How Accurate Should One Be With a Snubby?

How Accurate Should One Be With a Snubby?

This is a discussion on How Accurate Should One Be With a Snubby? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi, I was doing draw and shoot speed drills yesterday with my Rossi M68. The targets were simple 8.5x11" sheets of paper on an old ...

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Thread: How Accurate Should One Be With a Snubby?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    How Accurate Should One Be With a Snubby?

    Hi,

    I was doing draw and shoot speed drills yesterday with my Rossi M68.

    The targets were simple 8.5x11" sheets of paper on an old tomato stick.

    I noticed a couple problems.

    Before I go further, I know the revolver's accurate. In SA slow fire, I can make a can dance around at 25yds.

    At speed though, it's different.

    I was shooting 5-7yds. The drill was to walk away from the target, turn and draw from the pocket, and fire. I would fire between waist and chest level.

    Hits were 4/5 with my left hand (dominant hand) and 3/5 with my right hand. Both eyes were open. I had to work a bit harder with my right hand, but this is to be expected.

    The real eye opener was when I used my two handed aimed hold. I did no better than when I did the point shooting with my dominant hand!

    I think I need some remedial practice, perhaps with wadcutters.

    Also, the sights are not what I'm used to - I would consider them vestigial at best. Same as on earlier S&W J-frames. I keep wanting to raise the muzzle so I can see the front blade.

    Besides

    practice

    practice

    practice

    is there any other snubby shooting tricks? How fast should one be able to shoot one of these things with 158gr standard pressure practice loads, and are there any new grip methods for revolvers out there? I use the "thumbs curled down on the grip, overlapping" hold for revolvers and I have always found that to be a hindrance to my shooting. I much prefer thumbs pointing forward.

    I bought this with the idea that it would be a "bad breath backup" handgun, and that's still its main mission. But I'd like to improve to one hole at 5-7yds with aimed fire. I'm sure I can improve my point shooting and indexed fire with a bit more practice (I've not been doing enough of it).

    Tips, tricks, etc. are welcome. And, what kind of groups should I be "shooting for?"

    Thanks,

    Josh <><


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    I would spend a lot of time dry firing with the muzzle just barely 'not touching' a target taped to a safe backstop wall. Even with the poor sights, align them and work your trigger pull untill you can do it without moving the sights. This will allow you time to learn or master the trigger without the fatigue of the blast and recoil of live fire. Then, move to live fire, standing a couple of long steps off the target. Use sighted fire to verify a stable trigger pull. When all in one hole, start moving back in small increments to your preferred distance of 5-7 yards. Once the shots (sighted) are one holers, start the live fire drill up close again point indexing off the top of the gun. Once you've done that, work point shooting from almost touching to back to your 5-7yd parameter.
    Some folks say you dont need to be all that accurate with a snub. I think you better be just as good with it as you are with any of your service or carry size guns.

    2 cents worth,

    Dan

  3. #3
    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith View Post
    Hi,

    I was doing draw and shoot speed drills yesterday with my Rossi M68.

    The targets were simple 8.5x11" sheets of paper on an old tomato stick.

    I noticed a couple problems.

    Before I go further, I know the revolver's accurate. In SA slow fire, I can make a can dance around at 25yds.

    At speed though, it's different.

    I was shooting 5-7yds. The drill was to walk away from the target, turn and draw from the pocket, and fire. I would fire between waist and chest level.

    Hits were 4/5 with my left hand (dominant hand) and 3/5 with my right hand. Both eyes were open. I had to work a bit harder with my right hand, but this is to be expected.

    The real eye opener was when I used my two handed aimed hold. I did no better than when I did the point shooting with my dominant hand!

    I think I need some remedial practice, perhaps with wadcutters.

    Also, the sights are not what I'm used to - I would consider them vestigial at best. Same as on earlier S&W J-frames. I keep wanting to raise the muzzle so I can see the front blade.

    Besides

    practice

    practice

    practice

    is there any other snubby shooting tricks? How fast should one be able to shoot one of these things with 158gr standard pressure practice loads, and are there any new grip methods for revolvers out there? I use the "thumbs curled down on the grip, overlapping" hold for revolvers and I have always found that to be a hindrance to my shooting. I much prefer thumbs pointing forward.

    I bought this with the idea that it would be a "bad breath backup" handgun, and that's still its main mission. But I'd like to improve to one hole at 5-7yds with aimed fire. I'm sure I can improve my point shooting and indexed fire with a bit more practice (I've not been doing enough of it).

    Tips, tricks, etc. are welcome. And, what kind of groups should I be "shooting for?"

    Thanks,

    Josh <><
    In training we shot at silhouette targets with the "8 ring" cut out so that we were shooting into the hole. This took the importance of a 2" group out of the equation (especially for the bullseye target shooters), which is irrelevant at most personal defense distances. We shot this target from 3 yards out to about 7 yards, from the holster with surprising results overall.

    My Crimson Trace stocks have a thump relief in the stocks so that my right thumb rests under the cylinder release. For a two hand grip I prefer to have the ring finger of my support hand under the pinky of the other hand. By holding tight, to the rear this seems to help control muzzle flip.

    Try loading a couple of speedloaders with one or two live rounds and the rest dummy rounds. This will help with reloading and trigger control (jerking). Use the first joint on the trigger for shooting a snubby as opposed to using the pad of the fingertip for an automatic.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Good advice from all. I think the snub is a particular weapon and requires a lot of end user input (practice) to really figure out what works, but you know that already.

    I do a lot of work at EQC and I exclusively use a one hand grip at "bad breath distance". I have found that my support hand just gets in the way and at contact distance it becomes a second weapon. I also shoot one handed in my qualification from 15 yards and in.

    My 5-7 yards shots are threat focus shots. I don't worry too much about the group, just the shot placement. Centerline shots are crucial for me.

    If you're still jerking or have basic fundamental problems you must overcome these before you can advance. Sorry, but jerking shots is for amateurs. You are your own best coach so just try different things until you are intimate with what works for you, then refine it.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  5. #5
    Member Array ber950's Avatar
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    Just a few comparisons. My Rossi has a terrible trigger pull compared to a Smith. The Rossi actually has a better front sight, but the hammer blocks a proper sight picture.

    Snubbies are capable of amazing accuracy but a smooth trigger pull is much harder. The springs tend to be a little heavy and the short sight radius make shooting tough.
    I gave up on one hole groups. I use 3" as a goal 5" is where it usually winds up. Modern training dictates that you shoot these little guns double action only but for some reason they come with a single action option. At any real distance I think SA is the best choice.

    Snubbies are at their best when your opponent can actually touch you. Think grabbing your opponent in a bear hug and using a felt index.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    I don't believe I'm jerking the shots as the trigger pull is smooth and I follow it through.

    I think what's going on is a short sight radius combined with a DA trigger. My carry gun for 10 years now has been a DA/SA fullsize capable of being carried cocked'n'locked, which is how I usually do carry it.

    I had no trouble with an S&W 4" M19 I once had, and so I'm thinking that it really is just the sight radius. Still exploring.

    Thanks gents, comments still welcome!

    Josh <><

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    "I don't believe I'm jerking the shots as the trigger pull is smooth and I follow it through."
    "so I'm thinking that it really is just the sight radius. "--Joshua M. Smith


    ok, you stated earlier that in sa slow fire, the revolver is accurate. So, then can we say the sights are aligned correctly with the axis of the bore (gun is hitting where sights are aligned)?
    If so, then hits off target from where the sights were aligned at the beginning of the trigger pull can only be explained by the physical changing of the barrell's alignment with the target during the pull. If the sights are on, it doesnt much matter how long the radius is, they are still aligned. the only change would come from moving the gun during firing.

    Dan

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    It's beginning to look like the ammo might be causing it at this point. I had some old 3-D "Police" practice ammo that I just tried to get to group in SA. It did about 4" at 7yds on average. This is not what I was getting from my UMC stuff I used before.

    I have no trouble at all putting test bullets on target when I'm shooting milk jugs. I probably should have shot water with one of these and examined the rifling to see if it was grabbing OK.

    Regardless, I'm out of practice ammo, just have defensive stuff. I'll go to the gunstore tomorrow and get the RNL Magtech that I've been using for practice. It's shown itself to be accurate in slowfire familiarization shoots.

    We'll go from there.

    Thanks,

    Josh <><

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdsumner View Post
    "I don't believe I'm jerking the shots as the trigger pull is smooth and I follow it through."
    "so I'm thinking that it really is just the sight radius. "--Joshua M. Smith


    ok, you stated earlier that in sa slow fire, the revolver is accurate. So, then can we say the sights are aligned correctly with the axis of the bore (gun is hitting where sights are aligned)?
    If so, then hits off target from where the sights were aligned at the beginning of the trigger pull can only be explained by the physical changing of the barrell's alignment with the target during the pull. If the sights are on, it doesnt much matter how long the radius is, they are still aligned. the only change would come from moving the gun during firing.

    Dan
    I do see what you are saying Dan, but in fairness to Josh, it may be that he's referring to the 'good enough' sight picture for his high speed shots not being truly 'good enough' with such a short sight radius. that is to say, the 'front sight, trigger press' drill is not working so well as the sights are no longer correctly aligned. It only needs to be out a little to mave a big result with that short a barrel

    Or maybe it's shifting too much in his grip? For slow fire, that kind of stuff is almost subconsiously corrected. What kind of grips (material) are on it? Not clear what kind of grip (hold) he is talking about/using either.

  10. #10
    Member Array Sam Douthit's Avatar
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    A lot of dry fire practice might help. Get some dummy snap cap practice rounds and load the snubby and practice double action by pulling the trigger to a point where it is just about to fire then take aim. With practice you will improve. Also don't worry too much about small groups when doing this kind of shooting. What is important is getting all of the shots on a silohouette somewhere near the heart and vital organs. Make the first shot count because this may be the most important one to save your life. Head shots should be practiced but these are lower percentage.
    Last edited by Sam Douthit; September 3rd, 2007 at 02:37 PM. Reason: understanding
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array jdsumner's Avatar
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    The 'shifting' is more what I meant, not that he has a lack of good fundamentals. Quick, pinpoint accurate shots with a snubby are tuff at best, damn near impossible at worse.

    Thats why when the question was posed 'how accurate', I meant as accurate as you can get with a slow progression of overcoming the difficulties with incremental practices. If the grip is indeed shifting, it may be time to look at different grips, or Tyler T's, or even some foam pipe insulation and 88 tape.

    Dan

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I put some Pachmayers on it as one of the first things I did. It was a bit painful to shoot before that as it had the skinny wooden grips, and I couldn't hold a group for anything.

    I got to looking at today's slowfire targets and it looks like i had three good shots with two flyers. I honestly don't know if I caused them, or if it was the gun, or the ammo.

    I'm used to shooting a Taurus PT92 that I 'smithed to do sub-2" five shot groups at 25yds and, on a good day, will do sub-1" three shot groups.

    I think I may just be trying too hard and expecting too much. I figured a 2" J-frame wouldn't be much harder to master than a 4" K-frame. Seems I was a bit wrong. I'm going to have to practice almost exclusively with this.

    Good news is that I have it down to about 4" for 15 shots rapid fire at 7 strides. Bad news is that I only landed 12 inside the 4" circle, and 13 landed on the paper. I don't know where the other two went! Aaarrgh!

    Thanks gents,

    Josh <><

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Answered on one of the other boards with same redneck nic .. good luck with your snubby
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  14. #14
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    Are the springs stock ? If so, you may want to change them. It sounds like you are fighting the trigger pull. There shouldn't be that much difference between SA and DA POA/POI
    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.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Miggy,

    I might cut down the mainspring after I order an extra one. I prefer heavy mainsprings simply because I know they'll ignite anything. I go lighter though and this will feel like a K-frame pull and would help quite a bit.

    Josh <><

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