Pat Rogers? Gunsite? Revolvers? Wait a minute. Wait just a minute. Those three things don’t go together. Or do they?
Even though Pat was well known for the carbine – both at Gunsite and later in his own classes – and writing on them, he carried revolvers throughout his career at NYPD. He used those revolvers successfully in the field, too. For those who don’t know, Pat taught at Gunsite for several years.
While Gunsite is best known for semi-autos, specifically the 1911a1, they have had countless numbers of students come through classes with wheel guns. Retired LAPD SWAT Officer Scotty Reitz did a video talking about a conversation he had with Colonel Cooper concerning the revolver he was carrying and shooting during his 250 class. Gunsite has been teaching revolver-centric classes for several years.
Michael Bane talking with a ne’er-do-well about the event. I’m sorry, I mean Darryl, one of the founders.
Several years ago, two retired cops and firearms instructors realized that revolver craft was disappearing, along with the skills and knowledge that went with it. Wayne Dobbs, formerly of Richardson, TX PD and now of Aimpoint, and Darryl Bolke put together what is now known as the Patrick Rogers Memorial Revolver Round-Up (aka – PRMRR), which is focused strictly on the use of the revolver, no other types of firearm. It was originally held at the Dallas Pistol Club in Carrollton, Texas.
A few years ago, Gunsite offered to host the Revolver Round-Up. Dobbs and Bolke accepted that invite. This was the PRMRR’s third year at Gunsite.
In addition to Wayne and Darryl, this year’s instructors included Cecil Burch, Bruce Cartwright, Dave Dolan, Bryan Eastridge, Mark Fricke, Caleb Giddings, Lew Gosnell, Chuck Haggard, and a doctor named James.
Generally, the instructors were partnered up, working together the whole weekend. While one taught, the other was their assistant instructor. Then, they would switch.
Mark Fricke’s foundational block on revolver accuracy and manipulations.
Freddie Blish and I assisted with the indoor and outdoor simulators. I was Haggard’s assistant instructor for a low-light block.
Friday evening was a meet-and-greet BBQ sponsored by the Firearms Trainers Association, Simply Rugged Holsters, and The Wilderness.
Saturday & Sunday
Saturday morning started in Gunsite’s classroom. Campbell welcomed everyone and then gave a traditional Gunsite safety briefing. Bolke followed that up with an overview of the weekend before sending everyone on their way.
One of the attendees going through the Donga with Freddie Blish.
Over the weekend, I had the chance to catch a few training sessions. Aside from the backup gun session already covered, I caught Mark Fricke’s block on foundational marksmanship with the revolver. During the initial dry practice portion, the front sight on my S&W Model 19-3 departed the barrel. Before it was recovered, I had grabbed my old office-issued, now personally owned, Model 66.
Bryan Eastridge working the line in his class.
One of the unique things about the Round-Up is that both Fricke and his partner Dobbs are left-handers. I enjoyed having left-handed instructors.
Lew Gosnell taking an attendee through the Funhouse on a dry run.
There were two sessions in Gunsite’s Funhouse – normally a live fire simulator – where the students had the chance to run through it dry before a later live fire run. Gosnell talked with the students about the necessary tactics and techniques before demonstrating those skills – dry. The attendee’s dry runs were done with LCRs donated by Ruger Firearms using dummy rounds, and loading from speed strips.
Saturday and Sunday involved sessions that generally repeated themselves.
Classroom presentation of the FBI’s handguns and their training program.
Monday was set aside for some more unique offerings. These included law enforcement agency qualification courses, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Bonus course on turning targets, as well as ones from Kansas and Oklahoma City. A trauma surgeon taught tactical anatomy, which was followed by a ballistic gelatin shoot. Giddings ran a Taurus demo shoot on one range. At the same time, a former FBI special agent discussed that organization’s firearms program and handgun selections.
Cecil Burch demonstrates the skills needed to get to the position you want, before employing that pocket gun.
I was able to finish Burch’s excellent practical application block, combining hands-on skills with snub nose revolvers.
Wayne Dobbs, in his element, discusses how you run the trigger on a DA revolver.
I spoke with Wayne Dobbs to get his insights on the evolution of the Round-Up. He and Bolke had both carried and competed with revolvers. Back in 2014, they realized that no one was really doing much with revolves in the training space. The first year consisted of four tracks focusing on those skills over the weekend. Initially, there were 20-22 students because that’s all the range would hold. In the following years, they began to add instructors; Dolan and Fricke were the first two. After the second year, Ken Campbell invited them to move the Round-Up out to Gunsite. Dobbs and Bolke accepted immediately because of the facilities and the increased student capacity.
Dobbs told me that its growth has made the Round-Up an all-around better deal. It does a very good job with the ground it covers. He likened it to a family gathering with a bunch of people who were interested in the craft. And everyone gets along; there is no “one-upmanship”/ going on.
Wayne taught sessions on revolver marksmanship fundamentals, which he loves. He talked about the differences in nuances and fundamentals, such as a high hand-centered grip. How to shoot the double action trigger, specifically rolling through it. Dobbs runs the class through several semi-auto-centric drills using revolvers, showing you how it can be done.
Every year, he has run one of the historical LAPD qualification courses. These have included the off-duty, combat, and the advanced combat, aka the Bonus Course.
Wayne told me this is the most fun he has all year long. Seeing good people with the fellowship and the social time is about as good as it gets.
The session on tactical anatomy just confirmed my belief we need more 3D target work.
They are currently setting up a smaller, shorter-duration version on the East Coast. People who couldn’t travel to Arizona the weekend before Thanksgiving drove this change. It’s probably going to be snub-gun-centric.
PRMRR 2024 Registration