"Average" is how good, exactly?


PDA






David E
January 25, 2010, 04:56 PM
Everyone online thinks they are a "better shot than average."

Ok, so how good IS "average" as it relates to handgun shooting?

This is something I'd thought about in times past. I believe that a low "C" class shooter in USPSA/IPSC or a "Marksman" in IDPA is "better than average."

As my Dad said, "Averages are always wrong" because there are better and worse levels out there. As someone has as his tagline, there is a big difference between being a "shooter" and being a "gunowner." However, the "gunowner" needs to be included when determining an average ability.

So, what IS the "average ability?" How do we define it? Strictly by the ability to place hits on a given target at a given range? Should it include reloading? Should it include strong hand/weak hand shooting? Should it include a time frame?

I suggest that the parameters be simply this: How far away can the "average" shooter, starting from low-ready, hit a sheet of typing paper with 5 shots in 5 seconds?

I'm going to say 7 yds. This is incredibly easy for most of you......but what about your neighbor?

"Average" isn't a skill level to aspire to, it is one to surpass.

I'm curious what you folks think about how we could define "average," or if you agree with my suggestion.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Average" is how good, exactly?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
ArmedBear
January 25, 2010, 05:03 PM
There are many handgun-related skills, and many ways to measure them.

I can do that at 25 yards, though the sights and the specific gun would matter a fair amount.

But I shoot with guys who could probably pulverize a baseball at 25 yards that way, with the right gun, but one-handed.

OTOH if you stick that gun in an ankle holster, I may still be trying to get it out, when someone with training and practice would have those 5 shots on target. Even if they didn't have a steady hand and couldn't hit a target at 25 yards to save their lives, they could have 5 shots on paper at 7 yards before most people started shooting.

As far as "average" is concerned: if anyone is shooting competitively, in any discipline whatsoever, even if they come in last, I'm betting they're above "average."

Warhawk83
January 25, 2010, 05:15 PM
I haven't tried doing that yet,I'm just now learning really. Had to send my Sigma back to S&W. I couldn't hit a barn door with it and after getting it back, out to 15 yards I shoot about 3'' low. The longer the distance the more it drops.

From what I have seen, the "average' handgun owner doesn't even go to the range. Maybe shot the gun once or twice,then it gets put away.

MrBorland
January 25, 2010, 05:22 PM
As far as "average" is concerned: if anyone is shooting competitively, in any discipline whatsoever, even if they come in last, I'm betting they're above "average."

Agreed.

You'd need to establish from what pool of shooters are you establishing an average.

If you're asking what's average among all shooters out there, you have to consider the Joes who go to the range for funzies all the way to the the many very excellent shooters that compete on a regular basis. And herein lies the rub; this "average shooter" would likely be much better/faster than the average shooter most of us would encounter on a regular basis. So, what about Joe? Does he flat-out suck because he's below this average, though he shoots better than most every other Bob at the range?

While I think a "good" shooter would probably fall somewhere under the NRA "sharpshooter" guidelines, I don't think "Marksman" would set the standard for an "average" shooter, though, since marksman can be anything under sharpshooter.

Eightball
January 25, 2010, 05:22 PM
Eight threads on the first page alone, and you needed another one? :scrutiny:

Average is how the vast majority of people shoot in this case. To me, that includes all the Zumbos and Yokels who only shoot Fudd guns or longarms, three shots a year to sight in, and once at each deer.

Compared to most people, I'd say you're doing better than average to even keep all your shots on target/in the black at seven yards, within a minute's time frame, especially so if you can shoot, hit, reload, and shoot again, all within a minute's time.

From what I have seen, the "average' handgun owner doesn't even go to the range. Maybe shot the gun once or twice,then it gets put away.This is my observation as well.

David E
January 25, 2010, 05:51 PM
You'd need to establish from what pool of shooters are you establishing an average.

I thought I did in the OP: there is a big difference between being a "shooter" and being a "gunowner." However, the "gunowner" needs to be included when determining an average ability.

Eight threads on the first page alone, and you needed another one?

Yeah, I got tired of waiting for you to start one..............;)

Of course, you can always go take the quiz: "What handgun are you?"........:rolleyes:

ArmedBear
January 25, 2010, 05:55 PM
Why are you so worried about how well other people can shoot, though, David E?

rmfnla
January 25, 2010, 06:48 PM
I'd say average means you can hit the broad side of a barn... :D

Ed Ames
January 25, 2010, 06:54 PM
It's kinda strange. Especially the strange criteria (max distance for "typing" paper 5 shots in 5 seconds) and assumption that everyone is using a gun for whatever he thinks he needs one for.

The local ranges near me will kick shooters out for more than 1 shot every 2 seconds. There are always people shooting at incredibly close range...3 yards and the like... and they are putting holes EVERYWHERE on man-sized targets at that range. I don't understand.

My goal is a 2" group. I figure that's about the margin you have for a stopping (CNS) shot so there is no reason to practice anything else. I practice at whatever range lanes are available (from 3 to 25 yards) and am usually disappointed with my 25 yard shooting.

David E
January 25, 2010, 07:23 PM
I sure wish people would read the OP.....:rolleyes:

It seems that everyone considers themselves to be "better than average." Great, but what does that mean, exactly? What IS "average?" What skill level is it that you say you're better than?

If someone doesn't like the possible definition I suggested, then by all means, post one you think describes it better. I just tossed it out there to get the ball rolling.

Personally, I think there needs to be an accuracy standard at a given distance in a given time frame, but that's me.

Your thoughts?

maybe this rephrasing of the OP will work...........

Ed Ames
January 25, 2010, 08:39 PM
I read the OP. I suspect everyone did.

I think it's kinda strange.

If you want to know the average, go to a public range and look at how well people are shooting...then reduce that because the people who go to ranges at least are interested in shooting.

At the local ranges around here, DFW Tejas, you see a lot of people scattering holes across man-sized targets at 3 yards. That's with a range-enforced max rate of fire of 1 round every 2 seconds, and no holster use allowed. The average is probably 15" at 3 yards.

Does that mean ANYTHING?

I typically shoot a plain jane Stainless Springfield GI w/ the only "customization" being a set of smooth (uncheckered) grips and a belt clip. It's not a fancy BBQ gun, nor a target gun. I have repeatedly had other people at the range make comments about my shooting. They usually start with a comment about how my gun doesn't even have proper sights but just those tiny little things nobody can see, and go on to say they don't try to do any better than about an eight inch circle because that's all anybody needs anyway. Some have been complimentary, "you're obviously a really good shot, I wish I was", but the majority have been rather dismissive, almost to the point of, "Why are you wasting your time shooting little groups when obviously you don't need to...I'm not." I've always been rather puzzled because those people (often Kimber owners) actually initiate the conversation to tell me their gun is reliable (good, so is mine), that my gun has bad sights (no, they have bad eyes...I like small sights), and 8" at 7 yards is good enough shooting (only if you are shooting at people and don't care how long they have to shoot back).

Note that I'm usually as fast or faster (I have to be careful or the rangemasters yell at me for busting their rapid fire rule) than they are to boot.

Given that attitude...that you don't need to shoot better than X so you don't...it seems the average will be based on how well people have to shoot, what they think is reasonable, not on any limit of ability. If they think 15" circles at 3 yards is reasonable that's what they'll do. If they think 4" at 25 yards is reasonable...well, if the gun can, they will.

Which is why competition isn't meaningful to the averages. Most competitors think hitting the targets they need to hit... whatever those targets are... is reasonable and so that's what they learn to do. Because the targets are designed to be challenging, those people will shoot to a higher standard than people who do not seek the challenge.

Peter M. Eick
January 25, 2010, 08:48 PM
I consider myself to be average to maybe a hair better then most, but certainly not very good. Really good shooters do at 25 and 50 yrds what I work at to do at 15.

Instead of just commenting, I would put up targets. All targets were shot at 15 yrds, 50 shots per target. I consider this average to ok shooting.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/210-6_target.jpg
Sig 210.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/722_021206.jpg
DW 722

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/41_55_121908.jpg
S&W 41

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/610_65_target.jpg
S&W 610 (first 50 shots with the gun)

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/diamond_030506.jpg
Dimondback

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/ods_trailboss2.jpg
S&W outdoorsman

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/psp_15yrds.jpg
H&K P7PSP

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/python_tb.jpg
Colt Python.

This is just a smattering of targets that I would call average to par for the course. Considering they are only at 15 yrds and 50 shots, I have a lot of work to do.

Mike J
January 25, 2010, 08:52 PM
I haven't been to the indoor range in a while David. I have seen many there that seem to have trouble keeping their shots on a full sized sillhouette target at 7 yards. One guy I saw there had a brand new sig in .45. He started a brief conversation with me. When I noticed he was shooting badly with it I tried to tell him where I had found pointers that helped my shooting. His response was "This is just for self defense I bought a Browning Buckmark for target shooting".
I am not as good as I would like to be especially recently as my range trips have been limited. Hopefully I will get to shoot more soon. However I don't think it is hard for anyone that actually makes an effort to train & improve to be above average.

Ed Ames
January 25, 2010, 08:53 PM
This is just a smattering of targets that I would call average to par for the course. Considering they are only at 15 yrds and 50 shots, I have a lot of work to do.

LOL...no, those ain't average. They may be average for you, but you aren't paying attention if you think that's the middle of the total playing field. That's easily 3rd quartile. Probably 90th percentile.

lexjj
January 26, 2010, 12:28 AM
Based on what I see at the range every time I go, average is in fact basically awful.

I actually did exactly what you described this afternoon. I didn't time myself, but I'm sure I was shooting at least once a second. I'd say these six shots (had six rounds left in the box) took between 4 and 7 seconds. The target is an SI-5. The Bullseye is like 1.10 inches (or something close to that.
http://i393.photobucket.com/albums/pp12/verbaljitsu/007.jpg

This is 8 shots in ~10 seconds
http://i393.photobucket.com/albums/pp12/verbaljitsu/006.jpg

Pretty much anyone in IPSC would smoke that.

tipoc
January 26, 2010, 01:04 AM
I don't have an objective standard for it other than what I see at the range. I consider myself an average shot. So let's see what I mean by average...

At 7 yards I shot 5 rounds in 2 seconds from the low ready. Stopped and did it again through these 2 Hi-Powers that you see in the pic below. Total of 50 rounds 115 gr. UMC ball, all shots visible in the pic. The blue box is 4"x5 1/2".

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/BHP/hpdrills.jpg

tipoc

lexjj
January 26, 2010, 01:16 AM
I wish Rock Island made a Hi Power so I could afford one :)
Those are nice.

David E
January 31, 2010, 12:38 AM
Makes me want to shoot my BHP !

Magic_Man
January 31, 2010, 02:21 AM
I'll be the 1st to admit that I suck at any reasonable distance w/a handgun. I just can never find the right grip.

Mark F
January 31, 2010, 07:57 AM
My 44 Magnum, 6 rounds, 8 seconds, 25 yards.


http://tech.flygsw.org/25yards.jpg

Peter M. Eick
January 31, 2010, 09:23 AM
Nice shooting. My goal this year is to move to the 25 yard offhard range and keep them all in the black.

shockwave
January 31, 2010, 09:54 AM
My 44 Magnum, 6 rounds, 8 seconds, 25 yards.

That's above average. This comment:

I don't think it is hard for anyone that actually makes an effort to train & improve to be above average.

Is just so right. Rather than comparing oneself to others, ask yourself if you're better today than you were yesterday. As long as continuous improvement is happening, the question should resolve itself in your favor.

45Frank
January 31, 2010, 11:43 AM
Depends what your shooting for. I'm not real good aiming at things don't know why, but I love shooting. I can hit paper no problem at 15 yards aiming.
My take is what I can hit quickly if someones coming at me. I mostly shoot off had if that's what it's called. With my revolvers I can hit a baseball 5 out of 6 times just by pointing and pulling the trigger. If I stop to think and aim maybe 50% of the time. Go figure.

tipoc
January 31, 2010, 12:50 PM
Average I think in slow aimed fire is about a 3-4" or so groups at 15 yards fired standing unsupported. About 5-7" at 25 yards standing unsupported.

Average means about half can't do as well and about half can do better. I base this on what I've seen at the range from those shooters who can shoot a bit.

tipoc

ShadyScott999
January 31, 2010, 01:11 PM
I think it really depends on what the shooter is trying accomplish. I know MOA guys that can shoot a chigger of a gnats butt at 800 yards. Something I cant even begin to do. When it comes to MOBG (Minute of Bad Guy) doing a Mozambique drill they are amazed how fast I can perform.

I think in the handgun world, I would consider most who would take an intermediate class average shooters. Just the fact that they are taking a mid level course makes the very advanced when you consider the entire population.

1. They can put many hits on stationary target.
2. They can clear a malfunction. They don't do it immediately and instinctively though.
3. They start to fall apart once the target is moving.
4. They miss more than they hit once they and the target are moving

Mikhail Weiss
January 31, 2010, 02:42 PM
DavidE
Ok, so how good IS "average" as it relates to handgun shooting? … So, what IS the "average ability?"


Here's what I see, on average, at the range. Most shooters use B-27 targets, put them at seven yards, and produce abysmal slow-fire accuracy and abysmal rapid-fire accuracy. What does “abysmal” mean? Shooters ostensibly aiming for the X-ring mostly manage to keep shots in the black (about 80%), throw some into the white, but pretty much use every inch of black space available inside and outside the 7-ring. Few such “average” shooters seem satisfied working much with slow fire, and prefer quicker paces – not machine-gunning, mind you, they just shoot faster than their skill allows. In short, their targets exhibit very wide shotgun-like patterns.

Among this group, I always see a smattering of “minimal familiarity with firearms”: although most folks know how to load them, a surprising number don't know how to unload them and, to a less surprising extent, most don't know how to get them working again when they malfunction.

The reason for all this, I think, is because most of these “average” shooters who visit the range are “occasional” shooters and “recreational” shooters; they do it for fun, but without much concern for honing skills beyond a rudimentary knowledge of how to operate a given handgun, and a general desire to hit the target better than others in their shooting party.

Among the more regular visitors, all of them are much better than the above-mentioned. For one thing, they shoot with more deliberateness, no matter the pace or distance, and produce more regular, and useful, accuracy. Among this second group, their 7-yard targets may exhibit shot patterns around ten inches, max, on average, and they seem more dedicated to producing useful accuracy at useful speeds. These folks seem more intent on honing at least rudimentary defensive shooting skills, and on any given week, the ratio of the former to the latter is maybe eight of ten.

The few serious competitors who show up spend a lot of time blasting quick, fist-sized holes in targets at five yards with .40- or .45-caliber handguns, or taking their time poking .22-sized holes in small dots at 25 yards.

One guy, though, did some hip-shooting with a big-bore revolver, consistently putting holes in a half-dollar-sized group in the target head (slowly), and in a palm-sized group, target's center of mass (a little quicker), at five yards.

tipoc
January 31, 2010, 03:08 PM
I think alot of what Mikhail said sounds right.

Accuracy is related to the task. Combat accuracy is much different than hunting accuracy.

"Average" also varies depending on the size of the crowd you are looking at and the skill set you are looking for. If you get too large a sample of people, "all gun owners" for example, there is no way of telling or measuring that can pretend to be anything but a guess.

On the other hand it's pretty easy to tell if you are an average shot or not. It's also pretty easy to tell if you are a little better than average.

tipoc

Mikhail Weiss
January 31, 2010, 05:32 PM
David E
So, what IS the "average ability?" How do we define it? Strictly by the ability to place hits on a given target at a given range? Should it include reloading? Should it include strong hand/weak hand shooting? Should it include a time frame?


“On average,” I'd like to see gun owners able to handle their guns safely, shoot competently, reload smoothly, correct malfunctions, and maintain their firearms.

But what does that “shoot competently” part mean? For basic defensive shooting, it means being able to put rounds into an 8-inch circle in a target's chest, and an index-card sized spot in the middle of a target's face. They should be able to do this at 3, 5, and 7 yards, going no faster than the speed at which they can consistently do it, with the goal to become incrementally faster. I'd even like to see them able to do these things while starting from concealment, though proceeding from a ready position may be just as well for an “average” starting point.

Certainly there are other skills I'd like to see “on average,” even ones that I think are essential to a well-rounded skill set, but this looks like a pretty simple, basic, rock-bottom starting place that almost anyone could achieve. Other people no doubt have other ideas.

That said, in this theoretical case, “average” defensive shooters would be those who could do the above. No real time limits, no special emphasis on one- or two-handed pistolcraft, just an emphasis upon basic shooting to produce useful results. These “average” shooters would start sorting themselves out as the speed at which they could do those things increased, and as they added greater demand or complexity to their practice.

Such are my thoughts for now, anyway.

David E
January 31, 2010, 11:55 PM
tipoc, Unless we can define "average" then how can we know if we're above that level? (and yes, I recognize that "average" taken across the broad spectrum of gunowners is pitiful.)

Mikhail, I like your post.

NMGonzo
February 1, 2010, 02:44 AM
I have an above average ability to stay out of trouble.

ha!

45Frank
February 1, 2010, 09:15 AM
I have seem to have the opposite problem. :evil:

Unread Today, 01:44 AM #30
NMGonzo
Member


Join Date: September 10, 2009
Location: Albuquerque & Santa Fe
Posts: 879

I have an above average ability to stay out of trouble.

ha!
__________________
New Mexico's free shooting sports classifieds

tipoc
February 2, 2010, 09:17 PM
tipoc, Unless we can define "average" then how can we know if we're above that level?

It's a puzzler ain't it?

When I am in a room full of people I am somehow able to tell if I am about average height or not. Compared to those in the room of course. In the NBA it'd be different.

In high school when I ran track I could figure out whether I was an average (or below or above) runner by where I placed in the race and of course by the type race being run. Compared to those in that race of course. In a marathon I could compare my times.

When I am at the range I can see how others there are shooting and place myself roughly in that lineup. In competitive shooting I can see where I place as there are rankings and scoring.

See David it ain't hard at all. You just have to define your parameters. Average of what and average for what. What is the size of the group and what do you have them doing? If a fella can't define the parameters than a fella can't define average. It's that simple.

tipoc

David E
February 3, 2010, 12:26 AM
See David it ain't hard at all. You just have to define your parameters. Average of what and average for what. What is the size of the group and what do you have them doing? If a fella can't define the parameters than a fella can't define average. It's that simple.

Wow.....no kiddin' ?

Maybe that's why I said this in the OP.........

As my Dad said, "Averages are always wrong" because there are better and worse levels out there. As someone has as his tagline, there is a big difference between being a "shooter" and being a "gunowner." However, the "gunowner" needs to be included when determining an average ability.

So, what IS the "average ability?" How do we define it? Strictly by the ability to place hits on a given target at a given range? Should it include reloading? Should it include strong hand/weak hand shooting? Should it include a time frame?

I suggest that the parameters be simply this: How far away can the "average" shooter, starting from low-ready, hit a sheet of typing paper with 5 shots in 5 seconds?

I'm going to say 7 yds. This is incredibly easy for most of you......but what about your neighbor?

Y'see, tipoc, it ain't hard at all. If a fella can't read the OP, then he can't contribute any useful insight.

It's that simple.

:scrutiny:

tipoc
February 3, 2010, 03:36 AM
But sir, your original question was answered on the first page. I justly assumed you had moved on.

Because there is no way of knowing what the ability of "gun owners" in general, who don't shoot to the parameters you suggest, there is no way for your question to be answered.

You say on the one hand;

I suggest that the parameters be simply this: How far away can the "average" shooter, starting from low-ready, hit a sheet of typing paper with 5 shots in 5 seconds?

Yet on the other hand;

As someone has as his tagline, there is a big difference between being a "shooter" and being a "gunowner." However, the "gunowner" needs to be included when determining an average ability.

So unless the "gunowner" shoots the 5 shots in 5 seconds, etc. parameter you suggest there is no way to know how they match your criteria. Yet your criteria include those who don't shoot. So you create an open ended dilemma which has no answer and can have none. You suggest a test be given to determine shooting ability and then you include all those who do not take the test. There is no logic here. No conclusion can be drawn.

tipoc

David E
February 3, 2010, 01:32 PM
I said "gunowners" need to be included, not that they never shoot their guns, or that they could never take the skill test. :rolleyes:

But, also from the OP I wrote: I'm curious what you folks think about how we could define "average," or if you agree with my suggestion.

Since you don't agree with my suggestion, tipoc, perhaps you could favor us with your defnition of "average."

I will say, upon reflection and reading some of these posts, that my proposed standard IS beyond the ability of the "average" shooter.

Quoheleth
February 3, 2010, 01:50 PM
The problem with defining "average" is that it depends upon the pool which is being sampled. The comment about height of men in a room (say, at work) vs. height of NBA players is right on. The pool being sampled will change what "average" is.

Based on my CHL class, I was an above average pistol shot - I was one of three in the class of 25 who scored perfectly for the Texas CHL requirement. Twenty one passed. One failed. I don't know what the "average" score was overall but obviously, my score was above average as most scores were below mine.

Now, comparing my target to those that have been posted here, those shooters rise to the top of the sampling and I fall well below them. Suddenly, I am - at best - average compared to them.

Perhaps instead of a nebulus, "how do you compare to the average shooter," offer a sample against which one can measure: "How do you compare to the average shooter at your favorite range" or something like this. Your range may be different than mine, but at least there is a specified sampling (your favorite range) given.

A good example of this is in the montly rimfire contests in the rifle sub-forum. those give you a chance to see what others shoot and how you stand against them.

My 2 cents...

Q

KingEdward
February 3, 2010, 02:15 PM
Everyone's "average" is probably different.

I do the same thing at the range indoor or out with the
revolvers that I CCW or keep at home.

I staple a small (6") paper plate to the target.

Then at 3, 7, 10, and 15 yards try to empty the cylinder
double action quickly but steadily keeping all 6 or 7 shots
on the paper plate.

Over time and practice, the groups get tighter and more
consistent.

I still have work left to do this more successfully at 15 yards and
beyond.

I believe most SD situations where I live / work will be within 10 yards or less.

SideArmed
February 3, 2010, 02:58 PM
You guys shooting out the bull on at range of 7-12 yds are above average as most people I see are not consistent.
I would say if you can keep them in the black at 7 yds you are about average for a typical range.

However, if you go to a competition or match, shooting out the bull maybe common....even at further distance. You may actually be below average in those cases :)

Depends who you are comparing yourselves too.

David E
February 3, 2010, 05:41 PM
The "Sampling" isn't where you happen to be at any given time.

If you're the best or worst shot at a particular venue on a particular day, that doesn't change where you are in the overall scheme of things.

This is really a simple question.

Many folks compare themselves to the "average" shooter, but I submit that no one knows what "average" really is, since, as these posts show, they are simply comparing themselves to who is shooting in the lane next to them on a given day. Therefore, they have no basis on which to assess their own skill.......or lack thereof.

I'd say that the "average" skill level among ALL handgun shooters/gunowners isn't very high.

I think that most folks on THR that call themselves "above average" are, in truth, trying to be modest........or they have no clue!

That's why I was trying to establish a demonstrable definition of "average."

SideArmed
February 3, 2010, 06:12 PM
Everyone online thinks they are a "better shot than average."

Ok, so how good IS "average" as it relates to handgun shooting?

This is something I'd thought about in times past. I believe that a low "C" class shooter in USPSA/IPSC or a "Marksman" in IDPA is "better than average."

As my Dad said, "Averages are always wrong" because there are better and worse levels out there. As someone has as his tagline, there is a big difference between being a "shooter" and being a "gunowner." However, the "gunowner" needs to be included when determining an average ability.

So, what IS the "average ability?" How do we define it? Strictly by the ability to place hits on a given target at a given range? Should it include reloading? Should it include strong hand/weak hand shooting? Should it include a time frame?

I suggest that the parameters be simply this: How far away can the "average" shooter, starting from low-ready, hit a sheet of typing paper with 5 shots in 5 seconds?

I'm going to say 7 yds. This is incredibly easy for most of you......but what about your neighbor?

"Average" isn't a skill level to aspire to, it is one to surpass.

I'm curious what you folks think about how we could define "average," or if you agree with my suggestion.
Simple questions often have complex answers, especially when it is a broad question..

From your 5 shot on a letter size page in 5 seconds is extremely above average IMO.



I justify this by my little shooting range in my neck of the woods and only what I observe at that range.

90% of the people at my shooting range -

1. Do not shoot one round per second
2. Have trouble putting 5 shots on a letter size page at 7yds

So if they were forced to shoot one round a second, the results would change.

I also know a TON of people with 1 or 2 gun considered gun owners that may have never shot a gun or shoot once a year. If you throw the entire population into the mix which it sounds like you are trying to do....I don't see how you could come up with an answer that would satisfy you.

Again even my oberservation is flawed from the start! Im not taking into account:

people may be trying new guns/ new ammo/ a new shooting style/ practicing with both eyes open/ practicing double taps/

There is no way to figure something like this unless you were to setup an experiment on the lines of :
everyone was shooting to the max of their ability for the purpose intended (5shot/7yds/1sec per shot) everyone had same gun/ammo etc

David E
February 3, 2010, 06:21 PM
If your views of "average" are different than mine, then please post your thoughts on what you think "average" is.

This is what I asked for in the OP.

I never said that my suggestion was the only defintion out there. In fact, again, I think the standard I set in the OP is too high.

It's not a question of finding an answer that 'satisifies' me, but wondering what everyone else thinks "average" is, without defining it by who shot next to you yesterday.

SideArmed
February 3, 2010, 06:25 PM
I'm saying your trying to find " a demonstrable definition of "average." is a futile effort.

You may find a Standard of shooting ability on this site - with people agreeing with you but it would not mean anything as the true average will always be unknown...

Ed Ames
February 3, 2010, 06:37 PM
My view: I don't need to know how well the average shooter shoots. I need to know how well I must shoot to accomplish my goals. Average doesn't matter.

If you want to know how well the average person can (as opposed to does) shoot (because you lack any other standard for judging your own shooting), look at the targets designed for that type of shooting. The sizes and shapes aren't arbitrary. A 50' timed rapid fire target (NRA #B3) is about 10.5" by 12" and an average person should be scoreable (not all in the X, but certainly all on the paper) with that target at that range when used as designed. If you want to judge faster/closer in shooting there are targets for that too.

What more do you need? Unless you are trying to sell something, nothing.

cz85cmbt
February 3, 2010, 08:58 PM
I'm not going to comment on what an average shooter is or isn't, but most handgun shooters predominantly buy handguns designed for self defense yet practice shooting at an orange 1" dot at 25 yds away. Not that such practice is without use, but few shooters practice the drawing faze of shooting or moving from one target to another. Also there are few shooters that practice by dry firing their pistols especially with any kind of mental preparation. What I mean by mental preparation is envisioning a situation and walking yourself through that scenario with a winning strategy, as it applies to dry firing, it would be thinking of yourself in a defense situation, then if one ever comes along you are more likely to not panic. Of course if you are a competitor or just a fun target shooter you can still have fun at the 25 yd line slow firing, but don't expect it to pay off on the street.

David E
February 3, 2010, 10:19 PM
I will officially amend my defintion of "average" as being able to hit a sheet of typing paper at 7 yds in TEN seconds, starting from "ready."

Not everyone can do this, of course. They would be the 'less than average' shooters.

Clearly, everyone reading this thread can do that with their eyes closed, from the hip, weak hand, in the rain, at night, during a lunar eclipse. :D

Ed Ames
February 3, 2010, 10:46 PM
You can officially amend all you want, the word "average" has a meaning and that meaning ain't even close to what you are trying to do with it.

Why don't you coin your own word, instead of trying desperately to redefine a perfectly useful word? Call it "davide"... a davide shooter is one who can hit a sheet of typing paper blah blah.

If you want a simple definition of average that won't get you laughed at, use, "the sum of the scores of all shooters divided by the number of shooters." So if there are three shooters, who score:

7 hits on a sheet blah blah in 10 seconds
3 hits on a blah blah blah
10 hits blah blah blah blah

The average would be 6.66.

Simple AND correct. What's not to like?

(and yeah, simple was the operative word...not trying to teach a math class)

Ankeny
February 4, 2010, 01:13 AM
Many folks compare themselves to the "average" shooter, but I submit that no one knows what "average" really is... I would tend to agree. I haven't a clue what constitutes an "average" shooter. I would imagine if I put 50 "shooters" in a CCW classroom and asked them how many consider themselves above "average" shooters, over half the hands would probably be raised. Same would be true if you asked them how many are above "average" drivers. It's a guy thing.;)

David E
February 4, 2010, 02:10 AM
"Average" is a word that people, at least those outside of this thread, easily understand.

I've posted my revised defintion of what "average" means as it pertains to handgun shooting. If you disagree, then please post your defintion. IE; what does 'average' mean to you?

Yet, instead of doing that, some people posting in this thread seem to delight in nitpicking my definition instead of stating their own......curious, ain't it ? :scrutiny:

Ed Ames
February 4, 2010, 02:30 AM
Wow. A bunch of people have stated their definition of average. That you don't (can't?) recognize that is...revealing.

Go back and re-read the thread.

David E
February 4, 2010, 03:03 AM
I fully recognize that some people did state their views on the topic and I appreciate their input.

But I'm still waiting for YOURS.........

Since this mumbo jumbo doesn't mean squat: My view: I don't need to know how well the average shooter shoots. I need to know how well I must shoot to accomplish my goals. Average doesn't matter.

I'm curious how well you "must shoot to accomplish your goals." What are your goals? How did you define them? How did you determine how well you must shoot?

Please be as specific as possible.

Ed Ames
February 4, 2010, 03:24 AM
You really should have just re-read the thread.

But I'm still waiting for YOURS.........


Post #9 in this thread: "The local ranges near me will kick shooters out for more than 1 shot every 2 seconds. There are always people shooting at incredibly close range...3 yards and the like... and they are putting holes EVERYWHERE on man-sized targets at that range."

Post #11 in this thread: "At the local ranges around here, DFW Tejas, you see a lot of people scattering holes across man-sized targets at 3 yards. That's with a range-enforced max rate of fire of 1 round every 2 seconds, and no holster use allowed. The average is probably 15" at 3 yards."

I'm curious how well you "must shoot to accomplish your goals." What are your goals? How did you define them? How did you determine how well you must shoot?

And, again, post #9: "My goal is a 2" group. I figure that's about the margin you have for a stopping (CNS) shot so there is no reason to practice anything else. I practice at whatever range lanes are available (from 3 to 25 yards) and am usually disappointed with my 25 yard shooting."

I could be a lot more specific, but what's the point if you don't read your own thread?

David E
February 4, 2010, 03:37 AM
For some reason, I did happen to ignore all your posts.......my bad.....

Thanks to everyone else for their input.

Ed Ames
February 4, 2010, 10:37 AM
LOL...that was predictable.

We're left where we started though. What "average shooter" means is easy to understand. The definition has nothing to do with "typing paper". It is also totally irrelevant because real-world needs (whether self defense, hunting, competition, or "other") aren't established by "average" but by specifics of the problem domain. A competitive shooter's needs are based on the targets she shoots. A hunter's needs are based on the type of animals she shoots. A self defense shooter's needs are based on human physiology. A shooter's, even an average shooter's, skills may be more than adequate for one need and totally useless for another.

If you want to define an average to have a standard to measure others against, go to a shooting range, look at how well everyone is shooting, and consider that the average. It's a low standard but should make you feel good.

If you want a standard for measuring how good you need to be, you must first specify your problem domain -- the why and what of your shooting. The standard of acceptable (as opposed to Average) accuracy derives from that, and only that. It differs for anti-mugging self defense, ending random public shootings, putting rabbits on the dinner table, winning competitions, and every other specific type of shooting a person might choose to do.

David E
February 4, 2010, 01:24 PM
The definition has nothing to do with "typing paper".

If you understood the OP, then you'd know that the sheet of typing paper represents the maximum acceptable size of the group fired. It's certainly easier to tape a sheet of paper to the target than drawing specific dimensions on it.

Bullseye it ain't.

Defining a minimum defensive skills standard is another endeavor entirely. Maybe you should start that thread....

Ed Ames
February 4, 2010, 02:24 PM
I understood what you were trying to do with you "typing paper", but what you were proposing is in no useful way a measure or description of average because it applies to only one vector...one type of ability.

It's like saying, "Let's discuss average MPG for cars. I think we should all agree that the average is measured driving back and forth between my house and the nearest KFC." That isn't average. It's average for a very limited test. The average is measurable, but not with that test.

If you want a good enough answer to the thread title, start looking at shot up targets at the local shooting range. If you want to set a performance goal for yourself, you must know why you are shooting and what you are shooting at.

Either way, this isn't "one size fits all".

tipoc
February 4, 2010, 03:45 PM
The average shooter is the one who can read through this thread and not shoot himself. :)

tipoc

David E
February 4, 2010, 04:15 PM
It's like saying, "Let's discuss average MPG for cars. I think we should all agree that the average is measured driving back and forth between my house and the nearest KFC."

That's not at all what I posted or what I meant. And any person of reasonable intelligence knows that. Your post is revealing.

Tipoc, I must agree !

Dave/hoff
February 4, 2010, 04:20 PM
HA! yes, per #56.

I'm w/ Ed Ames, I really don't care what anyone else has the ability to do...only what is my OWN average ability.

@ David E: I think that "averages" must be calculated, and I think that if the criteria you propose for the test, along with your proposed sampling pool, (e.g. every gunowner) were used, the "average" shooter would not score any hits on an 8.5x11 sheet at the rate of fire your test requires.

David E
February 4, 2010, 04:24 PM
It seems that many are basing their assessment of the "average shooter" by only looking at the below average shooting pool. This presumes that gunowners cannot shoot at all, and the macho below average shooters are somehow representative of the average.

I don't care how someone else shoots, either. (Unless they're better than me and I can learn from them)

As I said in my OP, "Average" isn't a skill level to aspire to, it is one to surpass."

Dave/hoff
February 4, 2010, 04:36 PM
but "average" is a calculation, not a "skill level".

And now I'm out...as you could quickly calculate, with this post I have now surpassed my AVERAGE monthly post total.

Good luck with this wind-chasing.

budiceman
February 4, 2010, 05:55 PM
I'm below average and my daughter is above. I'm old and she is very young!

Brian Williams
February 4, 2010, 06:46 PM
closed per OP request.

If you enjoyed reading about ""Average" is how good, exactly?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!