J-Frames and Point-shooting


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dovedescending
July 16, 2011, 12:11 PM
I was just perusing the articles at www.snubnose.info (http://www.snubnose.info) and read this:

The authors experiments with small framed S&W revolvers, like the Chief's Special and J Frame revolvers, proved that they are some of the most effective point shooting pistols. The pistols, when provided with older style original S&W wooden grips, provide consistent accurate grouping when utilized for one handed point shooting. When used with the newer style rubber grips, the guns are less effective for the sake of accuracy when used for point-shooting. http://www.snubnose.info/docs/Point_shooting.htm

The author, Tom Line, doesn't expound on why or why not he thinks the different styles of grips contribute to the varying degrees of accuracy. Any of you wheelgun afficianados have any ideas?

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GRIZ22
July 16, 2011, 03:16 PM
The pistols, when provided with older style original S&W wooden grips, provide consistent accurate grouping when utilized for one handed point shooting. When used with the newer style rubber grips, the guns are less effective for the sake of accuracy when used for point-shooting.

I think the author is totally wrong on this. Moreso if he offers no reasoning to back up his statement. I don't think the grips on a J frame have anything to do with accuracy when point shooting. Rubber grips make it easier to shoot all the time.

gvf
July 16, 2011, 03:17 PM
It may be because I believe snubs used to be shot one-handed and SA, the roll-up was allowed to happen, gun cocked while coming back down to aim-point, and fired again once it reached that. Very similar to shooting an SA revolver - though not as much roll-up. Dunno if they mean all that. They do say one-handed. Try it with both double and SA using one hand and see what you get

But modern grips are meant to make it easier to fight the roll-up and keep the barrel straight on target. So if you have those it kind of kills the test.

I have original grips on my two 60s Colt snubs, but with Tyler-Grip extensions. I do know even with the Tylers I like shooting one handed - and very natural in SA. Whether that would be better in Self-Defense is a "?". So I mostly practice with two hands and DA.

1911Tuner
July 16, 2011, 03:53 PM
I have to agree with Tom line...at least in my experience...and firing the J-Frame and the K-Frames one-handed in the style that was prevalent at the time the Smith design came to be.

Study some of the old photos of the stances used. Crouched, with the support hand on the knee, and the gun leveled at just about the mid-point between waist and shoulder height. After just a little practice, you might be surprised to find that it's a very effective method of one-hand point shooting out to 30 feet or so. If you bring it up to shoulder level...unsighted...you'll probably find yourself shooting high if you hold the gun in a tight, hastily acquired "panic" grip. But between waist and shoulder...it seems to settle in just right...especially with the round butt grip.

It actually seems to be a well thought-out grip frame, and designed with the methods in use at the time. Try it. You might be surprised at how well it works.

heeler
July 16, 2011, 04:04 PM
I will give it a try.
For what ever the reason I cant shoot my old J frame M37 Airweight very accurately at all.
I always shoot high using the sights.

gvf
July 16, 2011, 04:14 PM
In those photos of old stances, could you tell if they were shooting SA or DA?

1911Tuner
July 16, 2011, 04:54 PM
They were shooting DA. Those were "combat" stances developed by the FBI and adopted by several law enforcement agencies in the country. Essentially, they made the best use of the Smith & Wesson grip frame shape with the stocks that were on the guns. The trick is to grab it so that the hump at the top of the backstrap is jammed into the web of the hand under recoil to better control flip...and at mid-body level to cause the muzzle to be level with the gun gripped so that the forearm isn't aligned with the muzzle, but on a downward angle.

A little hard to describe, but easy to demonstrate. Just as a FYI, that natural point under stress is the reason that arched mainspring housings were added to the 1911A1...to counter the tendency to point low under stress.

Old Fuff
July 16, 2011, 11:01 PM
In any context the J-frame S&W is a hard gun to master, but "back when" before grip adapters and stocks that filled in the area of the fore-srap just behind the trigger guard; you could get a grip that was very high and lowered the line-of-bore in respect to the hand. As a consequence the recoil was more straight back with less torque. All of this made them easier to use for point shooting, waist or shoulder level.

However with today's hot loads the trigger guard will beat the daylights out of your second finger, which is the primary reason these revolvers come with rubber stocks and a filler behind the guard. That lifts the gun higher and usually leaves you with only two fingers holding the handle.

Life is much easier if you graduate to a K-frame. :cool:

1911Tuner
July 17, 2011, 09:47 AM
Once I learned to work with the Smith & Wesson grip frame and standard stocks...and to take a crushing grip..I never had a problem with the trigger guard wearin' my middle finger out. The root of my thumb took a little punishment, but nothin' that I couldn't handle until I got into the original load specs in a Model 13 with the Magna stocks. Nothin' that I'd notice if I was up to my abs in Alligators, though. Practice with a Model 10 or with light loads, and savin' the snotknockers for swamp duty has worked well for me.

The long, grip changing rubber and various wood stocks have actually been a hindrance to me in natural stress response one-hand firing stances, and they sorta defeat the purpose of small stocks on a small revolver by making the gun harder to conceal. They work well on the range under controlled conditions, though.

But...Cuique Suum, I reckon.

Revolver218
July 17, 2011, 10:48 AM
I've been shooting a snubnose 36 for over 40 years. Recently I bought a 640-1 and a 3" 63 (.22). I have Pachmayer Grippers on all of them because whatever gun I'm shooting the grip is always the same. Most of my practice is point shooting from 2' to 7 yards (yes, 2 feet...many people neglect close-in shooting). All my shots will land in the center-mass of a silhouette target. But it takes practice, practice, and more practice, both on the range and dry-fire. The best part: After awhile everything will become automatic, you'll draw and fire and hit your target, before you even think about how your doing it.

1911Tuner
July 17, 2011, 11:39 AM
While I'm aware that the dinimutive 1.9-inch J-frame revolvers are capable of fine accuracy at 15-20 yards when shot carefully and deliberately...I don't see them pressed into that role unless absolutely necesssary. If I had to do it, I'd cock the revolver and take the shot...carefully.

I see them more in the role that they were intended for and used in that way. That being a close-range emergency tool most often used at powder burn or contact range... deployed with one hand as often as not...with the situation being so dire as to cause me to literally empty the gun into my attacker. In short...A "Belly Gun" that one wouldn't choose to engage in a running gunfight with at any range beyond conversational distance...and quiet conversation at that.

I hear talk...or rather complaints...of accuracy with these little blasters. 25-yard accuracy from a belly gun measured in fractions of inches is certainly interesting and informative...but it has about as much to do with the question as the top speed of a pickup truck.

451 Detonics
July 17, 2011, 12:42 PM
I suggest anyone who carries a snubby read Ed Lovette's book "The Snubby Revolver". It is the definitive how to book when it comes to carrying and using the short barrel revolver.

http://www.amazon.com/Snubby-Revolver-Backup-Concealed-Standard/dp/1581603827

oldfool
July 17, 2011, 03:00 PM
"but it has about as much to do with the question as the top speed of a pickup truck."

yep
that one made me smile :)

Hondo 60
July 17, 2011, 08:34 PM
My guess is, that the author changed his grip somewhat with the rubber vs the wooden stocks and that threw his aim off a bit.

HankB
July 17, 2011, 09:05 PM
Grips that work for Shooter #1 may not work for Shooter #2, so general statements like "When used with the newer style rubber grips, the guns are less effective for the sake of accuracy when used for point-shooting." are meaningless.

I frequently pocket carry an S&W 340Sc, and I've found that Crimson Trace lasergrips - rubber covered - are an aid to not only point shooting, but training as well. For example, once the laser is properly sighted in, focus on a target at some modest distance, somewhere between 10 and 25 feet. Close your eyes, draw the gun and point it at the target. Then open your eyes, and see where the laser is pointed. Repeat. And repeat. And repeat. (Uhhh . . . usual safety caveats.)

Eventually, you'll find that the gun points very close to where you want the bullet to go; proper alignment will be engraved into your muscle memory.

(Oh, and you DO ultimately have to SHOOT the gun, too; dry fire is good, but live fire is essential.)

RetDep310
July 17, 2011, 10:49 PM
+1 on the book "The Snubby Revolver"...a good read with lots of history and information

Deaf Smith
July 17, 2011, 10:51 PM
Well it depends on:

a) the size and shape of the grips
b) the trigger action (how smooth and light it is.)
c) and what you define as 'point shooting'!

Deaf

Photoman
July 19, 2011, 11:06 PM
Ed's book is an excellent resource for J frame owners. Regarding point shooting and grips, every hand is different. It takes a lot of trial and error to find the grips that will work best for you.

Dr_B
July 19, 2011, 11:29 PM
I shoot high with mine when I use the sights and bisect the target. When I aim with a 6 o' clock hold I usually get hits dead center from about 20 feet. Up close, like within 6 feet of the target, my J-frame groups are small. It does help to grip it high up on the backstrap.

Remllez
July 20, 2011, 07:01 PM
I've always found shooting snubs with two hands to be quite awkward and almost always shoot them one handed. Drawing from a holster and point shooting with one hand at close quarters into a torso board comes relatively quickly with practice.

If you find yourself fighting at contact distances the off hand is better used for defense or manipulation rather than supporting your gun. As someone mentioned already muscle memory and familiarity will serve you well in a self defense situation.

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