September 24, 2010
Jerry Miculek's name is perhaps the most recognized in the world of shooting right now. He holds four revolver speed-shooting world records and has won every revolver speed-shooting competition there is. How did Jerry become the revolver guy? It's as much a matter of geography as philosophy.
"In the part of Louisiana I grew up in, a friend of mine, Ben Ashmore, was shooting in the Miller combat league, which predates USPSA. He had a Swenson .45, and I couldn't believe anybody could have a gun that pretty and nice.
"I bought a Colt Gold Cup, but I only shot with that for a couple of months because I didn't like the idea of picking up brass. In Louisiana, if you're not standing in a boat, you're standing in water or a swamp, and trying to find a dry spot to shoot a pistol was kind of hard to do. So I started shooting Smith & Wesson Model 10s."
Jerry's exposure to speed shooting happened when he read about legendary revolver man Ed McGivern in American Rifleman magazine back in 1976.
"I started reading about him, I got his book. I started trying to chase his records and do all the stuff he did," Jerry says.
"The revolver is still a good handgun of choice," Jerry will tell anyone. "Most people, what they need out of a handgun is supplied by a revolver. There's no malfunction drill except pull the trigger again. If you have bad shooting techniques, like you shoot with a limp wrist or whatever, a revolver doesn't care. For the Average Joe it's really the gun to own."
While Jerry is known for his prowess with a revolver, he shoots every kind of gun used in competition, and he trains a lot of people--including Special Forces personnel--and thinks there's a lot of spill-over of competition skills and techniques to the people actually going in harm's way.
"If you go back to World War II and look at the way they trained the average recruit. It was sitting, kneeling, prone with a sling, which sounded really good until they threw them onto the beaches and found out actual combat was street fighting, where there are no rules. That's why the Special Forces go with the guys who shoot competitively. We figure out what works best."
One adaptation he's figured out for competition concerns his vision, which isn't as good as it used to be. He's chosen to go with shooting glasses that have the right-eye correction made for the sight and the left eye for distance. "You have to shoot with both eyes open all the time," he says. "They take a while to get used to."
Jerry has no plans to retire, or even take it easy. "I'm looking to do some more world records," he admits. "I want to do a new revolver record for that old Ed McGivern record of five shots in 0.45 second. I've got the use of his original gun, and I actually got to shoot it last year. It hadn't been shot since 1940, and I got to feel the trigger, and I've got a couple of loaner guns that are close.
"I'm trying to find one of Ed McGivern's original timers, and the idea is to match up the original with the original, and go for a current record at the same time."