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View Full Version : 357mag at 100y inside 2 inches?


Bug Splat
11-21-2012, 12:15 PM
I love accurate firearms. Built a bunch of sub 1/2 MOA rifles and I have semi-auto pistols that will eat out the same hole at 25 yards. I'm bored with them all. Too easy. I need a new challenge. Always wanted a target/hunting scoped revolver. I'd expect groups no bigger than 2 inches at 100 yards and 5 inches at 200 yards from a rest. Is this possible?

Budd
11-21-2012, 12:27 PM
What barrel length?

I think the 100 yards is doable - not sure about 200 yards out of a revolver - but then again I have never scoped a revolver.

Czsp-01-9mm
11-21-2012, 12:58 PM
Maybe a single shot handgun with a rifle round, If your figure it out would love to see it

luchador768
11-21-2012, 1:01 PM
There was a writer for Guns and Ammo years ago that had built some really accurate wheelguns. I can't remember the guys name, late 70's early 80's era.

Bug Splat
11-21-2012, 3:44 PM
Naw, a single shot pistol is not a challenge. Its just a short barrel rifle without a stock. I want a revolver with an 8" barrel. Revolvers are the one area I have not spent time gunsmithing. I have tuned a few triggers and polished parts but nothing like taking a off the shelf revolver and turning it a real shooter. I have 3 older revolvers but they are too old for what I want to do and they are in odd calibers not suited for high pressure loads.

I used to own a 7-shot Taurus Tracker 4" 357 and it was a lot of fun and very accurate. Wish I didn't have to sell it but times were tough back then. I still have a lot of accessories for it like speed loaders so I may go back to Taurus unless I can find a good deal on a S&W 686.

paul0660
11-21-2012, 3:48 PM
Sounds like you have whipped the sport, and need a new hobby.

Dutch Henry
11-21-2012, 4:44 PM
Squeezing top accuracy out of a wheelgun is a challenge for the shooter and the gun. Many variables come into play. You'll have your work cut out for you.

If you use sandbags on a bench, you might be able to do 2" at 100 yards, though it probably would be more of a sometimes thing than an average grouping. 4-5 inches at 100 yards with a .357 revolver might be closer to the norm; at least that has been my experience.

Been shooting revolvers for 35 years, I have 20/20 vision and long range handgunning is still a challenge for me.

I sincerely wish you good luck in your endeavor.

Bug Splat
11-21-2012, 5:02 PM
Yes, I need a new project. Built just about everything else I like to shoot. Its either build another AR or try something new and build a scoped revo. Should keep me busy for a few months.

My eye sight has gone way down hill the past few years. Iron sights beyond 25 yards is just a guessing game for me. I really need magnification beyond that. 2" is just a goal for me. I see most guys shooting around 4 inches but I need a goal to work towards. Maybe with a good load and zero wind I can squeeze 2 inches.

huckberry668
11-21-2012, 5:07 PM
I love the way you think!! You're going to need at least a heavy bench rest grade barrel, serious gunsmithing (barrel turning, cylinder timing, forcing cone job, cylinder gap, trigger job) and optics.

I cut my shooting teeth on revolvers. Shot Bianchi and PPC (hit Hi Master score) for a few years. I've seen 686 tweaked to shoot "close to" 1" 6-shot groups at 50 yards (using Krieger, Apex, Shilen, Douglass .355" blanks & Hornday XTPs).

I think 2" at 100 yard is possible but the limitation is the bullet. Handgun bullets are generally not made to have the ballistic coefficient to sustain that kind of accuracy in short barrels (14" or less). Plus the revolver has multiple chambers. Each chamber has to be machined, timed exactly for repeated same POI. At the velocity of a 357 (since you mention 686) wind is a big factor. It's possible for 2" at 100-yd. but 4" at 200-yd maybe harder. A 180gr TM at 1400fps with 50-yard zero drops 31" at 200-yds.

bullet wise, you might want to try 180gr Hornday XTP or Sierra Tournament Master (TM). Maybe some solid copper hollowpoints like Barnes for the longer bearing surface and stability. For some reason the solid copper HPs are surprising easy to shoot extremely accurately.

Czsp-01-9mm
11-21-2012, 6:36 PM
500 s&w with a 10.5 in barrel, I dunno that's a tuff one

Found this too

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product4_750001_750051_785511_-1_775663_775655_757896_ProductDisplayErrorView_Y

Bug Splat
11-21-2012, 8:21 PM
Got some prospects on some used S&W 357's. Waiting on specs. I think I might want to try and get a beater and rebarrel it, fix up the action and cylinder and see what it can do. Little nervous about doing that much work on something I know very little about but I'm sure I can figure it out. Time to start reading up on revo smithing.

Czsp-01-9mm
11-21-2012, 8:32 PM
I get what you wanna do now, take a beater and make is a mean machine, I have a ruger blackhawk 357 6.5 in barrel, I was getting lucky hitting 2 liter bottles at 50 yards

RL15
11-21-2012, 8:37 PM
I have a 6" S&W 586 with a aimpoint that will hold 2" at 100 yards. I used it in shooting metallic sihoulettes for quite a while.

Lots of aguys used revolvers in various calibers to compete. As you probably know, in the steel game you shoot chickens at 50, pigs at 100, Turkey at 150 and rams at 200 yards. The 41 magnum was very popular
.

huckberry668
11-21-2012, 8:39 PM
I have a 6" S&W 586 with a aimpoint that will hold 2" at 100 yards. I used it in shooting metallic sihoulettes for quite a while.

Lots of aguys used revolvers in various calibers to compete. As you probably know, in the steel game you shoot chickens at 50, pigs at 100, Turkey at 150 and rams at 200 yards. The 41 magnum was very popular
.

I have got to know... can you share what is your 2" 100 yard load?

Damiiaaannn
11-21-2012, 8:43 PM
The 460 Magnum shoots really flat. S&W Performance Center makes it in 10.5", 12", and 14" barrels.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_775663_-1_775655_757751_image

RL15
11-21-2012, 9:45 PM
My 357 load exceeds what you will find in today's reloading manuals. However, if you go back a few years to older reloading books, they are considered safe.

Anyway, my steel load is 14.9 grs of 2400 with a 160 gr Bear Creek hard cast semi-wadcutter bullet.

It chronos 1298 fps out of my 586. No pressure signs are present. Primers are slightly flat, cases eject easily. I do need to mention that I use CCI magnum primers, which are one of the thicker, harder primers on the market.

RL15
11-21-2012, 9:56 PM
I do own a lot of what I consider long range target revolvers that I used in the steel sport. But, always came back to my 586. I have an 8 3/8 S&W model 57, 41 magnum; a model 29, 44 magnum, same barrel length; a model 686, 357. Same barrel length; model 27, 357 same barrel; and a huge amount of Ruger Blackhawks in all calibers and barrel lengths. Also have a bunch of other Smith N frames, but they are in calibers are are not suitable such as 44 special, 45 long colt, 45 acp, etc. I always enjoyed shooting the production revolver class.

JTROKS
11-21-2012, 11:14 PM
I've had my TC Contenders shoot sub moa at 100 yards, but I haven't found that magical load to get 2" at 100 yards. I'll be happy with 2" at 50 yards with my revos. I have an USPSA Open class 38 Super that did 2" at 50 yards with several loads when it was new and it was scary accurate for I can shoot bowling pins at 100 yards with it. Ive seen custom revolvers put 5 rounds into a tight cluster about 1" at 50 yards so your quest is doable.

22popnsplat
11-23-2012, 10:18 AM
You need to look at the Freedom arms revolvers , my 454 will come very close to 1 inch at 50 yards and in the right hands i think it could do a inch at 100 .i witnessed sub moa groups from a 357 freedom arms by a personal freind , He is one of the best shooters i have seen.
I have a Merrill single shot 357 that will shot remington bulk hollow points on top of moderate charges of 4227 into groups close to 1/2 inch at 50 yards, I think it would shoot under 2 inches at 100. use some premium bullets and i think it would improve .
I think this goal of 2 inch groups at 100 could be done without to much trouble . When i shot Silhouette there were guys shooting 357s freedom arms and would load 200 grain .358 rifle bullets to meet cylinder length for improved ballistics on the 200 meter rams

redcliff
11-23-2012, 10:32 AM
If I was trying for a super accurate long ranger revolver/ammo combination I would start with a Dan Wesson. The barrel nut and shroud design keeps the barrel under tension; it's supported at both the muzzle and cylinder ends and minimizes barrel whip.

Back in the early 80's the DW's pretty much ruled metallic silhouette shooting for revolver classes due to their inherent accuracy attributable to their barrel/shroud design.

Fishslayer
11-23-2012, 3:48 PM
Google "Elmer Keith." ;)

1JimMarch
11-23-2012, 5:20 PM
You need one of two types:

1) Ruger large-frame Single Action such as the Blackhawk, with a line-bored custom cylinder and a premium barrel. Total cost will be about $1,500 if done right. Don't forget to upgrade the rear sight with a Bowen Target setup, or do a rail and glass.

2) Freedom Arms model 383 large-frame, or *maybe* a model 97 mid-frame in 357 with a 6" or longer barrel. About $2k each :(. For best results order a second cylinder in 38Spl MATCH chambers - $300 extra for either last I heard.

I'm currently re-building my Ruger mid-frame 357Mag New Vaquero as a 9mm based on a Bowen cylinder blank and a 3.5" section of Douglas Premium barrel in true .355. I don't think this will do 2MOA at 100 yards but...it *might*. Cylinder isn't line-bored though.

Line-boring means the cylinder is reamed via an adapter plugged into the frame where the barrel will go later. In other words, the chamber position/spacing of each chamber in the cylinder is matched to that particular frame. Freedom Arms does this on every gun they make. It can be done to a Ruger.

There is a documented test of a Freedom Arms '97 in .22LR with match chambers doing 1" or less groups at 100 yards. The centerfire versions won't quite do that but they can come close.

http://www.gunblast.com/Freedom_97-22.htm

redcliff
11-23-2012, 6:04 PM
You need one of two types:

1) Ruger large-frame Single Action such as the Blackhawk, with a line-bored custom cylinder and a premium barrel. Total cost will be about $1,500 if done right. Don't forget to upgrade the rear sight with a Bowen Target setup, or do a rail and glass.

2) Freedom Arms model 383 large-frame, or *maybe* a model 97 mid-frame in 357 with a 6" or longer barrel. About $2k each :(. For best results order a second cylinder in 38Spl MATCH chambers - $300 extra for either last I heard.

I'm currently re-building my Ruger mid-frame 357Mag New Vaquero as a 9mm based on a Bowen cylinder blank and a 3.5" section of Douglas Premium barrel in true .355. I don't think this will do 2MOA at 100 yards but...it *might*. Cylinder isn't line-bored though.

Line-boring means the cylinder is reamed via an adapter plugged into the frame where the barrel will go later. In other words, the chamber position/spacing of each chamber in the cylinder is matched to that particular frame. Freedom Arms does this on every gun they make. It can be done to a Ruger.

There is a documented test of a Freedom Arms '97 in .22LR with match chambers doing 1" or less groups at 100 yards. The centerfire versions won't quite do that but they can come close.

http://www.gunblast.com/Freedom_97-22.htm

While I enjoyed the info in your post regarding the Freedom Arms and Rugers, stock Dan Wessons have shot 1.5" groups at 100 yards with factory ammo; so it certainly is a "third type" for the OP to consider; he doesn't have to stick with Single Action. The Freedom Arms and modified Rugers are very nice revolvers and may indeed be more preferable to the OP, but choices are good.

http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/01/03/handgun_reviews_wesson_041306/