Firearms: Collecting, Shooting and modifying

Just exploring the interest of others in handguns and long guns, including those you have, would like to have and/or are exploring.

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Are you a collector of ‘exotic’ guns, antiques, standard models, or something else?

Used to shoot a lot back in the 80s and early 90s in the UK. Gun laws changed after the events in Dunblane so I had an enforced retirement.

Shot fullbore rifle (7.62mm) and smallbore (.22LR) in league comps at a county level, but it wasn’t really my main thing.

Shot extensive 1500 competition (using a modified Model 64) and sub-disciplines (mainly Off Duty comp, but using permissible Model 64 2.5" rather than the j-frame 5-shot revolver variants) at national and European level. In peak season, I’d probably put over a thousand rounds down range in a week in combination of practice and competition. My Dillon 550 press was worked-to-death - permanently setup for 148gr wadcutter output :laughing:

Also used to shoot Bianchi Cup too (Action Pistol) at a competent level with a modded and ported 686.

Very happy memories of great times and really decent folk.


Speed competition or accuracy?

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Mind explaining this? I can guess what accuracy means, but what does speed mean?

hitting x targets in y seconds. Usually involves running from station to station.

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1500 was accuracy within time constraints.

Bianchi Cup is similar, but probably more emphasis on speed due to tighter time constraints - it’s certainly more interesting as a spectator due to reactive targets (steel plate match and the moving target match).

Just for fun, every now and then I did a little USPA-type practical pistol which is heavily speed oriented and a fair amount of bowling pin speed comps too. I was always the odd one out using a wheel-gun though rather than a semi-auto - massively disadvantaged due to capacity. And, yes, Jerry Miculek remains a hero of mine - the original speed-king of the revolver - there’s some awesome stuff with him on YouTube.

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In general terms, anything accuracy related will be shot on targets with scoring rings/zones on them. Highest score wins. Lookup Police Pistol 1500 for an example.

Speed events have a few different flavours, but essentially they are either binary targets like hinged steel plates or bowling pins (you either hit it and it fell over, or you didn’t and need to re-engage it until it does) and the lowest time wins; or disciplines where accuracy on a cardboard target with scoring zones is in combination with speed and your time and score are divided to get an overall classification.

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Were you in law enforcement or similar? It seems like the shooting bug bit you hard. I just go to the nearest range and practice; never competed, and probably too old to try now.

I collected different makes and model pistols. My all time favorite model is the Sig Sauer line


I wasn’t in the police, no. I just had a lot of fun doing it. Like anything, when your competency gets to a certain level, the pursuit for further improvement can take over. It did with me. I was still improving when the laws all changed in the UK. I had got to the point with the 1500 course-of-fire of closing in on the top 10 shooters in the country and I had sponsors which made the costs manageable.

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Taran Butler, the man/company that trained Keanu Reeves for the John Wick series, is impressively fast and accurate. So is Reeves. It and motorcycles appear his main hobbies.

There was mention above of the Model 64; was that a S&W Stainless j-frame.

I also like Sig Sauer and have a P365. They had some trouble with their government contract and the unintentional discharge.

With regard to knives, I began informally collecting as a child, and my wife had one built for me from a USMC Vietnam Vet back in 2006.

The Model 64 is K-frame. J-frame are only 5-shot beasts.

Thinking back, the pistol I used for the Off-Duty course-of-fire wasn’t stainless, it was blued. I think it must have been a Model 10 which is effectively the Model 64 mechanically, but different finish. My brain is slowing…

My main match gun used in 1500 was definitely a Model 64 that had been heavily modified with custom 6" barrel and an Aristocrat sight system complete with the rapid adjustment cam to alter the sights for use at 7, 25 and 50 yards.

I agree with you on Sig Sauer - they do make nicely engineered firearms. Better quality than those damn lunch-box Glocks :laughing:

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Thank you for the redirect. Yes, now I recall that the 64 was a stainless K frame. I believe the “6” always designates stainless, correct? Like the model 60 is a stainless .38 spec and my 629 vs. the 29.

You must have been an awesome competitor. Miss it?

Well, Gaston Glock surely has been a clever engineer…but a 17 or 19 is no 1911. They are, however, extremely easy to strip and fun to modify.

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That’s what Taran Butler trains/teaches with timers, fun to watch Keanu Reeves run the course. Interesting that Beretta was set aside for Glock and now Sig. I had to exlain to a police sargeant that he was failing to qualify, shooting low right, because of habd tension.

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Yep, the 6 does designate stainless finish.

A 629 is a serious piece of kit, sir.

Yes, I really miss it. I enjoyed the pressure of sport at a fairly high level. Its unlike any other form of stress I’ve experienced. It made me better. Some guys would never look at the leader board before they went on to the range so they can shoot with a clear head; not me. I knew who my rivals were and checked all posted scores before I went to the line. I shot my best when my rivals posted big scores.

One of the greatest things about it was that it was a level field. Men and women were not divided into separate competitions. Physical fitness was less of a factor than in other sports. Age counted for nothing. There are ability classifications (akin to handicapping like in golf) that would mean newcomers and those with lesser ability could compete against similarly skilled shooters and, just like with golf, improve their classification and move up into higher groups as skills improve. It’s an incredibly egalitarian sport. I think @John_v should give it a go.

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What a competition. I would sorely miss it. I would like to hear more about it from you,

This is an 8” 629…owning it is not synonomous with competently using it. Our 92F Beretta is great.

Are you unable to own your previous competitive units?

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Lol - an 8" .44 is a statement manifest :laughing: Those big N-frame beasts though… I also had a 625 - a specialised N-frame .45 ACP revolver. I used it for bowling pin competitions (I was ok at this, but no master when up against guys with highly modified semi-autos).
6 rounds were pushed into a “moon clip”, a thin star-shaped metal plate with 6 inserts in which you push 6 rounds into. As ACP is a rimless round, it could not be used in a revolver without a moon clip. The whole thing, rounds and moon clip, is then dropped into the cylinder as one; the rear of the cylinder face is machined to accommodate the moon clip. It’s a damn fast way to reload, way quicker than jet-loaders/speed-loaders. I chamfered the entrance to the chambers to make reloading even faster, as the chambers have an effective wider-opening, the accuracy needed when dropping a new moon clip in was not as important. Shot-to-shot (shoot one round and hit plate, reload, shoot one round and hit plate) times for me would be in the 2.0-2.2 sec range with a PB somewhere in the low 1.9s. It was a brilliant tool.

I had to surrender the bulk of my collection after the recategorisation of certain calibres and types of firearm in the law changes that followed the tragic events of Dunblane. I have since lived in 5 different countries and regular migration combined with not being a citizen in any of those 5 meant it was logistically impossible. I’m now settled in Australia (the lovely Mrs Tel is an Aussie) and after 6 years of being here, I actually became a citizen yesterday morning :australia: :partying_face: - I’m toying with the idea of seeing if I can get involved again, but I’ve not looked into how big the scene is here and/or whether there are restrictions on what I might own or use.


First off, congratulations on you citizenship. I hope that you will determine if you can compete again. Clearly you are gifted.

The 2.0-2.2 second range is truly impressive. 1.9 would be other-worldly. Were the highly modified units referred to as “race”? That’s the term I hear most often. I am familiar with the machining to accommodate a moon clip. You really need to have focus to achieve what you have done. Was the chamfering something that you did (the machining) or was a “tech” used for that purpose?

Regarding the 8" 629…really something to sit in a safe. I did have a 29 (and do not recall it had a leading number) and it was nickel plated. Garish, bought it used and it came from the factory in a display case. It had the most amazing action so I am assuming that it was from the custom shop. In either case, long time ago and sold it.

Therapeutic: I had this resident. He now is in an ER out West. He was severely agoraphobic and could not tolerate being in traffic, the city, …any place with human crowding. He married this beautiful girl, and they moved to the country. The only thing that relaxed him was the focus on a target. So he would practice several times per week. He had a 4" 29 and would use bowling pins and old paint cans. Wonder how the bowling pin concept arose.

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