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ESR vs. SSR... thoughts?


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I know there aren't many of us wheelgunners but I figured I'd throw it out there. For as long as I've shot IDPA, I've run an ESR rig. I'm shooting an ICORE match in Classic in a month so I figured I'd give SSR a go for a few matches.

 

Who's shot both? Which do you prefer? I'm feeling like the ESR reload will be faster but the reduced recoil in SSR might negate it...

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If you reload on the move there’s really isn’t much difference in reload speed. I definitely have had better 5x5 classifier times with SSR (38 Special) than shooting ESR (625).  Also using my SSR (Colt 38) in Classic in the ICORE postal match last year and the 625 in L-6 the 38 definitely did MUCH better (same course of fire and a lot of reloading so it was a great comparison). 
 

But that’s just me and I’m not all that good. 

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2 hours ago, BHBret said:

If you reload on the move there’s really isn’t much difference in reload speed. I definitely have had better 5x5 classifier times with SSR (38 Special) than shooting ESR (625).  Also using my SSR (Colt 38) in Classic in the ICORE postal match last year and the 625 in L-6 the 38 definitely did MUCH better (same course of fire and a lot of reloading so it was a great comparison). 
 

But that’s just me and I’m not all that good. 

 

That's awesome insight and I appreciate it. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I once did side by side comparison of K (M67), L (M686), and I frame (Python) SSRs, vs N frame (M25) ESR.

 

At my level, recoil and mass of the .45 outweighed clip loading versus a clean run with speed loader. 

I am not consistent enough to choose between K and L, both perform about the same; but I kind of like the K.

The Python that was so fine in the 1990s is not competitive now. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I shoot a 686 that I made into a .40 cal. It's the best of all, I think in terms of low gun weight and low recoil (slow 180 gr. bullets). Fast reloads with RN bullets and moonclip, comparable to 625 in 45 ACP because of the thin wall between chambers. Super good action helps.

Edited by Toolguy
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I haven't shot under the current rules, I shot back when it was two separate divisions. I lean toward liking SSR better.

 

That said I think I would finish better with the ESR rig, and I did at the time looking at the overall results. It probably depends on you as a shooter. For me the splits really aren't vary different, so it comes down to the reload. If you nail a perfect reload with a SSR gun it wouldn't be much different than a ESR gun. But, do 10 or 20 in a row and look at the average. For me the ESR gun I could do almost the same every single time no matter what. Then in match conditions every now and then you might get that piece of brass that doesn't drop free, or the speed loaded releases prematurely and drops rounds everywhere. Dumb things that just can't happen with a moon clip gun. 

 

So if I was going to go back to revolver today, I'd have to decide on my goal. If my goal was the absolute best finish I can, maybe a run at Nat's, I'd probably go 625 with moons. If the goal was fun, easy to shoot and see how well I can do, I'd probably go 686 with speed loaders. Locally I don't think it would matter, I could win the division with either gun. So, I'd lean toward the SSR gun for the fun of it. 

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  • 1 month later...

I have run them all. I am faster with my speed loaders and my model 66 than a 625, 646 or 686. That said I was very proficient with speed loaders. I also once thought that I would be faster with a 686 than a 66 but when running the old 90 round classifier I would consistently be 5 seconds faster with the 66 and since the timer doesn't lie my decision was made by the timer instead of what I felt would be better. I used cut down Jet Loaders that I'm sure can't be found anymore so getting someone that knows what they are doing to cut down some SafariLand Comp III's would be the next best. I found that cutting down to a cartridge hole depth of .200" was perfect.

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On 7/5/2022 at 9:13 AM, Toolguy said:

I shoot a 686 that I made into a .40 cal. It's the best of all, I think in terms of low gun weight and low recoil (slow 180 gr. bullets). 

 

Go on....

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I did 2 of them. One 4" and one 6". I got a custom chamber reamer from Manson and reamed the chambers from 357 to 40 S&W. I got the 4" barrel from someone (don't remember who now) that was a 646 takeoff because they were having a longer custom barrel made for the 646. I sent a 6" 686 barrel out and had it rebored and rifled to 40 cal. Did action jobs on both guns, and put fiber optic front and rear sights on. Then later put a prototype KL hammer in the 4". The moons are TK custom off the shelf item. The moons are .035 thick blue moons off the shelf item. They don't have a maker name on them, but work fine.  I might have a spare 686 barrel that could be used for reboring if someone you know might be looking for one.

Edited by Toolguy
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