Minute of rustler...


December 31, 2012, 09:41 PM
I bought this used 44 Special Colt SAA around 1986 or so. About 10 years ago my wife had the ivory stocks fitted as a BD present. I wanted a 44 Colt after reading Skeeter Skelton's writings but I confess I don't shoot it all that well. Not sure if it's me or if the gun isn't particularly accurate. The group is fairly symmetrical but not very tight. I call it "minute of rustler" at best. The gun is still pretty, though.


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December 31, 2012, 09:58 PM
Well, if that was at 50 yards, it would be braggable. :)

Master Blaster
December 31, 2012, 10:24 PM
Try a dot of white nail polish on the tip of the front sight. Make it easier to get a good sight picture.

January 1, 2013, 12:23 PM
All in the black and you can cover that group with your hand? I find nothing whine-worthy there.

January 1, 2013, 12:55 PM
Beautiful Colt! Those results are not bad at all. Unless you were at 10 yards, that group would satisfy most out there. Could also just be a slight glitch in technique or breathing, or just an off day. I bet if you shot it more often, you'd tighten it up quite a bit.

Ky Larry
January 1, 2013, 01:35 PM
This calls for immediate action. You need to get that Colt to the range and start shooting it on a regular basis. I can almost guarantee you will improve you accuracy. Don't wait. Do it today.

January 1, 2013, 01:42 PM
What makes the SAA difficult for me to shoot well is not the front sight or the notch but the round top of the frame.

January 1, 2013, 01:50 PM
I could live with a grouping like that, especially from such a sweet looking Colt, and in one of my favorite calibers too!

I was roped into the Skeeter Skelton .44 Special cult following quite some years ago and finally got one when I picked up a Ruger Flattop Blackhawk awhile back. Great gun and made even better with American Holly stocks fitted to it, along with matching Ruger medallions. I think Skeeter would have been very pleased with it.

January 1, 2013, 03:12 PM
For me, the problem with an SAA is the dad-gum offcenter trigger.

Master Blaster
January 2, 2013, 08:11 AM
I have a .45 Colt Vaquero, and a blackhawk with adjustible sights. I shoot the blackhawk much better, but when I put a dot of whiteout on the front sight of the vaquero my groups at 50 ft shrunk by half. The sight picture on the SA cowboy style fixed sight guns is awful and that makes your groups open way up.

January 2, 2013, 02:21 PM
How well do you shoot your other guns at the same distance? And just what distance was this target shot?

It can be a few things.

First, of course, is to check the gun itself. Ensure that the chambers are lining up well with the bore when in lockup prior to the hammer dropping. And check for damage or wear at the muzzle crown. Finally check that the chamber throats are not overly small.

If all that is well and good then you get into finding the bullet style and weight which suits this gun the best. If you reload I'd say go with cast bullets and try a variety of charge amounts from mild to top end for .44Spl in increments. Then try it again with a different powder. I do find that lead bullets seem to result in better groups than jacketed in most of my own guns.

Grip and stance is a biggie. The classic SAA is an odd bird to hold for some of us while others seem to find it drops right into the hand in a most natural manner. It sounds as if you may be more like me where "we" have to learn the best grip style.

At this point I tend to shoot all my SA only revolvers one handed since that's how I chose to shoot them in my CAS matches. But when shooting for accurate groups it takes a very consistent hold and trigger finger positioning. My own method is similar to CraigC's pictures posted some time back in a thread where the hand is positioned low enough that the pinky finger sits on the ridge of the butt end or even under the butt end. This puts the web into a position where it's stretched around the back strap at or just a little below the rounded "point" of where the backstrap shape curves around and extends down to the butt.

When held that way the trigger falls naturally under the fold of the last joint and pulls nicely back with no detectable side pressure issues.

Even our stance makes a difference. A long time bullseye shooter got me to angle my body less extremely and assume a more natural stance and angle. My group size immediately dropped by a good 3/4 inch or maybe more at 20 yards. So by some chance if you are shooting with a one hand duelist style stance try altering your angle. His trick was to stand how I wanted then close my eyes and in a relaxed manner raise my arm and point. I then adjusted my body angle until my arm was aimed at the target when I opened my eyes. Shooting from this more "natural" position really made a difference.

January 2, 2013, 09:18 PM
I am not a great marksman. I do better with DA revolvers. This is also a 44 Special.


Not so great with this SAA either.


I think I just don't shoot the SAs too well.

January 2, 2013, 09:30 PM
In general, SAA's have goofy slipping grips, and very slow lock time, with jarring hammer fall compared to a S&W SA/DA.

The heavy standard Colt mainspring can jar the gun off target slightly before the bullet gets out of the barrel.

1. A hard firm consistent grip.
2. Follow-through so you can "Call the Shot" and know exactly where the sights were when the gun went off.
3. And a reduced power mainspring.
(if your Colt still has the stock "two-thumbs to cock" truck lief spring)!

The slightly slower lock time with a lighter spring is more then made up for by less gun movement when the hammer falls.

I can suggest Wolff:

Or Wisners #50982M - MAINSPRING - Medium Tension - 8#.

Oh! One other thng!
If you want to really get down as a hard holding SAA target killer among men?
Blacken the sights with soot from a candle, or match, or *this to stop the glare causing you to look there and hold here when the sun reflects off the front sight and makes it dance around in the rear notch.



Mat, not doormat
January 2, 2013, 09:45 PM
Ideal would be to shoot from a machine rest. Then you could determine whether your issues are rooted in the gun, be it a mechanical issue, or a load/gun mismatch, or in your shooting of the gun.

January 3, 2013, 12:22 AM
Saxon, I think you're simply like me and you need to find the groove for your SA grip.

With S&W DA revolvers I shot better than with semis right from the very first time. And that is still the case. My K frame guns simply make me look really good and did so right from the first shots fired through them.

Such was certainly not the case when I moved on to the "plowshare" gripped SA revolvers. It was a long hard fight of trying this and then that. But when I finally did find what worked for me the guns felt a lot more natural. Or maybe it was simply from holding onto the darn things for so long.... :D In any event I can shoot my SA guns equally as well as my DA guns for the models which are able to match the S&W's for consistency.

Some of the best groups I've shot with any handgun have come from my lowly old scuffed up Ruger Single Six. So it's certainly not any built in inadequicy with the style of grip frame shaping. It's just about us coming to terms with finding the hold which works for us.

So stick with it and try a little of this and a little of that. You'll find your own groove and then you'll be fine.

35 Whelen
January 3, 2013, 12:49 AM
Saxon, it's my understanding that many of the Colts were made with cylinders whose diameter at the business end was less than the groove diameter of the barrel. This is bad news for cast bullets, if that happens to be what you're shooting. So you might want to check that.

I have a couple of Uberti .44 Specials and have been working with the 4 3/4" one a lot lately. 5.5 grs. of Bullseye and a 250 gr. Keith SWC I cast out of WW's groups 1 1/2" - 2" at 25 yds. Other loads with the same bullet at anywhere from 850 to a little over 1050 fps run anywhere from 2" -3".


January 3, 2013, 08:11 PM
I love SAAs, but I hate how the hammer obscures the sights after it drops; it makes it tough for me to follow through on the shot. That's why the Powder Gods bestowed the Bisley hammer upon us unworthy mortals.

January 4, 2013, 03:17 PM
My most accurate single action is my Ruger Vaquero in .45LC. The gun points very naturally for me and is as accurate with factory ammo as it is with reloads.

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