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Old May 4, 2011, 10:18 PM   #1
mnero
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.38 snub nose shooting

What is the most accurate way to shoot a .38 snub? I have an unsteady right hand do to a previous injury. I usually shoot left handed or right handed with the left hand steadying the right, in the typical two handed fashion.
I have a S&W snub with a 2" barrel; SA DA model 10-7. Even when I use it SA, at 25', I just can't get good groups or any groups
Can you all describe to me exactly the stance and grip you use when firing a similar pistol. Thanks in advance!
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:38 PM   #2
kraigwy
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Get as high a grip as possible. Grip the revolver firmly but not tight with your right hand (shooting right handed).

Use your left or support hand to tightly grip the right hand and revolver.

Most of the pressure would be with the left or support hand.

Holding the grip too tight with the right hand causes the revolver to move when you press the trigger.

To determine the proper grip pressure, adjust the grip of the right hand until you can press the trigger without disturbing the sights WHILE DRY FIRING. Try different grip pressure to see how it affects the sights. Light to tight.

This is best determined dry firing with a laser sight.

If you have problems with your right hand it shouldn't matter since the grip pressure (in your case) would be from the left hand.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:48 PM   #3
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Awesome thread. Just shot my new s&w 642 snubby the other day and couldn't get on paper at 15' at first. It takes a lot of practice. It was suggested to me to practice with wadcutters and not full power loads at first. Also Google Jerry Miculek's video on revolver grip. Basically you want a square finger placement, high grip and non-dominant thumb over the other. High rear, low barrel.
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Old May 4, 2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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Captain; after dry firing the pistol as you said, just a few times; the difference in both how it felt and the steadiness of the weapon were markedly improved! No one in the service ever told me about placing the pressure with the left hand; wow what a difference. I will keep training and report the results, when I get back to the range. Thank you, Sir!
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:46 PM   #5
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These tips are great to get you started off correctly with the snub. Just be aware that if you are going to carry the snub for self defense, it is essential that you also become proficient shooting it with one hand as defense situations many times will not allow time for two-handed shooting. It takes a lot of dry fire and range practice to accomplish this and maintain it, but it can be done.
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Old May 4, 2011, 11:47 PM   #6
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Old May 5, 2011, 08:49 PM   #7
mnero
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I went to the indoor range today. The groups where between 1" and 2"; a definite improvement. I still need to find the center a bit more, but I did have a few shots on the X. This was at 25'. I still need practise, but a real improvement. Thanks for the tip Captain!
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Old July 1, 2011, 06:05 AM   #8
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Mnero, Being on the east coast, if you ever get the chance to train with a guy named Claude Werner, take it. I attended a two or three hour class with him at the Polite Society Tacticle Conference in Tulsa OK in May. The guy is ammazing with a snub 38, and one of the best instructors I have seen. He will give you a whole new outlook on your ability with the snubby. I think he sells Real Estate for a regular job and he looks the part, a mild mannered 50 something tall skinny guy with thinning hair. But when you read his bio you find he has a list of IDPA and other championships, and several years in Army Airborn and Special Forces including as an A-Tean leader. Make it a goal, find out where he is teaching and get there.
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Old July 1, 2011, 07:50 AM   #9
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As you shoot (and dry fire) your J-frames the trigger will get much smoother. The difference between mine, which I shoot all the time and my wife's which is shot rarely, is noticiable.

I really enjoy the challenge of the J-frame.
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Old July 1, 2011, 08:39 AM   #10
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J-frames are hard to get use to. All so once you get use to them you need to keep up the practice or else you start loosing the skill faster then you would with most guns.
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Old July 1, 2011, 11:19 AM   #11
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Dry fire is useful for any gun; some need snap caps to avoid damage, but proper dry fire is always good. It's also free.

I'm not going to argue with Jerry Miculek, even if I don't personally put my supporting thumb over the back of my firing hand. I mostly shoot semi-autos, and personally just don't want the habit pattern ingrained.

Some J-frames are harder to shoot than other J-frames. Of my two 442s, the one I took in trade, LNIB, had a great trigger. The one I bought, NIB, had a 15lb trigger - heavy, but at least smooth. I installed an APEX kit, and now it has a 9lb, still smooth trigger and it is much easier to shoot.

I may have missed it, if somebody already said this, but changing grips can also help. I have fairly large hands, and the old-school J-frame grips don't cut it. I need a Tyler T adapter with those. The new grips that come on the 442 work ok; rubber with palm swell and finger groove. I just bought some slightly oversized Altamonts, since I like wood, but haven't had a chance to try them yet.

It's hard to shoot a gun you can't get a grip on.
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Old July 1, 2011, 12:10 PM   #12
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There's no humbling for your revolver skills like shooting your j-frame at 20yds against a 3-4" steel target. :barf:
The Miculek videos are very handy. I'm still experimenting with my grip pressure to keep my fingers from twitching the gun during that long heavy trigger pull.
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Old July 15, 2011, 06:58 PM   #13
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Wandering in late. I would like to second Claude. I took his class at krtraining.com and wrote it up for Pax at Concealed Carry. There are quite a few AARs on the course.
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:13 PM   #14
Nnobby45
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Quote:
Get as high a grip as possible. Grip the revolver firmly but not tight with your right hand (shooting right handed).
Many give this advice, but I've found that the highest grip possible puts the edge of the tang right into the web of the hand and thumps the crap out of it. Small snubbies, and larger revolvers, also.

Even Jerry Miculek says that lowering the grip so the gun can flex is appropriate for hard recoilers.

High grip, yes, but low enough so the gun can flex during recoil. Leave a little tang showing (try about 1/2 inch). Try it both ways and see for yourself.

For those who grip so high that the tang completely disappears, no problem if it works for them.
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:38 PM   #15
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I shot a groundhog Wednesday with my great aunt's Taurus .38 snubby. 30 steps away. The first shot went high due to over compensation. The groundhog just sat there looking around. The second shot I held dead nuts and I rolled him about 4 times. I was ecstatic. My first time shooting a snub revolver. My aunt does this about 3 times a week from her screened porch. . She is 70 and carries the pistol everyday. Whadda woman!!
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Old July 15, 2011, 07:43 PM   #16
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You did it the right way---right? Double action.
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Old July 15, 2011, 08:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nnobby45 View Post
You did it the right way---right? Double action.
Nope. I cheated. Sorry. . Hahahahahs
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Old July 16, 2011, 07:28 PM   #18
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I just bought a 642 yesterday, my first snubby, after two range trips and about two hundred rounds I learned the following:

The grips aren't great (however I am going to try to shoot another 300 rounds spread out evenly over the next month before I change anything on it).

Over 100 rounds per visit does not work out so well for me, I'm missing some skin on the webbing of my hand.

I shrunk my group size considerably when I forced myself to stop staging the trigger.

It is a hard pistol to shoot well but really rewarding when I do.
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Old July 16, 2011, 07:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
This is best determined dry firing with a laser sight.
Dry firing with a laser is a great way to work on trigger control especially with a snub.
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Old July 16, 2011, 08:08 PM   #20
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My biggest problem with shooting my snub is sight acquisition during rapid fire. However, that is expected since the gun has practically no sights. Other than that, they are no more difficult to shoot than any other small handgun.
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Old July 16, 2011, 09:03 PM   #21
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I painted the front sight of my 442 with gold metallic nail polish.

Problem was, it wouldn't always show up well against buff colored targets.

So I removed the lower half of the nail polish. Bottom of front sight is black, upper is gold metallic. Makes it easy to pick up against black or colored or buff targets.
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Old July 24, 2011, 09:05 PM   #22
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I painted the front sight on my SP 101 with a florescent orange nail polish and it made target acquisition super easy regardless of the color target.
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Old November 7, 2011, 08:19 AM   #23
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Try a Bright Green.
I have Sight Bright Green sight paint on the upper half of my front sight on my 638, 64, and 625 3". It works great outdoors.

For low light a tritium front sight is probably THE answer.

My 2 Cents
My recomendation is to shoot as lite of loads as you can get for practice with a J Frame until you get comfortable with it. When you start to feel confident in your ability shooting it, add 5 rounds of warmer ammo (Still Standard Pressure) the last 5 shots of your range session. When you get comfortable with the last 5 rounds of warmer ammo progress on. From this point you might want to add 5 rounds of +P after the warmer ammo.

Get some Snap Caps for additional Trigger Time. Using Snap Caps you are: Building up your trigger finger.
Breaking in the gun more without the wear and tear of firing it.
Getting quality time in with the gun without recoil being a consideration, or ammunition being an expense.
(If you flench dry firing you know you did it. Recoil can hide a flench with live ammo)

You could get 2 sets of snap caps and do a practice reload using them also.

Bob
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