Switching to wheel guns this year

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74novaman
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Re: Switching to wheel guns this year

#76

Post by 74novaman » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:13 am

Want to watch someone default to their level of training instead of rise to the occasion?



Shot IDPA last weekend with the Model 10. I've been doing weak hand reloads for a couple of reasons this year. 1) didn't initially feel confident/comfortable doing the switch hand reload while running and gunning. 2) I've always carried my semi auto reloads left side only 3) I'm fairly ambidextrous and didn't feel like I suffered much speed wise using left instead of right.

But IDPA lets you carry reloads forward of the hip IF they're carried on the strong side with a revolver, so I decided to try shooting this match using the switch hand reload instead. Spent all weeks dry fire practice (15-20 min a day) drilling the switch hand reload. And I still wound up fishing in my left hand pocket for reloads, using my left hand and right hand interchangeably....

When I wasn't screwing it up, the switch hand reload worked well. When I wasn't screwing it up, the weak hand reload I've been doing this year also worked well.

In the future, I'm going to stick with weak hand reloads. It carries over from how I carry semi auto reloads, and I'm dexterous enough to make it (sort of) work. If I couldn't make my left hand work, or if I only shot revolvers there's nothing inherently bad or wrong about the switch hand reload. It just messes with my head since I don't shoot anything else that way, and I'd like to keep everything semi familiar between pistols/revolvers. On the plus side, I'm fairly confident in my ability to make a revolver reload work out (eventually), no matter where I'm carrying the reload, what hand I use or what stupid things I do while trying to reload it now....

It was a long weekend so I also got in a second match. Not strictly revolver related, other than the fact this match had 10 and 11 shot arrays and so I ditched what I'd usually use for any 8 shot array match (my 627) and dusted off the Shadow 2. Other than one steel challenge match a few weeks ago, and a couple of drills with it the day before the match, I haven't shot semi auto pistol this year. You can absolutely tell that on the reloads, but I think the sight picture/trigger control work I've been doing with wheel guns continues to pay off with semi autos as well. Probably won't shoot a semi auto again until the end of the year, but it's good to know the skills haven't totally degraded...(other than my continued inability to run a plate rack without outrunning my sights).

TANSTAAFL

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Re: Switching to wheel guns this year

#77

Post by 74novaman » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:22 pm

The Year of the Revolver is over a couple months early.

Well, not totally. I’ll still shoot wheel guns in competitions for the rest of the year just because it’s fun. I might still carry one occasionally, both this year and into the future. But for the most part, I’ve improved what I wanted to improve, learned what I wanted to learn, and had an experience that encouraged me to make the move back to semis (as was always the plan) early.

A few weeks ago I attended a day of classes at KR Training. In past classes, I’ve seen an unprepared student slow everyone down because they didn’t have enough magazines, ammo, a holster worth a damn, etc. I didn’t want to be that guy, and didn’t know if the pace of the classes would allow me to keep up using revolvers. Not the shooting portion, as much as keeping speedloaders/moonclips loaded throughout the day.

So instead of taking the wheel guns to class, I went with two semi autos I was considering carrying next year anyway as J & K frame replacements: a Glock 43 and a 43X. Despite not having shot semi autos much this year, I did okay with them. Shot mostly the 43X.

The day consisted of 3 shorter classes: defensive pistol skills in the morning, force on force/scenarios in the afternoon, and a low light class that night. I learned a lot and the classes were great. There was a simunitions portion of the force on force class, where people used facility provided sim guns and were placed in a variety of situations as bad guys, chl holders, bystanders, etc.

During one force on force scenario using simunitions, I was playing a “good guy with a chl” in a convenience store. I could choose either a 1911 or a J frame. Made sense to go J frame given what I’ve been doing this year, right? The “bad guy” came in, got in a fight with the clerk who was resisting his attempt to rob him, pulled out a gun and started shooting. I engaged him when he started shooting, and he ran out of the store, firing back at me. I got some hits on him, he got some hits on me. I need to move my fat butt to cover quicker. Now here was the “well this sucks” moment, and why I’m switching away from wheel guns for carry early. After he runs out the door, I’m behind cover keeping an eye on the front door while calling 911.

I realize I don’t know how many rounds I fired in our exchange.

Pop open the cylinder.

All 5.

And because it’s a sim gun, I don’t have a reload on me. So now I’m guarding the door with a bad guy outside...with an empty gun.

Now, when I carry a revolver, I carry a reload. Just like I do when carrying a semi auto. But let me tell you: 5 rounds during force on force went fast. Real fast. Too fast.

Will carrying a J frame get you “killed in the streets”? Very, very likely...no. I got my hits, the bad guy retreated. Minus the whole getting shot thing, a successful result. And the vast, vast majority of civilian gun fights are fast, low round count affairs. Very, very few require a reload at all. But a G43 carries 6+1 instead of 5. And my reload mag has a +2 extension, so I have another 8 to back up the first 7. And it’s not much bigger or heavier than a J frame, and conceals ALMOST as well for me, and the biggest lesson I learned from force on force is...capacity is a nice feature. So for those times when I’m wearing something that can’t conceal a larger gun, when I used to default to the J frame….I’m going to the G43. Otherwise, it’s a G43X or larger. I’ve spent almost 10 months working with wheel guns. I certainly don’t feel under armed with one, but I think I’ve learned what I wanted to learn. It’s back to high cap semi autos most of the time for me.

I’ll have some final thoughts at some point later. I learned a lot. I’m glad I spent most of 2019 shooting wheel guns. I think it was a valuable thing to do as a shooter, and if you’re struggling with trigger control or follow through like I was, I highly recommend spending some time shooting DA revolvers in competition.

But for now, I’m going to take off my G43X and call it a night.
TANSTAAFL

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