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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/11/2002 12:31:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2002 12:35:33 PM EST by JMR]
I recently bought a S&W 686 with the 6" barrel.
I've put about 350 rounds through it since I bought a couple of weeks ago. What concerns me is that shooting from a bench at 25 yards the accuracy is not what I thought it should be.

For instance shooting Winchester USA 130 gr FMJ 38 specials the groups are around 3-5 inches and shooting Winchester USA 110 gr JHP 357 it's they are 3-6 inches. There are some rounds in the group that are 1 inch apart then others drift off messing up the group.

Granted at this range my front sight covers the 6 inch circular target. My question being is this normal groupings or do I need more practice ?
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 3:09:49 PM EST
Heck, you're hittin the paper ain't ya?

Pistolas aren't as accurate as rifles, but I don't measure my groups from a pistol either.

Practice, practice, and practice some more.

You might find it likes different ammo better.

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 3:12:36 PM EST
3 inches at 25 yards is very poor accuracy for a 686. Is this a new or used gun?

Before you get any work done on this revolver, get someone else to shoot it to determine where the problem lies. Shooting a handgun off the bench is difficult and takes some practice to develop good methods.

If used, I recommend you get a competent pistol smith to look it over for stretched crane, shot out cylinder, and so on.

If new, send it S&W.

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:02:40 PM EST
It's a new revolver and new revolver owner. Chances are it's me and not the revolver. I'll try some different ammo and see how it does.

What kind of accuracy can you expect out of a 6" 686 using factory ammo ?

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:20:57 PM EST
I don't know about a 686 but my Colt anaconda w/6" bbl will make one hole with 44 mags/specials @ 25 yds. My Gp-100 w/4" will print 3" groups off the rest w/PMC 357 mag.
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:32:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2002 4:34:18 PM EST by ED_P]
I wouldn't worry about it. As dave1164 said, pistols aren't as accurate. I'm a great shot with iron sights on my rifle, but I'm happy if I can get all the rounds within a 8" circle at 25 yards with a handgun. I think alot of pistol shooters who claim great accuracy are using a really good rest of some kind. Pistols are just alot tougher with the short front to back sight distance, and wobbling of hands.
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:40:32 PM EST
Here's a link wher you can print out cool "Correction" targets, that helps coach pistol shooters to better accuracy. Saw a guy using it at the range last week.

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:40:54 PM EST
Benchrested with quality factory loads,(ie FEDERAL) a 686 is easily capable of 1" at 25yds. With handloads and a 2x Leupold, mine goes 1/2" (25yds) no problem and will hold minute of beer can at 100yds.

I suspect its the ammo your using, as long as it isnt shaving the bullet jacket (cylinder to forcing cone alignment). Your not getting hit by any particles are you??.

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 4:50:26 PM EST
I like that coaching target picture, very informative.

The only particles I've been hit with is just burnt powder coming of the rest. If the cylinder was out of alignment wouldn't the forcing cone show signs of that ?

Link Posted: 8/11/2002 5:26:40 PM EST

I'm not trying to question your skill, but is most likely you and not the gun.

As stated above, handguns are harder to shoot well than rifles. I feel like Rambo if I get all the shots to hit the target at 25 yds.

The 686 should be capable of better accuracy than most people can shoot. Let someone else shoot it and see how they do. Hell, let a lot of people shoot it and compare.

Most of all, practice. It makes all the difference in the world.
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 6:27:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/11/2002 6:30:33 PM EST by GSG9]
JMR, I am by no means a handgun expert but try this method for grouping your revolver: When you set up on your bench make sure that you are in a position that allows you to rest the gun on your sandbag and maintain good control without pressing the gun in, once you are ready fire one shot at the bull (single action) then try to put that bullet hole on top of your post for each subsequent shot (all SA) always using the first bullet hole as your aiming point. This works best with Shoot-N-See targets and says little about your true marksmanship skill but says a great deal about the accuracy of the revolver.


edit: More than likely that first shot will not group well with the rest, it only provides a good reference point for fine detail shooting. Once you determine that the pistol is grouping properly then you can set the sights.
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 8:40:55 PM EST
You mention that the gun is brand new so that rules out, IMO, a mechanical problem with the gun. Granted S&W does pop out a lemon once in a while but they are indeed rare ones.

As the others mention try different ammo. Even the same weight bullet will shoot differently from mfgr to mfgr. Your 686 should be easily capable of 1-3" groups from a rest @ 25 yards from my experience with my 681 & other S&Ws.
Link Posted: 8/11/2002 11:57:08 PM EST
You need practice. I can shoot the groups you are getting (6") at 150 yards with my 686. With match ammunition, I can do better. In my experience, most handguns (particularly revolvers) are far more accurate than the person shooting them.
Link Posted: 8/12/2002 12:01:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By JMR:
I like that coaching target picture, very informative.

The only particles I've been hit with is just burnt powder coming of the rest. If the cylinder was out of alignment wouldn't the forcing cone show signs of that ?

If the cylinder was out of alignment you'd be seeing a lot of copper and lead on the forcing cone (and you'd probably be hit by some of it).

It's entirely possible that the chamber mouths are too tight. That's a pretty common problem with revolvers today and will affect accuracy, although only Rugers seem to have the problem in my experience.
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