Back to basics part 3 (Equipment)

Posted by George on 18th Oct 2016

In Parts 1 & 2 we looked at getting started in competitive revolver shooting and a typical course of fire.  In this Part 3 (final part) let's look at everything else.

These are in no particular order:


Factory sights are great for casual slow fire shooting in bright daylight.  When you move to rapid fire competitive shooting where target acquisition becomes more important, after market sights can offer a real benefit.  Look around and check what others are using.  Our LPA rear sights are bolt on so they are easily returned.  Spring loaded front sights are also easily returnable.  Pinned front sights are not.  The combination I like is the plain rear sight (no fiber optics) and a red fiber optic front sight.  Fairly common combination.

Trigger Job:

The lawyers have prevented the factories from shipping revolvers with much less that about a 12 pound double action trigger pull.  The first adjust is to get the trigger pull to be smooth.  Then next step is to lighten that pull so that it is faster but reliable sets off your rounds.  Many resources are available and we list gunsmiths on our resources page and there are many more.  Check out their work.  Start by getting the trigger pull smooth then add a simple action job. Get used to all that then move on from there.

Competition Belt:

Shooting ICORE, USPSA and even steel challenge you will want to move into a competition belt system.  These systems consist of an inner belt and an outer belt.  The inner belt goes through your belt loops and is attached to your pants.  The outer belt is a hook and loop (Velcro) design and attaches to the inner belt.  All your accessories (holsters and moon clip holders) hang off the outer belt and are easily moved about.  Most belts are 1 1/4 inch tall.  Some are taller.  You should look for a stiff belt system since you don't want equipment moving as you go to use it.


I can recommend 3 holster types.  Safari Land Cup 002 (1980s), is a classic ($70-$80 range) and still works well today.  The next type is folded Kydex and many manufactures make them.  I would start with Blade Tech because  Dave Ohasso uses them so they must work.  They are the same price range ($70-$80) as Cou 002.  And last DAA (and others) make a slick holster (hard to call it a holster) which grabs the gun by only the trigger guard and it's fast.  Don't start with one of these designs, they are too trick for a beginner.  It took me 6 months to get it set up correctly and not till then did my times to first shot come down.  And remember at most one draw in a course of fire.

Case Checker/Moon Clip Checker:

If you are reloading your ammunition your probably have a case checker.  If not get one they're cheap.  You should check every case before you put them in moon clips or speed loaders.  It is cheap insurance and  I've found many rounds that didn't fit. Next consider a moon clip checker. Our moon clip checkers are made to minimum dimensions.  If your loaded moon clip fits into the checker it is guaranteed to fit in your revolver.  Takes you mind of 'hope this will fit'

Moon Clip Holder:

Many events require that you carry your ammunition on your belt as you move through the course of fire.  You will need a moon clip holder.  We offer 1 post single moon clip holders (2 moon clips on each post) and also dual holders which hold a total of 4 moon clips.  With these 2 sized holders you can move them around your belt and place then exactly where you want them.  I use 1 single post in the rear and 2 double post mounted off center to the left (weak hand) side.

Spare Parts:

Some parts are guaranteed to break or fall off at exactly the wrong time.  Consider spare screws for the side plate, spare strain screw, spare front sight, spare springs for (cylinder release, sear, cylinder stop).  These don't cost a lot and are invaluable if you need them.  Perhaps a spare battery for your red dot scope.

Tool Set:

Midway and Brownells sell a gunsmith tool set which contains a basic driver with interchangeable tips.  Good to have some punches and a set of tweezers.  Oil and cleaning patches are small and easy to carry.

Backup Gun:

Here's a chance to buy another gun.  Think about it.  Match fees, travel expense, lodging, and your time at a match you can't shoot because your gun broke.  Perhaps you and a friend could go halves on a backup gun.