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Let's put it to a vote ... which way are the barrels pointing relative to the sights?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MCMXI, Nov 29, 2010.

?

When held the right way up, and with the sights aligned with the target ...

  1. The barrels point at the point of aim i.e. they're parallel with the top of the sights

    4.7%
  2. The barrels point below the point of aim

    68.2%
  3. The barrels point above the point of aim

    27.1%
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  1. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    The question of point of aim (POA) vs. point of impact (POI) with regards to handguns comes up regularly. Recoil affects the muzzle during firing and if you consider that a revolver with a sight radius of approximately 4-1/2" will shoot 6" higher at 15 yards with only 0.053" of recoil induced muzzle rise, is it any wonder that handgun manufacturers have to account for this. If you have the time and if you're remotely interested and particularly if you've read THIS thread, which way are the barrels pointing relative to the top of the sights. I'm showing one adjustable sight model and two fixed sight models. The adjustable sight model is held such that the rear sight isn't compressed. There are three options and don't forget that the revolvers are upside down (this wouldn't be a problem for Bob Munden but that's not how most of us shoot our handguns).

    When held the right way up and if the sights are aligned with the target ...

    The barrels and the top of the sights are PARALLEL (barrels are pointing at the point of aim)
    The barrels are pointing ABOVE the point of aim
    The barrels are pointing BELOW the point of aim

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    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I might suggest that you flip the pictures, because their orientation might throw some folks off.

    This will be in interesting poll to follow as it has never occurred to me that there was a question as to the relationship between the bore line and the sight line
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Barrels are pointing below point of aim.

    In most, but not all handguns, the gun is in recoil with the barrel rising as the bullet leaves the muzzle. That means to get a hit, the barrel must be pointing below the intended point of impact at the instant the hammer falls.
     
  4. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Good idea!!

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  5. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    This S&W 629 (used and abused) is not included in the poll but I figured I'd add it anyway to show another model from a different manufacturer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Well of course the barrels have to point down. All handguns lift the muzzle to some extent before the bullet leaves the barrel and the sights need to take this into account.

    I know this is a revolver forum but if you were to do this with a semi auto and had a bore size dowel pushed into the barrel the dowel would be angled down much like the revolver barrels.

    The only time a barrel may be parallel or angled up would be for short range shooting of a gun that has a significant amount of distance between the center of the muzzle and the sights. An example of this would be the new Chiappa Rhino when sighted in for fairly close range. Even then I'm not sure if it would come up past parallel or not.

    It's also interesting to note that the snub nose Ruger with the short barrel and rated for shooting the fastest ammo of the lot has a very shallow angle where the barrel is just about parallel to the sight's top line. That would reflect short time the bullet spends in the barrel of this gun due to the barrel length and velocity compared to the other examples.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Voted.

    How about a hard question next time. :)
     
  8. RevolvingGarbage

    RevolvingGarbage Member

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    Rg40 .38spl
    [​IMG]
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  9. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Sorry, but before voting, I will say that this question should be so self-evident that the poll results should be 100% to zero.
    Not only is it intuitively apparent, but your pics provide sufficient visual evidence that I must honestly wonder at the reasoning behind the question.

    Unless you are looking for someone to come up with some inverted-rainbow barrelled weapon or gravity-defying bullet... or you are doing a "dolt check"... which isn't exactly sporting (IMHO).

    Maybe I'm missing something obvious and I'm the dolt...:confused:
     
  10. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    If you look at the thread that I linked to in the first post, it should be obvious as to why I made this poll. I wanted to get an idea as to how many "flat-eathers" there are out there. Seems like there's a bunch.

    By the way, that USFA Rodeo shown above from www.longhunt.com shoots to POA at 25 yards using a 200gr bullet and 6.0gr of Trail Boss powder.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    OK...now I want to know who the 2 folks are that voted that the bore line is above the sight line :p

    I will admit to being surprised when I first found out that the 1911, with the slide locked forward, had the barrel locked at a downward angle at the front...the chamber/barrel hood is higher than the muzzle
     
  12. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    The poll is public and now there are 3 members who think that the barrels are pointing up relative to the sights ... hmmm.

    RevolvingGarbage, thanks for taking the time to present another manufacturer and model.
     
  13. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Semi-autos can be misleading in this regard and it's easier to show the discrepancy between the sights and the barrel with a revolver. I'll admit that until fairly recently I'd never given a thought to the relationship between the barrel and sights. All I cared about was hitting the target. BCRider makes a very good point about the 3" GP100 chambered for a fast .357 Mag.
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    I'd like to hear the reasoning of some folks who voted that the bore line is above the sight line.

    Honestly, I would. Being an instructor, I'm interested in how people with differing views see things...otherwise I wouldn't be able to address their perceptions. I've actually heard a logical reason from a student for inserting rounds backwards in magazines....it put the famous H&K ad in a whole different light
     
  15. Norrick

    Norrick Member

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    Would have never guessed.

    I just assumed the bore would be pointed above point of aim to compensate for the fact that a bullet is falling due to gravity as soon as it exits the barrel. By the time it reaches the target the initial point of aim (of the sights) and point of impact of the projectile would coincide. This was my rationale.

    I'm still scratching my head because if you watch slow motion videos of bullets in flight, the amount of motion a gun experiences before a bullet exits the barrel is almost negligible. The bullet is seemingly out of the barrel before the gun even appears to experience any significant muzzle rise:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s37ZTy4hLUU&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5PHkv3f-9U

    I am guessing the effect is less pronounced on an autoloader.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  16. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Barrel points above point of aim;

    Say a gun is sighted for 25 yards. Put it in a vise and level sights at target 10 yards away. Bullet will hit HIGH at 10 yard target. The sights are set to compensate for drop due to gravity at 25 yards (i.e. the barrel angles above the sights) and it doesn't drop that far by 10 yards. Recoil has nothing to do with it; the bullet has already left before the muzzle begins to flip up, revolver or autoloader.
     
  17. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    I reckon I'm a flat-earther. You will also notice that the big bores and hard kickers will have taller front sights than say, .357's. You will also notice that shorter barrels usually need taller front sights than longer ones. The conventional wisdom, purported by folks far more knowledgeable than myself, holds true. Despite what 'some' folks may think.

    "For a given velocity, heavier bullets will print higher than lighter bullets; for a given bullet weight, lower velocities will print higher than higher velocities."

    And of course there are always exceptions....obviously.
     
  18. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Just looking at it from Newton's Laws of Motion, wouldn't the gun start moving to the rear as soon as the bullet started to move forward?

    Since the bore, and hence the direction of the rearward force is above the pivot point (gripping hand) in a revolver, wouldn't the barrel be levered in an upward arc?

    How would you dissociate your statement with that of the pictures posted above showing the bore line obviously pointing at a downward angle compared to the alignment of the sights on a flat surface.

    Are you saying that the bore line isn't cut concentrically with the barrel or that there is some optical illusion to what we appear to be seeing?
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    For a rifle that is usually correct, especially for scoped rifles, assuming it's sighted in at a reasonable yardage, but we are talking pistols at relatively close range.

    The barrel is rising before the bullet exits. Not guesswork, simple fact.
     
  20. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Right; and one proof of this is that a HEAVIER bullet fired at the same velocity as a LIGHTER bullet from the same handgun will impact HIGHER than the lighter bullet at normal handgun distances--because the greater energy required to overcome the heavier bullet's larger inertia causes the barrel to rise more BEFORE the bullet exits. I remember how befuddled I was by this phenomenon when I first encountered it years ago--because I was expecting gravity to be the force at work. Internal ballistics, the instructor said. Neato.

    But this is also right:
    IF you mean that the bullet is falling relative to the trajectory at which it leaves the barrel--which has risen during the bullet's travel down its length.
     
  21. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    How can you make that statement based on the photos above? :confused: How can eight other members agree with you based on the photos above? :confused::confused: I honestly wasn't expecting 15% of the votes to be in favor of "the barrel is pointing above the point of aim." :what:
     
  22. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Prophetic words indeed ...
     
  23. Red Cent

    Red Cent Member

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    Handgun did not occur to me. My first instinct ws scope. Above POA
     
  24. Monster Zero

    Monster Zero Member

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    Why the poll?

    It's just a plain ol' fact that the barrel points below the point of aim of the sights. Not a matter of opinion, like "what's your favorite revolver", etc.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It's kind of like asking us to vote whether Pi should be 3.0 or 3.14.
     
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