Combat Snubby Shooting the Askins Way

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by kilogulf59, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    As an adjunct to Snubby Tactics I though you all might enjoy some words of wisdom from one of the true legends in the combat shooting sphere, the late Col. Charles Askins.

    Special thanks to Syd for allowing me to borrow this article from his new website The Snubnose Files.

    "Of all handguns probably none of them are harder to master than the belly model. To begin with, it is short and it is light. This coupled with a walloping big caliber spells a punishing recoil. Only a plentitude of firing will accustom the user to the buck and rear of the sawed-off.

    A hard-kicking gun can be controlled in only one way: it must he gripped with a powerful hand pressure. Practice a grip on the belly gun that will crush granite. Such a heavy hand will bring the weapon under control and keep it there. Practice on man targets and do not fire at them more than 30 feet. Do not fire single shots, trigger off bursts of 2 or 3. Extend the arm full length in the beginning and simply look over the barrel. Later on commence to break the elbow and hold the gun below eye level. Shots come faster. Accuracy is just as good from this lower position – it is just a matter of practice."

    Col. Charles Askins, GUNS MAGAZINE, May, 1955 [Editor's note: I don't necessarily subscribe to this style of shooting, but Col. Askins was one of the most experienced and successful gunfighters of all time and his methods are worth considering.]​
  2. Askins certainly knew what he was talking about generally, kilo, but I only agree with his above statement IF he's talking about a snubbie in .357 Mag. With .38s, even +P .38s, I've never found the kick to be particularly hard. I often carry an S&W Mod 637 loaded with +P Speer Gold Dots, and shoot +P level ammo on the range frequently for practice. The biggest problem I see with a snubbie is the short sight radius. I find I cannot hit well with it past about 30 feet, but for close-in self-defense use, the snubbie is still hard to beat. The small snubbies in .357 Mag are a whole 'nother case though! I own a couple, but always carry and shoot .38s in them.
  3. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

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    Howdy Pistolenschutze,

    The convulsive grip is generally part of the point shooting mantra, as I am certain you are aware. In so far as recoil is concerned, it is, I feel, a relative issue, though I agree with you on the small .357‘s and always question claims of accuracy made with them.

    Pistolenschutze, just a few examples to site my standpoint in agreement of the convulsive grip and the relevance of recoil and, as always sir, I am simply stating my opinion.

    My only true snub-nosed revolver is a near twenty-six year old Charter Arms Undercover. The pistol was, in its day, the lightest .38 available but not by much. I bought it due to necessity and that it was half the price of a S&W, however I digress Pistolenschutze. The grip frame is small, as are the J-frames, and I have a large to XL hand i.e. piano fingers. The factory grips were out, a T-Grip helped but I finally settled upon Pachmayr Compact grips as Boot type grips were unheard of at the time. What an amazing difference a simple stock change made in both managing recoil and, obviously, hit-ability. With the standard stocks I could not maintain the proper grip and it certainly showed up on the target.

    Considering the ultra-light revolvers, even those chambered in .38 Special, I have to concur with Col. Rex Applegate when he stated in KOGK that if revolvers get any lighter it may be counterproductive. When S&W and Taurus came out with their titanium ultra lights, I was given the opportunity to test fire them. The only one I felt acceptable as a combat weapon was a ported model from Taurus. Now in slow fire single action work it doesn’t seem to matter to me personally. Then again I would not choose a snub-nosed revolver for pure target work either. I cannot imagine firing the .357 magnum version of these and expecting to hit anything after the first shot and I am not overly recoil sensitive.

    I would imagine that, in both cases, the grip/recoil factor is relative to me. Nonetheless, for close, rapid bursts, proper fitting stocks and a firm grip are greatly beneficial. Oh and unless I am very intentional with my shooting, snub wise that is, I am not very accurate past 10 yards either Pistolenschutze. As I am sure you will agree, the guns just were not made for that type of shooting.

    Ironically though, I know of people who actually shoot better with the standard J-frame stocks, and I am talking rapid two-shot bursts…perhaps everything is relative.

    Oh well, I have bellowed long enough, time to check the lake that used to be my basement - I live is Wisconsin…

    PS
    I hear those Speer Gold Dot +P’s are a good load, I still use the 158 grain LSWCHP+P’s…old habits die hard.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
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