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This is a discussion on SP101 Range Time within the Range Reports forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I'm starting a series of tests with my SP101 in hopes that I can improve my shooting skills this year, and I thought I'd start ...


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Old February 8th, 2017, 07:02 AM   #1
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SP101 Range Time

I'm starting a series of tests with my SP101 in hopes that I can improve my shooting skills this year, and I thought I'd start a thread to give me some motivation to get to the range more often and really keep track of my results. I'm going to (hopefully) be updating this first post as I try new drills an/or improve my records.

Test/drill summary:
Higginbotham controllability drill - 5.86 seconds (fail)
10 yard best group - 1.6"





Last edited by KeepArms; February 15th, 2017 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Updating test/drill summary
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Old February 8th, 2017, 07:03 AM   #2
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Thumbs down Higginbotham Controllability Test

I had a good time at the public pistol range this morning before work. There was one other gentleman there early to shoot. I'm always impressed by how cordial well-armed people are with each other.

I started my testing out with an epic failure. This morning I tried out Mr. Jim Higginbotham's controllability test. Federal firearm instructor Higginbotham set one test of "handgun controllability" as being 5 shots into a folded 8 1/2 x 11" piece of paper at 5 yards in no more than 2 seconds. I used a target twice the size as the shortest distance to shoot at the range was 10 yards. I tried the drill a few times using different ammunition, but my shot timer app wasn't working too well. I ended up with only one scoreable result while shooting Barnes TAC-XPD 125GN 357MAG ammunition with a time of 5.86 seconds. The sixth time in the screenshot must have been an echo.



The next time I try this test I am going put A LOT less focus on hitting the target and just focus on the fastest shooting possible. This drill may end up being my justification for using 38SPL+P ammunition for defensive purposes. I have a few other tests to try out before I make that decision. Any thoughts on my results? I'll take any help I can get.

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Old February 8th, 2017, 08:44 AM   #3
 
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At that speed shooting double action those are pretty good results. Using 357 ammo makes it a bit tougher to get the muzzle down for the next show and that could slow you slightly.

I still shoot 357 but when carrying I prefer the Remington Golden Sabers in 38 Spec +P. The are very effective rounds with minimal recoil compared to a 357.

Keep practicing and have fun doing it.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #4
 
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Is your SP101 the new Talo Ceracote Black SP101?? What brand of grip is that??
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Old February 8th, 2017, 09:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gqucool View Post
Is your SP101 the new Talo Ceracote Black SP101?? What brand of grip is that??
It's a 3" model I've been tinkering on for a few years. I bead blasted it in my garage:


The grips were made using a piece of maple from the hardware store and Kevin Wilson's "Make a Custom Wood Grip for your Ruger SP101" article:
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Old February 8th, 2017, 09:45 AM   #6
 
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Wow way cool I have a SP101 3 inch in .327 FM. I have some Elk Horn antlers at home. I will have to look up the article you mention on grips. I know I have enough for Elk Horn inserts but also enough to make me a set of grips. I like the looks of the finish on your SP101!!!
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Old February 8th, 2017, 12:27 PM   #7
 
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Hi Keep Arms! Nice shooting! And that's a great looking revolver the way...

Are you shooting the .357 loads in the same spot as your carry load? The recommendation is to practice with the same loads (or as close to them as possible) that you carry on a daily basis.

It's been said that using using .357 ammo in a snubnose is futile because the shorter barrel doesn't allow that cartridge to garner its full potential before leaving the barrel. Taking that into account coupled with the harder controllability and the fact that a lot of the +P ammo is designed for shorter barrels...it just makes better sense to practice with your carry ammo.

Plus, I might add, the .357 is a punishing round in a short barreled gun. I own 3 revolvers, an LCR, SP101 and a Security Six, all .357 caliber for compatibility and for the heavier frame for longevity....but the only one that ever sees .357 ammo is the 6" Security Six as it gobbles up all the punishing recoil.

I guess I'm recoil sensitive and can't imagine a steady diet of .357's in one of those short hand cannons.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 12:43 PM   #8
 
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good looking rember smooth first then speed
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Old February 8th, 2017, 01:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argee1950 View Post
Hi Keep Arms! Nice shooting! And that's a great looking revolver the way...

Are you shooting the .357 loads in the same spot as your carry load? The recommendation is to practice with the same loads (or as close to them as possible) that you carry on a daily basis.

It's been said that using using .357 ammo in a snubnose is futile because the shorter barrel doesn't allow that cartridge to garner its full potential before leaving the barrel. Taking that into account coupled with the harder controllability and the fact that a lot of the +P ammo is designed for shorter barrels...it just makes better sense to practice with your carry ammo.

Plus, I might add, the .357 is a punishing round in a short barreled gun. I own 3 revolvers, an LCR, SP101 and a Security Six, all .357 caliber for compatibility and for the heavier frame for longevity....but the only one that ever sees .357 ammo is the 6" Security Six as it gobbles up all the punishing recoil.

I guess I'm recoil sensitive and can't imagine a steady diet of .357's in one of those short hand cannons.
Thanks! I've been carrying Double Tap's 125GN 357MAG Bonded Defense JHP ammo since 2011. I shoot at least one cylinder full every time I'm at the range. They are advertised as getting 1425FPS out of a 2" S&W which is 300FPS faster than their 110 grain offering in 38SPL+P in the same gun. If my math is right, that ends up being a 55% increase in energy even when fired from a snub nose, so I don't think using the magnum round is futile.

I just recently started testing the Barnes ammo. Everything I've read on it sounds great, and it costs about the same as the Double Tap ammo. I plink with 38SPL loads, but I do most defensive training drills with cheaper FMJ 357 rounds that seem to provide similar accuracy and recoil to my carry loads. I chose the Ruger over a S&W model 60 in 2011 because I wanted to practice a lot with hot loads similar to what I'd be carrying, and it seems to be known for it's durability. It's heavy enough that I don't mind shooting it a lot, but I'm one of those nuts who loves recoil.
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Old February 9th, 2017, 09:24 AM   #10
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The postman brought some more range fodder today:


I can't wait to try the 180GN bullets.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 08:40 AM   #11
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I have noticed a tendency to miss 1/5 shots when shooting steel challenges, so I decided to test the groupings of shots from each of the five different chambers in my revolver. It turns out it's probably just my shooting skills:

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Old February 21st, 2017, 05:05 AM   #12
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Yesterday we had some beautiful weather in SWPA, so I cut out of work at noon and headed to the range! There were a few groups in and out, but it never completely filled up while I was there. Everyone couldn't believe how warm it was for being February.

I was practicing my own version of the F.A.S.T. drill and of course couldn't get anywhere near the times listed in their scoring when doing a 5 cylinder reload from speed strips. I'm practicing this way because it's how I carry. It got me wondering, has anyone seen any speed drills set up specifically for revolvers and speed strips?

I also tried out the 158GN and 180GN double tap loads. They weren't too bad out of the SP, but my grip is a little too slick I think. I'm going to look into some stippling patterns that would give me some more grip in the hand without gripping my shirt when it's in a tucked IWB holster.

Bonus question: Is everyone else's range bag as messy as mine?


Last edited by KeepArms; February 21st, 2017 at 05:09 AM.
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Old February 21st, 2017, 04:28 PM   #13
 
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.357 at less than full potential is still more muzzle energy than .38 through the same barrel length. More is better! Except when recoil makes it too unwieldy.
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