Percussion Wheel Gun Accuracy

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Malamute

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Practiced shooters would say the distance is helpful in one regard. Taking and returning fire at 10 yards is very different from a hundred.

Thats taking the comment somewhat out of context, it was a reply to someone mentioning "plugging in the numbers" which in most longer distance shooting and iron sights are used is irrelevant. Yes, theres some drop to account for, though not as much as most assume. Actually doing it is the best way to have successful results. I have absolutely zero idea what drop figures are for any handgun i shoot regularly at distances from 10 yards to 300+, and any point in between, nor is it really useful in the way I use the sights, but can generally hit or be very close first round.

Most that actually shoot 100 yards find that if they aim with the sight even across the top (normal sight picture) as most do for closer distance, then a shoulder level hold keeps the hits in a usable area of the intended target, if one is talking defensive use. Using a better sight hold, such as letting a sliver of front sight sit above the rear and keeping the front sight/target relationship the same, will generally give better results. And that sliver is very small at 100. Hitting with a pistol at 100 yards isnt very difficult. Hitting rabbits and prairie dogs at 80-90 yards isnt very difficult with some practice and experience.

This brings us back to how we understand "practiced shooters" If they havent shot distance much, even 100 yards, its a new game. I know of very good trap shooters that were horrified when they first shot sporting clays because of their poor scores. Doing one similar thing doesnt infer capabilities with another thing one hasnt done much or at all. After doing it a bit, scores went up dramatically, but theres somewhat of a learning curve.
 

Malamute

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Elmer Keith told me years ago if you master long range handgun accuracy will have no issues with short range accuracy,
I've personally found that anyone with good eyesight using a rifled flint & percussion black powder handguns with fast twist rifling can consistently hit targets out to 200+ yds when with open sights. I limit my handgun range to 75 yds when bringing a deer down with open sights.

Agree. It almost seems like cheating to shoot close up after shooting longer distance and getting the feel for it. Same with shooting primarily one handed, then using two, it seems like cheating, though Im happy to take that advantage whenever Im able for field shooting.

The small optical device that attches to shooting glasses with the adjustable aperture help sharpen vision dramatically if one has trouble seeing the sights and target at longer distances. ive used the merit with good results, theres probably others, or one can experiment and find the right size hole for their use and achieve similar results with tape or whatever.
 

M. De Land

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The numbers arent really that important in longer distance open sight pistol shooting, its more trial and error, knowing how much sliver of front sight to hold up above the rear sight at various ranges. I told a friend with a new pistol exactly what my hold was on the 300 yard plate with the g19, she was able to hit it with her new g20 in the first load-up without much drama. The hold, BTW, is the target plate split in half horizontally by the top of the front sight, the rear sight dropped down so its top edge is about 2/3 down the dot in the front sight, then squeeze..... Much less than most assume, and I have no idea whatsover what any numbers may indicate as to drop etc. More sleek bullets shoot a tiny bit flatter, more blunt or flatter nose ones require a touch more sight held above the rear. The difference is often very little, but discernable and repeatable with prectice and experience. "Educated guess" probably best describes the practice of iron sighted pistol shooting at distance.

Taller sights help with holding on longer distances, but its possible to get a sight picture even with some barrel showing above the rear sight. Some of the original and repro Dragoons had 3 leaf sights on the barrel, but the repro makers havent done them in a long time. It would be fun to have a 3 leaf sight on a Dragoon and see how that affects hold at longer distances, like 300 yards. Dixie used to seel the sight, then were out of stock....then they disappeared from their catalog. I was intending to order one or more and regret not. I had one in the 90s that i found in a parts box at a gun show and gave it to a guy building a project gun thinking I could get another, I havent seen one since.

Its all relative. Its not that difficult to shoot passably well with a pistol with some practice and understanding the best way to use the sights.

Agreed, after seeing the first few rounds go wild when first trying longer range shooting, you double down on the basics, and things begin to pick up. Ive seen it many times when showing it to people trying for the first time. Ive seen people baiscally say it cant be done, then see it, then try it. So far nobody has said it couldnt be done after seeing and trying it.

As to the last line, yes, it changes the equation some, but if youve done it enough, its not a strange thing, and you can focus on the fundamentals, knowing "Ive done this, I can do this", which is the underlying premise of much training, making it familiar so it comes more easily when needed.
l learned to shoot revolvers using Keith's advise an in every thing I tried that he advocated I found to be true.
One of the front sites he preferred for long distance had three gold bars inlay-ed in the face that he lined up with the flat top of the rear sight, placing the target on top of the front. He tells of finishing off a deer one time at around 600 yards with a four inch .44.
He also advocated sitting down with your back against a tree or rock, drawing up your knees and locking your elbows into the inside of of them which will give you a rock steady shooting platform.
The other position he used was to lay on your side, pull up one knee and shoot from the side of the leg canted at an angle a bit.
I have used both for hunting and long range rock shooting and it really is surprising how accurate one can be with a short gun walking the shots onto target from bullet strike.
 
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I also agree with common sense that a shooters vision & abilities with a handgun decide abilities to shoot accurately with a handgun.
Below is an eyeglass clip-on devise I made to help my then young eyes about 40 years ago from a jeweler's loupe.
I made another for a vintage friend recently from a Jewelers Loupe I bought off Amazon for $6.00. Just need to use the glass lense as a pattern for a black plastic replacement, I use the bottom of a 35mm film canister. For my eyes I drilled an 0.40 dia. hole in the center, you may require a smaller or larger aperture. This device provides my eyes with both a clear sight & target picture at the range & I also wear it hunting as it pivots out of my line of vision when I don't need it.. The clip is very secure & will also work with lefties !!

Yup, I realize there are several other methods to accomplish to correct vision,,, like sticking tape on your lense & trying to remove that gooey mess from a prescription lense when done & can also buy a pricey Merit diopter which I tried, it fell off & was lost at a shooting match.


IMG_0911.JPG
 

Pete453

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l learned to shoot revolvers using Keith's advise an in every thing I tried that he advocated I found to be true.
One of the front sites he preferred for long distance had three gold bars inlay-ed in the face that he lined up with the flat top of the rear sight, placing the target on top of the front. He tells of finishing off a deer one time at around 600 yards with a four inch .44.
He also advocated sitting down with your back against a tree or rock, drawing up your knees and locking your elbows into the inside of of them which will give you a rock steady shooting platform.
The other position he used was to lay on your side, pull up one knee and shoot from the side of the leg canted at an angle a bit.
I have used both for hunting and long range rock shooting and it really is surprising how accurate one can be with a short gun walking the shots onto target from bullet strike.
Ive been doing this for years, it's true. If you believe in yourself and really try, long range accuracy is entirely doable. My Pietta 58 remington, with 35gr 3f, a wad, and .451 ball shoots very well at 200 yds with about ½ the front sight above the rear sight. Once my1860 is sighted in with its conical hunting load, im going to shoot it at 100 and 200 yards to see what it will do.
 

Malamute

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l learned to shoot revolvers using Keith's advise an in every thing I tried that he advocated I found to be true.
One of the front sites he preferred for long distance had three gold bars inlay-ed in the face that he lined up with the flat top of the rear sight, placing the target on top of the front. He tells of finishing off a deer one time at around 600 yards with a four inch .44.
He also advocated sitting down with your back against a tree or rock, drawing up your knees and locking your elbows into the inside of of them which will give you a rock steady shooting platform.
The other position he used was to lay on your side, pull up one knee and shoot from the side of the leg canted at an angle a bit.
I have used both for hunting and long range rock shooting and it really is surprising how accurate one can be with a short gun walking the shots onto target from bullet strike.
I have tried several rest positions he mentioned as well, they are helpful. The red insert front sights can be used similary to the gold bars, as can the dot in some front sights, its just a reference point for a repeatable hold that you use at various distances. Without those extra reference points, youre just using a percentage of the entire blade, (or even blade and part of the base or blade and portion of barrel, as needed) which works, but is not as easy for finer increments of hold.

Keith influenced a fair amount of my choices and experience, I also found his writing quite useful. I acquired a 4" 29 in 1982 which I carried for quite a few years daily, to the point of much of the blue is gone. Its had a hard life, with a lot of outdoors living, sleeping under the stars, out in all weather when i was riding motorcycles, out in snow, and shot a fair amount.

Regarding the rest positions, i think its a good idea to practice with a variety of types of shooting and improvised rests and holding methods, but i also think its important to practice as much off-hand or unsupported shooting as possible, as its the hardest to do well, handgun or rifle. When the chance comes to take a rest in the field, by all means do so, but sometimes we dont get much chance for a shot beyond standing off-hand, and one should be prepared to take it if they are capable.

I put a friend on some deer one time, he wasted time and created much awkward movement trying to get a rest position while the group of deer were nervous and milling, then started leaving, he then badly muffed a rushed and unsupportded relatively close shot and made a bad hit. He never practiced off-hand shooting that I was aware, always rested, and it came back to bite him, as well as the deer. Since then ive practiced the majority of my rifle shooting off-hand as well as most of my pistol shooting and the majority one handed with pistols even at distance. It builds both confidence and ability in case its needed, but it also makes the easier (closer and/or supported) shots seem much simpler.
 

M. De Land

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I have tried several rest positions he mentioned as well, they are helpful. The red insert front sights can be used similary to the gold bars, as can the dot in some front sights, its just a reference point for a repeatable hold that you use at various distances. Without those extra reference points, youre just using a percentage of the entire blade, (or even blade and part of the base or blade and portion of barrel, as needed) which works, but is not as easy for finer increments of hold.

Keith influenced a fair amount of my choices and experience, I also found his writing quite useful. I acquired a 4" 29 in 1982 which I carried for quite a few years daily, to the point of much of the blue is gone. Its had a hard life, with a lot of outdoors living, sleeping under the stars, out in all weather when i was riding motorcycles, out in snow, and shot a fair amount.

Regarding the rest positions, i think its a good idea to practice with a variety of types of shooting and improvised rests and holding methods, but i also think its important to practice as much off-hand or unsupported shooting as possible, as its the hardest to do well, handgun or rifle. When the chance comes to take a rest in the field, by all means do so, but sometimes we dont get much chance for a shot beyond standing off-hand, and one should be prepared to take it if they are capable.

I put a friend on some deer one time, he wasted time and created much awkward movement trying to get a rest position while the group of deer were nervous and milling, then started leaving, he then badly muffed a rushed and unsupportded relatively close shot and made a bad hit. He never practiced off-hand shooting that I was aware, always rested, and it came back to bite him, as well as the deer. Since then ive practiced the majority of my rifle shooting off-hand as well as most of my pistol shooting and the majority one handed with pistols even at distance. It builds both confidence and ability in case its needed, but it also makes the easier (closer and/or supported) shots seem much simpler.
I agree with all that you said even to the choice of wheel guns I carry here in AK. I still use and prefer Keith bullets and his load in my 629 4 inch.
Kieth cut his teeth as a young man listening to the experience of civil war veterans that used the 60's and 58's daily and became very adept at snap shots from horse back at man or beast.
I still remember the story he was told by a retired civil war cavalrymen who was escorting a prisoner back to head quarters and a feral hog ran cross his path and he plugged it behind the ear with a ball from a 60 Colt from horse back. When he got the prisoner delivered he showed him that the hog shot was his last round in the chamber and he had delivered him by bluff. The officer stated that after he saw the shot on the hog he deserted all notion of trying to escape and as far as he knew the gun was still charged.
 

PaulF70

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I finally got around to shooting the Pieta 1858 (6.375" barrel) with .380s. They do shave a ring - great. But proved only marginally more accurate. I'm shooting 4" groups at 50ft with 20 gr of FFFg, a bit worse with 25 gr.

Not happy with that. Don't know if it's me or the gun. I do have a hard time with the sights - they obscure the target.

It also shoots substantially low. Guess I could file the front to fix that.
 
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Fundamentals are the key.....

My first 6 shots with my new Dance Brothers were a foot left of the paper at 50 yards although in a decent group

I tightened up my form, used the pad of my trigger finger , let the shot be a "surprise " like I was trained by salty NCOs in the Army and i hit the paper at 50 with every shot in a cluster of about 8" . With one hand, standing, I'll take it. I'm not a world class pistol shot but I can use the gun as intended

25 yards felt like point blank after that

I don't get the trigger time I used to and shooting is a perishable skill

Sure, I didn't shoot for almost a year, a little while back and I remained "competent" with a firearm but my days of punching the X-ring out with a handgun at 25 are gone, when I was shooting over 1000 rounds per week
 

Pete453

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Not to be a troll, but I think shooting a revolver with a roundball at 200 yards is a waste of powder and lead.
Oh no, not so. Its great fun and is real good practice for refining your trigger squeeze and sight alignment. I find that most that don't believe it can be done don't make the effort to try hard. That's too bad, it really is satisfying to make hits way out there on small targets, and it makes the close shots almost child's play. I encourage you to try it, REALLY TRY. You'll be surprised.
 

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