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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just obtained a Taylor's and Co. "Runnin' Iron" model Uberti single action 45 Colt, 4 5/8" barrel. With factory winchester 255 gr. "target" loads, the point of impact is 18" left at 50 yds. According to my calculations moving the sights 0.05 or so should get it on for windage. Nothing looks particularly out of whack... front sight is straight up and down and square with the rear sight. I really like the feel and looks of the revolver, but that doesn't put lead on target.

Couple of questions: Is this excessive? Two: is it common for single actions to vary windage that much with different loads?

Other handguns (Officer's model 38, 3.5.7., 1911) I have don't do this, but.... I have 200 gr semiwadcutters I'll try and will be casting RCBS 270 gr Keith-type bullets to try. to see if either of these make a difference in windage (I know they'll be different in elevation).

Turning the barrel is beyond my tools/skills and I really don't want to file on anything. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated before I pay to have the barrel moved to realign the front sight.

Thanks, from the frozen north of Montana.

PS: It ain't me.
 

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Just for the sheer hell of it, try shooting the 'standard' .45 Colt load to see how it prints - you may well be surprised, since that's what the factory did.

Anything more can 'usually' be dealt with by careful ammunition selection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kinda thought that's what the Winchester loads were... 255gr RNFP at 860fps (advertised). I'll try some loads as soon as I get some bullets (boolits?) cast tomorrow.
 

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I'm sure you can get closer to POI with different ammo, I have a DPMS .380 that I have sighted in for NATO spec ammo and it will go sideways up to 6"-7" at 100 yards with some other types of ammo. Still, 18" @ 50 yards sounds like a lot.
 

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Try the different ammo and make sure to bench it to make sure you are not doing something to make it shoot off. I was a range master for years, and I watched more than one person adjust sights blaming the gun on something they were doing. I am not suggesting that you are doing something, but I prove it to myself all the time. I always wait until I settle in and make sure I am warmed up before I blame a gun for poor performance.
 

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Try putting more pressure on the left side of the trigger when you press it. Changes in grip and trigger manipulation can make that much of a change.
 

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"
Try putting more pressure on the left side of the trigger when you press it. Changes in grip and trigger manipulation can make that much of a change."

What he said. It's very easy to pull a handgun right or left when pulling the trigger enough to move the POI that far at 50 yards. If you have a shooting pal that is pretty good, you may want to get him to try it and see if he gets the same results.
 

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There's an almost forgotten method for helping to see how the gun shoots,from a sandbag put your strong hand trigger finger on the trigger then place your weak hand trigger finger over the end of the strong finger & pull w/both fingers @ the same time,this reduces the heavy pull & also helps control the sideways movement of the gun.This should tell u whether it's the sights or the guy behind them.
 

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Just for the sheer hell of it, try shooting the 'standard' .45 Colt load to see how it prints - you may well be surprised, since that's what the factory did.

Anything more can 'usually' be dealt with by careful ammunition selection.
That is the standard 45 colt load and it was the only load from Winchester for decades until the silver tips showed up in the early 80’s then the cowboy loads.

The front sight light can be slightly bent ( I had to do this on my colt cowboy). Mine was close to that far off as it was 6-8” at 25 yards. You can also file the rear sight channel on one side. All of my colt single actions ( except the budget cowboy) with fix sights were spot on with windage.
 

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I've run into this a lot, and it's almost always my fault! When you test your revolver, I'd strongly encourage you to shoot it the same way you're going to always shoot it. In other words don't shoot from the bench unless all your shooting will be from the bench. Since I mainly hunt with my revolvers I shoot either standing or from a seated, back rested position because I found shooting from a bench ill produce a different point of impact.

It's also been my personal experience that I have be super conscientious about the consistency of my grip, especially when shooting .44 Specials and 45 Colts presumably due to the heavier recoil. When shooting a .357, especially with light loads, I've found I can be a little more carefreein my grip.

If you'll notice the trigger on Colt SA's and the reproductions, it sits in the left side of the trigger guard. This means to us right-handed shooters that when we apply pressure to the trigger, we're not only applying rearward pressure, but (unless you have long fingers) we're applying side pressure, to the left, to trigger as well. I'm betting this would cause the revolver to shoot to the left, possibly. I've often wondered if one of the wide target triggers would help.

If you shoot enough that you're absolutely certain it's the revolver and not the shooter, you can heat and carefully bend the front sight to the left. I've done this a time or two and didn't care for it. Another option that I've yet to pursue would be to have a machinist set your revolver up in a mill and cut a little out of the right side of the rear sight slot/groove. I think the amount required to change the point of impact would be small enough so as to not be noticeable. But again, I would want to make 100% sure the revolver is the problem and not the shooter.

I commend you for doing your testing at 50 yds. I have a range here at the house and rarely shoot at less than 50 yds. Shooting at that range not only quickly shows problems with equipment and technique, but also hones shooting skills!
 

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You will likely have a different point of impact shooting offhand and shooting off of a bench rest - in elevation, not windage. This is because the recoil impulse is part of the equation of POA/POI, as the barrel starts pivoting upward before the bullet leaves the barrel. This is why heavier bullets shoot higher than lighter bullets, all other things being equal, because the heavy bullet will remain in the barrel longer than the lighter bullet, thus more of the recoil impulse affects the heavier bullet simply due to a slightly longer time in the barrel.

Sorry, I have no hints for fixing the windage problem, other than having another (talented) shooter shoot your gun and see if that shooter has the same point of impact as you do. That exercise will confirm whether it is you or the gun that is off. I will note that it is not unusual for a Detective Special (fixed sights), to shoot to one side or the other of where the fixed sights say the bullet should impact, particularly those built in the 1950s, in my experience.
 

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Most all of my handguns shoot to POA at 10 steps. Just lucky. I did get a Taylor's Smoke Wagon Deluxe in 44WCF that shot 10" to the left at 10 steps no matter how I shot it. I ran 100 rounds through it in a systematic test shooting from rest, offhand right handed, left handed (I shoot "gunfighter" in cowboy action shooting so I can shoot with either hand.), and both hands hold. I had my wife shot it also. It was consistently shooting to the left. You could look down the bore and see the front sight was just not quite 12 o'clock. I sent it back to Taylor's and they corrected it.

I have a pair of Pietta Confederate 44s that shoot about 6" high at 10 steps. But that's the nature of cap guns. I just aim at the bottom of the target.

I have a Pietta Cimarron Eleminator 8 in 45Colt that shot 8" high and 2" left at 10 steps with my cowboy loads. I cut the front sight down about .030" and tried again. The groups are still 4 or 5" high and of course still to the left. I can take still more off the top of the sight to bring the group down but I'll have to torque in the barrel just a bit to get the windage. It's "good enough" for cowboy action shooting except for the falling plates. A center hold would not give you any room for error. To correct by Kentucky windage, I'd have to aim about 5 o'clock to group center.
 
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