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Mean Gene

Point of impact, sight adjustment for Model P

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New to this sport. I picked up a couple new Cimarrons in 44 Spec and 45 Colt. Both shoot low, especially the 44 at 8" at 30 feet. The 45 about 4". Both shoot right 1-2" with all loads, factory as well. Both group about an inch with the loads I decided on. I tried different ways to grip, all the same. I keep the front sight  parallel with the top of the notch.

Do I have the right sight picture? I heard about filing the front sight but want to hear from the experienced shooters first. What can I do about the windage?

Thanks

 

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Posted (edited)

Filing the front sight will lower raise the poi.   As for left and right adjustments, they can be done by bending the front sight in the direction opposite you wish the poi to move.  However, if a very small amount of adjustment is needed, you can widen the rear sight channel on one side or the other to move the poi in that direction.  You can center the front sight in the channel and still get a good sight picture, you front sight will "look" skinnier.  

 

Guess I ought to proofread better!

Edited by Griff

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Make sure you squeeze the trigger with only the pad of your finger, not the joint.  Although doing that wrong usually pulls shots low/left (for right handed shooters).   Hitting low could be coming from shooting lighter bullets.  And yes, you would file the sight down to raise the POI. 

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Posted (edited)

Filing the front sight will rais the POI, you need to raise the front sight to lower the POI.

Edited by Nickel City Dude
Spelling error
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On front sights, make adjustments that are the opposite direction you need the impact to move.  Lower the front sight (filing) to raise the Point of Impact, for the OP's condition..

On rear sights, adjust them in the direction the impact needs to move.   Could raise the rear sight for the OP's needs  - but welding would probably be needed. 

 

For SAA revolvers, almost always height adjustment to POI is done by changing the front sight height.  Filing down the sight to raise impact, replacing with a higher sight to lower impact.   "Work on the cheapest part"   SAA's are factory made with taller front sights than most folks need, so there is adjustment to the right POI when you find your load.

 

Safest horizontal impact adjustment is filing one side of the rear notch.  Again, using same rule of thumb as for making vertical adjustments.   On a Ruger pistol, I would NEVER bend the front sight because they do not always silver solder the sights in with a lot of care, and they can pop off if you bend on them.   Your guns are plenty close enough horizontally to not need an adjustment.

 

Go slow.   You don't have to take off a lot to make a difference.

 

Good luck, GJ

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Posted (edited)

If your POI is to the Right... and you're absolutely sure it's the gun and not the shooter....

Then as Griff sez file a tiny bit of metal off the Left side of the rear sight channel until the POI is acceptable.

 

As for the front sight, I would advise against filing it!

Ours is a speed game and a sight picture with the front sight raised above the rear sight notch is quicker and easier to see.

And that will bring up your POI.......

 

So I would advise changing your sight picture and leave the front sight alone.

 

 

 

Edited by Silver Sam, SASS #34718L

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To ensure it's the gun and not the shooter, ask someone else to fire them to see if they have the same results.  If so, follow the instructions above.

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You may try placing 1/4 or 1/2 of the height of your front sight above the of the  top of the notch in your rear sight.  Place the top tip of the front sight 1/3 up from the bottom of the target and see where it hits.   If you like where it is hitting, establish this as your sight picture or file your front sight till it gets you where you want to be.  I have mine filed to pt of aim so I can hit (or try) on smaller targets, but practice and shoot with more front blade above the notch for larger targets.  By aiming at the bottom 1 /3 with your sights filed to pt. of aim , you will hit higher depending on the amount of blade you show above the top of the notch.  Hope this helps. 

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OP, before you start filing.

Have another known good shooter give them a go. 

Set the sights to the load you will use the most.

Lowering the front sight(filing down the height)will raise POI to your POA.

OLG 

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Posted (edited)

  SAA type point of aim is done first by windage as that affects sight height as well. Because you're turning the barrel. The stripped frame is put in an action wrench, the proper blocks and procedure secure the barrel in a barrel vise and small changes are made and tested at the range. After awhile you get a good feel for this and it's quicker than it sounds to get it perfect. A good mid power consistent load is also the best place to start.  If this is done correctly with right equipment no scratches or marks or warping of frame will occur. DO NOT JUST PUT a piece of wood in the frame to tighten or loosen the barrel. The frame warps pretty easy.

  If it needs to be tightened to move the poi where you want and if the barrel is real tight, remove the barrel first and use a fixture that cuts back the barrel before the threads to give slightly more clearance. If the barrel is too loose and you have to go back around you'll have to trim the ejector housing a little, a small lathe is good for that. If elevation is still an issue filing or building up the front sight may be needed if you can't achieve poi by load adjustment.

  I'm not doing a video of this:)

The end result will consistently split playing cards edgewise if you're steady. It's a bit more than current SASS needs.

  IMHO If you bend your sights they'll usually fall off pretty soon.

Edited by Joe West
add word for clarity
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I didn't have a way to turn my barrels so I widened the rear opening (rear sight) with a smooth edge file to correct the windage and to get a wider rear sight for faster sight acquisition at the same time.  Then ONCE you determine the loads you will compete with I file the front down to raise the POI. After your done re-blue it or polish it depending on the finish. 

 

I stopped where my POI was still a tad low (about an 1 inch at 8 yards) because it's harder to put the metal back on than it is to take it off and even for small targets that's plenty good. 

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18 hours ago, Abilene, SASS # 27489 said:

Hitting low could be coming from shooting lighter bullets

Before you start filing your front sights work out the loads you want to shoot,  setting up for 200 gr. bullets then shooting 160 gr. bullets will leave you back in the same boat.

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Before making any adjustments find a gunsmith with a Ransom Rest so you know what the gun is doing. The correction may be on you and not the rev.

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20 minutes ago, Grass Range said:

Before making any adjustments find a gunsmith with a Ransom Rest so you know what the gun is doing. The correction may be on you and not the rev.

 

Ransom Rest is for accuracy testing. 

NOT for sight in..... ;)

OLG 

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2 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

Ransom Rest is for accuracy testing. 

NOT for sight in..... ;)

OLG 

Used to determine where the rev is hitting and if the rev needs adjusting and not the shooter

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12 minutes ago, Grass Range said:

Used to determine where the rev is hitting and if the rev needs adjusting and not the shooter

 

POI from a machine and free-hand will rarely, if ever be the same.

Saw that proven many times back in my NRA Bullseye dayz.

OLG 

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6 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

POI from a machine and free-hand will rarely, if ever be the same.

Saw that proven many times back in my NRA Bullseye dayz.

OLG 

Used to determine where the rev is hitting and whether a modification needs to be done to the rev and from there on it is up to the shooter

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I got to go with Grass Range on this one.  Before I would modify the front sight, I want to know it's the "Indian or the arrow".  I hate altering front sights because I've sold and traded so many sets of pistols, in this sport, that this modification can affect the value.

 

Unlike other shooting disciplines, pinpoint accuracy is not as vital in a main match event.  A match director who regularly placed pistol targets at 10 yards would definitely hear some complaints from competitors.

 

As my speed has picked up over the years, I don't even register looking for the front sight anymore (of course I'm one of those weird gunfighters).  Coming from silhouette shooting, I had the same concerns as the OP when I acquired my first set of cowboy pistols with non-adjustable sights.  It bothered me so much that I bought a pair of Ruger Blackhawks because of the adjustable sights.  Now those Blackhawks sit unused in the back of the gun safe and I mainly shoot Colt clones. 

 

I adjusted the height of impact of my non-adjustable cowboy pistols by painting the front sights with White-Out and learning how much of the front sight had to be above the rear sight to achieve the impact I wanted.  Once you shoot the pistols enough in competition, you won't even have to think about it.  

 

 

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Howdy

 

I have been doing this for close to 20 years now. When I first started I was using an 'original model' Vaquero chambered for 45 Colt. At the range I very carefully taped the barrel to protect it and filed the front sight down to raise the point of impact a bit. (Yes, filing the front sight down raises the point of impact.) That was 20 years ago, and I have bought quite a few single action revolvers since then and have not bothered to file down the front sights on any of them. I have never bothered to file the rear sights. This is not precision shooting, the targets are big and close. I have antique S&W single action revolvers and they all tend to shoot high because the front sights are so low. After the first round goes over the target I just remember to hold low.

 

Yes, the proper sight picture is with the top of the front sight level with the top of the rear sight.

 

Yes, be sure you are pulling the trigger with the pad of the finger, not the crease under the joint. Although placing the trigger in the crease feels more natural it tends to push the bullets to the left for a right handed shooter.

 

When shooting Cowboy, I know I tend to push the shots to the left, so I aim at the right half of the target.

 

Forget about the Ransom Rest. As stated, they are to remove all human influences from the shot. Standing on your two feet, whether holding the pistol with one hand or two, you will not get the same results as with a Ransom Rest.

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RR can help to confirm if it's the shooter.

But not the finial say in the amount of correction. 

Not uncommon for a handgun that shoots POI/POA for one person may not for the next person.

To many variables in grip, dominant eye etc.

OLG 

 

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One question I haven't seen asked:  Where are you holding on a bullseye target?  Are you holding at the bottom of a round bullseye.  If so, before adjusting the sights, try using a center hold.  On a larger target, such as those we generally use in SASS or on a deer, etc., you will tend to put the top of the front sight (regardless of your sight picture...top of the front sight even with the top of the rear rib or notch, or with the front sight somewhat higher than the top of the rear), where you want the bullet to strike.  A center hold will raise the Point of Impact considerably, and if you also hold the top of the front sight above the top of the rear, that will increase the rise some more!  Figure out what LOADS you will use.  Lighter bullets will tend to shoot lower than heavier ones because the lighter ones will leave the barrel faster, before the muzzle has a chance to rise in recoil. 

 

Also, when sighting in a pistol (revolver or semi-auto), DO NOT use a fixed rest.  Instead, stand up and hold the gun as you will when competing.  If you use a two-hand hold, do it that way.  If you will shoot one-handed (Duelist), do that.  If necessary to use a support, rest your elbows ONLY on the rest, and keep the gun at eye level.   The gun needs to recoil the way it will when in competition.  Shoot five-rounds and don't worry about the size of  the group.  Based on the average location of the center of whatever the group size turns out to be.  Then adjust your sights if absolutely necessary.

 

Stay well, Pard!

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PLUS ONE too Driftwood.

 

Personally, with the information provided, I'd suggest you LEAVE THE SIGHTS ALONE.  With your pistols wobbling around at the end of your arm, trying to correct 1 - 2 inches of windage is a foolish errand.  The other consideration, with CAS and going fast (or as fast as you can) we tend to "climb" the target(s) as we shoot and most folks will pull the front sight up in the rear notch.  Leave 'em alone.

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My experience with most of the SAA's and clones is that the sights are typically regulated for a specific weight bullet at a fixed distance.  If I recall correctly the

Colt SAA in .45 is regulated for a 250 gr bullet, at 930 f/s, for 50 yds.  The .38's were regulated for a 158 gr bullet.  I think now most DA revolvers are being

regulated for the 125 gr loadings.

 

I use 250 gr LRNFP bullets at 730 f/s and they seem to hit POA at 20 yds quite reliably with a classic sight picture and center of target alignment.

 

In the past I tried correcting windage by twisting the barrel tighter which moves the top of the sight blade to the left, moving point of impact right.

Since your problem statement indicates you're hitting to the right, you need to loosen the barrel a wee bit to move the blade tip to the right, and thus POI

to the left.

 

That has a few issues though - it increases the cylinder gap, enough that you may get a lot of escaping gasses, and it moves the screw hole that

is used to hold the cartridge ejector housing clockwise, putting torque on the assembly.

 

Alternatively you can bend the front sight so that the very tip is over to the right, which will then give  you a sight picture of a canted blade, whose tip is in the

right place.  If that sight is not adequately soldered, it can snap off.

 

In the old days one technique that was used was to bend the barrel.  That's not exactly what is happening though, it more like slightly bending the frame where the

barrel enters it. This was done by clamping the frame assy in a padded vise, and moving the tip of the bbl in the direction you needed to go using a Babbitt hammer. 

Then after getting it pointed in the right direction, you would recut or file the breech end of the barrel if needed, to be square to the cylinder and to have even gap.

 

A good way to visualize that is going on it to take too new pencils, flat at both ends.  One one end of one pencil imagine a front sight, on the other pencil imagine

a rear sight.  Take the two pencils and place the unsighted ends touching each other, and look down the sights.  Now keeping the sights aligned, look how much

you can wiggle the center join with out changing the sight picture.  Any slight misalignment in cutting the frame threads, or the barrel threads, will create a V shaped

assembly even though the two sights can be made to align.  It requires the front sight, the barrel/frame centerline, and the rear sight to all three be coaxial.

 

On a 5.5" bbl shooting 2 inches right, you'd need to move the tip of the barrel about .017 to the left.

 

I've seen this done on a Colt detective model to correct windage, I've done it on several Ruger Vaqueros, and I used to have pictures of the Smith & Wesson

armorers school shop where they used heavy Babbitt hammers to gently bend the fixed sighted gun barrels into alignment. 

 

If the amount of windage change is significant, then there is a real problem in the frame threads where the barrel enters, and the gun should go back to the factory

for fixing. 

 

One advantage of modern technology is that you can now measure this using a laser.  Simply affix the gun in a frame or vise and using the sights align

the gun on the target.  Place an exact fitting precision laser into the bore and see if the laser aligns with the sights.  If not, then the barrel is not coaxial to the sights.

 

I'm not recommending you bend the frame/barrel joint mind you, just pointing out that is has been done and it is a technique to think about, especially as it does

not require you to loosen the barrel or bend the sights.

 

Good luck resolving your issue,

 

Shadow Catcher

 

 

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6 hours ago, ShadowCatcher said:

...Since your problem statement indicates you're hitting to the right, you need to loosen the barrel a wee bit to move the blade tip to the right, and thus POI

to the left.

 

That has a few issues though - it increases the cylinder gap, enough that you may get a lot of escaping gasses, and it moves the screw hole that

is used to hold the cartridge ejector housing clockwise, putting torque on the assembly....

 

Loosening the barrel just a few degrees might affect the ejector screw hole, but will make a negligible difference on cylinder gap. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, doc roy l. pain said:

 

Edited by RMW
Wrong thread

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On 3/26/2020 at 10:49 AM, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

 

POI from a machine and free-hand will rarely, if ever be the same.

Saw that proven many times back in my NRA Bullseye dayz.

OLG 

I have to agree, I’ve seen the same , depending on how firmly you grip the pistol different people can vari the poi quite a bit , especially on elevation. But if you’re shooting everything low and left and your a right handed shooter typically it’s you. Not saying some guns don’t shoot there but 90% of the time its the shooter flinching . Low and right if your a lefty . 
if I death grip a pistol I typically get a much lower poi 

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Funny. My right hand shoots a little left and my left hand shoots a bit right. I have the tools to rotate the barrel on colt clones but that few thousands of an inch is a pain to get perfect. Takes more than one shot to get it right. Ha,Ha. Elevation is easy. File the front sight down to match your favorite load at the range you want. 
I shoot open-tops a lot and for them I just use a load that shoots to point of aim. Adjust powder charge and bullet weight until I like what I get.

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Posted (edited)

My take is I want my pistols to shoot well. Just because SASS will let you run fast on big targets there is a LOT of benefit in having the correct POI. Again IMO point shooting is a bad habit to get into and not all the targets will be 3 yards like some clubs.....like at Winter Range or something and then you carry those bad habits with you when you go there as well. 

 

Also when there is a small target, bonus target TX star, or plate rack etc if you are trying to win you need those points either way so IMO there is no reason not to have correct POI and use the sights even in SASS. The gun is a tool and the tool should be setup correctly........no negatives in that. 

 

Or you can aim wrong for years miss targets and then sell the gun with a nice pretty stock sight on it to a guy like me that will just file it down..........lol

 

All the guns for SASS I have sold it was looked at as a plus if you know how to market it. I told them my load and that they were already sighted in and the buyers actually like it because I was selling them to SASS shooters. Just my .02. 

Edited by Cowboy Junky
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All guns need to be sighted in if you want to go fast, IMHO.  Trying to remember to hold at the top of a plate of a Texas Star while the plate is moving is a hard task.  It's much easier to hold on the middle to bottom of the plate where the muzzle doesn't hide most of it.  Sometimes you have to hit the top of a knockdown.  For me, it's much easier if I can see the whole target when I aim.

 

When you go to sight them in, take a friend with you and have them fire some rounds.  It's good to see where someone else's groups go vs.  yours.

 

If you're filing, do a little and see where it goes.  I usually do mine over three or four sessions.   If you do too much, it's much harder to correct.

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