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I have had a few revolvers in the past. I currently own a Taurus CIA 38 special and a JP Sauer Colt-replica in .45 Colt. I bought a Rossi 46103 at the Black Friday sale. I NEED HELP!

First, I am a decent shooter. I can manage 1" groups at 7 yds with any of my 1911s. I have been shooting a long time and I believe my two handed grip is OK and my stance is OK. I believe the most accurate shooting is done with a TIGHT grip and the right foot behind the left in an aggressive posture (nose in front of toes).

First time out with my Rossi 46103 produced unsatisfactory results. Shots were sprayed. I did all shooting in double action mode using 125 gr semi wad cutter ammo. I thought perhaps the blue gun's fixed sights didn't have sufficient patttern to pick up the target well. I then painted the front sight ramp day-glow orange and the radiused cut out on the rear sight white to frame the front sight post. The sights were indeed easier to see this time out.

I shot a variety of .38 spec. ammo from 125 gr to 158 gr. With the 125 gr. in double action mode, the shot patterns were high and right at 7 yds; perhaps 6 inches high and right and not tight. Going up to the heaviest loads I had (158 gr) brought the pattern down but I was still shooting 6 inches to the right of the target. I then started shooting single action. The patterns were two inches the right at 7 yds and about 1" to 1.5" patterns. OK... I am getting there but the gun isn't that useful in single action mode only. I began hitting the dead center of the target if I aimed slightly to the left but only in single action. The double action shooting still isn't good and trying to aim slightly to the left still saw high and right hits.

TWO THINGS OCCUR TO ME. One; the barrel may not be straight. I will have to find a bore sighting gizmo and will check next time I clean the weapon. Seems to me if I look down the barrel with a flashlight or bore scope, I should be able to tell. COMMENTS PLEASE. If the barrel is off, is this considered a "defect" that Taurus might cover under warranty?

Two; the trigger pull is likely the culprit. I now have about 300-400 rds down the pipe and the trigger doesn't SEEM all that stiff but that is about all I can think of since I can shoot the 461 reasonably well in single action mode. How hard is it to do a trigger job and get the double action initial trigger pull in the 4-5 lbs range? Is there a tutorial somewhere? I don't want a hair trigger, just one that allows some accuracy?

Last, I will definitely start buying heavier loads as they are definitely more accurate than the light stuff.
 

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OK, you shoot your 1911 well (it's SA) and you do much better with your new revolvers when shooting in SA mode.
It would seem to me the heavier trigger pull in DA is pulling your shots away from POI.
More practice is indicated since, essentially, you are learning a new skill that requires new hand/eye coordination.
Additionally, I'd suggest getting a set of snap caps for your new revolver and working that DA trigger while watching TV. When I purchased a Ruger SP101 a few months ago, I used snap caps and dry-fired it slightly over 3000 times before taking it to the range.
 

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It does sound like you need to practice in DA mode. I know that my accuracy hurts in DA mode as well but I haven't shot that much in a few years. The little bit that I shot a Judge a few weeks ago I saw a big difference between DA and SA. SA I was spot on at 15-20 feet but in DA I was off to the right as well. I think it was me tightening my grip while pulling the trigger. So I will have to practice more....now that is fun.
 

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Plus one for the snap caps. You'll loosen up the DA mode quite a bit as well as train your muscles if you are watching the front sight when doing so, and you'll build up strength in your trigger finger.

I shot a friends new 46103 yesterday and it was spot on in single action, and I don't remember if I made a serious effort in double action.

If you have doubts about the barrel being straight, rest the barrel and front of the trigger guard on a good sand bag, make sure you are wearing glasses and fire in single action. Yes, it may blast a little sand off the bag, but shouldn't cause any problems.
 

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Or as I like to tell people learning to shoot (or just an unfamiliar gun, in your case)... You should dry-fire 50 times for each bullet you plan to send down range. 50rds = 2500 dry-fires.

Dry firing gives you so many benefits without having to expend a single bullet. You can work on your grip, holding the firearm steady on target, learning where the trigger breaks, trigger follow-through, strengthening your arm/hand muscles, improving eye coordination AND you're probably smoothing out the trigger pull in your gun, to boot! Then once you get to the range, you'll find less disappointment... hopefully. Buy some A-Zoom snap-caps or if you're a re-loader, drill out the primer cups, fill it with silicone or hot glue, and load a bullet on top. Have at it.

Shooting consistently to the right (when the firearm is known to NOT be the culprit) can come from "heeling" the gun which is due to anticipating recoil. It can also come from having too much trigger finger in the trigger guard. Being a 1911 shooter, I find it hard to believe either is occurring to you, but dbl-check your grip, just in case. 1911 shooters tend to shoot with the pad of their finger and go straight back. DA revolver shooters tend to shoot with the 1st joint. Are you pulling to your right when you DA? Get another experienced shooter to take a look at your hand grip. You may have to reduce (and rarely enlarge) the size of the revolver's grip to bring your trigger finger more into a straight pull back.

Now, let's say the problem is with the firearm. Can you find the expended bullets? Are the jackets torn? Drag a dry Q-tip around the muzzle and see if any hairs get pulled off. If so, you'll need to get the muzzle crowned. You can do it yourself or get a gunsmith to do it.

If the barrel is bent, a reputable gunsmith will have the tools to determine it, however you can do a preliminary inspection yourself at home. Shine a very bright light down the barrel onto a flat wall. The light should be a circle. If it's slightly oval or flattened on 2 sides, then the barrel is bent. The other method involves you removing the primer from a SPENT cartridge, insert into the forcing cone and run a light through the primer hole. Look for even circles going down the length of the barrel, while looking down the muzzle. MAKE SURE YOU'RE USING AN UNLOADED CARTRIDGE FOR SAFETY'S SAKE! NEVER DO THIS WITH A LOADED FIREARM!

Side note: I never recommend straightening a barrel, unless it's in the "heat of the moment", and you need a rapid cure to remedy rapid actions. Straightening a barrel induces metal stress fractures, especially so on a rifled barrel. Once the barrel is heated it will return to it's natural state, which is crooked. Replace, not repair. If the barrel is indeed bent, and you want to keep the revolver, have your gunsmith turn a nice Douglas blank. You won't regret it. However, it may fail the cost/benefit analysis once you consider labor.

What's the size of the chamber throats in relation to the bore? Will a bare JACKETED bullet just drop straight through the cylinder? It should. If it won't fall through, you may need the chamber throats opened up. This comes from the factory over using the chamber reamer and cutting under-sized throats. What happens then is the jacketed bullet gets squeezed down too much and then enters a sloppy bore, throwing rounds helter-skelter. The throats may also be oval, though without a good set of pin gauges, you'll never know. Cylinder & Slide and The Cylinder Smith both made their business out of fixing cylinders with tight, oval throats. It's the "new normal" and it sucks.

Have you checked the run-out on the cylinder? What's the cylinder gap? In full lockup, how much does the cylinder mover back and forward? How about side to side (rotation of cylinder)? Does it spit? Do you see accumulated jacket material around the forcing cone or to one side of the cone? Is the forcing cone cracked?

Don't get too overly worried that your revolver prefers heavy bullets (158gr) over lighter ones (125gr). Ask any Ruger LCR .38Spl owner. LCR's are notoriously inaccurate with 110/125's but once you get to 140gr or thereabouts, the LCR will hold tight groups. The LCR of course shines with 158gr bullets of almost any make.

I'm not claiming any one or more of the above is the culprit. You asked for things to look at, so this will keep you busy for an evening. Hopefully, it's not the gun, but just many evenings of dry-firing are needed.

Best of luck.
 

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A 4 or 5 pound DAO trigger pull is not really realistic. You'd have to lighten the main spring so much that you'd have to worry about light primer strikes. Remember, you are cocking AND firing the gun with the trigger motion (that's where the 'Double' part of double action comes in). You get the heavier resistance from compressing the main spring. An average trigger pull for a DA wheelgun is around 9 pounds. "Light" is 8 pounds. I've shot DA wheelguns with 12 pound pulls (it didn't stay 12 pounds for long) and you can shoot a trigger that heavy with fair accuracy (but only fair) if you really pay attention to doing it right.

Since you are a SA semi auto shooter, you gotta work on a slightly different trigger pull technique to get proficient with a DA wheelgun. The trigger stroke is not only heavier but it's longer, too. For example, I don't use the pad of the tip of my finger like a lot of SA semi auto shooters do when shooting double action. I have the trigger in the crease of the first joint instead. You need the added leverage for the heavier trigger pull.

This is what I did to learn to shoot DAO. Clear the gun and load with snap caps. Verify that those are really snap caps (I hate patching sheetrock almost as much as I do negligent discharges, so I'm paranoid about verifying those are really snap caps) in the gun. Hold the gun level and put a dime on the barrel flat near the front sight. Line the sights up on a spot on the wall or a picture and, while watching the FRONT SIGHT not the coin, pull the trigger- slowly. Focus on sight alignment and a smooth trigger press. If you do it right, the coin doesn't move. If you do it wrong, bend over and pick up the coin because it will fall off. (I cheated and did it over the bed). Do it every day, 2 or 3 times a day for 10 or 15 minutes at a setting (any longer and you risk fatigue and learning bad habits) until you can go all the way around the wheel. You're building muscles that you normally don't use and muscle memory at the same time with this exercise.
 

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My single action groups always have a different center than than my double action groupswhich I think is because in double action the index finger applies additional force higher up than in single action. I found the da trigger bizaar when I started but I got used to it. y
 

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One thing that really helped me was putting only two or three rounds in the cylinder, spinning it and closing it without watching it. When the hammer falls on an un-anticipated empty chamber, you will see what you are doing (anticipating recoil, yanking the trigger, etc). It forced me to slow down and concentrate.

Good luck!
 

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I must concur with many others - practice and familiarity is the key. Switching back and forth between different guns always introduces variables which lead to different shooting results. The ONLY way to "cure" that is extensive experience with each and every gun in your "arsenal" - such that shooting EACH one becomes second nature.

By way of example: I have a Taurus 851 (which may well be the same model you have - I don't know from your description - it certainly is nearly identical, anyway). I now have put about 1650 rounds through it - and I am thoroughly familiar with it's eccentricities. I am more comfortable with this gun than my other - a recently acquired S&W Model 10. The Smith has a wonderful trigger, far lighter than the Taurus. It is also slightly larger and heavier than the Taurus - with the same loads it recoils even less. By all logic, I should shoot the Smith better than the Taurus. But, I don't. Why ? TRAINING and FAMILIARITY. My Taurus 851 is so familiar now that shooting it has become almost "second nature". I am far less familiar with the Smith. Immediately after switching from the Taurus to the Smith, my results (groups on target) suffer, every time. They do improve after a number of cylinders expended - but still not to the standard I can achieve with the Taurus. Yet, I do believe that the Smith will prove to be the more accurate of the two - ONCE I am thoroughly used to it. The signs are there - but I have to learn to do my part.

I have exactly the same experience with my rifles. At this point, I have only one (I got rid of the others because I didn't shoot them as well as the old standby). I am so used to my old Mauser now that I can get the best from it - with complete consistency. Switching to another rifle, for example, a friend's Savage to help him get it zeroed, is always a little frustrating at first. I simply can't shoot it as well as mine. I have to try to "settle in" with it as best I can, so I can produce good enough results to be helpful. Nothing wrong with his rifle - in some ways it is better than mine - but I am the weak link.

So, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. If you do shoot your other guns well (if your technique is sound) - then you WILL get there.
 

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I think....."difference in trigger".
You can "train" yourself to shoot that gun good. But next gun you pick up...you will have to adjust.
 

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There's a lot of smart people, and a lot of excellent advice, in this thread. I favor revolvers over semi-autos (though I have both) and I often find myself pulling shots to the left - I'm a southpaw - in DA, which doesn't happen in SA. As others have said or implied, there's probably nothing wrong with the gun, you just need to adjust for it's differences.
 

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Put several thousand rounds down range double action, then report back.
 
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