Last month, I reviewed the fine art of revolversmithing. The many parts and bearing surfaces which come into play in revolver shooting create as many opportunities for success as they do for failure - depending on your attitude and perspective. Sometimes, however, you just can't get all six cylinders to perform equally. While your waiting to correct these inconveniences, you can still compete and win if you adapt your competition shooting to take advantage of the good that your revolver can do.

Over the years, I have developed a method for revolver evaluation which has served me well. I keep a record, or shooting log, of every practice and competition that I shoot with every revolver. By reviewing the data, I can identify which loads are working well in which revolvers, and use that data to improve my performance. For example, if cylinders 1, 5 and 6 in a particular revolver are shooting a nice little two-inch group in the eight ring, I can adjust my revolver sights so that those cylinders will shoot dead center, and only shoot those cylinders in competition. You load the same number of total cylinders, and the amount of extra time you spend loading is not apparent. Don't attempt this kind of adjustment for the first time at a shoot or skirmish, however. Practice it first. The unloaded cylinders you don't use may have an impact on performance, and you'll want to know what that impact is before competing.

I am including a copy of my revolver shooting log form for readers to use in recording their own revolver exploits. Over time, you will find that keeping and reviewing records will help you improve all your shooting, especially revolver shooting. The form may be easily reproduced in its' original 8.5" by 11" format. The form has been designed so that it can be folded in half to a 5.5" by 8.5" format, and mounted in smaller notebooks more suitable for range use. This is how I now use the form, although I used it for years in the larger style.

Some of the tips I've reviewed before for improved revolver shooting are using FF instead of FFF powder, using .457 balls to engage more rifling in the barrel, and using an inert filler (many shooters use Cream of Wheat) to seat the ball at the top of the cylinder chamber. The shooting log helps you record the results of your improvement experiments, as well as providing proof of what works and what doesn't. Most of my revolver writing has been based on the records that I kept on this form and its' predecessors.

Wishing all Civil War News readers the Best Shooting Year they ever had, I close by saying, "Don't forget, shoot safe and have fun in 1994."

(C) 1993 Tom Kelley
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