Sunday, December 20, 2015

Asked and Answered

A bunch of folks were commenting on a thread at the Gunslinger Forum regarding some controversy in the game right now.  Specifically, slip-cocking on purpose so that you can use your shot if your opponent misses. Some guys have had success with something called the"Dump Draw" in an effort to increase speed.  Then, as threads do, it got hijacked and someone asked about moving the target, so that accuracy would take precedence over speed.   Some guys have had success with something called the"Dump Draw" in an effort to increase speed.  So, there's a big controversy right now in CFDA over the recovery shot and the dump draw.  That's not the focus of this posting, but it provides context.  Some wag said that we should move the target back to 25 feet to priortize accuracy over speed.

Then, one wag made the statement:
Haven't tested further back with wax but know not to much farther past the target the wax takes flight in a weird cork screw pattern.
 I don't know about a weird corkscrew pattern, but I know that the bullets we use are very light and they lose momentum quickly.  These wax bullets don't go very far.  At 21 feet they're fairly stable, but when they start losing momentum, stability and accuracy go out the door quickly, so I grabbed a revolver and went out to my backyard range to see what I could learn.

I was using a Uberti Cattleman revolver, the standard 4.75" barrel so common to Cowboy Fast Draw.  On any line of six competitors, fully half of them will be shooting Uberti Cattleman revolvers. I was also using standard CFDA brass, C&R (yellow) wax bullets and Rio 209 shotgun primers.   Very common ammunition.  So, I went out to my steel target and put a little aiming point between the light and the top of the target.  I was shooting at the standard CFDA steel target, 24" in diameter.

So, I went to the 21 foot line, took careful aim, and fired five shots.

Five shots, five hits.  That's about what I'd expect.  The bullets all showed stability and fairly good accuracy, all grouping in the lower left quadrant of the target.

I took my photo, painted my target with white lithium grease and stepped back five feet.

At 25 feet, I was still getting solid hits on the target and the group had opened up just a bit.  But, still, if you knew your revolver, it should be easy to get hits on our standard target at 25 feet.

So, I marked off another five feet and loaded the revolver.

At 30 feet we've lost all grouping ability, and the hits are showing evidence of tumbling.  Of five shots fired, four found the target.  I've got a thumbnail at 7:00 one hit on the edge of the target at 3:00 and two at the 111:00-12:00 area.  The hit at 12:00 shows evidence of keyholing.

Evidently at 25 feet, the wax slugs still have stability, enough to group reliably on a target, but at 30 feet, we've gone past the distance to reliably group wax bullets.  Accuracy is out the window.

Your results may be different than mine, and I admit that I only spent an hour or so shooting in the back yard to get these decidedly un-scientific results.  My revolver, my ammo, my range.  Your results might vary.

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