Pat Rogers Memorial Revolver Roundup After Action Report [2023]

revolver roundup 2023

The Pat Rogers Memorial Revolver Roundup is THE revolver event of the year. If you're not familiar with Pat Rogers, here is a brief explanation:

Pat Rogers was a Gunsite graduate and long-time Rangemaster. A legendary instructor, he had deep experience in the USMC, and was a highly decorated NYPD Sergeant. Pat was scheduled to teach at the Revolver Round Up in 2016 in Dallas, TX, but sadly passed away prior to the event. From that point on the event became dedicated to both Pat’s memory and to honor Pat’s dedication to training and the passing on of his knowledge and wisdom.

Revolver Roundup continues today due to the memory of Pat, and a large number of those he had an impact on. Over the course of three days, a multitude of instructors teach on a wide variety of topics, all revolving around the revolver. 2023's Instructor lineup consisted of Wayne Dobbs, Mark Fricke, Darryl Bolke, Dave Dolan, Chuck Haggard, Cecil Burch, Caleb Giddings, Bryan Eastridge, Lew Gosnell, Freddie Blish, Bruce Cartwright, Erick Gelhaus, and James Stuart William. What does Roundup have to offer? Read on to learn more.

Location of Revolver Roundup

Gunsite Academy, Paulden, Arizona

Weather

The weather was fairly chilly throughout Revolver Roundup this year, and at some points down right cold. I stayed layered up, but in the fading November sun, things got a bit cold, especially in the shade. Skies were clear and sunny, and the wind was fairly mild.

Equipment

For the majority of Revolver Roundup I used my 2.5" Smith & Wesson Model 19 carried in a Galco Combat Master. This was shot from concealment underneath my coat. Ammunition was High Desert Cartridge Company's low pressure .357 Magnum FMJ loading. Due to interference with the magnum's longer cases and my Altamont grips, reloads were done using my Galco 2x2x2, speed strips from Bianchi and Tuff Products, and my pocket.

revolver roundup 2023
Chuck Haggard and Mark Fricke running ballistics gel testing

For some blocks I used my Smith & Wesson 640 Pro carried in a JM Custom Kydex AIWB1 holster. This was shot from an Elite Survival Systems Tailgunner 2 fanny pack. Reloads and ammunition were the same as above.

Personnel

Approximately 50 students are in attendance, with roughly half a dozen students being female. Ages range from early 20's to mid 80's. Backgrounds include teachers, military and law enforcement, IT, entrepreneurs, and more. There are multiple father/son pairs, and a handful of husband/wife partnerships as well.

Day Zero of Revolver Roundup

While Revolver Roundup begins on Saturday, the festivities begin Friday evening. This is not a mandatory event, but arriving to Gunsite a day early will help to smooth out the rest of the weekend. It's at this time that schedules are handed out, dinner is served, and conversation is had. We don't stick around too long, needing to check into our Airbnb and prepare for the following day.

Day One of Revolver Roundup

Saturday begins in the classroom with waivers, sign-ups for food, comments about vendors and sponsors, a safety briefing and more. Once everyone has their scheduled and completed administrative tasks, we head to our respective ranges to begin the training day. Due to the nature of this event, I will only be detailing the blocks I participated in. There are multiple blocks of training occurring simultaneously, so there's a lot that I didn't get to see. If you want to know more about Revolver Roundup, go sign up for this year's course!

Mark Fricke and Wayne Dobbs - Introduction to Revolver Gun Handling & Marksmanship (live)

Much of the training for Revolver Roundup is in a building block format. Classes start easy on the morning of the first day and gradually ramp up throughout the weekend. I begin with a course on the fundamentals from Mark Fricke and Wayne Dobbs. This starts with an awesome history lesson on stocks, sights, and loading devices from Fricke, which keeps me captivated throughout. It was great to be able to see and handle some loaders I'd only ever seen online, getting a better understanding of their function. I know some people were ready to shoot, but I could take a whole course on the subject alone.

revolver roundup 2023
Wayne Dobbs showing us how it's done

After this we get our gear checked by the instructors for safety, then break into two groups, one going with each instructor. From here we get academics and practice on loading and unloading of our revolvers. This is done with dummy rounds, working both full and partial reloads. After several repetitions we head to the firing line in our two relays lead by Dobbs. Wayne leads us through a handful of drills, both freestyle and strong-hand-only (SHO) while Mark works up and down the line applying feedback to students.

Once our two-hours block is up, we pack our things and head up to the pavilion for lunch.

Mark Fricke and Wayne Dobbs - Revolver Manipulations & Handling (non-stress)

After lunch I find myself in another block with Wayne and Mark. Surprisingly, only two new students appear compared to the morning's group. Mark covers loading devices again, this time delving less into history and more into their relationship with stocks. I can see some shooters surprised to see how grip design can change without warning, drastically impacting compatibility with loaders, along with ejection of spent cases.

revolver roundup 2023
Mark Fricke observing the firing line

Much like the morning, Fricke and Dobbs break us into two groups to do dry practice on the side berms. Curiously, one student loses their front sight, and another has a trigger spring fail during this time. We work reloads, occasionally interrupted by commands to fire, driving home the importance of partial loads. This translates to the live fire range, as we work both full and partial reloads. While this block is fairly similar to the morning, there were enough differences to make doubling up worthwhile.

Darryl Bolke - Off Body / Purse Carry

Off body carry is something that I largely scoffed until the summer of 2021. It was then that I began wearing a fanny pack while doing yardwork, and then later into the gym as fashion trends allowed them without question. Since then I've found more uses, and soften my stance on the style. That said, I'd never received formal training, and was eager to fix that.

revolver roundup 2023
Darryl discussing off body carry

Darryl begins class by providing context. Despite what some may say, off body carry isn't just for purses, and our class reflects that, with most students being men. Purses, fanny packs, and cross body bags off all types are here, with people from all walks of life. We head to the range and start dry practice by the numbers to keep everyone safe. Once we have the basics down, live fire starts, primarily shooting pairs on target. Darryl then adds in verbal commands, and keeps people's muzzles in check regarding what a true "low ready" should look like.

Most students walk away feeling great. Many have never had the opportunity to shoot from this type of concealment, so this experience is stellar. Even those who don't carry in this manner find value, being able to relay their experience to students of their own.

Day Two of Revolver Roundup

Day two of Revolver Roundup begins with a mild scheduling snafu. A couple of classes are listed as being on each other's range, so we some people jump into the class they find themselves at, while others scramble to get to the right place.

Caleb Giddings - Action Shooting Course

Caleb begins with his background as a successful competitor with revolvers, along with work as an instructor for the US Air Force and in the private sector. From here he leads into the context of this class, along with that of competition in general. We discuss a variety of bodies to include USPSA, IDPA, ICORE, and more, with Caleb racking and stacking them under multiple criteria. This takes us to the range, where Caleb runs us through multiple courses of fire that he uses in his own practice and training schedules.

revolver roundup 2023
Caleb Giddings demoing a course of fire

Caleb begins with Gabe White's Standards, and follows it up with the IDPA 25-round 5x5. During this time I drop several rounds, short stroke my trigger once, and give up a reload. Definitely not a great start to the day, driving a refocus for the rest of the training day. Curiously, I also experience two light strikes, my only ammunition related issues of the entire weekend. After this, Caleb gives us an example of his training flow. In short, he works a variety of skills into series of short drills. This is to help build up repetitions, without hammering the same exact process over and over, in an effort to improve retention. This is something that I've worked into a few of my own courses of fire since Roundup.

Once we finish on the range we head back to our overhang for questions and wrap up.

Bryan Eastridge - PPC Course

Bryan begins with a simple question, "If you could have one revolver from history, what would it be?" Answers range from Frank Hamer's Lucky, to Pat Rogers' personal guns. This generates some good discussion, and leads directly into the material, though I won't spoil Bryan's answer. From here we go into the history of PPC, along with an explanation of the course of fire and Bryan's experience with them.

revolver roundup 2023
The results of my PPC course

After some academics, we head down to the range. From here we get a taste of a PPC course, firing a shortened 36-round course. I drop 37 points here, and make a slight windage adjustment afterwards. This is just enough to whet my appetite, giving me a small PPC itch that has yet to be scratched. Next we do a small amount of strong-hand-only (SHO) work with our remaining time, though I'll save the details for later.

Bryan Eastridge - One-Handed Shooting

After lunch I return to the range with Bryan for a dedicated one-handed shooting block. Class is jam packed, with 33 shooters showing up, in stark contrast to the light PPC attendance. Bryan begins by providing academics on technique using a revolver he's pulled the cylinder from. With lecture complete, we head to the range, breaking into four relays on the firing line. We begin by trying to match the firing whistle command, gaining speed over time.

revolver roundup 2023
Bryan Eastridge explaining one-handed shooting

Next Bryan has us do some experimentation. First we work different thumb positions and tensions, firing a handful of rounds each. After that we try shooting with the gun perfectly vertical, as well as slightly canted inboard. Several shooters have "ah-ha" moments, as their preconceived notions of SHO shooting are challenged in real time. No two shooters are alike, so everyone finds themselves using slightly different methods across everything provided. Class wraps up with a shoot-off; five rounds on a B8-C, at ten yards, strong hand only. I manage a 47-3X with my stubby Model 19, with second and first place clearing a 49/50 and 50/50 respectively.

Like most shooters, one-handed shooting has always been a weakness of mine. This was a great block for me, and clearly one of the most popular of the weekend. Those who didn't attend definitely missed out.

Bruce Cartwright - Revolver Glory Skills Test

My final block of the day is a longer course of fire, first developed by Ken Hackathorn. Bruce begins with safety, history, expectations, and the rules of engagement for the range. Quite a few students have shown up for this event, and we break into four relays on the firing line. As a timed and scored test, Bruce moves one by one, using an electronic shot timer to measure our times. After everyone in a relay has completed the string, we tape up targets, and rotate to the next group of students.

revolver roundup 2023
Darryl, Caleb, myself, and others at the Taurus booth

I drop a few rounds early on, trying to go fast rather than focusing on good hits. As Bruce moves to the next shooter, his son gives feedback to those who just finished and ensures they safely holster. This helps to speed things along, as does the third assistant who keeps track of everyone's times and points. Unfortunately we are unable to complete the course of fire due to the large number of students in this block before the training day ends. For those interested, Bruce provides the course of fire to shoot on our own time--something that I still need to make time to do.

From here we pack our things and head home for the night.

Day Three of Revolver Roundup

The third day of Revolver Roundup is a little bit different compared to the previous two days. Instead of scheduled blocks of training, students are free to roam the Gunsite campus, freely coming and going from different events. There are multiple scored courses of fire available on the ranges, several lectures on topics from tactical anatomy and the history of American fighting revolvers, and more.

revolver roundup 2023
Shooting the Rossi RM64

I start my morning by heading down to check out the Taurus Demo Range. Caleb has a variety of Rossi revolvers, and their new R95 30-30 rifle available to shoot, and plenty of ammunition. As a huge fan of the Winchester 94, I'm very pleased with the R95, and the Rossi revolvers are very nice for the price as well. Multiple people cycle through, and we end up putting a little over 200 rounds through the rifle, and hundreds of rounds through a handful of wheelguns.

Next I head over to watch Mark Fricke and Chuck Haggard perform ballistic gel testing. They have brought a variety of guns and ammunition to test out, and students have the opportunity to volunteer their own loads for testing as well. A ton of students brought ammunition to try out, but unfortunately I wasn't able to stick around to watch the full testing.

Wrapping Up

Heading up to the patio, we're just in time for the raffle. Taurus has donated several guns, with Ruger providing a couple of LCRs, along with other items up for grabs from other vendors. My wife and I each drop in a few tickets, and one of hers wins us a Taurus 608. This behemoth sports a 6.5" ported barrel, and holds eight rounds of .357 Magnum, and cost us less than $50. Proceeds go to the Jeff Cooper Legacy Foundation, of which we're both recipients of their scholarship. Expect a review of the 608 at some point in the future.

revolver roundup 2023
Just a selection of Mark Fricke's treasure trove of wheelgun gear

By late morning it was time to hit the road and return to the real world. We say our goodbyes then make our way home.

Final Thoughts on Revolver Roundup

This was my first time attending Revolver Roundup, and I will absolutely be back. If you're a worshipper of the wheelgun, you owe it to yourself to make it to this event. You won't find anywhere else with as many enthusiastic handgunners, nor so many incredible resources on the revolver. The staff is fantastic, the students are a blast, and Gunsite is always a happy place to be.

You can sign up for Revolver Roundup >>HERE<<

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Every bit helps bring more work like this to you, and contributes to shortened timelines or more in-depth work on my part. You'll also have more direct access to me, offering suggestions for future projects, looking behind the scenes, and getting early access to some content. You can find my Patreon >>HERE<<

 

 

 

About Daniel Reedy 379 Articles
Daniel holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has received training from Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, and Steve Fisher among others. He also has experience competing in USPSA, CAS, 3 Gun, and Steel Challenge. In his free time Daniel enjoys petting puppies and reading the Constitution. His work is also published by AmmoLand, Recoil Concealment, and Air Force Times. Daniel has also written and edited for The Kommando Blog.

4 Comments

  1. Dan, I'd suggest that publishing photos with student name tags clearly readable in 2024 is a pretty big internet privacy oversight. Respectfully asking you to wash out at least one specific student name (using required email address).

    • Considering there were multiple media personalities there taking photos and video throughout the duration of the PRMRR, I would say that any illusion of privacy in an event such as this is short sighted. For future reference, there were some students who were able to use pseudonyms on their name tags, and moving forward that may be a good solution for people who are not wanting their names on display. Sure, this is not an event that is open to the public to freely come and go, however it is not behind closed doors either.

      Now all that being said, I can make the change in the near future since you asked. Expect it to be done by the end of the weekend. Ping me here if I haven't gotten to it by Monday and I'll make sure the name tag gets blurred and the photo swapped out in the couple of articles that it's featured in.

      • Ping. Appreciate your attention to this matter. Without such action, you may be leaving your 2A brothers and sisters out in the cold in ways you may not be considering. For example, more than one training school/traveling instructor has a "no posting general class images on social media" rule for those sorts of reasons.

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