“This gun & proper ammo are more accurate than 99% of….


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Mad Magyar
November 3, 2007, 08:39 AM
the shooters using them.”
If I’ve seen this type of quote once I’ve seen it a hundred times over the decades. All by well known gun writers, in this case Duke Venturino, and gun legends such as Skeeter Skelton, Bill Jordan, Jeff Cooper, Elmer Keith, et al and a host of professional gun smiths and competitive shooters as well.
I agree with the statement, in fact, I think it’s more like 99.9%. Who are left out? The top-notch competitive pistoleros who really make it their business to remove the human frailties out of shooting.
Why do I bring this up? Since I also contend that 99.9% of all guns out there have never been benched tested by their owners for accuracy, why in the world aren’t pistoleros directing their cash to the very thing they are lacking: training & practice? In many cases, I surmise that the pistol is right on out of the box. If so, you can make a good list of all the variables that contribute to a poor shot.
What do we do instead? You name it: trigger jobs, combat sights, porting the slide, compensators, match grade barrels, flared mag wells, etc…It goes on & on….
Are we going overboard with extensive modifications? Very few of us are competitive shooters. If we are engaged in the CCW mode and “all hell breaks loose”: in all likelihood will meet our nemesis at 15 ft or less. At that distance, CQC skills and a 100% reliable weapon are far more crucial….
What say you?:)

John, interesting link..Thanks..

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trueblue1776
November 3, 2007, 08:48 AM
Well, I agree, with the exception of the 10 million people who own M44s. :D

MrBorland
November 3, 2007, 09:04 AM
Well, I generally agree that there's no subsitute for practice, but whenever I read that the gun is way more accurate than the shooter, it conjures up images of a metaphorical chain, where the shooter is the weaker link, and it'd be silly to spend money making the stronger link even stronger. I think the more accurate chain metaphor is slop in the links: one link may have a lot more slop, but the total slop in the chain is the sum of each. Reducing the slop in either reduces the total slop.

Also, it's a big sport. Big enough for everyone to get enjoyment from it in different ways. For some, dropping $$ into their gun may bring them enjoyment. For CCW/SD, though, I agree that training ought to take priority.

JohnKSa
November 3, 2007, 10:23 AM
I agree with you about 99.9%. ;)

It's been my experience that off the shelf firearms in general are very accurate--definitely more accurate than I typically read on the web. I've seen so many complaints about pistol accuracy that I finally wrote a long blurb on how to determine if a pistol is accurate or not and posted it on another forum.

I'd post a link but I'm not on my normal PC and a lot of firearms sites are blocked here...Reducing the slop in either reduces the total slop.Yes but...

There's an engineering principle called "swamping". The idea is that if you have two effects acting on the outcome and the result of one effect is only 10% (or less) of the other, the smaller effect is "swamped". When that happens you can, for practical purposes, ignore the smaller effect.

For example. If the gun is capable of shooting 3" groups at 25 yards and the shooter is shooting 15" groups at 12 yards (that would work out to roughly 30" groups at 25 yards), the gun's accuracy is swamped by the shooter's accuracy. That means that changing to a gun that shoots 1" at 25 yards (a 67% improvement in the gun's accuracy) won't make any practical difference in the overall accuracy of the shooter/gun combo.

Fly320s
November 3, 2007, 10:51 AM
why in the world aren’t pistoleros directing their cash to the very thing they are lacking: training & practice?

Because spending a little money at a time over a long period of time is easier for most people than spending the same amount of money for a few days of training.

Also take into consideration that most people don't manage their money in such a way that would allow them to spend $300 to $1,000 for two to four days of proper training.

And as a final touch, many people think they are already good shooters, or at least good enough in their opinion. So why go to a training course that isn't necessary? Or why go to a course to be shown how bad they really are? Some people don't want their bubble burst.

JohnKSa
November 3, 2007, 01:57 PM
Here's a link to the blurb I mentioned earlier on determining the source of accuracy problems.

http://www.therallypoint.org/forum/index.php?topic=1490.0

brickeyee
November 3, 2007, 01:59 PM
”For example. If the gun is capable of shooting 3" groups at 25 yards and the shooter is shooting 15" groups at 12 yards (that would work out to roughly 30" groups at 25 yards), the gun's accuracy is swamped by the shooter's accuracy. That means that changing to a gun that shoots 1" at 25 yards (a 67% improvement in the gun's accuracy) won't make any practical difference in the overall accuracy of the shooter/gun combo.”

Since the shooters accuracy and the guns accuracy are separate statistical groups, they add Root Mean Square.

That means a gun that groups 3 inches and a shooter that groups 15 inches would produce groups around SQRT(3*3 + 15 * 15) = ~15.3 inches,
If the gun was improved to 1 inch, the groups would shrink to only ~15 inches.
A huge improvement in the gun does almost nothing for the error of the system of gun and shooter.

Always work on the ‘long pole’ first since it drives the results.

If the shooter could hold 3 inches and the gun was also 3 inches, group size would be ~4.2 inches.
Improve the gun to 1 inch and now the groups shrink to ~3.2 inches.

JohnKSa
November 3, 2007, 02:06 PM
I love math--it's even better when someone else does it for me. :D

Nicely done.

I sort of threw you a curve by quoting the accuracy figures at two different ranges though. :o

eldon519
November 3, 2007, 02:34 PM
I agree with brickeyee. For a while I was really interested in getting into bullseye shooting. The sentiment there seemed to be to spend the money on a quality gun to START practicing with(assuming you had solid fundamentals to begin with), not after you've been at it a long time. The thinking is when you make a mistake, you KNOW it was your fault, not the pistol. You basically get more direct and accurate feedback to your shot by what shows up on the target. You're probably not gonna learn to be a great shot practicing with a gun that only holds 6" groups because you never know whose fault your misses are. Inevitably you end up trying new techniques to improve but for some reason, they still won't work. Confusing and frustrating for someone who doesn't realize their weapon is the limitation.

MrBorland
November 3, 2007, 03:30 PM
Thanks, JohnKSa and brickeyee. Very informative. However, realistically, is the effect of the shooter really swamped? An example where a shooter is shooting 15" groups at 12 yards seems a bit of a stretch. Are most people really that lousy of a shot? I'm thinking of an example where the gun is capable of 2" groups, and the shooter is capable of 4" groups (RMS = 4.5"). This seems more realistic. Improving the accuracy of the gun so that is shoots 1" groups improves the RMS 9% to 4.1".

Slugless
November 3, 2007, 04:44 PM
Hmmm.

My take on this is that I can shoot some guns more accurately than others. With certain pistols I'm very accurate.

Buy a pistol that fits and points well with good ergonomics.

Buy a pistol that's accurate enough that you know when you've screwed up.

logical
November 3, 2007, 06:04 PM
I can only think of one thing I've heard people say about shooting more than "this gun, with proper ammo is better than 99% who will shoot it"....and that would be "instead of spending money on this or that you should get training and practice".

1911Tuner
November 3, 2007, 06:06 PM
However, realistically, is the effect of the shooter really swamped? An example where a shooter is shooting 15" groups at 12 yards seems a bit of a stretch.

Well...The ranges/group sizes were used as an example rather than representative...but you'd be surprised at how lousy some shooters really are, especially when called upon to hit the target in a hurry or under time constraints.

This question of accuracy has been played until it's become the first criteria for selecting a given gun for a given purpose.

For one thing...Group size doesn't adequately determine the gun's potential because it only gives the gun credit for its two worst shots and ignores the others. Finding the geographic center of the group...measuring the the center of each shot, and taking an average would provide a clearer picture.

For another...a gun that is bench-rest capable of a 4-inch maximum dispersion means that no shot will impact more than 2 inches from the spot that the sights were on when it fires. 2 inches...north, south, east, or west...which brings it straight back to the operator.

I like accurate guns as much as the next guy. Some of the rifles that I've fired are downright amazing, including one that I presently own. In shooting trim with the full compliment of 5 rounds of ammunition on board, it weighs
almost 13 pounds. With that rifle, I can literally choose which eye that I want to thread a bullet through at 300 yards using carefully handloaded ammunition...from a benchrest. I also have a short, light carbine in the same caliber that will shoot into 2 minutes out to 300 yards with practically any decent ammo I can buy over the counter. (6 inches at 300) It weighs a tick over 7 pounds. Guess which one I'm gonna grab if things get hairy. Both rifles are bolt-action, incidentally.

Back to defensive pistols...

Since the mission of the carry gun is the sudden close-range emergency in which the defender likely won't have enough light to see the sights, nor the time to align them carefully...it would seem to make more sense to choose a pistol of that purpose based on its feel and ease of use and its reliability rather than the unrealistic notion of target-grade accuracy. If you find one that offers both...great. Every little bit helps...a little bit. Much more critical is the question of reliability. Will the gun function when it's hot or cold...dripping with oil or as dry as a popcorn poot...Gripped like a wet noodle or with a Hulk Hogan Handshake...with decent commercially produced ammunition...and does it suit your hand? Can YOU shoot the gun well when you don't or can't take a lot of time adjusting your hand to its peculiarities?

A pistol that shoots into 4 inches at 25 yards barely draws a yawn among target shooters...but it'll save your bacon if you shoot it well.

JohnKSa
November 3, 2007, 10:01 PM
I'm thinking of an example where the gun is capable of 2" groups, and the shooter is capable of 4" groups (RMS = 4.5").Even in that case improving the gun's accuracy by 50% only made a 9% improvement overall.

But I think if you poke around for accuracy results & group sizes you'll see that 4" at 25 yards may be a bit optimistic for the majority of pistol shooters.

obxned
November 4, 2007, 01:14 AM
Good sights and a good trigger do make a huge difference in how well a shooter can do, but most of us would gain little with a match barrel. Many other modifications are quite useful and do not have anything to do with accuracy, like beveled mag wells, custom grips, compensators, etc.

Peter M. Eick
November 4, 2007, 07:42 AM
The difference (on target shooting) is pretty mental. When I shooting my Sig210's and I miss, I know I missed. There is no question that the gun was more accurate then I am and the likelihood that I was aiming true and the round went south is mighty slim.

Now when I was shooting my P9-9mm and the round went where I did not expect it, yes then I could rightfully blame the gun, but was it really the gun? Yes and no or sometimes it was and sometimes not. There were times I called the perfect shot, but I missed. There were times I blew the shot but I hit the X.

This is the difference between an expensive accurate gun and a blaster. With my 210's I know what I am for I can hit. With my P9-9mm I was never sure.

The same thing goes for my P7 PSP carry gun. I know I can hit what I am for. Black and white type of thing. My old carry gun (CZ97B) failed me once miserably and I had to sell it because of the mental confidence thing.

jlbraun
November 4, 2007, 11:52 AM
Indeed. I've kvetched about this same thing here.

People would rather spend $1200 on a new pistol that they're not capable of getting the accuracy out of instead of spending even $300 on training. Classic instant gratification mentality.

Floppy_D
November 4, 2007, 11:57 AM
People would rather spend $1200 on a new pistol that they're not capable of getting the accuracy out of instead of spending even $300 on training. Classic instant gratification mentality.

I think it's more people wanting something tangible for the money. Both the gun and the training are investments, but you can sell the gun if you have to. I think if more people actually saw what the training did for them, they'd be onboard.

-terry
November 4, 2007, 11:58 AM
well, often folks will buy a super-accurate gun for (1) bragging rights, and (2) pride of ownership. Most people don't what a POS gun, even if it shoots accurate. When you just pick up your gun and clean it, dry fire it, look at it, it's just nicer to have a high quality gun. In this case, the (assumed) better accuracy just comes along as a bonus.

trueblue1776
November 4, 2007, 12:51 PM
People would rather spend $1200 on a new pistol that they're not capable of getting the accuracy out of instead of spending even $300 on training. Classic instant gratification mentality.

I own a 1200$ pistol, and yes, the guys on TV shoot better than me.

But, I'm ok with that. ;)

RevolvingCylinder
November 4, 2007, 01:00 PM
Any pistol is going to be more accurate than the shooter unless the shooter can outshoot the benchrest. I don't see how that's a testament to the pistol at all since it's always a question between the benchrest and the shooter.

Walkalong
November 4, 2007, 02:27 PM
When you get to where you can tell if a pistol/load is accurate or not by shooting a couple of groups with it, you are getting to be a pretty good shot. :)

Practice is all it takes to know if the gun is OK and you are shooting badly, or if the gun is just not very accurate, or if it is the load, ect., after trying one or two known good loads in a particular gun.

1911Tuner
November 4, 2007, 03:06 PM
Litmus test:

Fire three 5-shot groups from a rest. Throw the first shot away to eliminate the "First Shot Flyer" that many autopistols are known for.

Take an average of the three groups and write it down. When your offhand groups match the average of your sandbagged groups...on demand, and under a realistic time limit...you're ready for a more accurate pistol.

MrBorland
November 4, 2007, 05:18 PM
When your offhand groups match the average of your sandbagged groups...on demand, and under a realistic time limit...you're ready for a more accurate pistol.

The scenario presented earlier had the pistol outshooting the shooter by a whopping factor of 10, and the argument was that the inaccuracy of the shooter would "swamp" any improved accuracy of the gun. Agreed. In this new scenario, though, one would have to equal the inherent accuracy of the gun to benefit from some accurizing. Is this even possible? I mean, the shooter would have to be perfect, and all the inaccuracy is from the gun. Always. I don't know of anyone who should bother accurizing their gun, then. Personally, I think a middle-of-the road is reasonable: If you're shooting within, say 2-fold of your gun's potential, you'll see some improvement in your shooting. Whether the amount & cost of improvement is worth it would have to be up to the shooter.

1911Tuner
November 4, 2007, 05:42 PM
In this new scenario, though, one would have to equal the inherent accuracy of the gun to benefit from some accurizing. Is this even possible?

Difficult, but surely possible. I've witnessed a few really good shooters who could outdo a gun's intrinsic accuracy as fired from a ransom rest.

SlamFire1
November 4, 2007, 06:46 PM
I totally agree. Mike Venturino is one of the very few gunwriters ever to shoot in competition. I respect that. I shoot Highpower, just shot a match yesterday. When you shoot against the best shots in the nation it is a real eye opener as to what a good man and a good weapon can do. And incidentally, you get an idea that not everyone is capable of MOA. In fact, darn few. You also get a very realistic idea of what out of the box weapons will do. So when I hear of guys getting MOA with Mil Surplus rifles that on the average shoot 3 MOA in my hands, they either got a good one, or they are cherry picking their targets.

Oh yes, most folks shoot off the bench. Guess what, life does place benches behind every tree and bush. In real life, there is a lot of unsupported shooting. That is the real measure of the package of person and firearm. How well do they do off the bench.

I did not shoot this group, but a bud of mine did. He shot this offhand with an iron sighted AR at a 100 yard Highpower Match. This is a 99-7X, best X count I have witnessed offhand. My bud has been in the President's 100 a couple of times, came in second at least once at the Camp Perry Garand Match. This is good shooting. Takes a lot of practice to get this good.

[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Targets/Reducedstevereedstandingtarget99-7X.jpg

bluto
November 4, 2007, 08:28 PM
Obxned summed it up very well for me.

I also believe that most modern production firearms are capable of very good accuracy without any 'smithing. But that may be from a Ransom Rest. Intrinsically accurate, but sometimes not user friendly. It's been my experience that a good trigger can make all the difference between a "POS!" and "this pistol just finds the target by itself".

Second up is making sure that the sights suit your eyes. It is certainly possible to adapt to your gun. I have "adapted/bonded" with several of mine after a thousand rounds or so (I'm not a quitter). But an investment in a good trigger should almost always help a shooter improve no matter what his level of expertise.

jpwilly
November 4, 2007, 10:02 PM
I shot this at 25yrds with the pictured PT1911 weaver stance. There are 100 rnds through it a few are covered up by the pistol. A mix if slow fire and some fast fire. The small 22cal holes are my M4 rapid fire shooting at a mark that has been cropped out of the pic.

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p38/jpwilly/pt1911wtarget.jpg

Clipper
November 4, 2007, 11:10 PM
It's been my experience that the pistol being more accurate than the shooter is true in most cases. Maybe I'm exceptional, but I know enough guys that shoot as well or better than I do that I doubt I'm anything special, but there are sure a ton of handgun shooters that blow up copious ammounts of ammo and couldn't hit a playing card at 10 yards. OTOH, I might get out to the range 4-5 times over the summer and shoot at most 100 rounds at a time on my friend's 30 yard range. I've never needed to shoot a truckload of ammo to stay a viable shooter, and I've never had a trigger or action job, or for that matter, any custom work done on any of my handguns, and an unsupported 6" group at 50 yards is not a remarkable event.

I think the cause of many problems is that many shooters think too much. They run through this mental checklist of grip, sight picture, trigger pressure, blah, blah, blah until they're shaking and weaving from all the other crap slowing down and muddying up what should be a relatively simple and expeditious process. I also think that many shooters get caught up in the 'tactical' garbage and all the Mosambique drill stuff that they never learn how to shoot well. I believe that until one is able to shoot well off the rest, and really find out how to make do with crummy triggers, factory sights, non-custom grips and all the other whiz-bang gadgets while becoming confident in ones own abilities, the process is incomplete. I once took my .357 Blackhawk on a camping trip so a friend could try it out and see if she wanted to get one. I hadn't fired that pistol in almost 3 years. We set a coffee can on it's side, end-on at 50 yards, and there were many surprised faces when my first round hit, and the next five kept it jumping around too. The lady took a little tutoring, but was doing well quickly, when her cop husband whipped out a Beretta 92 and proceded to unload on that can without touching it. He was making excuses about worn-out service pistols, until his greenhorn wife proceeded to lay at least half a magazine full into that can from that same gun...

JohnKSa
November 5, 2007, 12:57 AM
I think the cause of many problems is that many shooters think too much.Lining up the sights and squeezing the trigger is EASY. Things go bad when you let your head get too involved...

U.S.SFC_RET
November 5, 2007, 06:56 AM
One of the biggest improvements I have seen to my groups was to stiffen my shooting thumb. It prevented my trigger finger from moving my shot group over to the side and equalizing the pressure from trigger finger to thumb.

PRACTICE THE EL PRESIDENTE!

mljdeckard
November 5, 2007, 02:38 PM
There are two different directions to approach the problem from.

I used to sell guitars. I would have guys come in thinking that if they spent $3500 on Eddie Van Halen's signature series guitar, they could play like Eddie Van Halen. I would let them know that if Mr. EVH picked up a $99 Korean knock-off, he would STILL sound like EVH. The extra quality in the better guitar is justified ONLY if the PLAYER has been trained up to it.

HOWEVER, there is also the player (or shooter, for that matter,) who knows that they wren't that good, (yet), but they want to know that their gear is solid, so that if there any tweaks that need to be made, they are in the USER, NOT THE GEAR. This approach is much more reasonable. They are ready for a $500-$1000 guitar. Many will become professionals using the same guitar.

I will absolutely tell anyone to max out the performance of their gear before they start modifying it. You don't need a pistol that shoots 1" at 25 yards if YOU can't shoot 6" at 25 yards.

mainmech48
November 5, 2007, 03:44 PM
Have to agree with Tuner's observation regarding rested vs offhand groups. I've seen too many folks who seem to be under the impression that skill can be purchased over-the-counter, as if buying a MOA rifle or a 2" @ 50 yds pistol will magically endow them with the ability to produce that level of results. Or at least turn their patterns into groups.

Also dittoes to Slamfire. As the late Colonel Cooper observed "Marksmanship isn't what you can do once, it's what you can do on-demand." As another who's heard and read of a whole slough more near-MOA groups coming out of run-of-the-mill surplus rifles than I've actually seen delivered when a demonstration was requested, it does tend to make one a bit cynical.

Mr. Venturino has also written descriptions of a couple of fellas we all know well: "Daniel Boone" and "The Dangerous Man".

Briefly, "Daniel Boone" will tell you that while he might not be able to hit paper for beans, if you 'put hair around it' he'll drill it every time. Usually in the leg, gut or brisket and seldom recovered, but he'll drill it allright.

"The Dangerous Man" is one who carries some type of handgun and declares himself to be ready, able and all-too-willing to 'take care of me and mine'. He doesn't practice, hasn't trained, and couldn't put a magazine or cylinder-full onto a 10" paper plate for you from 15 yds for diamonds. "Dangerous Man" indeed!

IMHO, most of the money spent on 'enhancements' would've been more effectively used on practice ammunition, training and range time. Until I can do that little trick with the rest and offhand well enough to match a Ransom Rest, that's where mine will go first.

RPCVYemen
November 5, 2007, 04:01 PM
I love math--it's even better when someone else does it for me.

And it's better when the math matches reality! That math really matches what I see at the range. If you just watch the targets, I don't think you tell the guy shooting the $1500 pistol from the guy shooting the $500 pistol.

If you were given a set of targets collected during an average week at an active range, could you distinguish targets that had been shot by high dollar customized pistols from those shot by middle of the road out of the box pistols.

My guess is that less than one half of one percent of us can really shoot as well as our stock weapons shoot. If you think that you're in that group, then there's a 99.5% chance that you're wrong. :)

I read posts from people on THR who buy a decent quality handgun, and immediately specify all kinds of gunsmithing. My own uncharitable evaluation is that there is a heck of a lot more gunsmithing done for bragging rights than gunsmithing that noticeably improves the weapon in the hands of the owner.

Maybe I am just whining because what I could afford is a $400 Blackhawk, and it shoots a heck of a lot better than I do. I have yet to see it shoot anywhere except where I am pointing it. The "pointing it" is the hard part. I almost never send an inaccurate round down range without knowing I screwed up before the bullet left the barrel. The sight picture tells me who's screwing up, and it ain't Bill Ruger. :)

Mike

MrBorland
November 5, 2007, 05:21 PM
I hear what y'all are saying, but IMO, here's what it comes down to: The best gun in the world is the one that you enjoy shooting the most and gets you out there practicing.

I compete in another sport that can be very equipment-centric as well. Yes, it's true a pro could whoop my butt using most anything - but whether a fellow competitor should spend money on this or that, my feeling is that if it they know what they're paying for, if it gets them out there training more, and they enjoy it, and don't expect it instantly turn them into a pro level competitor (and they can afford it), then sure, why not? 1 of 2 things usually then happens: 1) they'll enjoy it and train more, but also have the epiphanny us old farts had and realize that while good and reliable equipment is important, the training was the real key, or 2) they'll think they didn't spend enough money, in which case, all the lecturing in the world won't change their minds.

U.S.SFC_RET
November 5, 2007, 09:16 PM
I say let them stimulate the ecomony if they wish and buy whatever they want. Wisdom should prevail first as always. When in the service I have seen some U.S. Army 1911s with slop around slides that shot pretty good and pretty dependable. Hardly any stoppages but they weren't race guns either.. I miss those Colts. Fine shooting pistols, just as they were meant to be.

Rinspeed
November 6, 2007, 06:29 AM
Lining up the sights and squeezing the trigger is EASY.




The sights are always lined up, it is the shooter that is not. ;)

1911Tuner
November 6, 2007, 07:35 AM
The sights are always lined up, it is the shooter that is not.

Ahhhh. Occam's Razor in its most basic form.

To wit:

The simple answer is usually the right answer.

M67
November 6, 2007, 08:24 PM
I think it's a bit more complicated.

Just because you can't "outshoot" a particular gun, it doesn't necessarily follow that you won't benefit from a better gun.

Most of you seem to think that a shooter's ability is fixed. As in being able to shoot say a six inch group at 25 yards. In my experience that is not so. Give that 6 inch shooter a better gun and she may suddenly be able to shoot a 4 inch group. Note: I said may be, not will be. No two people are the same, but I have seen it too often to write it off as coincidence.

"Better" gun doesn't necessarily mean better Ransom rest accuracy. Factors like ergonomics, trigger pull and sights are at least as important. If anything, most shooters will probably get better groups with a "two inch gun" with a trigger job than a "one inch gun" with a bad trigger. Of course, most manufacturers will not make a gun with a $500 trigger and a $20 rusty sewer pipe for a barrel or the other way around, so chances are a "better" gun will have both a better barrel and a better trigger than a "lesser" gun.

If you buy a gun for home defense, have the gun store person help you load it, take it home and put it in the sock drawer without ever learning how to use it - then it probably won't matter one way or the other.

But if you practice, get some training, have any ambition at all for improving your shooting skills - then you will learn much faster with a good gun than with a not-so-good one. And the learning curve will be steeper from the first shot, long before you reach the theoretical "inherent accuracy" of the less accurate gun.

I aggree, you can't buy shooting skills by buying a more expensive gun. But most people can learn how to outshoot an inaccurate gun, given practice and a willingness to learn. And IMO it's better to learn with a good gun than with a crappy one.

TimboKhan
November 6, 2007, 08:38 PM
I am no expert by any imaginable means, but I do practice when I can and I think thats the best training possible. But, then again, I actually enjoy shooting as a recreational activity, where some people don't. If you don't, it's hard to really focus on getting good at something, even if it is as important as using your firearm properly. This is why tons of people can strum a simple tune on the guitar, but there is only on Eddie Van Halen.

I also think that shooters, like any other group of people, are easily swayed by assuming that their gear is at fault. Golfers happily spend thousands on clubs assuming that they are going to pick up a couple strokes, and when they don't, they spend thousands more. The golfers that spend the money on lessons and actually go out and play? They are better. Golf, like shooting, is an activity where money can buy you pretty precision tools, but it can't buy you the expertise to use them.

Deacon Blues
November 6, 2007, 11:26 PM
Golf, like shooting, is an activity where money can buy you pretty precision tools, but it can't buy you the expertise to use them.Fantastic example. Golfers really do parallel shooters in this manner. I know a golfer who proved your point perfectly; he picked up some really good golf instruction on vacation, and was driving balls ~150 yards with a cheap putting wedge! Had I not witnessed it, I wouldn't have believed it. Handgun designs have been steadily improving for much longer than any of us have been alive; it only stands to reason that they should be well ahead of us and our training.

1911Tuner
November 7, 2007, 07:21 AM
I once knew an old gentleman...now deceased...who pursued the Southeastern Whitetail every year. Back then, the limit was two.
Every year...just before the season opened, he went down to the hardware store..Wilson-Pleasants...and bought two rounds of .30-30 ammunition for his old M94 Winchester rifle. Pre-war '94. Every year, he filled his tags. Two shots...Two deer.

One day, I stopped by and asked him if he'd like to go to the rifle range with me, and he accepted. He brought his deer rifle...the only gun he owned. We had to stop and buy ammo for it. I shot the rifle from the bags at 75 yards. Three 3-shot groups averaged about 5 inches with the ammo that he bought. I think it was Winchester Super-X 170-grain. Hardly more accurate than a good Wrist Rocket...but every year, he fired two shots and killed two deer, and...being a still hunter...he always shot from offhand, and most often at a fast-moving target at ranges from 15 yards out to a hundred...depending on where he happened to be hunting.

So...was that rifle inaccurate? By benchrest standards, it was horribly so. By match standards...it was laughable. By field standards...it was perfectly adequate for the purpose and fully up to the task...obviously. So, it would seem to me that if the gun is accurate enough to hit the target at the ranges and in the time frames involved...it's accurate enough.

JohnKSa
November 8, 2007, 12:01 AM
So, it would seem to me that if the gun is accurate enough to hit the target at the ranges and in the time frames involved...it's accurate enough.That's a fact that often gets lost in the shuffle.

I recently took a pistol to the range for an informal competition. This was a pretty heavily used gun of a variety I've never found to be impressively accurate. However we weren't shooting for groups, the test was reactive targets at 20 yards or so. In spite of using what I KNEW to be a relatively inaccurate gun and shooting against guns that I KNEW to be much more accurate, I still won the contest.

It was accurate enough. ;)

wideym
November 8, 2007, 02:33 AM
Many people don't like the idea of spending a couple of days, several hundred dollars, and usually traveling several hundred miles to attend shooting classes, only to be told on the first day that its a skill that degrades over time.

I went to a combat pistol class once in Texas. I spend $1800 total only to feel like a chump when it was over. The instructor waxed on and on about his Seal, SF, Delta buddies were the finest instuctors ever and if you did not improve your shooting 1000% you were beyond help. He also ridiculed everybody's equipment that was not exacty like his and praised his companys high dollar tacticool accesories as a must for any serious shooter who wanted to improve their shooting. It turned me and several other student off shooting schools.

Now I tell people to invest their money in ammo and practice.

trueblue1776
November 8, 2007, 07:44 AM
wideym- Thanks for the counter-perspective. I too have a less than stellar opinion of tactical schools.

Toward the end of my gov't career I was sent to a few schools as the general consensus with the brass was: Anything with "Anti-terrorism" in the title is worth it's weight in gold. What I found was many of the instructors focused on style, and few had more actual experience than I did. I actually went to a school where the instructors refused to use M-16/M-4's, the insisted the M-14 was a superior weapon and used that for instruction. :scrutiny:

I have a few good stories about the freaks who teach those classes, and in general they were a huge waste of taxpayer money and my time. The classes that are worth money IMO are the ones that emphasize hand-hand combat. Hand-hand combat translates heavily into survival fighting and defense, either with a pistol or without. Also it is fantastic for building confidence, most guys don't realize how fragile other people really are.

I learned how to shoot accurately in the 4-H sharpshooter program when I was 10, everything else is just gravy.

U.S.SFC_RET
November 9, 2007, 06:58 AM
trueblue1776 Quoted:[QUOTE][The classes that are worth money IMO are the ones that emphasize hand-hand combat. Hand-hand combat translates heavily into survival fighting and defense, either with a pistol or without. /QUOTE]
You can't hit the nail any better than that. The problem nowadays in the Army is this. Some commands are not following through with combatives and are leaving servicemen with the basics. These servicemen are carrying a false confidence from some of these combative courses because it is only taught in school environments and not followed up on frequently enough. Combatives need not be left at the basic level but need to be carried up to more advanced levels. You are right that people are fragile and the first to know "inculcated is a better word" never let your opponent get into a physical confrontation with you during a combative situation. A man fighting for his life gains the strength of 5 several more than that. Combatives is not a subject that should be taught then pass or fail but trained and trained. Advance that training up a notch and train again. The brass makes the mistake that #1 meet the requirement (combatives at the level 1 stage).
Combatives is a continuing process and not a met requirement.

gandog56
November 9, 2007, 12:23 PM
Placement, placement, placement. All the bells and whistles in the world won't help a poor shot.

givo08
November 10, 2007, 01:56 PM
This gun & proper ammo are more accurate than 99% of the shooters using them.

I understand the idea they are trying to get across here, but I completely disagree with the way this statement is worded and I cringe every time I see it written in a magazine.

Overall accuracy is basically the combination of the standard variation in the accuracy of the shooter and the standard variation in accuracy of the gun. For example, if a shooter would shoot and average of 4" groups by himself without taking into account the variation of the gun, his overall accuracy would be 4". However if you add in the variation of the gun that shoots maybe 3" average groups from a ransom rest, the average group size for the whole "system" would be 7". This is simple statistics. The way these writers make this statement you would think that if the gun shoots 3" groups but the shooter shoots 4" average groups then the combination of both will at worst be 4" average groups.

Of course a gun will shoot more accurately by itself in a ransom rest or other mechanical device than a shooter can possibly shoot, but that doesn't mean that accuracy important. If you have a gun that will group 0.5" groups out of a ransom rest vs. one that will shoot 4" groups, then the difference in average group sizes for the shooter above is 8" vs. 4.5".

Training is important...but there are two ways to reduce the variation in your group size and one is with the equipment you use. You just have to decide what is "good enough" for you.

JohnKSa
November 10, 2007, 02:40 PM
For example, if a shooter would shoot and average of 4" groups by himself without taking into account the variation of the gun, his overall accuracy would be 4". However if you add in the variation of the gun that shoots maybe 3" average groups from a ransom rest, the average group size for the whole "system" would be 7". This has been covered in the thread. Actually you can't just add the two numbers directly to get the resulting accuracy.

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