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Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:39 pm    Post subject: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Hello Gang,
I need a little help with reloads for my Model 36 S&W Chief's Special.

I will be taking the Minnesota's Concealed Carry Course on Dec.16, so I went to the Club today and shot my Chief's Special at the 25yd pistol range.

The best that I could do, even at rest, was a 15" group.
I believe that I should be able to do better than this.

I am capable of loading up an accuracy load, but after hunting season, and just before Christmas, buying different powders and bullets will put a crimp in my budget.

Therefore, I am asking you good people to please help me find a load to start with, to save me time and money.

With the 2" barrel, I know that it will have to be a load that has fast burning powder.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Eric Marleau

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Try W-231 and a 125 grain Remington or similar style bullet. I use 5 gr W-231. A 125 grain SJHP (Rem) and WSP primer in my wife's Mod 10 S & W 2" barrel to qualify for Missouri CCW. Missouri only requires you shoot 20 feet, but this combination shoots 2-3 inch groups at 25 yards. How well it will work in your smaller frame is unknown. Good luck...

Be aware that this load is in the basement of a +P load. Work up to it carefully.

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popgun
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Eric,
I think you are trying to pin the tail on the wrong donkey.
Any of the 1 or 2 inch barrel handguns are for close range shooting. Most engagements are under 10 feet anyhow so don't beat yourself up trying to get accuracy out of a short barrel/petite grip handgun. The problem is probably not with your load but rather with your grip (because of the small grip) and trigger squeeze (usually excessive trigger pull weight right out of the box).

Hot loads in the Chief series is a detriment to accuracy too. If you just want to punch paper to see what the potential accuracy is shoot wad-cutters. The lower pressure wad-cutters won't rattle your cage each time you fire and that will help your shooting accuracy with the Chief.
For your self defense practice limit your range to 7 to 10 feet and only worry about putting the rounds in the boiler room (center of mass).

Bushmaster is getting the better accuracy with the load but much of the credit has to go to the larger grip on the Model 10 and I would guess that his trigger pull is lighter and smoother than yours too. The Model 10 and Chiefs are two different animals from the same coral.

If you are required to shoot a qualification course during the CCW class I would recomend buying off the shelf wad-cutters. No need to qualify with +P rounds, you just want to pass the course.

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Thanks guys

You have been a great help.

Eric

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

O K Popgun...You're right. Elyboy. Reduce my load to 4.6 grains of W-231 and you still will have a viable load.

One other thing Popgun. I am well aware that a lot of people suggest that you practice with lighter hand loads then you plan to use for defence. I kinda disagree with that way of thinking. So many of my handguns shoot to a different POA with various loadings that I prefer to practice with just what I plan to use on the bad guy. Recoil is another thing. Light practice loads don't deliver the real thing. I learned in the Navy that when doing drills that you wanted to practice with the most realism possible. My two defence guns see only one round. "The real thing"...Just my 2 cents...

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popgun
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Not much to argue about here. I think Eric was trying to get something that is so hard to acheive with a Chief...tight groups. Keep in mind he is getting ready for his CCW course and like I told him the object is to qualify not shoot the smallest group. Its a CCW card not a shootout or shooting match. CCW courses are not the best courses for combat shooting and by the way Eric there are many good combat courses available though expensive.

I'm with you Bushey...kinda. For realistic combat practice you should use full power defense loads but all of your practice does not need to be with earth shaking rounds that tend to develope a jerk instead of a good trigger squeeze.

For example my old department for a time had Smiths chambered in 45LC and shooting full loads at qualification time resulted in poor scores. They lightened the practice rounds and the scores went up. It was the same with the 357 Mag and the scores went up when practicing with 38 special rounds.

So I don't care for +P rounds in any caliber. They lead to poor accuracy by the shooter and add stress to the equation of a real home defense situation. Many folks will probably miss more than they hit in a real situation.

Shooters will shoot the rounds they have confidence in either standard or +P rounds. How effective they are depends on the practice required to shoot good.

An intruder in a persons home hopes that no weapons are in the home. It is a bad day for them when the homeowner is armed. Ain't that great? It's even a worse day when the homeowner shoots 50 rounds a month to be ready for such a situation and can hit what they aim at.

Speaking of the Navy and shooting I toured the training facility at Kings Bay Submarine Base in Kingsland, GA last month. While there we were taken to the indoor range and allowed to discharge the guns they had. I say discharge because no live rounds are used only compressed air to simulate recoil. wtf It's a bean counter move and saves money on live ammo because all sailors are now trained on several weapons, the 12 ga Shotgun, 9mm Berretta, Several M-16 versions, M-14 and the M60 machine gun. Not one live round used in any of that training. Shocked They discharge these guns while aming at projected targets and moving immages in a room that limits the range to about 20 feet. Not even a puff of smoke. What ya think about that? I wonder how they would shoot at Camp Perry?

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:22 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

I was an Engineman (Main Propulsion Diesel Operater/Mechanic). I was required to qualify on the BAR on one ship (a Destroyer) and qualify on a .50 cal BMG on another (an Ocean Mine Sweep). I also qualified "Expert" with the Colt .45 ACP on a combat pistol range. Now...My opinion of using (and I heard of this) compressed air instead of the "real thing"? Hog wash!!! How can you train combat marksmen in this manor or find those that can really shoot for those special operations? You can't. Besides...It takes the fun out of going to the range.

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

I worked with the DNR this past Aug. at the State Fair DNR Building, on the Laser Shoot Range.

It kind of sounds about what you guys are talking about.

What a joke.
It was no more than a video game.
The people that shot this, and there were hundreds that day, had no more idea what a real gun felt, than a kid using a Playstation in his bedroom.

By the way guys, I found out that I will be shooting from 9' out to 20'.

I still will play around with reloads, but will use standard factory for the qualifying.

Thanks a heap.

Eric

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

I cheated when I qualified for my CCW. I loaded specially prepared loads for my .45 ACP and my .38 Spec. They were, like Popgun said, light loads. Though I did practice at 25 yards. My figuring is if I can hit at 25 yards then 20 feet will be a cinch. And it was. I scored 199 out of 200 on a B-27 target. 16 "X's", 17 10 ring. all out of 40 rounds fired. Had to shoot both semi-auto and wheel gun.

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popgun
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:49 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Eric,
Be sure to tell us about your CCW course when you finish it up. It will be good information for those that have not taken a CCW course before.
Good luck and shoot straight,
Chris

Bushey,
Quote::
My figuring is if I can hit at 25 yards then 20 feet will be a cinch
Right on again! And it is the same when shooting a rifle. This was demonstrated to me when I attended Sniper School at the USAMU at Ft Benning, GA. The instructors said the same thing and proved the point. We started at 400 meters with iron sights and then with scopes worked out quickly to 1000+ meters. Our close in shooting showed a marked improvement from the long range practice.
Many shooters are not confident to shoot long distance but if you have a place to shoot way out there give it a try. It will only improve your shooting at any range. And, good equipment makes a difference too.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 9:56 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Popgun,

They have got even more Playstation like systems comming out:

www.afcea.org/signal/a...zoneid=188

Shocked

Dimitri

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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

popgun wrote:

Speaking of the Navy and shooting I toured the training facility at Kings Bay Submarine Base in Kingsland, GA last month. While there we were taken to the indoor range and allowed to discharge the guns they had. I say discharge because no live rounds are used only compressed air to simulate recoil. wtf It's a bean counter move and saves money on live ammo because all sailors are now trained on several weapons, the 12 ga Shotgun, 9mm Berretta, Several M-16 versions, M-14 and the M60 machine gun. Not one live round used in any of that training. Shocked They discharge these guns while aming at projected targets and moving immages in a room that limits the range to about 20 feet. Not even a puff of smoke. What ya think about that? I wonder how they would shoot at Camp Perry?

Gidday Popgun. Mate, the system you have described is what we call WETS here in Australia. It was developed in the US and we bought the licence to use it.

I have "fired" many "rounds" on the WETS range and in fact it is a good aid to shooting because you not only "shoot" at your target the laser system that it uses also allows the operater to "back up" for each shooter and show them exactly what their firearm did before, during and after pulling the trigger. The laser plots the path and movement of your muzzle and projects it onto the screen. You don't realise just how much you move around before and after firing a shot. The system has many other great features that I can't remember and it works well. Best part about it is that compressed air is cheap....much cheaper than bullets. My experience with it is qualifying on the range with live rounds later was much easier. It is also a good transition tool for those that have never done any shooting before. The ultimate sub calibre device.....or for us civilians..using light loads.

Cheers, Vince

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popgun
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Hey Vince,
The problem is that the only training the sailors receive is simulator training. No real live fire at all.
It would be ok for sight training but not worth the many millions it cost. Nothing takes the place of live fire.
Recoil, fire and smoke are a big part of firearms training reality.

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ElyBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

I just wanted to thank you guys for all of the advice on reloading for my Model 36 Smith.

I just returned from the range, and the 36 could not have shot better.

I followed Bushmaster's advise, and loaded up a box using 4.5gr of W231powder, and Speer 125gr GoldDot bullets.

At 25yds I was able to hold a 6"group, and at 20', the group was about 2".
I couldn't ask for anything better with a 2" barrel.
The load was very easy on the gun, and enjoyable to shoot.

I am sure that I will have no problem qualifying for the Concealed Carry Permit on Sat.
I will let you guys know how it went.

Bushmaster, you really know what you are doing, and I really appreciate the help.

You guys and your Families, have a Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Thanks Again,

Eric Marleau
Forest Lake, Minnesota

PS--Pop gun, I tried to do a personal e-mail, but it didn't work. Eric

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help on Model 36 S&W Chief's Special Accuracy Load Reply with quote

Good luck on your CCW drill. You'll find that the written part is the hardest and it's easy. Just common sense.

And you are most welcome.

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