly” matches. Not surprisingly, when it comes to my competition preferences, nothing beats the classics — ICORE!
ICORE is the International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts – similar to USPSA for those involved with practical shooting. ICORE puts on the biggest revolver event in the world: the International Revolver Championship, a highlight every year. That’s not the only opportunity to be in a revolver competition, though, as ICORE also offers regional matches in every part of the country, and luckily I’m able to make it to 2 matches every year: the Southwest Regional and the Midwest Regional. Most recently, I completed the ICORE Midwest Regional in Fallon, Nev., and I’m proud to say … I placed Top Lady!
Competition is not the only reason to shoot a revolver. Revolvers are incredibly reliable, more so than semi-automatics and because of this fact, they make excellent firearms for self-defense purposes. They also come in small sizes, making them ideal for concealed carry. Those reasons seem too practical? The most apparent reason to use a revolver, in my opinion, is because it’s fun! The challenge encourages skills outside of target accuracy, including patience, relaxation and focus.
Tips for shooting revolvers
Over the course of the last 5 years with Smith & Wesson, I’ve certainly picked up some interesting tips from some incredible shooters. The best place to start is always with the basics, regardless of whether or not competition is the goal. Compared to semi-automatics, following the fundamentals (stance, grip, trigger) are even more vital when shooting a revolver. Let’s take a brief look at all 3.
Speed loaders and moonclips
Finally, the way that you load your revolver may make life a lot easier — with either speed loaders or moonclips. I recommend moonclips for competition because they keep all the brass together in one clip. While speed loaders make loading faster, it’s a lot faster with a moonclip once you get some practice. The best way to practice is to load a few moonclips, shoot the entire clip (focus on accuracy!) and then reload slowly, taking your time to ensure that the moonclip goes into the cylinder on the first try and there is no fumbling. As you do this more and more, you will naturally speed up. Please note: Not all revolvers accept moonclips.
Be it competition, bulls-eye, just-for-fun or self-defense, I stand by revolvers as my favorite type of firearm. I encourage new shooters to give revolvers a try. Although they are difficult at first, when you practice with a revolver, you become better with semi-automatics as well because the amount of concentration needed is so much greater with the revolver.
California teen shooter Molly Smith shoots for Team Smith & Wesson, and prefers a 627 Smith & Wesson iron-sighted revolver. She attends several matches each year, and loves to write about them at her column, "Millisecond Molly." View all posts by Molly Smith