Bewildering Progress

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Bewildering Progress

Post by beeser on 7/21/2014, 1:10 pm

I returned to the practice range this morning after almost a week hiatus. The .22lr is continuing to improve but I'm still struggling with centerfire. I purchased and just received a S&W Model 52-2 and S&W Model 27-2 and decided to try them both out today. The 52 is great to shoot with the minimal recoil and very nice trigger. Still can't hit much with it but I know it will work out. The 27 was a real joy to shoot and with .38 special it feels like nothing is pushed through the barrel. The magnum cartridge was something else and felt powerful. The bewildering part of this post is that my accuracy was best with the ..357 magnum, even better than using the 52. Go figure. Today didn't turn out to be a real practice session but it was fun and I might have learned a thing or two, that is if my .357 magnum accuracy could be explained.

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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/21/2014, 1:20 pm

shooting .38spl in target velocities is VERY unforgiving and offers challenges that you don't see in .45ACP or .22.  Because the .38spl takes longer to get up to speed and leave the barrel, even the slightest twitch after the hammer falls, but before the bullet leaves, shows up as flyers by the time they reach the target.

Because the .357 Magnum loads are getting out of the barrel twice as fast, they will go to call unless you make a more pronounced error.

Try this drill for your next .38spl practice: do 50 shots dryfire.  As the trigger starts to move think the words "Click, Hold, Hold" and make sure the sight doesn't move when the hammer falls, and stay focused hard on the front sight for a second after the click.  That's how long you need to focus on your hold to get the .38spl to go to call.

Have fun!
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by AllAces on 7/21/2014, 2:15 pm

The Model 52 is a fine pistol, perhaps the best ever produced by S&W. Shooting it well can be a challenge. The classic load is 2.8 gr bullseye powder and 148 gr hollow base, lead wad cutters (Zero works very well). I've found that to shoot well I have to grip the 52 much more firmly than a 1911. A flabby grip will result in flyers and often the brass will not fully eject. The extractor can be an issue if it gets worn just a few thousands, and the ejector may need replacing.
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by chiltech500 on 7/21/2014, 3:46 pm

Does that comment about 38 spl apply to revolvers as well? I am experimenting with different platforms and thinking about buying a S&W 14-4.

I have had no luck in making a Springfield Armory 1911 in 9mm work for me, though I have shot only hand loaded lead. I just received some Berrys plated target hollow points. Fortunately I bought the gun as a base for a 22 conversion which works out well.

Perhaps I keep experimenting bexcause I don't like my limitations Smile

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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/21/2014, 4:01 pm

Yes this effect applies to revolvers, however, I believe that you can learn good follow-through with the .38spl and since one of my personal goals is Distinguished Revolver, that's why I shoot mine.

If experimenting is fun for you even though your marksmanship isn't progressing as fast as you want, at least you are having fun.

Keep dry firing at home and shoot your shots the way you dry fire and your limitations will go away.
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by beeser on 7/21/2014, 4:08 pm

Rob,
Thanks for the advice. I'll follow through with it in my practice sessions. Just out of curiosity will the .38 special wadcutters work in my S&W 27? The gun has a real nice feel, almost better than the 52.

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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by Rob Kovach on 7/21/2014, 4:53 pm

I shoot them in my model 14 revolver, so I would assume they are fine for your model 27. I don't own a .38spl auto, but I prefer shooting the 148 HBWCs in my revolver. They are accurate and the recoil is small.

I do get to shoot my buddy's model 52 from time to time. They sure are nice.
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by beeser on 7/21/2014, 5:41 pm

I agree on the 52. The 52 and 27 are the nicest guns in my possession for now, both for slightly different reasons.

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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by james r chapman on 7/22/2014, 6:35 am

the 148 .38 wadcutters will shoot great out of the 27. make sure you've cleaned all the copper out of the barrel first.
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by BE Mike on 7/22/2014, 8:20 am

My guess that it is something akin to the new gun syndrome. You knew that you were shooting magnum ammo and therefore gripped tighter while being super focused on the fundamentals.
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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by Axehandle on 7/22/2014, 4:02 pm

I'll agree to the 38 Special wadcutter autos requiring exceptional follow  through to shoot good targets.  However for a new shooter I'd lean toward application of the fundamentals.  We see it all the time with new shooters out shooting their 22 scores with their 45.  They know that they must apply the fundamentals to get good shots out of the 45.  The 22 shoots so good and so easy they decide for force it to shoot good..

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Re: Bewildering Progress

Post by bdutton on 7/23/2014, 8:49 am

Just a thought...

I am preparing a Bullseye clinic for my club and one of the things that is critically important in my mind is the position of the grip in your hand.  You must grip the gun in such a way that the sights naturally align with your eye.  Any variation in a gun like the 52-2 will require the use of muscles in the wrist to force alignment with your eye and lead to inconsistent recoil and follow through.

The problem that this also creates is the placement of the finger on the trigger.  If you can't get both perfect, it will cause inconsistent performance.

I will add this though... I was struggling with my revolver grip during my quest to become distinguished.  I found that in timed and rapid fire, the gun would rotate as I absorbed recoil and pulled the hammer after each shot.  I would end up at the end of the 5 shot string with my hand rotated inwards so much that I was pulling the trigger with my between the knuckles (meat of the second pad).  I resolved to learn to pull the trigger with my second pad and I am now distinguished in revolver.
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