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Autoloader accuracy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bscott29, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. bscott29

    bscott29 Member

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    I have been shooting handguns for years. I've had several revolvers and several autos. With a 6" Ruger gp100 I used to own I was very accurate at over 50yds. I was decent at 100yds. I have a 5.5" Ruger Bisley 45 colt that I shoot pretty good. I have hit a gallon jug with it at 100yds. I would say I'm by no means a good shot, but I'm ok. With every auto I have owned I have not been able to shoot them at a distance well at all. I shoot tight groups up close, but when I get out to 25yds my groups open up to a foot or more. could this be due to cheap range ammo or do I just not know what the hell I'm doing? I read where gun writers shoot 1" groups at 25yds all the time and that is a pipe dream for me at this point.

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  2. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    Sight radius is probably the biggest factor. With a 6" barrel, you have an 8-9" sight radius. Small movements are more noticeable than with the 5-6" radius found on common autos.

    A second likely factor is fit. Revolvers and autos feel completely different in the hand. It could be that revolvers are simply a better fit for you, and point more naturally. Thus you would not have to "fight" the gun into position due to grip shape, angle, balance, etc.

    It seems that a lot of pistol shooters fall into one of two camps, Revolver Guys and Auto Guys. There is some overlap, but my experience is that the majority of people find one a better fit than the other.
     
  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Badkarma has some great points. It also depends on the type of shooting you are doing. I judge my performance based on how fast I can draw and put a given number of rounds into the A-zone of an IPSEC target (or the 5 ring of an FBI qual taget) at a given range, 25 meters and in, so I work from what is a more "practical" standpoint for me. From 25-50, its based on how quickly I can hit a Larue with a single shot.
     
  4. greyghost01

    greyghost01 Member

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    Try the Glock 35 its amazing, Guys are shooting 100 yds with it, It has a 8" sight radius and adjustable sights, I just received mine and haven't got it dialed in yet but I am working on it, Fully loaded in hold 16 rnds of 40 so it has plenty of fire power, I really like mine
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    At long range are you shooting your revolvers in single action (the Bisley obviously is)? If so, you're comparing a 2ish lb single action trigger with whatever semi auto trigger you may be using. Probably not a fair comparison.
     
  6. bscott29

    bscott29 Member

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    Almost always single action. I never thought of it like that. Very good point.

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  7. Saleen322

    Saleen322 Member

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    A quality semi-automatic pistol with proper ammunition is capable of shooting groups in the 2" range at 50 yards. The target below was shot with a 1911 @ 50 yards. Shooting many revolvers and autoloaders it has been my experience that some types of cartridges are more challenging to find a good load than others. Hope this helps.

    45ACPWST2-1.jpg
     
  8. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    Quality doesn't have a lot to do with producing 2" groups at 50 yards. Very few autoloaders will do that at any quality level. I have some, but they are rare or custom.

    Most high quality factory combat pistols will group inside 3" at 25 yards, but it is rare that a SIG, Glock, HK, etc. will go under 2" at 25.


    This is mechanical accuracy. 5# triggers vs. 2# are just another factor.

    I don't think sight radius is as big a factor as some might think.


    I do think the OP's problem is largely trigger pull and maybe the grip, as well as decreased mechanical accuracy opening up things a little bit more.
     
  9. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    If put in a mechanical rest, revolvers and autos of similar quality/precision have similar mechanical accuracy.

    As badkarma pointed out, sight radius is one place you have to be fair in your comparison. A 4" revolver simply has more of it than a 4" auto on account of cylinder not being counted in barrel length. A .357 cylinder is gonna be at least 1.6" long.

    Many people think of revolvers as being inherently more accurate due to the fixed barrel, but that isn't so. Yes, a sloppy lock up in an auto degrades mechanical accuracy. But so does poor alignment of cylinder and forcing cone in a revolver. In an auto, the bullet is pretty much perfectly aligned with the bore, save for tolerance between case and chamber wall. In a revolver, the bullet has to jump the free bore and hit the forcing cone. Depending on how tight the lock up is and how good the alignment is, you get anything from near perfect to deformed bullets with pieces being shaved off, even split forcing cones and frame damage.

    Triggers are a mixed bag, of course. I have both autos and revolvers with single action pulls ranging from gritty and stiff to clean and pretty much breathe on it effort.

    Also as badkarma mentioned, fit in the hand matters tremendously. I would say that autos fit me better for the most part, and that seems to be the majority of the shooting population. The grip angle and shape, the balance, trigger position. But for those who feel the revolver is more comfortable/natural in the hand, the wheelgun will likely shoot better for them.

    In summary, I'd say it's a personal preference, both conscious and subconscious, as to which will be more accurate in your hands
     
  10. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    1" at 25 yards requires a pretty good combination of pistol, ammo and shooter. I wouldn't be very disappointed if I bought a nice pistol and couldn't get 1" groups at 25 yards with it.

    But a foot at 25 yards is a little much. I've owned some pistols that weren't fun to shoot past 15 yards or so due to accuracy issues; but it's not hard to find a pistol/ammo combination that will hold groups in the 3" range at 25 yards.

    If I purchased a nice pistol and couldn't get 3-4" groups at 25 yards after trying a few different types of ammo, I would be pretty unhappy..
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    12" at 25 yards is more than a little excessive unless there is something amiss with the pistol or the ammo is substandard.

    With a quality pistol and ammo, 4" at 50 yards used to be the minimum acceptable accuracy when shooting from prone or over a bag rest
     
  12. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    While I am sure there are plenty of crummy revolvers out there, I have yet to fire a Ruger or S&W revolver that wouldn't keep up with the Sig P210 for mechanical accuracy. I have a common old NYPD Model 10 that easily holds an inch at 25 yards.

    So I disagree, because a correctly working revolver is a very accurate fixed barrel handgun, and working correctly isn't something that rare.
     
  13. RA40

    RA40 Member

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    With JTQ's post. Among mine I tend to shoot the revolvers more accurately. I attribute that to their ~2# triggers where the semi's are in the 3-6# range. As the trigger pull increases, along with any "characteristics" of the pull, the larger the spread at distance.
     
  14. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    Crossorver typpe here, started with a Hi Standard Dura Matic early
    teens for a year or so , borrowed from Uncle John, when his son was
    old enough, he asked for it back. I replaced it with my first handgun
    a S&W Model 18 .22 LR MUCH better sights, and easier to reload.
    I was better with it on rabbits, rattlers etc on the family farm in Central
    Wash. 1960s.

    So, Revolvers and Autoloaders,

    Bullseye 1911s drove Revolvers off the firing line at Camp Perry in the
    late 1950s. Now, we have separate Revolver categories in IPDA/IPSC

    That said, I have a

    S&W 1911 5" Bbl 39 oz empty,
    O.A.L.: 8.75"
    *Sight Radius: 6.5" ext.
    Novak low Mount carry 3-dot

    S&W 625 5" Bbl. 45 oz empty
    O.A.L. 11.5"
    *Sight Radius: 6.0"
    Front Sight Patridge
    Rear Sight: W&E Adj. flat square notch r

    * measured with a ruler
    Did I measure wrong? From the rear of the front sight to the notch rear
    but that's what I got

    More Apples and oranges
    S&W 1911 est. 4 lb & crsp let off & reset
    S&W 625 S&W Master Revolver Action job, DA < 10 lbs SA 2+ &
    breaks like glass

    I take em both to the range some days, and some times
    I shooot one better than the other then the next time
    it's the other.

    Different recoil management altogether.

    Randall
     
  15. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    My Ruger Mark 1 from 1972 has a 1/2" group at 25 yards, offhand.
     
  16. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    I'm sure your old bolt action sporter is also sub MOA at 500 yards, just like half the other members on gun boards.

    Remember, we're not talking 3 closest holes out of 12 here. Groups. The distance between the outermost two holes on center, counting all of the shots fired, not less than 5 for accuracy claims.

    Why don't you post a video shooting that old model 10 and your Sig P210 side by side and turning in 1" 25 yard groups for us. I'm sure many here would be very entertained by it.
     
  17. susieqz

    susieqz Member

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    i think trigger pull is the thing.
    my 22/45 will do 1'' at 25 yards, using wolf, but only after
    i installed a custom sear to bring the pull down to 2 lbs.
    my model 15-4 does the same with no alterations, single action.
    i'm talking rested here. i'm not that good, but i can do 2'' , 2hands unsupported.
    the heavier the pull, the bigger the group.
     
  18. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    If I post a video, how will you know there aren't significant special effects used to fake the kind of accuracy that you clearly think I'm lying about?


    This is 10 rounds from the same mag through a '89 PT92 at 25 yards. It was shot indoors with my 115gr plated reloads off the bench without sandbags. After the first 6 rounds I shifted the POA to the bottom of the bull. Those 10 would have gone in around 1 3/4". After I got home I moved the rear sight left to center up the group with a 6 o'clock hold.

    IMG_20140818_123418_zps1333fd5f.jpg

    The Danish M/49, HK P9S and M10 I have are all more accurate. My old P7M8 came with a 25m test target showing a 1" group, and my .45 Blackhawk and S&W 945 would do similarly. My first pistol was a Ruger MkII that my brother and I would take turns shooting rifle casing off the top of the 25 yard frame from a bench rest, so I'm pretty familiar with that kind of shooting.


    There's really good thread on the Berettaforum with a guy who used a Ransom rest and site re-alignment to produce 2" 50 yard groups with a 92A1, if you'd like me to find that for you.
     
  19. MachIVshooter
    • Contributing Member

    MachIVshooter Contributing Member

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    Call it jaded, but after you spend better than a decade on these forums, you grow weary of fantastical accuracy claims, and sometimes take to telling folks to put their money where their mouth is. I'm not going to divulge here or anywhere else how many guns I own, but I own/have owned/have shot enough, and been around enough other shooters who have top shelf rigs and really were as good as they claimed to know what's plausible, what's likely embellished, and what's flat out bravo sierra.

    Could your M10 possibly print consistent 1" 25 yard groups? Yes. Would I have to see it to believe it? Absolutely.

    I have personally printed 2.4 MOA 100 yard 5 shot groups with the scoped Desert Eagle I had, and have witnessed others accomplish similar with optics on well made guns, but open sights with a short radius printing 1" 25 yard groups is dang tough even with a capable gun unless you're using a mechanical rest. Shooting two handed, standing, I have trouble keeping all my shots tighter than 3"-4" at 25 yards with service handguns. A bit better with my Witness Limited, but certainly nowhere near 1", even though the gun is capable. I very much doubt I could produce consistent 1" groups from bags with it, either. And that's a match grade pistol with target sights and a crisp 17 ounce trigger. My 6" 686 has been worked, sports a 14 ounce SA trigger, and I can't do any better with it.
     
  20. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    IMG_6013_zpsafhjbtxn.jpg
    This is acceptable accuracy for me. Standing two hand hold. The distance (X) is specified so there won't be a Hissy-Fit.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  21. susieqz

    susieqz Member

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    my eyes aren't good enow for irons, but with a red dot, 1'' rested or 2'' freehand or 3'' one hand is not a problem. 25 measured yards.
    i shoot 1,000 practice rounds/month.
    pretty much any bulls eye shooter can do that or better, with semi auto or revolver.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  22. RX-79G

    RX-79G Member

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    What was the distance?
     
  23. Saleen322

    Saleen322 Member

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    Not really that rare. I have at least 20 that is in that performance range. All are stock with the exception of maybe some trigger jobs. Now I am referring to quality target pistols, not service pistols.
     
  24. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    RX-79G:
    I was snidely responding in part to #19 reference to distance & accuracy thus believability.
     
  25. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    Two factors favor the revolver when shooting at long ranges: Trigger pull, and cartridge design.

    Typically, the revolver, as has been noted already, has a single action let off of around two pounds or less, while the auto loader is somewhat heavier.

    But revolver cartridges are normally loaded with heavy (longer) bullets. These stabilize well and retain their velocity longer that the shorter bullets customarily used in auto pistol cartridges. And, at least in my case, revolver velocities run much higher than auto catridges using the same weight bullet.

    This holds true only for long range shooting. If revolvers were possessed of inherently greater accuracy, they would still be used in bull's eye competition.

    Bob Wright
     
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