Thursday, May 23, 2013

At the range with the Smith and Wesson Model 1905 4th change...

1905 4th change with issue stocks
I got some time to run out to the Stonewall Rifle and Pistol Club to shoot a bit. So, I took my old Smith and Wesson 1905 4th change to the range. Ammo used was loaded several years back (I got it from him before Mom died or in 2009) by Jim Taylor and it utilizes Lyman's 3118 bullet. As noted a way back when this revolver is well worn as demonstrated by the gas cutting in the top strap and exterior finish. It still locks up well, but the barrel is loose and one gets the impression that only the pin is keeping it from unscrewing itself from the frame. Also, the front sight is nice and shiny and that was a bit of a problem today. I have installed a pair of magna stocks and a Tyler T-grip adapter. This is a big improvement over the issue grips.

When I got out there one of the other members was just cleaning up on the pistol range, another was mowing and two were up on the rifle range changing targets. I took advantage of the situation to get these two targets set up on the same frame and to put the frame out. I carefully measured the distance using my laser rangefinder and took a position at 15 yards.

I can often get within 15 yards of a squirrel and have done with this gun but I've only managed to bring one to bag. While plinking at dirt clods and fist size rocks made me think the gun had some potential left I had some doubt as to my actual ability to hit anything with it. I have some worries about my various eye issues (bifocals and developing cataracts) affecting my ability to sight accurately.

Taking my ammo can to the firing point I started shooting. Double action only on the right target and single action only on the left target, I alternated right to left for 8 cylinderfulls on each target, i.e. 48 rounds each. You will not see 48 bullet holes on each target. I used the 6 o'clock hold and this gun shoots a mite low with this load. Again, I should note that the sun was behind me but the sight reflected quite a bit of light and I often lost it in the rear sight.

Both targets on the range backer.  Note the .30-something holes below the targets.

After shooting I was looking at the targets and noticed that the bullet holes were dispersed very similarly no matter that I'd been shooting all DA on the right and SA on the left. So, I thought I'd try an experiment. Using the photo-editor software I clipped the two targets from the original photo, made the right or DA target 50% transparent and then overlayed the DA target on the SA target. The result is that you can see how some groups get bigger and, again, how little difference there was in using the two methods of shooting.

DA target overlayed on the SA target. 

Please note that while I matched up the center rings pretty well, there is a bit of "parallax" due to the original picture being centered between the targets. However, one can see all the shots recorded on both targets at one time. I thought it was pretty interesting.

I still like this gun. I might have to find a better example though, this one is pretty rough indeed.

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