By Lars Dalseide | October 6 2013 10:59

Smith & Wesson won at her first championship turned into primary shooting gun

Smith & Wesson Model 64 used by Stephanie Diaz as 1500 gun at NRA National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico - Stephanie Diaz's first National Police Shooting Championship (NPSC) was almost fifteen years ago. A promising young officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, Diaz performed well enough to win a match or two. The first of many.

One of those wins translated into a hell of a prize — a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson Model 64. A gun she's been carrying at the championships ever since.

"My first gun at my first NPSC. I took it and ran."

Up close shot of LAPD's Diaz Model 64 Smith & Wesson in New Mexico

She ran to Alan Tanaka of A.T. Custom Gunwork in Gardena, California, for a few changes. Instead of keeping the 64 as is, she asked Tanaka to turn that win into her permanent 1500 Revolver. One she used to score a 1478-79x out of a possible 1500.

"The had to remove the old barrel, add the longer barrel, do a trigger job, and add the sight rib," Diaz explained.

A 1500 Revolver is, simply enough, the gun competitors shoot for the 1500 Open Revolver stage of the championships. That's 150 shots from 3, 7, 15, 25 and 50 yards from the standing, kneeling, prone and supported positions.

Zooming in on Stephanie Diaz's Smith & Wesson 64 at NRA's NPSC

To compete, all you need is a revolver chambered to fire center fire cartridges .32 caliber or larger with a six-inch barrel, more than 2.5 pounds of trigger pull and a sight radius of less than 8.5 inches.

Diaz shoots the 1500 Open Revolver right-handed. That might not sound as that big of a revelation until you learn that she shoots the 1500 Open Semi-Automatic with her left. How that happened is anyone's guess, but it is a skill has to have come in handy on several occasions.

The Smith & Wesson Model 64 is a stainless steel K-frame revolver with a four-inch barrel. First introduced back in 1899, it has been a favorite of military and law enforcement for ages. Although falling out of favor in recent years thanks to the overwhelming popularity of semi-automatics, there's nothing like that cool familiar feel of a well-made revolver.

Left view of Smith & Wesson 64 of Stephanie Diaz at NRA National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque

And as one of my favorite shooting instructors likes to say, if you can't hit a target with six shots then you have more to worry about than running out of ammunition.

Stephanie Diaz used six guns to win the High Women title at this year's National Police Shooting Championships. Three revolvers and three semi-automatics. Stay tuned for more.

Right, left and hammer view of Diaz's Smith & Wesson revolver at NPSC in Albuquerque

For more on NRA's National Police Shooting Championships, visit their website at

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