What makes a revolver accurate?

  • something I think about a lot... I shoot handguns at all ranges that are reasonable.. 10-125 yards.. I also handload my ammo.. I also have shot plenty of revolvers including gods gift to revolvers the Colt fucking Python.. But day to day? Look.. I have owned dozens of Smith and Wessons and Rugers and Dan Wessons.. I have shot a Korth... I have lots of gunsmith tools.. soo.. This is a subject I have given thought to.


    Ok... the best bar none.. The Dan Wessons of old.. not shot new ones.. but they are great. barrel tensioned at both ends. HIGH quality machining.


    Ruger... spotty at best.. I know.. don't get mad till you run some gauges through one. some are great.. most? not worth a fuck tolerance wise.


    Smith and Wessons... Ok.. less spotty than a Ruger but? several decades of drunks building em for a brit company. Colts? well.. there are none unless they are old and they are excellent.


    Soooooo Smith.. they use laser cut rifling now.. new tooling.. I was skeptical. But the bore is smooth.. the chambers are ............perfect on my 629.. when I say perfect I mean perfect. This gun shot great right out of the box with several load that I make and have proven to shoot well in 44 mag.


    Ramp.. red dot front sight.. no goochie for shit.... young eyes may like it... rubber grips? bullshit.. Ok.. this gun.. I converted the sights to night sights but the most important thing is ... SIGHT PICTURE if you do not have a nice clear one? you are fucked.. Patridge is the hot setup.. the sun does not blur it.. Handloads... cast lead.. for expense and accuracy.. 10 different loads till one works. These are semi hot loads.. 255 cast flat nose at 1275 FPS take anything down. inch and a half at 25 yards easy. Grips.........Rosewood for... well.. looks.. and shape for working..... Polished stainless cause I like the look of nickle.. no increase in anything but bragging rights.. trigger... this is important. I did nothing but smooth some obvious burrs.. 2 lbs single action but only down from 3 lb factory.. not a big factor?


    Soooo we shot yesterday.. we had sodas spread from 30-100 yards.. I told everyone that they could not miss with this gun. One guy had a springfield armory plastic .40 that no one could keep on paper at 30 yards.. he felt he was a bad shot.. he took the 44 mag and hit sodas at 30 and 40 yards 4 out of six.. everyone did.. this is accuracy. Two guys put deposits down on 629's.. it was that big a deal.. I hit a soda at 100 yards (luck) but hit a head sized target 4 out of six at 75 yards. Sooo.. lots of factors but a good shot will do better with this gun than with anything he owns.. if promise.


    lazs


    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • I know I shoot more accurately with a revolver. The barrel tends to be a bit longer on the revolvers I shoot. Maybe that's why.

  • Everyone did better with this gun than all the other handguns including a vintage High power.. it simply is that obvious. 44 mag is not for everyone.. it will kick a bit.. but this gun is heavy enough that most people find it 'about right'


    Ok.. a minor point.. there was a self healing target at 75-80 yards.. nothing we shot moved it.. it is supposed to swing but I think it is too thin. The Smith with my cast loads moved it enough to say... "yeah. that was a hit" even the marlin .357 lever gun did not move it .. just went right though....


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • I do well with barrels from 2" to 7.5" the barrel is not the thing. the sight radius is.. A four inch barrel on a revolver is actually less velocity and sight radius than many 4" semi autos.


    why are revolvers so accurate? it makes no sense in some ways.. but use the engineering term of tolerance stacking to really get it.. human error...........sight radius..........mechanical variables..


    So a revolver has as good a sight radius (all else being equal) as any semi auto.. But.........It has chamber dimensions and lock up and....................................the bug a boo that really matters not.........barrel cylinder gap.


    The chambers.. as I have said.. on a good revolver are perfect.. a thou or so more than the barrel groves.. the barrel has a 'forcing cone' that feeds the bullet straight down the bore. The sights are fixed to the frame and barrel.. they do not move for each round.. take a semi auto tho..........the slide never comes to rest in the same spot.. (some better than others) the sights are on the slide.. duh...... So.. slide movement and back to battery.. barrel lock up and back to battery.. loose chambers with unsupported cases in semi autos so they can have a .............feed ramp.......


    All these things 'stack up' on a semi auto compared to a really well built and tight revolver.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • IMO fixed barrel and single action triggers are what make a revolver more accurate than a semi auto, at least for me. There are lots of other factors I'm sure, but those 2 are pretty important, especially the first one, as double action can be just as accurate with an experienced shooter.

  • I agree Gman but some revolvers are just more accurate than others. I have a lot of em and just noticed all the really accurate ones have things in common.. The more perfectly aligned the chamber and bore are and the better they lock up the better.... Freedom Arms single actions are probly one of the most if not the most accurate revolvers in the world. They spend enormous amounts of time lining up the bore and the chambers on each cylinder.... also they have perfect bores.


    Revolvers generally have deeper rifling than semi autos which may add a little accuracy especially with lead bullets.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • I'd rather not believe semi's are that much less accurate because of the moving barrel or other mechanics. May be true though. The difference in my groups is big.

  • I see what you were going for now Lazs, more about what makes revolvers accurate among other revolvers, not overall between every type of handgun.


    John - IMO a good shooter will be able to get something out of anything pretty much every time. A poor shooter will probably shoot badly with everything, including a beam weapon in the future.


    Iron, fixed barrel is probably the one big advantage revolvers have - there are plenty of autos out there with bbls just as long as a 6" revolver. I have a couple HK P7s that have short barrels (4.1" or so, they look much shorter due to the design, but in fact have a reasonable length for the small size of the slide/frame/design), but they are fixed, and shooting them off of sandbags always surprises everyone I have shoot them - they can't believe the groups they get with the little bastards (they do get hot as balls though, and FAST).

  • Yes Gman.. that is what I was going for. The differences between revolvers and semi autos are a little complicated.


    Both Iron and John bring up practical points. John is talking about tolerance stacking IMO.. A good shooter (with a handgun) has mastered 4 or five things to get there. Each one of those things is important but taken all together they can make a huge difference Sight alignment. trigger control... hold... stance... etc. For many people it is just too much. With new shooters I just have em use the front sight. I have em shoot things like gallon jugs full of water at 15 yards or so... set on the ground they can see where they are hitting... NOTHING works better for new shooters than seeing some results.


    In Irons case that is common. There are no crappy revolvers these days. Accuracy wise that is. Some are much more accurate than others but the differences are not large enough that a mediocre shooter could notice under most circumstances. Semi autos on the other hand vary wildly in accuracy along with their ammo. add a not so good handgun (accuracy wise) with a not so good shooter and you get huge groups.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • I wasn't unhappy with my semi groups. I didn't do target shooting with a handgun when I was young. Plinked cans and stuff with a revolver now and then. Most of my shooting/hunting was with a shotgun. Started shooting at ranges about 20 years ago but only with semis. Didn't own a revolver but you can rent them at most ranges and I did. Then I realized my eyes and hand were still good enough to get a very tight group. Still don't own a revolver but it's on my list. Birthday in a couple of weeks, hmmmm.

  • Didn't mean for this to be semi vs revolver but there is a point. the other day my buddy brought his S&W 40 caliber carry gun. He is not happy with the accuracy and it didn't help that we were on the 100 yard area where we had set up sodas all up and down. He never hit one not even at 20 yards. We had a 10" bull target set at around 40 yards... he hit it one time in 8 rounds. I had to try.... I only hit the thing a couple more times than he did.... Why? well... the short barrel and .40 cal did not work together IMO... In his case he was pretty tired of the gun... In my case.... I simply did not like the gun I didn't try real hard most likely...


    I had brought my 6" Smith 44 mag with one of my favorite loads The gun in the pic... and as I said.. he could not miss. Everything was in sync. good accurate gun and great sights and great trigger and... you hit a soda at 30 yards or 40 and it makes you concentrate more... but truthfully it is just very easy to shoot well with those loads.


    Semi autos. most 22 semi autos will outshoot most 22 revolvers... Only the K22 masterpiece is comparable IMO

    The 1911..... love em or hate em... the accuracy varies but any quality one with a good trigger (and that is easy to find) and good sights will shoot extremely well. With the right ammo they are phenomenal. The two I have are more or less in the top tier of well made 1911's a Kimber and a late model Colt. I feel very confident with either gun... the Kimber may have the edge in absolute accuracy but not by much.


    These are of course generalizations.... I have seen short barrel 9mm guns that shot very well... But what I am saying is that in general the rules above work for just about every shooter.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • Colt... they are entering the revolver market again... they have their little detective special and it has been well received. Next they say they are bringing back the King Cobra... all the snake guns have a 'look' It is smaller framed than the gods gift to revolvers Colt fucking Python but has the look. Colt double action revolvers have always been very accurate. The reasons my Python is so accurate are pretty much that.... it is almost perfect in every way... in fact.. the 629 smith in the pic stole a lot of it's features.


    Cowboy guns.... the Italian clones used to be kinda spotty.... About 25 years ago or so they changed everything. Most had to do with a couple of American importers saying they would buy em but certain things needed doing. Cimarron and Taylors comes to mind but now there are a few more. The guns are extremely well made... fit and finish. A new clone will probly outshoot most second gen real Colts... and look better doing it IMO.. My two Cimarrons are a short 4 3/4" in 44 special and a long 7.5" in .357 mag. Sights are a mixed blessing... tiny... which makes em shoot well if you are good at sight alignment. if you can get em close to lined up? they are probly more lined up than coarser sights. the bad is that if there is any glare you simply can't see em at all.


    lazs

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."



    Pancho Villa, last words (1877 - 1923)

  • Newly created posts will remain inaccessible for others until approved by a moderator.

    The last reply was more than 365 days ago, this thread is most likely obsolete. It is recommended to create a new thread instead.