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Single Action Pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by HarryN, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. HarryN

    HarryN Loaded Pockets

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    Hi, this is more of a target hand gun question than an edc oriented one.

    First, I don't claim to be a great shooter at all, but I do enjoy a few hours at the range to relax every now and then. Usually I shoot at 25 yards, sometimes 50 yards, open sight. It is just for personal enjoyment.

    I learned to shoot with my uncle's 4 in and 6 in S + W .357, mostly .38 wad cutters and + P loads, in the early / mid 1970s. I have no idea what model they were except that they were SS. With that combo and similar guns, I can shoot acceptably well (for me) at targets in single action mode with a 6in barrel.

    I would like to switch to a pistol ( anything in the general range of 38 / 9mm size is ok) but I have yet to achieve anything close to what I routinely do with a revolver. Let me clarify - I can barely hit the target at all with the pistols I have tried, including glock, etc. I had a little more luck with my friends Colt Mark IV in 9mm, but I would not call it great success compared to the revolver.

    I am sure at least some of the factors affecting me are:
    - the auto ejection of hot brass bouncing off the walls and hitting me
    - most of them are 4 in vs 6 in barrels I am used to
    - really tight triggers compared to a SA revolver
    - a lot more kick, even in 9mm, then what I am used to with a .357 shooting .38s
    - likely something to do with the single action vs double action aspects
    - training / practice

    I wonder if someone can point me toward an auto pistol + bullet combo that could help make this transition a bit easier ? If new, it would definitely need to be under $ 1 000, and I actually would prefer used in the $ 300 - 400 range.

    Since it is just range shooting, I don't even mind if I need to manually run the slide to eject the rounds, in fact I could imagine that this might help.

    Thanks

    Harry
     
  2. Schapendoes

    Schapendoes Loaded Pockets

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    If this gun is only for target practice I would suggest a .22. This is going to solve the recoil problems and the ammo is (relatively) cheap, so you should be able to practice more. Lots of companies make a quality .22 pistol. Maybe look into the pistols made by Ruger, also I have heard good things about the S&W M&P .22. The most important thing is that you find one that fits your hand and works for you.
     
  3. Curse The Sky

    Curse The Sky Loaded Pockets

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    CZ 75 or some variant thereof (75B, SP-01, P-01, etc.). It's a DA/SA gun, similar to revolvers - when the hammer is back, you're in SA mode with a short trigger pull. They're extremely ergonomic, and very well built for the price ($500-600ish). They're also known for being extremely accurate.

    If you want SAO, look no further than a 1911. A decent one is going to set you back more like $750-1000 though. For a range toy definitely get a full size Government model with a 5" barrel.
     
  4. VinceRN

    VinceRN Loaded Pockets

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    If all you want to do is target shoot, if carry and defense are considerations at all, then I think anything other than a .22 would be a waste of money. There are several very affordable .22 semi autos that can drive tacks at 25 yards.

    If defense is even a small part of the equation I would suggest fitting you shooting to the gun instead of looking for a gun that fits you shooting. Any handgun can be deadly accurate, you just have to learn to shoot it. Recoil is just something you have to get used to, once you do you will stop anticipating it and relax your grip and all will be well.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. HarryN

    HarryN Loaded Pockets

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    Thank you for the replies and ideas.

    I have used .22 auto before and they are nice for targeting, but I am really looking for something in the 9mm / 380 size range.

    The local range has all of the stations enclosed, so the hot brass bouncing around and landing on me is perhaps a bigger issue than the recoil. I think going to a longer barrel will also help, so I would like to get at least 6 inch, and ideally 8 inch if something like that exists.

    For what I am doing, I would be happy enough with a 2 shot derringer with a target oriented setup, but all of the ones I have seen on the market have very small handles and even worse triggers. The handle could be dealt with, but the triggers pull is not that target friendly.

    I have considered a T/C contender as an option, but it would be nice to not have to reload every shot at the range.

    As far as self defense use, I am generally in favor of it, but the reality of living in CA makes this more complex. A gun that is trigger locked and in a safe is not very available for general use. CCW is impossible in Alameda County.
     
  6. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    If you can find one, try a Glock 17L. It the long slide version of the regular G17. Get one of the 3.4-4lb trigger setups for it. Do whatever works best for for sight: adjustable, fixed fiber optics, stock...

    There are very few production long slide large caliber autos to choose from. The G17L is one of the few you can find that wont cost a fortune. Lots of the other Glocks (and some other pistols) can have a longer barrel fitted to the stock slide. It will protrude out the front, but will work fine.

    The CZ-75 recommended above is a good choice. I have one, and it will shoot better than I can. From rests I can do cloverleafs at 25 yards.
     
  7. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    What about a 1911? You say you have tried a MkIV in 9mm, was it a full size version? Of course .45ACP is most common for a 1911 but there are many other caliber options and it's probably as accurate as you're going to get in an auto-pistol. A well tuned trigger and nice, tight barrel bushing with full length barrel, you'll still be lucky to equal the accuracy of a 6" revolver. A lot of it has to do with sight radius but it also has to do with the fact that the barrel in many pistols isn't fixed to the frame. If it's not properly fitted, it's not going to be accurate. Of course all that assumes that you're doing your part too. :)
     
  8. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Sounds like you have a case of "flinch". If you have a place to shoot outside, that will help cure you of hot brass bouncing off the walls and there is nothing that beats shooting outdoors. Also, maybe step down in caliber and have some fun hitting a water jug or getting on paper then move your way up.
     
  9. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I second the Glock suggestion for sure.

    The Glock trigger is always going to be the same regardless of the situation and with a cheap Ghost trigger upgrade it is not too bad to me.
    I have both a 17 and 26 and am really happy with both of them.
    They are inexpensive for what they offer and are reliable as can be and there are more accessories and mods for them than anything else I think?
    You can easily convert the 9mm models to shoot 22lr too.

    By all of your criteria the Glock 17 should make you happy and allow you to get practice and improve.

    Ed
     
  10. Gretsch308

    Gretsch308 Loaded Pockets

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    Get a Desert Eagle in .357 mag!
     
  11. Idaho Gunslinger

    Idaho Gunslinger Loaded Pockets

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    Glocks are nice. If you are looking for an easy shooting single action, look at a browning hi-power. 9mm, single action
     
  12. HarryN

    HarryN Loaded Pockets

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    That is a really interesting idea. I only think of them in the 44 / 50 cal versions, but you are right, there is a .357 chambering as well. This gave me sort of a crazy idea - block the gas port, use 38 wc, manually cycle it. I wonder if that would work ? Something to search for on youtube I guess. Either way, with .357 it just might work for me.
     
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  13. graham_s
    • In Omnia Paratus

    graham_s Loaded Pockets

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    Practice.
    Get professional instruction.
    Practice more.
     
  14. Gretsch308

    Gretsch308 Loaded Pockets

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    It's so heavy that it will be really low recoil. At least the .50 AE is anyway.
     
  15. Slipjoint

    Slipjoint Loaded Pockets

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    If you still live in Pleasanton, you may want to give the Concord range a try. It's a nice outdoor range, and you won't have to worry about your own brass hitting you. It's maybe 30 minutes away.

    As far as guns go, are you sure you don't want to use a revolver? If you're just target shooting a revolver is a great choice, and you already know you shoot them well. They're versatile (able to shoot a wider variety of ammo than autos), and adequate for self-defense. .38 special is also known as a particularly accurate round, and it's a favorite of target shooters.

    As a bonus, revolvers don't throw your brass all over the place like a automatic, which makes it MUCH easier to collect the brass so that you can reload your own ammo. While you may not have considered this before, it can save you a lot of money on your ammo. But even if you don't reload your own ammo, you can still sell your used brass to someone who does. This will take some of the sting out of paying for ammo.
     
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  16. HarryN

    HarryN Loaded Pockets

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    Slipjoint, I am not sure of anything. Yes, I do still live in Pleasanton, and usually go to the range in Livermore, but will look into the Concord range.

    You are right about the .357 revolver / .38 combo - it does work well for me. Even a fixed cylinder version is fine for what I do. I didn't really realize that there was anything special about this combo vs other rounds.

    One of the things that I don't like about revolvers is the gas escaping from the gap beween the cylinder and barrel, which is clearly shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver I have personally experienced this effect with a holding error and it was "very exciting".

    I have been going through the gamut of options, including:
    - Derringer with a 6 - 8 in barrel
    - T/C contender
    - Various auto pistols
    - Pump action rifle conversion to a hand gun
    - Lever actions

    I am still open minded about things, although I will admit to having somewhat of an aesthetic desire to have a nice working auto pistol. That is probably why I keep trying them even though my success level has been low.

    Of course I would benefit from having more training and practice, but the reality is that I only get to the range a few times a year.
     
  17. VinceRN

    VinceRN Loaded Pockets

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    Of the stuff you've listed and for the purpose you mentioned I'd go for the T/C Contender. Numerous different calibers and barrel lengths. Reloading after every shot will slow you down, but that will save you money on ammo. With a 10 or 12 or inch barrel it's likely to be much more accurate at longer ranges than the others, and they are fun to shoot. There are a ridiculous number of calibers and barrel sizes available.
     
  18. Mudinyeri

    Mudinyeri Loaded Pockets

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    Proper practice will improve your abilities with a semi-auto. Have you been to any real training on how to shoot a semi-auto? It's very different than shooting a single-action revolver.

    You may want to consider a steel-framed semi-auto vs. a polymer-framed semi-auto. The weight of the steel frame will absorb more recoil similar to the steel frame of your revolver. You may also want to consider a single-action-only pistol like the 1911 suggested above or a single-action/double-action. This will give you a trigger more like that of your single-action revolver. In terms of brands, CZ has already been suggested. Beretta and SIG SAUER also make excellent SA/DA pistols. There are about 1000 different brands of 1911's, but I'm particular to Springfield Armory.
     
  19. graham_s
    • In Omnia Paratus

    graham_s Loaded Pockets

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    I've always been partial to the Browning Hi-Power.
     
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  20. HarryN

    HarryN Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for the responses. In answer to a couple of the questions:

    - Training for using a revolver - basically just what my uncle showed me 40 years ago and watching youtube and others shoot. At 25 yards, I have no trouble with most of the rounds hitting within 4 inch groups, even shooting once a year. That is not stellar, ok for my plinking.

    - Training for using a pistol - Just watching what others do and a few pointers at the range. You could be right that it is all in the training / re-training to new techniques. If that is the case, then an auto pistol is out, because it doesn't make any sense (for me) that I can pick up a rifle or revolver and shoot "good enough for my own pleasure" but have to completely re-train for an auto pistol to "someday be as good / bad as I am now with a revolver. I go to the range to relax and forget about stress, not to bring a new form of it along with me. That is why I don't golf.

    - The T/C contender is interesting in that it has a lot of barrel options. I just seems silly to pay $ 1 000 for a handle and a barrel with no feed mechanism, when a similar shotgun or bolt action rifle is much less. For 1/2 the money, I can pick up a decent tube feed, lever action rifle in .357 with a similar barrel size (16 inch) The contender would have to be a LOT more accurate out of the box than a lever action rifle to convince me to buy one, and from what I can tell, they make a lot of money off of improvements / accessories.

    It reminds me of buying an R/C car for my son. Pretty soon there is nothing left of the original car. I have not dismissed it, but would it really be a lot better in the 25 - 50 yard range than the DE ? If I have to learn new methods of shooting to run a pistol, would that apply to the T/C as well ? I guess I am on a more complex journey than I had expected.

    If there ever was a day I needed the gun for self defense, I could possibly see using a 2 shot setup, but 1 shot ? I am not so sure. That is cutting it really close.

    Thanks for the inputs, I really am thinking through each comment and reading a lot about the options.