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Revolver accuracy problems

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by taylor, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I just got a Ruger Vaquero in .357 and went shooting store boughts and reloads( fmj+cast,158grn,Unique) the accuracy was terrible with all different cartridges, I noticed 2 things;
    1. there was no cleaning required for the barrel, I mean it was spotless but the chamber mouths were filthy with smokey residue.
    2. I noticed the brush was really tight in the barrel but really loose in the chamber mouths.
    What would be the result of having uneven large chamber mouths and a small cylinder?
     
  2. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    First off, a tight chamber in a revolver would make it more difficult to eject the spent cases.

    Second, the bullet travels fairly free until it passes through the forcing cone of the barrel. This is a tapered portion of the barrel that helps make up for the slight inaccuracies of lining a chamber up with the barrel in a revlover.

    As for accuracy, revolver's are like all other pistols. They get MOST of their accuracy from the shooter. Grip, trigger pull, sight alignment, wrist position, etc.

    Before tackling any particular part of your technique, shoot it first from a rest using single action. This will give you a baseline to compare as you develop your body mechanics, grip, sight alignment, and trigger pull.

    I don't know how much experience you have from your post so it's hard to give you a specific answer.
     
  3. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I can't tell from your post whether you bought reloads, or bought components and reloaded. We also don't know what your experience or equipment is for reloading if they are your reloads.

    Inconsistent or improper reloads can give you that problem, but I can't tell what you have there.
     
  4. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I used manufactured ammo and some reloads I made with varied amounts of Unique. I used these same loads in a S&W 19 with xlnt results.
    I have been reloading a couple years.
    I measured the groove width of the barrel with calipers and it was .355. I then measured the chamber mouth and got .361 and .362 on a couple of chambers.
     
  5. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Your Vaquero will shoot very accurately when you find what it likes. Safe bet it (or even the Smith that came off the assembly line right after your 19) will like something different. Welcome to the world of revolvers. With new wheel-guns, I play with jacketed bullets almost exclusively to find out what it is capable of. Cast bullet experiments come later (and often do better what I got with the jacketed, but not always).

    Very worst approach with ANY gun (rifle or pistol) is "retail reloads" for initial experimentation. This is not to say that occasionally, some of the "shade tree" suppliers (and the fine firm of Black Hills is included in this "detrimental" assignment) might hit on something your gun likes. But best results are found most quickly with quality factory loads or quality HANDLOADS (not high-production RELOADS). Go from there, once you determine nothing wrong with the gun. It's a Ruger. Chances are, nothing wrong with the gun. When you find something that works, then you can decide if you want your chambers worked, throat worked, etc, to get the best you can get. Warning: such work will often equal the cost of the gun (but some decide it is worth it). Your purposes dictate what is cost-effective. In your situation, I would try a fine handload carefully assembled with Hornady XTP jacketed bullets (I find the 125's do best with minimal effort), then go exploring to heavier offerings if that is what you want out of the gun.

    Guys who focus on their Arseholies (anal) like me, actually do load development utilizing only one singular selected chamber of the cylinder. Later experiments show how the manufacturer tolerances to the other cylinders affect a found good load.

    My revolvers are most usually used for hunting. I demand precise accuracy, and don't regularly engage in "stump killing". I want my .38 Smith 3" to pop a cottontail every time in the head at 25 yards. I want my Trooper 8" .357 to smack an Antelope in the lungs at 150 yards, and my 57 Smith .41 to drop the Muley NOW! I have cowboy guns too, and I want my .44-40 Uberti Outlaw (Remington 1890 replica) to bust a coyote at 40 yards that my Plotthound has bayed up when I bail off the horse. My applications are unusual and weird, but I strive to make these guns do what I want them to do.
     
  6. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    Thank you I will take your advice and pick up some XTP's today at Sportsmans wherehouse (wishful thinking) and try them out. I have a large amount of Red dot I think will work up a load.