How to master the snub nose revolver

How to master the snub nose revolver

This is a discussion on How to master the snub nose revolver within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My only gun is a snubby, a Ruger LCR. I wanted a gun that I could take anywhere with me, and it carries great. Anyway, ...

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Thread: How to master the snub nose revolver

  1. #1
    Member Array Stockhausen's Avatar
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    How to master the snub nose revolver

    My only gun is a snubby, a Ruger LCR. I wanted a gun that I could take anywhere with me, and it carries great. Anyway, as I lurked on the forums, I found myself wanting to get more guns to help make myself a more versatile (and accurate) shooter. I wanted a .22 LCR for practice, and a GP100 to get more familiar with the revolver platform.

    I decided to slow down and rethink options before going totally broke.

    I'm getting my girlfriend her CPL class for Valentine's day, and she wants to join me on more defensive shooting classes in the near future. I figure it might be a good idea to train to be the best I can be with the snub nose and speed strips instead of buying or renting an easier to manage gun in preparation for training. Guns aren't cheap, so I'm probably going to be carrying only the LCR for a while.

    Basically, my question is this: Besides going to the range whenever possible and dry firing at home (for that, I use my Lasermax attatchment on the LCR), is there anything else one should consider when deciding to master the snubby? Since money is tight, I want to make the most out of every class and range trip by practicing as smart as possible. I feel like I'm not a very good shot right now, but I'm not even sure how good my groupings should be to be considered an accurate snub nose shooter.

    I'm not an experienced gun guy by any means, so any input is welcome.
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  2. #2
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    hmmmm. hmmmmm. hmmmm. This is a tough one. Practice and ammo is really the bottom line. I understand that ammo doesn't grow on trees. I can't say how many rounds I put through a snub before I realized, hey...I'm shooting this thing pretty well! Sounds like you're doing the right things w/dry fire, etc. Now as for groupings, I'm not there yet and may never be. I'm happy if all 5 are in the 9, or there abouts. I consider grouping in nearly everything else I shoot but cutting the black with a snub, consistently, is all I need to be happy.

    As for range time, take your time if you can. When a range gets backed up I know it's difficult to take 5 and relax before reloading. I'm lucky and I just shoot out the back door, metaphorically speaking. But relaxing while you shoot, for me at least, makes my range time much more enjoyable and when I'm happy, I shoot better. So IMHO, quality while shooting beats the snot out of quantity. And it's not necessary to practice with the hottest load you can lay your hands on. Step up on your loads as you become a better shot. Again, just opinion. A snub tends to talk back after awhile if you're running hot loads through it. That can throw you off.
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  3. #3
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    I have found that a lot of people who are having trouble with accuracy are trying to shoot too fast. You need a good body stance also. This varies by individual and assistance from a pro can help you learn how to stand properly for YOU.

    Then, on to shooting: Slowly, and deliberately get your gun on target with the sights lined up perfectly. Then SLOWLY AND STEADILY pull the trigger. The gun should surprise you when it goes "bang". It doesn't have to actually go "bang" -- deliberate dry firing can produce the same good results........the gun will go "click".

    After you do this a few hundred times and you are smack on target every time you can gradually increase your speed.

    Then you will be in good shape to take those extra classes you are interested in.

    If this sounds too long and boring, be assured that it is the way I learned to shoot with my first gun which was a snubbie revolver. It is also the way I teach new people. It just plain WORKS!!!!
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  4. #4
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    How to master the snub nose revolver

    Replace "snub nose revolver" with anything.
    Snowboard, skates, automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, parachute, vacuum, scuba diving.......................

    By using it/doing it.
    Its the only way.
    When pulling the trigger, make sure you are using the part of your finger just after the first joint(FROM THE TIP), and pull toward you, not jerking side to side.

    Your definition of "MASTER" will of course vary with anyone elses'.
    Good luck, sounds as though you are on the right path Grasshopper.
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    Well the first thing I'd say is you need some training. Take some sort of combat pistol class with your revolver. Get some experience with shooting it in defensive scenarios. One thing you should find is that you don't judge yourself by your group size. Being a pistol marksman won't make you a solid defensive shooter and vice versa. I'm not saying that it's not good to be a good marksman. I'm simply saying that if you are shooting defensively and you have nice, tight groups then you are probably shooting too slow.

    Defensive accuracy is judged by your ability to (one) get hits on the target and (two) not miss your target and (three) to do so quickly. Don't worry so much about your ability to tear the bullseye out of the target because you probably are never going to be attacked by a guy wearing a target on his chest (although that would probably be par for the intelligence of some criminals). After you get some skills to practice then spend as much time as you can practicing them. You can practice drawing, reloading and other aspects of defensive handgunning at home (with a verified safe weapon) so a good bit of what you need to work on won't even require range time. That said, range time is critically important so live practice is a must.

    Before you go buy any guns, go take some classes. Find a quality instructor, or instructors, and let them build up your skill level. Your confidence level will increase as your skill does and I can't help but believe that, in the end, that will be much better for you than simply buying more guns.

    Go out and buy the guns too, just do it a little later on!
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    just wondering what IWB or OWB holster people are using for an airweight 442? i'm set with pocket holsters and looking for alternate carry option. thanks
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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Been carrying snubs 20+ years. When at the range I practice starting at 10 feet draw shoot with one hand as fast as I can follow ups are two handed. I use half man targets forget those little splash targets practice for center mass. When happy with your shots move out to 15 feet than 20 only reload from speed strips to stay in practice. Soon you will be able to get all shots in a 8" paper plate. Snubs are plenty accurate for sd an great for cc.
    I practice with .38 spl but carry .357 unless carrying a 642 happy with the .38 for sd great round.
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  8. #8
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    I can recommend you try these things to get better with you snubby. Practice dry-firing. You can get snap caps if you want, but are not needed.

    1) Set in front of the TV and put on you favorite gun-fight movie. Fire at the bad guys. Think about your trigger pull. Try not to jerk the snubby. Think smooth like spreading room temperature butter. If you start jerking the gun, then stop, you're getting tired so take a nap. Have some Milk and Cookies. Please understand that the more you pull the trigger, the stronger your trigger finger will become and the smoother your trigger will become. New parts wear-in together. If nothing is on TV but crap, then you call always shoot your TV a hundred times. Grip? Right now its just parts wearing time. Use your two handed grip or one handed grip, your choice.

    2) Next is the Dime Drill to develop your mind, hand and gun control. While holding your snubby, balance a dime on top of your gun barrel. Then without dropping the dime, smoothly squeeze the trigger. Repeat this until you get rid of any anticipation to the hammer drop and drop your dime. Concentrate on a smooth squeeze on the trigger. In time you will be able to do this without dropping the dime. Do a search on YouTube on this Dime Drill and you'll get more information on doing this important firearm drill.

    3) Go to the Gun Range and add actual gun fire to your surroundings. For you, I recommend you start out with low power ammo. Nothing but practice ammo at this stage. Remember what you've learned in 1 and 2 above. Don't anticipate the Bang, just let it happen. Don't forget your dimes. Bring a couple bucks worth of dimes because you may lose a few at the Gun Range.

    Hopefully, you will get some new insights plus some tweaks to what I've told you. Nothing beats practice.

    Have fun.
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  9. #9
    Member Array Stockhausen's Avatar
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    Awesome replies so far! I was just practicing my dry fire thinking about some of these things. I already feel like keeping certain things in mind while doing it has helped.

    By the way, what practice ammo would y'all recommend? I'll probably buy online because I haven't been able to find .38 special ammo in my area.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Another tip - and VNvet gives good advice above so do what he says, too - is to find the place on your trigger finger where you want your trigger to be. Mark it with a pen. Put masking tape fore and aft of that line, then practice grabbing the gun and getting that exact spot on the trigger. Do it until you never touch tape to the trigger.

    Practice the trigger pull. This is like drawing water from a well by pulling a rope. You don't pause or jerk, but pull smooth hand over hand. Same with the trigger pull: Straight, smooth and steady.

    So. Finger to correct position on trigger. Sights on target. Smooth water-well pull back toward you. Let the break happen.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    I remember being told that speed is great when having a shoot out in the streets of Tombstone but placement is everything if you want to stop the threat.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Another tip - and VNvet gives good advice above so do what he says, too - is to find the place on your trigger finger where you want your trigger to be. Mark it with a pen. Put masking tape fore and aft of that line, then practice grabbing the gun and getting that exact spot on the trigger. Do it until you never touch tape to the trigger.

    Practice the trigger pull. This is like drawing water from a well by pulling a rope. You don't pause or jerk, but pull smooth hand over hand. Same with the trigger pull: Straight, smooth and steady.

    So. Finger to correct position on trigger. Sights on target. Smooth water-well pull back toward you. Let the break happen.
    This old guy just learned something. Sage advice. Never thought of that.
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  13. #13
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    Yep. I've always believed that it should almost be almost, but not quite, a surprise when the gun goes off with the right trigger pull.
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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    Good advice so far. I like the Miculek snubbie style grip.



    What to do with the trigger hand thumb? High or low? Well, it really doesn't do much during two handed shooting and on a larger revolver or auto I would firmly rest my off hand thumb on top of it. High or low probably depends on comfort relative to personal anatomy - regardless, keep it firm, relaxed. Too much thumb interferes with trigger finger dexterity and will pull the shot wonky especially a snubby.

    You'll need more thumb into the grip, of course, during one hand shooting but that, for me, would mean that extension is unwise or unavailable so we'll keep the one handed business to "pretty dang close" distances.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Doghandler's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention my cure-all failsafe method for fixing bad shooting, CLOSER BIGGER TARGETS!
    There is a solution but we are not Jedi... not yet.
    Doghandler

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