LAPD's Stephanie Diaz brought out her trusty Smith & Wesson for Day 2 of Championship
Albuquerque, New Mexico - One thing Stephanie Diaz learned on her way to winning High Woman at this year's National Police Shooting Championships is that you don't need a Smith & Wesson Model 14 Revolver to do it ... but it helps.
"To be competitive in these competitions, I decided that I was going to need a good collection of guns," said Daiz, a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. "My Smith Model 14 is a perfect example of a really good gun."
The 14 fit Diaz's bill for the Distinguished Revolver Match. Shot on day two of the competition, right after Open Class Revolver and right before Stock Service Revolver, she finished with a score of 589-24x (X stands for bullseyes) ... good enough for top female ranking in the match.
Distinguished Revolver is a 60 shot match fired at 7, 25, 50 and then again at 25 yards. Sounds simple enough, until you consider what it takes to move from distance to distance.
"You may have to change your sights depending on the visibility and the wind," Diaz explained. "It's not a one size fits all situation."
Then you have to start thinking about the course of fire.
Shooters have 20 seconds to fire twelve shots from 7 yards. And yes ... that includes a reload. In the final stage, at 25 yards, shooters have 12 seconds to fire six shots. Sounds exhilarating, no? Really gets the blood pumping. But the other stages call for a bit more control.
The first stage from 25 yards calls for six shots to fired from the kneeling, left hand standing and right hand standing positions in 90 seconds. The 50 yard stage is even worse.
Competitors have just under 3 minutes to fire a total of 24 shots from the sitting, prone, left hand standing and right hand standing positions. That's were Diaz special skill really comes into play.
"I shoot my revolvers right handed and my semi-automatics left handed."
That means while others are battling nerves that come with shooting off-handed, Diaz can fall back on her ambidextrous skills with a great deal more confidence. Not a bad tool to have in the belt.
The Smith and Wesson Model 14 Revolver is a double-action K frame revolver. First produced back in 1947, Diaz's six shooter is a six-inch blued beauty chambered for the .38 caliber. But it's not exactly factory grade.
Reaching out to her favorite California gunsmith, Alan Tanaka of A.T. Custom Gunwork in Gardena, she had new sights put in along with a custom trigger job.
"It's a great gun, shoots straight, and has been very good to me."
Good enough to earn her the title of NRA's High Woman at the 2013 National Police Shooting Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
See the rest of the guns Stephanie used to with this year's High Woman title at the National Police Shooting Championships
For more on NRA's National Police Shooting Championships, visit their website at npsc.nra.org