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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm a total newby to this forum and to the Super Redhawk I own. I started pistol shooting this winter when it became obvious that my 35 year bowhunting career was over due to damage caused to shoulder joint by too many arrows from too heavy a bow. Pistols put me into the same relative effective hunting range as my longbows did.
Here are some of the problems/questions.

Bullet crimp. How much and how could you possibly measure how much.

Lead bullets. I have been shooting E & E Bullets, Bull-X bullets and my own Lee wheel weight bullets. Anything over a listed velocity of 900 fps or so leads so badly that the edges of the grooves disappear after about 50 rounds.

People on the forum talking about 2" groups a 50 and complaining about 6" groups a 75.  Only in my dreams. I can get 3 to 4 inch groups at 25. So am I doing something really wrong or is there a bit of warm air around.

What is the velocity loss caused by the air gap in the revolver? (Ball park)

What can I expect to gain over the test barrels results by having the 9.5 barrel.

I don't have access to a chronograph so I can't measure for my self.

I have learned more about the art of pistol shooting in this forum than any other source.

Keep up the good work.
 

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Jim,

The general rule of thumb for barrel length and velocity is about 35 fps for each inch you add or subtract......average.

Your leading problem can come from several different sources. You'll need to tackle them one at a time. First, do the cylinder mouth, forcing cone, and barrel diameter properly match one another.....no not the same measurement, but the proper measurement for transition from one to another.  Second, does the diameter of the bullet you're using match the revolver?  As little as .004 inches in a larger or smaller diameter bullet can make the difference between a 5 inch group and a 1 inch group.  Throw in the hardness of the bullet in relation to the speed of the bullet as you shoot it, and you have enough "stuff" to experiment with to keep you busy for a year.

There are two resource books I can recommend:

Marshall and the Guys have a manual for cast lead shooters that covers almost everything you could ask about.....check it out here on the website.

Also,  Veral Smith's "Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets"
http://www.sixgunner.com/website/for_sale/lbt.htm

Enjoy!!!!!!

Lobo in NM
 

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Welcome to the forum.  I use a SBH with a 7.5" barrel and 2X scope.  I use Gold Dot to hunt whitetail here in Indiana but for years loaded Hornandy XTP 300 grain.  
Check out the hardness of your bullets and how fast your pushing them.
Have the forcing cone recut on your barrel.  This can be done by the hobbist but levae it to the pros if your unsure.  Check also the barrel cylinder gap should run about .005 - .007 and the clylinder alignment.
Dave Clements does great work.
www.clementscustomguns.com
He worked on my Redhawk in 41 mag.  Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Lobo,
The cylinders mic 430.  The muzzle mics 429  What is proper?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Jim,

If the cylinder throats are larger than the groove diameter, that's good.  Size your bullets so they are a snug fit in the throats (can just press through by hand).  If the cast bullets just fall through the throats, that's not good!

Get yourself some good jacketed factory ammo (not cheap reloads).  That will tell you if the accuracy problem is the shooter or the lead bullets.  It does take some time to become a good shot with a handgun.  Don't get discouraged yet.  Do ensure that your eyes are in good shape, prescription up to date if wearing corrective lenses, and use a well-defined target.  What is your benchrest technique?

When you reload cast, good bullets are a must.  Bull-x is out of business, can't comment on the other company.  Wheelweights make good bullets for much faster velocities than what you are getting.  What is the mould number (design/weight), what are you sizing them to, what are the loads, and very important, what lube are you using?

Light practice loads can go with just barely any crimp, heavy bullets with slow powders need all the crimp you can make.  I've been intending to post of a picture with several levels of crimp but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Sometimes your loads can be 'too light' for the velocity pressure, and things improve with more powder / faster speeds.  Impossible to say without knowing what your loads are.  Even very hard bullets can fail this way.

As you can see there are a lot of variables, but if you get us some more information we may be able to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK. Here we go. I read every thing on 6 gunners website.
I bought Marshall's book.
Barrel/cylinder gap runs .0015.  .001 will go, .002 will not so I assume thats good.
Eyes in good shape? 63 and trifocals.
The mold I am using for the wheelweights is the Lee 90336 unsized, 214 gr SWC and Lee's liquid Alox.
Loads: 7 to 9 gr of Unique for the lead bullets. (44 special loads)
23 grs of W296 for the Hornady XTP, 25 grs of H4227 for the 210 Speers. I have also experimented with Acurate #7.
The commercial leads hang in the cylinder. Very light pressure to make them fall through. The Speer and Hornadys fall through.
Bench rest technique: Not good. It takes a real effort to shoot with out flinching. I can do it, but like I said real effort. I had a nipple fail on a muzzle loader in 1968. Back side blew out and hit me in the eye. I actually seem to do better sitting with elbows on knees.
The load book I am using is the Midway MAP book for 44 Mag.
I do appreciate everyones help. Keep it coming.
 

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Old Jim,

Sounds like you've got solid loads to work with, and perhaps the flinching you're mentioning emminating from your blackpowder experience explains the groups you're getting.

A suggestion:  Load up a whole big bunch of your .44 spcl. equivilent loads and head to the shooting bench.  Then, when loading your revolver, (or better yet, have someone else load it and hand it to you), put in less than a full charge of ammo, loading two, three sometimes four rounds into the cylinder, randomly, then rotating the cylinder before closing then still with your eyes shut, lock the cylinder into place.

Then, without looking at the cylinder commence fire with your revolver.  Your hammer will fall on empty cylinders at totally unknown times.  Let me tell you, if you're flinching this will certainly tell on you!  Also, continued shooting in this mode will cause greater discipline because you can tell when you're flinching, and help you overcome the tendency.

I've helped three or four shooters to overcome "magnum flinch" this way, both with revolvers and rifles.

Hope this helps!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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

Marshall's "empty cylinder" suggestion brings back memories about the men having flinching problems with their first exposure to the M1 (showing my age) in basic. They would swear they weren't flinching, so we'd load the rifle for them, using an empty cartridge. I swear the barrel would jump 12", still remember the expression on their faces.

I've got two comments that I'm sure you're already familiar with. Over the years of benchrest load testing, I've been able to pretty much eliminate any flinching by 1) working  hard at concentrating on the sight picture and 2) have a trigger action that is smooth, crisp and not too heavy. With the aid of sandbags/etc., you have sufficient assistance on the sight picture that you will begin to think about pulling the trigger -- sometimes even wondering, "when is this darn thing going off". A good trigger action has always helped me keep my concentration on the sight picture and a squeeze rather than jerk is more likely. Also, if I'm concentrating on the sight picture, the felt recoil sure seems to be less.

I'm afraid that all sounds like cheap advice, kinda like my calculus prof that always told me, "it's easy".  He lied, I'm not. :)

Dan
 

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The best advice I can give is don't give up! I just got my Super Black Hawk last summer and I kid you not, at 25 yards I sometimes didn't keep all shots on the paper! Evidently I'm not a natural. But through much practice and trying to make sure that my revolver is as accurate as it can be I have gotten to where I can shoot about 1.5" from the bench on a good day. Keep trying!        IDShooter
 

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ID,

You are way ahead of me and we started at the same time as I remember. I still can't settle on a losd and my shooting,although improved, is still prone to lack of consistancy causing fliers and off target groups. Just have to shoot more. Darn it!!
 

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Cheif RID,
    Notice I said on a good day! I still throw a wild one now and then <!--emo&:D--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':D'><!--endemo-->. Also notice I said from the bench - my offhand skills still leave much to be desired. So don't fret, just practice. You know I'll be out there too!        IDShooter
 

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Old Jim,

Welcome. There are a couple of string pullers on this forum. I concure with you on the similarites of the Longbow and the Handgun...BOTH will frustrate me to tears somedays!

I can add nothing to what is here but encouragement. Hang in there.

The .44 Mag is not one of the critters in my little pistol pen, but it sounds like you are on a good start.

Enjoy

Scotty
 

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The Super Redhawk is a fine gun but they almost always need a trigger job. That will probabaly tighten up your groups a lot. Since the gun comes with scope mount, I would try a pistol scope too. Have a good shot check out the gun also.
As far as the lead bullets go, try a gas check design. Some guns will not shoot a plain base worth a hoot.
Regarding the crimp, I have been using the Lee Factory Crimp dies for all my reloading since they came on the market. Just follow the instructions.
A good practice load is 10 grains of Unique and a 250 grain gascheck bullet. Recoil will be light in your gun. Good luck.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Old Jim,

I left out the best way I found to improve my target groups --- shoot 3 shot groups. If you are ever in a situation where you need to know the accuracy of the 4th/5th shot, you'll probably in more trouble than you'll survive anyway.

Any yes, the logical extention of that suggestion is one shot groups, which sounds better as I get older.

Dan



<!--EDIT|DOK|April 21 2002,18:43-->
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks All!!!

I working on the flinch.

I ran some full Mag loads behind some 240 gr hard cast bullets and saw no leading.

and DOK, I too got my military training on the M-1. I never could see why anyone would want to shoot the M-14 and, heaven forbid, the M-16.  I kid you not, the first M-16 I saw was in Long Binh Junction. The SF Captain carrying it offered it to me to examine. The first thing I saw was the Mattel Toy Co label on the plastic stock.  Not for me.

Any body got pet loads that work for them???
 

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Got a couple new ones. Just shot yesterday and they were impresive.

Soft lead SWC 240 gr. over 7.9 gr Green Dot. Starline case and WLP. Shot in 5.5 inch SBH 44 mag.

240 XTP over 12 gr. Blue Dot, Winchester case WLP. Shot in 1894. 3 inch group with one in the X at 80 yds with buckhorn sights. Not to shabby for these old eyes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK Guys,

Here's an update on what's going on with my shooting. I followed Marshalls advice on loading 3 rounds in a random pattern and closing the cylinder with out looking. I was jerking the gun completly off the rest. I also attempted to improve my "bench" techiniques.
After about 5 times doing that I felt like I was smoothing out a bit.
I fired 16 rounds.
1 round 3.5 inches from the center of the bull.
14 into 2 7/8". The center of the group was 1.5 inch left of the center of the bull.
I moved the sights over one click. Fired my last three rounds on a fresh target. I am thinking about framing the target because all three rounds are in the bull, 1/2 inch above center and touching.
Just goes to show what a little good advice can do.
I'll be reading an contributing to this forum for a while.
Again, thanks to everyone for your help.

Old Jim

PS. Anybody got a .357 Blackhawk that they can live without?
 

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Old Jim,

It's great to hear that a plan came together!  Sounds like you're on the way to curing a case of magnumitis.  Once those groups start to shrink, it can almost get addicting shooting the doggone things!

Keep us posted on your continuing progress!

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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