Range Report S&W Model 49 and Ammo Test

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Started for the range a bit before 10am, the range opens at 10am, only a few cars in the parking lot. I had a simple goal for the day, shoot three different 38 Special rounds and get familiar with the S&W Model 49. This was the second time I shot the gun since buying it early last year. Range time last few years has been a bit thin. Still, I was glad to be going. The 49 will be my carry gun for now, so I needed to get a feel for how it shoots and what I need to work on. In another thread, I've described the spring and trigger improvement, so I won't go into it here. All shots fired were double action (DA). The grips are the standard factory grips for a 1960's Model 49. I did have a little difficulty with the hold and need to work on it considerably. Considering either more modern carry grips or a T-Grip added to the current setup. The shooting distance varied from 3 yards to 7 yards. Texas testing distances are 3, 7, and 15 yards. I did not shoot at 15 yards today. The ammo:
1. Hornady Critical Defense 110 grain 38 Special FTX - 5 rounds fired.
2. Federal 158 grain 38 Special - 50 rounds fired.
3. Winchester 130 grain 38 Special - 26 rounds fired.
Refer to photo 1 - S7W Model 49 And Ammo.
1 S&W Model 49 And Ammo.JPG
The numbers listed above are also the numbers for shot placement on the first round. As discussed in the ammo thread, the Hornady 110 grain indeed does generally shoot a bit lower, but mostly it was just my lack of practice. My first shot broke the red bullseye, but it was a close shot. Subsequent shots were slightly lower. Likewise with the Federal 158 grain my first shots were near bullseye, my point of aim, but the other shots broke a bit higher. I shot basically at a relaxed but steady pace, essentially as soon as I felt I was pointing back on target. The hold was hard to maintain and will be something I need to work on. The last ammo was the Winchester 130 grain, which like the 158 grain tended to be slightly higher.
Refer to photo 2 - First Round Test.
2 First Round Test.JPG
At this point I started shooting at 7 yards, and also placed a second target dot. As for the accuracy of the gun, if shot with a proper hold it would just as easily hit near center. Took a few shots at 5 yards as well and the performance was similar. Next range trip I will shoot aimed shots more and also go to the 15 yard distance. Overall, I was pleased with my effort and think I can improve with this gun.
Refer to photo 3 - Finished Shooting.
3 Finished Shooting.JPG
I did not take an exact time from start to finish. A total of 81 rounds were fired. The gun performed flawlessly with no issues with any of the ammo. I had no issues with shooting double action with this gun. My conclusion is that the spring reduction and minor polishing was a success.
Last edited by sikacz on Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Range Report S&W Model 49 and Ammo Test

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cooper wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:27 pm Nice! Sounds like a good trip. Especially good to hear the work you did panned out.
I recommend replacing factory springs on these small j-frames, especially if it’s going to be shot DA. My skills need work, but the paper died. So no complaints.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: Range Report S&W Model 49 and Ammo Test

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Good shooting. I’d be more than happy with most of mine in the 8 ring at 7yards with a JFrame. I’m happy with them all in the circle, with the long (unmodified) trigger pull from my 642. I will say it’s far from my favorite pistol to shoot, but I usually run a few cylinders through it as it is one of my main carry guns.

I’m sure you are right that your trigger job helped accuracy quite a bit. It always helps mine. Now put proper sights on it and it’s a shooter! (j/k)

Seriously though I’ve heard crimson trace are the way to go with a j frame … tho I haven’t personally tried them yet.


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Re: Range Report S&W Model 49 and Ammo Test

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CDFingers wrote: Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:21 pm Many rounds is many fun.

CDFingers
It really is! Could have shot more and definitely would have needed more practice. I had in advance decided to shoot the half empty box, one full one and test the carry ammo. The range had 38 Special, but as the clerk said not at a decent price yet. That bit of honesty was refreshing. LoL.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

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