Custom S&W .38 Double Action Safety Hammerless (4th Model)

Lately my pistol shooting has largely been focused on shooting rapidly at 7 yards. OK, fair enough; most of the pistols I shoot are oriented towards self-defense and that’s a quite reasonable range. Pretty often I am testing a new gun or a gun I have modified, and I can be pretty sure of at least putting rounds on the paper at seven yards, no matter how badly I have messed the gun up.

I’ve picked up a couple of hunting revolvers since last fall, and naturally I tried them at 25 yards.   Results were not tragically bad, but not as good as I would want them either. I pretty much shrugged it off; after all, there’s plenty of time before next fall, right?

25 yards single-action- not bad, or unexpected with a 6″ barrel and adjustable sights

Maybe I mis-remember how I shot decades ago but I had a general feeling that I had slipped with age. Happens to the best of us, right? The fact is that my skills have not deteriorated; I’ve just gotten sloppy… and lazy.

The other night I was at the range, and the gun that I was testing- the .38 S&W cartridge conversion- had ejected it’s firing-pin relatively early in the proceedings. Since I still had a bunch of ammo I started shooting the S&W top-break. I shot rapid-fire groups, strong-hand and weak hand and I was getting bored. I ran the target out to ten yards, then fifteen and was still getting good hits.

Of course the idea of shooting a century-old, double-action only gun with a 1-1/2″ barrel at twenty-five yards was ludicrous, so naturally I had to do that. I fired a string of five shots rather casually and reeled it in to look- three hits on the paper… interesting. I ran it back out and tried it again. Four more hits. Now I was wondering just exactly what I could do if I really tried… I ran out a fresh target and this time I really focused- front-sight, breathing, staging the double-action trigger… the results were surprising. Standing unsupported at twenty-five yards I shot a 4-3/8″ group, with a score of 45 out of fifty possible!


What this shows me is that I need to stop underestimating myself, stop being lazy and start pushing the limits; I already know what I can do shooting rapid-fire at seven yards. I’d pretty much forgotten what I could do at a distance. Time to see what I can do at longer range- and there’s no reason not to go beyond 25 yards, either.

OK, maybe I’ll use a more suitable gun…

Michael Tinker Pearce, 30 March 2018


This content originally appeared at text and was written by admin This content is syndicated and does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of The Liberal Gun Club