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Thread: A beginner's guide to revolver accuracy

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    "The problem with beginner's lists are that they are never complete."


    I teach autobody in a high school. One of the things that I have learned is not to give too much infomation at one time. I often tell my students, "do this and then come get me" I then give them another step and tell them to come get me when they are finished with that step.

    I enjoy teaching others. I tell my students that they can go as far as they want with it. Some do the minimum and some excell. I was looking for a place to start and then once they get past the basics, they can get their Masters and PHDs from the more advanced in this forum.

    Teach,

    OK. But consider this.

    Dealing with the small amount of information that is in front of you is exactly what this board is about. Ask one question, ask it under the appropriate section, and get an answer focused to the detail level of your question. Just EXACTLY your auto body example.

    The information on this board has been dominated by basic information. There is a category for every point on your list with the first one starting to be about bullet design. It says quote, "Start right here when you buy a new mould or need help with design." If someone can't or won't read that, then they ain't going to search for a beginners list. Sorry. But if it makes you feel better, to make a list, please do so.

    I look forward to you jumping in and providing clear and simple information when the individual questions are being asked if you believe that the basic level of information isn't being addressed well enough for that question. That is where you are really needed.
    Evaluate everything you read for safety and use common sense.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    A couple of things:

    I think this would make a great "sticky" on the handguns forum, and I'd add a second with the basic list of how to "look" at a revolver when purchasing one.

    The second thing is that I can't believe how you guys are picking on those Rugers! I've owned 4 or 5 of the Redhawks which would shoot a 1" group at 25 yards. In fact most of them could shoot two one inch groups out of the same cylinder. I think I went through five of them before I found one which would shoot a single 1 1/2" group instead of the two groups a few inches apart. The first cylinder full from my out of the box Dan Wesson was a real eye opener, and after a bit of work an entirely new range of possibilities became apparent.

    Unfortunately by the time I figured out what exactly was involved in revolver accuracy I'd gotten to the age where I'm the limitation, not the gun. In my case it's probably time for optics. In any event, some basic guidelines might allow the younger guys to get to good mechanical accuracy before they get so old they have a hard time seeing the target at 100 yards.

    BD

  3. #23
    Gentlemen Another point to ponder. It has been my experience that the bore must be free from jacket material otherwise the cast bullet will tend to "skate" on this material instead of maintaing contact with the bore.
    The oppisite of this is also true

    I leaned this the hard way shooting IHMSA/NRA HUNER PISTOL back in the 80's

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Wink

    All good information ---- One thing I would add --- Sight picture and trigger control are two of the most important components of shooting well . If you have to let one go --- Trigger control is most important to good shooting --- I watched a young man shooting off the bench ---- He was not doing bad he cut a three foot group at 50 yards ( egg shaped ) --- I suggested that he concentrate on trigger control and his groups shrunk considerably. He would get his best sight picture and then jab at the trigger --- This young man was shooting a rifle off the bench.

    My post pertains mainly to shooting a pistol standing up. ------ Mag_01

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy mauser1959's Avatar
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    I have a real problem , I have been shooting both wheel guns since I was young and semi autos. I seem to have passed some of my bad habits on to my daughter. It would be very nice to find a very good instructive list of the way to shoot; such as I have changed my shooting stance since I started teaching her to shoot, and taught her to do the same; not always the wisest decision.


    It would be very nice to be able to be able to build a good homebuilt type of ransom rest, It should be well within the abilities of most shooters to build. The randsom rest and thier need for each hand gun to have its own grip puts it out of the reach of a lot of us; but I believe that many of use with a bit of work could make a good duplicate that would work for the guns that we shoot the most often , and that would supply us with the data needed to know how our guns were shooting. I find it of interest that some of the old gun books have a simple rest to test out hand guns that require a set of grips to be made but the other mechanism is quite simple.


    I have envisioned building a randsom rest starting with a discarded 4 footed kitche chair and going from there ; it would sure be nice to take my human element out of the reloading.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy spurrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Few other things that belong around #5 and #6 are alignement between the barrel and cyl when the gun is locked up and ready to fire. Quality and type of forcing cone and muzzle crown and the #1 most important aid to accuracy in my opinion a quality trigger. It must be fairly light and completely creap free.

    Ive seen guns that shot loads and bullets i shook my head at right. Ive seen guns with mismatched sizes, poor alignment, and poor barrels give surpising reslults. But for the most part even if they do shoot well there on the finiky side. But if you cant get the trigger to break at just the exact time your sights are aligned you will NEVER shoot small groups consistantly.
    I hear all the time that so and so shoots one inch groups with his out of the box ruger. What i find is that 99 percent of the time so and so shot one or two one inch groups with his stock ruger and its 7lb trigger and cant repeat them with me watching.
    Shooting a one time one inch group does not constitude a one inch gun. I hear it all the time and i hear it even on this forum. Guys saying there stock ruger will shoot one inch groups at 50 yards. Let me tell you something. Ive shot many many stock and custom rugers and one that is capable of shooting one inch 50 yard groups EVERY time is one rare revolver and youd better lock it up before i steal it from you.
    When i claim my gun will shoot one inch it had better do it for 12 shot groups and do it for an average of at least 3 12 shot groups. One 5 or 6 shot group at 50 yards is not going to tell you anything other then your having a good or bad day at the range. That means EVERY shot too. No throwing one flyer out of the group or allowing yourself to call one when shooting.
    If you have to call a flyer you either need trigger work or need to work on your trigger skills. To me any gun and even any man thats good enough to shoot one inch 50 yards groups using open sights with these criteria are a very impressive thing. I wish i could. But to be honest i dont have a gun in the safe that i personaly can make do this.

    So my point is when your setting your accuracy standards keep in mind that you need to be honest with yourself and understand that theres a BIG difference in what your going to see on paper then what alot of guys on computer fourms will tell you you should see. I get a real good laugh out of post that go. " Im so happy, I just bought me a new (fill in the blank) it was my first handgun and i took it out today with (fill in the blank) factory ammo and it shot one inch groups at 50 yards"

    I dont care how good a gun is or what brand it is. If you are lucky enough to find factory ammo that shoots one inch groups at 50 yards your first outing with an out of the box ruger with virturally no shooting experience with a handgun you are surely making guys like me that shoot every day with custom guns look like a fool!!!!!!
    Ive shot enough out of the box rugers to know that one that shoots under 2 inch at 25 yards with loads it likes is a good ruger. One inch 25 yard guns are exceptional and one in 50 yard guns are some kind of holy grail that a guy comes accross maybe once in there lifetime. People argue with my opinion all the time but im sorry. If you happen to not agree with this one your probably alot better at stroking a keyboard then you are a trigger
    Lloyd,

    I had been wondering when someone that's been here a while was gonna call ******** on that! I have 4 Ruger revolvers, at present, and I shoot them well and often. I know I certainly can't produce 1" 50 yard groups with them, and I figure the shooter that could is rare. Hell, for that matter, in this day and age, most folks couldn't do it with a benchrest rifle held in a vise!

    By my figuring, if you're saying you can do this, you're:

    A.) A ****ed liar

    B.)My personal hero and a past or future olympian

    C.)Too stupid to know better

    OR, most likely,

    D.) You have no idea how far 50 yards is. I see this all the time.

    When I was guiding hunters, you simply wouldn't believe how few of them could estimate distance to the nearest 200 yards. If they made the shot, 50 yards was 300. If they missed, 200 was 800, and the 5 mph crosswind was a 40 mph gale.


    Edited to add: I'm not saying this can't be done, or none of you can do it, but I take the claims of folks doing it at will with a shovel fulll of salt.
    Last edited by spurrit; 02-24-2008 at 06:37 AM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by spurrit View Post
    I had been wondering when someone that's been here a while was gonna call ******** on that! I have 4 Ruger revolvers, at present, and I shoot them well and often. I know I certainly can't produce 1" 50 yard groups with them, and I figure the shooter that could is rare.
    I agree that most people couldn't shoot a 1-inch group with an out-of-the-box to save their mother. I would be lucky to do that even once with a "tuned" pistol myself.

    I have found one thing to be true-"The first liar don't stand a chance." There are going to be those days when you can't hit anything and those days when you do great. I have just learned to accept that but if I have some kind of technique and can figure out how I did a certain thing, that is what I am looking for.

    I see alot of good advice here. I have found very little of "mainstream" load advice about this or that accurate load to be of much use to me. Case in point is my .32 revolvers. The loads I have found myself thru extrapolation &/or thru various loads listed by people here have been the best ones.

    I read a thread here awhile back where someone was asking about which book to get and one of the group members here told him that this place was the book. This is about as true as it gets. After you have gotten to first base using one of the available books, then you proceed using information from a place like this one.

    Just to say thanks to all those who have helped me along to make it more fun for me to shoot with what I have. Alot of good advice here for sure!

    Thanks again. "Hi, I'm Newtire and I am a cast boolit-aholic"

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy spurrit's Avatar
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    Newtire,

    I think that too often, we simply give people a load that works for us without mentioning to them (beginners) that a great load in my 4 5/8" .45 Colt Vaquero might absolutely SUCK in their exact same gun. Hell, for that matter, we rarely point out that some guns just won't shoot a certain type, shape or weight of bullet. OR, they'll shoot all but one.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    this is a great thread!
    i have decided to just get it over with and buy a ransom rest so i can truly see what my 6 handguns are really capable of.
    p.s. i am pretty new at reloading and have never cast a single bullet.
    dont hate me guys.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master crabo's Avatar
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    We won't hate you, but you had better get off this site if you don't want to start casting. It will get in your blood and the next thing you know, you be getting in on the group buys. Take my advice, stay out of that forum.

    Crabo

  11. #31
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Corrigan View Post
    Please, I like what you say but please throw in a break once in a while to give my old tired eyes a rest.

    Just an ending to a sentence then a double ENTER key will provide a welcome break and make it easier to follow.

    Just like this. I ain't gonna cost you any paper! And we would love it.

    Thanks,

    Dan
    Hey cc,

    I agree on the long postings. Just highlight em and press "control C", paste it into Word & put in your own breaks. I like making the font bigger too. Today up at the range, just as I would get the perfect sight picture, I would have this twitch thing that comes back to those people who have had Belle's Palsy like me. I need all the help I can get some days.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Great thread.
    I agree with the one inch or one hole shooter by beginners. Just don't happen unless it's a fluke/one time.

    About 6-7 yrs ago the CMP guys decided to have a pistol match. what ever you had, and wanted to shoot. Bunch of on the run targets, some rolled tires with target in the center, the main targets were 12-24 shots at 25, 50 and 75 yds. Measured on the range.

    There was 34 of us shooters. I never figured I was better than just so so with a handgun. OM .30 carbine I got in '73 is what I've shot most. Possibly 10,000 rnds thru it. A good many at well over 100yds, a few times at a barrel full of rocks at 300yds across the pasture. amazing what you can hit after a few ranging shots.

    Anyway, I was doing quite well, ticked at my partner because he couldn't hit his share when I was. At the long targets standing, taking our time. The second loading at 50yds I dropped a couple shells and when I leaned over to pick them up. Was baffled to see half dozen guys standing behind me watching over my shoulder at my shooting.

    Nothing was less than 3-4" that I shot. I'm just not good enough to make inch groups not even at 25yds. But, when it was over with. I'd won every single target!! I'm still baffled at that. I never figured I was much good with a gun. These were just everyday shooters that wanted the fun of a pistol match to break up the CMP 200yd shooting. Some of us were burning out on the same old Sheet all the time.

    One of the guys with a .44 Super and glass asked me to check out his gun because he had them all over a 4ft sq target. He was down to five shells left. Something like: 250gr w/25gr H110. Which I learned afterward was over max.

    Anyway, I fired those five shots into about 3-4". This was after looking at his results and seeing that everything was good with the gun. At 75yds, he only hit the backboard three times out of 18 shots. Surely something had to be wrong with his gun, or sights. Most of the other shooters were watching me shoot his gun. When we walked to the 75yd target and there they were. All I could say was: "It's not your gun that's at fault".

    A month or two later he told me the barrel had split and Ruger had replaced in n/c. There wasn't anything wrong with it that one time I shot it five shots.
    I'm one that will p'o a lot of people because I just am not one that believe's in scopes on a handgun. Nothing personal against anyone. It's just one of the things I don't believe in doing.

    Anyway, mostly what I'm trying to say with all this. Is in response to Lloyd's post about beginners and one inch 50yd groups. Out of this many shooters, my 3-6" groups won ALL the targets that day with many different type's of handguns, even half dozen with scopes.
    Lloyd, you're right, it just don't happen.
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  13. #33
    Boolit Master S.B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    "The problem with beginner's lists are that they are never complete."


    I teach autobody in a high school. One of the things that I have learned is not to give too much infomation at one time. I often tell my students, "do this and then come get me" I then give them another step and tell them to come get me when they are finished with that step.

    I enjoy teaching others. I tell my students that they can go as far as they want with it. Some do the minimum and some excell. I was looking for a place to start and then once they get past the basics, they can get their Masters and PHDs from the more advanced in this forum.

    That's what nice about the internet, you can save all the information and go back to it later for reference? So, pour the info on me, please!
    "The Original Point and Click Interface was a Smith & Wesson."
    Life member NRA, USPSA, ISRA
    Life member AF&AM 294

  14. #34
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    Wonderful thread. About a year ago a fellow had a S&W 500 and was putting shots all over the 25 yd target. He & his 'coach' were clicking the sights a click or two, trying to shrink the groups (PATTERNS!). I asked if I could fire one round, to which he gladly agreed. I selected a rock out at the berm (about 60 yds) for an aiming spot - and hit it. (I don't always hit a rock at that range...) Of course, the recoil ended up at about 11 o'clock. I turned and pointed out that it wasn't the sights that were the problem, it was the nut that held the grips. As I was leaving, I suggested he focus on the front sight - and he started shooting groups. Big groups, but groups.

    A little good coaching goes a long way...

    EE

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy spurrit's Avatar
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    I just have a hard time finding someone to coach me that knows more than I do. (Not that I know that much)

    After a coupla months of shooting handgun,(been a rifle guy all my life) I was already outshooting the guys working at the indoor range, so they're really no help, unless I want to learn a bunch of drills. I'm more concerned with accuracy at long range. I'm just hoping I'll find some of the old guys in one of my clubs that really knows what's going on, and is willing to help.

  16. #36
    Boolit Bub be603's Avatar
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    Here's link to a worthwhile basic handgun video I came across at Xavier's place a couple weeks back.
    Insane Diego
    "There is no difference between communism and socialism, except in the means of achieving the same ultimate end: communism proposes to enslave men by force, socialism - by vote. It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Buy the book from Beartooth Bullets:


    http://www.beartoothbullets.com/bulletselect/index.htm

    Acquire a .22 Lr gun as close as you can afford to your chosen hunting gun.

    Shoot it till it has smoke wafting off of it!

    Then go back to your big gun and use lighter loads first ..... gradually upgrade those handload's power by switching powder, primer and bullet choices.

    Shooting technique:

    Grip your gun THE SAME at all times ....... don't shift around.

    If you are shooting a DA revolver ...... keep the web of your strong side hand against the the "memory hump".

    Concentrate like .44 man said on the FRONT SIGHT! ....... that's why there is a shooting academy named ......... FRONT SIGHT!!!!

    Dry fire .... to condition shooter and gun alike!!!!

    Sight in your gun for a six O'clock hold ...... Ie. Pumkin on a post.

    I was taught the following and it serves me well:

    You must move .............. but do your best to move PREDICTABLY!!!

    No side to side movement ....... just up and down ......... slowly ....... smoothly ......... and never above your target ...... below it and just up to it.

    As the front sight aproaches it's zenith ..... top of stroke ...... tighten up on the trigger ...... SA OR DA ..... it's the same!!!!! After a while you will be able to predict trigger break ..... as it's a must for best shooting.

    Now, the most important and often least listened to part: ........

    Hold the "gain" on the trigger and let the muzzle settle and on the next rise ........ more pressure. It's not a race to see how soon you can fire ......... It's about releasing the trigger SPOT ON!

    Don't count on building Rome in ONE DAY ........... it won't happen ........ start close and get REAL comfortable with a small target.

    Golf balls are my chosen reactive target ........ takes a licken and keeps on .............

    Just my 2 bits worth.

    Three 44s

  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy spurrit's Avatar
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    444,

    Among my favorite reactive targets: Lollipops with the sticks stuck in holes in a board, eggs(really cool), cans of cheap pop(preferably well shaken), and bottles of water.

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy Wicky's Avatar
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    Guys, top thread. just saved me asking a question about the cylinder for my super blackhawk.
    Thanks to one and all - this is what makes this forum the best on the web!!
    Do, or do not. There is no try.
    Yoda

  20. #40
    Boolit Master
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    Tonight it was heads of cabbage that "went south" from my wife's garden!

    Before I discovered golf balls ...... I shot cull apples ....... then went after the resulting pieces.

    Pears are REALLY an "ear popper" ........... LOL!

    Regards All

    Three 44s

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check