What's a good measure for off-hand accuracy?


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Tennessee Jed
August 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
I'm trying to develop my double action revolver skills, mostly using a very smooth shooting S&W 28. I'd like to know what others consider to be a reasonable level of accurate shooting with double action revolvers, shooting off-hand (not off a bench).

Been focusing on sight picture, trigger press, proper grip, follow through, etc. When I do my part, I'm almost able to get 10 - 15 full power rounds inside a three inch circle at 15 yards. Usually I yank one or two rounds that land just outside the 3 inch circle, but I'm getting better with practice.

What do you consider to be good, reasonable double action shooting accuracy, not shooting from a bench, but standing up with a 2-hand grip? I'm more interested in setting a reasonable goal to develop my own skill than I am what a certain revolver can do off a bench, in a Ransom Rest, etc. Thanks in advance.

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murf
August 24, 2012, 04:13 PM
are you using the stock grips?

murf

Tennessee Jed
August 24, 2012, 04:32 PM
I am trying out different grips. Latest is Spegel Boot Grips, the ones that extend about 1/4 inch below the frame. Trying to get a reasonable combination of control and concealability.

I know a square butt N-frame isn't high on everyone's list of CCW guns, but it is high on my list.

Dithsoer
August 24, 2012, 05:05 PM
"I'm almost able to get 10 - 15 full power rounds inside a three inch circle at 15 yards."

I'd say that was pretty good right there, and of course with practice will get even better. How long have you been shooting it this way?
For comparison, the late, great Ed McGivern could put 5 d.a. shots into a playing card in well under a second.

22-rimfire
August 24, 2012, 05:20 PM
Tennessee Jed, 3" at 15 yds is about what I do in DA with revolvers. I am not an accuracy fanatic when it comes to hand guns and usually shoot DA revolvers single action anyway. But there are times that I really strive for that good old 1" group at 15 yds or further. 15 yds is a comfortable shooting distance as you can see your holes without walking up to the target.

Tennessee Jed
August 24, 2012, 05:40 PM
Dithsoer, I've been shooting for years, but never really focused too much on groups before. Previously, I was ok with hits inside a 6" circle at closer distances (5 yards, 10 yards), focusing more on quickness than accuracy.

I re-read an article recently about an old SWAT team leader who wanted his people to be able to hit an eyeball at 10 feet, and a fist sized target at 50 feet. I decided to work on making more accurate shots more consistently. I also want to get really good with that N-frame.

So, with practice over a few months, focusing on fundamentals (mostly sight picture, trigger squeeze, and grip) I've gotten the groups down from around 6 inches at 15 yards to around 3 inches. I thinking it might be time to strive for keeping everything within 2 inch circles at 15 yards.

murf
August 24, 2012, 05:40 PM
the reason i asked about the grips: the stock hiway patrolman grips are a little small for good double-action shooting. you can do it, but it is not natural.

grip the gun as high up on the frame as possible. dry-fire the gun (unloaded of course) altering your grip until you can pull the trigger without the front sight moving in the rear sight window.

when shooting on the range, make sure the front sight is centered side-to-side and top-to-top with the rear sight when the shot breaks. every time!

with a consistent follow through after the shot, your shots should be touching at your distance.

with decent ammo, the model 28 will shoot better than 99% of all shooters.

good luck,

murf

Tennessee Jed
August 24, 2012, 05:57 PM
Thanks Murf. That gives me my new goal.

MrBorland
August 24, 2012, 09:08 PM
I've offered my thoughts on this many times before, but IMO, "very good" (but not exceptional) is an honest and consistent 3" 5-round unsupported group at 25 yards. For a wheelgunner, that'd be in double action, of course. ;)

3" @ 25 yards is far and away better than anything you'll likely see at your local range, but it's very do-able with practice and strong fundamentals.

9mmepiphany
August 24, 2012, 09:16 PM
I've never measured 10-15 round groups. I think 3 shots are plenty and more than 5 shots don't tell you much more.

Having said that, at 15 yards, standing and holding the gun in both hands, shooting DA, I work with clients to keep 5 rounds inside 1", with the goal to have them all touch, while taking their time shooting

A reasonable goal is everything inside a 2" group shooting at a pace where the trigger doesn't ever stop moving...so about 2 rounds in 1.5 seconds

GP100man
August 24, 2012, 09:18 PM
I have an 8" gong I practice up a bit on before hunting , I like to ring it 6 outta 6 for any given distance .

I think I shot a 2.5" group for my ccw.

BCRider
August 25, 2012, 03:48 AM
With my old guy eyes and old guy nerves I'm happy when all mine are within 3 inches at 15 yards. On the days when I'm in the groove I can steadily pump out sub 2 inch groups of 6rounds at 15 yards. But while such days are not rare it's less than half the time. The rest of them are sub 3 inch with the odd flyer a couple of inches out from that.

Having said that, at 15 yards, standing and holding the gun in both hands, shooting DA, I work with clients to keep 5 rounds inside 1", with the goal to have them all touch, while taking their time shooting


Did you by any chance mean to say 15 FEET instead of yards? If you're badgering them to produce 1 inch groups at 15 then they are well on their way to being invited for the Olympic handgun team... :D

45_auto
August 25, 2012, 09:07 AM
A reasonable goal is everything inside a 2" group shooting at a pace where the trigger doesn't ever stop moving...so about 2 rounds in 1.5 seconds

2 shots into the eyeball in 1.5 seconds at 15 yards? Repeatable on demand? The Sky Marshalls, FBI, and every SWAT team in the nation wishes thay had "reasonable" shooters like that.

9mmepiphany
August 26, 2012, 01:51 AM
Did you by any chance mean to say 15 FEET instead of yards? If you're badgering them to produce 1 inch groups at 15 then they are well on their way to being invited for the Olympic handgun team... :D
At 15 feet (3 yards), I'd expect all the all the rounds to overlap.

I don't think they'd let them shoot using a two handed grip on the Olympic teams

9mmepiphany
August 26, 2012, 02:06 AM
2 shots into the eyeball in 1.5 seconds at 15 yards? Repeatable on demand? The Sky Marshalls, FBI, and every SWAT team in the nation wishes thay had "reasonable" shooters like that.
I'm not sure how large eyeballs are in your area, but 2" would be pretty big.

There is also quite a difference in shooting .75 sec splits and putting two shots into a 2" group in 1.5 seconds.

It is easy to shoot accurate .5 second splits, so .75 sec should be very reasonable...ranges require 1+ second splits to avoid rapid fire

With a grip/stance that returns the sights to the same POA after each shot, resetting the trigger in parallel during muzzle flip, prepping the trigger and allowing the appearance of the aligned sights on the target to cue your final press, .25 second splits are reasonable...that's 4 accurate shots a second. (usually into half a 3"X5" card)...I'm only asking for one-third that speed

45_auto
August 26, 2012, 10:04 AM
Indoor pistol records (50 feet) - these are with competition .22's, but according to you, your "reasonable shooter" can easily outshoot the national record holders while shooting 3 times faster and using an off the shelf DA .38 pistol.

http://www.nrahq.org/compete/natl_records.asp

NRA B3 (Timed and Rapid Fire Pistol) 10 ring is 1.80" in diameter. Shooting a .22 caliber bullet, that gives an effective circle of 1.80 + (.22 x 2) = 2.24" where the bullet will break the 10 ring shooting a .22. Shooting a .38 like the OP means you have a 2.56" dia circle where the bullet will break the 10 ring.

Rapid fire for the course is 5 shots in 10 seconds, a 2 second split as opposed to your .75 split. You do that 4 times.

All the "reasonable shooter" has to do is shoot a perfect score on NRA indoor pistol rapid fire (50 feet) while shooting about 3 times faster with a heavier recoiling gun than the current record holders . If your "reasonable shooter" is a woman, she just set the US national record (men's record is 200, women's is 199). To break the men's record they would have to keep 18 within a 1.66" dia circle (X is .90", .38 bullet means 1.66" you have to keep it within), which would be 18 X's - record is 17.

If all 20 of your shots are within a 2" circle, you will easily be competitve at the national level. I guess that's one way to look at "reasonable".

Onward Allusion
August 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
Tennessee Jed
What's a good measure for off-hand accuracy?
<SNIP>When I do my part, I'm almost able to get 10 - 15 full power rounds inside a three inch circle at 15 yards. Usually I yank one or two rounds that land just outside the 3 inch circle, but I'm getting better with practice.

3" at 15 yards is more than acceptable. Of course, you're gonna get those who will tell ya that if you can't land all shots on a pie plate at 50 yards with a handgun, you stink... ;)

9mmepiphany
August 26, 2012, 02:03 PM
If all 20 of your shots are within a 2" circle, you will easily be competitve at the national level. I guess that's one way to look at "reasonable".
Why would you aspire to less?
The goal of the exercise is learning good trigger control that carries over to shooting more rapidly with better accuracy. Folks who want to shoot faster often forget that the same fundamentals apply

I think you're still missing the style of shooting...there is a reason I gave up shooting in one-handed bullseye competition and sought out competition that allowed the use of the other hand also. I also gave up air pistol shooting because I don't have the self-discipline needed for the follow through

BCRider
August 27, 2012, 08:55 PM
9mm, you're one tough instructor then. Although I have to admit that at a 15 FEET, or 3 yards, I'd expect the rounds to mostly touch as well.

I hang with some fairly decent IDPA shooters I think. And over the winter we do the "dot torture" drill a couple or three times from about 5 to 6 yards. I have yet to see anyone shooting this at a reasonable measured speed manage a perfect score out of that group.

For those that have not had the dubious pleasure of seeing the "dot torture" target here ya go;

http://pistol-training.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/dot-torture-target.pdf


So all in all I'm sort of glad that you were not my instructor.... Even if the goal of what you said is a good one..... :D

MrBorland
August 27, 2012, 09:22 PM
So all in all I'm sort of glad that you were not my instructor.... Even if the goal of what you said is a good one.....

Since his goal is a good one, I'm more inclined to be bummed 9mmEpiphanny wasn't my instructor. Would've saved me a bunch of time and ammo. ;)

45_auto
August 27, 2012, 09:44 PM
Why would you aspire to less?

You really need to look up the definition of "reasonable".

9mmepiphany
August 27, 2012, 10:09 PM
You really need to look up the definition of "reasonable".
Merriam-Webster
Definition of REASONABLE
1
a : being in accordance with reason <a reasonable theory>
b : not extreme or excessive <reasonable requests>
c : moderate, fair <a reasonable chance> <a reasonable price>
d : inexpensive

I believe my usage falls squarely under "b" and "c"

9mmepiphany
August 27, 2012, 10:30 PM
Since his goal is a good one, I'm more inclined to be bummed 9mmEpiphanny wasn't my instructor. Would've saved me a bunch of time and ammo. ;)
You should have trained under my instructor. It wasn't that he was demanding, he just had high expectations and was able to show you that they were attainable.

Before I'd studied under him, I'd never:
1. understood how there was no advantage between trigger actions (DA or SA) to the first accurate shot, from the holster
2. understood how one shot accurately at a rate of 4 shots/sec, much less 5 shots/sec
3. known that all accuracy is about trigger control
4. understood how one learned to see the aligned sights faster or how to shorten the time between seeing the aligned sights and pressing the trigger
5. known that the greatest impediment to accurate shooting is trying to place your shot on target.

He is of the old school that believes that accuracy isn't independent of speed in shooting.
He can:
1. Shoot as accurately at 25 yards in DA as SA
2. Shoot as accurately at 15-20 yards as a machine rest
3. Shoot a freehand ~3" group at 50 yards, with a gun he can shoot 1.10" group off a range bag
...and yet has only ranked 6th at the IPSC World Championships

Pete D.
August 27, 2012, 11:27 PM
. Shoot a freehand ~3" group at 50 yards
I get real impatient when I read comments like that. I suppose that there are prodigies of shooting around but they seem to be everywhere one turns on the Internet.
Maybe he is that good....who am I to doubt.....but in perspective it is hard to swallow. Did he ever shoot Bullseye matches? I ask because the ten ring on the 50 yard precision target is ~3". I assume that by "freehand" you mean one hand unsupported. (Two handed is not freehand as neither hand is free) You describe a man who can outshoot the national champions. Do we know his name? Who is this fellow? I am not sarcastic....it pains me whenever I see or hear about someone who is described as a great talent and who has apparently not aspired to the highest levels that his talent would reasonably take him.
The same is true about air pistol match shooting - that marvelous game of tens. It is all about discipline and precision - why would anyone aspire to less?
About the OP, I like Mr. Borland's three inches at 25 yards.

beag_nut
August 27, 2012, 11:34 PM
I regularly do that well at 50 feet (five feet further) with my Ruger GP100, which does not yet have quite the DA smoothness of a Smith. About a round per two seconds.
In the '70's I was a NRA "Distinguished Expert" at 50 feet.

ColtPythonElite
August 27, 2012, 11:34 PM
With my 6" guns, I can bang my 12" gong every time at 50 yards, about 3/4 of the time shooting at the 10" and about half the time shooting at the 8 incher. It might be the best compared to what some guys claim, but I'm proud of it.

9mmepiphany
August 28, 2012, 12:10 AM
Did he ever shoot Bullseye matches? I ask because the ten ring on the 50 yard precision target is ~3". I assume that by "freehand" you mean one hand unsupported. (Two handed is not freehand as neither hand is free)
Sorry I meant to type freestyle...I mostly shoot in the Action Pistol arena. As a matter of fact he started out in Bullseye competition and attributes his ability to shoot tiny groups to early exposure to a copy of a book on shooting technique...Competitive Shooting - A. A. Yur'yev

You describe a man who can outshoot the national champions. Do we know his name? Who is this fellow? I am not sarcastic....it pains me whenever I see or hear about someone who is described as a great talent and who has apparently not aspired to the highest levels that his talent would reasonably take him.
His name is Bruce Gray of Grayguns in OR. He is an elite 1911 gunsmith (he built the first compensated 1911 for Devel) and the foremost expert on the SIG action in the country. He used to be a factory shooter for H&K (he made the long slide compensated P7M13) and SIG before a medical condition caused him to retire. He represented the USA in the IPSC World Championship several times.

There is a Youtube video clip of him in the Bianchi Cup shoot-off last year with Rob Leatham...they are old friends.

He wrote the article on Dry Fire practice in the third link in my signature

The same is true about air pistol match shooting - that marvelous game of tens. It is all about discipline and precision - why would anyone aspire to less?
As a matter of fact, Bruce used to compete in 10 Metre Air Pistol also. He says it is the ultimate test of good follow-through after the shot breaks

S&Wfan
August 28, 2012, 01:08 AM
I agree!

People should aspire for excellence in everything they do.

I'm not happy if all five rounds don't go into an inch at ten yards consistently, standing/unsupported. Then again, at age 61 my eyes aren't what they used to be.

That ratio means 2 1/2" group @ 25 yards, 3" at 30 yards, 10" at 100. Decent shooting, but surely not exceptional.

To the OP, I WOULD recommend two things:

1. Lots of bench shooting until your grip and trigger mechanics are perfect, then transfer it carefully to your unsupported shooting.

2. Do a lot of shooting with a chamber or two unloaded. Spin the cylinder until there's no way you know when it won't fire. Do it over and over until you don't milk the gun or flinch or blink with the gun fails to go off. Then, you'll see your offhand shooting REALLY tighten up. You should see the muzzle flash with each shot, if not, you aren't shooting very well that day!!! LOL

ColtPythonElite
August 28, 2012, 01:43 AM
In my experience, that ratio computation does not work like one would think and groups get much larger than computed.

Pete D.
August 28, 2012, 05:40 AM
9mm: Thanks for the background about Mr. Gray. That name rings a bell.
+1 about the Yur'yev book.
Pete

Sport45
August 28, 2012, 06:26 AM
What's a good measure for off-hand accuracy?


For me a ruler works well at 25 yards. I used to need a yardstick. :)

9mmepiphany
August 28, 2012, 07:36 PM
9mm: Thanks for the background about Mr. Gray. That name rings a bell.
+1 about the Yur'yev book.
Pete
I thought you might find this interesting (posted on Facebook), it is only at 12 yards rather than 15.

This is a ratty, ancient 1914 Ruby .32 Spanish-French service pistol. That was offhand, fired with an 8-pound trigger and rude barleycorn sights, no less. Ruby: The new accuracy standard. -Bruce

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

I consider this exceptional. I think of myself as a competent shot, but certainly nothing close to this level. For those who aren't familiar with Barleycorn sights...they could be generously called challenging

MrBorland
August 28, 2012, 10:17 PM
I consider this exceptional

Ya think? :eek: :rolleyes: I'm surprised the gun itself was capable of anything close to that. :eek:

I had the opportunity to take a class with Bruce while he was in our area. Unfortunately, I had a scheduling conflict. My loss, it seems. :(

coolluke01
August 28, 2012, 10:30 PM
i know this is mainly about shooting DA but I've been playing with revolver in single action. Here is the best I've done at 10 yards.
This wasn't fast by any means but the 3 shots were done well under 10 seconds. A .357 casing is shown for comparison.

The round low and left was an attempt at speed DA shooting from before. Lots of room to improve there.

Ruger GP100 with .357. 6lb trigger and 8lb hammer spring IIRC. Off hand

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=170730&stc=1&d=1346203669

PzGren
August 29, 2012, 01:07 AM
In IDPA and IPSC it is said that masters are made at 25 yards. The reason behind it is, that it is not really easy to hit the A-zone at that distance and a shooter that gets over 90% at ISSF matches is representing a very, very small percentage of shooters.

Pete D.
August 29, 2012, 06:16 AM
This is a ratty, ancient 1914 Ruby .32 Spanish-French service pistol. That was offhand, fired with an 8-pound trigger and rude barleycorn sights, no less. Ruby: The new accuracy standard. -Bruce
Very fine shooting.
Ques.: When you say "offhand", do you mean standing two handed or standing one hand unsupported? Over the years, I have come to realize that we don't all mean the same things when we use common terms. That group from that firearm is exceptional in any case.
Pete

9mmepiphany
August 29, 2012, 01:29 PM
When you say "offhand", do you mean standing two handed or standing one hand unsupported?
That was his word in his posting on Facebook.

In that community/culture, offhand is used to indicate neither supported (barricade), rested (range bag/bench) or prone.

So usually standing, two-handed, without external support...just standing up, holding the gun in both hands and pressing the trigger

45_auto
September 12, 2012, 03:24 PM
I consider this exceptional.

Why do you consider it exceptional? It was shot at 12 yards, yet it barely meets the standards you described for 15 yards in post #10.

9mmepiphany
September 12, 2012, 03:54 PM
Either you didn't understand post #10 or you don't understand what it took to shoot the group in post #32

45_auto
September 12, 2012, 04:58 PM
I must not have understood post #10. I thought you wrote:

Having said that, at 15 yards, standing and holding the gun in both hands, shooting DA, I work with clients to keep 5 rounds inside 1", with the goal to have them all touch, while taking their time shooting

What do you estimate the group size is in post #32? Do you believe that it would stay the same if you increase the distance 25% to 15 yards?

9mmepiphany
September 12, 2012, 05:16 PM
I think it more likely you don't understand post #32...read the italicized portion again

I'd guess the group as .5"

Here is what a 1"...actually 1.1"... group looks like

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ_mCPp5IYSlrEK3nlRAYQXDY6XxNaL31XiwIAMsIe0C1euVJQbCE36ugvfLg

Pete D.
September 13, 2012, 03:14 AM
This is probably not a fair measure of accuracy....scores from an elite shooter and using a semi-auto as opposed to a revolver, a Marvel .22 conversion on a 1911 frame but as a sense of the possible....at the National Matches at Camp Perry this Summer, John Zurek shot a new national record of 893/900-41X for .22 rim fire. That is a loss of only seven points over 90 shots one hand unsupported. Thirty of those shots are at a 50 yard Bullseye with a three inch ten ring. The other sixty are shot at 25 yards with the same size ten ring. Nine ten point targets, obviously a few of them had to be clean targets and the rest 99s (or some similar impressive combination)
Pete

chriske
September 13, 2012, 08:47 AM
I've been shooting my S&W revolvers DA-only for a while now.
All combined (.22 LR - .38Spl - .357 Mag - .44 Sp) (barrels ranging from 2" to 6") my average at 15 meters is 2.5 - 3inches.
I for one am pleased with this.
& as my ol pal Stan-the-Gunman used to say "Does it actually matter if I hit an oponent's left eye rather than his right ?"

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