Fixed Sight Revolver Shooting Left
I recently acquired a little used S&W Model 10 with 2" barrel and fixed sights. It's in excelent condition. Unfortunately, it consistently shoots 14" left at 25' with all loads. Three individuals have fired it with the same results. How do you adjust the windage on a fixed sight revolver such as this? Do I have to send it back to S&W to turn the barrel? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
That sounds like a great big bunch of error at 25 feet, if I read correctly.
Originally Posted by Model 57M
!. What experience level do the three shooters have with snubbies.
2. Was it shot free style or from table with sandbag rest.
My guess would be inexperienced shooters or obviously bent barrel. Or if the Mod 10 has dovetail front sight which I don't believe they did the sight has been bumped off. 2inch barrels don't bend very easy.
I'd call Smith and see if they can help you out. They may be able to turn the bbl to get it closer. They can also check the bbl to insure it isn't bent.
Another option is to open up the rear sight on one side but 14" at 7 yards is a lot to be off.
All shots were fired from rest in an indoor range. I was least experienced shooter. After I saw the results I was obtaining, I enlisted two other experienced shooters with similar results. If barrel is bent, it's not obvious. One of the shooters mentioned that barrel could be turned to help adjust windage, but required an experienced pistolsmith.
I doubt that the barrel is bent. Sounds like it needs to be turned a little. Send it back to S&W or get a good gunsmith to do it for you. The key is good gunsmith. I'll bet sumbody tried taking the barrel out and messed it up. Good luck.
Adjusting Non-adjustable sights
What I have to say is not for the faint of heart!
In 1976 or there abouts, I purchased a Charter Arms .44 Bulldog. It too,
shot off center for anyone who tried it. I told the owner of the gun club
where I spent most of my time about the problem. He told me about a
gun smith in El Paso named Howard Peters who had a reputation of being
a great smith. He was a retired El Paso police officer.
I took the gun to Howard and explained.
What he did almost gave me a heart attack!
He put the gun into a drill press and bent the frame! Then we walked out
into his back yard. He had a target set up in front of a bullet trap. He said
"try it" which I did. It still shot off center, so he bent the frame a bit more.
We tried it again and it was right on!
I never had any more problems with that gun! Several years later, a friend
who was an El Paso LEO needed an off duty weapon and I sold him that
Bulldog. I have not seen him or that gun in more than 15 years. I wonder if
he still has it.
Now, don't try bending that frame unless you have a lot of experience and
know what you are doing! Howard, who has since passed on, had a lot of
experience and knew what to do and how to do it. I did not know him well,
but I miss his knowledge and experience.
Before messing with the gun, you have to really rule out shooter error, especially with shots left, because left-side shots are so commonly a result of pressing the trigger too hard, or putting too much finger into the trigger. You are shooting off a rest -- good. You are firing single action, right? If the groups are all around an inch, then you know it's the gun, not the shooter. If the groups are left, but scattered, then it could be either the shooter or the gun.
OK, once you have ruled out shooter error:
Check for bullet shaving. The cylinder might not be lining up with the barrel. If the bullet is hitting the left side of the barrel (and I mean by a couple thousands of an inch), that will make the bullets go left. Imagine running through a tunnel with your arms held out to your sides. If your left arm hits the wall of the tunnel, what will happen? Your whole body will turn left. With lead bullets, you will see some lead shavings on the forcing cone. Might not be so apparent with jacketed bullets. Check the targets to see if the holes are not quite round, but show the bullet entering the paper slightly off center.
If it's not the cylinder alignment, then the barrel itself may be plated with lead or copper. Look through it with a light, and see if the lands and grooves are perfectly clean. If not, a Lewis Lead Remover will solve the problem.
Next possibility: the barrel may be overtightened into the frame. This is easy enough to check with the naked eye: look to see if the front sight is straight up, or if it is leaning to the right just a little. If it is leaning, have a gunsmith turn it until the front sight is pointing straight up.
To adjust the sights on a fixed sight revolver, you use a file to either open up the rear notch on one side, and/or shave metal off the front sight on one side. But 14" at 25' is way too much error to try to fix by adjusting the sights. Something else is going on.
If not shooter error, my money is on misaligned cylinder.
The barrel has probably turned in the frame. If you gun does not have a pinned barrel, have a gunsmith turn the barrel to correct alignment and drill and pin it. I have one Model 29 that this happened to, and had this done. After pinning, no more problem.
This is not an uncommon problem, especially if the barrel has been removed or turned in any way. Those who shoot old Colt Single Actions usually have a set up to correct this problem.
And if the barrel has turned, you should be able to see it, because the front sight will be (to use the technical gunsmithing term) "cattywumpus."
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
Originally Posted by milquetoast
That's true, but often times the offset is so slight it is not apparent to the eye. It takes a jig or straightedge to be certain.
I've turned barrels in my Super Blackhawks with a home made set up, and could hardly discern any movement at all.
Agreed, but 14" off at 25 feet? The front sight would have to be around a quarter inch off.
Originally Posted by Bob Wright
Seriously, with that kind of variance, I'm still betting on the bullet not entering the barrel squarely.
But, waiting to hear "the rest of the story" from Model 57M.
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