View Full Version : IDPA Revolver choices

Robert Allison
May 21, 2005, 10:04 PM
I'm relatively new to IDPA, shot some IPSC Limited and Limited 10 several years back, but I'm feeling like returning to my revolver roots and going that route. I have no experience shooting revolvers in IPSC competition, strictly semi-autos.

So what are the best revolvers for IDPA? I realize that the rules require they have barrels no longer than 5", and that they may not be loaded with more than 6 rounds, making the 7 & 8 shot models useless. I'm thinking that moon clips would be faster and more fool-proof than speed loaders. So what do you think, 4" or 5" 625 with moon clips? What are the better IDPA revolver gurus using?

Jim Watson
May 22, 2005, 08:34 PM
DANGER Robert Allison, DANGER.

The maximum revolver barrel length for IDPA is FOUR inches (specifically 4.2", since S&W makes their nominal four inch guns a little over for sale in Canada and other repressive regimes.) They disallowed 5" barrels some time back.

IDPA has subdivided revolvers into two divisons. The moon clip guns now fall in Enhanced Service Revolver, mostly 625 .45 with some 610 10mms. They must now make power factor 165, same as the .45 autos in CDP... or L10. So the few 686 Supers and 646 .40s will take stout loads and the Ruger Speed Six 9mms that everybody was looking for are pretty well out of the picture.

Stock Service Revolver must use speedloaders (or speed strips, or belt loops, dump pouches, or loose rounds in your pocket, depending on how traditional you want to be.) Power factor requirement is 125. A .38 with good DA and some speedloaders will be all you need to be competitive there.

May 23, 2005, 01:14 PM
Jim pretty much hit it on the head.
Those with a Smith 25/625 can still shoot SSR, if they use Auto Rim brass and appropriate speedloaders.

Jim Watson
May 23, 2005, 08:12 PM
I haven't seen anybody shooting SSR with light load Auto Rims, have you?

I am shooting up my light load ex-SSR .45s for practice in my autos. I had not cut the load to the absolute minimum and they will function a 1911... usually.

May 24, 2005, 11:55 AM
We've been drawing 50-60 shooters all Spring, and I don't think I've seen anyone shooting a revolver of any kind. My point was, someone who was shooting a 25/625 in SSR can still shoot SSR, if they don't mind changing their brass and loaders. If I went to a match, and there was only one other revo shooter, I would rather have some competition than shoot alone, and having both SSR and ESR gear for your 25/625 would allow that.

Old Shooter
May 25, 2005, 06:09 AM
7 and 8 shot revolvers are permitted but they can only be loaded with 6 rounds. That makes reloading difficult (slow) since you have to make sure that the first shot is not an empty cylinder.

Chris W
May 25, 2005, 10:25 AM
Robert, there are really two pretty simple answers to your query, since there are now two classes of IDPA revolvers.

If you want the speed and convenience of moonclips, and are willing to pay the price (in money and recoil) of shooting major pf, then shoot ESR with a 4" 625. The only modifications that will matter a hoot are grips and sights to suit you, and enough work or dry-fire to get the trigger where you want it.

If you want to go old-school police drama with it, and want the pleasure (and low cost) of shooting .38 loaded to minor pf, shoot SSR with a 4" 686. Same modification list, but add Safariland Comp III speedloaders.

Some will advocate the 610 shooting .40 for ESR--heavier gun, faster shot-to-shot recovery, but slightly slower average reloads.

Some will pick a different .357/.38 for SSR for a variety of reasons--'cause it's cheaper, or they like the handling of a k-frame better (I shoot a 66 for this reason), or they prefer Rugers, or whatever. But those two guns--the 625 and the 686--will doubtless be the benchmarks in their respective classes.