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#4649117 - 01/28/18 01:35 PM Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 41447
Loc: New Jersey
Shot a few boxes through both a mid-production S&W M1917 .45 ACP and a S&W 15-3 .38. Of course different ages and frame sizes, but both are classic blued and wood S&W revolvers. Both are in great shape, work flawlessly, couldn't be happier. I threw some rounds with a model 60 J-frame in the mix, hadn't shot one in 15+ years so wanted to see how .38 felt in comparison to the K frame.

Shot both outdoors and in. On day 1 outdoors, got some Federal syntech ammo for the 1917, Remington .38spl in the 15-3. Day two I went to a range with no fees, but you buy their ammo. Not my usual place but it was close by. Used FMJ Federal white box horribly smoky stuff.

Stupidly I forgot my half moon clips for the M1917. There was a decent continuous tailwind and a pretty regular but sporadic set of gusts. Someplace I read that not using clips could affect accuracy but it wasn't going to make a difference.

Set the target just a little past the 15 yd mark as I was lazy and there was already a good hole in the dirt. Shot about 50/50 SA and DA.



The backing on this is used from other trips; the flyers on the cardboard may not be this set of guns.



Day two, wanted to be out of the wind and see how I could shoot these two. Ok but my skills need work. These were at 7 yards, so much closer. Too much variance here for me to be happy, but I like the targets which help provide feedback. This too was a mix of DA/SA.

.45 ACP Federal White Box



.38spl Federal White Box


Managed to get a model 60 in the mix. Years ago I rented an airweight at a range and couldn't shoot it well. I think we may have been playing with magnum rounds in it which wouldn't help. I can't remember. Anyway, the results here are interesting. Always shot way high (aiming at lower right target). Didn't put many rounds through, as I wanted to focus on the 15-3, still was surprised how consistently I was shooting high.



I will say that I noticed a difference with the syntech and the Federal white box. Syntech fired much cleaner and with abut less perceived recoil. I really like the syntech ammo. Not sure what the downside is, but I plan to try it for 9mm and whatever other calibers they make it for that I might shoot.

Any ideas why I shoot the 19-7 different than the 15-3? Seems consistently I shoot the 1917 center-high right both outdoors and in; while the 15-3 is center low-right outdoors one day and more center and consistent indoors. These aren't long distances regardless of day, could it be the .38 ammo or ballistics coming into play even this close? And any idea why I shoot the j-frame consistently high? I'm assuming ALL user error, but curious to others' thoughts or suggestions on how to improve shooting these based upon the results.

Certainly do enjoy classic S&W!









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#4649211 - 01/28/18 03:00 PM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
PimTac Online   content


Registered: 03/04/17
Posts: 3484
Loc: Soviet State of Washington
A couple of real nice wheelguns you have there. I used to have a mid-70ís S&W Police Special in .357. I really regret selling that one.
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#4649308 - 01/28/18 04:36 PM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3227
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
The 15-3 is the Combat Masterpiece, right? I have that gun in the 18-3 .22 cal. Very nice revolvers.

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#4650147 - 01/29/18 12:46 PM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
KCJeep Offline


Registered: 06/30/11
Posts: 6971
Loc: Mahzurrah!
Nice guns! thumbsup
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#4650271 - 01/29/18 02:23 PM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
Astro14 Offline


Registered: 10/10/10
Posts: 8353
Loc: Virginia Beach
Those are a couple of classics! I really like the look and feel of that vintage...

As far as your targets, I can't really tell from the hits...I could tell more if I observed you shoot...so, when are you coming to Virginia Beach? You can be my guest at the range to which I belong!
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#4650300 - 01/29/18 02:53 PM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
Oro_O Offline


Registered: 09/20/14
Posts: 1342
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Quote:
Any ideas why I shoot the 19-7 different than the 15-3? Seems consistently I shoot the 1917 center-high right both outdoors and in


There's going to be an inherent difference in POI impact between guns that different even with other things the same (ammo, shooter, range/day, etc.). BUT, one thing that might be affecting you is the military mainspring in the 1917. The British and US military models, the 2nd Model Hand Ejectors and 1917, had stiffer mainsprings than standard production guns. This will affect your trigger pull unless you train it away, and high/right would be an outcome of that with a right-handed shooter. On the upside, a modern N frame mainspring will pop right into that 1917 very easily, so you could swap them for very little money.

I had a UK army 2nd Model Hand ejector I could never shoot accurately without constant practice until I changed the mainspring. This gun, which was the military N frame up until the day they start 1917 production:


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#4651060 - 01/30/18 11:26 AM Re: Range report and firing critique: M1917 and 15-3 [Re: JHZR2]
Yah-Tah-Hey Offline


Registered: 05/26/14
Posts: 3227
Loc: Columbus,Nebraska
That's one gorgeous revolver. I like my plain Jane model 10 M&P. Beautiful design.

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