1986 Bianchi Cup S&W

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supervel

This is a rule-bending revolver that caused a big kerfuffle at the 1986 Bianchi Cup when I was called up to provide the required 10 rounds of ammunition for chronographing. The Bianchi rules mandate a power factor of 125 which is easy with a .45 ACP revolver. While most shooters try to “load light” for minimal recoil while still making the power factor, I had the opposite problem. I needed to increase velocity for the Moving Target event as my 200 gr. SWC loads were only going about 800 fps which meant the lead was so great at 25 yards, I had to hold off the paper. This is not good, very imprecise. I wanted to hold on the edge of the paper, a good aiming index, so I loaded “hot” for the Mover, around 1,000 fps. When the NRA referee asked for my 10 rounds, I innocently replied, “My regular loads or my Mover loads?” This drew a look of puzzlement so I explained. This perplexed the man. “You can’t change ammunition during the match,” he replied. “Why not? The rule says it just has to make 125, it doesn’t say there’s an upper limit.” Now the kerfuffle ensued with several referees and the match director, Ray Chapman, huddling out of earshot. They announced their decision— the rule is not clear, you will be allowed to shoot both loads, however, the rule will be rewritten to specify the same ammunition in the future. Sure enough, they changed the rule to specify the same “type and velocity” afterwards. The gun sported an Aimpoint at the time, an early great big brick of one, but I since changed it to a Bo Mar rib. Andy Cannon built the revolver: K-frame roundbutt frame, bull barrel, bobbed hammer, overtravel stop, action job, and grips made by Guy Hogue himself.

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