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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I count myself a handgunner going on sixty years now. Much of my early shooting was bullseye paper punching. But I got interested in the .44 Magnum, hunting, and long range handgunning. My usual revolver of choice was this:



This a Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 Magnum. My usual shooting was using a firm two-handed hold, often braced against the trunk of big oak tree or snuggled up against a hay bale. When fired, the gun went off with a ball of fire, cloud of pale blue smoke and roared with a smart blast But of late, with my senior years nearing my choice has been targets a wee bit closer and .44 Special cartridges. Like this:



And, lately I've been back to one handed shooting a little. And that sure has caused me to get back to concentration. I like my groups to be small groups at very small targets, and this requires me to almost re-train myself to hold the gun in only one hand, line up those sights and squeeze that trigger.

I worked out Saturday, running about 75 rounds of .44 Special, and realized my muscle tone is, well, out of tone.

Bob Wright
 

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Sounds like I am close to your age. (72). Years ago jeff cooper and the like advocated two handed shooting attributing it pretty much to jack weaver starting it at big bear in the 1950s. Horse puckey. Elmer keith came back and said its been done two handed since the revolver was invented, and I belive that. Personaly I belive the best "posistions" be it long gun or handgun is what feels comfortable to you. I have gotten shakey with age and no longer claim to be a good shot. Always have been accurate enough and good enough to pass 35 years of requalifing on the job without ever haveing to be run through twice. I still say get off my back if some "expert" thinks I should my chin up, down, arms farther out, in, turn more/less sideways or whatever. Maybe thats what makes some ladys good shots, because they will listen to a "expert"?
 

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Geeeez, you old farts are making me feel like a schoolkid.

My dad taught me how to shoot a handgun back in 1954 and I've been doin' it ever since.

This is a gun I bought back in '73 (no, not 1873) 1973), and used to use it at silhouette matches in Idaho Falls. Man, what fun it was to knock down those 55 lb steel rams at 225 yards. I still have her too.

Braced against my right leg in the Creedmore (laying on the back position), and shooting one handed was quite a chore those days and handloading was an absolute must because factory ammo barely made it to the target at 200 meters let alone knock them over.

Ruger Superblackhawk. A great gun back then, and still one of the finest, and best/strongest built handguns in the world. If I remember correctly, (using this young whippersnapper of a 67 year old brain), I used to load 22.5 grns of H110 under a 240 grn FMJ Flat Nose bullet. That's a load that would blow up a S&W Model 29, as it generated about 44,000 psi in those chambers. Not a load for a fluted cylinder in my humble opinion.

Bud

Gun Firearm Revolver Trigger Gun accessory
 

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I am another young fella of 66 who was shooting silhouette with a Super Blackhawk about 30 years ago. But changed to 357 Maximum which hit most as hard as the 44 with trajectory flat enough to shoot the whole durned match without sight adjustment - just hold low on the chickens and high on the rams.
 

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Right you are Ross, and even with that big ol' .44 I usually found that a hold-over or under was better (for me anyway) than changing loads or adjusting sites. It's something you get used to doing if you're desperate like I was.:D

Bud

I am another young fella of 66 who was shooting silhouette with a Super Blackhawk about 30 years ago. But changed to 357 Maximum which hit most as hard as the 44 with trajectory flat enough to shoot the whole durned match without sight adjustment - just hold low on the chickens and high on the rams.
 

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Geeeez, you old farts are making me feel like a schoolkid.

My dad taught me how to shoot a handgun back in 1954 and I've been doin' it ever since.

This is a gun I bought back in '73 (no, not 1873) 1973), and used to use it at silhouette matches in Idaho Falls. Man, what fun it was to knock down those 55 lb steel rams at 225 yards. I still have her too.

Braced against my right leg in the Creedmore (laying on the back position), and shooting one handed was quite a chore those days and handloading was an absolute must because factory ammo barely made it to the target at 200 meters let alone knock them over.

Ruger Superblackhawk. A great gun back then, and still one of the finest, and best/strongest built handguns in the world. If I remember correctly, (using this young whippersnapper of a 67 year old brain), I used to load 22.5 grns of H110 under a 240 grn FMJ Flat Nose bullet. That's a load that would blow up a S&W Model 29, as it generated about 44,000 psi in those chambers. Not a load for a fluted cylinder in my humble opinion.

Bud

View attachment 39224
Had a friend in Florida that had a favorite 44 mag load that we Smith shooters would not even let get on the same loading bench. He called it his 24 load, said it was easy to remember. 24 grains of 2400 powder behind 240 grain linotype cat bullets. It was a hum dinger at the range, I think it would have knocked over a Dodge Powerwagon.
 

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CAS (cowboy action shooting) actually has a category called duelist, shooting one handed, some clubs also have double duelist wherein you shoot one gun dry with your right hand and the second one with your left. You can also shoot 'gunfighter' which is a gun in each hand, alternating guns.
 

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Nice posts from everyone. It has me reflecting the early years of shooting. In the 60's NRA pistol bulls eye rimfire, center fire, and hardball. Then magnum fun in the field with my Python and S&W .44. Then hip shooting with the .38 or .44 special. My short bbl Ruger .44 made a few trips out west with me elk hunting. Now with the cost of bullets and components if you can find them, my shooting has dwindled to nothing. The grandchildren are coming next month I think I'll dig out of few revolvers and give it a whirl again. Stupid cancer permiting, doc says I probably won't be here next year.
 

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I've found I'm not as steady as I used to be. I discovered if I leaned against the tailgate, my shooting improved a lot. Still wondering what's going on about that.

Bob, your .44 special load is the most accurate load in my Colt as well. While I still have and shoot .44 maggies, I don't shoot as much as I used to when I was shooting metal chickens, pigs, turkeys, and rams. The range I shot on required a .44 mag; the .357 wouldn't reliably knock them down because the stands moved. I used a six o-clock hold up close, a navy hold at 75 and held at the ram's backbone at 100. Got pretty good at that for awhile. One old boy at the plant was saying, no one could hit anything at 100 yards with a handgun. I told him to put up or shut up. Quart oil cans: I'd pay him $5 for each one I missed and he'd pay me $20 for each one I hit. Someone wised him up before the match.

Cochise, hang in there, amigo. We're not promised tomorrow anyway, so keep enjoying each day as it comes.

BTW, did I mention it's called a HANDgun, not a Handsgun for a reason.
 
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Golly cochise, I dont know what to say. I have beat cancer once so far, it cost me my nose. (I have a new one built up from my gristle from between my ribs and ears with my scalp draped over it.) I also have developed te shakes but the good part is I guess I could take up gold panning. At least we been there. Good luck and best wishs!
 

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Nice posts from everyone. It has me reflecting the early years of shooting. In the 60's NRA pistol bulls eye rimfire, center fire, and hardball. Then magnum fun in the field with my Python and S&W .44. Then hip shooting with the .38 or .44 special. My short bbl Ruger .44 made a few trips out west with me elk hunting. Now with the cost of bullets and components if you can find them, my shooting has dwindled to nothing. The grandchildren are coming next month I think I'll dig out of few revolvers and give it a whirl again. Stupid cancer permiting, doc says I probably won't be here next year.
Hi Cochise, Docs are often wrong.... Here's hoping for a few more years to come to enjoy your grandchildren... Keep shooting..

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
. Stupid cancer permiting, doc says I probably won't be here next year.
Cochise,

I am very saddened to hear that. Don't know your situation, but having a run in myself with cancer (prostate cancer) I have some idea of what you must be experiencing.

All I can say is that I wish you the best, and will mention you in my prayers, asking the LORD for a miracle.

Bob Wright
 

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Hooooooooeeeee!! Now THAT's a load Mike. His "24 load" huh? Mebbee I'll have to give that a whirl. I'l give my insurance company a call first to make sure I'm all paid up though.

I bet it would knock over a few things Mike. Any idea what the target was for that load or was it just for fun?

I know that load of mine would throw a white flame out between the barrel and the cylinder that was about two feet long on either side of the gun. I would bet that you could cut steel with it. What a noise, and what a thing to hold. It was awful. It sure did impress my friends though. Nothin' that an evenin' of good ol' Absorbine Veterinary Liniment wouldn't cure.

Bud

Had a friend in Florida that had a favorite 44 mag load that we Smith shooters would not even let get on the same loading bench. He called it his 24 load, said it was easy to remember. 24 grains of 2400 powder behind 240 grain linotype cast bullets. It was a hum dinger at the range, I think it would have knocked over a Dodge Powerwagon.
 

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Hey there Jim, the doctors told me that very same thing five years ago. While I would never advocate not listening to your doctor, I just don't believe they know quite as much as we sometimes give them credit for. If I'd listened to them all, they would have sunk me deep twice now.

After the support the members here showed my mother when she fell some months back, I will keep a good thought and a prayer for you. Never give in.

All the best to you Jim.

Bud


Nice posts from everyone. It has me reflecting the early years of shooting. In the 60's NRA pistol bulls eye rimfire, center fire, and hardball. Then magnum fun in the field with my Python and S&W .44. Then hip shooting with the .38 or .44 special. My short bbl Ruger .44 made a few trips out west with me elk hunting. Now with the cost of bullets and components if you can find them, my shooting has dwindled to nothing. The grandchildren are coming next month I think I'll dig out of few revolvers and give it a whirl again. Stupid cancer permiting, doc says I probably won't be here next year.
 

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Shot a silhouette match in Lufkin, Texas many years ago. The guy I was spotting for was badly missing nearly every target. I noticed his Smith 29 was bucking pretty good so I asked him what he was loading it with. He proudly answered, "25 grains of 2400 behind a 240 grain bullet. Better load than Keith shoots." I told him if he didn't mind, I'd spot for him while standing a little further down the line. Can't believe it didn't blow.
 
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Years ago jeff cooper and the like advocated two handed shooting attributing it pretty much to jack weaver starting it at big bear in the 1950s. Horse puckey.
Jeff Cooper was never shy about attributing “new” techniques (which had been in use in other places) to either his Bear Lake matches or the Southwest Pistol League. I followed Cooper’s writings as a teenager and thought he was a very innovative fellow until, in the mid-1970s, I came across an old book in a London used bookstore called Shooting to Live by W.E Fairbairn and E. A. Sykes. I thought then that much of Cooper’s “Modern Technique” was lifted from Fairbairn and Sykes; subsequent attendance at the “orange era” Gunsite pistol course did not change my mind.

I learned to shoot a handgun using both hands; while in high school, I shot my Colt Diamondback in a PPC league at my local range (imagine a high school student doing that today!) and did well enough to take home the high expert trophies twice in a row. (I foolishly traded off the Diamondback some years later; it still out there some place and I want it back. Its serial number is D 9602) Despite my proficiency with the Diamondback, I knew that all true pistol men could shoot one handed (or what is now known as duelist) so when I got my first well-paying job courtesy of the US Army, I learned to shoot one handed with my then brand new Colt SAA .45 on the pistol range at Ft. Benning Ga. I could afford factory .45 Colt ammunition at the then expensive price of $20.00 per 50 round box. As time and circumstances permitted I shot some bullseye matches over the years and eventually became good enough to make a couple of Army pistol teams.

I remember an old Gun Digest article from the 1970s by Colonel Charles Askins Jr. (himself a prewar National Pistol Champion) where he tested the two handed technique and concluded that the addition of the second hand primarily helped with recoil control in timed and rapid fire but did little to help with slow fire accuracy if one was an experienced shot. I was skeptical of Askins’ conclusion at the time I first read his article, but subsequently think he is right. I find if I am shooting a “conventional” sized handgun (up to 45 oz or so) in a “conventional” caliber (up to .45 Colt in power) at “conventional” pistol ranges (up to 50 yards) I do indeed hit as close in slow fire with one hand as I do with two. I may think I am steadier with two hands as opposed to one but the target tells the tale.

Today, unless I am testing a handload for accuracy (which I do from a rest) I almost exclusive shoot with one hand. Frankly, unless one is shooting at long range (greater than 50 yards) or shooting a heavy big bore magnum or single shot center fire handgun, I regard two handed shooting as rather like riding a Harley with training wheels.

Cochise, hang in there; just because one doctor has an opinion doesn’t mean it is so. That’s why it’s called the practice of medicine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From my own observation, shooting with one hand is fine as long as the shooter is standing facing just so and is firing at a stationary target. But when shooting from a sitting position with your back against a tree, with the target approaching from your left, it's two hands for me every time.

Again, much of my shooting involved greater distances and heavier caliber revovlers. My two hand grip just seemed to get me on target a little quicker. Worked for me.

Bob Wright
 

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Excellent post there Mr. aris357.

You know, like you, I've been shooting handguns a long time. Me, for example, since the mid fifties. God, I remember all those Sundays with my dad and his two revolvers at our gravel bed on the farm. I think if not for that little gravel pit we had I may not have started shooting so early.

If there's one thing I learned (and never forgot) what my dad taught me, it was confidence. My dad always said that if you have confidence in yourself, and in your equipment, you would always be one tough son-of-a-gun to beat.

I also remember my dad's favorite saying whenever anyone asked him how he learned to shoot so well. He would tell them, "beware of the one gun shooter." I came to know how profound that statement was over the years. I guess it's a little like that old Kentucky squirrel hunter. He only had the one rifle so he learned how to use it well.

Once again, an excellent post. Thanks.

Bud


Jeff Cooper was never shy about attributing “new” techniques (which had been in use in other places) to either his Bear Lake matches or the Southwest Pistol League. I followed Cooper’s writings as a teenager and thought he was a very innovative fellow until, in the mid-1970s, I came across an old book in a London used bookstore called Shooting to Live by W.E Fairbairn and E. A. Sykes. I thought then that much of Cooper’s “Modern Technique” was lifted from Fairbairn and Sykes; subsequent attendance at the “orange era” Gunsite pistol course did not change my mind.

I learned to shoot a handgun using both hands; while in high school, I shot my Colt Diamondback in a PPC league at my local range (imagine a high school student doing that today!) and did well enough to take home the high expert trophies twice in a row. (I foolishly traded off the Diamondback some years later; it still out there some place and I want it back. Its serial number is D 9602) Despite my proficiency with the Diamondback, I knew that all true pistol men could shoot one handed (or what is now known as duelist) so when I got my first well-paying job courtesy of the US Army, I learned to shoot one handed with my then brand new Colt SAA .45 on the pistol range at Ft. Benning Ga. I could afford factory .45 Colt ammunition at the then expensive price of $20.00 per 50 round box. As time and circumstances permitted I shot some bullseye matches over the years and eventually became good enough to make a couple of Army pistol teams.

I remember an old Gun Digest article from the 1970s by Colonel Charles Askins Jr. (himself a prewar National Pistol Champion) where he tested the two handed technique and concluded that the addition of the second hand primarily helped with recoil control in timed and rapid fire but did little to help with slow fire accuracy if one was an experienced shot. I was skeptical of Askins’ conclusion at the time I first read his article, but subsequently think he is right. I find if I am shooting a “conventional” sized handgun (up to 45 oz or so) in a “conventional” caliber (up to .45 Colt in power) at “conventional” pistol ranges (up to 50 yards) I do indeed hit as close in slow fire with one hand as I do with two. I may think I am steadier with two hands as opposed to one but the target tells the tale.

Today, unless I am testing a handload for accuracy (which I do from a rest) I almost exclusive shoot with one hand. Frankly, unless one is shooting at long range (greater than 50 yards) or shooting a heavy big bore magnum or single shot center fire handgun, I regard two handed shooting as rather like riding a Harley with training wheels.

Cochise, hang in there; just because one doctor has an opinion doesn’t mean it is so. That’s why it’s called the practice of medicine.
 
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