Thursday, August 17, 2017

Shooting the snubnose -- three how-to tips


The snubnosed double action revolver is my favorite type of concealed carry gun. It's durable, simple to operate and, if it is given periodic function checks, highly reliable.

Here are my top three tips for shooting the snubnosed revolver--a gun widely acknowledged to be a handful to shoot. Using the right techniques will make it behave.


  • Crush grip

I suggest you squeeze the handle of your snubnose as hard as you can. This has a couple of good results. It keeps the gun from jumping so much in your grasp--for snubnose recoil is brisk. It also keeps you from hitting poorly due to tightening your grip momentarily, in anticipation of recoil. If you are already squeezing as hard as you can, you cannot make that mistake!


  • Deliberate trigger

You do not want to dawdle when a shot needs to be fired. But an even, steady rearward sweep of the trigger, followed by relaxing the pressure to allow the trigger to swing fully forward, is what is needed to get hits in a hurry, and that calls for a deliberate, steady trigger stroke and release.

What is to be avoided is hurriedly mashing the trigger, for that has the result of making the shot fly just anywhere-- and most likely not where you need it to go. "You don't have time to miss" is a maxim worth remembering.

The problem with "prepping the trigger," in which you pull the trigger most of the way, pause just before the gun fires, then carefully squeeze off the shot the rest of the way, is that it entails a pause.

  • Shark sights

Most uses of a defensive sidearm are at close range. Yet it is still possible to miss, so it is best to aim. How to do that in a hurry?  I think the shark method is a good balance of speed and half-decent short range accuracy.

Raise your revolver until it is very slightly below eye level, so that you see the front sight standing up above the rear sight--rather like a shark's fin is visible above the water. Aim with only the front sight, as you would use a shotgun's bead. When firing using the front sight alone, I find the shots strike slightly high, so the answer is to aim slightly low to compensate.

If you have plenty of time you can refine this coarse sight picture by raising the gun slightly or ducking your head slightly, so that you see the front sight centered in the rear notch. That is quick to do once you have acquired the front sight in your vision, with the rear sight beneath it.

Off to the range

The above three-ingredient formula will tame the snubnose. All it takes is practice. It is purely a myth that the snubnose is good only for a few yards and is wildly inaccurate. Many people shoot it inaccurately, but that is only because they do not know better. Range practice using the above principles will soon yield decent groups at 15 yards, and continued practice will only improve your results.

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