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Old August 26, 2001, 02:24 AM   #1
S.F. 1357
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DA Revolver Shooting Techniques

I've just recently gotten into revolver shooting. I've been shooting handguns for a few years now and the majority of my time and training has been spent shooting only semi-autos. I've done some casual target shooting with a few revolvers but it wasn't until I actually tried a combat course did I realize I need to develop my revolver skills.

I was wondering if anyone out there can lend me some tips on the proper grip and trigger techniques when shooting a revolver. I know some of you may have different opinions but I feel I can learn more by hearing as much as I can from everyone.

Thanks,
1357
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Old August 26, 2001, 03:33 AM   #2
4thHorseman
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The technique I use is "Don't stop squeezing, til they stop wheezing."
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Old August 26, 2001, 04:58 AM   #3
PzGren
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Hold the revolver as high as possible and firmly.While shooting a semi auto double handed, my thumbs are pointed forward , in a pararallel fashion, revolver makes me cross them for D.A., weak hand over strong hand thumb while pressing down hard.
Revolver should also be an extension of the forearm line but that is the same for semi auto.

Dry firing at home was my greatest help and, at the range, only loading three or four hot cases and the rest fired cases.
Like this you can control flinching and will advance fast.

Good shooting!
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Old August 26, 2001, 07:35 AM   #4
WESHOOT2
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Suggest never crossing weak-hand thumb behind gun.

High grip.
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Old August 26, 2001, 07:57 AM   #5
PzGren
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Definitely not to cross thumb behind hammer for D.A., you'd pinch it.
Bill Jordan recommends to cross thumbs behind hammer for S.A. to cock hammer rapidly.
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Old August 26, 2001, 05:09 PM   #6
James K
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Believe it or not, you can shoot DA well with one hand. Rule is still to keep sight picture and squeeze trigger. If shooting two hand (assuming right hand is strong hand), keep left thumb on top left of right thumb. Trigger is pulled with middle joint of index finger, not first joint as in single action fire.

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Old August 26, 2001, 05:38 PM   #7
4V50 Gary
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If you see George Knox, rangemaster for the Sheriff's Dept., he can give you a few pointers. He's one of the best instructors I have ever met.

Good pointers given above. BTW, my hands are small enough that I cross my thumbs. I don't get hammer bite and it gives me better control.

Also avoid using the SA trigger on the gun. Stick w/shooting it DAO. You'll find that with practice (start up close), you can get good groupings. Learn to count your shots too (they use to teach us that back when nothing but revolvers were issued).
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Old August 26, 2001, 08:11 PM   #8
Guy B. Meredith
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The replies above probably come from much better shooters than I, but each is an individual so I'll give you my view from behind the rear sight, too.

As mentioned above, you want to go up high enough on the grip that the hammer almost comes down to the web of your trigger hand as it travels backward. Most people fail to get the high grip that gives recoil control.

I usually shoot with the thumb of the trigger hand tucked on top of the cut out on the grip, pointing down, weak hand thumb over strong keeping it tucked.

I find that crossing the weak hand thumb back far enough to cross over the base of the trigger hand thumb works for both SA and DA, but prefer thumbs down.

The usual rule is 60% of grip force from weak hand, 40% from trigger hand. On the trigger hand I grip only by squeezing the thumb toward the knuckle at the bottom of the trigger finger, working with the hand muscles in that area.

For single hand shooting I grip with third and fourth finger and hand muscles. The pinky throws things off balance, so ends up just hanging there.

On the trigger pull I feel the pressure being applied by only the bottom half of the inner portion of the finger to get a straight back pull. The upper half of the inside of the trigger finger as you look at it from behind exerts little pressure. The trigger is just behind the last joint.

If you ever schedule to shoot at the Chabot Gun Club in Castro Valley let me know.
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Old August 26, 2001, 10:24 PM   #9
Archie
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Basic grip has been covered. Get as high on the revolver as possible. Like Mr. Meredith says. Trigger finger to about the first joint. From the tip, of course. I prefer both thumbs on the same side of the gun. Since I'm right handed, both my thumbs are on the left side.

Line up the sights and pull the trigger.

Lining up sights is pretty much the same as anywhere else.
Pulling trigger ... keep sights in line and pull trigger front to rear without stopping. Should be deliberate and positive. Think of ringing a doorbell. Not jabbing... not taking so long as to grow a beard... but all at once.

Concentrate on keeping the sights aligned. Dry fire against a blank wall, not a target spot. Work at pulling the trigger all the way through without disturbing the sights. The revolver will in fact "teach" you how to do it.

As mentioned, start with fairly large, close targets. Get smaller groups and then move back.

PPC shooters shoot double action at 50 yards and reliably hit a six by ten inch target.

Oh. Use either a Smith and Wesson or Ruger revolver. Colt DA revolvers are not suited to DA shooting.
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Old August 27, 2001, 12:28 AM   #10
Jim March
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One addition:

On a fast string of DA shots, you want to be pulling the trigger while the barrel is dropping back down out of recoil from the previous shot. This is the part that requires live-fire training in the power level you plan on carrying. Some people like a trigger with a bit of a "hitch" at the end just prior to break, others prefer a dead-smooth stroke all the way through. Whichever is your style, I recommend sticking with that type on both your main and backup carry guns; the presence or absence of that type of feel really affects technique.

Also, if you're using the "last round of the wheelgun is super-potent" trick as the gun's way of telling you it's dry, you don't need to practice much with that monster power level. As the last round, you don't worry about shot recovery from it, just go straight to your reload drill.
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Old August 27, 2001, 01:24 AM   #11
Guy B. Meredith
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MR. Meredith!? Uh, did my father come in?

SF1357,

For revolver fun shoot IPSC and drive the open class auto shooters nuts.

PPC is made for revolver and more of a challenge for me--second Sundays at Chabot.

Then come and join us in the Richmond ICORE (International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts) matches. We have some top notch shooters dropping by for the matches including Jason Pettit (first place Master stock in 2000 International Revolver Championship, second Master in 2001).

Rudi Waldinger (third place Master Open Class in the 2000 International Revolver Championships and second in 2001) was our mentor until July and provided a real quality environment for revolver shooters. He is now lounging in Virginia, but we will try to maintain the program. I will be an RO in Richmond as of September and doing my best to provide quality practice time for ICORE shooters on Saturdays.
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Old August 27, 2001, 02:13 AM   #12
S.F. 1357
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Thanks for all the input!

I'll be sure to take all your advice and try to integrate that which works for me into my practice sessions. Having a resource like this is invaluable and I appreciate everyone's response.
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Old August 27, 2001, 09:19 AM   #13
JoeHatley
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S.F. 1357,

You've gotten some good advice from a couple of great shots in the previous posts(I've seen their targets!!). One technique I didn't see listed is the co-ordination and timing of sight picture and trigger pull.

You want to start your trigger pull before you get the sights aligned. As soon as your sights are anywhere close to the bullseye, start your long double action trigger pull. Don't stop it (staging), just pull on through with a steadily increasing speed. The double action pull is long enough to give you time to make those final micro adjustments to your sight before the shot breaks.

Obviously this technique requires you to be very familiar and consistent in your trigger pull.

If you line your sights up first, and then start your tigger pull, it's almost certain your sight picture will change before the shot breaks. Plus you'll be slow as heck...

Think of it this way: A batter has to start his swing shortly after the ball leaves the pitchers hand, and long before the ball gets to the area it can be hit. He is making those last second adjustments to his swing after the swing has begun. If he waited till the tajectory of the ball was certain, before he starts his swing , it would be too late.

Same idea. Good Luck...

Joe
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Old August 27, 2001, 01:51 PM   #14
9mmepiphany
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you've gotten some great advice so far... the only thing i can add is to make a commttment to shooting DA rather than switching back and forth between SA/DA...it really is more accurate for defensive work with multiple shots.

oh...i always thought my colt python shot rather well as a "leg gun" while i was shooting ppc...hmmm
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Old August 27, 2001, 07:20 PM   #15
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9mm, I agree. Besides, once started on DA with a good gun, SA seems pointless. And practice one hand, too.

I can consistently hit man-size silhouettes at 100 yds with a 3" barrel Model 36, .38 Special, shooting one hand DA. Hardest part is figuring the holdover (full front sight).

Jim
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Old August 27, 2001, 10:51 PM   #16
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Mr. Epiphany, (Mom tried to fetch me up proper...)

I've known exactly one other man who could shoot a stock Python DA and make it work. Even HE wouldn't try it with a Trooper or Police Positive.

If you are another, which I will take at your word, you are a better man than me. But I know my handicaps and Colt DA revolvers are amoung them.....
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Old August 28, 2001, 11:31 AM   #17
9mmepiphany
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mr archie
i should qualify my response concerning DA shooting colts...i dont think i could compete with a stock colt either.

the only stock python, diamondback or detective special trigger that i've ever rolled back were at the store, before purchase, prior to being sent out to the back of the shop for an "action job"...i was spoiled early

back when we used to have "snubby shoots" , the colt d-frames usually outshot the smith j-frames. the longer trigger pull helps steady the smaller framed guns
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