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  1. #1
    NITROEXPRESS's Avatar
    NITROEXPRESS is offline Junior Member
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    Achievable accuracy

    Hi all, I was lucky enough to be allowed to own a sidearm in the U.K for use while hunting and culling farm animals. I bought a S & W 327PD 4" in .357 mag ( I wanted a .44 mag but had to settle for a .357 mag or nothing )

    What accuracy should I be looking to gain and at what range? I have been using 180gr nosler partition HG with13.5 gr of H110.

    Most of my shots are at close range but I want to become an good shot in case I need to be one day.

    Nitroexpress.

  2. #2
    jc27310's Avatar
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    I'm a newbie, but I wouldn't trust anything from myself past 10 yards "off hand". I don't think you'd have enough energy past 50 yards, but there are plenty of guys who hunt with handguns....
    are you looking to mount a scope to that Smith?

  3. #3
    kev74's Avatar
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    I was at the range last Friday and was fooling around with some alternative targets. I was able to hit a golf ball at 25 feet and a soda can at 75 feet. That was with my 1970's vintage S&W Model 10 with fixed iron sights. The ammo was 38 special - 158 grain lead cast round-nose bullet over 3.6 grains of Bullseye powder.

    ...and I'm not a particularly good shot. With some practice and the better sights on the 327, you shouldn't have any problem hitting your target at 25+ yards.

  4. #4
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    1. There is a measure of accuracy related to where your sights point vs. where the bullet hits. That is adjustable by various means.

    2. Another measure is how consistent the point of impact is when shooting a given powder-bullet combination. Usually referred to as Group Size at a given distance.

    Your 4 inch S&W should be on par with my Ruger GP100 4 inch.

    My GP100 has adjustable sights so POA vs. POI can be easily adjusted to suit me.

    I typicaly set my pistols to impact 1 inch above the the top of my sights (when the top of front and rear are on a single plane) at a distance of 15 yards.

    The true accuracy of the gun can only be determined if it is held in a mechanical device such that affects of recoil are consistant.

    As a practical matter we often times end up being the most significant error factor although ammo is many times the real culprit.

    Practical accuracy of my GP100 at 15 yards with cartridges tuned to the gun is 1/4 inch center to center for multiple 5 shot groups. This was shot using several sandbags to aid in holding the gun steady.

    My best load, to be tested on Elk next week, used Hornady 180 Grain XTP bullets in Winchester cases with Winchester Small Pistol Magnum Primer and 13 Grains of Accurate #9. Average velocity at 10 feet = 1176 Fps.

    Your Smith should be just as capable.

  5. #5
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    There are a lot of variables that come into play, but just to give you an idea, I consider myself to be a pretty average marksman and I shoot 3" groups at 25 yards with my 4" DAO Ruger GP-100. This is from a rested position, double-action, and using my favorite 158 grain handloads, which are pretty hot loads. This is a handgun with a very nice trigger that can be 'staged' at the break-point well enough that it is approximately equal to firing in single-action mode.

    Take the sandbags away, and my groups double in size. I generally assume that a person who can shoot all their rounds into a pie plate at 25 yards, freehand, with a 4" or less barrel, is a slightly better than average marksman...but that's just my opinion, based on what I have personally seen a lot of shooters do.

  6. #6
    NITROEXPRESS's Avatar
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    Just open sights for me. Because its backup for a bow or a rifle I want to keep it light and simple.

  7. #7
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc27310 View Post
    I'm a newbie, but I wouldn't trust anything from myself past 10 yards "off hand". I don't think you'd have enough energy past 50 yards, but there are plenty of guys who hunt with handguns....
    are you looking to mount a scope to that Smith?
    Some hand gun hunters use rather high power rounds on occasion and can take game at distance. The rest of us keep the distance down by getting close to the animal. Energy is lost with distance but not as rapidly as you might think. (see link below)

    The .357 can yield as much energy at 50 yards as the venerable .45ACP does at it's muzzle. Neither have the shock power of a .300 Magnum but both are capable of taking down a Deer or Elk at relatively close range through the blood loss method. Same as archery which has no shock and I have used effectively on Elk in the past.

    I loaded the rounds discussed previously for my Grandson to use next week. He wants to best me by taking one with the pistol and I am going to help him. We will most likely be less than 20 yards from the animal when he shoots but have been practicing out to 75. He is using standard open sights and can put them all in the central section of a paper plate at that distance.

    I plan on videoing the hunt and if it comes out good he may put it on you tube. I will let you know.

    http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/results/default.aspx?type=pistol&cal=5

    Nitro, in my first post I was addressing your thread title "Achievable Accuracy". The maximum achievable is only obtained with a rock solid rest and very carefull sighting etc.

    A practical objective for you might be to use paper plates or similar and place them at a distance that you can place 90% of your shots on the plate. Over time you will improve and when you do move the target out a bit her. I am guessing that English law doesn't allow human Silouettes.

    You can do this using a sandbag rest at one distance and free hand a bit closer.

    I would back off on the energy level used during most of your practice however. The load you listed is at the top of the chart and not at all reccomended for high volume practice.

    I would back off towards .38Spl. velocities with 125 to 158 grain bullets. Use magnum cases but change powders etc to generate a more pleasent load to practice with. You may have to adjust the sights a bit to accomodate the lighter load but if your real world use for the gun is dispatching farm animals you probably will be close enough that sights are not needed.

    Good luck and enjoy.


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