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Ok, my roommate and I will be testing some loads out of his .357 Mag New Blackhawk tomorrow afternoon. We'll be running them over a chrono and I've done thousands of rounds for load development from a bench with rifles and TC pistols, but zero with a revolver. What is the preferred method of accuracy testing with a revolver for hunting loads? We'll be shooting 158gr. XTP's. Do we test at 50 yds or 25 yds for accuracy? His max range on deer will be 50 yds. He's shooting open sights. I have bags and a traditional benchrest. Do rest the barrel on the rest or the cylinder? I feel like an idiot asking, but I'd feel like a bigger idiot NOT asking and shooting with poor results. What are good results at 25 yds or 50 yds with a revolver and a good shot with a rest? I'm assuming 2" at 50 yds would be a good group. Let me know your opinions.
Selmer
 

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I like the concept of resting the wrists only on the bags. Others may use the bags to support the cylinder frame just ahead of the trigger guard.
Guess that you have to watch if you do the latter as you may catch the bags on fire :eek: ;D
 

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Absolute maximum accuracy will be obtained by resting your hands on something soft but supportive. I've used very softly filled sandbags for this quite successfully. You don't want it spongy but it must be soft for some give. Then rest the front edge of the revolver frame on a bag but make sure it's leather as the flame cutting from a revolver will eat up cloth in one or two shots. I have an old leather zipper handgun case I use to put over my cloth bags to protect them from this.

Using this method you can lock in rock solid for best accuracy. But for many perhaps most this does not give same POI as you'll be using in the field. For me it's no different but most do not find that to be the case.

For a final sight in do as you would when hunting and rest only your wrists and keep the hands and gun from touching anything much as you would with a field rest while hunting. This is not nearly as solid and your groups will not be as tight as the method I suggested above. But at least it duplicates what you'll experience in the field while hunting.
 

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To allow the gun to recoil naturally (so it hits the same place when you are NOT using bags) be sure you rest your wrists on the bags, not your hands. The gun butt will roll down some in recoil and if it (or your hands holding it) are on the bags, it will shoot high. That's why you want to rest your wrists on the bags, it allows for that movement. Enjoy that new gun! The range limit is more where you can shoot the size of groups you want, not so much what the gun is capable of. I have a FA 83 in .44 mag that will stay inside of 2 1/2" at 100 yds, but I am rarely capable of holding that steady, and the eyes are not what they used to be. I remember taking my .357 Blackhawk 4 5/8" to Williams in Lapeer back when hunting with a pistol was still mostly considered a stunt in the 60's. I would sit down at the 100 rifle range and keep all of my shots in the black. The range officer would come along and tell me I had to move back to the 'pistol' range (35 yds) for safety reasons. When I would show him my targets and ask what the problem was, he would just shake his head and say 'sorry, that's the rules'. Boy! Have those days been gone for a long time! Enjoy that gun! 44 Man
 

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I like what a old friend said. "Young enough to get the most out of the best and couldn't afford them. Old enough to afford them and not able to get the best out of them." I hear you 44 man.
I agree with Graybeard for when you start out just for shooting groups. For shooting off hand it is better for most to rest the wrist as others have said.
 
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