advice on scoped hanguns


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gspn
August 21, 2014, 03:00 PM
I'm just now getting into shooting scoped handguns. I was surprised by how difficult it is to get the crosshairs steady even when using sandbags.

At 100 yards, with the scope on 8x, using sandbags, I still had a lot of side-to-side wiggle.

Are there techniques I should know about shooting scoped handguns as I begin this journey? I understand that higher magnification will lead to more perceived wobble. I'm trying to see if there are things I should be doing, and things I shouldn't be doing as I start this learning process...basically trying to avoid learning bad habits.

thanks.

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Blue68f100
August 21, 2014, 03:39 PM
I don't know how your setting up your bags, but it can make a difference. When I was shooting a scoped pistol I supported the barrel and had bags the help support the wrist and forearms. This was the only way I could get a steady/wobble free view. And yes, as the magnification goes up it magnifies the movement.

Ranger Roberts
August 21, 2014, 03:53 PM
I shot my first chrono with a scoped handgun... the memories... :uhoh:

Beware, if you rest the frame or the barrel on the sandbags you'll probably burn the bags, at least someone burnt mine with one of my .44's (don't ask who).

I also just hold the revolver in a two hand grip and use the sandbag as a support for my wrists. Not sure if it is the correct technique but it works really well for me.

gspn
August 21, 2014, 04:29 PM
I shot my first chrono with a scoped handgun... the memories... :uhoh:



I don't care who you are...that's funny!

I had the frame pushed into the bags...the barrel not touching anything. I also supported the butt of the gun with a pad to help keep things aligned with minimal input from me.

Patocazador
August 21, 2014, 05:04 PM
"At 100 yards, with the scope on 8x, using sandbags, I still had a lot of side-to-side wiggle. "

First of all turn your scope down to the lowest setting and start out at 50 yards. Things will get easier immediately. You will still wobble but you'll be able to work with it better. After a couple of boxes shot then turn your scope up only enough to have a good sight picture. It will not wobble more but will seem like it because it is magnified.
When you are real good at 50, then you can increase your range.

Have fun.

Grumulkin
August 21, 2014, 09:26 PM
I'm just now getting into shooting scoped handguns. I was surprised by how difficult it is to get the crosshairs steady even when using sandbags.

At 100 yards, with the scope on 8x, using sandbags, I still had a lot of side-to-side wiggle.

Are there techniques I should know about shooting scoped handguns as I begin this journey? I understand that higher magnification will lead to more perceived wobble. I'm trying to see if there are things I should be doing, and things I shouldn't be doing as I start this learning process...basically trying to avoid learning bad habits.

Take heart, when I first started shooting scoped handgun, I also had a bit of trouble with the limited field of view and the "wiggle."

I would advise you not to turn the power down for bench rest shooting. The apparent wiggle will be less but it's just an illusion; the gun is moving just as much. If you stay at the higher power, you'll learn what you need to do to hold the gun still.

For shooting scoped Encores and Contenders, I rest the forarm on a sandbag. I have a rear rabbit ear sandbag I use for the grip. By applying different amounts of pressure to the rear bag, you can make small adjustments in the point of aim. One of the X bags will work as well.

I have no scoped revolvers but use a similar technique and rest the part of the revolver forward of the cylinger on the front bag. Don't put your hand by the cylinder when shooting a high powered revolver or you may be wounded. The blast will also tear a hole in a sandbag if it gets in the way if you shooting something like a 500 S&W Magnum.

http://www.orchardphoto.com/h5uz278.jpg

A less than 1.5 inch group shot at 200 yards with an unbraked scoped 444 Marlin Encore handgun.

BigBore44
August 22, 2014, 02:34 AM
^^Now that's some good shooting. You definitely found the load that Contender likes.

Patocazador
August 22, 2014, 01:48 PM
gspn: I assumed you were hunting with the pistol as the only reason I use a bench is to develop loads and sight in the gun.

If you are only bench shooting, do whatever a bench shooter advises. If you are hunting, turn your scope down. Deer are big and so is their kill zone. You just have to keep the crosshairs in the kill zone, not in one spot.

Grumulkin
August 22, 2014, 02:38 PM
Bob, you're right. There is a difference between bench rest shooting and hunting. In taking bunches of animals with a scoped handgun, I turned the scope power down once. That was on a Springbok I took at maybe 15 yards.

If you think you can use a scoped handgun for hunting without a good rest, I think you're kidding yourself unless the range is very short. In that regard, hunting is much like bench rest shooting.

gspn
August 22, 2014, 09:10 PM
gspn: I assumed you were hunting with the pistol as the only reason I use a bench is to develop loads and sight in the gun.

If you are only bench shooting, do whatever a bench shooter advises. If you are hunting, turn your scope down. Deer are big and so is their kill zone. You just have to keep the crosshairs in the kill zone, not in one spot.
I plan to hunt with the gun...I just got it and was doing some familiarization firing from the bench.

I've hunted deer with bow, muzzle loader, and rifle for years and years...figured I'd try pistol next. Just starting the process...need lots of time on the range, then time to figure out and perfect field firing positions that might work. I have a set of shooting sticks I use with my rifle when stalking...I imagine I'll incorporate them into the plan.

SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE
August 22, 2014, 09:21 PM
When practicing for hunting , I shoot either off of sticks and sling or with sling only , My scope is 2 power ! Ruger SRH 454 casull . in the picture attached I have a red dot on the gun ! Kevin 201907

osprey176
August 23, 2014, 12:31 AM
Think about a trigger job on your chosen handgun.Being able to touch the shot without moving your sights is pretty important. I set the forearm(Contender) and grip on bags,but I also try to rest my forearms on rolled up towels keep them from moving. Shooting a scoped handgun well takes a lot of practice,so don't get discouraged if it doesn't go well the first time out. You don't have to use paper targets each time either. Set clay birds and empty shotgun shells at your backstop.If you are using a revolver,pick up a one to two foot square piece of thick leather,and use it on top of your knees to practice shooting with your back leaning against a fence post,stump,truck tire,etc. Lay it over your sandbags to reduce flame cutting.Keep practicing,you will get better with time.

Steve in PA
August 23, 2014, 12:53 AM
The wiggle you see when cranked up to 8x is still there at 1x. The wiggle is just magnified.

Shoot at closer distances and lower magnification until you get a hand on things.

I shoot several scoped handguns at 100 yards using a rest. These are for sighting in purposes. When hunting, I'll shoot from a braced position or use a shooting stick for support. My longest shot to date was on a doe at about 75 yards.

Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/IMAG0417_zps73d628fb.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/Steve_in_PA/media/Guns/IMAG0417_zps73d628fb.jpg.html)

T/C Contender in 7-30 Waters
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/IMAG0733_zpsf43a8155.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/Steve_in_PA/media/Guns/IMAG0733_zpsf43a8155.jpg.html)

T/C Contender in .223
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/IMAG0717_zps8f2c2c1e.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/Steve_in_PA/media/Guns/IMAG0717_zps8f2c2c1e.jpg.html)

Grumulkin
August 23, 2014, 05:38 AM
The wiggle you see when cranked up to 8x is still there at 1x. The wiggle is just magnified.

Shoot at closer distances and lower magnification until you get a hand on things.

I shoot several scoped handguns at 100 yards using a rest. These are for sighting in purposes. When hunting, I'll shoot from a braced position or use a shooting stick for support. My longest shot to date was on a doe at about 75 yards.

Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/IMAG0417_zps73d628fb.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/Steve_in_PA/media/Guns/IMAG0417_zps73d628fb.jpg.html)

T/C Contender in 7-30 Waters
http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d159/Steve_in_PA/Guns/IMAG0733_zpsf43a8155.jpg (http://s35.photobucket.com/user/Steve_in_PA/media/Guns/IMAG0733_zpsf43a8155.jpg.html)

You know Steve, you apparently shoot from the bench just like I do. Believe it or not, my front and rear bags look EXACTLY the same as yours and the front rest that holds the front bag is also orange and of pretty much the same construction. For what it's worth, I bought mine in West Virginia back in the early 1980s.

gspn
August 23, 2014, 01:06 PM
Thanks to all for the insights and suggestions. They've been very helpful.

jmorris
August 24, 2014, 12:41 AM
If its not a rimfire, dry fire practice. If it is a rimfire, dry fire practice with something that won't dent the rim of the chamber.

If the crosshairs move when you drop the hammer, keep practicing.

Sav .250
August 24, 2014, 08:52 AM
Why not back up on your yardage ? Get comfortable on shorter yardage ,then work your way up.

If, as you say, "your just getting back into.............." more practice at shorter ranges would be beneficial .

flipajig
August 26, 2014, 04:02 PM
I agree with most of what has been said. On thing I'll add is pratice and pratice some more and when you think your good enough pratice some more. And when you can hit a 10" paper plate every time not just once or twice but every time that is your max range.
I shoot a Contender in several calibers and several open sight Black Hawks. I have found that lots of trigger time your accuracy will improve.
The day I was able to shoot a 1/2" group at 100 yards was the day I walked on water.
So far I've been able to do it 4 times sence that day.

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