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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a 1950 38/44 outdoorsman. The gun looks good and is tight in every way. The problem is I can’t get it to group well at all. I’m shooting 158gr SWC with 3.5 to 4.2 grains of bullseye. I’ve also tried other jacketed bullets and different powders. At 25 yards the groups are 4in sometimes and that’s from a bench rest. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Frustration can cause a ton of problems. Let someone you know to be a good shooter try it out. I also find that at shorter distances I can do better off hand than with a rest. I don't customize my handgun loads for one particular gun. If a gun doesn't shoot well with my loads it's on the table at the next show unless it's something I bought just for the collector value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just bought a 1950 38/44 outdoorsman. The gun looks good and is tight in every way. The problem is I can’t get it to group well at all. I’m shooting 158gr SWC with 3.5 to 4.2 grains of bullseye. I’ve also tried other jacketed bullets and different powders. At 25 yards the groups are 4in sometimes and that’s from a bench rest. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Im gonna try a good lead removal on the barrel. I have several S&W revolvers and shoot all of them well except this one. I do collect them but have no use for them if they don’t shoot good. Thanks for the response.
 

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I just bought a 1950 38/44 outdoorsman. The gun looks good and is tight in every way. The problem is I can’t get it to group well at all. I’m shooting 158gr SWC with 3.5 to 4.2 grains of bullseye. I’ve also tried other jacketed bullets and different powders. At 25 yards the groups are 4in sometimes and that’s from a bench rest. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Hey Layne,

Yes. Make sure the barrel is clean. Use a borescope. At times one will find "micro pitting" that may have been caused by improper cleaning or caustic primers.

I use a .358" LRN over 4.5gr of Universal w/Fed 100. This load shoots well in every revolver tried. (800fps)

Check the timing of the cylinder. Check the yoke for "straight".

I had/have a 6" 5 screw Combat MasterPiece that would not shoot. Had a Python Barrel wound on. Shoots now! LOL

Later, Mark
467705
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Layne,

Yes. Make sure the barrel is clean. Use a borescope. At times one will find "micro pitting" that may have been caused by improper cleaning or caustic primers.

I use a .358" LRN over 4.5gr of Universal w/Fed 100. This load shoots well in every revolver tried. (800fps)

Check the timing of the cylinder. Check the yoke for "straight".

I had/have a 6" 5 screw Combat MasterPiece that would not shoot. Had a Python Barrel wound on. Shoots now! LOL

Later, Mark View attachment 467705
Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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Thanks for all the suggestions.
Hey Layne,

Surplus ammo w/corrosive primers was around well into the '80's and early '90's.

All you need is a 4x or 6x lens and a good light. Shine light in barrel from forcing cone. (use a light tube)
467713


I have just the fiber optic tube, and hold a Mag Light on the end.

With good magnifier, look down the muzzle end.

If micro pitting is present, you will see a light "freckling" in the grooves of the bore. These "pits" will unbalance a bullet in a NYM! (newyorkminute).

They are just a tad too small to be seen w/naked eye.

On the other end, when cleaning, mayhaps the forcing cone has problems. Try a Lewis Lead Remover, then maybe lap the forcing cone.??

Keep us posted.

(forgot, my buddy has a doo dad for his smart phone. Can take pic/movie of inside of barrel. What will they come up with next?) LOL

Hope something helps (would re barrel, before selling a fine 38/44!)

Later, Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey Layne,

Surplus ammo w/corrosive primers was around well into the '80's and early '90's.

All you need is a 4x or 6x lens and a good light. Shine light in barrel from forcing cone. (use a light tube) View attachment 467713

I have just the fiber optic tube, and hold a Mag Light on the end.

With good magnifier, look down the muzzle end.

If micro pitting is present, you will see a light "freckling" in the grooves of the bore. These "pits" will unbalance a bullet in a NYM! (newyorkminute).

They are just a tad too small to be seen w/naked eye.

On the other end, when cleaning, mayhaps the forcing cone has problems. Try a Lewis Lead Remover, then maybe lap the forcing cone.??

Keep us posted.

(forgot, my buddy has a doo dad for his smart phone. Can take pic/movie of inside of barrel. What will they come up with next?) LOL

Hope something helps (would re barrel, before selling a fine 38/44!)

Later, Mark
Than
I’ve a Lewis lead remover in order from brownells and I will find a way to look the bore over real good. Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Than
I’ve a Lewis lead remover in order from brownells and I will find a way to look the bore over real good. Thanks for the help.
The Lewis lead remover should arrive tomorrow so I’ll find out if that helps. I thought I would share a picture. I hope I can get it to shoot like it should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Lewis lead remover should arrive tomorrow so I’ll find out if that helps. I thought I would share a picture. I hope I can get it to shoot like it should.
To update my post
I got the Lewis lead remover and was amazed at how much lead cane out of the barrel and especially the cylinder, which may have been causing more of the problem than the barrel. I have shot the 38/44 some since and accuracy has improved but the jury is still out on whether it will produce the 2in 25 yd groups I am looking for. I realize the lack of accuracy may be the shooter and not the gun. Thanks for all the comments and help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
More data to share. I loaded
11.8 gr of 2400 behind 158gr gas checked SWC and got an average of 1220 fps. I worked up to 12.5 gr of 2400 and got an average of 1335 fps. This is fired from the 38/44 outdoorsman with 6.5in barrel and this is 38 special. Any thoughts on the velocity? I feel like, based on other readings that my chronograph is reasonably accurate.
 
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