Category Archives: revolvers

Revolver Operator Course – The Pence Drill

We had a very successful Revolver Operator Course this past weekend. One of the two keystone drills of the course is the Pence Drill, named in honor of Officer Skip Pence of the California Highway Patrol. Officer Pence was murdered in the Newhall Incident in 1970. Historical gunfights can be the basis for an important part of training classes. Officer Pence’s sacrifice is uniquely appropriate for inclusion in a class about running the wheelgun.

The Learning Objectives of the Pence Drill are smooth trigger manipulation, calm ammo management, and effective Time Management under fire.

RIP Officer Skip Pence

Tactical Professor books (all PDF) (not Free)

The Newhall Incident anniversary

At 11:55 p.m., April 5, 1970, two Officers of the California Highway Patrol stopped a car for brandishing a firearm at another vehicle hours earlier. Minutes later, they and two other CHP Officers would lie dead in the parking lot of the restaurant where the stop took place. Their murderers would escape into the night, virtually unscathed in the gunfire.

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/the-newhall-incident-april-1970/

RIP, Officers Frago, Gore, Alleyn, and Pence.

Upcoming Class Announcements

Personal Performance – May 3, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)

$99 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee, payable day of class.

This Course is designed to give clients a clear measure of where their skills are at and what they need to do to improve their current skill level. It is based on the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program and all shooters will receive NRA awards, based on their achievement during the Course. Shooters do not need to be NRA members to receive their awards. Clients will receive a take home program to maintain and improve the skills exercised during the Course.

The Course is taught in conjunction with Brian and Shelley Hill of The Complete Combatant.

To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/may-2020-personal-performance-tickets-86377997917

Pocket Pistol 101 and Strategies, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (A weekend with the Tactical Professor) – May 30 – 31, 2020 (Weatherford, Texas near Forth Worth)

$300

Join us for two full days of practical skill development, theoretical concepts, and realistic application of both skill and theory to Personal Protection Problem Solving with Claude Werner, AKA “The Tactical Professor”. All instruction is based on twenty years of research and analysis of over 5,000 actual incidents involving Armed Citizens rather than the Police.

Pocket Pistol 101 (Day One): Learn the skills needed to effectively use SMALL handguns for Personal Protection.  Pocket Pistols, such as snubnose revolvers and .380 and small 9mm autoloaders, have manuals of arms and performance limitations that differ significantly from service-size handguns. They are very frequently carried for Personal Protection but often not trained with. This course is designed to teach students proven gunhandling techniques unique to Pocket Rockets, increase the students’ understanding of the shooting characteristics associated with handguns that are smaller, shorter, lighter, and often equipped with sub-optimal sights, and how to enhance their ability to make timely and accurate hits. Both firing line drills and scenario-based exercises (NOTE: Man v. Man Drills) are used as skill builders in the course.

Strategy, Tactics, and Options for Personal Protection (STOPP) (Day Two – Morning): This classroom segment focuses on helping clients define the Strategies, Options, and Tactics that are appropriate for them personally in the area of Personal Protection. By defining personal Strategies and being aware of possible Options, the Tactics appropriate to a person’s goals and lifestyle can be chosen. These are unique to each person and no one size fits all. Being aware of a range of possibilities in advance of criminal encounters helps the client avoid Serious Mistakes and achieve Positive Outcomes. All clients taking the class will receive a copy of the book Serious Mistakes and Negative Outcomes by the Tactical Professor.

Scenario Based Live Fire Exercises (Day Two – Afternoon): The ability to perform effectively on an individual basis is a fundamental aspect of Personal Protection. Each client will have the opportunity to individually examine their performance envelope in re-creations of actual incidents that involved Armed Citizens. The re-creations will mirror the conditions and difficulties that Armed Citizens face when protecting themselves and their families from the criminal element.

To register, visit: https://www.ptgtrainingllc.com/store/p48/A_Weekend_with_the_Tactical_Professor.html

Revolver Operator Course – July 11, 2020 (Dahlonega, Georgia)

$149 class fee, payable in advance. $20 range fee

Small revolvers are often carried for Personal Protection. However, their size and light weight make training and practice difficult. This class uses service size revolvers as the principal training tools for learning the general principles of trigger manipulation, reloading, and gunhandling with revolvers.

After learning the general principles for Revolver Operators with service revolvers, small revolvers will be introduced into the curriculum. The differences between using service revolvers and small revolvers will be explained and practiced. An evaluation test will be shot at the end of the course to allow clients to establish a baseline for their own future performance evaluations. Clients will be given a handbook to guide their practice efforts after the course.

To register: email tacticalprofessor@gmail.com You will be invoiced for the class fee. Once the payment is received, your spot is reserved. The range fee will be collected in cash the day of the class.

First shots of the decade

First shots of the decade for me. I was invited to a local indoor range, so I shot the Ill-Annoy POlice qual and the Swiss CCW qual with a .22 revolver and .22 autoloader.

The ammo was Winchester M22. The 43C had one Failure to Fire so I applied Immediate Action, to wit: press the trigger again. That solved the stoppage.

With the M&P 22 Compact I had no Failures to Fire or other stoppages.

The Ill-Annoy qual is 30 rounds and the Swiss qual is 18. The target for the Ill-Annoy qual is a piece of legal size paper in portrait mode, so I used my letter size equivalent. The specified target for the Swiss qual has a hit zone approximately equal to the -1 zone of an IDPA target so I used my letter size target to increase the challenge slightly.

They are both timed courses, which can be problematic on indoor ranges. I used theDry Fire Par Time Tracker phone app and corded the phone to Howard Leight Sync Muffs. That solution worked reasonably well.

It was nice to get out and do some shooting.

 

Claude Werner’s Revolver Operator Class

I like revolvers and I like teaching people how to use them well. It’s only an “arm’s length gun” if you’re incompetent.

Brian's Blog

The trap of specialization is rampant in martial training, whether it is empty hands or tools. The belief that a narrow focus is the path to mastery will often lead to the problem of “functional fixedness”.

In David Epistien’s book “Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World”  uses the 2008 financial collapse as an example of over specialization. He says “legions of specialized groups optimizing risk for their own tiny pieces of the big picture created a catastrophic whole.”

Many believe learning to be linear, in other words a modular progression, and some favor the circular, a continuing cycle of review and depth, both are important, nevertheless a holistic approach, or the master key has the benefit of a quick prioritization of important information allowing adaptation to a new skill. Therefore I am constantly seeking new learning experiences in shooting, and when Claude Werner offered me the…

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Get Ready (part 2)

Why do people carry an autoloader with an empty chamber? Because they’re concerned about having an Unintentional Discharge.

Sheriff’s gun goes off inside Walmart during a ‘Shop with a Sheriff’ event

One of the comments about the incident on Facebook sums up many people’s feelings about it.

Pickens County Georgia Sheriff UD comment redacted

Which is more likely to save your life? Carrying an autoloader with the chamber empty or carrying a revolver ready to go? Active Self Protection provides us with some food for thought.

A Stark Reminder to Keep Your Defensive Firearm Chambered

Armed Robber Kills Store Owner Whose Gun Wasn’t Ready

Another Reminder to Carry Chamber Full

Continue reading →

Discussion about snub caliber choices

#wheelgunwednesday

Someone contacted me on my Tactical Professor Facebook page regarding selection criteria for a snub revolver. It was a good discussion and well worth reproducing. For clarity, my answers and comments are in italics.

Where can I find info on 22 mag (probably the Hornady round) in comparison to 38 special (target wadcutters) out of a sub-2 inch barrel revolver?

In terms of what criteria? Penetration, recoil, terminal effectiveness?

I guess the concern would be for ballistic performance. The 22 mag has the higher capacity.

Ballistic performance has a lot of variables. I’m not trying to be pedantic but in the gun community we frequently don’t do a good job of defining our goals.

In general, both of the rounds will achieve the desired penetration. The .22 Magnum will have much more concussion than the .38. The .38 will have more recoil. Our human performance factors are a much more important consideration than ballistic performance of any handgun. Given the opportunity, the best move would be to shoot 5^5 with both and see which one you can shoot it better with. That drill, as originally developed by Gila Hayes and extended by me, was designed as the entry level criterion for choosing a handgun.

Start Shooting Better Episode 2: 5×5 Drill – Lucky Gunner Lounge https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/start-shooting-better-5×5-drill/

Although it carries two more rounds [in a Smith & Wesson], you should assume the .22 Magnum will be much more difficult to reload than the .38. There will also likely be issues with ignition reliability of the .22. You should assume that you will never be able to achieve a trigger pull on a .22 Magnum that you can with a .38, precisely because of ignition issues.

I agree with that. I’m looking to pick up a Ruger LCR has a back up gun. It’ll spend almost the entire life in an ankle glove or in a pocket.

The 22 mag has 3 more rounds in it but they are smaller rounds and rimfire.

I believe there is one thing incorrect in your assumptions. The LCR in .22 Magnum holds 6 rounds. The .22 LR holds 8.

I’ve read several write ups that the 38 out of those smaller barrels tends to fall short in terms of penetration.

Does the 22 mag follow that trend as well or is it worse? I may be gaining extra rounds but if the 22 mag performs less than the 38 in general then I’m not much better off than with 5 38 wad cutters.

The reliability issues you pointed out makes a lot of sense. That might be the answer I needed.

What you read is untrue. My colleague Chuck Haggard has done more ballistic gel testing for snubs than most people in the industry. His results were that .38 wadcutters penetrate more than adequately.

So you’re only gaining one round. Before I would go that route, I would personally go with a .327 Federal and load it with .32 H&R Magnum.

https://ruger.com/products/lcr/models.html

Ruger® LCR® * Double-Action Revolver Models

Big difference. I wouldn’t go that route for just one extra round. This was the conversation I needed. Again, thank you very much Claude for helping a dude out.

Summary of the discussion

After certain minimum criteria are met, caliber discussion is a relatively low level priority. Massad Ayoob’s Priorities of Survival; Mental Preparation, Tactics, Skill, and finally Equipment, are a good example of this hierarchy. Priorities of Survival is the critical tool used for this week’s Patreon Incident Analysis.

Patreon topics update

  • H&K VP9SK evaluation
  • Shooting test protocol for carry guns
  • Store robbery with hostage taking – an in-depth analysis of the incident
    • Situation – convenience store robbery. One of the employees was taken hostage immediately. Eventually, a satisfactory resolution was achieved when the cashier shot the robber. The shooting was a downrange incident, i.e., the shot had to be taken with a friendly/non-threat downrange of the shooter and in proximity to the shootee.
    • Cast of character development along with 28 point play by play incident timeline.
    • 17 different Personal Protection tasks identified in the incident.
    • Discussion about possible improvements of the actions immediately after the shooting but before the POlice arrive.

I’m able to cover topics more in depth on my Patreon account than I can in my blog. If you’re interested, you can subscribe for $5 a month here. https://www.patreon.com/TacticalProfessor

FTC Notice: I have no relationship with Ruger nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning their product. The LCR was specifically asked about so I responded.

What snubs can do

#Smith&WessonSunday

I shot the I’m With Roscoe 2019 Internet Match Friday at a local indoor range. The Match is modeled on the Pocket Revolver Championship of the US Revolver Association, as described in the 1915 edition of the book Pistol and Revolver Shooting by A.L.A. Himmelwright. This Match is an Internet enabled version of Postal Matches that were commonly shot in the 20th Century. The Course of Fire is five strings of five shots each at 50 feet. The time limit for each string is 30 seconds and the shooting is done Primary (Strong) Hand Only.

To time it, I used the Dry Fire Par Timer app, available on Google Play, on my phone with ear buds underneath my muffs. That’s a very workable setup for indoor range work.

CW IWR 2019 snub

The outer 4 Ring of the target measures 7 5/16 inches in diameter. Only two shots went outside the 4 ring, so that’s 23 hits in the largest circle out of 25 shots. I think Inspector Erskine would be satisfied with that.

There’s a common misconception that snubs are “arm’s length guns.” As I periodically remind people, that’s only true for the incompetent. Dry practice can go a long way toward improving our skills.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

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

S&W Revolver Frame Sizes (part II)

#Smith&WessonSunday

Broadly speaking, Smith & Wesson swing out cylinder (Hand Ejector) revolvers come in nine frame sizes. In order of increasing size, they are: M, I, Improved I, J, J Magnum, K, L, N, and X frame.

Perceiving a market for a more powerful pocket sized revolver, S&W introduced the J Magnum frame in 1995. It was created to accommodate the length of the .357 Magnum cartridge in a J frame revolver, having a longer cylinder and larger frame opening. This frame was first introduced as the Model 640-1 in 1995. Since then, other J frames, even .38 Specials, have been offered in this frame size. In 1996, the Model 60 (60-9) and 642 (642-1) were changed to the J Magnum sized frame.

The K frame was the original .38 caliber Hand Ejector frame introduced in 1899 as the Military & Police 1st Model. It served as the service revolver for the US Army in .38 Long Colt caliber until the adoption of the Colt 1911 autoloading pistol. The K frame was the most widely used and issued POlice revolver for nearly a century. The US Air Force continued to issue K frame revolvers to its Security POlice until almost the end of the 20th Century. It has been produced in a wide variety of calibers from .22 Long Rifle up to .357 Magnum but .38 S&W Special was the most popular.

Model 10 on Langrish

Model 10-5 (K frame) on reduced Langrish Limbless target from the 1930s

 

Bill Jordan, of the US Border Patrol, convinced S&W to make the K frame size revolver in the .357 Magnum cartridge for POlice service. The .357 had only been produced in N frame revolvers until 1955. His original idea was to practice with .38 Special and only occasionally use .357s. As people started shooting .357 Magnums in quantity, they found that it was hard on a K frame. This led to the introduction of the L frame, which along with the other larger frame sizes will be covered in the next installment.

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

Part I of the series

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/sw-revolver-frame-sizes-part-i/

DRY PRACTICE WITH REVOLVERS

#Fridayfundamentals

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