Range Report, 2 October 2018- Drill Night!

Usually when I do a range report I go through gun by gun, but I am going to depart from that format tonight. Tonight I did some drills, and it was very informative.  I’m going to list the drills by range instead of the order I did them.

Drill Number 1: 3-5-2: Three yards, Five shots, 2 seconds

This drill was done without using the sights- strictly point-shooting. This was done first with a two-handed grip, then strong hand, then weak hand.


First up was the Colt Detective Special. I fired two 5-shot groups from a Weaver Modified Stance, then one strong-hand and one weak hand.

The S&W DA Safety Hammerless.  Quite good with the two-hand and strong-hand groups, not so much weak-handed. The four shots to the left of the tape were fired weak-hand. Not acceptable. 

Just for giggles I fired a 3-5-3 from the Weaver Modified stance using the sights .

Gee… I guess those sights are there for a reason!


3 yard Point-Shooting

Obviously a single-action wasn’t going to do the 5-3-2 drill- not in my hands anyway. I just tried to see what would happen. No sights, gun brought half-way to eye-level.

This was five shots as quick as I could fire them, two-hand, standing unsupported. Not terribly satisfactory.

These were individual shots fired strong-hand, one at a time. rather more satisfactory.

The gun is a Hawes Western Marshal .45 (made by J.P.Sauer & Sohn) customized into a Sheriff’s Model with a 3-1/2″ barrel. This was not with a ‘cowboy load;’  a 200gr HG68 LSWC over 9.0gr. of Unique. This is a +P load.  I’d have shot more, but I had very limited ammo.

7-5-4: Seven Yards, Five Shots, 4 seconds

This drill is done using the sights, first in a Weaver Modified  stance, then strong hand, then weak hand.

Again the Colt was first. I’m reasonably happy with this. What a difference a couple more seconds- and using the sights- makes!

The Astra Police .38 Special did quite well. This is a strong-hand group of six shots to the head,  then five shot groups to center-mass, weaver Modified and weak hand.


25 Yards

I have been saying that I intended to shoot more at longer distances.  These targets were shot double-action, standing unsupported.

The Astra Police .38. Cadence was about one shot/ 2 seconds. I’m OK with this, but I think with practice I can do better.

Colt Detective Special, one shot/ second cadence. I am happy as hell with this target! I have to say, the trigger on this vintage Colt is amazing.


Just targets I shot, no particular drill involved.

Five shots in five seconds at seven yards.  I have a suspicion that this is an issue with the sights. When I can load more .45 Colt I’ll do some more shooting. If I am consistently high and right I’ll see what I can do about that.

Rapid-Fire at 15 yards with the S&W .38 safety Hammerless. Four out of five bullets key-holed. Interesting, but that was the last of those bullets, so we’ll see what happens next time with a different bullet.

So, a very satisfactory– and useful– evening at the range. The drills were interesting, and showed a few useful things- like I need more weak-hand practice, especially with the little S&W.  The more I shoot the Colt Detective Special the more it impresses me. More and more I am tempted to upgrade this to a carry gun; I am very confident in what I can do with it, and with a suitable load… this could be a thing.

Since I am planning to carry the Sheriff’s Special as a trail gun I’ll be buying and loading what I intend to use on the trail- 255gr. Kieth bullets over a +P charge. I’ll see how those work out before I decide to mess with the sights.

Special Thanks to LiberalGunOwners.org for the targets used tonight!  I try to keep this blog apolitical, and in these times we need to put aside our differences and focus on what we have in common- a belief in and support for the 2nd Amendment!

Michael Tinker Pearce, 3 October 2018











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