What constitutes "very good" handgun skills?


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A strange person
March 20, 2012, 08:30 PM
Right now, the only two handguns I have are a Ruger MKIII 22/45 with a 5.5" barrel that I use for target practice and as a dedicated small game hunting weapon, and a S&W 67 with a 4" barrel that I use as an all-purpose trail/survival gun, as well as for concealed carry occasionally (a little large for the purpose, but I can hide it just fine).

My goal (for now) is to be able to shoot well enough with these weapons to consistently kill grey squirrels at 20 yards with them shooting off-hand. I am coming close to achieving this, but still need to be "in the zone" to get these kinds of groups.

My question is: If I could shoot that well consistently with such weapons, what kind of skill does that represent? Newb skill? Decent skill? Good skill? Holy crap skill? I don't really have anything to compare my abilities to.

What (in the opinion of the THR community at least) constitutes the realistic limits of consistent off-hand accuracy using handguns of normal barrel lengths (4"-5", no scope) and reasonable quality (not $2000+ custom guns), in the hands of a shooter who does not have any supernatural abilities? I am talking about slow, deliberate fire at targets and game, and not quick-drawing rapid fire in defensive situations.

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browningguy
March 20, 2012, 08:47 PM
If you're shooting gray squirrels at 20 yards off hand you're shooting pretty darn good, especially if they are bobbing and weaving while you sling lead at them.

If you can keep 10 rounds in a 6" target at 25 yards with a standard handgun you are shooting better than probably 90-95% of the people I see. At the last 3 gun shoot I was at we had 6" falling plates from 5-25 yards, you would be surprised at the number of people that did not hit any of the 25 yard targets. And it was kind of depressing the number of people that fell completely apart after the 10 yard targets. And these were people that weren't even trying to be fast.

Manson
March 20, 2012, 10:03 PM
I'd call hitting a tree rat at 20 yards very good shooting.

9mmepiphany
March 20, 2012, 10:08 PM
Standing, two-handed at 25 yards, I would think 3-4" should be very realistic.

If you were shooting from prone or off a rest, the same group at 50 yards would be what I would expect

MrBorland
March 20, 2012, 10:28 PM
Standing, two-handed at 25 yards, I would think 3-4" should be very realistic.

Agreed.

My standard answer is that a good, but not excellent, shooter can shoot honest & consistent 3" 5-shot unsupported 25 yard groups. DA revolver shooters ought to be able to do this in single and double action.

This level of accuracy isn't master-level bullseye shooting, but it's far better than you'd typically see at your local range, and it's achievable with diligent practice & instruction.

Claude Clay
March 20, 2012, 10:44 PM
for hunting you know what good is....not wasting ammo while putting food on the table as needed. so its a balacnce between your ability to get within the distance you can place shots accuratly vs the hunted having their own agenda---survival.

self-defense is not all so much different in the end--your, and those you protect, survival.
however events unfold fast and from many directions....so profeciency would be that you can go from your situational awearness alert to effective shots on target in under 2 seconds.

there is a cover garmet and to get better than profecent--to be really good: the time is under 1.5 second. these are numbers you can work for and in the travel there you will be smooth. practice smooth and deliberate movements. speed will come of its own as smooth is good; smooth is fast.

BCRider
March 21, 2012, 12:58 AM
Standing, two-handed at 25 yards, I would think 3-4" should be very realistic.


You've got fairly high standards. Only the upper 20% of the shooters I've seen around these parts could do this with any realistic consistency. And thanks to my old guy eyes and nerves I'm not sure I'm one of them. Actually I'm sure I'm not.

On a good day with bright outdoor lighting where my eyes can iris down and avoid some of the fuzziness from my slight astigmatism I can manage 5 to 6 inches at 25 yards with decent consistency. But that's about it.

9mmepiphany
March 21, 2012, 02:53 AM
You've got fairly high standards. Only the upper 20% of the shooters I've seen around these parts could do this with any realistic consistency.

Not really, the OP did say:
What ... constitutes the realistic limits of consistent off-hand accuracy

I assumed he meant the upper limits and not the average ability.

I would think the the top 20% is reasonable, with the top 10% being highly competitive and the top 5% being Master shooters

eldon519
March 21, 2012, 03:36 AM
Just curious 9mm, what can a Master level bullseye shooter do at 25yds offhand? I'm not very familiar with competitive shooting.

9mmepiphany
March 21, 2012, 04:16 AM
I don't run in Bulleye circles. But a Grand Master friend who is going to the Bianchi Cup this year was putting together his gun and shot this group recently while testing his work.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c119/Grayguns/X5groupjpg.jpg

That is a 1.1" group at 50 yards, granted it was supported...shooting bag on a bench...but he can regularly shoot 3" groups off-hand at that distance. Yes that is a DA/SA SIG X-5 Allaround
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7164/6816166431_41d6015cc8_b.jpg

For those of you old enough to remember Mike Dalton...from the old USPSA/IPSC days...he had a 5 shot group on his wall that he shot with his match .45 (this was in 1980, before compensators and red dots) standing at 50 yards that measured 1.3"

9mmepiphany
March 21, 2012, 04:29 AM
But to answer your question as well as I can.

If someone can shoot a 3" group standing off-hand, holding the gun with both hands (bulleye shooter only use one hand) at 50 yards, he should be able to keep 5 rounds inside 1.5" at 25 yards

Pete D.
March 21, 2012, 07:04 AM
High Master Bullseye shooters are almost magical human beings, averaging 95/100 or better on all targets that they shoot. ONE hand unsupported. The outdoor 50 yard target has a 10 ring that is about three inches in diameter. a perfect score involves 20 shots. It has been done...not by many. At 25 yards, the ten ring is 3.3 inches wide and clean 20 shot Timed fire scores are a regular occurrence.
Pete

eldon519
March 21, 2012, 07:31 AM
Could a Master Bullseye shooter in theory shoot better using two hands or is there an advantage to using one hand once you have become used to it?

MrBorland
March 21, 2012, 08:30 AM
is there an advantage to using one hand once you have become used to it?

I'm no expert on the subject, but I do believe there's an advantage: Fewer contact points between the shooter & the gun means there are fewer opportunities to influence the gun and fewer points to apply consistently from shot to shot.

jackpinesavages
March 21, 2012, 09:49 AM
My question is: If I could shoot that well consistently with such weapons, what kind of skill does that represent? Newb skill? Decent skill? Good skill? Holy crap skill? I don't really have anything to compare my abilities to.



That is good skill. Nice choice of pistols, BTW.

If you would like to get better doing the tree-rat thing, start doing it with a Daisy pump air pistol. You'll be amazed at how much more efficient you become at sight alignment/sight picture aspects.

kb58
March 21, 2012, 10:51 AM
What constitutes "very good" handgun skills?


Being able to operate it in the dark, to hit what you're aimming at out to maybe 25 yds, and to maintain that accuracy shooting no slower than a round every two seconds. And, I have nothing to support these views!

Hk Dan
March 21, 2012, 12:36 PM
Boy, Mr Borland--we agree on one thing: You're no expert. More points of contact are BETTER for accuracy. This is one of the reasons why rifles shoot so much more accurately, 4 points of contact (length being the other).

murf
March 21, 2012, 02:32 PM
hk dan,

mr boreland is correct about handgun accuracy. the only contact points should be the second and third fingers on the front of the grip, the palm-swell on the back of the grip and the first finger on the trigger. that's it.

murf

trickyasafox
March 21, 2012, 05:20 PM
I've never seen a sweep at my local hunter silhouette league- but I've seen people get close. open sights for a 20 round course of fire from 25-100 yards. It is impressive to see.

I'm what I would call 'fair' and can do about a 5inch group at 25 yards regularly. On a good day I can get em smaller, but not consistently.

MrBorland
March 21, 2012, 05:54 PM
This is one of the reasons why rifles shoot so much more accurately, 4 points of contact (length being the other).

Could be rifles are accurate despite 4 points of contact. The proper hold in any form of rifle shooting is that which gives the best overall result under the given conditions. Minimizing contact with the rifle also minimizes the contacts that need to be applied consistently. As such, "free recoil", where, except for the trigger, the shooter doesn't touch the rifle, is a popular benchrest rifle technique, where accuracy is everything, but would be less useful to the hunter.

I'm not an expert since I don't compete in bullseye, and defer to those who do, but in my own pistol shooting, whether 1- or 2-handed, my thumbs are off the gun, for instance. Otherwise, my thumb(s) can (unknowingly & inconsistently) push laterally on the frame. Even a little push can throw an otherwise good shot. And the effect is magnified when the shooting starts to speed up. My 1-handed technique is precisely as murf described.

9mmepiphany
March 21, 2012, 06:07 PM
is there an advantage to using one hand once you have become used to it?
I do believe there's an advantage
More points of contact are BETTER for accuracy.

The question wasn't if it was more accurate, the question was if there was an advantage to shooting one handed...at least that is how I read it. There is.

A Bullseye shooter could certainly learn to shoot two-handed and applying his trigger management skills would likely produce excellent results.

However learning to shoot one-handed removes all the masking that using a two-hand hold brings with it. Shooting one-handed puts a higher priority on proper grip and trigger technique...most folks don't have the self disciple for it and it becomes a secondary skill in the defensive handgunning.

If you'd really like to test your trigger handling and follow through kills...try shooting competitive air pistol. It has very little margin for lack of focus as the pellet is still traveling down the bore when many shooters would have already relaxed

BCRider
March 21, 2012, 08:12 PM
...I assumed he meant the upper limits and not the average ability.

I would think the the top 20% is reasonable, with the top 10% being highly competitive and the top 5% being Master shooters

Ah, that makes a lot more sense. I feel like I misinterpreted your post when it's taken with the "upper limit" factor of the OP.

Your 20%, 10% and 5% numbers would all appear to be very realistic from the shooters I've seen up this way. It's nice to know that all our cold and rain doesn't wash away the global skill level... :D

ORHunter79
March 21, 2012, 08:42 PM
I think this guy qualifies as "holly crap skills"

http://youtu.be/ZuQKr2AkKDU

I reality, hitting a 3 inch target (slow fire) at 25 yards consistently your doing really good. Beyond that, you should probably pick a rifle. You don't need to be a "sniper" with a handgun. Not what handguns were designed for.

9mmepiphany
March 21, 2012, 10:28 PM
You don't need to be a "sniper" with a handgun. Not what handguns were designed for.

The point of shooting at 50 yards is to be easily able to see your errors in grip and trigger control. The longer distances magnify your errors and remove the fudge factor.

Even someone who is able to shoot 1" (actually a cluster smaller than 1") at 5-7 yards could be fudging. That is why one of the evaluation tools I use is shooting at 1" squares. You only shoot one shot at each square. It really tells you a lot about how consistent your shooting is...a couple of mags into <2" means almost nothing when trying to improve your shooting

cavman
March 21, 2012, 11:06 PM
Yes in Bullseye we shoot one handed at 50 yards and then bring the same target in to 25 yards.

In a 2700 match, 180 shots are taken at 25 yards. 90 of those are in 5-shot 20 second strings. The other 90 shots at 25 yards are in 5-shot 10 second strings. (the other 90 are shot at 50 yards in 10-shot 10 minute strings)

As a general rule you will find the very strong Masters and High Masters expecting to get all the shots fired in the 5-shot 20 second strings to be 10s and are actually trying to build their X-count. The shots fired in the 5-shot 10 second strings are only really wanted to be all 10s. X-count here is just bonus.

(Just standing there with no time constraints, even Experts would expect to shoot 90/100 shots in the 10-ring at 25 yards.)

The .22 portion of the match is generally found to be the highest scoring for most shooters. Mainly because the trigger pull is light and the recoil is negligible, allowing the target to be more quickly acquired during the Timed and Rapid string shooting. The .45 portion of the match, even shooting soft loads, is considerably more difficult; and the "real" :) match, the Service Pistol .45, shooting full power, FMJ is generally considered to be the most challenging.

But they all require the same things, good trigger control and a consistent grip.

BCRider
March 22, 2012, 01:41 PM
I like that one inch square idea and the one shot per square. As you say, the results will soon point out exactly how consistent the shooter is.

On the other hand a lot of the folks in the lower 80% are going to smile like a new father/mother if they can even keep each shot in the one inch squares at 7 yards..... :D

cavman
March 22, 2012, 02:01 PM
That was exactly how I started out in Bullseye.

I took those little black stickers with green paint under them and started on the 7 yard line one summer.

My initial goal was to hit the thing :), but eventually to keep on shooting until I could hit ten consecutive shots.

I would stop after a miss, and move on to the next sticker. There were a lot of one shot stops at first!! I used the little glo-stickers because they were easy to see. Eventually, because of costs, (there is a learning curve in shooting and I was going through a LOT of stickers), I started to bring along binocs and a black felt-tipped marker

Then I moved to 8 yards, to 10 yards, 12 yards, etc.

Eventually after thousands and thousands of shots and working on fundamentals, I became a pretty good shot, but I am still working on lots of things trying to improve.

tuj
March 22, 2012, 05:54 PM
I would say if you can make Expert with both the 22 and the 45 in bullseye, you are seriously good with a handgun.

I'm working towards that myself. The 45 is a heck of a lot harder than the 22.

BullfrogKen
March 22, 2012, 06:05 PM
Standing, two-handed at 25 yards, I would think 3-4" should be very realistic.

I agree. This constitutes "very good" handgun skills.

armoredman
March 22, 2012, 06:23 PM
removed due to not meeting standards.

9mmepiphany
March 22, 2012, 11:19 PM
What is you POA on that target?

If it is the X-ring, I might suspect that you are looking over your sights.

Remember that the rule of thumb is that your groups will expand to twice you normal size when shooting under pressure.

Pete D.
March 23, 2012, 05:44 AM
then bring the same target in to 25 yards.
Not quite. The targets are the same visual size (subtend the same minutes of angle) but they have different actual dimensions. They also have different scoring rings.
50 yd. B-6 black scores to 8. Slow fire.
25 yd. B-8 black scores to 9. Timed and rapid fire.

Blackstone
March 23, 2012, 10:21 AM
As an air pistol shooter (because that's all we really have in Britain), I've found that it's the most unforgiving training tool out there. When I finally got to pick up a handgun, people were commenting on how easily I was shooting good groups. It all comes down knowing the importance of sight alignment and perfect trigger control that air pistol demands.

tuj
March 23, 2012, 10:50 AM
@angryhan - yes air pistols are great for learning follow-thru and hold. The pellet is in the barrel roughly twice as long as a .22 so everything you do it magnified. I have found adding air pistol practice to my bullseye shooting has really helped. Plus air pistols tend to be heavy, so that helps build arm strength.

armoredman
March 23, 2012, 04:30 PM
removed due to not meeting board standards

9mmepiphany
March 23, 2012, 09:19 PM
If you are referring to the 1.1" group I posted previously...that shooter is well into his 50s and wears bi-focals. In the interest of full disclosure, he is also an accomplished air pistol shooter

You don't have to be able to see the X-ring at 50 yards. It is simply a matter of having a consistent aiming point...we used to use the neck and place the head atop of the front sight...keeping the sights aligned, running the trigger and letting the group form by itself

armoredman
March 23, 2012, 09:24 PM
As apparent accuracy falls below board standards, posts adjusted accordingly.

Claude Clay
March 23, 2012, 10:04 PM
though i have used the 2" square as a method to slow down the shooter for centerfire.

shooting for small groups, for some shooters, speeds up the shooting where as one shot per square--changing the POA for each shot, helps keep the speed of fire from increasing.

SHR970
March 23, 2012, 10:17 PM
My SP101 humbled my opinion of my shooting skills real quick. It has taken its toll on several people. Snubbies are like that; they are generally far more capable than the groups shooters get with them. If you have any flaws in your grip and trigger pull they will show it PDQ. A 357 snub also can make you a flinching fool.
There is a reason the the 32 S&W Long is used in semiauto pistols for certain target sports; same as the 22......low recoil.

One question is how good is my group. Part of the question is how tuned is the gun and the ammo fired through it. Chances are you aren't going to get spectacular groups with a bone stock run of the mill gun and bulk ammo. People who have the skills; are accomplished and recognized shooters who can show spectacular groups are also running tuned and / or tricked out guns and ammo tuned for those guns.

MrBorland
March 23, 2012, 11:01 PM
Chances are you aren't going to get spectacular groups with a bone stock run of the mill gun and bulk ammo. People who have the skills; are accomplished and recognized shooters who can show spectacular groups are also running tuned and / or tricked out guns and ammo tuned for those guns.

Possibly, but it doesn't generally take sponsorship and a tricked-out gun to exhibit "very good handgun skills". Give yourself permission to shoot less, and you'll shoot less.

BTW, this sub-1" 25 yard unsupported group was shot with a bone stock .22LR revolver (in double action) and ammo bought at Dick's.

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/SW617B-16Freestyle.jpg

cavman
March 24, 2012, 12:00 AM
Not quite. The targets are the same visual size (subtend the same minutes of angle) but they have different actual dimensions. They also have different scoring rings

Not quite. They are the same dimensions.

However, the 50 yard target has a black 10-9-8- bull. The 25 target has a black 10-9 black bull, making the black bullseye appear the same size, as you mentioned.

sirsloop
March 24, 2012, 07:21 AM
I do ~2" groups offhand at 25yds with full horse .357 outta my 8" smith 686 with a 2.5-8x weaver scope. Last time at the range I went 12/12 on soda cans on the ground at 25yrds. That's basically a squirrel sized target. The problem with squirrels and a pistol scope will be target acquisition. I have a hard enough time keeping up with a 12gauge shotgun at that range, let alone a pistol. Tree sniping at say 50 yards is probably more practical.

ORHunter79
March 24, 2012, 12:37 PM
The point of shooting at 50 yards is to be easily able to see your errors in grip and trigger control. The longer distances magnify your errors and remove the fudge factor.

Even someone who is able to shoot 1" (actually a cluster smaller than 1") at 5-7 yards could be fudging. That is why one of the evaluation tools I use is shooting at 1" squares. You only shoot one shot at each square. It really tells you a lot about how consistent your shooting is...a couple of mags into <2" means almost nothing when trying to improve your shooting

That wasn't a stab at you by any means. If you can shoot at those long distances, by all means practice away. I was simply giving the op my opinion. I can however see the value of shooting at long distances since all mistakes are amplified.

Sauer Grapes
March 24, 2012, 09:04 PM
our club has a 25yd and a 50yd pistol range. {combined} In order to shoot on the 50yd side, you have to shoot 10 rounds in 10 minutes in the black of a NRA 25yd slow fire pistol target. {B-16} 10 for 10, no misses. One hand, unsupported. Iron sights or reddot.
If you do it with a .22 cal. pistol, you can only shoot .22's. If you do it with a .45, you can shoot any caliber.

Evidentally it's tougher than it looks, only the bullseye shooters and some of us practical shooters seem to be capable of doing it. I wanted to "qualify" so when the 25yd side fills up, I can shoot in comfort away from the crowd.
I consider that "very good" skill level.

That said, the few bullseye shooters that compete in our bowling pin and steel matches don't fair very well shooting for speed at 25-30 feet.
So who would you consider the better pistol shooter? I can't shoot like the bullseye guys and they can't shoot like practical shooters.

Sauer Grapes
March 24, 2012, 09:12 PM
I'd call hitting a tree rat at 20 yards very good shooting.
I would call that very good also.
You would be in the top 20% of pistol shooters at our club.

icanthitabarn
March 24, 2012, 11:05 PM
When I was in my late teens and twentys, I was a pretty good shot. Back then, I believe that I always shot one hand and unsupported. Now I shoot, all on a rest, in my mid fifties and am not shooting all that much better. :mad:

Messenger Guard
March 25, 2012, 10:22 AM
If you are shooting moving squirrels at 20 yards, I don't want to get into a shooting competition with you and I have won a State pistol title in the past.

A strange person
March 25, 2012, 12:36 PM
This was a productive thread for me. I'm glad to know that I apparently have fairly good handgun skills.

If you'd really like to test your trigger handling and follow through kills...try shooting competitive air pistol. It has very little margin for lack of focus as the pellet is still traveling down the bore when many shooters would have already relaxed

I'm starting to really like this idea.

If you are shooting moving squirrels at 20 yards, I don't want to get into a shooting competition with you and I have won a State pistol title in the past.

One learns to "read" the critters and know when they are about to stop and ponder their own mortality. I am a wilderness survivalist and a shooter second. In a match, you'd probably beat me, because I don't shoot paper very well. There is something about focusing on a small, reactive target like a squirrel or even a tin can that makes me shoot a little better.

sirsloop
March 25, 2012, 01:58 PM
Shooting wildlife is more reading/predicting the animal than being a good paper shooter. You need to predict where they will likely show for starters, setup your shot before they appear, see them first (hopefully), predict when your best opportunity to shoot will be, then finally if all that came together you can shoot :). Doesnt hurt to be a crack shot on paper, but buck fever has ruined many excellent shooters trips!!

SHR970
March 25, 2012, 02:06 PM
A strange person: For the type of shooting you are doing, you are certainly a worthy shot. As sirsloop said: you have many variables to put together before you can shoot.
In pistol shooting, a very good shot is subjective: between IPSC, bullseye, SAS, et. al. there are many definitions of "Very Good". Being able to consistently put food on the table and that food being a small moving target that only gives you a few moments to get it all together before moving along is something to be considered an accomplishment.

eldon519
March 25, 2012, 07:37 PM
It sounds like some of you guys have some good experience with airguns. If I were to get a quality target air pistol as a training aid, what should I look for? .177 or .22? Is spring or pneumatic more favorable? How much do you have to spend to walk away with something of quality?

I had never thought about it before, but a nice air gun would be a way for me to get in a lot more practice since I could do it in my basement.

9mmepiphany
March 25, 2012, 08:48 PM
Here you go IZH 46M (http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/IZH_46M_Match_Air_Pistol/78;jsessionid=7060EB0FA84F434E37E59421772B9F32.app01) Match Air Pistol

MrBorland
March 25, 2012, 10:27 PM
Here you go IZH 46M Match Air Pistol


+1. I love my Izzy. :) Great training of the fundamentals, right in your garage (or basement).

mes228
March 26, 2012, 08:21 AM
No expert here, just my opinion. I believe " extreme accuracy & BullsEye shooting" are in a totally different basket than "defensive & combat" pistol skills. I can shoot fairly accurate if I shoot slo-o-o-o-wly and take my time. I do not keep pistols that I can't hit a rabbit at 20-25 yards with.

On the other hand I've been shooting 200-400 rounds a week trying to fire accurately and quickly. If I'm shooting 6-7 rounds a second at 7-8 yards I'm all over the chest area of a silhouette. I'm beginning to believe that the seven rounds a second relatively accurate is a superior skill for real life. I know now that accuracy and speed are like oil and water. They are quite difficult to mix. Right now I must settle for speed and RELATIVE ACCURACY. How good is good enough? I have no idea and truly hope to never find out. I am learning that I like high capacity pistols and low recoil. Very hard to not appreciate a good 9mm for this type of shooting.

eldon519
March 26, 2012, 09:25 AM
Thanks for the air gun recommendations guys, I'll start saving up!

One question: would it be too loud for use in a thin-walled apartment? Right now I'm living in a house with a nice basement, but I'm still single and relatively young, so I'm bound to be back to apartment living sooner or later.

MrBorland
March 26, 2012, 10:18 AM
would it be too loud for use in a thin-walled apartment?

That IZH wouldn't be. The pellet hitting the trap makes more noise than the gun itself. Pneumatic actions (pre-charged or single-stroke, such as the IZH) seem much quieter than, say, CO2 guns, making a pffft, rather than a bang.

The IZH is a bona fide 10m air pistol, and affordable to boot. The grips are as ergonomic as a 2x4, but I suppose they're meant to be modified to fit the shooter. Aftermarket grips exist for it, but I rounded the corners of mine and dremeled some finger grooves, and it's much-improved. One of the nice features of the IZH 46M is the ability to dry fire by cocking the sear independent of the charge stroke.

9mmepiphany
March 26, 2012, 01:34 PM
The Izzy isn't too loud for apartment use...what you'll have to do is dampen the sound of the pellet hitting the backstop. If you're cheap like me, a cardboard box full of newspaper, backed by an old blanket is pretty quite.

The IZH is a classic example of Soviet firearms design philosophy. Everything that contributes to function...in this case accuracy...is almost over designed. Everything else is pretty rough. I also understood that the grips are left oversized to be owner modified.

I was surprised how much they have gone up in price...almost double the last time I looked (when everyone was Out of Stock). Looking for a used one would be the way I'd go.

38riverrat
March 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
Well, the time honored standard is a whiskey bottle tossed in the air. I suspect that some could actually do it! Lacking a few square miles of empty shooting area, I think that a playing card at 25 paces is a time tested target. I can do that consistently with a rest, but that is cheating. About half of the time off hand on a good day.

rat

Bovice
March 26, 2012, 02:13 PM
One learns to "read" the critters and know when they are about to stop and ponder their own mortality. I am a wilderness survivalist and a shooter second. In a match, you'd probably beat me, because I don't shoot paper very well. There is something about focusing on a small, reactive target like a squirrel or even a tin can that makes me shoot a little better.

I find that I'm the same way. I only shoot as accurately as I perceive the target to require me to be, and I can't really force myself to do it any different. In other words, if you put up a paper plate for me at 15 yards, would I be able to shoot one ragged hole in it? Probably not. If you drew a spot with a marker or put a sticker on, I would. I can't aim small if there's no distinguishing feature.

9mmepiphany
March 26, 2012, 02:43 PM
I think that a playing card at 25 paces is a time tested target. I can do that consistently with a rest,
You didn't specify, but I'll take it you mean to hit it edgewise. 8 yards is a bit far away to be hitting it offhand...half that distance (4-5 yards) is much more realistic.

It is really a parlour trick...as it is just basic trigger control...but it was very popular on the last day of class. Everyone liked to have a picture of them holding up their playing card that they had just cut in half

Ankeny
March 26, 2012, 08:09 PM
I can't aim small if there's no distinguishing feature. I had a guy show me a drill on steel that can help. There is a video at the end shot at 10 yards. Pick a (spot) area on the steel near the center and shoot a pair. Shoot at a speed that will allow the two shots to be close together. Pick another area on the target and shoot a second pair. The last part of the drill is to shoot one round at one of the pairs and the second round at the other pair. It goes like this: Drill. (http://www.rtconnect.net/~rankeny/3 pairs.wmv)

Byrd666
March 26, 2012, 08:41 PM
Like more than one has said, if you are popping those lil' furry rodents at 20 yards while they are plus or minus a moving target, then you are doing better than the average bear I know.

Good shootin'

A strange person
March 27, 2012, 12:38 AM
I just remembered that aguilla makes .22 "primer pop" ammo that has even less velocity than most air pistols.

Pete D.
March 27, 2012, 06:53 AM
About the Aquila primer fired ammo.....not in an apartment. It may be low velocity but it is certainly louder than any air pistol that I have fired....the primer compound used is enhanced/heavier than normal. Indoors, it would get your attention.
How do I know this?
Pete

Pete D.
March 27, 2012, 07:05 AM
:
Not quite. The targets are the same visual size (subtend the same minutes of angle) but they have different actual dimensions. They also have different scoring rings.
Not quite. They are the same dimensions.

However, the 50 yard target has a black 10-9-8- bull. The 25 target has a black 10-9 black bull, making the black bullseye appear the same size, as you mentioned.

About those targets: I was thinking about the bulls when I was referring to target sizes.

http://i492.photobucket.com/albums/rr287/PeteDoyle/TargetsizesOutdoorbulls.jpg

jackpinesavages
March 27, 2012, 07:33 AM
No need to go expensive on an air pistol; daisy or crossman's go for less than $60. .177 is much easier on the pocketbook too-use BBs.

No lie, it's just a basic set-up for your basics; breath control, trigger control, sight alignment/sight picture.

It seems odd to do it as an adult, as when we were kids it was an all day activity on the farm or in the woods behind our cabin up north. Make it so again. Targets, cans, hunting season for rabbits or squirrels.

Whoa! Holy smokes! $480 for an air pistol!! Wooohooo!

Here's what I plink with-years ago it was sold as a Daisy, now it's a Crossman...

http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Crosman_1377C_PC77/198

9mmepiphany
March 27, 2012, 12:51 PM
It depends on what you want out of that air pistol.

I'm looking to see errors in technique, that means you'd need one that is able to reflect, in a quantifiable manner, those changes

CraigC
March 27, 2012, 01:27 PM
Standing, two-handed at 25 yards, I would think 3-4" should be very realistic.
I would go along with that. Although my personal standards for what constitutes "very good" involve a lot more than just accuracy. It also involves weapon manipulation (a large part of my single action shooting), reloading, drawing from a holster, point-shooting and accuracy well beyond 25yds.


I have to disagree with the statement that was made that beyond 25yds you need a rifle. I'm only really starting to use the sights at 10-15yds. 50yds is more fun and 100yds makes for a challenge.

9mmepiphany
March 27, 2012, 01:53 PM
Although my personal standards for what constitutes "very good" involve a lot more than just accuracy.
Mine would too, but the OP was:
I am talking about slow, deliberate fire at targets and game, and not quick-drawing rapid fire in defensive situations.
So additional skills should be addressed separately

MrBorland
March 27, 2012, 02:32 PM
I agree with Craig & 9mm.

When someone asks "what's good shooting", they usually mean "what size group could a very good shooter shoot if they were to simply pick up their gun and shoot 5 slow, deliberate, aimed shots?".

As was pointed out to me, shooting 25 yard cloverleafs is great, but it's a skill in need of an application. The "very good" shooters, then, are often those who've applied this skill in some way (e.g., some form of competition) while developing and applying others. The top shooters can display some very impressive accuracy, speed, and gun handling skills.

Blackstone
March 27, 2012, 09:47 PM
@jackpinesavages: I have a Steyr LP5 .177 air pistol, that's top-range stuff and it cost me 1200, which is near enough $2000 I believe. $480 is small potatoes :p

For a beginner, any spring-powered pellet firing air pistol should suffice.

Cosmoline
March 27, 2012, 09:49 PM
Nailing squirrel at 20 yards with a short gun is exceptional shooting. But remember that it's a very different thing than hitting a squirrel-size group at that range. I can do the latter, but not the former.

tuj
March 27, 2012, 10:07 PM
IZH-46M is a great target air pistol. You can even mount a dot on it. There is a guy selling increased rake grip kits on TargetTalk that you can sculpt to your hand. In any case, the stock grips kind of suck; you really need to shape them to your hand, they are deliberately oversized. But the sights and the trigger and the 10m accuracy are great. The dry-fire function isn't quite like actual fire, but its nice to have. Overall its a great value in air pistols.

http://renkucorp.com/jf/pics/guns/izh46m/grips/IMAG0514sm.jpg

BCRider
March 27, 2012, 10:38 PM
WOW! Tuj, that would even be too much for the most outlandish Sci Fi movie I can imagine. It doesn't even LOOK like an airgun or firearm.

9mmepiphany
March 28, 2012, 01:44 AM
this is the red dot that comes in their pachage

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31mCBaMPPNL._AA300_.jpg

CraigC
March 28, 2012, 09:28 AM
At what range does the accuracy of a "good" air pistol start to unravel?

tuj
March 28, 2012, 09:33 AM
At what range does the accuracy of a "good" air pistol start to unravel?

Physics being what it is, you are shooting a 7 or 10 grain .177 wadcutter at ~500 fps at the muzzle, the velocity drop off is pretty quick. Put it another way, the benchrest guys with their PCP rifles get to shoot at 25 yards and the 22lr guys have to shoot at 50; same target.

Effectively, you could probably hit things at 50 meters with a springer or single-stroke pneumatic air pistol once you figured out the drop. But really I wouldn't want to shoot it much past 25 meters, and these things were designed with velocities more appropriate for 10m. Accuracy is largely a function of consistent velocity, which is why the top pistols are PCP, not springer or CO2 or even pneumatics.

If you look at the 10m air pistol targets, they are pretty tough. I would say easily as hard as a B2 target at 50' with a 22.

Blackstone
March 28, 2012, 10:38 AM
The 10-ring on a 10m air pistol target is about 11mm diameter, to give an idea. The longest distance I've shot an air pistol at is 25m, with most competitions held at 10m or 20yards. Keep in mind I'm in the UK, where there is a power limit of 6ft/lb on air pistols

MCgunner
March 28, 2012, 12:02 PM
I had a frustrating range session yesterday with my Ruger .22s. I couldn't keep 'em inside 6" at 25 with my friggin' scoped Mk 2 which shoots 1/2" groups at that range off the bench. My excuse is I had too much coffee yesterday morning. I had eaten breakfast at a restaurant, but tanked up on coffee and, man, my trigger control sucked and I was jittery. :rolleyes: Some days are better than others. Normally, with an accurate handgun and iron sights, I can keep 'em into 4" at 25 with careful aimed fire. I've been shootiing a long time, but don't really stick to one discipline. I've shot IDPA, all sorts of local shoots, and IHMSA. How's that for variety? :D But, while I'm on top at the local club range, usually, get around good shooters in an IDPA match and I'm just one of the lesser experts in the crowd watching the master class shooters with awe. I know that's about as good as I'll get with the practice I do. Those master class guys have talent and burn a lot of powder to get that good. It ain't that important to me. All I wanna be is dangerous to an attacker and I feel I'm way better than your average shooter at THAT. :D

9mmepiphany
March 28, 2012, 05:24 PM
The 10-ring on a 10m air pistol target is about 11mm diameter, to give an idea.
For those who are metrically challenged, 11mm is just under half an inch...actually .43"

MrBorland
March 28, 2012, 06:09 PM
For those who are metrically challenged, 11mm is just under half an inch...actually .43"

And for those who are numerically challenged, 11mm is small...actually very small. ;)

I don't shoot 10m, or even target shoot formally, but I'm no slouch in the accuracy department, either; yet I've never shot a single perfect 50. :mad: Here's about the best I've ever been able to do with my Izzy (score = 49; 10m, 1-handed, of course):

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/MiscellaneousPicsfrom08198.jpg

When shooting 10m more regularly in my backyard, 47s and a few 48s were pretty typical. Those 2 little bitty extra points are tough to pick up :o

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