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Pocket pistols for side matches?

Neuse Rivers

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From the handbook


A pocket pistol is a small frame, fixed sight, pre-1900 design revolver having a barrel length of four inches or less. Pocket pistols must be .31 caliber or larger. Model ―P‖ Colts and clones and revolvers with swing out cylinders are specifically not allowed regardless of caliber, frame size, or barrel length. Pocket pistols may not be used as or converted to main match revolvers.


So yes, 31 cal would be legal. I only shoot BP subs in mine, usually APP. Most of those old guns were made in the BP era, and really can't stand up to the pressure spikes of smokeless powder. I really enjoy shooting my pocket pistols, it's neat shooting g 100+ year old guns!

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They are legal but I have never seen one used in a side match. The side matches are speed matches and are completely dominated by double action top break revolvers.

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It is legal but slow. I have two .41 Long Colt Colt Thunderers that are fast enough to win.

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If your side match is speed based, it'll be too slow.

If your side match in accuracy based, it'll be just fine.


I've been to a few big matches that have both. I tend to use something DA in the speed ones, but my Merwin & Hulbert Spur trigger .38 in the accuracy ones.

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I was wondering because a friend has a reproduction .31 c&b pistol that he'll let me have cheap. I'm not speedy and don't come close to winning anything. So, speed wouldn't matter.

Percussion pistols are LEGAL for sidematches, provided they comply with the regs.

They are uncommon in that role, especially when the sidematch includes an "on the clock" reload (first saw that at EoT many years ago).

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