I have a Taurus PT92 (9mm) and also a Ruger SR40c. I go to an outdoor pistol range that is 75 feet. I think I'm either a terrible shot, or I'm expecting too much from short barreled autos. I know the Ruger is basically a SD firearm. But what size groups should I expect at this distance?
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Double Naught Spy
May 12, 2012, 06:15 PM
It is probably you. Barrel length has little to do with the accuracy of a gun. So long as the rifling spins the bullet properly and the crown of the barrel is proper, it should be fine.
There are other factors involved such as barrel lockup, but length alone should not be a problem mechanically. Shorter radius guns are more difficult to align the sights on a consistent basis, however. So while the gun may be fine for shooting better groups, the visual ergonomics may make that difficult for you to accomplish.
You didn't post what your groups were, but since you are finding that with both guns you can't do well, it is probably you.
May 12, 2012, 06:32 PM
With tiny guns, it's normally the shooter. They're generally pretty accurate mechanically, even 2" barreled revolvers can impress you when fired from a rest.
May 12, 2012, 06:40 PM
25 yards is a pretty fair distance for short barrels.
May 12, 2012, 06:53 PM
I used to have problems with accuracy and short barrels, or what I thought was a short barrel problem. Then I bought a Kahr PM9.....it's as accurate (sometimes more) as other FS 9mm auto's out there.
May 12, 2012, 06:57 PM
I think it might be me too. My eyes aren't as good as they used to be. As far as groups, ha, I'd have to put up a muzzleloading target to find that out. :D
Or maybe stand next to the side of a barn. :rolleyes:
Seriously, I'd have to say maybe 6 to 8" groups. And that's being nice about it. Always shooting from a rest.
Maybe I need to go back to the rifle side with 22's for awhile.
May 12, 2012, 09:46 PM
There is accuracy and accuracy. A shorter sight distance creates a greater margin of error - even the best shooter can have issues with that. Longer sight radii are easier to shoot consistently. Add to that increased muzzle flip in some models, shooting them is not as easy. The pistol might have fine inherent mechanical accuracy, but if it is more difficult to shoot accurately due to the limitations of the human hand, that is understandable.
May 12, 2012, 11:48 PM
Thanks, Ash. That makes me feel better.:)
May 13, 2012, 01:14 AM
Not quite 25 yards, but a bit over 20 yards...
I was working with a client yesterday and we were standing at 8 inch paper plates. He was having a hard time grouping with his H&K P2000SK so I took it and put a three shots on the lower half of a 3"x5" card...so about 3". This was using the LEM DAO action...no trigger staging, just pulling through. MY Kahr CW9 will hold a bit tighter
My IDPA CDP gun shot into about half of that...but I was taking my time aligning the sights
Double Naught Spy
May 13, 2012, 03:45 AM
The pistol might have fine inherent mechanical accuracy, but if it is more difficult to shoot accurately due to the limitations of the human hand, that is understandable.
What limitations of the human hand? Certainly the short sight radius that can make shooting accurately more difficult has nothing to do with the hands. Maybe you were talking about muzzle flip and grip lack of control? Additional muzzle flip as compared to longer sight radius guns should not have any significant effect on accuracy. Guns with significant muzzle flip can be shot accurately and consistently, at least during slow fire. The additional muzzle flip, may cause problems with making faster followup shots simply because the additional flip will require more time and effort to return the gun to target.
May 13, 2012, 06:57 AM
Yes, they have much to do with the hands. The short radius makes it more difficult to register, and so control, movement in the hands. The increased muzzle-flip also means that you have greater distance to return to the consistent aiming point, which is more difficult to maintain because it is less easy to observe changes relative to the sights because they are not as observable. The shorter sight radius does make it less easy to shoot, regardless of whether or not it has inherent accuracy. Why is it, then, that the vast majority of people shoot rifles more accurately than pistols (compare, say, a single shot pistol to a single-shot rifle) if this is not the case?
That is not to say they cannot be shot accurately, but it does not mean that a 6 inch Colt and a 2 inch Colt will be equally easy to shoot.
May 13, 2012, 07:36 AM
My glock 29sf is a lot more accurate than I am.
May 13, 2012, 10:41 AM
Any of my handguns are much more accurate than I am. I just accept the fact that the limiting factor is the loose nut behind the trigger.
May 13, 2012, 12:18 PM
Barrel length does not affect mechanical accuracy. Any deficiency because of a short barrel rests with the shooter.
May 13, 2012, 01:07 PM
Move up closer to your target and see what happens. If grouping improves, practice there for a while to get confident then move back in small incriments. You will probably see your accuracy improve at the longer ranges.
May 13, 2012, 02:49 PM
OP: Expectations are too high in general IMO. Shootin' ain't like the movies. Move the target in to 7 yards or less. In time, consider moving out... maybe.
May 13, 2012, 06:22 PM
I can't do better then 5 or 6 inch groups @ 15 yards thats with my G29, and worse with my SP101 2inch 357,,, just have to accept I'll never be a Great shot, but It should be good enough for self defense (I HOPE)... and for me the main reason I shoot I have FUN every time I get to the range...
May 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
I'm no good with a "mouse gun", either. Something to do with my 59-year old tri-focal wearing diabetic eyes and not so steady hands.
Shooting Budd has a long-barrel Vaquero (6-1/2") that i shoot pretty well, but no so much with my 3-3/4" Sheriff's model Vaquero. So, same effect with short-barrel revolvers..short sighting radius.
May 14, 2012, 12:17 AM
Foghorn, same for me. Trifocals that aren't much good at the range, fuzzy sight picture and not so steady any more. I think I will move closer to the target and see how that works out.
May 14, 2012, 12:44 AM
My 3" 9mm and 40SW duty guns will be consistant X, 10, and 9 rings at 25 even on stress shoots using a standard police silhouette target. B-27?
May 14, 2012, 01:06 AM
I don't shoot at paper much anymore because it's too depressing not being able to group well. I shoot at bowling pins and firewood about the same size. If I can knock that stuff over at 20 or 25 yards I figure that's good enough.
May 14, 2012, 01:52 AM
Practice, practice, practice... Right handed people naturally shoot to the left. Don't be discouraged. Most self defense encounters happen within 7 yds not 25.
The best thing I have done was join the IDPA and shoot their monthly matches. It's a more " real world" practice as you have to shoot targets at distances of 1 to 20 yds and utilize cover and movement.
Focus on your motions and movement while pulling the trigger. And don't push the trigger finger in too deep, just the tip pulling straight back
May 14, 2012, 01:52 AM
They can surprise you. Last time I had my Kahr CW9 at the range, I finished the shooting with a 12 shot group at 25 yards using my carry ammo. The overall group was a little under 4.75" with the best 10 shots out of the 12 grouping into just 3".
May 14, 2012, 02:27 AM
All the practice in the world cant beat Anno Domini....I'll never be the shot I once had the potential to be. But I still have a lot of fun at the range.
And when I get the urge to print some nice groups, I get out a scoped rifle, sit down, allow myself to doze just a bit...and calmly punch nice holes.
With handguns I just try to stay competant to 15 yrds.
May 14, 2012, 06:23 AM
Have a look at Hickok45's videos on youtube. He does some good shooting with pocket guns.
Is the one he did on the SR40c.
May 14, 2012, 08:20 AM
Get some instuction.
At 63 after a carrer in the army and a LEO I found my accuracy slipping. Corrected some small things that had crept into my style. Now I am back t0 3 in or so at 20 yds and one ragged hole at 7
May 14, 2012, 08:50 AM
Shorter sight radius amplifies small errors in sight picture. In order to maintain good groups with short barrels you must pay extra attention to sight alignment.
If your serious talk to an eye doctor and have some bi-focal shooting glasses made that the bottom of the lense focus right at front sight and the top for distance.
Yes, they have much to do with the hands. The short radius makes it more difficult to register, and so control, movement in the hands.
No, that does not seem to a hands issue. That is a vision issue... unless you are telling me that you are aiming by feeling the sight radius with your hands.
If you can't visually register changes in the sight alignment, the shortcoming isn't with the hands when it comes to aiming.
The increased muzzle-flip also means that you have greater distance to return to the consistent aiming point, which is more difficult to maintain because it is less easy to observe changes relative to the sights because they are not as observable.
As noted, this would only be for quick followup shots, but this is not an issue with slow fire.
Why is it, then, that the vast majority of people shoot rifles more accurately than pistols (compare, say, a single shot pistol to a single-shot rifle) if this is not the case?
I have never heard a person claim that they could not shoot well because their hands were incapable of making the adjustments to the gun for accurate shooting. The longer sight radius is beneficial for visual alignment, not because the hands can't make adjustments.
May 15, 2012, 06:08 PM
It is still a fact that short barrelled autos are less easy to shoot accurately than long barrelled. Nothing you mention changes that.
I do not assert, nor assume, that they are less accurate. But they are more difficult to shoot accurately.
May 15, 2012, 10:49 PM
Ash is correct, shorter the sight radius the more chance for error--- common sense:D
May 15, 2012, 11:05 PM
suggest you shoot without the rest. if you need the added support, rest your elbows on the bench (put a towel down, or something, or your elbows will get sore). just don't let the weapon touch the bench or rest.
the lighter guns will recoil more and quicker in addition to the shorter sight radius. just one more thing (three more things) to worry about (don't).
if you can dry-fire the weapon without moving the sights, you can shoot those guns accurately at 25 yards. imop
May 15, 2012, 11:20 PM
I would guess 95% (maybe more) of shooters could not consistantly group under 4-5" at 25 yards with a typical mouse gun under controlled conditions. That is, with a witness, measured distance.
Most bullseye shooters and the top IPSC/IDPA shooters can do it without a problem. But it takes a huge amount of practice for most people to do it on a regular basis.
May 16, 2012, 02:01 AM
I have shot a ton of 4" barrel guns...not that 4" is a SB but off all of them the PPQ is so much more accurate it isnt funny! I did well with it...Glock 19 was also up there...a gun I used to hate and then modified my grip a ton and I am a much better shooter with everything!
May 16, 2012, 02:48 AM
Not sure about the Taurus but the ruger isn't like it's a tiny gun you cant get a decent grip on. I have a sr9c and can shoot it just fine. Maybe you're holding it weird? How do you shoot full sized pistols?
May 16, 2012, 12:16 PM
Mainly been trying to get used to these two. So I haven't shot a full size in a very long time. Next time I get to the range, I'm going to start at about 10 or 15' away and work back from there.
May 19, 2012, 11:36 AM
Stick with it, Shinbone. Moving your targets closer is a good idea.
I agree with what has been previously said. My take is that shooting smaller guns is the same as shooting bigger guns. It's just that smaller guns are less forgiving of any deficiencies in proper technique.
May 19, 2012, 12:05 PM
Sight radius is the big difference. Practice will improve your accuracy but it's best like others have said start up close and work your way back. You learn the best way to line the sights which works for you. You learn your trigger control, cannot stress trigger control enough. In this day in age of light weight triggers it seems many have forgotten the trick to shooting is squeeze the trigger, don't yank or pull it. Then over time everything comes together.
Another poster many the comment it's not like the movies. He is right they miss WAY TOO MUCH. A proficient shooter can pick up just about any firearm and do well with it mainly because of training the eye to line up sights, trigger control and a little bit of timing...
Short of much much practice, another way to get tighter groups and might even transition over other shooting mechanics is the use of a laser sight. Not only is this easier to line up than iron sights you can see right off if you are pulling the pistol off target with your trigger. Great training tool just not something I would want to rely on.
May 19, 2012, 03:21 PM
Thanks to all for the help and encouragement.
May 19, 2012, 04:52 PM
I just left the range and shot a 10 shot group of 6" at 75' with my Kimber Ultra CDP II. Handloads 200 gr plated 5.6 gr 231 Standing, indoors, two hand hold, slowfire. I am always surprised and pleased with the accuracy of this gun.