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Old December 29, 2013, 04:40 PM   #1
ShootingNut
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How Do You Shoot

Your Double Action Revolver?
Do you shoot single action for better accuracy like I do?
The trigger pull is just too darn long, I have never practiced
enough DA to achieve any accuracy.
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Old December 29, 2013, 04:55 PM   #2
L_Killkenny
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I don't have enough reloading time and supplies to get "accurate" at DA shooting and over the years I've been a lot more worried about hitting small things slowly than I have about hitting big things fast. Being said, I do dry fire and run a few cylinders thru DA when I'm feeling the need. Enough that I might be called accurate at SD ranges but IMO that a very loose definition of accurate shooting.

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Old December 29, 2013, 05:00 PM   #3
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootingNut
The trigger pull is just too darn long, I have never practiced
enough DA to achieve any accuracy.
I suspect your problem is the latter more than the former. Not knocking SA fire - I'd shoot SA if I were to shoot a bullseye match with a revolver - but one can be plenty accurate with the DA trigger if they work at it. IMO, a good wheelgunner should be able to shoot honest & consistent 3" 5-shot DA unsupported groups at 25 yards. That's far better than what you'll see at your typical range, but it's very do-able with practice (and maybe a little instruction).

I shoot DA 99% of the time. Matter of fact, my most-used revos are rendered DAO. Below are some examples of DA shooting - all are 5 round groups, shot DA, unsupported, unless noted otherwise:

DAO 686, 10 yards, supported (bottom) and unsupported (top)


Stock 4" 617 .22LR revolver, 5 rounds, 10 yards:


S&W 617, 15 yards:


617, 25 yards:


S&W K-38, .38spl, 15 yards:
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:11 PM   #4
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I shoot my revolvers DAO. Its the way they were meant to be shot, and it really doesnt take much effort to learn to shoot them that way.

In the long run, by shooting them that way, you will become a better all around shooter, with everything you shoot.
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:14 PM   #5
ShootingNut
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I believe you are right about my not practicing enough DA.
I own one wheel gun, but several semi autos, so needless to say
the autos get used much more. Had a S&W 686+ now have a GP100 3".
Nice shooting sir!
SN
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:18 PM   #6
ShootingNut
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Your right, I know that is the way they were meant to be shot.
I would like to get better with practice at DA, because I prefer
faster shooting. That's why I love my autos more.
SA shooting is like slow motion, I don't "fan it" like the old
guys did in the movies. :-)
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:21 PM   #7
AK103K
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I think youll find that once you get used to it, shooting slow or fast, you wont be thumb cocking the gun much, if at all, anymore.
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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Consider shooting some IDPA or USPSA matches to work on your DA shooting. It doesn't require target-grade accuracy, but it's plenty tough to make your hits when time's on the line. Here's an IDPA/USPSA standard, for example - the El Prez drill, done with the same revo shown in my 1st pic above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNFerCV3W4Y
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:36 PM   #9
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I have several L and N frame S&W revolvers and I can't remember the last time I shot any of them SA.

I have medium-to-small hands, but shooting DA is mostly a matter of using the right grips, the right grip and practice.
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Old December 29, 2013, 05:38 PM   #10
ShootingNut
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Simply amazing shooting skills, only in my dreams. :-)
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Old December 29, 2013, 06:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Simply amazing shooting skills, only in my dreams. :-)
A little money, a little time, a "WHOLE LOT OF DRY FIRING" and you too could be MrBorland posting some nice little groups of holes on paper.

Don't limit yourself to just dreams. Practice. A lot.
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Old December 29, 2013, 06:06 PM   #12
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I shoot my revolvers in both SA and DA. My CCW gun only gets shot in DA. I have been told that some LEO think that if you have time to pull the hammer back you have time to remove yourself from the situation. I am not sure how true it is but I practice both shooting in SA and DA.
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Old December 29, 2013, 07:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baba Louie
Don't limit yourself to just dreams. Practice. A lot.
+1. My posts were meant to encourage, not discourage. Anyone can be a good wheelgunner, but it takes desire, practice, a little instruction, and, most of all, a self-image and positive attitude that accepts that. Seeing what's possible helps, too, so long as it encourages.
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Old December 29, 2013, 07:37 PM   #14
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Wish I could afford to practice more
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Old December 29, 2013, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Wish I could afford to practice more
The best da practice is also the cheapest! Pick a safe spot in your home. Check your gun to be sure it is not loaded. Check it again (safe not sorry). Then dry fire while holding the sights on target. This will allow you to see the effect of every movement you make without recoil. Practice as often as you can, for free. Just be sure to check the gun ti be sure it is unloaded every time you pick it up, even if you only put it down to go to the bathroom.
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Old December 29, 2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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I practice both single and double action as well as aimed fire and hip shooting and with the triggerguard against my hipbone. (retention fire)
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Old December 30, 2013, 12:24 AM   #17
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I almost always shoot double action. It's a pretty rare event when I shoot single action. Some folks will trot out some oft-used lines about accidentally training yourself to cock a trigger and how it's a "bad habit" if you should get attacked by 57 bad guys in a dark alley, but I came to become a double-action only shooter in a much more simple way: it just seemed to me that every time I went to single-action cock the hammer on my revolver, it would upset that good, solid hold that I had on the revolver, and it was like I was starting from scratch on each shot. It was hard to make consistent shots if I had to "re-find" the hold I had on my revolver.

It could be that I was simply never all too eloquent in how I cocked my hammer. No idea. But it sure seemed a lot easier to simply tackle the double action trigger and get used to it.

And boy, did I! So that's almost all I ever do with a double action revolver. And though my first couple of decades of handgun shooting was almost always at paper targets with occasional plinking sessions against bottles, cans and anything that would show damage or fly apart when hit, it wasn't until the last 3 or 4 years that I began to shoot a lot of steel plates.

And shooting steel plates is really a different kind of shooting than slow, aimed fired at paper targets with the ultimate goal of making tiny groups. When you stare down an array of multiple steel targets, it ends up being a very natural goal to hit the target and move as quickly as you can to the next target. Extremely fine accuracy takes a back seat to quick transitions and you learn to make a solid hit and move quickly to the next target.

I am not trying to minimize the value in small-group shooting on paper; exactly that made me the shooter I am today and is the reason I've got skill with a handgun. But shooting steel plates opens up a world that's a totally new kind of shooting and double action is so natural for this kind of shooting.

Double action is where it's at for me and I'd never change. If Mr.Borland was my next-door neighbor, I'd be feeding him beer or lead and asking him to DAO a bunch of my revolvers. But please keep one thing in mind when he posts these targets of his... it takes more than a lot of "practice" to do what he does, no matter what he (or anyone else) says. This guy has genuine talent and some of what he's doing on these targets simply can't be replicated by sheer will and practice. Some of what I'm seeing is talent and sorry... but not everyone has it.

I'll try to put that a different way: what he shows in these pictures couldn't be done by him without practice. But for a lot of us, no amount of practice can replicate what he shows here without some of the talent he's got. This is not an "average" shooter. We could argue about how much "practice" has to do with it.
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Old December 30, 2013, 12:52 AM   #18
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I have spent most of my off-range practice time for the last couple of years in DA dryfire practice and have found that not only is my DA shooting much improved, my SA shooting is dramatically better.

My consistency (in terms of accuracy) is better than it has ever been, and I find that I can shoot much more rapidly because I don't have to focus as much on trigger control.
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Old December 30, 2013, 02:14 AM   #19
salvadore
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I have been shooting DA revolvers since 1975 (M-28). I currently own 7 DA revolvers and almost never shoot them SA. A DA will not cause a lack of accuracy and the quicker lock time may contribute to better accuracy.
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Old December 30, 2013, 07:39 AM   #20
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevens
But please keep one thing in mind when he posts these targets of his... it takes more than a lot of "practice" to do what he does, no matter what he (or anyone else) says. This guy has genuine talent and some of what he's doing on these targets simply can't be replicated by sheer will and practice. Some of what I'm seeing is talent and sorry... but not everyone has it.
Well, in full disclosure, I should say the targets I posted aren't my norm - that's why they're digitally archived, after all. Regardless, my earlier point still stands - that 3" @ 25 yards in DA is a good metric for good handgun marksmanship, and achievable by most with effective practice.

Effective practice. Just sending lead downrange ain't effective. It just re-enforces all those things needed to shoot as you currently do. IOW, it re-enforces the bad habits you've currently got. There's a "way" to improving marksmanship, but there are many false trails as well. Volumes are written on the subject, but I'll mention one of the most important elements - the mental game. If one is serious about getting "good", they've got to work on their mental game. There are volumes written on this subject alone, and well-worth checking out.

To get back OT, a rough DA is frustrating, and may keep you from shooting DA often. If your gun needs a good action job, get it (and just lightening the springs isn't a good action job). A smooth DA is a joy to shoot. Likewise with the sights. If you can't pick up the front sight well, you ain't gonna shoot well. A red ramp isn't a particularly good sight, IMO, so if it's giving you trouble, consider swapping it out with something that's easier to see. Finally, while it's at the 'smiths, have the 'smith install a replacement hammer which has been bobbed. That'll force you to shoot DA, but you'll still have the factory hammer if you decide to put it back on.
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Old December 30, 2013, 09:18 AM   #21
Mike Irwin
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Get yourself some snapcaps and practice, practice, practice!

Dry firing with snap caps can make a world of difference as to how you shoot at the range, either single or double action.
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Old December 30, 2013, 04:05 PM   #22
Don P
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Quote:
How Do You Shoot

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Your Double Action Revolver?
Just like it states double action. I shoot ICORE (International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts). During a match no time to be cocking hammers and taking care for slow deliberate aim.
Continue to practice your double action trigger pull and the more you practice the better you will get. Its all trigger control and as a fellow shooter has told me time and again, trigger pull is like rowing a boat oar smooth and steady. If you are pulling your shots then you are breaking oars.
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Old December 30, 2013, 06:53 PM   #23
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If I am getting a new revolver sighted in, I'll start out in SA. Once I have established that sights are dialed in, I'll rarely ever shoot it SA again. Double Action just comes naturally after a while. It helps to have a smooth and consistent trigger on your revolver.
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Old December 30, 2013, 07:32 PM   #24
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Depends on what you are "shooting" for. I shoot mine SA for distance and accuracy all the time. I do not care how smooth a DA pull you have SA is better for accuracy, particularly at longer distances. I also shoot DA but generally at shorter distances.
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Old December 31, 2013, 09:06 PM   #25
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I'm a frequent revolver shooter.

I honestly can't remember the last time I shot single action - it's been decades, quite possibly. I purchased a Smith 686 this year, and I don't believe I have ever cocked the hammer back. For all I know, it doesn't even work in single action (it's a Smith; it works).

I happen to be an excellent shot with double-action, btw. If I were in a SD situation, I would want a revolver in my hand - I'm that confident shooting double-action. It takes practice. I have small hands so the trigger pull seems long to me too. But you just work on it. And work on it. And work on it. . .
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