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Thread: A beginner's guide to revolver accuracy

  1. #41
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    just dont expect to quote your group sizes with that ransom rest. Most gun shoot completely different in a ransom rest. Ive seen guns that shot 3 inch out of a ransom rest do an inch off of bags and ive seen ones that shot terrible off bags do well in a ransom rest. A ransom rest may take the human error out of the picture when it comes to sight alignment but they dont allow a gun to reciol or vibrate like they will on bags or in field positions. thats why i like to work up loads on a bench with only a bag under my grip hand. I dont like the barrel or frame resting on anything. What that does for me is especially with fixed sighted guns it will allow the gun to hit poa very closely to what it will do in the field. If you have developed good trigger control your group sizes will be within a 1/4 inch of what they would be under perfect conditions with a ransom rest anyway. What your really missing out on with a ransom rest is trigger control practice. Theres no better place to develope perfect trigger control then sitting on a bench. you can consentrate on you trigger control every shot. Even someone that shoots as much as me needs that practice. After shooting a few thousand rounds off a bench you will go into the hunting field and when the shot comes your brain will take over and you will be alot more likely to do it right. Pulling a lever on a ransom rest is good for a guy writing a magazine article that doesnt want anyone to know he really cant shoot a handgun but to me thats about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by billhedges View Post
    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.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  2. #42
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    I just thought of something else for a cool target. Ears of corn, lengthwise. I bet that'd be cool as hell, if you "cored" one with a .45 or an '06!

  3. #43
    Boolit Master

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    FWIW, here's the handout I used with newbie students back in the day......................

    THE FIVE RULES OF FIVE,
    OR
    How to hit the same target TWICE.

    The whole idea of shooting is to hit your target, right? The Hand Gun is the most difficult of all firearms to keep firmly aligned with its intended target because it is held in your HAND, the most flexible, wobbly part of your body. To hit a target multiple times, preferably in the same spot, the firearm must be aligned and braced exactly the same from shot to shot, just like an artillery piece or mortar that can repeatedly drop shells down a chimney at great range. Keep this analogy before you as we go through the following steps, for you want to conform your body into a similar solid platform. All the elements will work together to achieve this, and neglecting any one will affect all the others negatively. Consistency from shot to shot is required, and this is how you can achieve it.

    First, an overview of the elements, which are Grip, Stance, Sighting, Trigger Control, and Delivery.

    Grip. You must develop a certain strength in the grip of your hand on the handgun frame. It matters not how hard that grip is, only that it is consistent. I suggest you grip as hard as you are able, because that is a ‘lock’ point……………you cannot grip ‘harder’. Yes, as you progress, that grip will become stronger and stronger, but so long as you always grip as hard as you can, it will be consistent from shot to shot at that point in time. Now comes the difficult part. That ‘grip’ is with three fingers only! The thumb and index (trigger) finger MUST remain relaxed. Squeeze water out of that grip with three fingers and let the other two float as gently as a butterfly. Difficult, but not impossible. You should be able to do this after five minutes practice.

    Stance. The most important part of ‘stance’ is PUSH. If you will learn to push the gun as hard as you can at the target, you will achieve another ‘lock’: you cannot push ‘harder, and you have eliminated the possibility of vertically stringing your shots on the target. You will probably notice that your gun muzzle is about 4” closer to the target than it was previously! Once you have established a ‘stance’ relative to your target, DO NOT MOVE until your firing sequence is finished. Once the mortar baseplate is sunk in the ground, moving it will change its Point Of Impact (POI). Similarly, ALL the parts of the cannon’s trail must stay put between shots. So do not fidgit between shots or during reloads.

    Sighting. You must learn to concentrate upon the front sight ONLY. Let everything else appear blurry in your field of vision, but keep that front sight SHARP! Alignment of one sight with the other is important, but only a little compared to this. Think always “Front sight, front sight!”

    Trigger. You must learn to press the rigger firmly straight back to the rear, as any twisting or sideplay will affect your POI and jerking or flinching is NOT control!

    Delivery. You must learn to consciously forget a shot once you have fired it. You did the best you could for it, but now it is on its way and beyond any control. Observe its POI if you have time and make any necessary corrections for the NEXT shot, but once it’s gone, it’s GONE and you must concentrate on delivering the NEXT one, not worry about that LAST one.













    GRIP.
    1. PLACE the handgun in your hand, grasping it FIRMLY.
    2. Squeeze the water out of it, maintaining the thumb/trigger-finger ‘butterfly’.
    3. Align it with the wrist
    4. Aligned with the forearm bones
    5. Aligned with your sighting eye.

    STANCE.
    1. Face ~45 degs. to your Line Of Sight (LOS) to your target.
    2. Set your feet parallel to each other, about shoulder-width apart.
    3. Stretch the top of your erect head all the way up to God.
    4. Without moving your head position, collapse your spine vertically.
    5. To confirm your stance, close your eyes, get comfy, then open your eyes and adjust
    your TRAILING foot to correct any windage errors and bring your piece back onto your
    LOS.
    5. Raise the handgun to your LOS and PUSH!!

    SIGHTING.
    1. Keep both eyes open at all times. Keep your head erect and look out of the middle of your
    eyeball/eyeglass lens.
    2. Properly align the sights with each other.
    3. Align the sights to your Point Of Aim (POA).
    4. Concentrate on FRONT sight ONLY!
    5. To confirm your stance, close your eyes, get comfy, then open your eyes and adjust
    your TRAILING foot to correct any windage errors and bring your piece back onto your
    LOS.

    DELIVERY.
    1. Place pad of first joint of trigger-finger on trigger.
    2. Check that there is airspace between that finger and the gun frame. DO IT!
    3. DO NOT relax any part of ‘Stance’. Press trigger firmly straight back to the rear.
    4. Control that press! Press when sights are on the target, or moving toward its center, NOT
    away from it. Stop pressing if sights move off the target (as they will!). It’s called Trigger
    Control!
    5. Shot will fire as a ‘surprise break’. Consciously HOLD the trigger to the rear (Follow
    Through) THEN release it.

    Experienced shooters here may have other views, and we all learn from each other's experiences.
    Life Member NRA.
    Member: RWVA.http://www.appleseedinfo.org/smf/
    Member: WRSA http://westernrifleshooters.blogspot.com/
    Founder: Guns of the Golden West (Show group).
    Founder: Nosehills Gun Club.
    Founder: IPSC in Alberta.
    Retired from Instructing, and just about everything else!

  4. #44
    Boolit Man cptkeybrd's Avatar
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    To the Teacher, bless you man for a excellent observation..The work that was done on the beginners list was perfect for a starter. Once reading it and observing the basics, they would search more info online like we do............ =]
    The best way to cheer oneself is to cheer another....Mark Twain.......
    "IF YOU CAN'T GO SHOOTIN GO FISHIN"...
    >)))))}> .....>)))>

  5. #45
    Boolit Mold
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    2 things........

    Load consistently and shoot often.

    The gun is what it is and is always going to do the same thing every time you pull the trigger. The only thing you can control is the ammo and your trigger finger.

    Weigh every bullet, every load of powder, trim every case exactly the same way, use the same headstamps or even weigh the cases, measure the oal of every bullet, do every little move exactly the same way when handloading for accuracy.
    SLOWLY creap up your load until your groups tighten, then start to loosen, then go back to when they were tight. You will find several places where the groups tighten, write all of those down. And remember, every barrel is different and will shoot different with different loads.

    Get a feel for the gun, the only way to do that is to shoot it hundreds of times, thousands if you can. Get used to the gun, learn where the trigger breaks, get used to the recoil and sound. And don't get so caught up in shooting paper or you will get bored to death and your eyes will cross and head spin and you will give up.

    Kill a bunch of pop/beer cans first. shoot at lilly pads on a pond or soft pieces of slate on a mud bank. Bust pop bottles while they float down the creek after a heavy rain or small flood. Stand clay pigeons on end on top of wooden fence posts, back off 40 paces bust them. ALWAYS know what's beyond your target!

    You have to be able to plink BEFORE you can punch paper. And before you can ethicly hunt for that matter.

    And remember, grouping a gun is fine and dandy and a good way to find a good match between bullet and barrel. But hitting the target is the basic goal.

    A 6 shot 1 inch group at 50yds that is off 2 inches to the right equals 6 misses in my book.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scriptoe View Post
    A 6 shot 1 inch group at 50yds that is off 2 inches to the right equals 6 misses in my book.
    LOL. same here! Am I the only one that notices how often a gunwriter will brag about tight groups that are nowhere near the center of the target? No wonder they're always doing articles on followup shots and tracking!

  7. #47
    Re: point #4- bullet lube--- always remember what john linebaugh said----- "if it resembles a crayon that's probably all it's good for" soft and gooey does tend to make alot of difference.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master Rodfac's Avatar
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    Great thread.

    For the over 50 crowd with less than perfect eyesight, here are a few pointers.

    Glasses make a difference. I use the reading part of my bifocals to SEE the front sight. I was a commercial airline and military pilot for over 40 years and my glasses, when I finally had to get them, were all ground so that the bifocal is higher up on the lens than normal to allow me to see the instrument panel, not just some reading material in my lap. With their close in focal point, that's all I can see clearly. They will not focus on the target. When I first had trouble reading I bought Wally World cheaters for $5 and they worked, still do in fact. By accident one afternoon, I had them on when I went out to fire a test group. What a difference. The front sight was clear as a bell and the target a gentle blur as it should be. No shifting focus from target to front sight, just a nice clear post to concentrate alignment on. Cheater will work...I use them now for hi-power with the Springfield, the M1, and the AR.

    Trigger control. In hi-power rifle match shooting, I add pressure to break the shot ONLY when the sights are moving back towards the center of the black. This is super important in off hand where the wobble pattern is so much larger. It works for handguns as well. Add pressure only when the sights are moving TOWARD the center of your aiming area.

    Do not rush the shot, but keep steadily increasing pressure as the sights move TOWARD the center. Another way to shoot this is to mentally accept your wobble area. If you assume a target stance, and align the sights but make no attempt to shoot, you'll see the wobble area that you naturally have on any given day. You can't improve on it aside from changing body position. Accept that and note that it is generally in the black. All you have to do is allow the gun to fire while holding that wobble area and your shots WILL ALL BE IN THE BLACK.

    Grip. I can change my zero's on any of my hi-power rifles by changing the amount of gripping pressure in either hand. That said, think how it affects a revolver...try it. Loose grip, strong grip and see the impact points change. So it's easy...use the SAME GRIP every time...both the strength of the grip and where on the gun you hold it. For most people, two handed stances shoot to a different location than a one hand hold. Find one that does not radically change your impact points. For me, it's a gentle cradling grip with my left hand and a strong man's handshake with my right...just short of a white knuckle, tremor. The key is to be able to use the trigger without affecting the grip.

    Practice. Dry fire to help with trigger control and stance. Use a string as a target, aligning the sights on it. If you suspect that you are flinching or changing your grip as the gun approaches firing, dry fire on a blank piece of paper. Most people can shoot tighter groups on a blank page than on a black target dot. The reason is that on a blank page, you have only the front sight to see, no chance to sneak a peak at the bullseye. The result is a better breaking shot and positive training in trigger control.

    Forget the ransom rest stuff. Test your loads during development by shooting from a natural field position. I like to sit with my back against a support, in a semi-reclining position, with the gun extended as far as I can reach between my knees. This gets the front sight as far from my 63 yo eyes as possible and is very stable. I get better results from this position than off sandbags. Too, it gives me trigger control practice and front sight work for each expensive shot. The zeros I get from this position match those I need for off hand game or target shooting. Keith's great book, "Sixguns" shows this position in his long range shooting chapter and it works. The more or less full reclining position assumed by the steel plated animal crowd is tougher to assume in the field, gets you a lifetime supply of chiggers and ticks here in KY, and has no applicability to hunting.

    The only down side to the sitting reclining position is that revolver cylinder gap flash will smudge up your jeans on the left knee and it's virtually impossible to remove.

    If you want to be a good pistol shot, use good ammunition, know what you gun likes as to cleaning, and practice on THE FRONT SIGHT. Accept the wobble area and allow the trigger to do the work WHEN IT WANTS TO, not when you think everything's perfect, "better make it go bang now".

    Regards, Rodfac

  9. #49
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    I need to amend a little. I haven't posted this thread for a while. Since I last did, I have shot several 7/16", 50 yards groups with my BFR's and many, many sub 1" groups on cans. etc at 100 yards, even with the Ruger. No I can't do it all the time but when my aim is off, the boolit goes where I call it. I have found the boolits and loads my revolvers like and from a good rest me, Whitworth and Bioman can outshoot a ransom rest every tick of the clock.
    Revolver accuracy ALWAYS starts with the right boolits, loads and loading procedures for the gun. But this will not cure bad shooting habits or fear of recoil. The thing in a nutshell is that if your gun will not shoot, you can spend a lifetime with it and never get anywhere. You can have the best trigger control on earth and be locked solid on target but if the gun will not group, you will not shoot groups and will never improve.
    Now to out of box Rugers. Bioman bought a new Ruger SBH hunter. To take it out of the box I did a 30 minute trigger job for zero creep and a 2# pull and mounted an Ultra Dot on it.
    We went down to sight it and every group he shot as we adjusted the sight to 1" high at 50 yards was in 1/2". This was with the boolit and load for my SRH. A 330 gr WLNGC from my mold, 21 gr of 296 and the Fed 150 primer. He has killed a few deer with it and was confident enough to make a neck shot, dropping the deer right there.
    Now here we go! If you can't shoot, how do you find a load? How do you know what you do at the loading bench is going to help? How do you test components and lubes? How do you know that the perfect load you rejected was not your fault? How do you know if your loading equipment can make good loads?
    If you CAN shoot, but use the wrong loading procedures or the wrong boolits, etc, how can you shoot groups?
    If you shoot a .38 real good and then go to a .44, .45 or a bigger gun and shoot very bad, is it the gun, loads or you?
    How do we put all of this together to improve all shooters? How do we, sitting here at a keyboard, help someone across the world? I can tell a person what will shoot in his gun but if he can't shoot to start with, he will cuss me.
    The top shooters in the country have the best guns and loads. They shoot hundreds of thousands of rounds a year. But notice none of them like recoil! That is out of our realm and pocket books. For many that can afford to shoot a lot, it is just making noise and shooting close range because everything is not put together.
    First, a fellow needs to learn to shoot and to lose fear of recoil by shooting BIG stuff too. It does no good to stay with a .22, then go to a .475. But he MUST shoot the .475 too and apply what he learned with the .22. If he can't do it, nothing we say can help.
    Once you have control of the gun and caliber, only then can you find accuracy. But if you don't have enough accuracy to start with, how do you know if you have gained control of the gun?
    My head hurts!

  10. #50
    Boolit Master
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    Also keep in mind, especially older revolvers made without the benefit of CNC machines, that each cylinder chamber parks in front of the forcing cone imperceptively different. The result is that each chamber will hit just a little different than the other. Know your gun, and start on the same chamber each time you load and fire.
    Dutch

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  11. #51
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodfac View Post
    The only down side to the sitting reclining position is that revolver cylinder gap flash will smudge up your jeans on the left knee and it's virtually impossible to remove.
    Simple green and a fingernail brush to rub it in.

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    Scriptoe, about post #45, another great tip for plinking is Ritz ( or cheaper) crackers. Nothing to police up, biodegradeable food for critters.
    Dutch

    "The future ain't what it used to be".
    -Yogi Berra.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    My kid gets a kick out of shooting eggs, even with a .22. Cheap stick type lollipops make a neat reactive target, as well.

  14. #54
    I have shot two or three thousand of these

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_cricket

  15. #55
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by happie2shoot View Post
    I have shot two or three thousand of these

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_cricket
    If you switch over to "stink bugs" I will be forever grateful !

  16. #56
    Boolit Master rugerman1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling View Post
    If you switch over to "stink bugs" I will be forever grateful !
    Western Pa is infested with them demon hellspawns of satan
    Appalachian American Clinging to my bible,my guns and my H&G moulds

  17. #57
    Boolit Master tuckerdog's Avatar
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    revolver accuracy

    I love this web site.! It took me a long time and lots of experimentation but I bought a superblackhawk took it to a smith had it tuned and couldnt hit spit started concentrating on consistant grip and trigger control.started hitting.

    played w/different powders and lubes,and bullet alloys,[429421]setteled on 250 grns +/- .5grn finally from sandbag at 32 paces 1.320"if i do my part.the reason I set at 32 paces i at 25zero hit 3.5 hi,50 zero hit about same low so i split difference

    load is 250 grn keith orange magic lube win cases&primers 19.8grn 2400 dont have crony but shoots good over that powder charge groups start to open up.
    this forum helpedd in my work/play the key seems to b trigger control over any thing else
    It don't make much sense that commonsense don't make no sense nomore

    If you died today would you have lived your life or have you simply existed

  18. #58
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling View Post
    If you switch over to "stink bugs" I will be forever grateful !
    Ever had a junebug land on your neck, inside your collar?

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by spurrit View Post
    LOL. same here! Am I the only one that notices how often a gunwriter will brag about tight groups that are nowhere near the center of the target? No wonder they're always doing articles on followup shots and tracking!
    Group center means nothing at all when working or testing. Once the right load is found, sighting in is NEXT, not first.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master spurrit's Avatar
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    Actually, I do both at once, more or less. Once I have the gun shooting near the center, then I tighten up the groups all I can, then make any final adjustments. It doesn't help my groups at all when I'm on the edge of the paper.

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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