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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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Old 03-22-2020, 08:15 AM
Greenjoytj Greenjoytj is offline
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Default Do you fire double action?

I started this thread so I wouldn’t hi-jack the the 686-6 thread.

Do you fire your DA revolver using the triggers double action mode or do you mostly use it as a single action?

I have a S&W 686-6 “Competitor” performance center model with the under barrel system of removable customizable weights.
I mostly shoot it using the double action trigger mode, only if I’m having a bad day do I resort to firing in the single action mode.

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Old 03-22-2020, 08:25 AM
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Mostly DA.

I was heavy into PPC shooting in the70s early 80s and figured out it was better to just learn one good way of making the gun go bang.

I used a modified by me M28 6'' for the normal matches and a Model 15 2'' for what was called the offduty class.
Even on the 50 yard with the 28 line I stuck with DA.

Took a few deer with a Model 29 in DA mode.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:29 AM
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Double action almost exclusively.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:37 AM
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I too was into PPC shooting on the PD's shooting team in the 70s and 80s. I generally shot into the 1480s and was a state champion and Governor's 10 shooter a couple of times back in the day. As noted above, PPC is a DA game for the most part, even at the 50 yard line. As a result, I rarely shoot a revolver any other way, even when shooting at extended ranges.

For good success with DA shooting, a good two handed grip helps and I also like my S&W revolvers to stack just a bit as the cylinder locks into place. With that tactile notice, I then have virtually a SA let off for the shot.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:39 AM
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I shoot double action exclusively. Once you learn, it really improves your shooting in my experience.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:43 AM
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About 99.8% double action.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:44 AM
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Default SA/DA

I'm not a Double Action Shoot'n kinda guy.
I really really like the Option though.

I shoot Single Action all the time. Every so often
I'll Double Tap my S&W 617-1 22lr.
I see that I'm usually low at 50ft, but within the Target.

It is good to know what your Revolver could do.

P.S. Come to think about it, I don't think I have ever
shot DA in my Big Bores, weird.

The Best to you and your Endeavors.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
I'm not a Double Action Shoot'n kinda guy.
I really really like the Option though.

I shoot Single Action all the time. Every so often
I'll Double Tap my S&W 617-1 22lr.
I see that I'm usually low at 50ft, but within the Target.

It is good to know what your Revolver could do.

P.S. Come to think about it, I don't think I have ever
shot DA in my Big Bores, weird.

The Best to you and your Endeavors.
Same here. I also like the swing-out cylinders. I never had a single action revolver but have been interested in getting one at times.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:52 AM
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99.9 percent single action. Never been a fan of the double action pull. Love these guns for their single action feel. I have a couple double action only and rarely carry and even more rare to shoot them.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:52 AM
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I shoot both SA and DA. Years ago I got to shooting DA w/ a lttle Model 18. I had shot it a lot in SA at 25 yds. Found that with care I could ceep it at 2.0 inches or less for six shots. This was normal. Started shooting it a lot DA. Never got to where I could count on 2.0 inch groups. But, did get to where I could keep six shots inside 3.0 inches. Nowadays, I still shoot DA and SA. It's just a nice difference for shooting. Sincerely. bruce.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:54 AM
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Only with my 640-1 and my 642-1.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:02 AM
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DA most of time..... PPC,Qualifying, USPSA (club level) and IDPA............early 80s to 2010 or so....... DA is the way you will shoot if you ever need to "use" your revolver.....................

That said.... hunting (deer) or out at 50yds when "time is on my side" ...... I'll go single action.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:02 AM
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D/A only for me. That was what I was taught years ago in LE basic training, and also what I instructed years ago on the LE range.

S/A seems a little awkward. Kind of like a right handed batter attemtping to hit left handed.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:08 AM
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LEO qualifications with a revolver is DA only.
Us old timers had several handicaps to contend with using "Wheel Guns"
1. DA only
2. limited rounds (6)
3. reloading
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:09 AM
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Fifty years ago, I learned to shoot a revolver double-action only. Later, I began shooting single-action, one hand only, "Bullseye" style. I find this style of shooting more interesting and challenging and it's very easy to revert back to double-action, two-handed shooting with no loss of skill should the need arise. I've seldom fired a revolver double-action for the last twenty years.

I have noticed that 25 yard point-of-impact is consistently several inches higher in the single-action mode vs. double-action. Cartridge, barrel length, frame size, and other factors don't seem to make much, if any, difference. Most persons grip a handgun considerably tighter when using a two-handed hold, keeping the barrel from rising as much at the time of recoil making point-of-impact lower than with a one-handed hold. Granted, not a scientific explanation and perhaps a flawed one but based on personal experience.

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Old 03-22-2020, 09:17 AM
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Mostly D/A M686 and M10 the S/A is WOW!
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:22 AM
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Double action almost exclusively. Years ago when I used a K-22 for squirrel hunting it was shot SA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:39 AM
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DA 99.997%
Oddly when I fire SA I am worse than DA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:47 AM
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Default Both.....

I shoot single action for target fun and double action for defense training. I'm not Jerry Miculek with either one, but good enough.

My 6" 686 I use single action more, but my snubs I use in double action more.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:50 AM
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SA exclusively with my 629 and my Redhawk. I handgun hunt for deer and want one well placed shot. I hunt from inside a ground blind or with my back to a big old tree so no need for DA. Now with the .22's and 38's yes both SA and DA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:50 AM
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I shoot the short barreled guns double action and the longer barreled guns get shot as single actions. It’s pretty hard to beat a good single action lock time like a S&W shot in single action mode compared to a single action with a decent trigger pull.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:53 AM
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DA only. The last few revolvers I've owned have been DAO, either from the factory or gunsmith modified at my request. Even when I had DA revolvers that could fire SA, I can't remember ever shooting them SA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike from st pete View Post
Oddly when I fire SA I am worse than DA.
I must be odd, too (wouldn't be the first time I've been told that...). When I worked as an armed guard, I had to qualify with different handguns. I always got higher scores with my issued 4" S&W Model 10, factory stock except for grips, than my customized/accurized 1911. I have no scientific/factual basis for it, but I always thought it was the "rolling" of the DA trigger that helped me get more of a "surprise" break than the short, light SA trigger.
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Old 03-22-2020, 09:56 AM
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DA until my trigger finger hurts, then SA to finish the box of ammo.

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Old 03-22-2020, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike from st pete View Post
DA 99.997%
Oddly when I fire SA I am worse than DA.
^^^^This.

For some reason, I am more accurate shooting DA. I have a very old Model 65 (1989-1990) on which I had a gunsmith to remove the SA notch from the trigger.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:01 AM
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I shoot mostly single action, DA very occasionally and at shorter distances / rapid fire practice

QUESTION for those shooting mostly DA : do you shoot with a very slow pull of the trigger in order to have maximum accuracy ? Or a fast pull for speed ?
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLASSIC12 View Post
QUESTION for those shooting mostly DA : do you shoot with a very slow pull of the trigger in order to have maximum accuracy ? Or a fast pull for speed ?
What I've found is pulling through the DA pull as smoothly, and as quickly, as possible gives me better accuracy than trying to pull slowly. It's actually harder to hold the sights steady when pulling DA triggers slowly. But if I pull the trigger while maintaining a good balance of speed and smoothness, with no hesitation, and pull straight through, I get better results.

It also helps if I let my trigger finger slide across the trigger face a bit as I pull the trigger while maintaining front-to-back pressure on the grip with my shooting hand (not milking the grip). If I'm shooting two-handed, I use my support hand to grip with side-to-side pressure.

Even when shooting from the retention position, when I can't see the sights, I still try to maintain both trigger speed and smoothness. Though with any close-range, quick-fire self defense practice I'm not as focused on the mechanics as I am on getting rounds on target. Which is why I always include focus on those mechanics when I practice at the range or do dry fire practice at home, to help build "muscle memory" so I don't have to think about it.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:18 AM
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If I have a K, L or N frame S&W in my paws, I simply don’t shoot single action almost ever.

My double action preference is why I loathe the gangly, fat, wide and finger-grating serrated target trigger. I find that trigger to be the worst option on any S&W revolver and for anyone who prefers double action shooting, I don’t know how you can stand to have one.

Has anyone ever laid eyes on a killer custom PPC revolver with a big bloated and serrated “target” trigger? It would be an abomination.

It seems like three-T’s has a place in Smith & Wesson lore akin to George Washington’s place amongst American statesmen. But it is lost on me. It doesn’t look bad, and I love that I can see it a mile away, so I know to either look elsewhere when shopping or make plans to swap that monster out of a new-to-me S&W revolver.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
DA only. The last few revolvers I've owned have been DAO, either from the factory or gunsmith modified at my request. Even when I had DA revolvers that could fire SA, I can't remember ever shooting them SA.



I must be odd, too (wouldn't be the first time I've been told that...). When I worked as an armed guard, I had to qualify with different handguns. I always got higher scores with my issued 4" S&W Model 10, factory stock except for grips, than my customized/accurized 1911. I have no scientific/factual basis for it, but I always thought it was the "rolling" of the DA trigger that helped me get more of a "surprise" break than the short, light SA trigger.
I like 1911s and shoot them regularly, but have found them more difficult to shoot well in comparison with a double-action revolver like the Model 10 S&W. 1911s can be excellent and accurate shooters, but take far more pratice than a Model 10. I can't think of a better centerfire handgun for a beginner than a Model 10.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:30 AM
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Single action approximately 75% of the time and DA, 25%. Just like others have posted, it depends on which S&W revolver is in my hand or hands at the time.

My 6"+ models see a lot of SA time. The 4"- models see a good combination of both with an emphasis on DA, point at shoot from 3 to 10 yards.

Some but, not all of he shorter barrel models have had springs replace to aid with DA shooting and the modifications are more than worth the effort.

The longer barreled models are fantastic at breaking rocks, cans and other targets of opportunity at 25 yards and more but, in SA mode.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:31 AM
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Both. Lifetime of hunting and 50 years shooting competition. Still shoot IDPA and bullseye with revolver; two entirely different techniques. All double action for IDPA, all single action for bullseye.
For the first six shots, I am still better with a K frame than any other gun in the world. I reload my M&P Pro 9mm somewhat faster and less often in a speed string. After 75 years and a (mild) heart attack, I can't keep up with Mr Miculek, but I never could anyway. I went to many matches with our best Oklahoma revolver shooter (he was 3 times national IDPA/SSP champ) and I never came even close to matching his speed either. Loved shooting with them. With the corona virus pandemic, wonder about the future of big matches and whether I will be around.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:32 AM
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I shoot almost exclusively Double Action. Occasionally I will shoot single action. Developing the skill to shoot a revolver in double action well is a big part of the fascination of revolvers, at least for me.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:38 AM
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Posters who report shooting almost exclusively
DA pretty much sum up the "science" of getting
the most out of a revolver: accuracy and speed.

ContinentalOp covers in most detail the points
that are necessary to a successful DA shooter.
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:47 AM
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Personally speaking, it comes down to the purpose of the gun.

If it's intended to be used for defensive purposes, then double action is appropriate...if hunting, then single action, etc., etc...

Currently, my two smiths are shorter barreled "defensive" revolvers, so double action...only.



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Old 03-22-2020, 11:09 AM
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Almost never, single action 8 3/8" barrels at targets at 25,50 and 100 yards or more.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:11 AM
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I shoot 99.5% single action. I have S&Ws that have never been shot DA.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:15 AM
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I’ll estimate that I shoot about 70% to 30% in favor of D/A
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
I have noticed that 25 yard point-of-impact is consistently several inches higher in the single-action mode vs. double-action. Cartridge, barrel length, frame size, and other factors don't seem to make much, if any, difference. Most persons grip a handgun considerably tighter when using a two-handed hold, keeping the barrel from rising as much at the instant of recoil making point-of-impact lower than with a one-handed hold. Granted, not a scientific explanation and perhaps a flawed one but based on personal experience.
Same here, although choice of ammo can make a difference for me.

I usually shoot DA, although I do shoot SA with my M43 and M17, and occasionally with some of my revolvers that still have hammer spurs.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:29 AM
JohnRippert JohnRippert is offline
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DA except for distance.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by ContinentalOp View Post
What I've found is pulling through the DA pull as smoothly, and as quickly, as possible gives me better accuracy than trying to pull slowly. It's actually harder to hold the sights steady when pulling DA triggers slowly. But if I pull the trigger while maintaining a good balance of speed and smoothness, with no hesitation, and pull straight through, I get better results.

It also helps if I let my trigger finger slide across the trigger face a bit as I pull the trigger while maintaining front-to-back pressure on the grip with my shooting hand (not milking the grip). If I'm shooting two-handed, I use my support hand to grip with side-to-side pressure.

Even when shooting from the retention position, when I can't see the sights, I still try to maintain both trigger speed and smoothness. Though with any close-range, quick-fire self defense practice I'm not as focused on the mechanics as I am on getting rounds on target. Which is why I always include focus on those mechanics when I practice at the range or do dry fire practice at home, to help build "muscle memory" so I don't have to think about it.
I totally agree with the bolded above. My guns are modded by me to get a good decent dependable trigger. I started doing my guns in the 70s long before the cheater spring kits came out. I was instructed in how to do good safe work by a LEO friend that was the RO and approved S&W armorer of a 100 man town force.

Its all in the timing both your trigger pull and your time between shots. My serious shooting is long over, but in my heyday of shooting (master class) I had a few people tell me "watching you shoot is like watching a machine, so consistent''
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:39 AM
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Mostly double action, My carry guns don't have spurs. Get S&W 22 revolver and go through a couple bricks of ammo a week until it is a reflex. Many years ago I worked a camp job out in the middle of the bad lands. One week off, one week off days then a week of nights. On nights I would get up every after noon and go out in the sage brush away from camp with a model 18 and go through box after box of 22s. I got ones that came 50 in a cardboard box with a nylon tray. I had those trays scattered all over and would shot the trays from what ever distance I saw them, Always double action. Best thing I ever did to improve my revolver shooting. More than shooting PPC, and it helped my scores in that.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:52 AM
DS-10-SPEED DS-10-SPEED is offline
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I agree that shooting DA can make you a better shooter, once I develop the DA rhythm it's easier for me to stabilize the front sight and stay on target. I pretty much only shoot SA when sighting in a new gun or maybe a longer shot when hunting. I too like the DA speed shooting sports.

20 year old video but I can still do it.


Last edited by DS-10-SPEED; 03-22-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:52 AM
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I shoot my double-action revolvers almost exclusively in single action mode. I do so for two reasons, first is for accuracy sake and secondly I know that it puts less wear on cylinder locking notches and other components. I have to add to this that all of my shooting is casual target and plinking shooting. If I were to use my revolvers for home defense and personal protection I would need to add double action shooting to my shooting regimen.

Last edited by wproct; 03-23-2020 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:57 AM
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Like Steelslaver, I practically wore out a Model 18 in my early LE days and it greatly improved my shooting. Now I still shoot a Model 34 & 63 J frame in practice since I mostly carry J frame 38s and I close out my practice by firing them.

Practice makes perfect and the more the better. I tell my students in training that finishing the class is the start not the finish of their firearms
preparation.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:00 PM
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BTW, If any one has a shooter grade Model 18 to let go, I'm in the market and appearance is not an issue.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:03 PM
Protocall_Design Protocall_Design is offline
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I shoot everything D/A. Even Metallic Silhouette from 50 to 200 meters with a 44 mag. If your gun has a good D/A trigger (all of mine do), it's actually easier to shoot well that way than S/A, once you get used to it.

If I try to shoot S/A, or stage the trigger on D/A, I'm more likely to pull the shot slightly than with just a smooth, controlled, D/A pull right through. On S/A, I tend to pull too hard, being used to D/A, and hit to the right. If staging the D/A pull, I find it is harder to get the trigger moving again once it stops. Everyone has their own way of doing things that they are comfortable with. This is my way. I don't think badly of anyone else for doing it their way.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:06 PM
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Almost never. Ancient injury in my index finger makes it tough. But I trained it, and can do it if the need arises.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:09 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
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Quote:
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BTW, If any one has a shooter grade Model 18 to let go, I'm in the market and appearance is not an issue.
I haven't looked for a Model 18 in a long time but there should be a lot of these around as they were made for many years. I like all the S&W and Colt .22 revolvers and the Model 18 will shoot at least as well as any of them including the Model 17 with its longer barrel.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:10 PM
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I shoot everything DA. Most of my revolvers have been set up for DA only. My carry gun is the only one that still has the spur on the hammer but I still shoot it double action.

With different techniques DA is easy to master.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:26 PM
THE STEE THE STEE is offline
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I have a model 10-5 smith, trigger breaks at 1.7 lbs only double action. ppc special no thumb rest on hammer. wicked shooting pistol.. love taking it out
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:03 PM
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Not as much as I should, but what the heck. I'm just having fun and converting ammo into noise mostly.
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