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Old March 27, 2013, 01:43 AM   #1
red96ta
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Shot the Dragoon from 50 yards...

Last Sunday was black powder only day at the range and got to see a bunch of nice gents with VERY nice (and expensive) rifles. They let me set up a bit down from them as they were in the middle of a competition and I finally got to fire off the Dragoon at 50 yards.

Now, at 20 yards, it's a foot high and at 50 yards, it's about the same so I would imagine that the ball is on it's downward trajectory. Out of 24 rounds, half of them hit in an area that I would call a substantial strike on the target...the other half I would classify as either flesh wounds or dead misses. Either way, a 50% heavy hit ratio is pretty good from half a football field away.

Sorry guys, I tossed the target before taking a picture of it for you
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Old March 27, 2013, 03:29 AM   #2
Doc Hoy
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Good words, Red

But keep in mind that for a Dragoon, a horse was also a target. I am suggesting that your functional score was higher.

I just finished reading an early account of the building of the transcontinental railroad. There is a first person narrative of a railroad worker's horse being struck four times with light caliber rounds (the author used the term "balls" although I don't know for sure he meant "roundballs") in an indian raid. The horse lived to fight another day.
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Old March 27, 2013, 07:45 AM   #3
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That ain't too bad. In once cylinderful, you would have had substantial hits on 3 of the enemy, at 50 yards away. I bet that ratio would have been very much welcomed in a battle.
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Old March 27, 2013, 07:58 AM   #4
maillemaker
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50 yards is a fair piece for a revolver.

You may find that you can get more accurate groupings with just the right powder charge. Maximum load probably won't give you maximum accuracy.

Steve
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:44 AM   #5
Rigmarol
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I shoot dragoons in my CAS matches. I have to hold a little over a foot low in order to make solid hits.

I worked with reduced loads using Cream of Wheat as a filler and got some really accurate loads at 20-25 ft. using 25g of fffg and round ball.

These all hit in palm size groups shooting two handed unsupported standing.

I don't use this load only because it is time consuming to load them at a match.

I've also toyed with the idea of putting on some oversized front sights but haven't gotten past the thinking stage.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:59 AM   #6
TemboTusk
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Question: In a real world situation; if you lower your powder charge to gain accuracy, would you not also lower the killing power of the round?

I assume poor accuracy in a full powder charge load means the projectile is still climbing at the point of aim. Lower powder charge means the projectile is not climbing as high or dropping onto the target with the existing point of aim. I don't know if I got this right.
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:27 AM   #7
maillemaker
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Quote:
Question: In a real world situation; if you lower your powder charge to gain accuracy, would you not also lower the killing power of the round?
Yup. But for most of us, the "real world situation" is putting holes in a piece of paper.

If you are shooting competitively, you will tune your gun to the optimal load.

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Old March 27, 2013, 11:39 AM   #8
TemboTusk
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I hear you about the paper targets. However, I still like to know where my round is going to hit with a full load. Either shoot low or adjust the sights. I was trying to get a better understanding of what is happening with different loads.

Colts are typically sighted for 75 yards, which is a long way off today. I was shooting at steel targets out to 75 yards and still had to shoot low.
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Old March 27, 2013, 12:52 PM   #9
Rigmarol
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Your velocity will decrease as you decrease your load. That's logical.
Your accuracy can possibly be at any given velocity depending on loading consistency and the personality of that particular gun. Accuracy usually isn't as good with a full max load.

Killing power, is more about shot placement that any other factor under your control. A full max load that misses is just as good as not shooting at all.
If you can put all your lower velocity loads on target you will have a kill.

In timed competition, winners are those who can put "kill shots" on target fast. Full max loads are not as easy to follow up with for the next shot.

In real life self defense situations, I believe it's very much the same as timed competition; more rounds on target in a short time. All the "reduced" loads I've ever seen will still poke holes in bad guys.

Knowing where you loads will go with any given load development is good to know.
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Old March 27, 2013, 06:23 PM   #10
TemboTusk
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I've been toying with raising the sights, maybe a good idea to adjust the powder load as well and find a happy medium.
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Old March 27, 2013, 08:31 PM   #11
red96ta
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I toyed with several different loads. Started at 45g of 3F, then went down to 40g and then finally went up to 50g (it turned some of the heads of the rifle shooters)

I think that the gun likes 40g the best...
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:31 PM   #12
Hellgate
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Red,
How much clearence is there over the top of the barrel when looking down the sights? If the hammer sight notch is above the barrel a bit you can easily take a jeweler's file (or better yet, a Dremel) and cut the rear notch a little bit lower to in essence, lower the rear sight to bring the POI down. If there is enough clearence I will grind the top of the hammer down as well as deepening the notch to further lower the rear sight. I've "cured" a bunch of Colt's revolvers from shooting too high that way. You can also cut the notch a little bit over to one side in order to correct a minor windage problem. If you have a major windage problem then a taller dovetailed front sight is in order to correct for both elevation and windage.
If the line of sight is in line with the top of the barrel you are screwed and can only put a taller front sight on. The Dragoon is a blade which isn't too difficult.
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Old March 28, 2013, 12:11 AM   #13
red96ta
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The vertical is great, it's just too high...not really a big deal for me and besides, I don't want to chop into a $400 Dragoon. I DO have a Pietta 1860 that I've lowered the rear sight quite a bit with good results, but either way, the '60 just isn't as accurate as my other guns...
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