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Discussion Starter #1
I took my new S & W Model 442 to the range over the weekend to shoot it for the first time. Realizing that these fixed sighted handguns are setup to shoot point of aim with standard 158 grain bullets I was not surprised when my 105 gr plinking loads shot 4 inches low at 30 feet.

What has me a little puzzled is the tendency for this particular snubby to shoot to the right. The first 15 shots (off hand) went into a group I could cover with the palm of my hand, but 4” low and about 5” right of center. Changing ammo to heavier bullets brought the group up but it still prints right. Moving back to 25 yards, from a solid rest I’m hitting 10 or 12 inches right.

I may not be the best pistol shot, but when I put 50 holes in a target and every one is to the right of the aiming point, I think it is safe to conclude that this revolver is not shooting where I am looking.

Besides aiming left is there something I can do to make it hit center?
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Turning the barrel is the usual method of correcting windage in fixed sight revolvers. You would need to turn it very slightly counter-clockwise, or looser. Don't worry about loosening the barrel nor about a crooked sight, just a very very small rotation makes a surprisingly big change in point of impact. This is definitely a job for a gunsmith, although no doubt Bubba could do it too.
 
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Are you left handed? I shoot left handed, and just about every pistol Ive ever picked up shot to the right hand side, about like what your describing. I traded them in on pistols with adjustable sights and dont have the problem any more.
 

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I bought a new S&W Model 638 .38 Spl. snubby about 6 months ago and was disappointed that it shot about 4" left at 25 yards, although it was perfect for elevation with my 129 gr. +P carry loads.

I was very careful to make sure it was the revolver, and not me, that had the windage problem (and I do occasionally have windage problems, but not while shooting...).

I took the revolver to my gunsmith, who has the proper frame clamps and barrel vise inserts to avoid damaging the revolver, and we spent a half hour turning the barrel and test firing it until it was spot on. It took 3 tries to get it right and the final adjustment was actually a very small change from the original setting.

If you don't want to mess with this, call S&W and explain your problem. I'll bet they will fix it for you for free. They are very good folks.
 

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I had two S&W pistols that needed servicing over the years, one was a well loved Model 39 that I really like and the was a revolver. the revolver had a sighting problem, Smith fixed both for free.

The Model 39 came back with a new bluing job, changed all of the springs and a new barrel. The revolver shoot straight and true for me.

Jerry
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I re-read my original post and it dawned on me that I could be experiencing "Operator Error".
I may need to adjust how I hang on to those little bitty grips. Squeeeeze the trigger. Follow through, and all that basic stuff.
Adjust my head so I look where the gun is shooting instead of making the gun shoot where I think the sights are pointed.

Worth a try anyway.
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Yeah, you don't want to start screwing barrels in or out or filing sights until you are VERY sure that it is the gun that is off, and not the shooter. If there is any doubt, have one or more good shooters try it to see if they have the same problem. Shoot from a rest, focus hard on the front sight, and squeeze that trigger as if it was made out of Christmas tree ornament glass. If you are not shooting good groups, don't do anything with the sights until you are putting all your shots in the same place.
 

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You're shur right on that. I guess I just assumed that was a given since I'm in the habit of bearing down pretty hard on every shot I fire and especially when trying out a new gun or load.
 

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I bought a new S&W Model 638 .38 Spl. snubby about 6 months ago and was disappointed that it shot about 4" left at 25 yards, although it was perfect for elevation with my 129 gr. +P carry loads.

It took 3 tries to get it right and the final adjustment was actually a very small change from the original setting.
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Just curious, did it shoot OK with plain vanilla 158 SWC's? (I'm considering a SP101 in .357). The only fixed sight revolver I've ever owned, a M36/3" barrel, shoots most loads quite well, but likes a 160gr cast lead best, over a medium charge of Unique. Is that just luck?
 

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Mine shot everything way left before the barrel was turned. I am not surprised that your M36 likes 160 grain bullets, as S&W always regulated its fixed sight .38's for the old 158 gr. RN lead ammo that was the standard police load for decades.
 

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I am not surprised that your M36 likes 160 grain bullets, as S&W always regulated its fixed sight .38's for the old 158 gr. RN lead ammo that was the standard police load for decades.
No doubt, and the 3" barrel is more accurate than most people would suspect.
 

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Try it with the other hand, and the other eye, just to be sure.

I just picked up a M64 last week and shot 50 rounds of Fiocchi 158 JRN. Two hands it shoots center, right handed it shoots a little to the left (mostly center with shots edging left) and left handed it shoots a little right (again, mostly center with a few shots leading right). I own mostly adjustable sight handguns, but most of my S&Ws are fixed and they all shoot this same pattern.
 

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Smith Mod 13-4 fixed sights

I recently purchased a 13-4 .357. It was shooting left-3" and low-3". I marked the clocking of the barrel to the frame on the underside with a scratch awl. I removed the barrel using a pine board through the frame as a wrench. I chucked the barrel in the lathe and polished the forcing cone free of machining marks. I torqued the barrel up until the front latch would not drop in, then I backed it off a little at a time until it would lock up. Judging by the witness marks I turned it about .025" past the original location.
I did not think this would be enough, but it was. Now it shoots straight at fifty feet, and the elevation is between 3" high to just above the post. I thought that I would have to file the front sight to move the group up but I did not. I don't know why the elevation changed but it did.
 

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Just curious, did it shoot OK with plain vanilla 158 SWC's? (I'm considering a SP101 in .357). The only fixed sight revolver I've ever owned, a M36/3" barrel, shoots most loads quite well, but likes a 160gr cast lead best, over a medium charge of Unique. Is that just luck?
I own an SP101, .357, 2 1/4" barrel. I have pretty much given up hope for any kind of accuracy from it. I even put it back in the box and stored it away, but recently I got it out again and just as soon as the weather straightens up I'll give it another try. I will be shooting .38s though. The thing kicks like a mule with full blown .357s
 

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I own an SP101, .357, 2 1/4" barrel. I have pretty much given up hope for any kind of accuracy from it. I even put it back in the box and stored it away, but recently I got it out again and just as soon as the weather straightens up I'll give it another try. I will be shooting .38s though. The thing kicks like a mule with full blown .357s
I've got the SP101 lying right here in front of me. Because of how it is made, it is impossible to twist the barrel for adjusting windage. Tweaking the front sight is the only way.
 
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