Firing Line: 07/05
Where Does It Shoot?
Re “Budget Self-Defense Revolvers: Taurus, Rossi, and Comanche,” November 2004:
I was very interested in the Taurus M605B, but I have a question. Where does it shoot relative to the point of aim? I have been disappointed by fixed-sight revolvers for their lack of accuracy because they do not shoot to the point of aim. It’s impressive that such a modestly priced gun shoots 2.5-inch groups, but not so nice if they are off the point of aim by 3 or 4 inches at 15 yards. How difficult/expensive would it be for a gunsmith to fix this?
Our Taurus generally shot to point of aim elevation at 15 yards; there were some left and right shots that were the result of shooter error. There are a number of factors that affect accuracy regarding point of aim and point of impact. Shooter technique aside, structural alignment of the sights is key. Since the rear notch is machined into the frame and the front sight is machined into the barrel shroud, the shroud and frame must be applied with perfect alignment for proper windage. I checked with Smith & Wesson, and the first thing they do is to fire the gun in a Ransom Rest to establish if there really is a problem. Windage problems are addressed by reseating the barrel and barrel shroud. Regarding elevation, the height of the front sight blade gives you visual reading as to how much to tilt the gun up or down to make it level with the rear sight. The height of the front sight has been calculated to produce a POI at a desired distance. If you can rule out shooter error and the POI produced by your gun and choice of ammunition, you can file down the front sight. But if you go too far, the front sight will have to be removed and a new blade will have to be machined into place. The best way to go is to determine at what distance you want POI and POA to coincide. For a snub-nosed revolver, this may be as close as 10 yards. Then try different ammunition. In terms of elevation, point of impact is affected by a combination of bullet weight and bullet velocity. Lighter bullets generally shoot lower than heavier bullets. Deflection to the right or left is almost always a result of shooter technique. If you have a load you want to shoot in a fixed-sight gun, take a couple of dozen rounds to a gunsmith to have the sights adjusted for the round. Should cost about $30 to $50, depending on the complexity of the sight adjustments. —Roger Eckstine
Re “9mm Pistols for Deep Carry,” January 2005:
I’ve had my Kel-Tec P11 for almost two years now, and I must have bought mine at the right time (before the heavy “lawyer triggers” were in production). The Kel-Tec does have a long trigger pull, and it took about 800 rounds and two months of practice before I felt comfortable with its trigger. I checked my trigger pull a couple weeks after getting the gun, and it broke just under 6 pounds. I can’t imagine the pain (literally) of a long 10-pound pull. The last time I checked the Kel-Tec website, they offered a 5.5-pound trigger kit. I would strongly recommend it if one has a 10-pound trigger.
Gary R. Smith