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Beartooth Regular
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2,139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
     I had the chance a few days ago to shoot my father-in-law's .357 Blackhawk alongside my SBH. He asked me to clean it and shoot it, because he had never fired it since purchasing it second-hand many years ago. After cleaning the dirt, cobwebs and dead bugs out of it ( I am NOT kidding !!) and knocking off the surface rust I bought a box of cartridges and headed for the range.
      Now, I seem to have plateaued at 3" groups  with my 4 5/8" SBH, so I was curious to see how I did with this 6 1/2 inch barrelled .357. After sighting it in, I was able to get groups of 2 1/2" at 50 yds with the .357, compared to my usual 2 1/2- 3" groups at 25 yds with my SBH. Whether the barrel length is the difference, or one gun is just more accurate than the other I don't know. But I was happy to find that I could shoot that well- I was beginning to doubt myself. Now I just need to tune mine and shoot IT that well!
     Interestingly, my practice load in the .44 shoots a 240 gr Hornady just over 1000 fps. Theoretically recoil should have been almost identical to the .357 load (Based on factory ballistics; I didn't chronograph the factory 158 gr load) but I found that the .357 seemed to recoil MORE sharply! I didn't expect that.
        Well, now that I know it is possible for me to shoot to my desired level of accuracy, I'll continue trying to do so with my gun!
     Hope you all have a great weekend!    IDShooter
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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36,228 Posts
Same here!  My .357 Blackhawk outshoots all other centerfire handguns that I own....

Yeah, recoil should similar to my .44/.45 practice loads (240 or 255gr. SWC at ~1050fps) but the .357 seems to have more bark.  Guess it's the pressure difference and how the brain interprets the recoil?  Don't know.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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7,764 Posts
IDShooter,

Sure have enjoyed the posts about your experiences with your new tools. Over the years, I spent enough money to pay off the national debt making sure the guns are accurate (and it didn't always work!), so I know the results are "ME".

On the comment about recoil, you may want to utilize the Beartooth "Ballistician's Corner" recoil calculator. One of the insights folks lose when they only consider ft-lbs. recoil is the speed at which the gun comes back at you. The following is a copy of the recoil calculator text:

"Ever wonder how much kick a gun has? How fast it comes back at you? This calculator figures the velocity in fps of how fast the gun comes back at you, as well as how many foot-pounds are traveling with it!"

It might be interesting to enter both .44 and .357 loads and see what the comparisons are.

Dan
 

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Super Moderator
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3,375 Posts
I'll second the motion on the accuracy of the .357 Blackhawks!  I've got a 6.5" model as well from the late 70's, and it is by far and away the most accurate handgun that I own.  If I'm up to it, the gun will shoot under an inch and a half at 50 yards... my eyes aren't that good anymore, but the potential is there with the right load.  Loads of fun to shoot I might add!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Beartooth Regular
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2,139 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Dan,
    I just ran the numbers on the recoil calculator, and my .44 load generates 7 ft/lbs at a velocity of 13 fps. I estimated the velocity of the .357 load at 1250 fps and the powder charge at 17 grs. This gave me a recoil energy of 6 ft/lbs and velocity of 12 fps. The guns weigh within one ounce of each other, so I used a weight of 2.8 lbs for both. From this, the .44 should recoil a little more noticably.
       I believe that MikeG is right, that the pressure of the gasses released as the bullet leaves the muzzle influences our perception of recoil, although I was surprised at HOW MUCH it does! Physically, the .357 recoils less, yet human experience tells us it recoils more. I recall an article by Brian Pearce (a fellow Idaho boy) in which he said his .45 Colt lacked the ear-splitting noise of his brothers' .357 Magnums. It seems he experienced the same thing, just expressed it a different way. Very interesting!
                         See you later,  IDShooter.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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IDShooter,

As they say, "Perception is everything".  I suspect we all have instances where our minds tell us one thing and another is true -- but then if it hurts more, that it hurts more, darn it.

Marshall,

At 64 years of age, I not only have lost the eyesight edge, I can't remember it. I just received the Merit Corp. optical attachment to stick on my glasses to make the front sight clear again -- it works.  A little hard to get in it stuck in the right spot, but it really gives me a clear sight picture.  It has made the benchrest hardgun with iron sights testing easier. I take it off before I get home to the wife -- don't need the comments.

Dan
 

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IDShooter,

If I remember correctly your SBH has a 4 5/8" barrel?

I have to chaulk some of the improved accuracy up to the longer tube on the .357 and it's longer sight radius. I really like the shorter barrels for carrying and looks but all of my 6gun hunting is done with the 7.5" barrels. I find it far easier to center that front blade properly with the longer sight radius, most others seem to find the same is true for them.

Try a long barreled .44 SBH and see how you do. That shorty .44 may be tough BUT once you get good with that thing you'll be scary good with any 6gun.

take care
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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7,764 Posts
Hubbard63,

The following web site is the best place for your
requested information.

http://www.meritcorporation.com/index.html

I don't know if other Beartooth readers have
experience with one, but mine has been very
positive. It really does clear up the front sight
picture.

Dan
 

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one thing you have to remember in comparing 1000 fps and 1250 fps loads [especially where 'bark' is concerned] is the difference between subsonic and supersonic loads-  it can make a big difference.
 
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