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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Smith & Wesson Model 15-3 range session at 5-Star Firearms in Zion, Illinois 09/09/2019

This was range session #12 for 2019 and it is probably my last for the year. There are many competing priorities that I need to attend to before the new year rings in so I need to limit distractions. 779-rounds total were expended this year and it all was more fun than I deserved to have.  I hope to spend even more time at the range next year.  We'll see how things work out ...
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65-rounds of Federal 130-grain FMJ (AE38K) plus 6-rounds of Federal 125-grain Nyclad hollow point (P38M) equals 71-rounds total for this session (all were NON+P loads which are very friendly to the frame of this old revolver and to the achy hands of this kludgy old shooter). It has been many years since I last fired the old S&W Model 15-3 shown in the photo above.  I decided to get away from practicing with the light-and-easy to carry pocket sized blasters for a while so I dug this Combat Masterpiece out of secure storage. I even used it for concealed carry for a few days with a Jackass shoulder rig as proof of concept; it's unlikely to become a regular carry --- but it is probably best to never say never nowadays.


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The sheet (above) was used at varying distances

First off, I engaged the center target:
12-rounds @ 30-feet (10-yards)
I did my best Elmer Fudd modified Weaver stance and fired the revolver double action, very slow and very deliberately but I avoided staging the trigger.  The Nyclads were the first 6-rounds fired; I highlighted in yellow where they hit.

Next I blasted away at the pair of lower targets:
12-rounds on each @ 21-feet (7-yards)
Again with the modified Weaver stance, I fired double action as fast as I could sight and squeeze.  Even at this closer distance I expected that the faster pace of shooting would cause me to open up my groupings more than I did.  This revolver has always been very kind and patient with my lack of natural talent.  It is no wonder (to me, at least) that many cops were reluctant to transition away from this model.

Then it came down to just me facing off against the top pair of targets:
12-rounds on each @ 45-feet (15-yards)
Kneeling, using the range-booth countertop as a brace, I fired SINGLE ACTION, as fast as I could thumb-cock the hammer, sight, and squeeze the trigger.  At this distance my eyes started to lose focus of the front sight against the target.



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I had 11-rounds left to burn so I rolled a fresh sheet out to 60-feet (20-yards) which I (correctly) guessed to be the inner edge of my zone of suckiness with this revolver.  Again I bastardized some sort of a modified Weaver stance and fired double action as fast as I could sight and squeeze.  Of the 11-rounds fired, there was 1-on-paper-miss (highlighted in yellow, lower righthand corner). 10-rounds did hit inside the scoring rings with 5-rounds landing inside the 9-ring and 5-rounds scattered around inside the other numbers. Some famous movie dude once said something about a man needing to know his limitations.  

SUMMARY:  
It is more enjoyable for me to shoot with a 4'' .38 special K-frame than it is for me to shoot with a snub .38 special J-frame.  It always has been and always will be.