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Old October 16, 2012, 08:53 AM   #1
mmc205
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Help me shoot revolvers well

Hi guys, i'm kind of new here.

I'm having difficulty shooting revolvers well, some backround now that may help your suggestions.

I'm an avid shooter and reloader. I can shoot rifles well. I shoot some competition national match with an AR-15 and do well. So i have no issues shooting offhand/prone/sitting with irons and keeping 3moa groups in the latter, 5 moa in the prior.

I have shot only auto pistols until now, and here again, i'm reasonably good at it. I do fine shooting 50 ft bullseye with a 1911, no problems keeping it in the black one handed on the NRA slow fire and rapid fire targets.

I can also hit a 6" steel plate nearly 100% of the time with a springfield XDs, a subcompact 3.3" barrel .45 Auto with full power 45 loads.

I have a 500 s&w that i shoot regularly, but i'm still in load development phase. So i'm not recoil sensitive at all is all this means.

Okay, i'm not trying at all to boast or anything above, just wanted everyone to know where i'm at with other guns so you can make the most helpful comments.

So, here's my quandry. I just purchase a ruger sp101 4.2 inch in 357 magnum. It has the stock ruger grips. Link below
http://www.ruger.com/products/sp101/...eets/5771.html

I can't shoot it worth a darn offhand. Bagged at 25, i get good groups if i take my time at all.

Offhand, i may have one on the black at 50 feet, then 3 off the paper. I have a feeling it has something to do with it being a revolver. The grip does feel foreign to me, and i'm not sure i even know how to hold it properly. The recoil doesn't bother me a bit, and i'm not flinching. It has something to do with the grip vs the trigger pull is my best guess. I'm shooting SA only right now. Please revolver guru's, help this semi-auto guy learn how to shoot wheel guns well!! What am i doing wrong? what should i practice?

I want this to become my primary wood's carry gun, and use it for everything from deer to small game with appropriate loads. I'm capable of loading anything using the powders i already have which are: unique, power pistol, and h110. I hae 125 gr hollow points (xtp) as well as hornady 158 gr lswc. I loaded 50 lswc to try this afternoon over 5 grains unique.

PLEASE TEACH ME!!! THANKS!
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Old October 16, 2012, 09:10 AM   #2
Bob Wright
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Shooting a revovler shouildn't be that much different than an autoloader.

Develop a good, firm two handed hold. Your thumbs should be side-by-side but not pressing against the gun's frame. Your shooting hand should have a very firm pressure without squeezing so hard as to induce trembling. When starting your squeeze, no other fingers should exert any more pressure.

Line up your sights and build your sight picture. In your mind you should think "Sights. Squeeze." Keep concentrating on the "Sights. Squeeze." thought until the gun fires. You should briefly see your sights outlined in the muzzle flash.

Bob Wright

Just to be sure you're not anticipating the shot, load some empty cases or dummy rounds mixed with your loading. Best if someone else can do this for you. Could be you ARE flinching or tightening up prior to the shot.

Last edited by Bob Wright; October 16, 2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old October 16, 2012, 09:49 AM   #3
MrBorland
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Quote:
It has something to do with the grip vs the trigger pull is my best guess. I'm shooting SA only right now.
Given what you've written, I tend to agree.

As to the grip itself, your strong hand grip should be as high as possible. Once you establish a grip with your strong hand, you should be able to look down and not see backstrap in front of your trigger finger/thumb web. This is, of course, different than a SA cowboy gun, where it's gripped low enough to put your pinky under the grip. No so with a DA revolver, even when it's shot SA.

Secondly, be careful not to adjust your grip when cocking the hammer. There's a strong temptation to remove your weak hand grip altogether to cock, but you really don't need to - just reach up there with your weak thumb, and leave the rest of your weak hand grip stable. I also see people actually lower the gun itself when cocking the hammer, which is another bad habit.

I agree with Bob that your thumbs shouldn't be pressing on the side of the frame. In fact, I grip a revo such that the thumbs are off the gun entirely.

I also agree with Bob that it'd be worthwhile checking yourself for a flinch. Fortunately, it's easy to do with a revolver. Leave a random chamber or 2 empty when loading, and give the cylinder a quick spin before closing (without looking at the cylinder, of course).
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Old October 16, 2012, 09:49 AM   #4
jim8115
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"Shooting a revovler shouildn't be that much different than an autoloader"

Wrong
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBorland
As to the grip itself, your strong hand grip should be as high as possible. Once you establish a grip with your strong hand, you should be able to look down and not see backstrap in front of your trigger finger/thumb web.
Here's a pic from an IDPA match showing that high grip:



A high grip gives the shooter some serious control:





Quote:
Originally Posted by jim8115

"Shooting a revovler shouildn't be that much different than an autoloader"

Wrong
The fundamentals are the same. And the OP's shooting his revo in single action. Sounds pretty similar to me.
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Old October 16, 2012, 10:35 AM   #6
mmc205
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wow, i'm definitely not holding it that high. It appears he's actually above the rubber grip. is that what you meant by this?

you should be able to look down and not see backstrap in front of your trigger finger/thumb web.

I'll try the empty cylinder trick also, thats a great idea.

I was also cocking with my strong hand. Big mistake i take it.

Any more thoughts ideas? Wow, its amazing that one can be pretty proficient in a certain handgun (auto) and that the form and control is so different on another.

Thank you so much for the input. I must say, i'm really liking wheelguns, not having to find brass on the ground amongst the leaves is really nice too!

Any advice for shooting the 500 SW accurately? i'm assuming most of teh same advice applies, but i did see a Jerry Miculek video one time where he said "the more the recoil, the lower you want to grip". I didn't know what it meant at the time, but it sounds like he's referring to how high on the grip to hold on. Should i go lower on the 500? i can tell you for sure i've gripped it high, web smushed against the top of the grip, and it hurts bad that way, i started gripping lower and the kick is brutal, but doesn't hurt anymore. Thoughts?
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:26 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Practice.

LOTS of practice.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:33 AM   #8
MrBorland
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Quote:
wow, i'm definitely not holding it that high. It appears he's actually above the rubber grip. is that what you meant by this?
Yep - the higher, the better. At some point, the cocked hammer will establish the upper limit. If you're able to see grip above your hand when viewed from the side, though, you're too low.

Quote:
I was also cocking with my strong hand. Big mistake i take it.
I rarely shoot in SA, so I'm not an expert here. I'm betting bullseye shooters who shoot SA cock with their strong hand because they have to shoot 1-handed anyway. If you're shooting 2-handed, I think it's better to cock with your weak thumb, since you won't have to alter your strong hand grip.

Quote:
Any advice for shooting the 500 SW accurately? i'm assuming most of teh same advice applies, but i did see a Jerry Miculek video one time where he said "the more the recoil, the lower you want to grip".
I've never shot a 500, but JM's advice is likely sound. A high grip helps control muzzle flip, but the recoil is more directed backward into the shooter's hand. Überfast follow-up shots with a 500 isn't so much an issue as is the recoil, so it makes sense to go lower rather than damage your hand.
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Old October 16, 2012, 11:34 AM   #9
Pisa
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Use your support (weak) hand to cock back the hammer on the revolver. It's much easier IMHO. You don't risk losing grip that way.
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Old October 16, 2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/show....php?t=1441399

There's three or so books mentioned in the above link. Try the Cunningham; it sure helped me. He does a lot on technique, not much on "war stories". He focuses entirely on double-action shooting.

Also,this is some good reading:

http://www.snubnose.info/
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Old October 16, 2012, 02:13 PM   #11
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May I suggest...that you buy a Hogue rubber grip for your Ruger DA. It seemed to make a difference in comfortability and felt recoil, when I slipped a Hogue rubber grip on my 454 Casull/45 Colt, Ruger Super RedHawk.

I use a padded shooting glove for my strong hand, when I shoot the 454. I'll have to try the lower grip sometime. The recoil in the SA pistol's tend to roll the pistol, upward in your hand --- while the DA's tend to push straight back.

A trigger job in the offing?

Dry fire...with snap caps.

I would get aquainted with the pistol and trigger better, by shooting off the bench; if possible.

Your grip is different when shooting revolvers, compared to semi autos. For a righthander: have your left thumb crossed over the right thumb --- so you can easily cock the hammer --- little or no pressure on your thumbs, the same goes for your pinky finger on your strong hand. Breathe...relax your shoulders, lock your wrists, follow through --- especially for your trigger finger.

Last edited by Erno86; October 16, 2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old October 16, 2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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You might as well go to the expert.
Jerry Miculek has plenty of videos on the web and instructional books and dvds on revolver shooting available.
Just do web searches for his stuff.
There's no one any better.
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Old October 16, 2012, 04:40 PM   #13
Bob Wright
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I suggested using empty cases or dummy rounds for alternate live cartridges. You can see the empty chamber otherwise.

Shooting the handgun, pistol or revolver, is 99.9% concentration on the basics, trigger squeeze and sight alignment.

Bob Wright
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Old October 16, 2012, 04:45 PM   #14
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What ammo are you using? Some of my guns don't give a hoot what I feed them but some of my revolvers like my Dan Wesson .357 are very fussy.
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Old October 17, 2012, 07:45 AM   #15
mmc205
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i'm shooting PMC 357 magnum JHP (purchased with the gun) and i just made up some 158 gr hornady LSWC loads with 357 cases and 5.0 grains unique.

I haven't discounted that there could be inherent accuracy issues;either with the gun or ammo, but since thats generally not the problem i put it to end of the "possible issues" list.

Its maddening that i can one hand my kimber custom target from 50 ft and keep a 6 inch group all day, and i can't even consistently hit the paper two handed from 10 yards with this revolver.

I did shoot it yesterday, and did feel like i did make some progress. Some shots that "felt" good, were good, others not so much.

As recommended i'll look up the JM videos and take all i can get out of his fine tutelage.

I'll try to update this post when i figure this out, hopeully with a picture of a half decent group. Thanks for all the help guys.
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Old October 17, 2012, 08:01 AM   #16
fdreano
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Jerry is indeed the expert....go through these vids; guarantee you'll improve:
http://www.myoutdoortv.com/search/node/Jerry%20Miculek
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Old October 17, 2012, 02:41 PM   #17
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The great thing about revolvers is they can be easily dry fired. Do that, and lots of it. Some folks like to balance a coin on top of the barrel to be sure they aren't jerking the gun at all during trigger pull.

Also, stick with light .38 special loads until you get the hang of it. .357s out of a smaller gun aren't fun for anyone.
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Old October 17, 2012, 02:56 PM   #18
Erno86
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Jerry Miculek likes smoothe wooden grips, especially of his own design, for smoother faster shooting. You can go that way...or try the sticky rubber Hogue Grip.

One method that helps me in my offhand pistol and rifle shooting, is the use of Cylinder and Slide's shooting strap; that costs around $7. It is a nylon strap that has a snap loop that goes around your neck. At the other end of the approx. 2 foot long strap is another loop that is adjustable, that goes around either thumb.

For a righthanded shooter...the thumb loop goes around the left thumb, while shooting a rifle --- the right thumb for pistol shooting. You push your sling thumb out, {but not to hard}, like a push pull method.

It's just like shooting off the bench. You can hold the rifle or pistol up for almost forever, without tiring. The only thing it does not prevent --- is a flinch.

The Navy Seals...have a similar type of system, using bungee cords.

You can draw a pistol with it.

The only downside: is that somebody can come up behind you and garrote you with the strap.

Last edited by Erno86; October 17, 2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old October 17, 2012, 03:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Jerry Miculek likes smooth wooden grips, especially of his own design, for smoother faster shooting.
The reason Jerry Miculek uses smooth wooden grips is so he can make small adjustments in his grip between shots when needed. I'm not nearly as proficient of a shooter as Jerry and couldn't even comprehend making grip adjustments in fractions of a second in between my shots during a timed competition the whole while still hitting the targets.

Now shooting an SP101 accurately isn't the easiest thing in the world. The triggers are no where near as good as full size revolvers, same with S&W J frames, and can take alot of practice to become proficient with them. If you really like the gun maybe get the trigger worked on, some stoning and a set of lighter springs might help drastically, and dry fire practice goes a long way too.

Also a big mistake people make when shooting double action is pulling the trigger super slow until right before it breaks, now im not saying mash the trigger erratically but a smooth uniform trigger pull all the way through is what your looking for.

Last edited by Dragline45; October 17, 2012 at 03:20 PM.
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Old October 17, 2012, 06:57 PM   #20
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Torquing the grip for control

The technique I have developed is this: I push forward with my shooting hand and pull back with my support hand. This 'torques' the revolver, in my case a SW 649, into a steady aim. It has a heavy trigger pull so the firing sequence the whole hand comes into play. A semi auto wont be thrown off as much with a improper hand motion since the triggers are light enough for just the firing finger to cycle the trigger. Not so with the revolver; theyve got to be handled a bit rougher.

The torquing method I use works for serious shooting in double action, not babying the trigger for sweet groupings. I dont know what other techniques other revolver shooters use, but just puttin' it out there!



Hmm for some reason I just get a red x where I belive I put the image. Oh well just click on the attachment.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg gripping technique 009.jpg (31.9 KB, 14 views)
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Old October 18, 2012, 10:33 AM   #21
mmc205
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red x, huh, would you say the file is not found?

Thanks again for all the input guys. I got a set of hogue grips, and the lighter spring set for it. When i put the springs in, i may stone the necessary parts.

Does anyone have a good light load for 158 grain lead bullets in a 357 mag case using unique or power pistol? I'm shooting 5.0 grains unique right now, and the recoil was more than anticipated. I'm certainly not recoil averse, just trying to make the gun as "shootable" as possible until i get all the other issues worked out.
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Old October 18, 2012, 12:02 PM   #22
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I shoot a GP100. I am fairly new to the sport and I am now consistently hitting groups of 3.5 inches at seven yards in DA. I can do much better with either .38 or.357mag in SA.
I am pretty sure that my issue is the long trigger stroke in DA. I have worked the trigger group till it is smooth as glass so I know that it isn't binding in any way. The one place that is different from other guns that I have shot is in the cylinder lock up. On the GP100 and the SP101 the cylinder locking hand rides up and locks with a noticable "bump" at about 3/4 of the way through the trigger stroke. I have measured this piece, polished it and even replaced it but the "bump" remains. It is obviously a design geometry issue.
Having said that, I will say that my groups are slowly getting smaller. I suspect that what you are experiencing in gaining control is the lockup pulling your aim ever so slightly off target.
I have also noticed that if my support hand is on the frame I shoot higher than if it is on the grip. The groups are about the same size, just in a different place.
Practice may not make perfect, but it can be a lot of fun.

Last edited by rrruger; October 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old October 18, 2012, 02:28 PM   #23
Old Grump
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Quote:
Does anyone have a good light load for 158 grain lead bullets in a 357 mag case using unique or power pistol? I'm shooting 5.0 grains unique right now, and the recoil was more than anticipated. I'm certainly not recoil averse, just trying to make the gun as "shootable" as possible until i get all the other issues worked out.
4.6 gr Bullseye works for me with 158 gr LSWC or LRN. I haven't used Unique yet but my book says 8 gr so I'd say you were already at the bottom end of that powder, maybe to close to the bottom end.
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