single action revolver sights


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Bezoar
April 24, 2008, 10:16 PM
everything i read on fixed sights is the standard

center front post/blade in the exact center of rear notch, then level top of front sight even with the top of the rear sight. then put the bottom of the bullseye on top of the front sight.

now, how do you compensate for different bullets? ie by holding the front sight lower in the rear notch for bullets that hit lower or for longer ranges?

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Jim March
April 25, 2008, 05:55 AM
What you're supposed to do is pick a load (or more likely, a weight class of bullet for a given caliber), you file the front sight to dial in the elevation for that bullet weight.

My gun (357 Ruger New Vaquero) is tuned specifically for 135gr loads. Elevation difference in bullets between 125gr and 140gr are close to undetectable. Once I get into 110 on the low end or 158+ on the high end, there are differences in elevation...tends to rise with bullet weight. At 158gr it still isn't bad, landing 3" to 4" or so high at 25 yards.

The filing process needs to happen at a range, slowly and carefully, AFTER you have carefully considered what bullets you want out of your gun for your needs. If critter defense is part of the need, figure you'll want heavy slugs for the caliber. Also factor in what rounds seem to group well in your gun.

Bezoar
April 25, 2008, 10:41 PM
if your bullets are hitting inside a sheet of printer paper at 40 feet, i mean all over the sheet of paper, how do you tell if its from:

poor grouping load
not working the gun right, ie jerking,etc
not knowing how to use the sights correctly?

Grandpa Shooter
April 25, 2008, 10:56 PM
Start with the gun rested, or your forearms rested if you are strong in the arms, with the target 5 yards from you. Find out there how you have to hold to get the point of impact where you want it. Then back it up to 10 yards and do the same thing. Make sure you are using as nearly identical loads as possible. You should see a pattern to the hits.

Then decide if the bullet weight you are using is what you will be using most of the time. In my case I only use 158g round nose in my 38/357 single or double action. Carefully file your front sight down after you try standing and shooting the way you normally would. Single hand, double hand, single with the other working the action.

Remember one major thing, you can not put back the metal you filed off the front sight and changing front sight blades is a PIA.

Jim March
April 26, 2008, 12:26 AM
I personally believe it's a good idea to know if your accuracy issues are "the gun's fault or your fault".

There's two ways to find out: either have a known good shooter run your gun and see what happens, or you "bench test" it yourself: fire it from a two-handed hold, barrel resting on a sandbag (best case) or rolled-up old towel or blanket or whatever. (Note that it will likely get some burns from the cylinder gap so make it something you don't care about - not your best jacket :).)

Doing it yourslef can actually be better with an SA as it takes a bit to adapt to those and your "test shooter" may not be very good with one.

If you try it yourself, it's important to shoot at the same target every time, rather than "chase your holes all over the paper". Even if your groups are landing high and/or off to the right or left, the first thing you care about is group size. That tells you if the gun is fundamentally any good. Remember to try this with two or three quality rounds. If the gun is a 357, I would recommend trying at least three of the following for accuracy: Speer's 135gr mild 357Magnum Gold Dot "short barrel", Speer's 158gr 357 Gold Dot, Hornady's 158gr XTP 357, Cor-Bon's 125gr DPX Barnes-based all-copper 357 hollowpoint, Federal's 140gr 357 Barnes-based all-copper hollowpoint, and at least one quality 357 hardcast solid of 158gr or better yet, 170 or 180gr.

In my gun, the Speer 135gr 357 remains the best factory ammo I've shot, doing 2" off the bench at 25 yards. This is a good low-recoil defense round. In contrast, Speer Gold Dot 125gr high-speed JHPs as loaded by Doubletap group at least 4" to 5" no matter what I do, with over double the raw energy.

Barnes-based all-copper slugs have a good rep for accuracy among the lighter slugs. Since copper is bulkier than lead for the same weight, the slug is physically long for it's weight which gives you more surface area hitting the barrel's insides as compared to the same weight lead-core jacketed hollowpoint. Speer and Hornady jacketed lead-core slugs both have good reps for well-balanced (hence accurate) slugs.

Once you know what the gun is capable of, it's my experience that it helps you know to what level you need to progress. This process also tells you whether or not the gun needs tweaking to get the sights dialed in :).

Virginian
April 26, 2008, 04:57 AM
if your bullets are hitting inside a sheet of printer paper at 40 feet, i mean all over the sheet of paper, how do you tell if its from:

poor grouping load
not working the gun right, ie jerking,etc
not knowing how to use the sights correctly?

That is exactly the issue. That above advice is good. However, at 40 feet, not knowing the gun or anything else, if I had to bet, I would bet on shooter.

Jim March
April 26, 2008, 05:04 AM
I too would "bet" shooter. However, I don't *know*. It damn well could be the gun.

You're much better off knowing for sure.

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