Setting up a revolver for competition shooting. Part 1....A plan.

Posted by George on 2nd Oct 2017

I answer so many questions about how to get into competitive shooting with your new revolver.  Many questions are specific and the folks asking have jumped over some basic topics.  So I thought I would start from the beginning and show you how I go about setting up a revolver for competition.

First off let me say I am not an expert at this.  I'm not going to go into any obscure issues that should be handled by the factory or a competent gunsmith.   But I have been doing this for quite a while now and would like to share with you my experiences.  

And of course SAFETY is the most important rule to follow.  BE SAFE!!

First let's pick a revolver.  I have an S&W 627 8 shot 357 that I bought on Gunbroker a while back and I would like to turn it into a unit we could use at USPSA, ICORE, Steel Challenge and of course plate shoots.  It currently has factory sights and I'll mount a scope for accuracy testing and load development.  Trying to eliminate operator error as much as possible.  I have recently had great results with Starline brass for 38 Short Colt and our 0.025" nickel plated moon clips.

Starline Link            RSC Link

These cases use small pistol primers and I'll be using Federal.  They are hard to get right now but they give you the lightest trigger pull.  Probably Hodgdon Clays or Winchester 213 for powder but we will see how that works out.

For bullets, we have Bang and Clang, LLC bullets.  Both lubed and coated bullets are available.  Probably a round nose lighter weight (100 gn to 125 gn).  Round nose for easier reloading and light weight cause I shoot better with the lighter weight bullets.  160 gn bullets are very popular in 9MM and 38 SC cases.

So we have a plan developing.  

  • Select a gun
  • Select a cartridge and bullet
  • Select a shooting discipline.
  • Figure out the steps and who will be doing each step.

I would like to do all the steps in this project.  I believe I can do that and also I want to show you how easy or difficult each step would be and see if you think you can perform that step.

  1. Get a gun.
  2. Inspect the gun
  3. Clean up the gun.
  4. Perform a trigger job to smooth out the action and check for reliable operation.
  5. Mount a scope for load development
  6. Get cases, primers, powder and bullets.
  7. Start with loads to check for proper functioning.
  8. Develop loads for accuracy.
  9. Chronograph loads for power factor.
  10. Explore different bullets and powders.
  11. Record and report results.

Next time Part 2 Trigger jobs.