Secrets and Keys to snub nose accuracy?

This is a discussion on Secrets and Keys to snub nose accuracy? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The Miculek's Grip works for me with my Ruger SP101 357 3", I realized it the last time I was at the range, gives me ...

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Thread: Secrets and Keys to snub nose accuracy?

  1. #31
    Member Array rdpG19's Avatar
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    The Miculek's Grip works for me with my Ruger SP101 357 3", I realized it the last time I was at the range, gives me a lot better control and back on target faster.
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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogdoc357 View Post
    Just thought I would start a new topic.

    Share with us any tips, techniques, secrets, or keys for being accurate with your Snub Nose Revolver.
    Also, share with us how you have improved your accuracy.
    And, with fixed sights, how do you adjust your impact points?

    Byron
    (If the accuracy is for defensive shooting, then you are wasting time if you are practicing shooting by sights. You should practice point shooting.)

    On the other hand, if the accuracy is merely the personal sporting challenge, then you have picked the perfect weapon to test your limits. The short sight radius is very unforgiving of any error.

    Some "target shooting" (not defensive shooting") drills that have helped:
    -One live round - remove one casing after shooting and replace it with a live round. Spin the cylinder and close it. Start shooting. You'll not only notice if you flinch, but, by keeping your eyes on the post, you'll notice other errors.
    - PRACTICE
    - dry firing practice
    - PRACTICE
    - finger placement on the trigger
    - PRACTICE
    - firm grip and find a grip technique that works for you
    - PRACTICE
    - finding a set of grips that work well for you (fortunately grips are so expensive, so you can try several to find one that "fits" you)
    - PRACTICE

    Sensing a theme?
    There are some basics that apply to everyone, but there are also some techinques that work better for the individual (different grip, finger placement, etc.). If there was a one-size-fits-all solution I would pay good money to know it.

    (I don't do trigger jobs or spring jobs, I consider that "cheating." )
    hogdoc357 likes this.

  4. #33
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    I carry a snubbie .38 because it is the one gun of a major caliber that I have found to be comfortable for me to carry everyday. As I grow older (now 69 yo), I tend more towards comfort and simplicity in everything I do. A snubbie in the right front pocket is about as comfortable and unobtrusive as I can get. I have also found, after 51 years of carrying a gun (started at 18 in USMC) that I need lots of different kinds of practice and the tools for practice. See below my whole carry system.

    I carry a 642 (sometimes a 637) in a quality leather pocket holster and I fire the .38 once a week in practice. I practice daily with my 317 using CCI .22 CBs live fire and a bullet trap. I practice practical drills using the snap caps with my 642. I practice weapon drawing and retention with my son, a martial artist, using the plastic "Blue Gun."

    All firing is done at 10' one handed low, 15' and 21' two handed high with either the .38 or .22 revolver.

    Utilizing this "system" I feel very confident and comfortable carrying a snubbie .38 Spcl. IMHO the snubbie .38 will suffice for SD for most people but only if they are willing to make an on-going commitment to practice a lot. I have reached the point where I can go from "harmless little old man" to "hell is coming to breakfast" 5 shots in the chest "gunsel" before the BG even realizes I am armed.

    Works for me.

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  5. #34
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Two things I did to make my snubbie more accurate, first the rear sight is actually just a shallow channel that runs down the frame and make a very small trough in the face of the gun the hammer strikes. I took some bright white nailpolish and coated the face of the gun the hammer strikes on both sides of teh rear sight trough. I also added white nail polish to the rear face of the front sight. The nail polish last though about 5 range trips and gun cleanings, cost me $1.99 and I have enough left for years of touch ups.
    This helped a lot but I found that even if I was shooting using a sand bag as a rest the gun shot way low. I finally had enough of it and decided to alter the front sight. I took a dremel and ground off about .040 from the top of the front sight. It raised the point of impact about 12 inches at 25 feet. Be carefull and go slow on this, I may have taken just a little to much off and I may decide to build up the top of the sight with a thin coating of JB weld. The gun shoots about 1-1/2 high at 25 feet now.
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  6. #35
    Member Array hogdoc357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedBeau View Post
    Two things I did to make my snubbie more accurate, first the rear sight is actually just a shallow channel that runs down the frame and make a very small trough in the face of the gun the hammer strikes. I took some bright white nailpolish and coated the face of the gun the hammer strikes on both sides of teh rear sight trough. I also added white nail polish to the rear face of the front sight. The nail polish last though about 5 range trips and gun cleanings, cost me $1.99 and I have enough left for years of touch ups.
    This helped a lot but I found that even if I was shooting using a sand bag as a rest the gun shot way low. I finally had enough of it and decided to alter the front sight. I took a dremel and ground off about .040 from the top of the front sight. It raised the point of impact about 12 inches at 25 feet. Be carefull and go slow on this, I may have taken just a little to much off and I may decide to build up the top of the sight with a thin coating of JB weld. The gun shoots about 1-1/2 high at 25 feet now.
    Thanks TedBeau,
    Very useful information.

    Byron

  7. #36
    Member Array Wynn's Avatar
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    For most guns I use a firm grip and trigger control. For the snubbie I practice how I foresee having to use it in a defensive situation- close range, and I squeeze the grip as hard as possible and dump all 5 rounds as quickly as possible. This is actually more accurate for me than slowly squeezing and breathing between shots.

  8. #37
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    What a great thread topic...this is what I was hoping for on this forum!!

    I've been carrying revolvers a lot lately, and consequentially I'm trying to improve as much as possible with them. A salty old Marine and a couple of SWAT instructors have been schooling me in pistol handling, and their information has made a world of difference. While I don't think I would want to engage targets at 50+ yards with my snubbie, they can do it. Miculek has pulled off even longer shots than that with a j-frame, though I'm not convinced he's human... I've discovered it's definitely the Indian, and not the arrow....

    Tips that I've picked up on: the grip is the platform from where everything else launches from. Miculek's grip is pretty close to what I've been taught to do, so that's something that's worth emulating. Front sight, front sight, front sight are the next three crucial tips I've been schooled in lately...yes, it's apparently that important. I am working on making sure I see that sight clearly, and the target blurred behind it. Such a simple fundamental, but it makes all the difference in the world in my shooting. To that end, I did the same as another poster on here and painted the front sight of my model 60, with either green or white paint. The contrast makes getting on target that much quicker and easier. Since the gun's ported, I usually have to re-paint every time I shoot the crazy thing....easy enough, though I'd really like a fiber optic or XS Big dot on it..one day I'll do just that with this pistol. My LCR already has the Big Dot on it, and that's a great feature.

    Speaking of sights, the ones that I have seen on the older model 66's are just about as good as one can ask for. I'd love to have that sight setup on the little 60...

    Finally, the trigger squeeze....it's much easier to do this right with a good grip, I'm discovering. I'm getting the trigger with the pad, just above the first knuckle. I have noticed that when the finger starts to get fatigued after a lot of double-action shooting, the trigger seems to creep down until it's in the joint, and all sorts of bad things happen, mostly involving the shots hitting left....I need to strengthen that finger some more for double-action. Though it is awfully fun to cock the hammer and shoot single-action...talk about a great trigger pull. Wish they'd have put even a shrouded hammer on the LCR so I had that option...I learned to shoot on thumb-busters, and I can't help but loving the single-action option when I can have it.

    Again, great topic. Looking forward to more like it...

  9. #38
    Member Array JodyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wynn View Post
    For most guns I use a firm grip and trigger control. For the snubbie I practice how I foresee having to use it in a defensive situation- close range, and I squeeze the grip as hard as possible and dump all 5 rounds as quickly as possible. This is actually more accurate for me than slowly squeezing and breathing between shots.
    What if the badguy didn't get the same fight scene script you "forsee"?

    Your local Walmart or grocery store has multiple opportunities for 25+ yard shots down the aisles.
    Maybe the bad guy has multiple people including your wife or child corraled in a corner of the store and is doing his best to shoot or stab them.
    If all you can do is "grip it and rip it" at 3 yards, you might as well shout harsh words his direction.

    People who say snubs are only good at bad breath distance are just trying to justify being crappy shots.
    I can gat 4/5 (80%) hits on a 8" diameter steel plate out to 50 yards on demand with my 2" S&W 640 Pro and Speer Gold Dot .38's.
    It's all grip, sight alignment and TRIGGER CONTROL.

    Expend the effort to be a solid shooter and you won't have to settle for belly to belly.
    Guess what? Badguys are pretty good shots at 3 yards too.
    JD likes this.

  10. #39
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    Didn't read all the posts so this might've been said ... but I'm a much better shot when I shoot single-action on a snub-nose .38 Special. With the hammer cocked the trigger only has a hair of travel and that means less muzzle drift for me anyway.

  11. #40
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    there is a fine art to getting the target to be where the bullet is gonna be--and at the same time.

    thats my take on placment. WMMV
    Doghandler likes this.
    Be aware, be deliberate in your actions and be accurate.
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  12. #41
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    "People who say snubs are only good at bad breath distance are just trying to justify being crappy shots.
    I can gat 4/5 (80%) hits on a 8" diameter steel plate out to 50 yards on demand with my 2" S&W 640 Pro and Speer Gold Dot .38's.
    It's all grip, sight alignment and TRIGGER CONTROL."

    4/5 doesn't get it in the scenario you gave (crowded store) that 5th shot has a strong possibility of hitting another customer/store staff. Self defense plea doesn't cut it if you hit anybody but the BG. I have carried snubbies (S&W J frames) for a decade now and I shoot several times a week. I would not attempt anything over 25 feet if there are other people involved. I wouldn't attempt a 25 yard+ shot with my 686 or Glock if there other people close to the target. It just seems way to risky to me. Living targets move around and at 25 yards+ they are devilishly hard to hit.
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  13. #42
    Member Array JodyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh2657 View Post
    4/5 doesn't get it in the scenario you gave (crowded store) that 5th shot has a strong possibility of hitting another customer/store staff. Self defense plea doesn't cut it if you hit anybody but the BG. I have carried snubbies (S&W J frames) for a decade now and I shoot several times a week. I would not attempt anything over 25 feet if there are other people involved. I wouldn't attempt a 25 yard+ shot with my 686 or Glock if there other people close to the target. It just seems way to risky to me. Living targets move around and at 25 yards+ they are devilishly hard to hit.
    If someone is actively murdering people, 4/5 is completely acceptable.
    It's a bit like doing CPR, even if you screw it up you didn't make the situation worse because your patient was already "dead" before you started the first compression.

    Does your 25' no shoot line in the sand hold up if the badguy is standing 30' away from you and preparing to make a contact shot to your wifes head? He's raising the gun with the full intention of splattering her brains on the wall. You would absolutely not consider taking the shot?
    Talking in absolutes is for people who havent thought beyond the 3x3x3 statistical "average" shooting.

    Every bullet you fire is a risk.
    If you have to take a long shot (or a short range shot) and miss would you rather tell the jury that you regularly practiced aimed precision shooting out to 50 yards or would you rather tell the jury all your practice was yanking the trigger as fast as possible at 3 yards?
    Which one shows wanton recklessness and which one sounds reasonable?

  14. #43
    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    Jury doesn't care how a shooter practiced with a gun. Juries like to keep things simple. Shooter brought a gun, shooter shot an innocent person, shooter is a bad man.
    The "Good Samaritan" rule does not apply outside the medical community. USSC says even an armed off duty policeman has no legal responsibility to defend or protect a citizen. If the fifth shot hits somebody's wife or kid, nobody is going to care how much or in what way the shooter practiced, the shooter is a wild man that brought a gun into a public place and shot an innocent person. That is all the explanation the jury will pay attention to.

    BTW, in a public place my wife never gets more than 5 feet away from me. No 30 foot shots here. I have been married 45 years and I still hold her hand in a public area and she is the only person outside of myself that I would be protecting in a public area full of innocent people. Getting involved in a gunfight in crowded area, with somebody who, because of distance, is not an immediate threat to you personally is leaving the realm of SD and starting just to be gunfight.

    I don't change my clothes in a telephone booth and I don't drive a Batmobile. I am also very aware that most Americans, including those that make up juries, don't like people with guns. It just isn't a good idea to shoot any of their neighbors or friends. For me, if I can't keep all five in a five inch circle, I am too far away!
    Retired Marine, Retired School Teacher, Independent voter, Goldwater Conservative.

  15. #44
    Distinguished Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Yah, so, like, my last two range sessions with my LCR with boot grip have been more or less inspirational. I've been working on choking up my grip. What could go wrong? You get a strong meaty high thumbed grip and curl your finger around the trigger. Now this is how a small gun with a small grip should be presented, right? What could go wrong? It passes the quarter test. It feels good. It feels real good! Nobodies going to pull this gun out of my hand.

    What could go wrong? Shooting low, that's what could go wrong. I caught myself arcing the gun down in "three out of five drills" - you know, load three and shoot five. What can go wrong?

    I think I'll just settle back into the natural grip that got me here. You'll find me seeking cover at your local grocery.

  16. #45
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    Random bits of brilliance

    Do not allow yourself to believe the nonsense about how snubbies are inaccurate. They are as accurate as the shooter strives to be competent. I rather like short barreled revolvers. The smallest is a old S&W M36 Chief's Special with 2 inch (actually 1 7/8 inches) barrel, then a Military & Police square butt 2"; a M10 round butt 2", a M19 with 2.5" barrel and a custom M10 with a round butt, no hammer spur and the barrel trimmed to just forward of the ejector lug. They shoot with different degrees of accuracy. The K frame guns shoot just like regular revolvers, ONCE one gets over the barrel length. Yes, the sight radius is a bit shorter, but lining up the sights and pulling the trigger still works.

    Ted Beau mentioned 'adjusting' the non-adjustable sights. Excellent idea. However, one must first decide on the carry ammunition to be used. Then adjust for that ammo. By the way, if the revolver shoots to one side or another, one can take a small safe-sided swiss file and widen the rear sight notch in the direction one wants the bullet to strike. (If the bullet strike is left, widen out the right side of the rear sight.) As Ted says, go slow. Once your duty ammo shots properly, all other practice ammo will be close enough not to make much difference.

    Since I only shoot S&W double action revolvers (with one Ruger Security Six) I only shoot them double action. One simply lines up the sights and presses the trigger all the way through. Yeah, it takes some practice, but it's easier than it sounds. It is also rather fast after a short while. (I will confess I only have the older style S&W revolvers with pinned barrels. I've handled very few 'new' Smiths and I think they handle pretty much the same; but I cannot be sure.)

    Much of it is a matter of practice. Much of it can be dry fire - snapping an empty revolver. However, one must pay the same attention to the sights and trigger in dry fire as in live fire - or it's just finger pushups. For that matter, just pulling the trigger on an empty revolver will build up one's finger and hand muscles.

    The only other problem I find with snubbies is proper grips to allow use of speed loaders. Some of the best grips are the Packmayr Presentation grips. (I'm not sure if they're made anymore, revolvers being so passe.) One must try them and see if the speed loaders will function in a hurry with the selected grips.

    Surely the hardest revolver to shoot well is the J frame Chief's Special. The grip is small and it all but disappears on the hand - and I do not have big hands. Still, sight alignment and trigger control rules the day.

    I don't know how the rules view ammunition, but it turns out that .38 Special wadcutter ammunition has an effectiveness beyond what weight and velocity would suggest. That big flat front delivers energy very efficiently.

    Point shooting was mentioned. Fairbairn and Sykes taught point shooting to the Shanghai Constabulary in the pre WWII days of British China. However, they only taught point shooting to about 16 meters and then taught sighted, aimed fire. (If one hasn't read it, Shooting to Live by Fairbairn & Sykes is an excellent book.) Jeff Cooper found from his studies that a 'flash sight picture' was as fast as point shooting. Certainly, by the time one has fired a second shot, enough time has elapsed to bring the handgun to eye level and actually use the sights.
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