I am really enjoying getting back into the habit of structured dry practice. Revolvers are great tools for dry practice, in some ways better than autoloading pistols.

This month, I am serving as the Match Director for the I’m With Roscoe http://imwithroscoe.com 2019 Internet Match. It’s based on the Pocket Revolver Championship of the US Revolver Association. The Championship, along with the other USRA Championships, is described in A.L.A. Himmelwright’s 1915 book Pistol and Revolver Shooting. https://www.amazon.com/Pistol-Revolver-Shooting-L-Himmelwright-ebook/dp/B00AQM9SK0

The course of fire is quite demanding. Originally, it consisted of five strings of five shots in 30 seconds at 50 yards on the original NRA B-6 bullseye target. It is shot one-handed. Since not many people have access to a 50 yard range, I changed it to using an NRA B-2 target at 50 feet. The B-2 is the 50 foot reduction of the B-6 so this was an easy change. Official Rules are available on the IWR Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/370742620287566/

Since it is a demanding course of fire, I’ve been doing dry practice for when I have the opportunity to shoot it live. My preparation is to work on the fundamentals. I practice with two revolvers each day, my pencil barrel Model 10 and my Model 38-2 J frame.

IWR Match guns

I created a reduced size target for dry practice, scaled for use at 10 feet. It is printed on a 5×8 index card. The target is stored behind a plaque for safety reasons. I take it out and position it when I start the session. Immediately after finishing the session, I conceal the target back behind the plaque prior to reloading my gun.


IWR dry practice target

Since they’re both older guns, I protect their firing pins (hammer noses). For the K frame, I’m using a piece of plastic that fills in the rear of the cylinder. It was manufactured years ago by a gunsmith in New Jersey, long since out of business. The plastic has proven remarkably durable though. For the 38-2, I’m using ST Action Pro Dummy Rounds that I filled the primer pocket in with hot melt glue.

For a timer, I use the Dry Fire Practice Par Timer, from the Google App store, on my phone. It’s set to give me five strings of 30 seconds each with a six second delay between strings. At the beep, I snap five times single action. My actual times are working out to about 25-26 seconds per string. This allows some leeway to accommodate recoil management when I live fire. I rest briefly between the strings.

What I am concentrating on when snapping is minimizing my wobble zone, pressing the trigger smoothly, and following through. These are especially important when shooting one handed. The follow-through is the aspect I have to personally work hardest on. Of those three fundamentals, follow-through is the hardest to learn in live fire so the dry practice is doing me a great deal of good.

It’s been good getting back into daily dry practice. I include dry practice in my shooting workbooks for a reason; it works. If you would like to try your hand at it, this is the reduced scale target. IWR Internet Match dry practice target 5×8 10 feet

Tactical Professor books

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Advanced Pistol Practice http://bit.ly/advancedpistolpractice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com/

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

7 responses

  1. Should newer revolvers for rimfire ammo use some type of dry fire protection for the firing pin?

    1. Yes; dry fire protection for rimfires is almost universally recommended. I use #4 wall anchors from the hardware store, which I see recommended a lot of places, but I believe there are also some .22 LR and .22 Magnum snap caps out there (read carefully, though; a lot of them are dummy rounds used to check cycling with little or no dry fire protection). The wall anchors will wear out after a while (the flange/rim separates from the body in my experience), but since 100 wall anchors is about $7, it isn’t too big a deal. Just make sure you check them every so often (I check about every 20-30 snaps per chamber, so that gives me about 150 snaps between checks in a 6 shot revolver)

      1. I use the wall anchors too. They’re a good solution.

    2. Yes. The #4 wall anchors are a good solution.

  2. John Van Swearingen

    Is there a website or publicly-viewable post somewhere with the rules for the match? I don’t have a Facebook, so I cannot view the rules link.

    1. They will be posted on the I’m With Roscoe website soon. When they’re up, I will post a link.

  3. I love that you dived into the older revolver literature in this way! Bravo!

    Current bullsye shooting is also a challenge. Slow fire of 10 rounds in 10 minutes, Timed fire of two strings of five rounds each in 20 seconds, and Rapid fire two strings of 5 shots each in ten seconds. Use reduced targets, or full-sized at 50 yards. In a fine, old community club I once belonged to, we used to shoot the winter postal match with our semi-automatic target pistols first. Then we’d switch to .22 revolvers, and reshoot the entire match again for fun. It was a hoot, even given that the drop in scores was considerable at first. We all dry-fired all of our target guns, of course. I had a sweet K-22 (model 17) S&W, to match my K-38 (m14), both of which had been sweetly tuned at the factory for me in the early ’80s.

    Dry fire and even revolver dry-and live-fire raised our competition scores across the board!

    The second year we tried this, we switched to shooting our .22 revolvers double-action, and went through another steep learning curve. It seem too hard, at first. Needed to use grip exercisers. Then we got it down. That summer, especially in centerfire revolver action matches, all of us saw the dividends in even higher scores, but our semi-auto scores benefitted as well.

    Shaking up one’s practice routine in the way you suggest is time well-spent. Skills developed can transfer across the board. When I see someone who is slow with handguns, I confess to them that I had the same problem. Then I took up shooting clay birds. It took a shotgun to teach me the true meaning of “fast” and “decisive.”

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