Quantcast

Please explain to me how to use J frame sights

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by jon86, Jun 27, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jon86

    jon86 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    812
    I have a smith and wesson 638. I would not be comfortable shooting it past 15 yards. If I shoot at 15 yards (offhand, staging DA trigger or single action) I can make 5 shot groups that are about 3-4 inches. However, these groups are always about a foot high. I want some advice on what to line up with what as far as height on j frame sights. I WANT to be comfortable shooting it out to 25 yards. If you look down that groove, there is a lot going on. Please don't respond with "this is a 5 yard gun, bla bla bla." I want it to be more than a 5 yard gun. I know some people can do it, and I'm willing to practice a lot with it. Thanks!
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    15,315
    Location:
    Happy Valley, UT
    Have you tried some different ammo? Far as the sights go, treat them like any square notched iron sights. Center the front sight post, and make sure the top of the front sight is flat across the top of the rear sight. If it is, try a 6-o'clock hold on your next targets.
     
  3. Remllez

    Remllez Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
    Messages:
    980
    I believe snub guns are regulated to shoot 158 grain slugs to POA at 25 yards. If you are already using those heavier slugs and shooting that high you will have to either lessen the front sight that appears to you or shoot to a lower than 6 o'clock hold, the former being easier to regulate.

    4 inch groups at 15 yards is pretty good shooting. I always suggest having a known good shooter shoot your gun so you have an unbiased point of reference before making too many changes. I'm not doubting your skills but it can be very helpful having a second opinion. I hope this helps you figure out what's going on with your gun.
     
  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Messages:
    5,604
    i don't know your background but a common mistake made by many starting to shoot a small revolver is holding the front sight way too high. There is something to do before you go filing down sights. Have one, or better two people, who shoota small revolver well to shoot the gun with the same ammo you've been shooting. If they are dead on its you, if they are a foot high its the sight. If you do file down the front sight do it at the range a bit at a time. What you file off you can't put back on.

    Please don't respond with "this is a 5 yard gun, bla bla bla."

    You won't hear this from me. I used to plink at metal targets at 100 yds with a Model 60, 640, and a Taurus 85. After one or two sighter shots iwas hitting them consistently.
     
  5. GGF

    GGF Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    I believe the advice of using 158gr ammo is the right answer for your question.
    I own a few J frame revolvers and have never had to file on the sights to get them to point of aim.
    Try different weight bullets until you get the results you desire, you get to shoot your revolver more to boot!
    Good luck and give us a report on how it works out.

    GGF
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,329
    Location:
    northern california
    Thank you for providing the range you are shooting at...a foot high at that range is quite a bit.

    Which bullet weight are you using and which loads?

    I can highly recommend the Speer 135gr +P Gold Dots. Lighter and fast bullet/load combinations has a tendency to hit lower.

    Don't let anyone keep you from working your way out to 25 yards. We used to do it all the time in PPC competition:
    1. Make sure there is equal light, coming through the rear notch, on either side of the front blade

    2. Insure that the top of the front sight is level with the ears on either side of the rear notch.

    I'm not sure from your description, but if you are seeing "a lot going on" in the groove in the top strap, you're holding the front sight too high in the notch. When correctly aligned, all you'll see is the front blade in the rear notch.

    3. Try shooting DA without staging the trigger stroke
     
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2005
    Messages:
    26,294
    Location:
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Shooting a foot high with 125 grainers and you load 158s in it, it'll be shooting even higher, usually. Go lighter to bring the groups down. Last resort, you can adjust your sight picture. 5" at 15, probably too high for just holding the target for a "fine bead" AKA target sight picture vs combat sight picture. Target sight pic is where you put the blade BELOW the bull. Combat is where you cut the bull with the front sight blade.

    My Ruger Old Army has adjustables. However, those guns are notorious for shooting way high. I have it adjusted to the bottom of its adjustment and it's still high. It's so high, I have to put the top of the front sight blade in the bottom of the notch and hold the top of the rear notch where I wanna shoot, if that makes sense. It's effed up IMHO, but hey, the gun is accurate and dead on that way. Shy of having a taller front sight blade installed, this is what i have to do with that gun.

    Of course, your gun is NOT sight adjustable and you have what you have, so you're just going to have to adjust your sight picture if you can't find a load that shoots POA. Nature of the beast.

    I have a Taurus 85SSUL which I did not like the shiney stainless front sight on. It shot pretty close to POA, but I wanted a different sight. 80 bucks to a gunsmith out in Florida (don't remember the name/details) and I had a black front sight dovetail installed and it's adjustable for windage. I filed the sight down for proper elevation. Funny thing, that gun is dead on with 158 +P AND light wadcutters. I'm not saying you should go to this extreme, but I hit dead on and can shoot even out to 100 yards pretty well with that gun, good enough to ring a 14" gong 3 out of 5 if I eat my cherrios, at that range. I hold the front sight high when doing that, hold over at 100 yards being required. It's not practical for self defense practice, but I just like plinkin' with the little fart and my reloads aren't much more expensive than .22LR since I cast my own of free lead. And, hell, ya never know for sure if you'll wind up having to engage a target at extreme range. If it ever happens, I'm ready. It's 3" at 25 yards accurate off the bench.

    There is nothing written that you cannot shoot a snubby at 25 or any other yards. There's no law against it. Ignore those "experts" that say it's a "belly gun" and not accurate enough beyond 3 yards or some other BS. These guns are fun plinkers and the more you shoot 'em, the more used to 'em you get. That's a good thing in a carry gun IMHO. Life is SO boring just shooting paper at 3 and 7 yards. BOOOOORING. I like to hear steel go "clang" when I shoot. :D We have falling plates and pepper poppers and hanging gongs and such at our club range, most of the members being plinkers like me. :D I do enough serious practice at close range in the mean time. But, that's not the only shooting I do by a stretch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011
  8. moxie

    moxie Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,069
    Location:
    Erath Co., TX
    Use a round with a lighter bullet, such as the Rem. Golden Saber 125 BJHP. Use a "6-o-clock" hold, in other words, aim at the bottom-most part of the target you want to hit, father than the center.
     
  9. Skidawg

    Skidawg Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    38
    J frame sights

    I am a believer in practice, practice, practice, and have found the best means of ensuring accuracy with a J-frame snubbie to be crimson trace laser sights. Learn your triger (DA) and keep your ammo consistent once you find one you (and your pistol) like.
     
  10. tpelle

    tpelle Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Messages:
    454
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky
    Also note that filing down the front sight will make the gun shoot even higher. To lower the point of impact you would need a higher front sight. Remember: FORS = Front Opposite, Rear Same.
     
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,848
    "Go lighter to bring the groups down"

    Not true. There are exceptions, but in most cases a revolver will shoot lower with a lighter, faster bullet. The reason is barrel time. Recoil begins when the bullet moves, and the gun is recoiling while the bullet is still in the barrel. The longer time it takes to exit the barrel, the higher the gun is pointing when it does.

    Two other notes; do not rest any part of the gun on a bench or anything solid, and watch your grip. The light J frames are very sensitive to the way they are held.

    Remillez is correct on the ammo the gun is regulated for, and I sure agree about practice.

    I do consider the J frame rear notch too shallow, but I can use it OK.

    Jim
     
  12. jon86

    jon86 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    812
    YES. I'm holding the front sight too high in the notch. I need to go back to the range. Thank you for all of the responses! I'm gonna update this thread after I go to the range. Thanks!
     
  13. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,295
    Location:
    Alabama
    Try changing your sight picture you use at these longer ranges.
     
  14. SAA

    SAA Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    171
    Sounds like the same thing to me.
     
  15. Hammerogod

    Hammerogod Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    In The Rio Grande Valley
    My personal experience with a S&W 642 "Snubby".

    Bright Orange Fingernail Polish On The Front Sight = About 40% smaller spread at 20yds.
    (20yds being the max effective range for an old duffer like me with a 'Snubby'...and I think 20yds is POA with the 642)

    I have been told that Bright Green on the rear sights will also help but my hands are not steady enough to avoid making a mess...the rear sights are kinda embedded (set forward as an integral part of the top strap) and hard to reach.
    I may get my GF to do it for me...women know about Fingernail Polish.

    Anyway...it sure helped me.
    You don't have to get anything special...Walmart sells a long lasting REALLY bright polish and if you use some care you can do it with one try..I did.
     
  16. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,818
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    The J frames are definately NOT merely 5 yard revolvers! In PPC we routinely competed with them out to 50 yards and several of us practiced at further distances. The key is practice.
     
  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Messages:
    11,593
    Location:
    TN
    I consider all of the fixed-sight light weight J-frames 15 yd guns. Paint the front sight. I have little interest shooting them at longer distances unless it is just to plink and see where I hit. I usually shoot my M442 at 7-10 yds. But as StawHat said, you have to practice.. a lot. It's certainly possible to shoot them effectively at longer ranges.

    I shoot other handguns at longer distances. But honestly, I shoot most of them out to about 15-25 yards most of the time. My hunting revolvers get shot out to 100 yds. I'm not trying to win any contests. The 22's get shot the most. I have been moving more toward rimfire rifle shooting the last couple of years as my dominant form of shooting.
     
  18. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,442
    Location:
    Indiana
    I use 110 grain DPX in my 642 and it hit about 2 inches high at 15 yards. I agree with those who say have a few other folks shoot it and see how it does for them. If it still shoot very high I would seriously consider having the fixed blade milled off and a dovetail cut. You can then buy the correct height sight for your gun. I am thinking of having this done to my 642 so I can use a fiber optic front sight.
     
  19. gotigers

    gotigers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,424
    With my 642 I aim just like any target sight i have. The tops of the sights are flush across the top and i aim POA/POI. It hits closer to 6 o'clock drop out to 15-20 yards.
     
  20. doc.lonestar

    doc.lonestar Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    TEXAS
    I agree with the post about snubbie shooters - I had to retrain my mind for the snubbie channel vs the traditional 3dots

    I found that if I focused on the mechanics of it until I had it down to center punch on a B27 target at 3/7 yards and then pushed out to 15. By the time I hit the 15 yard mark I was still punching out the center. It took me some time on the range that day but now have zero issues repeating the performance. I would not start shaving down your front sight post until youve put in some time on the mechanics.
     
  21. k9stang

    k9stang Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    S. IN
    I find that my grip causes me to shoot high. I have to hold lower on th grips to make it hit poa. It doesn't seem to make a big difference what the bullet wieght is if my grip is wrong.
     
  22. camsdaddy

    camsdaddy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    Messages:
    708
    Location:
    Georgia
    I find I shoot the 110 Hornady CD a little low at 10 yrds. I need to try some different loads. I do find them as accurate as anything I have shot from it. Rather than trying to file just yet. I have painted my front site about 3/4 of the way up and hopefully this will raise my POI. I would love to have to use a 6 o clock hold. I just like being able to see the target. Of course I am begining to get the hang of holding on target.
     
  23. TonyT

    TonyT Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,352
    Location:
    Michigan
    Those snubie revolvers are not a 25 yard guns! They were designed for close up and personnal defense in the up to 10 yard range.
    If you want something to use out to 25 yars you will have to use at least a 4inch barreled gun, preferably with adjustable sights.
     
  24. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,818
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Sorry TonyT, jsut because they are designed for one thing does not mean that is all they can be used for. We regularly used the S&W M36 out to 50 yards and beyond. They are accurate at those ranges if you know how to handle them. Would I prefer them for long range? Not really, but I can use them if need be.

    Heck, handguns were not designed for hunting but I am glad folks like Keith and others ignored that rule!

    You cannot discover distant lands if you are afraid to lose sight of your own house.
     
  25. SFsc616171

    SFsc616171 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    213
    With the Colt .45 SAA, a piece of advice was: "Aim for the gut to hit the heart." I think you are, as I catch myself doing, 'putting the autoloader's front sight picture', on this revolver." Since most autoloaders have different bullet trajectories than do revolvers, it is easy to get off-target, when becoming acquainted with a revolver, after owning a semi-auto. That means putting the front sight center of round target, instead of bottom of round target. I quote somebody, on one of the myriad gun boards: "If ya hit 'em between the shirt pockets, ya did good!"
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice