Navy87Guy

July 30, 2005, 07:07 PM

I shoot at least once a week and I like to keep my targets so I can see how I'm performing. The problem I had was that it was very subjective..."Hmmm, that one looks good". But was it really? And it was hard to be objective about which gun was giving me the best performance. I have some that are "favorites" -- but do they really shoot the best for me?

So I decided to try to find a "scientific" way to measure gun performance. Here's what I came up with:

1) Take the target and draw a rectangle (not a circle!) that encloses all the hits with the minimum area. No funky shapes...just a rectangle.

2) If there are one or two "flyers" that really ruin an otherwise good group, draw separate "With" and "Without" rectangles.

3) Note the distance shot and the number of rounds fired

I take that info and I plug it into an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the following:

A) Area of the hit (for both With and Without Flyers case)

B) Average range shot (for all the data points for a particular handgun)

C) A "score" that is calculated by taking the area, dividing it by the number of rounds squared and then divided by the range.

D) The average score for that handgun

My thought was that not all groups are created equal. I think you ought to get credit for the distance you shot and the number of rounds fired. I decided to square the number of rounds because I think it gets harder and harder to hold a tight group as the round count goes up. You could reverse it and square the distance if you thought that was more important than the number of bullet holes.

What I end up with a way to look at different guns and see if my "instinct" matches the facts. Turns out that some of the guns I thought were "bad" shooters are, in fact, better than some that are in my favorite category. It only works when you shoot comparable courses of fire. You can't throw targets that were weak hand only into the results (unless you had a really good day!)

I have a separate page in the spreadsheet for each gun, and it shows how many data points are in the sample. That way you can tell when you're comparing 30 targets for one gun against only 3 or 4 for another. It also displays the average distance for all those data points...so if you shoot one gun at 7 yds all the time and another at 15 you can take that into account when comparing results. In the future, I'll probably parse the data so you can see results for a particular range so you can compare apples to apples. The

This is what I'm trying. I'm interested to hear what other systems (if any) people use to measure and track their performance. I'd like to end up with something that can help me recognize and diagnose problems in my shooting because I have some data to show my past performance.

Any suggestions or ideas on other systems would be great.

Thanks!

Jim

So I decided to try to find a "scientific" way to measure gun performance. Here's what I came up with:

1) Take the target and draw a rectangle (not a circle!) that encloses all the hits with the minimum area. No funky shapes...just a rectangle.

2) If there are one or two "flyers" that really ruin an otherwise good group, draw separate "With" and "Without" rectangles.

3) Note the distance shot and the number of rounds fired

I take that info and I plug it into an Excel spreadsheet that calculates the following:

A) Area of the hit (for both With and Without Flyers case)

B) Average range shot (for all the data points for a particular handgun)

C) A "score" that is calculated by taking the area, dividing it by the number of rounds squared and then divided by the range.

D) The average score for that handgun

My thought was that not all groups are created equal. I think you ought to get credit for the distance you shot and the number of rounds fired. I decided to square the number of rounds because I think it gets harder and harder to hold a tight group as the round count goes up. You could reverse it and square the distance if you thought that was more important than the number of bullet holes.

What I end up with a way to look at different guns and see if my "instinct" matches the facts. Turns out that some of the guns I thought were "bad" shooters are, in fact, better than some that are in my favorite category. It only works when you shoot comparable courses of fire. You can't throw targets that were weak hand only into the results (unless you had a really good day!)

I have a separate page in the spreadsheet for each gun, and it shows how many data points are in the sample. That way you can tell when you're comparing 30 targets for one gun against only 3 or 4 for another. It also displays the average distance for all those data points...so if you shoot one gun at 7 yds all the time and another at 15 you can take that into account when comparing results. In the future, I'll probably parse the data so you can see results for a particular range so you can compare apples to apples. The

This is what I'm trying. I'm interested to hear what other systems (if any) people use to measure and track their performance. I'd like to end up with something that can help me recognize and diagnose problems in my shooting because I have some data to show my past performance.

Any suggestions or ideas on other systems would be great.

Thanks!

Jim