Tips for medium and long range revolver shooting?


April 8, 2007, 04:22 PM
I've landed a very accurate .41 Blackhawk and I'm set up with handloads. One of my goals with it this summer is to finally get semi-good out at fifty yards and beyond. I don't expect to mount a scope on it, but the irons are excellent.

What advice or source books should I look to for methods for long range handgun shooting? At this point almost all my practice is fast firing from 10 to 25 yards, using standard Weaver or Bullseye stances and emphasizing speed of presentation and delivery for personal protection. I can currently keep the bullets from a speed six or SP in a fist-size hole, with some strays. But when I've tried to go out further with the single action, the results have been less than impressive. Ideally I'd like to get competent enough to try some handgun hunting.

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April 8, 2007, 09:46 PM
I've found the weaver stance helps me because I have long arms. Also leaning back slightly seems to help some. For long range shooting you'll need all the steadiness you can get. The good news is you can practice dryfire in doors with a thumb tack on the wall. Continue to refine your stance trying new positions untill you achieve steadiness then work on reasuming your stance the same way everytime. Good luck

April 8, 2007, 10:57 PM
I am a Highpower Rifle shooter and when I am not doing that I like to bang away with my handguns at a 12" gong target.

I can say that a handgun is a lot harder to shoot well than a rifle. When I am spot on, I can hit my gong target at 50 yards 5 out of six times offhand. The further it gets out, the hit probability drops. To just hit the thing at 100 yards you need an accurate load and absolutely the correct elevation and windage. It is very hard to shoot a handgun well.

Work on perfect sight alignment. Trigger pull leading to follow through is critical and hard to explain. When you pull that trigger the firearm moves. You have to pull the trigger the exact same way, you have to grip the pistol the same way, and you have to move during hammer fall the same way. Slight movements that you never knew you did all change point of impact.

All it takes is lots of practice. When you are dialed in you can actually change point of impact mentally. You just pull the trigger a little different.

April 9, 2007, 12:40 AM
I don't recall who taught me, but it works when I do it.
Pretend to pull the front sight through the rear sight with the trigger pull.

April 9, 2007, 06:52 AM
I would start from a seated, gun on a rest position. When you get used to your gun and achieve proper triger and sight picture try the weaver stance.

Chief 101
April 9, 2007, 09:47 AM
If you really wants to get good at long range revolver shooting get involved in some big bore silhouette shooting. Either the NRA version or the IHMSA version. If you don't want to get involved at least spectate. It'll open up a whole new world of possibilities. Chief

robert garner
April 9, 2007, 10:02 AM
Pistol's at long range tend to be self limiting;limited by expectations and ranges that you tend to practice at.
Should you wish and expect to take a game animal at 50 yds, then practice at one hundred.
Personally I use a 44,but do most of my practice with a Old Army.
Place a target at the one hundred berm ,fire and note where you're hitting,repeat;same place? walk your rounds in with kentucky windage:
one foot off,one foot high? offset your AIMING POINT, this should place you into the target, now adjust sights accordingly.
Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised at the accuracy of your 41, and your ability to utilize it! Another hint, sit,feet spread with elbows inside knees,off hand pulling and strong hand pushing, good luck

April 9, 2007, 10:49 AM
Really good advice given here. As mentioned try sitting by leaning up against something with hands or wrists supported by your knees. I personally shoot off of a rest while sitting. I try to take all the variables out of the picture that I can and learn the characteristics of the ammo I'm using. I don't reload and been trying different brands of ammo recently. I shoot a NMSB Hunter in 44 mag that is scoped. I guess I would call my stance a semi weaver but for the most part I tend to square up to the target as the caliber gets smaller. Have fun.

April 9, 2007, 12:19 PM
man, i'm glad i found this thread. i've taken a real liking to 100yd shooting with my single six shooting LR. i need more practice, but i managed a 5 shot group of 5 inches with a flier about 5 inches away from those. I'm sure it was mostly luck, but i keep getting luckier. This was done in the above discribed sitting with elbows to knees and gun rested on a folding stool. Its amazing that i can get this kind of accuracy and i'm thrilled with my first pistol(revolver) purchase. i am by no means an experienced shooter, so if i can do it, i think anyone can. especially someone who already has the basics down.

i cant wait to get in some more practice:D i think the place i shoot my be able to stretch out to 200 yards. that'd be fun!

April 9, 2007, 03:24 PM
Sixguns by Kieth and Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting by McGiven are the two books I would reccomend. Besides, if you haven't read them or don't own them yet I don't think you can call yourself a handgunner.:evil:

April 10, 2007, 12:47 AM
I'll second the recomendation of "Sixguns, by Keith". I learned much from it. Seems about everyone around this area has read it, and shoots long range with pistols. The 16" steel plate at 300 yards CAN be hit with a pistol, (and not a scoped "short rifle" type either, a real belt gun (4" to 7 1/2" barrel) will do it.

Next suggestion, get a GOOD .22 pistol of the same basic type, and shoot it a LOT long distance. In your neighborhood, you don't have a lot of dry ground to help spot your hits, but you can still learn much from the .22. If you can shoot over water, (safely), it helps walk the rounds in and lets you figure out the sight picture. The .22 is good practice for any pistol shooting. How else can you shoot 500 rounds for $10, and not even worry about the brass, or sitting at the bench to reload it?

Pay attention to Keiths description of the sight picture. Do NOT try to use the sights "even across the tops" (like in close up shooting) and aim at some imaginary point in space above your target!!! Raise the front sight in relation to the rear sight, keeping the target and front sight relationship the same always! Or, in other words, lower the rear sight in relationship to the front sight, so you can see the target. Experience will show you how much to lower the rear sight in relationship to the front.

It isn't rocket science. A lot of guys around here shoot longer range with pistols, and some are REAL good at it. If you make it down this way, we can get you going in the right direction in about 20 minutes. Sight alignment, breath control, and trigger control are very important. A real good trigger action on your gun makes a big difference also.

April 10, 2007, 01:04 AM
Thanks for that advice! I've actually got "Sixguns" somewhere. It's been years since I looked at it. I guess I should read it.

Old Fuff
April 10, 2007, 01:27 AM
The basics of marksmanship apply at any distance.the only other trick it to know the trajectory of the cartridge you're using. Get a BIG target (such as an open sheet of newspaper with a fair-sized spot in the middle. Set them out at 50, 75, 100, 125, and 150 yards. At each distances, shoot for the same aiming point. Then note as to if the shots are high or low, and by how much. After a bit of this you'll know the trajectory, and how much "hold-over" or "hold-under" you need at the various distances.

After that it's easy. Just get out and practice.

It works. Once just for grins (and a fair sized bet) I put 5 out or 7 slugs out of a little Colt .32 Pocket Model into a 200 yard rifle target - at 200 yards. I was holding at least 72 inches over the target at the time. :evil:

April 10, 2007, 01:34 AM
Tips for medium and long range revolver shooting?
DON'T FLINCH!!! :evil:

Sorry, it came to mind and I just had to!!

April 10, 2007, 07:33 AM
I've "installed" 100 & 200 yd. horizontal bars on one of my Bisley's (Ruger). Needle filed and filled with white paint at the appropriate height. It's a lot of fun shooting at distance from a seated position.

April 10, 2007, 12:08 PM
I have a Taurus 608 that has a red ramp insert in the front sight. The top and bottom edge of that insert are great reference points for log distance gunning. Kieth also had fine gold lines inlaid into a number of his front sights for the same reasons. The cheaper alternative has already been given with a file and white paint.

You can also use the bullet weight and POI relationship to your advantage. You'll want the bigger slug, better SD, to buck any cross winds. The larger slugs also generally provide more area to the rifling for better stabilization.

April 10, 2007, 12:30 PM
when you guys say accurate revolver what does that mean? 1" 100 yd groups? how far out are you comfortable shooting your acurate revolver? would you put money down on shots past 300 yds? How much better of a revolver do you expect from the high end manufacturers and custom shops? do you prefer colt clones for the challenge and fun?

and whats with all the questions from this guy who doesnt even know how to shoot the one pistol he owns?

April 10, 2007, 06:44 PM
A lot of good information here.
My two cents ...
When shooting long range, shoot with a partner and use a spotting scope, spotting for one another. You will learn a lot about the trajectory of your system that way, as well as learn a lot about what exactly a "close" miss, a hit and a far miss look like.
Also, contact Precision Shooting and order all back issues in which Roger Clouser had an article published. His writing on long range shooting with big bore handguns are tremendous reading. He is one of the best gun writers of our time and I sorely wish he was more widely understood and published.
Finally, pick ONE dedicated gun and load for your long range shooting and shot that combo. exclusively for a good long time. You will get to know it thoroughly and that will make a significan difference in the learning curve.
P.S. if you have access to steel gong shooting at 100 yards and beyond, take advantage of it, reducing the size of the gong as your skill improves.
I have three custom Rugers -- SBH and two Bisleys, 44, 45, 44. All are 4-5/8 barreled guns. They can stay on a 9-inch plate offhand unsupported at 100 yards shooting 300 to 344-grain bullets over 20.0grs. 296 all day long. There are folks that can make that look like shooting fish in a barrel with similar guns. You will have a ton of fun once you get into it. Good luck.

April 10, 2007, 08:20 PM
I've landed a very accurate .41 Blackhawk and I'm set up with handloads. One of my goals with it this summer is to finally get semi-good out at fifty yards and beyond.

At this point almost all my practice is fast firing from 10 to 25 yards, using standard Weaver or Bullseye stances and emphasizing speed of presentation and delivery for personal protection. I can currently keep the bullets from a speed six or SP in a fist-size hole, with some strays

I have a few Ruger SA revolvers myself and they shoot really well at 50 yards for me. The key to shoot at the moderate 50 yard range is the same is if you are shooting at 50 ft. The basics , sight alingment and trigger control. Pretty much for any kind of shooting where the sights are employed.

Just the longer the range the more errors in sight alingment and trigger control are magnified. From the sounds of your defensive shooting you have achieved good shooting proficiency. The sights on the Blackhawk , like you mention, will be far better for long range use.

Like someone mentioned above , an accurate 22 handgun is great for a lot of range time with little expense involved. And in the case of my Ruger Single Six 22 it has grip size and feel mimics my larger Blackhawk and the range time spent with the 22 definitely improves my accuracy when I am shooting the Blackhawk.

tasco 74
April 10, 2007, 08:39 PM
chief 101 is right...... i learned lots when my best friend and i were going to ihmsa silhouette shoots...... it's kind of amazing the things a good handgun do when you know what your gun and ammo are capable of... the kill zone on a steel ram at 200 yards is 18 " and i've seen em hit time an time again through the spotting scope....... i good revolver is absolutely capable of making those kind of shots but you do have to know all the little things first......

December 5, 2007, 06:24 PM
i just got a ruger GP100 4" and i really look forward to getting better with this gun. next time out i hope to ring my 100yd gong. didnt get a chance to try last time. i know this gun wont be "Super-accurate" or even close, but who doesnt love a challenge.

~~just looking at old threads...

Old Fuff
December 5, 2007, 09:13 PM
I believe that you'll find that the GP-100 is more then accurate enough, but remember to hold the front sight up a bit in the rear notch or you will be shooting under your target.

Have fun... :D

December 5, 2007, 10:56 PM
The accuracy will come with practice, but the most important thing is not to shoot too much! I mean that when you start, the inclination is to take 500 rounds and bang away, trying to improve your groups, and you don't notice you're getting fatigued. A couple dry fires, several times daily, to improve steadyness is fine, then once or twice a week take maybe 50 rounds to the range, and don't wear yourself out. When and if you shoot off a rest, use the rest under your forearms, not the gun, and don't obsess on trigger pull, as you can mess around so long you get shakey. Just concentrate on smooth...Smooth pull-down, smooth stop, smooth pull, and smooth recock and reset to pull-down. Eliminate quick or jerky movement at any point between unholstering and reholstering. Take the breath at the top of your pull-down, and pressurize from down in your diaphragm, let a bit out and hold it from down low in the throat. This will stabilize the lower body and give your arm muscles a solid foundation when standing and using the Weaver and it's variations.

The Lone Haranguer
December 5, 2007, 11:01 PM
Try, whenever possible, to use a more braced (for your arms and hands) position or a rest of some sort.

December 6, 2007, 02:15 AM
First, move to North Dakota -- or South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming or some bloody place with more space than people! Once there, you can while away your hours of solitude attempting to whack strangely shaped steel targets off of pedestals at distances of 50 to 200 meters!! --and all those reclining or otherwise supported postures are for amateurs!!!:D

More seriously, I actually DID move to North Dakota, courtesy of the ChAir Force, and learned an awful lot about handgun shooting by participating in metallic silhouette competitions. If you want to learn long-range handgunning, that's the best place to do so. I hope you have this opportunity! You could always enlist. Only the best go north! Why not Minot!?!??:scrutiny::evil:

December 6, 2007, 04:49 AM
That's right! Here in Minot we have a 50 yard pistol pit, 25 yard pistol bay, 200 yard general shooting area, and a 700 (that's right...I said 700 yard!) rifle range. And a brand spanking new indoor range with classrooms for Hunter's Safety and Gun Safety classes. It's really an awesome range for a smaller area!

We no longer shoot, IHMSA, however. They still have some rams and such, but I believe most have been damaged or destroyed by idiots during the week. We do ICORE, IPSC, and 3 gun though.

December 6, 2007, 11:43 AM
I would really like to try out some silhouette shooting. I wouldnt be competitive, but just knocking a few down would be a lot of fun. That would be done with my Single Six, which i am better with. i'm thinking about making a small set of my own, maybe one of each, and just hang them intead of knocking them down. shooting is a lot more fun when you hear that DING, or sorry, .22, "ping."

and why isnt this a picture thread?? i seem to recal a thread about posting you long range weapon/handgun but maybe i'm wrong. I'm eagerly waiting for the Freedom Arm's pictures from sombody....

December 6, 2007, 11:42 PM
What a beautiful facility! Y'all should be proud of your organization and achievements!! I left the club in '83 due to some problems with the club's president at that time. He was a thief and there were frictions. I'm truly happy that the club moved out of that old trailer and has prospered.

One of my sons, born at Minot, lives at Grand Forks and is a member of their rifle/pistol club. I mailed him a Ruger Redhawk for Christmas because. . .he wants to learn long-range handgunning. . . .:scrutiny::what::evil:

December 7, 2007, 11:11 AM
what kind of sights does one use for long range shooting/competition?

December 7, 2007, 11:55 AM
I used the factory sights on my Blackhawk, but I have a hooded ramp with fiberoptic bead front and peep rear on my 10" bull MKII. I use the aperture when sighting in off the bench (I also have a self-storing quick detach bipod I made on it), and remove it and use it as a ghost ring in the field. I also once silver soldered a bead to the factory sight of a Super Single Six, and made a replacement peep blade for the rear factory sight which worked real well.

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