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Finding the hangun you shoot best with....

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by wacki, Aug 9, 2011.

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  1. wacki

    wacki Member

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    Question for all those out there that have done a lot of range time:

    Do you have a handgun that you just shoot really well with and others that you don't shoot so well with?

    If so, how many rounds did it take you to figure out this gun was right for you?

    Did you know as soon as you picked it up? Did it just "feel right" in the gun shop? Or did you just start shooting and ended up being surprised at how well you did?

    Or are you one of those people that can shoot any quality firearm equally well with practice.

    Finally what gun/caliber is it?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  2. towboat_er

    towboat_er Member

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    Some guns are easier to shoot but, I think you have to have shooting skills. there is not a gun that will make you shoot great. Practice is key.
     
  3. goon

    goon Member

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    I can shoot most handguns well with a lot of practice and at least well enough to know how well the gun is shooting with about a box of ammo. I shoot any semi-auto with a decent semi-auto trigger pretty well but DA triggers on a semi-auto are harder for me. I just sold a LNIB M&P9 because I simply couldn't shoot it worth a damn. OTOH, my DA revolver shooting is improving. Go figure...

    One thing that will help you immensely is if you get a gun that fits your hand well. I have big hands but smaller grips tend to fit me well and so does the SIG P-226 and Browning Hi Power. Others... I'm still experimenting with.
     
  4. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I shoot 1911s better than anything else, and it did not take much effort to discover this.
     
  5. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    Rented a CZ 75B in 40 a few years ago, trying to find something I could shoot better than my XD9. I knew instantly it was 'The One', so I sold the XD and got a CZ in 9mm.

    I can shoot it like a laser. Probably should get better sights at some point.

    I keep hearing all these reports about BG's walking into malls and such mowing down patrons at will. I sift through all my handguns (what I have left) and the CZ is far and away the one I would need for that 50 yard shot. Hopefully that never happens, but I know I can do it with regularity. Under stress...dunno.
     
  6. jgiehl

    jgiehl Member

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    I like to shoot revolver more now. Tend to spend more time shooting those. I'm accurate enough to shoot man sized targets at distances of my hallways. But with my revolvers, especially my 629, I'm deadly accurate.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I shoot a variety of handguns, primarily in IDPA competition. I usually expect that it will take me ~5,000 rds to really get into the groove with a new gun, to the point that I am at the top of my game with that particular gun.

    When I switch between guns I've already become "proficient" with, I generally expect that I'll need ~1,000 rounds of solid practice to transition from one to the other -- to get back on top of the skills curve. So I tend to shoot one gun per season or so, to get the max out of my skills with that gun before switching platforms.

    ...

    Now, as far as just "shooting" goes -- i.e. plinking bulls-eyes on a square range -- I can usually shoot 'most anything with some reasonable expectation of success. The basics of marksmanship are the same. But that's not how I evaluate my abilities with the gun. There's so much more involved with manipulation of the gun ("gun handling") and "running" the gun in a practical scenario, against the clock, and those are the skills that really require development and intensive practice.

    To answer your other question -- NO, I don't [STRIKE]shoot[/STRIKE] run all quality guns equally well. That's what the whole 5,000 round trial period is about: proving whether or not I can make this gun run as well/fast/accurately as I can make other guns in the stable run.

    I like to use the IDPA "Classifier" match as a standard. I follow my ability to shoot that course with different types of guns, and measure progress against the par times established for that COF. Last year, for example, I bought a CZ-75B Omega and "campaigned" it through a ~5,000 trial period, where I shot that gun only, that included 3-4 months of practices and matches. (No, I don't shoot nearly as much as I should to be "good.") At the end of that trial period, I'd developed my handling of that gun to the point where I felt I was as relatively smooth and quick with it as I was with other guns with which I believe myself to be "proficient." My test times in the Classifier COF proved that I was unable to shoot that gun within ~15 seconds of my best runs with other guns like my xDM or an M&P.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    With concentration most guns can be shot well, but some designs are easier to shoot well for many people, while some are not as easy, in general of course.

    There are certain guns that are extremely popular, and with good reason, they work well for a great many people.

    I shoot some guns better than others. Some guns just "fit" me better.
     
  9. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    I can shoot most handguns acceptably. If I want to shoot well, I pick up a 4" barreled .38 special revolver.
     
  10. mrt949

    mrt949 Member

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    I went and made a list of all the firearms I have owned over the years starting in 1970 till today .80 PLUS most of them REVOLVERS .44MAG OR 357 MAG.1/2 DOZEN AUTOS . REVOLVERS RULE
     
  11. jimniowa

    jimniowa Member

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    For auto's Ruger .22 MK2 5" bull, Colt .45 acp sieres 70. My favorite revolver is a S&W 6" 10 shot 617 followed by a Ruger SBH 4.5" shooting .44sp, and a Ruger 5.5" Redhawk using .44mag. I would really like to see a 6" in .32 H&R mag or a .327 6".
    Jim
     
  12. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    For me, at least, "feeling right" in the gun shop has not necessarily resulted in good performance when shooting. The Browning High-Power and Kahr K-series would be good examples of that. Both felt like instant winners, but owning and shooting them both, over time, resulted in performance plateaus well below my performance with the relatively less-right-feeling 1911, as well as the revolvers that DID feel very right.

    I thought the SIG P229 E2 would be better than the standard P229 grip, based on how it felt, but it reality, it squirms in my hand during the DA trigger pull, and the SA pull was just too close to the palm of my hand. I sold the E2, and stayed with my existing P229 pistols.
     
  13. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    To better finish answering the OP's questions, yes, I have handguns that perform better for me than others. Ruger SP101 and GP100, the 1911, and the SIG P229 come to mind, and with the right aftermarket or custom grips, S&W K/L-frame revolvers. These performed well for me from the start. Trying other, more trendy weapons, which felt right, but just did not work out so well, made appreciate these familiar weapons much more, over time.
     
  14. BigN

    BigN Member

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    I started with several autos and they were ok but when I got my first revolver, a GP100, shooting a handgun all came together. The 357 takes you from pop guns into the real stuff. The 38 feels like a cap gun now. If there were a perfect revolver and caliber, in my opinion, it would be the 357 GP100. It's the best of both worlds.
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Like Rexster posted, the feel of the gun in the store is not a good guide to how well a gun will shoot for you. I've had guns feel great that just didn't work for me (FN P-35) and others that felt like blocks that shot very well (Beretta 92)

    As Sam1911 has posted, you really need to shoot a gun for a while when it is different from what you are used to shooting. The hardest thing to learn is the trigger travel, reset, and pressure. It doesn't make much difference if it is SA, DA or some combination, it just takes time to get a feel for it before you can even fairly compare them.

    I usually try out a new gun for 4-6 months before I'm ready to compare it to another. 5000 rounds sounds like a good number...but I usually think in terms of trigger presses, because I dryfire much more than I shoot a gun I'm trying to learn. I don't really practice enough to be good either
     
  16. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    I will add the classic Colt SAA design to handguns that felt right, and then shot very well for me right off the bat. My first example was made by U.S. Patent Firearms, which evolved into U.S. Firearms.
     
  17. Capt. Ct.

    Capt. Ct. Member

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    The first time I took my new Ruger 22/45 to the range I put 80% of my rounds dead in the bullseye. I never shot it that well again. :mad:
     
  18. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    S&W models 17 (.22) and 14(.38).

    [​IMG]

    I exchange the magna grips for targets when I go plinkin' with these two. They make me look like I know what I'm doing.
     
  19. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    I was looking for a 1911 for my first center fire pistol. I happened to try on a CZ75b and bought it on the spot. It's a natural pointer for me. Thirty five years ago I was given a S&W 15 by a good friend. I really sucked with it, and never used it. A few years ago I bought some Pachmayer grips for it, it's much better, but I still prefer the grips on my semi-auto's.
     
  20. whalerman

    whalerman member

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    Iggy those are very nice. I woke up this morning to the photo of your two handguns. It will be a great day. Thank you very much, Sir.
     
  21. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Over the years, I've shot a lot of different handguns. I can get them "all" to group at or under 4" at 7 yards which is more than adequate for self defense. Most I shoot much better than that. The one I fell in love with took less than 100 rounds for me to decide. I've bought others that I can shoot well but don't feeel as nice in my hand. It doesn't mean I won't use it, its just there are others tha fee better to me. I've had some tha I hae wanted to like more and probaly shot over 3,000 rounds through but my inital impressions didn't change on how they felt. The semi auto pistol I take as a backup when I hunt isn't my favorite buts reliable and robust and I shOt it well. I prefer 45s for selfe defense and often take it to the range. For much of the range work, I use a 9 mm model of my 45 selfdefense model. With the price difference in rounds, I have shot enough where the 9 mm is esentially free. You'll notice I haven't named the brands because what I like is irrevalent to what you may like. The vast majority of pistols are reliable so a lot of it comes down to how it feels. The more you like it the more you will likely take it to the range.
     
  22. wacki

    wacki Member

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    ok, any recommendations on how I should pick out my first 9mm? Sounds like I should buy used. Then used again 6 months later.... and so forth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  23. Mick_W

    Mick_W Member

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    I am best with my 629 followed by my 1911. Both guns I was shooting pretty good groups with first time out, the others took a little practice. Can't wait to get my new 625 out to the range and see what I can do with it.

    Also, I can hit a 12" target at 75-100yards with the 629.
     
  24. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    As a complete "clean slate" I'd let the market guide me. There are many, many 9mm handguns available, but the general trend seems to be in the direction of polymer-framed, striker-fired service-style autos. Many shooters start out with them, and find success with practice -- and many shooters discover that they are all the handgun they need, even into Master-class competition. They are simple, rugged, not too expensive, and capable of perfectly fine accuracy.

    So for my advice, I'd say head down to the local gun shop and handle a Glock, an M&P, and an xD (or xDM). See which just feels best in your hands. Pick one and start shooting! And shooting, and shooting. (And dryfiring...)

    As time and circumstances allow, you may want to try other styles as you progress. Once you have the basic skills really solid, you'll be in a better position to play with a few other guns and decide if you could improve your abilities by switching to a DA/SA gun (Sig, H&K, older S&W auto, Beretta, CZ75, etc.) or a SA pistol you can carry "Condition 1" (1911, CZ75, Browning HiPower, etc.).

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  25. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    I shot 1911s and Browning Hi Powers for thousands of rounds. There was nothing I didn't like about them. Out of the blue, I picked up and shot the CZ PCR. From shot #1 I was as good or better than the BHP. I was shocked, actually. I had other guns that didn't "shoot" like my 1911s and BHP but I never could get a Glock to mimic them. I'd buy one, shoot it for 1000 rounds and sell it, swear off Glocks and then the bug would bite again and I'd buy another and shoot 1000 rounds and sell it and swear off Glocks again. I tried the 9mm and .40S&W and neither one shot like my 1911s, BHPs and now CZs. I did go out and get the big brother to the PCR in .40S&W and it was just as accurate and felt just as good as the PCR. To this day, I shoot the CZs better than any other gun I own. I am so happy I think I'm going to sell all my other non-1911/BHPs I own because I just won't shoot them any more... well, except for my PM9 and LCP for CC when needed... and of course, my .22s for general plinking... or my .357 S&W.... but that's it... well, I do need to have a .25ACP and a .32ACP just because but that's all I need to keep... well, everyone needs a .38 Special, right?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
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