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Disappointing Afternoon with a Old Friend.

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PastorB

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A few weeks ago, I posted about a couple of old pistol kits I purchased back in the mid 1970's. One is still NIB, a CVA Tower Pistol. The other, a CVA/Jukar .45 Kentucky, I assembled and deliberately made it look rough to give it an antique look. I shot it a lot back in the day, as it was my first handgun of any sort. It was my companion gun for it's bigger brother, the CVA/Jukar .45 Kentucky Rifle I purchased as a kit at the same time. Got several deer with the rifle, and even a couple with the pistol. In the late 1970's I discovered cap and ball revolvers, and my Kentucky Pistol was tossed in a box, and was never seen again until a few weeks ago.

Today I decided to shoot the old pistol, and it was not nearly as fun, nor rewarding as I thought it would be. I shot it pretty well back then (soda cans at 40 yards), but today, from a rest, I was only able to shoot an 8" "group" (more like buckshot pattern) at 50 yards. With a load of 35 grains of Pyro P, the .440 PRB averaged only 1035 fps. My .44 revolvers, with a cylinder gap and the same load, get over 1100fps. Not only that, I shoot better with a hammer for a rear sight than I did with the barrel mounted fixed sights. I know the fault does not lie with the gun, my old eyes are largely to blame, but was hoping for better. The barrel is pristine, bright and shiny. While I love shooting single shot rifles, for me it was anticlimactic to shoot a pistol once and then have to reload. Now I am reminded why I placed the Kentucky Pistol in a box to begin with, and haven't seen it for 45+ years. I guess it is true, you can't go back again, but at least I tried. The Kentucky Pistol will at least now be on display and be a reminder of a better time and less complicated world.
 

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That was my first also. Bought it for $25 when I was 15. My dad and I would go out and learn how to shoot it. Was the first BP for either of us. Looking back now, it was the experience more than the accuracy....I wouldn’t trade that time with my dad. I took it out last spring and shot it again, but like you, I prefer the revolvers.
 
Nick, as a former range safety officer in La Luz, NM, I won't name names of PAID private security guards whose marksmanship was similarly awful. ;)
Back on subject, I bought one of the old CVA/Jukar "derringer" kits nearly 50 years ago, and while the wee beast had a rifled barrel, many of the PRB shots "ginged agley" so to speak.
 
Handguns are Not like rifles. It is completely reasonable to break out your deer rifle once a year and hit what you aim at off the couch. Try that with a pistol and you make a lot of noise and have no idea where the ball even went. I try to shoot several times a week through normal times and then almost every day when a match is coming up. Once Biathlon season starts I will shoot almost every day untill the end of the season.
 
I have three steel targets in my yard at ranges 25yrds to 50 yrds. if i hit all three on the first shot its a 3 shot practice session and great feeling. if I start out with misses we keep working until we get some consistency going.
 
A few weeks ago, I posted about a couple of old pistol kits I purchased back in the mid 1970's. One is still NIB, a CVA Tower Pistol. The other, a CVA/Jukar .45 Kentucky, I assembled and deliberately made it look rough to give it an antique look. I shot it a lot back in the day, as it was my first handgun of any sort. It was my companion gun for it's bigger brother, the CVA/Jukar .45 Kentucky Rifle I purchased as a kit at the same time. Got several deer with the rifle, and even a couple with the pistol. In the late 1970's I discovered cap and ball revolvers, and my Kentucky Pistol was tossed in a box, and was never seen again until a few weeks ago.

Today I decided to shoot the old pistol, and it was not nearly as fun, nor rewarding as I thought it would be. I shot it pretty well back then (soda cans at 40 yards), but today, from a rest, I was only able to shoot an 8" "group" (more like buckshot pattern) at 50 yards. With a load of 35 grains of Pyro P, the .440 PRB averaged only 1035 fps. My .44 revolvers, with a cylinder gap and the same load, get over 1100fps. Not only that, I shoot better with a hammer for a rear sight than I did with the barrel mounted fixed sights. I know the fault does not lie with the gun, my old eyes are largely to blame, but was hoping for better. The barrel is pristine, bright and shiny. While I love shooting single shot rifles, for me it was anticlimactic to shoot a pistol once and then have to reload. Now I am reminded why I placed the Kentucky Pistol in a box to begin with, and haven't seen it for 45+ years. I guess it is true, you can't go back again, but at least I tried. The Kentucky Pistol will at least now be on display and be a reminder of a better time and less complicated world.
I'm still what most on this forum would consider a tenderfoot, late 20s, so I won't pretend to know the challenges our more experienced shooters have with eyesight. But I will share my father's experience. He stopped pistol shooting shortly after he left the Army. Didn't start again till he was in his 50s. At first he was dissapointed that his kids shot circles around him, struggling to group at 7 yards while my sister and I could shoot offhand and hit steel at 100yds with long barrel handguns. Initially he blamed it on his eyes but after about 5 years of practice and some encourgament from his kids, he improved dramatically. Handgun shooting is a perishable skill, especially if it involves a gun with a novel sight system compared to what you are practiced in. Which is all to say, there's no shame if your eyes have betrayed you after a few decades. But don't discount the possibility that you just need to relearn how to shoot your single shot pistols compared to whatever else you've been using.
 
Lost vision in my right eye and was forced to become a left hand shooter. Not an easy transition for me. The best advice I received was to practice intensively with .22 rimfire. The rounds are, relatively, cheap. And developing the skill is not caliber dependent.
 
I have several of those kit pistols, they belonged to and were assembled by my Dad.
I still get them out for a workout on occasion.
I assembled one he still had in the K mart price tagged box, a pepperbox.
Put it together, took it to the range.
First few shots I didn't even hit the target board.
Finally got closer, like 5 yards and could see it was hitting way below point of aim. POA being a relative term with a gun that has no sights.
But it was fun, and in the end that's about all I expect from these once cheap and easy to find gun kits.
I also have the New Orleans Ace. Have shot it several times with better results.
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