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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:46 am 
Hunter
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 2:01 am
Posts: 3762
Location: State College, PA, USA
I read this on another forum I frequent and thought it might create some discussion. I did not edit it at all and just added one comment to the last comment to explain it. I numbered the comments if you want to comment on one specifically.:

Original Post:
I currently have one single action revolver, a Virginian dragoon 357 with 7 1/2 inch barrel. I am on the fence about picking up a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 10 1/2 barrel since I seem to be on a run acquiring 44s. The thing that’s keeping me from looking harder into that is the fact that I feel I just can’t shoot my single action as accurately as my modern style pistols. My long barrel revolvers produce groups I am proud of but the Dragoon is a different story.
The obvious place to put the blame would be on the different grip style or the gun itself. I’ve done research on the Virginian Dragoons and they’re generally considered quite accurate. I’ve also watched some tutorials on grip technique for single actions so I’m not going at this blindly.
While I figure this out I would love to know, from the forum, how you fare when you bounce back to the single actions after long runs with your Sigs, CZs, Glock’s, etc, etc.

Comments:
1. Your gun is from the 70's, a modern gun is going to be made with a lot more precision. That being said my 80's era blackhawk .45lc will shoot as well as any of my other pistols


2. Your title says it all. Single action is almost always harder to keep accurate because of usually a longer harder trigger pull than a double action.
Shoot a modern revolver in single action and I would bet you have similar groups. Keep in mind that is without a trigger job. I'm talking crappy factory trigger.


3. Long, slow heavy hammer fall does not help single action revolver design.
The Virginian series of revolvers were also not especially noted for their precision or quality.


4. I will compare single actions to "modern" revolvers. I have a ruger Blackhawk 6.5" 41 Mag and a S&W M657 41 Mag Mountain gun 4". while the ruger was bought used and a bit weathered, I can not get it to shoot as nice as the Smith, although I have not experimented with it as much to find that sweet load as I have done with the 657. Im focusing more finding nice loads with the Henry 41 Big Boy recently acquired. I will hunt with the Ruger as a companion to the Henry before I take the 657 afield just because levers and SA's belong together. but the Smith I feel will always have the better SA trigger and accuracy. Single actions can be capable of amazing accuracy, several friends of mine have many good shooting SA's, I am still chasing my tail
cant get the ruger anywhere close to this :


5. Didn't see very many auto-pistols when I competed in metallic silhouette shooting. Saw probably better than 50% single action revolvers , including a few Virginian Dragoons.


6. My first thought was IHMSA also. The single action revolver proved itself at 200m.
This is 6 shots at 25 yards from a 41 mag Blackhawk. Seems accurate enough to me. (a picture was attached showing a 6 round group at the 1 o'clock position about 3 inches from the bullseye with all holes touching).

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:24 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 9728
Location: Memphis, TN USA
Given a decent revolver, the key function to accuracy is that area between the shooter's ears.
From my experience, there is very little practical difference in accuracy between modern handguns. Determine to shoot accurately, and concentrate on the basics, i.e., sight alignment and trigger pull. This goes a long way in shooting the handgun.

If your mindset is that you can not shoot a particular gun accurately, chances are you won't. If you are sitting at a bench, STAND UP! If you are shooting from a rest, GET OFF OF IT! Stand up, get a firm, comfortable grip on the gun, concentrate on your sight alignment, and think "squeeeeze" until the gun suddenly bucks in your hand and you hear the muzzle blast. Do this repeatedly and see if you groups don't shrink to an impressively small size.

Bob Wright


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:31 pm 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:15 pm
Posts: 120
Location: Carson City
I have had both, some very accurate, some so so.
Found much depends on grips and what loads gun likes
Had a 10.5" SBH, couldn't hit a barn with factory dragoon grips, 5 out of 6 shots hits clay birds at 100 yds all day long with Pachmeyer presentation grips... S&W 686 with factory target grips, not so much, super accurate with Hogue combat grips.
Old NMBH 357 real accurate with factory walnut grips, never tried any others on this gun.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:54 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:45 am
Posts: 242
Location: Central Arkansas
This is one of my greatest frustrations. I've owned five or six Ruger S/A's and haven't been able to shoot any of them worth a hoot (IMO). I like the way they feel in my hand, the looks, the nostalgia, and the way they handle. It wasn't the fault of the guns and I had the chamber throats reamed to proper dimensions. I'm not superb shooter but I was good enough to take second place in my police academy class and hold the top spot in the qualification standings in my 70 man department for many years.

I don't have a Ruger SA now but knowing me I'll eventually buy another.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:42 am 
Ruger Guru

Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 35621
Location: Lake Lure NC USA
I would politely point the poster to the records set in IHMSA,,, and then point him to various books on serious handgun hunters,, especially focusing on long range hunting & the firearms they use.
Then,, I would politely offer a teaching point of where he should find a good SA shooter who is also an instructor,, to maybe teach him why & how his accuracy may suffer.

And as a last note,, offer to get our own member here, David Bradshaw to email him a bit. Or at least get him to visit the sixgunner forum & look up stuff by David & about David.

Accuracy is a witch to chase,, ESPECIALLY at long distance. She'll tease you with good groups at CLOSE (10-15 yds) ranges,, make you feel ok at 25-35 yds,, taunt you at 50-75 yds with self doubt,, and at 100 & beyond,, treat you like an ex-wife with a grudge.
And then,, if you really want to be humbled,, try & duplicate 100 yd accuracy with production semi's vs. revolvers. It has made many shooters claim they have defective guns.
And another thought. What does the OP think GOOD accuracy is? Again,, distance is the proving ground.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:26 am 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:01 am
Posts: 2058
Location: MN, USA
Quote:
Found much depends on grips and what loads gun likes


This ^^^


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:09 pm 
Hunter

Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2015 7:06 pm
Posts: 2535
Location: Kansas City, MO
One thing that helped my shooting was dry fire practice. I rarely see it mentioned here, but I’ve read that a person should dry fire as much as live ammo. Keep the front sight steady. Made a big difference with me. I have yet to see a Ruger Single Action that was not accurate. My handgun of choice.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:22 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:06 pm
Posts: 847
There are a lot of good points made here! I have found that a little clean-up of a SA trigger is a real necessity (just smoothing and removing burrs). The second thing is the grip on a SA needs to be higher than that on a pistol or DA. {Lots of muzzle rise indicates too low a grip!}

A little help from an instructor or just a good shooter can go a long way!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 9:09 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:40 pm
Posts: 702
I'm not going to try to tell the members here anything about single action accuracy, just comment on the Virginian Dragoon. About 1981 when they were closed out in the Shotgun News I bought one for a little over $200 specifically to have a stainless revolver to shoot black powder through. After all the fuss and bother of black powder got old I kept it for a few more years shooting smokeless. It was a good revolver, however, it had the longest lock time of all the single actions I've handled. Their hammer fall was often compare to a barn door swinging shut. More than with most modern pistols you are not done when the sear releases the hammer. You have to follow through.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:23 am 
Hunter

Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2009 1:58 pm
Posts: 4756
Location: utah
I haven't been a active shooter for quite some time but I used to do experimenting off the bench years ago. I own a ransome rest. .44 special was a favorite caliber. Right now I own seven of them. One lipsey ruger, two colt saa`s and four various smiths, one a nice old triplelock. I recall taking about four out one day and shooting off the bench along with a model 29-2 .44 mag. That triplelock was the most accurate. It was made in 1910! It`s the one in the top right. It was sent back to the factory in 1949 and the adjustable sight added. All pictured are .44 specials. Now I am 78 and shake a lot so dont bother shooting much. I do pack.
Image


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:22 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:58 pm
Posts: 487
Location: Sounthern Illinois
Most of my best shooting handguns are single actions.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:30 am 
Hawkeye

Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2002 2:01 am
Posts: 8221
Location: Oregon City, Oregon
I seldom get involved with rhetorical discussions or arguments, as folks minds are already made up before the discussion begins.

I have far more revolvers than the average blogger, and I've shot everything imaginable over many years. My recent New Model SA's shoot as well as much older SA's and visa versa. I don't get this super heavy trigger argument, or the hours long lock time. It's the nature of the beast, and if we're shooting SA's we're all bound by the same handicap.

There is a learning curve to SA's, and some folks cannot or will not overcome it. Then they blame the gun.


Last edited by WAYNO on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:49 pm 
Blackhawk

Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 961
RoninPA.... The long-arc FULL COCK of the Interterms Virginian Dragoon is a function of frame size and, especially, the nature of CARRY-UP----geometry & timing of hammer stroke to cylinder rotation, relationship of PAWL to cylinder RATCHET.

Some individuals just shoot a double action in single action better than a single action revolver. However, one should not surrender to the panic of roughly pulling the trigger until he or she has dry fired enough and shot targets enough to LEARN FOLLOW THROUGH. Follow through is the second half of TRIGGER SQUEEZE. And make no mistake, in sharpshooting there is no shortcut to the smooth accumulation of pressure on the trigger. Oh, there is one exception: to shoot faster squeeze faster. SMOOTHNESS is the one ingredient without which the cake cannot be baked. Mountain climbers and skiers call it TIME on the MOUNTAIN. The shooter needn’t risk life & limb to learn, he & she will progress rapidly with serious DRY FIRE.

Macho types preach a death grip on the sixgun. You cannot kill recoil of a .44 Magnum or other single action hand cannon by strangling it. Hold it like a tool you use all day. Can anyone name a silhouette championship won by fighting the gun? Think of shooting all day, or an hour. Try to be consistent while fighting the gun. Ain’t gonna happen. Silhouetters were on the firing line an hour or more at a time, as much as four relays a day. Muscle tremor is bound to ambush the trigger choker. The human anatomy simply is not designed to apply a death grip with four fingers while floating the index finger; certainly not more than a few shots.

One grasps a .500 Linebaugh with more hand pressure than .44 Mag, strength which must be developed slowly while continuing a smooth squeeze throughout. Shooting a big cannon you retire before tremor sets in. Hand held artillery is not for endurance shooting.

I suspect the issue is TECHNIQUE. Dry fire allows you to see the sights through hammer fall. Squeeze all the way to the target. Technique is a huge subject, best tasted a bit at a time.
David Bradshaw


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:39 am 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:48 am
Posts: 267
Location: SE Pennsylvania
David Bradshaw wrote:

Macho types preach a death grip on the sixgun. You cannot kill recoil of a .44 Magnum or other single action hand cannon by strangling it. Hold it like a tool you use all day. Can anyone name a silhouette championship won by fighting the gun?

I suspect the issue is TECHNIQUE. Dry fire allows you to see the sights through hammer fall. Squeeze all the way to the target. Technique is a huge subject, best tasted a bit at a time.
David Bradshaw


I think this is a major factor for a lot of shooters. The photo referenced by the OP as item 6 is mine. It took a long time for me "learn" how to properly grip the revolver. It wasn't until I stopped fighting the recoil that my shooting really improved. Now, when I take an inexperienced shooter to the range I demonstrate through a firm handshake how much grip strength to use.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:24 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2012 11:32 am
Posts: 961
RoninPA.... Interterms had a small factory in Virginia which produced the Virginian Dragoon. Rod Sward, a sharp friendly gent, ran production. Two revolvers were aimed specifically International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association competition, a .357 Mag and a .44 Mag, each with button rifled 10-inch barrel and target sights. These were the Silhouette Dragoons. Twist was 1:18 as I recall, although in actuality twist sometimes measured closer to 1:19-inch. Rod Sward reamed a bit of FREEBORE and cut a short forcing cone. Shooting both revolvers Creedmoor @ 100 meters, I recorded 5x5 groups of 3-inches and less, down into the 2-inch zone.

I shot these revolvers well enough offhand, but anyone lacking a cool follow-through would throw shots. Rod Sward explained the pawl/cylinder patched relationship, which I mentioned earlier, as a built-in of the long hammer arc. LETOFF is usually clean on these revolvers and in any case may be made very clean.

Tip from the Firing Line
High level competition cranks nerve pressure. I use deep breathing to control nerve pressure and to oxygenate the eyes. The eyes are the first organ to go into oxygen debt. To hold your breath to make a shot beyond OXYGEN SATURATION blurs vision----such a shot cannot be saved. Almost certain to be a flier. The trigger finger is the next organ after the eyes to experience oxygen debt, exposing an otherwise smooth squeeze to tremor.

Once in a while it is good to remember how much FUN it is to shoot! This tip applies to the heat of competition. Why? Fun concentrates FOCUS, drives out distraction.
David Bradshaw


Last edited by David Bradshaw on Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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