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Revolver? Die on the vine?


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I might give this a crack. I usually like using the off season to pick up some new skills and I don’t mind paper classifications. 

My iron shooting isn’t good. 

My trigger finger strength isn’t good.


What could go wrong!


So I have some hare brained thoughts about working some revolver skills for s#!ts and grins. Classifier goals are motivating for my dry practice. I like tangible, objective goals. 

I’m also training with a buddy who is a newer but very motivated woman. 

It turns out GM revo Hit Factors are roughly LO B class Hit Factors… so we could train similar cadence and split times theoretically…


This could all just be a terrible idea and not go anywhere, lol. 

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So when I work skills, I like to back calculate. The classifier database is so robust that I can isolate certain skill requirements to see what’s needed at what level. 

“Can You Count” is my go to for max recoil management, max draw and max reload speed. 

Being not a strong guy, I have a hard time splitting faster than 0.22 with a DA revolver. 

So back calculating what I need for GM Revo:




If I say 0.25 splits then I need a combined 2.5 second Revo draw and reload. 

That would break down to a roughly 0.7 draw and 1.8 reload which is stiff but doable. 

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11 hours ago, -JCN- said:

It turns out GM revo Hit Factors are roughly LO B class Hit Factors… so we could train similar cadence and split times theoretically…


Reloads are a wrinkle with that tactic, but it looks like you're accounting for it already!

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Was in Optics Revo Steel Challenge configuration. 



I had the strain screw set up to 8 pounds to make sure it would ignite even during colder steel challenge matches when dirty. 

In order to have a chance at classifiers with my marginal grip strength I have to skirt the line and go as light as possible. 

20% heavier trigger weight leads to ~20% revolver splits for me. Maybe not exactly but it matters a lot for me. 


I’ll have to test. Might have to keep ammo insulated with heat packs. I think without margin, using the TK moons without any wobble helps transmit all the energy. 

Will see if I can get them to work with a 6# trigger with the cheap clips. 

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Indoors as a dot shooter, the fiber isn’t bright enough for me generally. 


My standard practice is to drill out the sight to fit a 1.5mm fiber. 


Having a fatter fiber (or longer) makes a noticeable difference to me in low light. 




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Day #1


Haven’t done Revo reloads in a while. 

Also weak. 

And lazy finger. 


I was averaging around 0.70 draws with lots of wobble trying to go fast but splits probably 0.24ish. 

Reloads were meh. 

Would inevitably short stroke a pull or two. 

Will need quite a bit of strength training and work to make it consistent in live without errors. 


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Day #2


Confirm in live fire. 

Dry fire is only helpful if you’re seeing what you think you’re seeing. There are a lot of dishonest dry firers. 

I take pride in having a pretty good estimate in which component part does what. 

So sighted in the gun with the ammo I’m going to use and had to shim up the strain screw because it was a little light on the impact with the cheap moons. 

If I keep the ammo warm, I think it’ll play. 

So here’s what I got today. 

10 yard alpha pace right now: 0.28-0.30.





And ran Can You Count a few times. 

Times were as expected. Reloads were slow. 




Felt pretty good overall on that last string. Need to get the reloads down better. 



Edited by -JCN-
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So I can keep working on the muscle building and reloads and I should be fine for the up close pace. 

Next some attention to El Pres. 


I feel like 10 yards is a bread and butter distance for classifiers.

Some back calculating, partially based on previous semiauto experience and partially from the 10 yard cadence / vision practice today. 



I’ll have to mock it up in dry but pretty sure a 1.4 s turn draw is in my wheel house. 

I don’t think I have the consistent 2.0 second 10 yard reload in my wheel house but that’s why we break it down to see where we need work. 

I’ll see where the reloads shake out after a week or two of practice. If I could do a consistent 1.8-2.0 max reload, it might be good enough. 

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Day 3:


I usually have 3 or 4 different projects in different states of preparation. It keeps me from getting bored. 

Philosophically I don’t care to “be the best.” I’m just trying to be “pretty good” and “well-rounded.” 

There are a lot of things not in my control. Age, injury, work and family commitments. Being “the best” or even “winning” depends a lot on who else shows up so I prefer objective benchmarks for growth. That way I can be proud of what I do for improvement, independent of others. 

It’s a big part of my happiness. 

Finally had time to set up some superlock targets from Shooting7 that I’ll use with frangible AR ammo for PCSL 2 gun. 


Also picked up an Alien LO package that I might shake out this year and compete with next year if USPSA is back in full force (fingers crossed at the positive BOD changes in the past month).



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So the 3” targets are a little small for what I was trying to do and they don’t ring very loudly at all. 


On that small of a target at that distance, holdovers come into play and it’s not a good training analog. I’d be better off with paper. 

For what I was trying to do, my wobble practice poppers would be better. 



Got some turn draw data. 

Hits aren’t always there, but probably good enough for what I need. 

My reloads are still problematic though. I was fumbling reloads at around 2.3. 

Partially because I was getting light strikes. 

I came home and turned up the strain screw (had to grind the underside of the screw head to seat it deeper). 

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Day 4:


Going to the outdoor range with my buddy today to get baseline data on running simple classifiers.


Also ordered ANOTHER LO Alien (total 5 Aliens). I have an original signature series, but didn't want to commit to the grip angle change and spare parts weren't available. Picked up a Retro, just in case. Then the Creator USA because of the grip angle change and the LO Alien I got yesterday. Like it enough that I'm going to get a backup and use the others for spare parts if need be.


I also shaved the rear backstrap of the original ones and now they point like a CZ. It turns out the dimensions of the original ones are the only ones that work with IDPA boxes so they still will have a role. I might shave down the noses of the original mag basepads to make ergos more similar to what I'm used to.


I get the sense that the recoil springs will have to be tuned to get them to work the way I want with the ammo I'm going to use.

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Initially was going to run mock classifiers, but it turned out we had a lot of baseline stuff we needed to work on. 

My draws to 10 yards (down range) were about 1.0 s with the revolver. 

Splits were slow and reloads were rough. 

Will definitely need work and 2.2 might be the working 10 yard reload for now. 

By picking up a little time on the splits I can still theoretically make it work. 



I’ll call my student “V.”


She was having the common issue of transition pauses and overconfirming shots. 

With a little work it got better, but not quite there yet. 

Same A zone steel using paper vision. 


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Day 5:


Dry reload practice. It's pretty clear that's what it's going to take to make GM.

These days, my index, shooting and recoil management are pretty good. 


But the reloads... well, not so good.


I worked a little today trying to get the rounds flowing smoothly into the cylinder on the reload. Any rattling or bobbling as they go in costs 2-3 tenths. I also covered the moon clip holder magnet with a little bit of rubber to reduce retention.


I did see some reloads down into the 1.6s range, but I'm definitely not consistent with them.


My goal is going to be 10 in a row... so going at a reproducible speed, not a hero one-off.




I'll keep working, but I like tracking metrics. I like tracking metrics that include reproducibility requirements rather than just one-off peak runs.


One-off peak runs mean something, but not quite the same thing as what you can bring reasonably on game day.


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I'm not married to any particular sport, division or gun. I just like learning and I like optimizing gear, so really as long as there's an objective goal I have fun working at it. Again, the goals are mainly to be "pretty good" rather than "the best" or to beat people or win.


Dry fire is meditative for me and I enjoy feeling the improvement rather than watching television / movies.


I'm not the best at stage learning or execution and my component skills are better than my gaming prowess. I'm just not that serious about match performance. It's more social for me.


I have been enjoying Steel Challenge as kind of like dry fire. It doesn't take as much active brain power for me as adding the movement and stage planning with reloads of USPSA.


I started Steel Challenge in October 2022 and set a goal for A class in everything. I'm now M in most optic divisions and A in the rest.


I change my goals a lot due to opportunities at hand, injury and rate of improvement. 


A couple years ago, I thought about revolver GM but my iron shooting was way worse. Working some irons in Steel Challenge helped that last year.


Since I have to still up my iron game some, it might be a good time to try and bump my A class irons in Steel Challenge to M (or GM?).


Time to cue up some Revo Steel Challenge par times and add it to the practice.

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20 minutes ago, DukeSoprano said:

Thanks for all this, I love it

Thank you for the encouragement! I appreciate it! I’m hoping it helps people with the process and if not, at least is a little entertaining!


I had a little epiphany on finger indexing moon to cylinder ridge on reloading just now and while not consistent (I deleted some flubs), I think with a little more work it’ll smooth out. 


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6 hours ago, DukeSoprano said:

If you get bored, try a fixed time classifier

Thanks for that! I chose “Baseball Standards” to work some long distance accuracy and just did the 6 shots in 4.5 second at 25 yard string to start. 


I’ll just use that string as something to work towards and move on to different strings as I keep working reloads. 

The cylinder chambers were dirty for me today so didn’t do reload practice. 

V’s weak hand has been drifting forward and that’s been palming the mag release on occasion. 


This was a string with a biffed reload and a pulled draw. 4.67 s string and B class is 4.55 s. 


Still work to be done. 


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One issue that might come up is cleaning frequency.


I don't like cleaning guns and I tend to like to shoot a lot.


This is Day #6 and I already had to deep clean the cylinder because rounds were requiring more forcible extraction.


I don't want to have to clean the gun every week.


I have a very similarly set up 929 that I might be able to use to extend the life of the gun between cleaning.


Some thoughts I have currently are: If the cylinder timing matches, bringing the second cylinder and swapping out.


Then using an ultrasonic cleaner and just dumping both cylinders in the bath once or twice a week.

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Day 7: baselines established, time to work weak links. 

I’m historically pretty good at efficiency isolation. It comes from years of professional training. 

From last week’s baselines, the main source of inconsistency is in the reload (not surprisingly). 

But how do you improve that?


Most people would just say “practice reloads.”


But that’s still not the most efficient thing. 

You’re always paying attention to notice micro cues and implement changes. Even if subconscious. 

Like a cat or a shark doesn’t think in words per se, they just neural pathway strengthen what works and quench what doesn’t. They feel efficiency and they process reward for success. 

So in this case for me, the angles of the moon into the cylinder and the indexing to prevent rattle are what I need help with. 

Full reloads aren’t as helpful because I need optimization and learning of this micro component. 

It’s analogous to semi-auto Burkett drills. You’re trying to learn and optimize the seating angle. Without that, the other stuff is wasted time. 

When I can do that well, then it’ll be time to take it back to full dry reloads and live reloads. Otherwise I’m wasting time and adding repetitive stress. 


Edited by -JCN-
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This is what it looks like with my internal monologue. 

I can get a lot of learning, feedback and reps in a short period of time. 

From the baseline testing, rough equivalency is:


”Good” moon insertion would be a 1.6x reload


”Little rattle” would be 1.8x


”Fail” would be 2.2x


I don’t really need to go testing reloads until I can get almost all insertions in the “good” and “little rattle” range. 

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