Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I've mentioned plate matches, right?

Five stages. Each stage has 5 randomly-arrayed steel plates at ranges from about 5 yards to maybe 20 yards. Most would fall in the 7-10 yard range. At the buzzer, you draw your pistol, and shoot each plate. If you miss, you may shoot as many shots as you desire to hit each plate. In the Stop Plate matches that I like, the time is stopped when you shoot the plate with the red metal stem stand. Misses count as 5 seconds off your time.

Each stage is shot 5 times, with the worst string thrown out from each stage.

At five stages times five strings times five plates, that's 125 rounds if you shoot it clean. It's fast, and a good opportunity to shoot a lot.

Lots of guys bring race guns, with comps, super sights, and race holsters that hold their pistols by magnets. Many shooters don't even carry their pistols in their competition holsters, and carry their pistols up to the line in a carrying case, because they don't trust their holsters to hold their pistols securely. (When I'm king, there'll be some changes made. If you don't trust your holster to safely carry your firearm, you shouldn't put your firearm into it. ) Some have enormous pistols in minor calibers.

Then there are some that use it as an opportunity to train with their carry guns. Dad and I usually take 1911 .45 acps. I have taken my 1930's vintage Colt Officer's Model Special 6" to that match a couple of times, and that's a duty-worthy gun. (I've also taken that pistol hunting, and have killed a ouple of javelina with it.)

I told Dad yesterday that I wanted to load some ammo for the next match. What caliber? .38 Special.

I'm going to take my 2" Chief's Special Airweight. Under a pound? Check. Short sight radius? Check. Capacity of just 5? Bobbed hammer spur? Double check. No room to miss and still be competitive.

Let's be honest with ourselves-- I'll NEVER beat those machine-gun like guys with the gamer-guns. NEVER. I can practice and get good, but some of those guys shooting poofter 9mm through 3 lb comped pistols are just scary good. So I'll need a calender to measure my times.

But if we're also honest with ourselves, we'll note that I carry that little Chief's Special M37 more than my 1911. I carry it WAYYY more than my big-framed, heavy-barreled 6" Colt .38. Thus I'm far more likely to actually need to show proficiency in the Real World with it. Harder to shoot? Sure. But that just means that I need to practice more.

Why not shoot 125 rounds, against time?

Today Dad and I set up the Dillon Square Deal B for a light 158g LRN load over a little Unique.

Now I need to get some more speed loaders. I guess I'll order some of those SafariLand Comp1 loaders. :)

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At Saturday, December 13, 2008 4:03:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Sounds like fun! Our last one was 32 steels, and yes, we had the race gun crowd too; but the rest of us were shooting carry pieces and one old retired Col was shooting a S&W Model 19 (and he did good too!)!

At Sunday, December 14, 2008 12:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try moonclips instead of speed loaders.

Faster, IMO.

At Sunday, December 14, 2008 4:57:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Who sells 5-shot moonclips for Chief Specials?

At Monday, December 15, 2008 3:08:00 PM, Blogger JPG said...

Moonclips, other than for .45 ACP, are mostly purely a competition thing. To carry moon clipped ammo for a reload requires a pouch sufficiently sturdy to prevent the clips from bending. This means having the pouch on the belt or a bulge in the pocket even larger than a speedloader.

Also, moon clips work best in revolvers chambered for auto pistol cartridges. Otherwise, the revolver cylinder requires major machining to accept rimmed cartridges in clips.

The more I ponder this project, the more intrigued I become. I've loaded about 250 rounds so far, toward that end. Yes, shooting a plate match with a five-shooter SOUNDS like a stunt. But, if able to smack five, eight-inch plates with a two-inch, under time pressure -- such a shooter might well prevail in a tense interpersonal dispute.

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 7:24:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...


The rear face of the cylinder would need to be rebated to clear the moonclips. You can't just use moons with any ol' wheelgun.

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 8:37:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

And even if I had the back of my cylinder faced off (at considerable expense), WHERE would one go about getting 5-shot moon clips? I suppose that they could be hand-made with a lot of effort, but there would be no market to mass-produce them, and spring-metal moon or half-moon clips are notoriously fragile.

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:11:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

5-shot J-frame moon clips and cylinder machining is available from T.K. Custom.

I mean, if you were interested...

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:20:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Well there you go. TK Custom will also machine your cylinder, for a C-note. So with four Hamiltons for ten full-moon clips (didja see how thin the inner ring is on that clip?!? Hey, it's a J-frame; it's not how well the bear plays cards, but amazing that the bear plays cards at all.) and a hundred for the machining, I can turn an old revolver worth a couple of hundred dollars into a curiosity. ;)

But yes, it can be done.

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 10:25:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

I've thought about doing it to my 3" Performance Center 640 Carry Comp.

But then I got better. ;)

At Tuesday, December 16, 2008 11:26:00 PM, Blogger KD5NRH said...

Now I need to get some more speed loaders. I guess I'll order some of those SafariLand Comp1 loaders. :)

Hard to go wrong with CompI if you've got a carrier that will let you get a grip on them. For the snub, I carry them loose in pockets, and for the 4" .38, I carry them in a double carrier that has the sides cut down enough to get a good grip on the loader body.
Otherwise, the knob on a CompII is no harder to deal with in concealment than the one on an HKS loader, and still gives you something to grab in a deeper carrier.

At Friday, December 19, 2008 9:07:00 PM, Blogger excitedVulcan said...

Great move, shooting your carry piece at a match. My wife will be shooting her SP101 .357 3" at the IDPA match Sunday, and I'll be shooting my Khar P.45, even though I'm really good with my XD.

At Monday, December 22, 2008 10:03:00 PM, Blogger Less said...

I had Clark Machine my cylinder for a 340PD. Loading it with moonclips is faster than loading with speed loaders.

My buddy had TK do the conversion and it was good work - one good thing about Illinois.

It runs about $100.00 for the conversion.

You can carry the clips straddling a dress belt (read "not thick") or just straddling your waistband...

Andrew's Leather does a nice pouch that works like that...

I've not bent one yet just carrying 'em around when the bullets are on the clip, it's pretty sturdy...

Usually you bend one when loading or unloading the clip.


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