View Full Version : IDPA: Just shot first COF - now looking for 9mm revolver ;-)

May 5, 2002, 07:04 PM
My wife and I just went out to a local IDPA shoot, a friend was SO'ing and let us slip in some shooting (me with my Makarov, wife with taurus..both guns not really IDPA 'legal'). It was a gas, my wife is very interested in getting involved (which is a good thing).

So, I was talking to a guy with a .40S&W revolver (M610), and piles of moon clips. Got me thinking, I'd like to find an IDPA suitable revolver in 9mm. For multiple reasons, my wife is more comfortable with a revolver, and it sure would make picking up spent brass (and reload with retension) much easier. From what I can tell the options for 9mm in revolver are very limited. I know there are a few .45ACP as well, but I'm "shootin" for a gun both my wife and I can manage, so medium frame is the only option.

Oh well, perhaps it's an excuse to buy two guns.. I would love to shoot wheelgun, even without moon clips I suppose the empties end up pretty close together.

Perhaps I'll see some of you folks at the Ohio State shoot in Youngstown, probably not shooting but we'd love to watch!

May 5, 2002, 07:46 PM
Ruger used to make one in the Security Six line. S&W made a 5 shot for a while also , but it wouldn't be very good for IDPA. The S&W 610 and 625 models are really the best choices available right now. The nice thing about them is they can both be downloaded to shoot as soft as a 9mm since revolver power floor is only 125. Think about it - a 45 ACP, 230 gr ball, only needing to have a velocity of around 550 fps. Very soft shooting.:D

May 5, 2002, 08:38 PM
There is one 6 holer S&W wheelgun in 9mm using moon clips. Discontinued in 1980, the Model 547 was offered in 3" and 4". Good luck finding one for under $500. Basically a Model 65 in 9mm.

Jim Watson
May 5, 2002, 10:57 PM
The 547 does not use moon clips - not the one I shot, at least. It had a patented trick extractor that would lift the rimless cases. The rounds were fully chambered, there was no clearance for a clip. Nor for the rimmed 9mm Federals as made for the short lived 9mm Charter Arms revolver.
It had a notably tough trigger pull, partly due to their wanting to be able to handle hard Euro primers and partly due to the requirement for the hammer to strike the headspacing pin simultaneously with the firing pin.

My S&W M25-2 (older blue .45) requires more mainspring tension than a .38 or .44 because it has to have a hard enough hammer fall to take up the slack in the clip-to-caserim-to-cylinder combination. I don't know if that applies to the 10mm and .40, but I suspect it would. This adds to trigger pull and would not be handy for most ladies.

The only 9mm clip 6-shot revolver I know of is the Ruger Speed Six, not a common gun. You will miss a lot of matches looking for one.

May I again respectfully suggest you get yourself and your wife each a nice S&W K-frame .38/.357 and a hat full of speedloaders and go shooting. Don't get involved with gamer guns and gimmicks until you are more experienced, if at all.

May 6, 2002, 06:31 PM
I have been having some success with a S&W model 10 in 38 special. I find the medium K-frame more comfortable to shoot than the N-frames in 45 and 10mm/40. I use the Safariland comp 3 speedloaders with a Blade-Tech holder and load almost as fast as the moon clips. I make up the difference in speed because I can shoot the smaller gun faster and more accurate. I had a chance to shoot one of the Ruger 9mm revolvers and I like my model 10 better. :)
I will be at the Ohio State. I haven't decided whether to shoot my revolver or my Glock. :)
Bill Nesbitt

May 7, 2002, 01:26 PM
A little off the subject, but one of the advantages of the 9mm,40, and 45 over say the 38 special and 357 is the OAL of the cartridge. The shorter ones are obviously easier to load in a revolver than the longer 38s and 357s. The moonclips also have the advantage of clearance over the bulkier speedloaders. What if you didn't have the problem of BOTH long cartridges and a bulky speedloader? Mmmmmmm....

I tried a little experiment and trimmed a bunch of 38 special cases down to the length of a 38 Super Auto. 9mm length seems to be a bit too short for the speedloaders. I then loaded them as if they were a 9mm with my usual 9mm/38 Super powder. I was using 124gr fmj bullets. They were quicker to load with speedloaders, extracted quicker with less chance of hanging up on the extractor or grips, and shot as well as my regular 38 spec loads.

The disadvantage is that they would be harder find on the ground if at a match since their size causes them to blend in better with the usual assortment of 9mm, 38 Super, etc on the ground. Plus since you have to spend extra time trimming them to length, you sure don't want to lose anymore than you have to. They not be legal in some competitions since they are now a non-production or wildcat cartridge. Like I said, I just did it as an experiment and have never shot it in a match.

Tony S45
May 7, 2002, 05:26 PM
Yo, Braindead0

No current production 9mm moon clip guns available except a few Ruger SP101s but they are five rounders and IDPA is designed for six round events to be revolver neutral.

I currently shoot a Glock 9mm in IDPA and plan on also shooting a S&W 686 4" using Safariland III speedloaders with a nylon holder from Bagmaster (www.bagmaster.com). I would JUMP at the chance to buy a K or L frame sized revolver six shot 9mm moon clip gun and went so far as to call Ruger, Dan Wesson, Smith & Wesson, and Taurus earlier this year to see if they had any models in the works. They all said NO!

While I agree that the shorter 9mm clipped cases will pop out of the cylinder more easily than the longer .38s, try polishing the six holes or have a qualified gunsmith do it! It will make a big difference. I have a Dan Wesson .357 that spits out the .38 cases instantly and I will make, with polishing effort, my S&W do the same!!!

Glad to see you and the Mrs. are getting involved. Competition makes us all better shooters and I learn something new without fail each week. Good shooting!


May 7, 2002, 08:24 PM
So darn many choices.. I've heard that Taurus is planning the 627 in .45ACP, but I have a feeling it'll have proper chambers instead of moon clip. In all likelihood the frame would be too big for my wife. I'll probably end up getting an IDPA legal 3" .357...

Tony S45
May 8, 2002, 04:45 AM
I would suggest a 4". The added weight will help keep the muzzle down for a faster doubletap!

"So many guns; so little time & money!"

May 8, 2002, 07:04 AM
In a way, it is too bad that their arn't more options for the revolver shooter in IDPA. However I understand their reasoning behind it. You guys mentioned several of the moon clip revolvers that are hard to come by. I have a 627 PC that isn't legal anymore for IDPA. It uses and 8 shot moon clip, but for IDPA you could only load six. It has a compensator that can be removed and replaced with a blank. However, dispite all that, it is illegal because the barrel is too long.
I guess the suggestion about using the Model 10 with speedloaders or something similar is what IDPA wants you to do. So why try to swim upstream ?

May 8, 2002, 07:50 AM
Well, cause I enjoy swimming upstream ;-). As for a 4" barrel, I'm looking for a 2-3" because my wife intends to use this as her carry weapon. Considering the relatively low power requirements for revolver, recoil isn't going to be much of an issue except perhaps for my wife.

In all truth, we have no intentions of shooting many official matches, the locals have no problem with my wife shooting her ported 4" taurus. I just figure my next gun purchase will be a legit IDPA gun. I suppose I can always do some trigger work on a k-frame so my wife can manage it properly.

Thanks everybody for your wonderful suggestions, I have a feeling we'll be browsing the gun shops and shows for a good deal on a used wheelgun..

May 8, 2002, 04:24 PM
Be sure to check the length of the ejector rod. Most guns with a 3" or longer barrel will fully eject fired brass. The rods on the shorter barrels won't.
Bill Nesbitt

May 8, 2002, 06:10 PM
That's partly the reason I'm thinking a 3" would be good. OTOH I hear that if you polish the chambers (might as well if I'm getting them chamfered) brass is pretty easy to expel.

It never ceases to amaze me how many options there are... all with good / bad points...ugh.. Seriously considering going with my first thought and just getting a witness for me and a used 4" S&W for my wife...more guns more fun ;-)

Neil Casper
May 8, 2002, 10:45 PM
Non of the 9mm revolvers are really good for official IDPA matches.

I have a S&W 940 five shot 9mm J-frame for personal use and have used it in Back Up Gun matches.

I usually shoot a S&W K-frame revolver in IDPA. I'll be using one in the Ohio State IDPA Match again this year. Either a 4" Model 19 or a 3" Model 66. I also have a 3" Model 13 but that one usually stays in the bedroom these days.
A 3" revolver is kind of hard to find but they sure are handy.
You can get holsters made for them. I use Kramer, Rafter "S", and Wild Bill's holsters for mine. I really like the leather vertical scabbard style holsters.
Safariland Comp II loaders work real good for me, others prefer HKS loaders. Loader pouches can be had cheap in nylon or expensive in custom "IDPA approved" leather and/or Kydex.

I hope you join the ranks of IDPA revolver shooters.

May 9, 2002, 07:59 AM
I tried to talk my dad into giving me his WWII S&W .455 webley so I could cut the barrel down ;-)...no dice..

The wife and I plan on shooting.. (video and camera) at the big Ohio match, hope to see you there. We'll probably be following one or two people around (with permission of course) and taking lots of pictures..