The following information comes from The Elusive Ten by William Reichenbach. The Elusive Ten is also available to purchase in print.
As a logical opening chapter to the practical part of the manual, I offer to my readers in general, but particularly to those who have not yet bought their guns, a short cross-section of suitable target-weapons.
Keeping in mind the fact that this Manual is devoted primarily to the American revolver, I feel that mention should be made of at least one automatic. Lack of space forces me to omit some suitable revolver models (Harrington and Richardson, for instance, brought out some very creditable 22-calibre weapons at nominal prices), although I do so with some regret.
There is hardly a piece of sportive equipment which meets with such jealous partiality as does the target gun. However, I know better than to let myself be drawn into endless arguments pro and con, and I shall confine myself to the statement that the fine target weapons brought out by the leading American manufacturers all have their merits. In the final analysis, it is therefore up to you to pick your own gun.
You will notice that I show two kinds of calibres—namely the 22-calibre, which fires a rim-fire shell, and the 38-cal. using a centre-fire cartridge.
In taking your choice, you should keep in mind what kind of work or competition you intend to take up. In many competitions, for instance, rim-fire weapons are not permissible against centre-fire guns, the contention being that the heavier recoil of the latter would impose an undue disadvantage.
The rim-fire shells are very economical, and in view of the lack of noticeable recoil and muzzle blast, this calibre is a great favorite. The centre-fire 38-calibre revolver, on the other hand, is a real he-man’s weapon, and although a little harder to conquer, many experts swear by it and look with disdain upon the smaller calibres.
In a way, it is a toss-up which calibre would give better results in target work. While the smaller calibres are easier to handle, the bullet holes made by the larger calibres cover more territory.
There is another category of target guns which I shall, intentionally, leave out. I refer to the so-called “Free Pistols.” These are very extreme single-shot models, on which science and ingenuity have expended their help to an almost uncanny degree. Short of leather-upholstered resting facilities and melodious musical accompaniment, they are the last word in hand guns. They are, however, frisky and unwieldy, besides being very expensive, and for our purpose we can forget them without regret. They are barred from most matches.
SMITH & WESSON 6 Shot Revolver, Model K. 22 cal. Rim-Fire—Very smooth action and an excellent target gun.
SMITH & WESSON Revolver, Military & Police, 38 cal. Centre-fire, 6″ barrel—(The larger sister to the 22-cal. Model K) It has the same agreeable action as the K22.
COLT WOODSMAN Rim-fire Automatic 22 cal. 6″ barrel—A very useful hand-weapon, not confined to target work alone. It is remarkably accurate and handsome.
COLT OFFICER’S MODEL, 6-Shot Revolver, 22 cal. Rim-fire, 6″ barrel—If ordered from the factory with hand-honed action and a specified trigger pull, this weapon is unexcelled and the primary choice of many target shooters.
COLT OFFICER’S MODEL, 38 cal. Centre-fire, 6″ barrel—(The pendant to the 22 cal. Officer’s model). This is unquestionably the outstanding target gun in this calibre and eminently suitable for very close shooting.