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Saturday Fun December 2, 2007

Posted by Mitchell in Guns.

Yesterday I went down to the American Shooters range and fired my own gun for the first time.  It was pretty cool.  I was going to go by wallymart to get some ammo first, but I got off late and needed to be somewhere else later, so I decided to get the range ammo at American Shooters instead.  I got a fifty round box of the regular .38 specials for 15 bucks.  I asked for wadcutters, but they didn’t have them, so I got Speers full metal jacket ball rounds.  I bought three targets the guy said was used for CCW proficiency testing (the “Big White Guy” as the range dude called them) and went to go put holes in them.  Let’s see how I did. 

First up was at 7 feet yards away, I shot two loads with single action and two hands.

7 Foot Range

Not bad!  Still, I would have liked to get them all in the X circle, but since this is only the third time out shooting handguns in my life this is acceptable.  Here I was being very deliberate and taking time between shots.  The next target I was considerably quicker.   I shot 21 rounds at that one at 10 yards.

10 Foot Range

And my accuracy dropped off significantly.  All on target though, and all within the 8 ring, which still gets the maximum score of 5 according to the chart on the target.  After that I had 15 rounds left, so I backed the last target up to 15 feet yards and went back to the slower pace.

15 Foot Range

The first ten shots were at the middle of the target, still using the single action, two handed mode.  My accuracy went back up :-).  The last five shots were double action shots at the head.  Yeesh!  Those were terrible.  Two shots missed completely, one took off an ear, another hit the throat and one in the shoulder on the 7 ring.  Why are those so much harder to control?  Obviously I really need to practice those.  So there ya go!  I went down to wallymart afterwards and picked up another 100 rounds of .38 specials and 50 rounds of the .357 magnums.  I may drop by the range again today, I dunno.  Type at you later and thanks for dropping by.


1. Steamboat McGoo - December 2, 2007

Are you sure of the ranges you quoted? I can’t make an absolute statement – but most ranges have their targets measured off in yards, i.e. 7 yds, 15 yds, and 25 yds.

Bet you’re happier with the new-found ammo prices. That guy that sold you the first batch obviously had kids in college he needed to support. Or he had a debilitating hangnail that needed prompt medical attention.

Or maybe he really is Pinocchio.

2. Steamboat McGoo - December 2, 2007

Good shootin’ – BTW!

3. Enas Yorl - December 2, 2007

Well, I started to write it in yards, but those distances seemed long. I am going to go there again today so I’ll verify the ranges I’m shooting at.

4. Steamboat McGoo - December 2, 2007

I could be mistaken Enas – I often am – but at 7 FEET you should have been close to powdering or scorching the target.

But – as you say – we’ll know for sure when you go again!

5. Steamboat McGoo - December 2, 2007

BTW: I put a li’l quiz in a comment over at Lady Weasel’s place in that post about the .357s.

The answer will be obvious to you since its your weapon – but I wonder how many others noticed – and figured it out.

6. Enas Yorl - December 2, 2007

Whups! Those were yard measurments McGoo. It’s funny how distances compress in the memory. Anyway, the post is fixed. Oh, and aside from the cylinder lever thing on mine I didn’t notice any other differences between our guns. What did you notice?

7. Steamboat McGoo - December 2, 2007

Yards, huh. Well then – you’re shooting 3x as well as you thought! 🙂

I posted it at Weaz’s place but:

Your is a 7-shot weapon. Everybody else’s is a 6-shooter.

Therefore you have one more of those groovy things on the side of your cylinder than us, and one more of the alignment click-stops (the notches on the outside back of the cylinder – weaz called them tongue-shaped indentations).

Also – your notchy things and cylinder grooves are aligned differently (paired up rather than alternating) than ours.

Not normally visible but – on the back face of the cylinder (where the cartridges go in) there is another notchy-thing that lets the mechanism spin the cylinder. You have 7 instead of 6.

Once you notice it, all this is obvious.

I love this slang we’re developing: all these characteristic items really have NAMES.

I believe the grooves are “Flutes” and the notchy things are…I forget. Pawl notches? Damned memory. I think the back face notches are called the rack.

8. Mr Minority - December 3, 2007

I believe the grooves are “Flutes” and the notchy things are…I forget. Pawl notches? Damned memory. I think the back face notches are called the rack.

I think you are correct McGoo. The “Pawl” ratchets the “Rack” to rotate the cylinder.

My question is: Since Enas has a 7 shot, and most everyone else has a 6 shot, did S&W decide that the cylinder didn’t need as much metal between the chambers as was previously believed? And can it handle P++?

Hmm, another thought, do they make speedloaders for a 7-shot .357?

9. Mr Minority - December 3, 2007

If I may make a suggestion: Concentrate on shooting at 15 yrds, because statistically that is the furthest you will be shooting for defense purposes. And also don’t worry about getting everything in the X-ring, any shot in the 8-Ring will take the goblin down.

After you have become proficient at firing it single action, try to become proficient at double action, because that is the type of shooting you will be doing in the middle of the night.

10. Steamboat McGoo - December 3, 2007

Thanks, MM. The part name that really used to bother me is the trigger “seer”. It just seems wrong. Probably because its French, IIRC.

Good questions. I’d bet bucks that there are speedloaders for the 7-shot model – simply because the aftermarket accessory companys live for “new” needs.

11. Enas Yorl - December 3, 2007

Mr. Minority, yah the gun is rated for the p+ loads. Maybe they developed a stronger alloy? I dunno. I haven’t shot any yet, but I did do some .357 magnum loads yesterday. Hee! What a bang! Dirtied up my gun something fierce though. Good suggestion regarding the longer ranges – I will practice more of those. What is the deal with the double action shots? It isn’t obvious to me as to why those are so much harder to control. I haven’t looked into the speed loaders yet, but we have a big ol’ gun show coming to town in a couple weeks so figure I can browse all the accessories available in the world there. I’ll be sure to file a full report.

12. Mr Minority - December 4, 2007

What is the deal with the double action shots?

Since you have to exert more trigger pressure to cock the hammer, people tend to pull the gun up off target. That is why I suggested that you practice DA after you have become proficient with SA. The reason I say this is because in an excitable situation, you may not remember to cock the hammer back first, and to shoot in DA all you have to do is pull the trigger.

13. buckyjames1 - November 6, 2008

On another note, Most people do not shoot .357magnum loads at the range for practice. The grain measurement you see on ammunition boxes is actually the bullet weight. Generally speaking the heavier a bullet say… .38special in 158grain, the more its going to kick. a lighter bullet gernerally will not kick as much.
But… those .357magnums will always kick and flash more because it is a magnum load. The .357magnum load is a slightly longer case which allows more powder to be put in there. So you could have a 125grain bullet in the .357magnum that will kick significantly more than an equal grain weight in a .38special round. 1 other item to note. It is true that some manufactured rounds will flash or dirty up your weapon a bit more than others. Even good quality name brand rounds will vary to certai degrees. The trick is to find the special one that fits the best to your taste and gun. <—- yes different brand rounds shoot differently in diferent guns. gotta mate that special one.
Hope this explains some things

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