.38 Special Marksmanship Appraisal


June 1, 2006, 09:59 AM
Good Day Fellas,

I'm preparing for a PPC (Precision Pistol Competition) sometime in August and intend to compete in the stock service revolver category. Today was the start of my training regimen and I took 150 rds of Magtech 158gr LRN standard velocity rounds out to the 25 meter line for some offhand unsupported standing practice today.

The attachment represents the best score that I could get from a 40 shot set. (The ragged hole below the top "7" and the horizontal hole to the lower left side of the 10 ring represent clusters of 4 shots each.)

The revolver in question was a S&W Model 67 4" barrel and it was shot double action.

I need a frank opinion.....

I) How am I doing?
II) Can you guys diagnose any shooting faults and how I may improve? I hope to rank amongst the top 10 among about 50 competitors including many police officers and fanatical weekend marksmen.

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June 1, 2006, 11:48 AM
You're doing fine. Double action at 27+ yards can be tougher than most folks realize.

Try to track down a copy of "How To Become A Master Handgunner : The Mechanics Of X-Count Shooting", by Charles Stephens. His advice on trigger control and sight picture for double action shooting, alone is worth the $12 price of the book.

I've read it 3 times and learned/understand something each time.


Good Luck...


June 1, 2006, 09:32 PM
Agreed that 25m double action is tougher than it sounds.

I also have a 4" Mod 67. I must say that you shoot the 158gr Magtech LRN's better than me and my 67 can. I have had noticeably better results with Black Hills 158gr LSWC and 148gr DEWC (double ended wadcutter) loads.

If this is your chosen load after trying a few other loads, then practice, practice, practice!

I don't know anything about PPC, but a 40 shot set seems like a LOT when shooting for bullseye. Have you tried something on the order of 12 shot sets with a few minutes for break between sets?

June 2, 2006, 10:05 PM
Anymore comments, advice or opinions?

June 3, 2006, 02:33 AM
Did your "group" open up after the first 50rds or so? It may be that you just plain got tired/shaky after a little bit. Don't spend a lot of time with the gun raised...or looking downrange for that matter. Don't feel you always have to fire a full cylander at once either. Relax between strings, look at close-up things, and focus on your target (actually your front sight post w/ good sight picture) only when the gun is raised and you are preparing to fire. This will cut down on arm & eye fatigue.

That's just a few thoughts off the top of my head...

Master Blaster
June 3, 2006, 10:10 AM
Wow Joe Hartley,Thats really incredible shooting double action. I realize a PPC target is bigger than a Bullseye target.

You could be in the top 10 at Camp Perry if you can consistently shoot like that with a double action revolver.

Can you do it for 100 shots? Move back 5 yards and use a 1911, are you in the 10 ring everytime???

You do shoot competitively right.

Some of the Bullseye guys at my club that are NRA high Masters can shoot like that at 25 yards with a 1911, but they need red dot sights on their guns to do it.

A red dot and a 1911 and you could give Gnny Sgt Zinns a run in the final round.

June 3, 2006, 05:36 PM
Can you do it for 100 shots?

Yes. My normal range session is 300 rounds. Generally about 10 shots will be out of the "black", IF I keep my concentration.

Move back 5 yards and use a 1911, are you in the 10 ring everytime???


Only with a red dot. My eyes gave up on alowing me to to be a 10 ring shooter long ago.

You do shoot competitively right.

No. Travel time to matches and non-wheelchair accessable ranges makes it just too dufficult.

June 4, 2006, 12:32 PM
Nice shooting Joe.

June 13, 2006, 07:13 AM
I went for another training session today and managed to record another 40 shot grouping that's possibly worth analyzing. As usual, I shot a standard precision pistol target at 25 meters offhand without any supports using a model 67 S&W revolver.

Good points:
Less rounds straying off the black zone (7-ring or better). 1 round this time vs 6 rounds the last time.
Bad Points:
Less rounds in the 10-ring. 6 this time vs 8 last time.

Any critique or advice?

June 13, 2006, 07:49 PM
Difficult to say from only 2 pieces of data (targets). It would be better to compare mean scores between sets of 10-20 or so targets with your 2 styles being the only thing that seperated the groups. That said, keeping more in the black means more to me than a few more/less 10-rings. That's still good shooting from an honest 25 yds.

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