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44 MAG Favorite loads?

8576 Views 66 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Black Prince
No 44 Mag threads going. Heres one. Who loads for the 44? What is the load? My favorite load is with a 300 gr cast lead bullet.

FC Brass
Federal LP Primers.
18.0 gr 2400 Powder
Lyman mould 429265(?) GC 300 gr
1.700 OAL
Heavy Crimp
Gravity Ejection of cases!

10 rnd avg. 1401 fps / 1308 fpe
Avg Deviation 14 fps (extreme 54 fps)
7-1/2" BBL (SBH)

This is 6 rounds of it at 50 yds. Sandbagged at the bench just to see what it was capable of, and sighting in purposes. I was trying for target zero, so POA was 6 O'Clock and when it came back like this I said good enough and didnt fiddle with it! I probably dont need 1400 fps so I may just trim this load back to 1250 or so

For reference purposes only! It may work for me but you and your gun may be in trouble if you try this load without working it up slowly like you should. Safety first!

Aint 44's Grand?! :cannon:


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Ed & BP, danged if y'all ain't got a rite fine discussion goin', boys!

As to the little Ruger carbine, I've never owned one, but back when I was still back in my last two years of college, some time 'tween '72 and '74, a buddy had one, and was too broke to shoot the dang thing, so I'd cast and load for my .44, and let him shoot them in his lil' Ruger. Never had a problem. I've shot the Saeco Keith style bullet, #441 I think it is, and it's different from the original Lyman Keith bullet in that it has a shorter nose and longer bearing surface. I've cast a BUNCH of bullets with that mould through the years, but $30 for the mold AND handles was a princely sum back then, and I had to do without some good stuff to manage to pay for it. Ain't never been sorry, though. It may not QUITE be a "real" Keith bullet, but it's always done fine for me in everything I've shot it in. One of my best shootin' buddies and I both had .44 Ruger SuperB's, and he had the Lyman Keith mould, and I had that Saeco. For once in life, everything worked out, and my gun shot slightly better with the Saeco bullet, and his shot best with the Lyman. It's usually the other way around of course. That dang Murphy and his Laws must'a been nappin' then?

I had a .35 Whelen Ackley built for a planned trip with some relatives that used to go every year. They're all older than I am, and one by one, they crapped out for various reasons. The most exciting part of the planning stages, though, before it all went awry, was when they told me about the wallows and watering holes where a good man might get a shot as close as 10-50 yds., and lots of potential inside 100. I was still shooting a fair bit back then, and an elk at 100 would have been no problem. After building that Whelen, I was all hot to trot to leave it aside in favor of the Super Blackhawk .44, and there's not a doubt in my mind it would have done the job with that Saeco Keith bullet ...... or probably any other decent cast bullet, for that matter.

I've loaded a sorta' strange load for a very long time now, and it's one determined by a very "practical" reason: my old Ohaus powder measure's small cavity, when backed all the way back to full capacity, throws 20.7 gr. of 2400. It's still just a mite compressed with that long bearing surfaced bullet, and probably shoots just as fast as a larger charge with the longer seated Lyman bullet. All I can say for sure is that I've loaded from 18-24 gr. of 2400 under that old Saeco bullet, and can't tell much difference in the accuracy or performance in the field with any of the charges, except that it shoots a hair better with 20 or more gr. of 2400. I guess it takes a certain amount of pressure level to get that much maligned 2400 to burn more cleanly?

I've used 296 powder in the Super B, too, but like Davy, gave it up for my old standby 2400. Can't see a reason in the world to change, either, to this day. Probably get a mite more velocity from the newer "faster" version of 2400, and maybe it burns just a mite cleaner, in comparison, but none of those differences are significant. All those boys complaining about 2400 being "dirty" probably just aren't loading enough of it. I've also usually gotten better accuracy with std. primers instead of magnums, too. Maybe my guns were different, but that's what I got, and I used to do little else but cast and shoot my .44 and .45 auto for a good many years. My wife says it kept me out'a trouble.

A good .44, a good Keith style cast bullet, and some 2400, and you're steppin' in about as high a field of cotton as a man has a right to expect to ever step in. I've probably tried a dozen or more powders in the .44, but nothing to beat that combo. Keith DID know a thing or two about a gun! One day, I'd really like to find an old, original Keith mould with the longer front driving band and the square grooves ......... just 'cause every time I'd fire one of those slugs, I'd think of ol' Elmer. The man was a True Original
and his work will last forever in handgunnery ........ as long as folks want something that WORKS instead of the newest, shiniest bauble the Marketing boys WANT them to want!

I guess my best shot with that old Super B and the Keith bullet was beheading a dove at 69 long steps on an old logging road on a hunting club. Uhhhhh ..... now that I think about it, shootin' "migratory fowl" with a handgun is illegal, ain't it???? Must'a been a Whoopin' Crane, then ...... or a Spotted Owl???? :rolleyes: I disremember right now ...........


Davy, your stories took me back a ways when just about all I did was shoot ....... and fish some in the spring, summer and fall. Good thing was, at the River, I could combine the two. During a good, hot, dog-day summer trip to the river, I'd take that .44 and we'd take turns shooting gar and mudfish that made the mistake of silhouetting themselves against a white sand bank. Those .44's will PENETRATE water to a depth NO jacketed bullet will, and I've shot a gar or two at darn near 4' deep. It was luck when I hit one that deep, of course, but the fact that the bullet could transverse, say, 3.5 ft. of water and STILL kill a gar was kinda' amazing to me. Great "river gun" in summer.

Ahhhhhhh! The simple pleasures of a good, well stoked .44!
Thanks guys for a little trip back to a very nice place!
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Yew a good man, Ed! I like ya' awreddy!

That skeeter hawk story brings to mind one 'bout one of my best shootin' buddies. He wuz raised down onna' banks a' th' river, an' wuz partly raised by his granpa an' gramma. Granpa made 'is livin' by huntin', fishin' an' trappin', an' doin' seasonal farm work. They growed most alla' they vittles out back inna' big ol' garden, an' canned it fer th' winter months. He still rolls 'is eyes talkin' 'bout eatin' wid gramma!

Th' boy growed up wid a gun in 'is hand, includin' a ol' .25/35 M-94 Win, that he thought was th' killinest thang he'd ever seen, this side of a atomic bum, an' a ol' Colt Peacemaker in .45 LC. One day his granpa took 'im to th' master bedroom 'cause he had sumthin' ta' give to 'im. Whilst Jimmy sat onna' bed, granpa opened th' top drawer of his ol' dresser, an' took out ANOTHER bran' spankin' new, never bin fired Peacemaker wid 7 1/2" barrel, blued an' case colored jes' lak th' one he'd bin usin' fer many years. It wuz all wrapped in a lightly oiled red bandanna, an' as he unwrapped it, he tole Jimmy, "I bought this one so I'd have another one when I wore out the first one, but looks lak I ain't never gonna' wear that first one out, so I want yew ta' have this 'un," an' wid that, he put that brand spankin' new Colt in Jimmy's hands. Th' boy dang near CRIED, he wuz so surprised an' happy. Comin' from granpa made it all th' more special, not to mention bein' jes' lak gramps'.

I guess ya' know th' boy slew many truckloads a' deers an' hawgs wid that ol' Peacemaker, allus wid th' regular factory load, which at th' time he thought was 'bout equivalent to a Browning .50 cal.? That's how he got to be one'a th' finest shots I know wid ANY kinna' gun, but pistols has allus bin special for 'im on account'a that ol' Peacemaker, an' all.

Well, th' boy growed up to his teens, an' lak ol' country boys is prone to do, learnt ta' play that dang ol' guitar, an' nex' thang ya' know, he's playin' inna' band in them backwoods juke joints that only th' initiated even KNOWS about that REALLY DID have chicken wire strung out in front'a th' band so they equipment wouldn't be quite as likely to git tore up, an' after a few "introductions" to gunfire an' knife swishin', he took to totin' a leedle ol' pistol a' some kind 'most alla' time, an' ESPECIALLY at th' "clubs." To this day, he's got an affinity for lil' cheap .25 autos, an' some years back, he had - of all thangs - a Sterling .25 that he'd worked over an' got reliable. He carried it wid 'im inna' truck, an' went fishin' wid a rather simple minded friend one early spring evenin'. He usta' hunt or fish 'bout 300 days a year, an' turnt down promotions onna' job 'cause it'd change his workin' hours so's he wouldn't be able to hunt or fish inna' evenins. Wal, he tucked that lil' Sterling .25 in his shirt pocket when they left th' truck an' put th' boat in, an' 'bout sundown, it got COLD an' windy, an' his fishin' mate tole Jimmy he wuz gittin' cold an' wanted to go home, since they already had pleny'a fishes caught.
'Bout that time, a coupla' wood ducks come over, callin' loud an' clear as they're wont to do, an' th' boy tole Jimmy, in intended jest, "Hey, Jimmy! Take that lead duck out wid yer pistol!" Never bein' one to avoid a chance ta' burn some powder, Jimmy pulls that lil' Sterling out an' swings along, straight-faced as a preacher inna' middle of a 2 week revival, an' swings that outstreched arm a' his along wid th' ducks, an' pulls th' trigger. POP! went th' lil' gun, an' DOWN COME TH' LEAD DRAKE DEADER'N A DOORNAIL!!!
Yep! Folded like a cheap lawn chair! Now Jimmy's watchin' this duck fall, absolutely amazed at th' poor duck's bad luck, an' his simple-minded buddy's jaw drops down to th' deck'a th' boat, an' STAYS there, all gape-mouthed an' wide-eyed!

Now havin' growed up in them chicken wire clubs, ol' Jimmy'd learnt ta' thank purdy fast on 'is feets, an' rat away, he straightens up all serious like, an' when 'is buddy ast 'im why he didn't take th' other one (he just KNEW Jimmy could do this kinna' shot at will!), Jimmy jes' fawned a bit, an' humbly said, "Well, I figured that one'd do for yew, an' I already got plenty inna' freezer."

To this day, that simple-minded buddy b'lieves Jimmy can take ducks onna' wing wid that .25, an' tells everbody that story when th' subject a' Jimmy's prowess widda' gun comes up in conversation, which is purdy reg'ler when Jimmy's around.

They's bin other shots made lak that, an' several in my presence, but that duck story is my favorite. I'm really glad to have Jimmy as a friend, an' he's th' finest all around shot I've ever known - a "natural" you might say. He's good, but he ain't THAT good! Not alla' time, any way.

Doancha' jes' LOVE these kinna' stories?
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Great story, Davy. It sure harks back to better days. I know dang well there are some "magazine reader experts" out there snickering, but I've seen this type of stuff done. Except for the occasional watermelon field after pickin', though, most of my "long range" stuff has been around 225 yds. or so, with little longer. I can attest to that back-braced sitting position being THE berries for field use, though.

If a man wants to become any sort of bonafide pistolero, grab a Ruger Super Blackhawk and do some long range shooting with it.
That long, slow, heavy hammer fall will dang sure MAKE a man learn to "follow through" the shot.

A man who can shoot tin cans at 50 yds. regularly will likely surprise himself if he'll put up a 5 gal. plastic bucket out at 200 or better. Learning how much front sight to hold up over the rear notch is the only real requisite, other than good form. At longer ranges, the .44's always outshot ANY .357 load I've shot against.
Those big bullets also usually move the big bucket around, too, which gives that instant feedback that any real shooter loves. It's cheap, it's easy, and there are more folks out there who can likely do it - at THAT range, anyway - than most would think. Ain't no magic to it at all - just good form, consistency, and practice, practice, practice.

Long range handgunning is one of the most satisfying field pursuits around. FUN, too!

I haven't done that in a long time, and while my eyes aren't as bad as your right one, they're DANG sure not what they used to be. Never were all that great, really. I just learned to line up the blurs. Age has increased the blurriness, and has also made it very nice to have about a 6 foot barrel on my revolver, but I can't hold one that long up any more. Ain't it a bee-eye-itch growin' old? Only thing worse is the other option.

BTW, yew learnt ta' shoot left-eyed yet? I've known a number of folks who were right handed and left eyed, and shot that way from the start. Just requires a little different wrist work, which will probably be a real challenge for you now. The twig's bent, the tree grown, and you and I don't bend like we used to, so learning new stuff ain't exactly as easy as it used to be. You just can't "uncondition" yourself - not completely, anyway, and when you have to do something quick, you'll almost always go back to your prior learning. It's a good thing you're an ornery ol' coot, an' like to wrassle! You might miss one day.

On second thought ....... naaaaaahhhhhhh! I'm bettin' you won't.
Osmosis or one'a them things'll almost always lead a well practiced man to hit when it's REALLY important. In the spur of a moment, a man always reverts to his training.

I got a suspicion Redd's gonna' shad us all, anyway. My root doctor says so.
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Ed, these type shots are far from unheard of, really. Luck won't do it by itself, either. You've got to be good, AND just a mite lucky at the same time. I've got a buddy who shot a wounded deer running across a very large field. If it had gotten to the woods, it would never be found, since that's a BIG swamp, and experience, along with everything else, made it known that the deer WAS going to make it in there, despite being obviously very sick. Field was wet and plowed and no vehicle could have entered to cut it off and gotten as far as 50 yds., so my buddy Jimmie took out his 4" .357 mag., and let fly. As in Davy's case, the first shot was low and back. He adjusted his hold, and on the next shot, it tumbled end over end like a rabbit! Bullet, it turned out, had hit it in the neck where it joins the shoulder.

Another time, a fair number of years before, Jimmy was in a similar situation with a deer running wounded toward refuge, but THIS boy was at 900 yds. No pistola THIS time! He had his '06. He swung along with a buddy spotting through his own scope, and fired. Low and behind ..... again. Next shot, the deer humped up momentarily, then stumbled and fell. Jimmie paced it off, and whenever we've shot together, his long strides consistently run 99-101 long steps for each 100 yds. Mine generally run 96 or so per hundred.

The point I want to make, is that GOOD shooting, much like GOOD anything, usually goes to the person who really WANTS it. I'm not talking here about willingness to shoot large volumes, but of QUALITY shots, time after time. Hathcock used to speak of "getting in his bubble" when he won Wimbledon, and just about whenever he was shooting. It's all about concentration, and noticing the little things. Things like the timing of how one's heartbeat affects sight alignment, and the rhythm of it when you squeeze off. Timing the trigger release when the rhythm puts the sights plumb dead center really DOES make a bigger difference than most think.

Most fellows could shoot 100,000 rds. a year, and never get more than passable, because they just don't notice things, and the reason they don't notice things is because they don't really, really, really WANT to make the shot.

This is something that affects one's ability to perform under pressure, too. My buddy Jimmie, cited above with the two "impossible" shots, is one of the best shots under pressure or for money that I know. Most guys, when their pennies are on the line, start second-guessing themselves, and telling themselves that they probably won't make the shot. Voila'! They miss!

Now there are a lot of folks selling "Positive Self Talk" tapes and other stuff for wannabeez with money. I doubt there's one in a thousand that really benefits from it. The simple reason for this is that the reason they THINK they need it in the FIRST place, is that they KNOW their limitations, to quote Dirty Harry here. They KNOW they just aren't the type to really bear down and "get in their bubble" and make the shot. They tremble MORE when there's something at stake, than when practicing. THEN they conclude that folks who speak of making "impossible" shots, such as those that handgun silhouetters do every match, are shooting those shots with their keyboards. T'tain't so. Not always, anyway.

You spoke of the tone in Davy's post. Well, I detect a tone in yours that makes me think that you've got what it takes to be a real, sho' 'nuff pistolero. Most of what it takes, we take to the range before we even open the shooting or ammo box, and that's the simple WILL to do it. If a man's got the will, and is willing to learn by trial and error, isn't afraid of making mistakes, is willing to learn from his "betters," and is consistently and willfully challenging his own previous best effort, then he'll get there.

Good and CONSISTENT shooting is largely a matter of just plain, old fashioned wanting to do it. The rest is practice, noticing things, learning as you go, and just paying attention, always WANTING to do better. I've got a sneaking suspicion that you're the type of guy who's already on his way to becoming a real shooter. One thing that tips me off is that you're a listener, and you notice things that many just offhandedly dismiss, if they even note it at all. A man like that can't help learning, and the more a man learns, the more he'll put into practice, especially when what you're doing is just plain FUN, and satisfying as well.

One reason real shooters enjoy it so much, I think, is because they truly enjoy challenging themselves. After all, sitting there shooting the same ol' 2.5" group at 25 from a rest gets kinda' old, doesn't it? Some shooters get jaded because they just never challenge themselves, and fail to pay attention and learn.

When a shot flys an inch out at 10:00, the good shooter trys to figure out why. If he can't figure it out right then, he takes note and continues shooting until he does it again, and sooner or later, he'll notice what it was that made that shot fly there instead of where he wanted it to go. Then, he'll find out what's causing him to do that, and try to work out a "cure" for it. Might be the grips may need a tad of sanding at a certain point. Might be something else. Some things can be solved by modifying the equipment, and some have to be solved by modifying one's mind and habits and "muscle memory."

A Ga. State Trooper once told me that when they get issued those Smokey Bear hats at trooper school, they're told not to worry if they don't fit, because if they wear it long enough, their heads will change shape to fit the hats. Shooting well is a little like that sometimes, too. If you TRAIN yourself, and develop the right habits, and concentrate and pay attention, you WILL get GOOD!

One last thing: Concentration isn't something you MAKE yourself do, as so many think, and try to achieve. You have to LET yourself concentrate. There's a BIG difference! If you try to MAKE yourself concentrate, you increase your tenseness, trap yourself into a blind canyon of thought, and it becomes less and less likely you'll even be ABLE to concentrate, much less hit anything consistently. Go watch a good shooter, and one of the first things most notice is that he's as relaxed and intent as he can be. That's because he's having fun, and paying attention, and playing his own little game of "Well, let's see if we can put this one right smack dab on top of that 'X' and punch it right out."

I think if you'll think back to your best performances on the range, it was most likely when you were relaxed, and letting yourself have some quiet, pleasurable fun, and NOT when you were "bearing down." Am I right? One reason shooting becomes so enjoyable is that no matter what's going on elsewhere in the shooter's life, when he's on the range, he's SHOOTING, and that's ALL he's doing. He allows himself the simple liberty of taking care of all that other stuff when he gets through on the range. And you know what? After a good range session, he's likely to take the other stuff less seriously, and will likely handle it more effectively and with more aplomb as well. It really IS "all a state of mind," and IF a man can just ALLOW himself the simple liberty of a brief respite from all the cares of his world while he's at the range, he'll not only be a better man for it, he'll be a better shooter as well.

In this vein, shooting really CAN be a sort of "religious experience," just like sitting in the woods, just soaking up what's around you, the whispers of the wind, the rustle of the leaves, the scents of each plant or tree, and the overall scent of all of them together. LET your mind soak up what all's around you, and the cares of this world suddenly seem awfully small and trite.
THIS is what makes a good shooter. It's all in the Spirit, and the simple desire, and the ability to ALLOW ourselves to become something we want to be. It just simply can't be MADE to happen. It has to be ALLOWED.

Am I making any sense here????
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I wouldn't want you shooting at ME, EITHER! Not even if you were blind, blindfolded and hawg-tied! Really good shooters, I think, use their whole mind and body in lining up. Seeing and aligning the sights is just the final culmination when a quick shot's required. That's how Jordan and McGivern and others of their ilk did some of the things they did.

Point-shooting (not using the sights) has come into disrepute these days, but if Jordan could shoot aspirin tablets without using the sights, that's the best indication I can cite that it's the shooter's whole mind and body, working together, to sense and direct a bullet. Were it not so, Jordan couldn't have done what he did, and there's no doubt that he DID do it, because there are thousands of witnesses to not only his feats, but his consistency at it.

As you say, when it gets to be as natural as breathing, you've really learned to shoot. The eyesight may go, and the muscle memory may need a little "reminding" as time goes by, and the vagaries of life and age get to us, but a man who really learns to shoot will always be able to shoot well.

Another example of using one's whole body and mind together in unison is the quick, short range shots, often in self defense or to protect a client, that African PH's have sometimes had to make.
A miss and a client gets et, or stomped into red tinted dust. A man in that position HAS to get good, or he and his family don't eat. After all, dead clients don't pay!

Another thing relative to this, I think, is that I think good shotgunners have a greater understanding, albeit maybe inate or more "felt" than clearly understood, is how that mind-body relationship is the key to good, quick shotgun shooting. My eldest uncle, Uncle Titus, was without doubt, the very finest shotgunner I ever expect to know on this earth. That man was some sort of savant, I think. At his funeral, I got to talk to many of his cronies who knew him way back when. I asked them about the tales I'd heard so often about how when he was a teenager, he'd go out with the old single barrel 12-ga., and a box of 25 shells, and would often if not USUALLY come back with 30-32 or so birds! Now THAT is shooting! To a man - and woman - every one of them very matter of factly verified these stories. Of course, he was a fine rifle shot, too. Never saw him shoot a pistol, but any man who can shoot the long guns like he did would be short work on a pistol range, too, I think.

The fundamentals of shooting are one thing, and they DO help.
But I think the thing that separates the "men from the boys" in shooting will always be the simple DESIRE to do it. Without that, it's mostly just a casual endeavor, and that just isn't the key to really good shooting - certainly not field shooting, anyway.

It's funny, but I think those old folks who came up during the Great Depression, and pretty much HAD to make each shot count, were a step ahead of us more afluent "moderns" in shooting, because they had the WILL to hit sorta' "built in" by the economic plight of the time. I know that there were a LOT of "good shots" back then, and few of them really got to shoot like you and I have had the privilege of doing. The simple DESIRE to hit really makes a LOT of difference. I doubt any man's deadlier than a man whose belly thinks his throat's been cut.

The first 3 rules of getting really good, in my opinion, are motivation, motivation and motivation. I never had the inate talent of a Jordan or McGivern, but I got awfully good, and the key was that I could do it fast AND accurately. My favorite "drill" was to take 2 or 3 1 or 2 lb. coffee cans, or similar, out to the lower 40 and do a quick turn around and shoot on each as fast as I could shoot. When I started, I missed widely a LOT. But as time went on, I got into the rhythm and timing, and started getting that "flash" sight picture you read about (and it really IS just a "flash," too!), and I started hitting or badly scaring those cans with almost every shot. THAT kind of shooting only comes with a LOT of shooting. I think Jordan shot, if not every day, then about 3-5 times a week, didn't he? And when he and his ilk shoot, they notice stuff that most just simply don't, and they LEARN from it. That only comes with motivation, and that's why motivation's so crucial to excelling at any endeavor, whether it be shooting, or whatever. The funny thing is, the more you learn, the more interesting and challenging it gets, and the more you tend to notice, and the more you tend to learn. It's a snowballing kind of thing.

It's really neat, too, to have something to do that, no matter what's going on around you, allows you a true respite from it all.
Getting engrossed in your shooting is a truly great pleasure, and the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I guess it's like a lot of stuff in life in that respect, isn't it?

I just wish Uncle Titus could have made me a better shotgun shot!
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Yep. Hippiefolk purdy much burnt they sense'a humor up. Yew'd thank, jes' lookin' at 'em, an' how they smiles so dang much, that they'd have a rip-roarin' sense'a humor, but NOOOOOOOO! They jes' set thar lak a doe in yer headlights when ya' speak multi-sylabul werds at 'em, lak, "Don't move!" an' "Set rat thar!" It's a good thang God invented big sticks, ain't it?
Wal, Dave, if it's any consolation, I thank it's funny, an' I ALSO thank it's funny that it wuz th' same dang rascals unner th' bridge as swimmin' inna' creek, too. I bet that to this day, whenever they hears th' phrase "th' long arm'a th' law," they think'a yew, son. Yew prolly saved'em a long stretch inna' Big House, ridin' herd on'em lak ya' done. I doan 'speck they'll ever rightly appreciate it, but ......... wal, jes' screw'em any ol' how. Joke'em if they cain't take a ....... uh ....... plane flyin' unner a overpass. Eh?
:D :D :D :2guns:
Amen, Davy. Good men are hard to find. Always have been. Who was it who said, "Most men live lives of quiet desperation?"
I disremember. Lotta' Truth there, though, ain't there? So many of us humankind never even try to get "outside the box" and have a look see, that pilots are a group I've always admired. Never had the dough to have my own plane - and anything else - so I just always "worshiped them from afar." I'm acrophobic, so I guess it makes sense that I'd love flying. Aint' it funny how that works? Men who find the "normal" boring, and set out to achieve or know or find something more, have always been the kinds who've taken the risks, and experienced the pleasures that others never know, and don't understand. We parcel our lives out to the great God of mediocrity, and sell our will for the affirmation of others. It's only cragy ol' summiches that won't allow themselves to be satisfied by the many opiates and vices of the masses. It's a dang shame, but that's the way it is, and I think the way it's always been, and likely will always be. Folks who "pay the price" to go beyond what's considered "kosher" in human associations are ....... well, they're "different," and tend to be punished for being different. Look what they did to Jesus! Nailed him down on that cross, and stuck him with a spear, and ........ well, you know the story. If THEY can't do it, or it makes them uneasy about their meager efforts and existence, why then it's just GOT to be STOPPED, doesn't it?

Dang it! That other post of yours has me in "that mode" again!
I wish you wouldn't DO that to me, son! It ain't RIGHT takin' advantage of my impressionability! But it's what you do best, so I reckon it's O.K. ......... kinda' sorta', maybe.

Well, dang it, let's get back on course here, and I'll comment or try to expand on some points here. We oughta' get a good fight goin' here 'fore long, eh? Hee hee hee!

Well, here goes:

1. "..... that the only things you really have to do is Tiger the sights and make the sear break when you are sure the sights are alighned." - Wouldn't that be like sayin that all you gotta do to play the Blues guitar is to hit all the right notes at the right times?

EXACTLY! Only the guitar takes a LOT of finger dexterity that I apparently just don't have. Like you say, every once in a while, when I'm well practiced, I'll hit that "zone" and play above my head. Truly a most gratifying experience! I guess I just don't WANT to play most of the time, which kinda' makes my point. I get caught up in just relaxing with the guitar, I literally forget to PLAY the dang thing! Sure do like your sense of humor!

2. "Brian Enos touched on this stuff a little in his book and I've tried to discuss it with some other shooters, who wind up not getting it. Those are the shooters that don't do very well too."

Interesting! I never read books on how to do stuff, because they never work. I've found that I may screw up a lot more, initially, but if I just "figure it out myself," the process gets me a lot more involved in what's going on, and I notice stuff I'd never notice if I were just following directions. Only AFTER one gets a good feeling for something do I think such books do much good. The benefit of others' experience and observations most definitely ARE helpful, and often highly so, but FIRST, one must, I think, have a basic grasp of the process. That still comes, I think, by doing things, and just noticing what is involved, how it works, and working things out as you go. Others will disagree, of course, and not without reason, but what I'm talking about here is nothing more than getting the basic PROCESS down, and I really DO think it's best done by trial and error, and carefully observing what's going on, and figuring out WHY what works, works. Just MHO, of course.

3. 'Going Zen' on demand is what I cant do yet.

Well, don't be expecting pity from ME, son! Yew ain't by your lonesome! I ga-ron-tee! I doubt there's anyone who ALWAYS does it. That just isn't the way life works. Still, there are those who CAN do it MOST to NEARLY ALL of the time, and THOSE boys (and gals) can't do it, I think, without constant practice. I just haven't been shooting a whole lot for several years, now, and it sure shows! Would that it were not so, but ...... well, that's just the way it is. I should be able to start getting back into some semblance of shape again, soon, when I get the new reloading shanty finished. That ALWAYS helps. I'll have everything set up to where I'll be able to go in and start producing ammo and bullets quickly, and that will be a BIG help! Still, I do have my moments, and most especially when a quick shot's required. One tends to do - in the spur of a moment - what one has TRAINED himself to do, and that's a habit that doesn't go completely away, even without regular practice - not COMPLETELY, anyway. There ARE certain long- lasting benefits of getting good, even once, but the more one trains and practices, the better able they'll be to, as you say, do it on demand.

4. "... but when you get to the point where your sear breaks when you think fire, you have arrived where all good pistol shooters must get to in order to be able to shoot well."

AMEN, Davy! AMEN! Good shooting just can't be done without a good trigger. For fine, precise shooting, that means it has to be light, and maybe even more important than how light it is, within reason, it has to break EVERY TIME at the same exact pressure. All this harks to consistency, of course, and it takes a good gun with a good trigger to be consistent. That's one reason when a good shooter, like Davy, gets a gun that "speaks to him," you'll NEVER pry that particular gun out of their hands.

Now the strange thing is that ol' Ed McGivern, the undisputed
"King" of the double action mode, used full strength springs in all his guns. That pudgy little guy had forearms like a blacksmith, though, and could "trigger cock" a M-10 S&W to perfection. He DID demand that his guns be very SMOOTH, though, in DA mode, and that makes them very consistent. Again, without that consistency, there'll be no record-breaking shooting, whether it be formal competition, or just besting your own best performance to date. Golfers say they like the game because they're always playing against their own personal best prior performance. Good shooting works the same way, in that respect. Good carpenters don't work with cheap Korean made tools, usually. They use GOOD tools, and learn how to maintain and even "tune" them. A good shooter has to do the very same thing. Besides, that's sometimes and in some ways, as absorbing and "fun" as the shooting part. It can become another leg in the "eternal search for perfection," and I think most all the best shooters learn to do their own work. They may THEN give it to someone who does this part even BETTER than they do, but they know how to do it. Learning this helps understand just what it is that you're feeling as you pull that trigger, and helps you know how to "fix" stuff properly when you detect the need.

5. "A good handgun shooter needs strong forearms."

Yup! Wish you hadn't talked about the "D-word," though! Diet!? Yech! ;^) That old trick really works on the forearms and parts of the hands that help one grip stuff.

One other thing that really helps, that you'll never understand how MUCH it helps until you hurt it permanently and irreparably, is a good, strong BACK! I ga-ron-tee you this! Hurt mine darn good in ‘81, and it really affected my shooting. Mostly, at first, it affected my abilities during long strings of fire, but it WILL most definitely affect your ability to shoot in ANY amount to at least some degree. Imagine your upper torso being stable as a rock. Now, inject a mid-section that won't be still, and can't. See what I mean? No way a stable top is going to be any steadier than the middle will allow it to be. Like all athletic endeavors, shooting is a function of one's conditioning and the kind of shape one's in. That's one reason they work soldiers so hard in boot camp, and have regular PT. Looks like they did a superb job on our boys in Iraq, doesn't it? Practice and GOOD training ALWAYS show!

6. "If you shoot tin cans and dirt clods, you get sloppy."

Well, sure, if you do it just to hit the can. It's a lot of fun, though, and if you pick a small spot and aim for that, and CALL your shot to your buddies, you dang well better hit that spot or expect some ragging, and then THEY'll go and shoot your spot right off the can.

Plinking CAN be fun AND good practice, and if you're wanting to be a good field shot, I think the variable shapes and colors (often buff colored and sorta' cammo'd) can add SOME utility to the endeavor. A really great shot I know is fond of plinking pecans and pebbles out in his yard. I've rarely seen him shoot a tin can in years, unless it's at least 200 yds. away with a rifle or 100 with a pistol. It's just no fun to hit something that's easy, and it DOES make us sloppy. Besides, like I said, it's no fun, either. Good targets will ALWAYS be the arbiter for a shooter, though. There's no substitute.

(Cont'd. below)
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Whew! I didn't know this thing had a limit! OR that I'd gone on so long - AGAIN! Well .......... as I was saying:

One neat trick I think just might help some focus better, is an old trick I've been fond of doing for some time. Take an old std. model Ruger .22 auto, replace the rear sight with a MMC or similar small, low-riding adj. rear sight, and cut the barrel off just behind that huge, thick barrel band front sight, square it up and recrown and blue what's silver. Then get a Lyman Shorty ramp front in the right height, and put a small, 1/32" white bead front sight on it. That sight combination, with the little bead, will MAKE you go off looking for really small stuff to shoot at. That teensy bead makes a tin can look like a 5 gal. bucket when you aim at one. I've seen guys who shot so-so with a std. auto start shooting "above their head" with that small bead setup. It just tends to make them WANT to shoot "finer." Won't work with everyone, but even then, that little bead is just the size of a snake's head in the river, so it's one of the finest little "river guns" I've ever known. Just picked up one of the long barreled ones, and haven't got it tricked out yet. Haven't worked on the trigger or polished the feed ramp or done the sights, so y'all gonna' shoot circles around me at the Annual. You were going to do that anyway, but at least NOW I've got an excuse! :D

Boys, I haven't talked THIS seriously about shooting in a long time. Not many are this "into" shooting - REAL shooting. It makes me remember Mr. Roy Smith, the old gunsmith I used to buy my reloading stuff from. He knew I longed to become a good shot, and that old man, with that big, easy smile, soft voice and those coke-bottle glasses of his, taught me most of what I know, or at least what formed the foundation of what abilities I USED to have. He was one of those types of fellows you spoke of, above, Davy. I was there to buy some powder and primers when his wife and sister drove up. He'd been in the hospital, and I hadn't even known he'd been sick. He looked awful! NOT what I was used to seeing. He was in his pajamas, and they couldn't get him and his wheelchair up the steps, so naturally I helped get him up and in the house.

I don't think he recognized me. It still hurts even to this day to think of him like that, but ......... well, he'd told me he had problems, and I know this is all too often the way of the flesh. His wife, especially, showed that she was terribly concerned for Mr. Roy, and she thanked me, and clearly wanted to be left alone, so I just smiled, told her I was glad to have been able to help, and took my leave. I was trying not to show how much I was choking back during all this.

I don't think I smiled much for several days, the event impacted me so. I'd never realized just how much I loved and owed that old man. He died not long afterward. I didn't go to the funeral. Had to go to school, and I wanted to remember him with that big, unique smile of his, that slightly red face, the thin white hair, and those big coke bottle glasses. More than even that old Marine Dad of mine, I think Mr. Roy is the man who taught me how to shoot a pistol, and he did it without my really knowing he was doing it, too. Not many like him left these days, are there?

Ed, I want to thank you, son, and BP, too, for one FINE thread. It's brought back a lot of really good stuff from the memories I've accumulated, that have made me who and what I am today - the better part of me, anyway. Can't remember when I've enjoyed a thread so much. Thanks!
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Ed, I've got a feeling you're going to wind up being even better than I USED to be. You've got all the qualities you need, and you've got the DESIRE, so my money's on YOU, son!

I don't think I'll ever be what I once was, but at least I can still hit a fairly large target, like an antagonist, if I need to. Only had to actually pull a gun once in "anger," and didn't have to pull the trigger - a fact I'm grateful for - but like both of you, and everyone I know who's had the experience, the "decompression" is something everyone seems to go through, in some manner. Some seem to forget it, curiously. I guess human behavior will never be uniform, but we're a lot more alike than we sometimes like to THINK we are. The main difference is how we process these things individually, and of course individual physiology will have some effect, too. There are a few - Col. Charles Askins comes to mind, from what I have read of him by those who knew him best - who actually seem to LIKE killing people. Those folks are few and far between, though, and that's GOOD! There are a very few individuals I know who I would have little feeling for, if they should give me reason to pull a trigger, but mostly - and this is VERY "politically incorrect" - I think most anyone who MADE me pull a trigger on them would mainly just make me VERY angry with them for having MADE me do so.

The amazing thing I've learned in what little experience I've had is that the value of TRAINING one's self CANNOT, I think, be fully appreciated unless and until you HAVE to put it into use. You WILL act in whatever manner you've TRAINED yourself to act in, including use of sights, if time is available - and one of the most surprising, if not mystifying thing to me, is that the one time I came right up to the point of the last few ounces on the trigger is that I KNEW I'd have to use the sights, because of the situation and circumstances, and I KNEW I'd do it, and do it well, and put the bullet in the brain. It's a damned humbling experience, and ironically, I think brings a man closer to God than he's probably ever been before. Strange, but that's my take on it. Maybe it brings us a little closer to the Devil simultaneously???? I don't think so, but I'm not entirely sure, to tell you the Truth.

Death is a funny thing. Being close to it, either your own or someone else's, is a very humbling and intense thing. It's the Ultimate Leveler of all beings, and I guess being in the presence of, and maybe part of it, brings the realization to the fore that it will one day overtake us, too, and all that we love and hold dear.
How could a man NOT be humbled by that realization????

Ed, I think all you've got left to do is just a bit of training, and you're not only going to be "at the top of the ladder" with those you know, you're going to add a few rungs of your own to that ladder. Best part is, when you do that, you'll make the guys around you better shots, and that will make you even better your own self! Ain't it nice how it works that way?

A big thumb's up to you, and just keep on keepin' on, son! You're already on your way.
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Horse Hockey! Jeff, you can shoot with anybody I've ever seen.
Haven't seen you shoot for speed as well as accuracy, but ........
well, I ain't pickin' no fights with you! ;)

Shootin' is pretty much shootin', for th' most part anyway, and accuracy will always be the most critical factor. As Bill Jordan said in his book, "No Second Place Winner," " ....... speed's fine, but accuracy's final." And as either he or Jeff Cooper put it (I disremember which), "All of recorded history fails to record a single instance of death due to a quick, loud noise."

Those boys have been around a LOT more gunfights than I have, or ever WANT to be around, for that matter. Sure seems like good advice to me.

Besides, the way you shoot, you've got them before they ever GET to within conventional "pistol range!"

I ain't worryin' about YOU a BIT! :D
Yeah, BP, I kinna' suspected sumthin' lak that. Either that or he got ice water flowin' thru his veins. I doan thank ice water'd keep 'im goin' lak he does, though, so it's gotta' be th' space alien thang.

Heah inna' Southland, though, we gotta' whole lotta' re-spect fer ANY kinna' bein' what kin shoot lak THAT, though, so I count th' rascal azza' friend. Heck! I've done worser'n hang 'round wid space aliens. I hang 'round yew an' Doo Dah an' Dub an' all them udders, doan I????

Ol' Jeffy's a dang fine feller, even if he IS a dang space alien.

Ya' know, us Southren boys allus liked "hot" rides. It wuz Southren moonshiners what invented stock car racin', ya' know, so mebbee ol' Jeffy'll let us ride in his space ship. I bet that's be a DANG excitin' ride. I'm jes' goan insist that he doan let YEW do no DRIVIN'!!! Not after what ya' done ta' ol' Dub in that duckpond! Even I ain't THAT dumb!!!!

Whacha' thank? Reckon he'd give th' keys ta' ol' Cisco mebbee???
I bet he could keep it 'tween th' ditches an' hedges.
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