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Discussion Starter #1
Went out to range to try some loads in the SBH. I am trying to get accuracy from a hunting velocity 240 gr. WFN lead bullet. I shot only at 25 yds. I believe the round is pretty consistant. I had 3 in 3 inches out of 6 on one set. I scattered the next 6 but they stayed in the target rings. The hunting velocity loads still eventually get me to flinching off the bench. I do better freehand about the flinching.

I dropped back to my plinking load with a 240 gr. SWC soft swagged bullet and the groups closed right up again. Had 3 of 6 in a 1 inch group.

I think all is OK for the SBH. Now I have to resume work on the 1894.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Chief RID,

I certainly appreciate the contrast in felt recoil between bench shooting and off-hand shooting. When I've had all the bench work I can stand, I move the target to 10 yds. and shoot off-hand. My 10 yd. off-hand is pretty close to my 25yd. bench so it helps with the recoil problem.

Dan
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Chief, be sure to take a .22 with you to the range for the days you are going to work on the heavy loads. Alternate the boomer and the rimfire, as necessary, to calm the nerves back down. Works for me!
 

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Chief,
something I have done that has considerably improved my concentration when shooting the bigger revolvers, rifles, and pistols that I play with. With revolvers it has proven especially useful since the recoil is not the problem, I usually shoot large revolvers, I use a set of regular foam style earplugs in addition to the best quality non-electronic ear muffs that I can find. I discovered that my problem was related to noise and not recoil when I was working loads up for my .340 Weatherby rifle that has a muzzle brake installed. After 15-20 shots, my shooting went to heck. I observed over a couple of sessions that my shoulder was never sore, the scope never hit me, but the shooting deteriorated none the less. This may not help, but I think it is an often overlooked element in the equation. This has proven to enhance my performance with all types of rifles and handguns, especially if being fired on an indoor range. I use both plugs and muffs now when doing ANY bench testing, as well as for most shooting in general excepting shotguns.

As far as bench shooting is concerned, it's my belief that for the average handgun shooter/hunter, the practice of offhand shooting will make a world more difference than the bench testing. I practice offhand mostly because it is my belief that if you can shoot offhand well, you'll be pretty well off if there is any additional support available. I realize that you get peace of mind with a ragged hole at 25yds from a bench tested load, but the practice offhand will do you a world more good confidence-wise than a one hole group with a open sight revolver. I value a 5 of 6 shot group at 25yds standing where the shots are touching, or close, far more than all six shots in a ragged hole off the bench. I understand that you need a load that will do it in the first place, but most full power loads with a good cast bullet will do that from a quality revolver. In most revolvers of good quality you can get groups in the area of 1" at 25yds with the reccomended "Keith" load and the Lyman 429421(I'm going from memory here, always dangerous) bullet if it is cast by a good source. Just be sure to adjust that load for the current lots of 2400. I think there is an article that outlines the current load levels in Handloader this month, but there are many sources.
 

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Kcih

You know what I think you may have a winner there. Recoil is not that big a deal with my 44 S&W from a bench. But I believe the big 'BANG' that is coming may cause (me) the slight flinch. I've never tried both the plugs and ear muffs, but it has to muffle more sound even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I use muffs now but I will give the combo a try. I don't know if it is the case here though. I don't know how much louder my hunting load is than my plinking load but I do know the muzzle jump is a sizable difference. Consistant grip improves things a lot and when I concentrate on that I do much better all around so that tends to make me believe that it is felt recoil making most of the difference. Now, just the flinching part ot steadyness at trigger pull, the blast could be a big factor.

A.J. Good to hear you are still messin with the handguns.
 

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Chief,
One guideline that I use to determine if I'm flinching, other than having someone else load my gun, it really simple. If you're shooting a revolver indoors or under a covered shooting position or towards evening, you should have no problem with hunting type loads seeing a huge fireball coming from the cylinder gap. If you dont's see that fireball, you're likely flinching. I've never had a problem with barrel rise. The issue of recoil is also one that can be affected a great deal by your shooting technique. If you lock, or don't lock, your elbow can make a big difference in how recoil is handled and/or percieved. With the exception of a some poor grip/grip frame designs that needlessly punish the shooter, I think the main reason a lot of guys can't handle a 44 Mag or larger has to do with the muzzle blast. My Taurus 85, which is a 2" 38 Special 5 shooter, has more muzzle flip and percieved recoil than a 8" Raging Bull in .480 Ruger for me.
 

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I have a nephew who recently graduated from the secret service. They taught him not to flinch by loading the mag with 1-2 snap caps out of the 8-10 round mag capacity. When he would drop the hammer on a snap cap and flinch the instructor would climb all over him. When I shot with him I had him load some snap caps for me. It will really help you with flinching. By having someone else load the gun you never know when it will go boom or click.
 

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The way I curve my flinch is to shoot something bigger first. I noticed if I let out a box of .454's or .450 Marlins first then my .44mag seems like a pop gun. Sounds funny but it works for me.

What kind of powder are you loading or are these factory loads?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh Boy! An opportunitee to pontificate. Here goes.

My 44 is a 5.5 inch SBH. I shoot it a lot, in fact it is my favorite gun to shoot. I have gone from a poor shot to what I consider to be a good shot, standing off hand at various ranges out to 25 yds. I can hit a four inch square in a 3 shot run in 10 seconds from 30 yds to 10 yds pretty consistantly. Now load development from the bench is a different story.

My shooting had improved, and I was wanting to get to a pure lead diet for this gun so I bouhgt some hard cast bullets in .432 diameter and a # og H-110 and went to work. I found out quickly that I was not going to be able to get this round to group as well as my old hunting round, 13 gr of Blue Dot so I have settled on it. You see this combo is complicated more by the fact that I have a 1894 that I want the same bullet for, for hunting. The 13 gr of blue dot and a 240 gr XTP has been a proven round for me in both but more work is required to get the cast bullet to work.

All that being said, my plinking load for the SBH has always been 7.9 gr of Green Dot and a 240 bullet, any kind. I am now using a soft swagged bullet with little leading and great accuracy. I don't think you can get a bullet cheeper than 13.50 for 200 without making them yourself and these are available locally. Green Dot has a piculiar affinity for me. I don't know why. I put the stuff on my cornflakes in the morning.

I have a level at which, off the bench only, that I begin to flinch. The H-110 even caused the grip frame to hit the webbing of my thumb which will never do. I like my grip to nuch to change or wear a glove. What!? Wear a glove, that could work. Na.
 

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The bang of a large frame hot loaded revolver can make any man flinch. I try to clear my mind and control my breathing, never expatiate your shot, and squeeze, after 10 rounds or so its hard not to flinch. A good hold and stance is very important for consistency. Once I find my curb I keep it the same at all times, correct stance/correct hold,I like to fold my right thumb over my other, not too tight and not too loose or you will end up with a spur in your head;) tuck my left elbow into my lower chest, no arms straight out like the movies ;) you will find recoil is retained better with the elbow tucked with heavy recoiling wheel guns. I sometimes test friends and make them think they are ready to shoot, I hand them a empty revolver, when they pull that trigger you would be surprised how many people flinch really bad after they have shot 12 hot rounds or so before, this is good test to see if your not expatiating your shot, or healing, this was a little test my father use to do to me and my brother when he was grooming us how to shoot correctly, my father was a sharp shooter in the military, Instilled us with proper shooting edict...For the most part flinching happens at the range after shoot a hot load for a while, in a hunting situation things are not the same, less chance for flinching with one shot or so, the minds attention is on the game you are shooting. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Chief,

Shooting from the bench with heavy loads is not a trivial exercise. If it hurts you won't do it well.

Make sure you elbows are padded!! Personally I like them a bit below my wrists and the elbows slightly bent.

Then, I don't support the gun but put the sandbags under my wrists. I figure that this mimics shooting in the field with an improvised rest or from the window of the blind. Worked well on the last deer I shot....

Some people put the gun on a solid rest like the "Pistol Perch" and so forth but I think this is a mistake. Also, make sure the butt of the gun can't hit anything under recoil. This can substantially change the point of impact.

So... try one big sanbag under your wrists (some people like to support the gun under the trigger guard or front of the frame, but this can tear up your sandbags pretty fast) and pad your elbows. The angle of your elbows affects how close the gun is to your head and how the sights will come into focus so keep that in mind.

If you can shoot offhand with good accuracy, then you should be able to do fine from the bench if you can find the technique that is comfortable.
 
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