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Thread: A beginner's guide to revolver accuracy

  1. #101
    Boolit Master

    gray wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Western Maine

    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.
    Ruger super red hawk, different bullets, different loads.
    Most guns can shoot,most people can't shoot them well.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hate is like drinking poison and hoping the other man dies.

    *Cohesiveness* *Leadership* *a common cause***

    ***In a gunfight your expected to be an active participant in your own rescue***

    The effective range of an excuse is ZERO Meters

  2. #102
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Since this is a cast bullet forum. I am gonna say that a revolver that has either really big throats or way too small (smaller than bore) throats or mismatched ones is simply not going to shoot accurately 99% of the time. My most accurate revolver is probly my Dan Wesson hv 44 mag with .429 throats and .429 bore... I have good days and bad days shooting. I test my loads and handguns at 25 yards from sandbags.

    If my front sight is fuzzy... I will do poorly. this can be because the sun hits it hard or my eyes that day or just because it has a ramp front sight.. which is never as sharp as a patridge sight for me. Those glow tube horrors are hopeless for me.

    It takes a lot of concentration to get a good 5 or six shot group. even if the gun and the load is perfect. I recognize human error and fatigue. I will quit shooting when my groups make no sense that day. I am a decent shot. I may have shot hundreds of thousands of handgun rounds in my life... I was a bit better when I was younger. My groups are rarely as good or consistent as Gray Wolfs ones above.. mostly I will have 3 or even 4 touching and a flier or two almost doubling the size. All else being equal the fliers are on me.

    My goal is to find a good load for the gun not to see how consistent and immune to fatigue/recoil I am. A gunwriter (well several) lately said that in his experience a good shot will put 3 out of 5 (best 3) into a group from sandbags that is equal to a machines 5 shot group. this makes a lot of sense to me.

    For my purposes this works really well. I am a plinker when not testing loads.. I shoot rocks and two liters and adult beverage cans at 20-100 or so yards with my handguns. If I hit a two liter at 100 yards once or twice out of six I feel pretty good... If I hit a gallon jug at that distance 5 out of six I feel pretty good.

    For revolvers... My Dan Wesson 44 and my Smith 629 and my Python are all outstanding shooters with my cast bullets. None of my Rugers are as good.. they are good but not in the same league. Not saying some Ruger will not outshoot some Smith. To me.. the front sight simply has to be sharply focused.


  3. #103
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    NW Iowa
    In reference to #1 on the front page of the thread, anyone know the go-to mold for 45 LC?

  4. #104
    Quote Originally Posted by crabo View Post
    A beginner’s guide to ……revolver accuracy

    1. Start with a bullet that has a reputation for being a good bullet. A few examples are: the 250 K in 44, the H&G 68 in .45 acp, and the H&G 51 in 357. Is this bullet going to be used as a hunting, target, plinking, or combat load? This will be a factor in what bullet design you decide to use. You might want a round nose bullet to use in a speedloader or a swc for hunting. I have found that a plain base bullet will often shoot better than a bevel based bullet in the same design. Wheel weights are great raw material for casting revolver bullets.

    2. Make sure that your lead and your molds are hot enough. Many of the more experienced casters run their pots at maximum heat. You can preheat your molds on a hotplate while your pot is coming up to temperature. I cut a wood block to hold my mold handles so the mold can sit flat on the plate while it preheats.

    3. Start with powders that are known to give good accuracy with cast bullets. 2400, AA#9, and 296 are good powders for max loads. Bullseye, 231, and Unique are good powders for midrange and target loads. Work up your loads in increments of .3 of a grain of powder. You should be able to see trends in the groups. You can always try more powders if these don’t work for you.

    4. Start with a good lube. There are many good recipes for lube, but if you buy a good one to start with, you can eliminate a variable while you are beginning. After you are doing well in your casting and sizing, then it would be time to experiment with different lubes if you want. Your budget will have to decide what method of lubing and sizing you are going to use.

    5. Check the barrel with a push through slug to see if there are any restrictions, particularly where the barrel is screwed into the frame. If there is a restriction, firelapp using LBT’s techniques until the restriction is gone. Slug the barrel to see what size it is. A bullet one thousandth over bore size often works well.

    6. The cylinder exit hole should not be smaller than the size of the bullet you are sending down range. Have a gunsmith open up the cylinder holes so your bullets are not swaged down before they enter the barrel. This is also something you can do yourself. The ultimate boolit size is that which requires felt finger pressure friction when pushed through the Largest cylinder exit. The size chosen should not be so large as to cause a loaded cartridge to have any felt friction when placed into the Smallest cylinder

    7. At this point you need to decide what your accuracy goals are. Will you only shoot at combat distances, or are you going to shoot at longer ranges, or is the ultimate goal to shoot silhouette at 100 or 200 meters?

    8. Test your loads by shooting your gun off the bench. If at all possible, put optics on the gun that you will be testing. The optics can help you remove human error while you shoot for groups. You can take the optics off after testing if you want. You may find that the point of impact often varies when shooting from the bench and shooting offhand. You should shoot groups at the distances you intend to shoot. You may find that many bullet/powder combinations will fall apart at 50 yards and beyond.

    9. Keep targets and accurate records. Check and see if groups are round, or elongated. The shape of the groups can be indicators of problems with grip and technique. I also think you should consider adding a chronograph to you toolkit. Knowing your velocity is an important ingredient in working up loads. I don’t have one yet, but I will in the future.

    10. Enjoy yourself. There is quite a bit of satisfaction in shooting the bullets you cast, not to mention the savings. I load and cast so I can shoot more for the money I spend. I like being able to shoot a bucket full of ammo instead of a couple boxes of store bought bullets.
    good info thank you!

  5. #105
    Good info thank you!

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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