Most accurate? Revolver or pistol?


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JohnnyB
September 26, 2011, 11:49 PM
Here's a question:
What handgun format do you think is more accurate? Revolver or pistol?

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Mr.Blue
September 27, 2011, 12:05 AM
My smith and wesson 686 pistol single action is like a laser beam.

Snowbandit
September 27, 2011, 12:16 AM
Autos can often be made almost as accurate as a revolver but it's usually at the expense of reliability and lots of money. Inherent accuracy goes to the revolver.

bergmen
September 27, 2011, 12:24 AM
Well, here's an accuracy card that came with my Freedom Arms model 83 Premier in 454 Casull:

http://inlinethumb45.webshots.com/44524/2715251060053667879S600x600Q85.jpg

Five shots at 25 yards. I didn't reject the revolver.

http://inlinethumb12.webshots.com/47563/2990352660053667879S600x600Q85.jpg

Dan

ArchAngelCD
September 27, 2011, 01:11 AM
IMO any revolver or semi-auto can be accurate and some people shoot one better than the other. I shoot a lot of revolvers so I'm better at shooting revolvers than semi-autos. someone who shoots a semi-auto all the time will be better with it than a revolver.

BCRider
September 27, 2011, 01:24 AM
Unless you're able to hold any gun as stable as in a Ransom rest which is the most accurate means little. Instead it's how well you as a shooter works with the gun in terms of how it fits your hands and how well your grip and trigger pull mate with the gun itself.

Now having said that obviously there are some guns that just are able to shoot tighter groups. But you didn't ask which brand and model. You asked "revolver or semi". And with that in mind it's a wash as far as I'm concerned. I've shot some revolvers that produce consistently tighter groups than I thought I was capable of. Then someone hands me a really top line STI 1911 and I shoot as good a group with that as anything I've ever shot with a revolver.

You also need to consider that the top rank Olympic bullseye shooters are using semi autos that happen to have fixed barrels. A bit of a blend of features from both sides of the fence.

kozak6
September 27, 2011, 04:17 AM
Olympic target shooters use semiautos, so I would imagine they have the accuracy advantage.

AK_Maine_iac
September 27, 2011, 05:09 AM
What ever you can shoot the best.

armsmaster270
September 27, 2011, 05:29 AM
My most accurate is my 586 6"

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff207/armsmaster270/Guns/handguns.jpg

http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff207/armsmaster270/Guns/DSCF1535.jpg

b.thomas
September 27, 2011, 06:02 AM
Out of the box............a revolver!
But give a good pistol smith enough time and money............it can be a even match.
:D

JohnBT
September 27, 2011, 09:32 AM
The factory standard for the SIG P210 was a group of 5 cm or less at 50 meters.

That's 1.97 inches or less at distance of more than 54 yards. Some of the target versions, all production guns, came with targets that measured under an inch at 50 meters.

That's pretty good for a production revolver or autoloader, isn't it. And they're reliable.

John

CraigC
September 27, 2011, 09:51 AM
Dollar for dollar, unless we're talking fixed barrel .22's, a revolver will always be more accurate on average. Good accuracy for a service auto would be 3"@25yds. This would be abysmal for a revolver that was not a bellygun. Many will shoot 1" with preferred loads. You'll have to spend at least twice as much for an auto to shoot as accurately.


That's 1.97 inches or less at distance of more than 54 yards. Some of the target versions, all production guns, came with targets that measured under an inch at 50 meters.
And I've got at least three or four $500 revolvers that will do 2"@50yds as well.

Tallinar
September 27, 2011, 12:21 PM
All out of the box revolvers I've fired have performed better for me than out of the box automatics.

Then again, I don't spend a lot of time with automatics, and I just tend to shoot revolvers better. YMMV, but my experience would have to lean toward revolver.

340PD
September 27, 2011, 03:28 PM
I believe Clint Smith said the following. Substitute "reliable" for "accurate"

a.)The most reliable handgun in the world is the one you practice with the most.
b.)The handgun caliber with the greatest stopping power is the one you make headshots with.
c.) The best weapon for _____? See a. & b.

Drail
September 27, 2011, 05:18 PM
You can mount a poor quality barrel on a revolver or a semi auto. If one is more accurate than the other it has nothing to do with the action type.

pgmrdan
September 27, 2011, 06:41 PM
IMHO, I don't think it matters which is more accurate. The shooter is the weak link when it comes to handguns.

If you were talking rifles (bolt action vs. semi-automatic) it would be another story.

ATLDave
September 27, 2011, 06:50 PM
Unless something is wrong with the gun, or the shooter is an olympic-class target shooter, almost all handguns are more accurate than almost all handgun shooters. IOW, it doesn't matter. hickok45 has a great video about this on youtube. Check it out.

paw080
September 27, 2011, 06:57 PM
Hi JohnnyB, The only way to tell is to do vice testing at the usually tested
distance of 50 yards. bench rested is pure folly. In 1972, I saw a long-slide
target 1911 shoot a .75" CTC ten shot group from a Ransom Rest at 50 yards.
Many tuned match 1911s will equal that today. My Morini mod 84E came with
a test target that measures 0.6'' CTC; it was shot at 50 meters, and it is a
falling block action. Match tuned revolvers have also grouped under an inch
at 50 yds.

My bottom line is : I don't know which type of action is inherently or actually
is the most accurate. I guess pgmrdan sums the situation up best..

Tony

Valkman
September 27, 2011, 07:15 PM
I vote neither as I have both that shoot extremely well. For an auto I have a Kimber Compact CDP that is extremely accurate (and is my carry gun), and for revolvers I have 2 S&W that can hit anything. One's a 4" 66 and one's a 6.5" 629.

Germster
September 28, 2011, 12:11 AM
Pistols are more accurate, but revolvers, for most, are easier to shoot accurately. So it's a toss up. Unless you know how to focus on the sights you can't hit anything with a pistol no matter what kind it is.

chris in va
September 28, 2011, 12:24 AM
I see we have a problem here.

Most people commenting how accurate their revolvers are have these long barreled mini rifles that don't compare to any autoloaders on the market.

Let's do this. Take a semiauto with a TRUE 4" barrel, meaning the length from where the bullet sits in the chamber to the end, and compare it to a 4" revolver.

Then we can start comparing in a more fair way.

451 Detonics
September 28, 2011, 07:38 AM
In centerfire factory guns* I would have to give the nod to the revolver, in rimfire factory guns I would give the nod to the semi-auto. In custom guns it is a toss-up.

Both of my Action Pistol guns will easily shoot under 1 1/2 inches at 50 yards.

http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z271/reloader1959/handguns/compglenn1911.jpg

*btw...I don't consider guns like the Les Baers to be factory.

JohnBT
September 28, 2011, 09:08 AM
Wait a minute, let me run home and put a scope on my Sig P210. Scopes? We don't need no stinking scopes. :)

"And I've got at least three or four $500 revolvers that will do 2"@50yds as well."

Every group? Open sights? Straight from the factory? That's really good. I think getting down to 2" at that distance is doable with a few guns and the right ammo selection, and then the fun begins when you try to shrink them beneath 2".

Overall, I agree that 25 yards isn't far enough to tell about accuracy; 50 is more like it.

I wonder what are the bullseye shooters using these days?

CraigC
September 28, 2011, 09:22 AM
If one is more accurate than the other it has nothing to do with the action type.
Pistols are more accurate, but revolvers, for most, are easier to shoot accurately.
I don't know where you guys come up with this stuff. Many have obviously never done much bench testing with handguns and are going strictly by "seat of the pants" impressions.


bench rested is pure folly.
This statement is pure folly.


IMHO, I don't think it matters which is more accurate. The shooter is the weak link when it comes to handguns.
It absolutely does matter. I see statements like this all the time and it makes zero sense. All things being equal, the shooter will always shoot more accurately with a more accurate weapon. Period. End of story. If one firearm is capable of 1" at 25yds and another is only capable of 3" at 25yds, you will definitely shoot more accurately with the former than the latter. Maybe a more correct statement would be that YOU can't see the difference in YOUR shooting.


Let's do this. Take a semiauto with a TRUE 4" barrel, meaning the length from where the bullet sits in the chamber to the end, and compare it to a 4" revolver.
Here's a 4" revolver, a 629MG to be exact. It shoots into 2"@50yds if I do my part. Now show me a $500 service auto that does the same.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_8763b.jpg

CraigC
September 28, 2011, 09:26 AM
Overall, I agree that 25 yards isn't far enough to tell about accuracy
I disagree. 25yds is plenty and is the standard for very good reasons. Unless the two guns you're comparing are capable of 1" at that distance, the difference will be clear.


Every group? Open sights? Straight from the factory?
Of course not every group but on average. Yes, factory guns. Although the above pictured 629 has an action job and two of the others have since been modified cosmetically.

jmorris
September 28, 2011, 09:40 AM
My most accurate pistols are single shot, bolt action and break open.

After that here are some 50 yd groups from my most accurate semiauto. In 45 it shoots slightly better groups than when set up for 9mm.

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/jmorrismetal/SVI.jpg

JimPGov
September 28, 2011, 10:32 AM
I VOTED FOR THE SEMI AUTO.
20 YEARS AGO I WOULD NEVER HAVE DONE THAT. BUT TIME AND TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON. BELOW ARE BOTH A REVOLVER AND SEMI AUTO WITH 24 SHOT 50YD GROUPS. I KNOW THE STANDARD IS 10SHOTS BUT IN THE COMPETITION I SHOOT ITS A 24SHOT 50YD STAGE. THESE ARE NOT TEST TARGETS SUPPLIED BY THE BUILDERS. THESE ARE TARGETS FIRED BY ME. JIM P

REVOLVER
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x160/JIMPGOV/sdc11113.jpg

SEMI AUTO LEFT TARGET 10 RDS RIGHT TARGET 24 RDS.
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x160/JIMPGOV/sdc11090.jpg

SleazyRider
September 28, 2011, 10:46 AM
Seems to me that the auto-loader ought to be inherently more accurate because the chamber is an integral part of the bore, no? It's not subject to bore-to-cylinder misalignment of a revolver due to machining tolerances. Of course, this advantage is lost in the hands of mediocre shooters like me. But in theory, I'm thinkin' the auto should be more accurate.

CraigC
September 28, 2011, 10:55 AM
I VOTED FOR THE SEMI AUTO.
And how much did that accurized 1911 set you back?

You guys need to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. You can't compare a $2000+ custom 1911 to a factory $500 revolver. Because a $2000 Freedom Arms will easily halve those groups.


Seems to me that the auto-loader ought to be inherently more accurate because the chamber is an integral part of the bore, no?
Yes but how is that barrel attached? How much flopping around does it do during cycling? The issue is that a semi-auto will always have to have a little bit of play for reliable operation. Including the chamber. A revolver's chambers can be as tight and straight as physically possible and reliability remain unaffected. Unless it's line-bored, a revolver's slight looseness can actually enhance accuracy, due to inherent minute alignment issues.

Geckgo
September 28, 2011, 10:56 AM
Silly conversation to me, but I don't like bench resting my pistols. I prefer shooting them offhand, and offhand, it is 100% the indian and not the arrow.

I shot a friend's 38 spl a couple weeks ago and found the grips downright offensive. I own all autos and practice with them. I can actually cut little 1-1/2 to 2" groups with my .22lr pocket pistol at 25yrds. That fullsize 38spl, I was having trouble hitting the paper.

IMHO, There are bigger considerations to accuracy when it comes to pistol shooting than which action is more accurate. That is just silly. The barrel moves around a little on an auto, and revolvers, when not perfectly aligned, can deform the bullet ever so slightly as it enters the barrel. We can make these silly arguments all day, but unless you are acostomed to punching little one hole groups at 40yrds with your pistol, it isn't going to matter much.

CraigC
September 28, 2011, 11:03 AM
Silly conversation to me...That is just silly....We can make these silly arguments all day...it isn't going to matter much.
If it's sooooo silly and doesn't matter then why are you here??? I reckon it's not important if all you do is make noise at the range.


...and offhand, it is 100% the indian and not the arrow.
And the indian will always shoot better with a better arrow. :rolleyes:


I don't like bench resting my pistols.
Then you have nothing to offer the discussion. Except to tell us all how silly it is.

If it is all indian, not the arrow, then how do you know which is the most accurate load in your particular firearm? Oh nevermind.....

Geckgo
September 28, 2011, 11:06 AM
not going to pitch in the dirt, just offering my opinion. I don't believe a match shooter would ever need to ask which is more accurate.

Germster
September 28, 2011, 02:11 PM
Revolvers fit deeper in my grip. I run my thumb alongside and apply pressure which I balance with my knuckle on the trigger finger on the other side. It's kinda like my personal vice. Using this method I can shoot a revolver very accurately off hand, or even one handed. I was captain of the 91 Division Pistol Team decades ago.

Pistols stick up higher in my hand and therefore have a higher center of gravity and just aren't as firm in my grip. While I can shoot them fine, my Smith and Wesson Model 25 with light loads and a worked trigger prints better than my 1911 or High Power.

I shoot one handed, generally, and find that I can do it as well as with two. One handed the pistol is farther away and the sight picture is more clear to my ageing eyes. Sight picture is very important when shooting handguns. However at 100 or 200 yds I shoot with two and do better. For long range pistol shooting I place the front sight higher in the rear sight's "U". I find this easy to gauge after one sighting shot.

Personally, I dislike scopes. The magnification also magnifies the wiggle.

For any kind of accuracy I dislike high powered rounds. I'd rather push the bullet out rather than blast it down range. When shooting a 1911 or High Power I tolerate the recoil and it doesn't bother me....much... I shoot a .357 with .38's. Unless I want to kill something.

While I'm creeping up to 70, my wrist does not bother me, but if I was shooting a 454 I'll bet it would. Nor do I shoot a .44 Mag. I love a heavy .357 with .38 wad cutters. I'll shoot a Ruger MK I with bull barrel all day long.

451 Detonics
September 28, 2011, 04:43 PM
Here's a 4" revolver, a 629MG to be exact. It shoots into 2"@50yds if I do my part. Now show me a $500 service auto that does the same.

Show me a $500 dollar S&W 629 these days...lol....

When I spoke of shooting under 1 1/2 inches at 50 yards with my customs I was not talking bench but me holding them in my hands without artificial support and making the time limits set by the course of fire.

ATLDave
September 29, 2011, 10:50 AM
It absolutely does matter. I see statements like this all the time and it makes zero sense. All things being equal, the shooter will always shoot more accurately with a more accurate weapon. Period. End of story. If one firearm is capable of 1" at 25yds and another is only capable of 3" at 25yds, you will definitely shoot more accurately with the former than the latter.

I don't know. Take a combination of a 3" shooter, and a 3" gun. Now image a shot where the shooter's true point-of-aim is 3" left of center; the shot could go 6" left because of combined error, but it could also go dead-center. Over a large enough sample size, you're quite right that the group would spread out more with the combined errors stretching the group size, and average miss distance would also be larger. But for the 3/5/10 shot strings that people shoot as proof of accuracy, and with "flyers" typically excluded as being some shooter's error, I think there's a decent chance (around 25%, I think) a non-perfect shooter could end up shooting "more accurately" (meaning more hits on the x, or smaller overall group) with a less accurate gun.

In short, you're right from an aggregate perspective. But, like most truths, it requires a large enough sample size and a consistent enough methodology to really manifest itself. In the small sample sizes that people create/encounter in the real world, the chance outcome may come out the other way.

So, if by "definitely," you mean "in every case," I'd disagree. If, OTOH, "definitely" means "over the long run," then I'd agree.

The_Armed_Therapist
September 29, 2011, 12:17 PM
I haven't noticed any overall difference...Obviously my Kel-Tec is less accurate, but my Glock is the most accurate I've ever shot. Second is probably the Smith 686(?)... the med-frame .357.

jad0110
September 29, 2011, 05:58 PM
Your typical, average revolver is probably a touch more accurate mechanically, but the vast majority of us aren't good enough to ever notice the difference. Practical accuracy (how the gun works for you) is far more important IMO.

Dr_B
September 29, 2011, 06:35 PM
My smith and wesson 686 pistol single action is like a laser beam.

Mr. Blue said it, and I agree: revolver. Just like his, my 686 is ridiculously accurate. Single action, any distance up to 30 yards (and I haven't tried it beyond that) it's a hit every time. It's like I don't even have to really aim the thing.

Jath
September 29, 2011, 07:24 PM
I think a Browning Hi-Power is close to being the most accurate pistol ever made.

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/images/images-by-title-name/Hi-Power-Mark-III-MID-051001-m.jpg

Wishoot
September 29, 2011, 07:47 PM
My GP100 is insanely accurate. Especially when shooting in SA.

DA is another story.

Steve CT
September 29, 2011, 09:55 PM
Seems to me that the auto-loader ought to be inherently more accurate because the chamber is an integral part of the bore, no? It's not subject to bore-to-cylinder misalignment of a revolver due to machining tolerances. Of course, this advantage is lost in the hands of mediocre shooters like me. But in theory, I'm thinkin' the auto should be more accurate.
This was my thought too, it seems like the auto should be inherently more accurate.

kozak6
September 29, 2011, 10:09 PM
Why don't any Olympic target shooters use revolvers anymore?

Seems to me that the auto-loader ought to be inherently more accurate because the chamber is an integral part of the bore, no? It's not subject to bore-to-cylinder misalignment of a revolver due to machining tolerances.

For most centerfire semiautomatics, the barrel sits in the slide, which sits on the frame.

Now, instead of aligning two parts, three parts must be aligned. A conventional centerfire semiatuto isn't subject to barrel-cylinder misalignment, but is subject to barrel-slide-frame misalignment.

A well made revolver or semiauto will be fitted well enough that it doesn't really matter.

JohnBT
September 29, 2011, 11:09 PM
"You can't compare a $2000+ custom 1911 to a factory $500 revolver."

Sure you can, why not? The original question was revolver or pistol, not what kind. Now show me a really accurate new $500 revolver.

Geckgo
September 29, 2011, 11:28 PM
^-- exzachary

CraigC
September 30, 2011, 12:07 AM
Sure you can, why not? The original question was revolver or pistol, not what kind. Now show me a really accurate new $500 revolver.
Well, I reckon you can because it takes a $2000 automatic to shoot with a $500 revolver. But then again, when you level the economic playing field, the automatic loses.

Here's two Rugers that shoot 2"@50yds. One cost $360 in 1998, the other $400 in 2001. Either can be had in the $500 range at present. Both have had custom work done, the stainless 4 5/8" has had zero accuracy work done. The blued/case hardened 7" has had accuracy work done but shot just as well when box-stock.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010029.JPG

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/blackriver905/large/P1010059.JPG


This 6" 29-3 which I paid $400 for back in 2002, is another 1"@25yd shooter.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/IMG_8774d.jpg


This K-38, which cost me all of $265 back in 1999, is also a 1"@25yd shooter.
http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixguns/SandW%20M14%20-%2003.JPG


Now, once again, let's see those $500 service pistols that shoot 1"@25yds or 2"@50yds!!!

CraigC
September 30, 2011, 12:11 AM
While far from a $500 new gun ($700 in 1998), this 3rd generation Colt New Frontier .45Colt shoots into an inch at 25yds with preferred loads. Despite its cavernous .457" throats.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsiii/large/New%20Frontier%2045x7_.jpg

lucky-gunner
September 30, 2011, 01:00 AM
Fixed barrel, single action trigger, perfect balance (for me 5"). I really like the Performance Center S&W 327 I have.

For auto's the 1911 and Sphinx are very close to a revolver for me. I would say that which ever you practice with the most, will be the best for you.

__________________
38 spl ammo (http://www.luckygunner.com/handgun/38-special-ammo)

303tom
September 30, 2011, 01:51 AM
I thought a revolver was a pistol ?

makarovnik
September 30, 2011, 06:02 AM
Autos all the way.

Revolvers have their advantages too but nice accurate triggers seem to cost more on revolvers. I can shoot even cheap autos with crappy triggers better than a revolver in double action. It could just be me though.

Morgo
September 30, 2011, 09:23 AM
My Sig P210 and S&W 52 are very accurate autos.

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