snub nose shooting help needed

This is a discussion on snub nose shooting help needed within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well, I thought I would bring this thread back real quick. Made a quick range trip to try out some new .22 rounds that will ...

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Thread: snub nose shooting help needed

  1. #16
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    Well, I thought I would bring this thread back real quick.

    Made a quick range trip to try out some new .22 rounds that will see use on the farm this week, and took the 638 out as well. The indoor range in Cincinnati is awful, but they have nifty target holders so you don't have to walk, and I figured at 130 on a Monday afternoon it should be dead.

    I've shot it a few times between when I started this new thread and now. I seem to get a little better with it every time. I'm not sure I'll ever get to the point where I'll want to make 7 yard head shots with it under pressure, but for a quick cylinder COM at 5 yards they were all landing in a circle about 6 inches around, which is better than at the start.

    Then the guy next to me "teaching" another guy how to shoot put his target out about where mine was and ripped off 5 rounds out of his 642, and only 2 landed on the paper (he was shooting at bullseyes on 12"x12"s) That made me feel a little better about myself too.

    So, it should start seeing more carry duty now that I feel ok with it at close (under 5 yards) range. Although I'll still make the effort to carry my 1911 as much as possible.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Different grips?

    I would second a previous suggestion regarding changing the grips on your J frame with boot grips. I find the 2 finger boot grips difficult to use, and have some Hogue "Bantam" grips that give the pinky finger a place to rest, improving the hold on the gun. But the back of the Bantam grip is not longer than the boot grip, so concealment is not compromised. Here is what the Bantam grip looks like, and it only costs about $12 or $15 on Ebay:


  4. #18
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    Thats a thought Pogo. How do those work out ok for pocket carry?
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    Man, I've got a few ideas here, mostly probably already stated, and all of them worth everything you've paid for them...

    1. Snubbies is not for accuracy, at least not past arm's length. They are for sticking into an an assailant's ribcage and turning his entrails into mush. Accuracy beyond that is a bonus.

    2. Even with (1) being true, some snubbies give you bonus accuracy and some don't. Here are a few considerations that I hope will help:

    (a) A steel frame will, ime, group a little tighter than an alloy frame;

    (b) as noted by others, and ime as well, a grip that lets you get that pinky around it will help the snubby group a little more tightly, too;

    (c) snubby accuracy can be influenced a great deal by the type, weight and brand of round through which you shoot it. Experiment a little bit. This is just another way of saying "go shooting"- -not a bad thing at all :) ;

    (d) the longer the snubby barrel, often the better accuracy...3" can beat 1 7/8";

    (e) Sometimes the gun just isn't going to shoot tight groups for you. If that's the case you can sell it (and the guy to whom you sell it will often shoot unbelieveably tight groups it) or learn to live with it.

    R.
    "...bad decisions that turn out well often make heroes."


    Gary D. Mitchell, A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man and the Rifle, P. 103, NAL Caliber books, 2006, 1st Ed.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    The biggest reason snubbies are so inaccurate is the short sight radius. The gun itself is capable of a lot more accuracy in terms of shooting straight than some people give it credit for. The problem is getting it pointed accurately. This is one area where a laser sight can be a big help. Put a set of Crimson Trace grips on it and I'll bet you'll find that most of the inaccuracy is in the iron sights rather than the gun.

  7. #21
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    Blackeagle, if I had the cash for some CT's I'd spring for em, but, I just don't right now.

    Randy, your experience shows the same things mine does. Steel frame with a grip for all fingers is much better than alloy with the small boot grips that come on a 636.

    That being said, it is a belly gun I bought for deep concealment or BUG purposes, so the frame and grip are what I want for that, so I'll just have to live with knowing it's limitations and try to practice more. I don't have any intentions of selling it or any of my firearms.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  8. #22
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    Buckeye, If you haven't done it, try this:Get a target, draw a 2 inch circle in it. Set the target for one yard and shoot a group from rest (sandbag). The set the target 2 yards and shoot another group....so on and so on untill 7 yards which IMHO is the farthest you can go with a snubbie.
    What you will get, hopefully, is how your gun patterns at every distance. Once you find out, you will know what you can do with that gun and what cannot be achieved. With that info you can either adapt your tactics to it or modify the gun via ammo, grips or whatever or just change for something you feel is better.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Hogue Bantam grips

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye07 View Post
    Thats a thought Pogo. How do those work out ok for pocket carry?
    I don't know the answer to that, since my Hogue Bantams are on a S&W model 66 snubby that I carry in a belt holster. They don't snag on a cover garment, however, and they handle .357 recoil well.


  10. #24
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    more practice....it's fun too.

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    so on and so on untill 7 yards which IMHO is the farthest you can go with a snubbie.
    Funny that. With a solid kneeling position I can make CoM hits at 25 yards. Standing squared to the target, 15 yards all in CoM is not a problem.

    The sunb nosed revolver is not for those who do not want to spend the time to master it. But it will deliver the goods if you put in the time.

    Just ask Bob Munden.

  12. #26
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    Thanks for the idea Miggy, I'll have to try that. I'd never even thought of doing that.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
    NRA Pistol/Rifle/Shotgun/Reloading Instructor, RSO, Ohio CHL Instructor

  13. #27
    Member Array kjdoski's Avatar
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    I've spent more time trying to "Master" my 642 than any other pistol I've ever owned. Still, six year later, I'm nowhere near as accurate with the 642 as I was with a PM9 or G26 out of the box. Here are my thoughts on why:

    1. Sights. The 642/638's standard sights suck. They're skimpy and hard to pick out in the best of situations. I've painted mine to help make them higher contrast. Paint the front ramp white, let it dry, then overpaint with some flourescent orange paint from WalMart. When that's dry, coat it with clear fingernail polish. I painted the face of the rear sight flat black, achieving the "poor man's express sight." If I thought I was going to carry the 642 as a primary for any length of time, I'd "bite the bullet" and send it off to a competent 'smith to have a front NS installed, and to open up the rear sight notch a bit.

    2. Trigger. The DA pull on j-frames out of the box is nothing to write home about. Fortunately, they will lighten up and smooth out with use. My routine when I get a new j-frame is to load up with snap caps, and dry fire 500 times per night or so for a couple of weeks - by about the 5,000th trigger pull, they're usually at a point I consider acceptable. Again, if you've got the money, a competent smith can put a SWEET trigger job on a j-frame without sacraficing reliability.

    3. Grips. The standard boot grips, and all other boot grip styles, just don't give enough grip to work with. Realistically speaking, you have to make a decision between concealability and shootability. You just can't have it all with the J-frame.

    4. Recoil. I'm not a physicist, and don't play one on TV, so bear with me. I THINK the reason people tend to consistently shoot high with airweight j-frames is this: The gun is so light; and the skimpy, curved grip forces the pistol to "roll" in your grip; that the gun is already starting into recoil when the bullet leaves the barrel. That means that, no matter what your sight alignment looks like at the moment of ignition, the barrel is going to be above that line when the bullet leaves the muzzle. I find that, the harder the recoil of the round fired, the worse this gets. For instance, when shooting issued 158 gr LHP +P ammo through my 642, at 25 yards, I have to aim at/near "belly button" level to keep rounds in the "5" ring on a TS-II target. With 130 gr FMJ, I only have to aim at the bottom of the "5" ring to stay on target.

    The real bottom line for me is that, as much as I love my j-frame, I only carry it when I can't carry anything else. If I was back in the states and could pick my own weapon, I'd take a G26 for an ankle/IWB gun, or a Kahr PM9 as a pocket gun over my 642 any day.

    Regards,

    Kevin
    "Fast is fine, accuracy is final..."

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjdoski View Post
    I've spent more time trying to "Master" my 642 than any other pistol I've ever owned. Still, six year later, I'm nowhere near as accurate with the 642 as I was with a PM9 or G26 out of the box. Here are my thoughts on why:



    2. Trigger. The DA pull on j-frames out of the box is nothing to write home about. Fortunately, they will lighten up and smooth out with use. My routine when I get a new j-frame is to load up with snap caps, and dry fire 500 times per night or so for a couple of weeks - by about the 5,000th trigger pull, they're usually at a point I consider acceptable. Again, if you've got the money, a competent smith can put a SWEET trigger job on a j-frame without sacraficing reliability.

    Regards,

    Kevin
    Is your 5000 round break in quality practice, or are you just trying to burn through 5000 cycles quickly? The guy that taught my CCH class put an interesting twist on dry fire. Balance a spent casing on top of the slide or barrel(of course you need a flat topped barrel), and practice your trigger control without knocking the brass off. Once you're good at that, switch to a fired .22 case.

  15. #29
    Member Array kjdoski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICTsnub View Post
    Is your 5000 round break in quality practice, or are you just trying to burn through 5000 cycles quickly? The guy that taught my CCH class put an interesting twist on dry fire. Balance a spent casing on top of the slide or barrel(of course you need a flat topped barrel), and practice your trigger control without knocking the brass off. Once you're good at that, switch to a fired .22 case.
    Typically the first 50 rounds are done using the "dime drill" - which is VERY tough with the tiny little front sight on the 642. Any wiggle at all, and off she goes...

    After that (fatigue sets in) I'm just pulling the trigger to smooth the revolver's action and increase my own trigger finger strength...

    Regards,

    Kevin
    "Fast is fine, accuracy is final..."

  16. #30
    Senior Member Array ICTsnub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjdoski View Post
    Typically the first 50 rounds are done using the "dime drill" - which is VERY tough with the tiny little front sight on the 642. Any wiggle at all, and off she goes...

    After that (fatigue sets in) I'm just pulling the trigger to smooth the revolver's action and increase my own trigger finger strength...

    Regards,

    Kevin
    Kevin, maybe you're spending the majority of your J frame practice on bad habits. Do you do this kind of dry fire with the guns you shoot well?

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