How accurate does it need to be

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by webrx, Jan 20, 2022.

  1. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    I am a fan of accurate rifles, wanting sub MOA, hand load to get it, spend time shooting to attain it. I don’t compete against anyone but myself, well maybe sometimes with my boys.

    with handguns I am not quite as particular, I do still want accuracy but mostly i try to achieve fist sized at 10 yards. Not always able to accomplish that, and when shooting Mozambique I am more accurate with the singles than the doubles. I am not sure ammo makes a lot of difference in this level of accuracy. Even blazer or similar will group fairly well at 10 yards.

    what are your accuracy goals with handguns at SD distances? Do you think handgun ammo affects your ability to meet that goal?

    d
     
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  2. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    I used to not worry about handgun accuracy but the better I shoot, the more I want accurate ammo. Here are two different factory self defense loads I tested at 15 yards offhand slow fire. I tested several others but this was the best and worst out of the same Glock pistol. Both should be effective against a bad guy but I carry the ammo that groups the best. 2EF94858-B911-42AD-A9A8-92EB33CB8BEA.jpeg
     
  3. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Deleted double post
     
  4. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Shot alot of USPSA matches and my goal was for my handgun and ammo combination to be able to put all the rounds in the alpha zone of the metric target at 50 yards if I did my part. The alpha zone is aproximately six inch wide and eleven inch tall rectangle.

    For my hunting handguns my goal was to be able to shoot 6-shot groups in a 4 inch group over a rest, again at 50 yards.

    For my smaller pocket pistols if I can keep the shots on a USPSA metric target at 30 yards I am happy.
     
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  5. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I have one standard for service/defensive guns and another for target/competition guns. The former should be capable of one inch per 10 yards (10 MOA) and the latter one inch per 25 yards (4 MOA). It's not an absolute thing, but I find it a reasonable standard.
     
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  6. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    0E7349CC-C492-45E8-B801-254D43B404EB.png
    this was my CCW qualifying Mozambique drill yeah I drilled his nose with the last round. I think I got excited. This was with factory federal ball ammo from my Ruger Security 9.
     
  7. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    For SD? I train to double-tap two shots into an 8" center-mass circle (from the ready-rest position) at 5yds. If I can't consistently do that with a particular handgun, I wouldn't carry it.

    I haven't found many that wouldn't meet that standard, though there have been a few- .45 Firestar, Taurus .44 Spl. (forget the exact model), Walther P1, and a M36 Chiefs Special come to mind.
     
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  8. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    As was mentioned above, I expect my 6” to 8 3/8” barrelled Target revolvers shooting wadcutters to shoot better groups than my Glocks. I expect my 1911’s to fall right in the middle, they’re not match guns but they’re better shooters than my Glocks are.

    Sadly, reality has shown me time and time again that pretty much all of my guns shoot better than I do. :(

    Stay safe.
     
  9. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For my defense practice, I like to use the NRA TQ-8 25 foot silhouette target. I use it at various ranges but I am happy if I stay near the 9 ring or smaller.

    When I was shooting IHMSA silhouette, I never shot my guns for groups but to reliably knock the targets down, the groups need to be fairly small especially on the 150m turkeys. The pigs and rams were pretty easy to hit due to their size. Loads that hit "center of mass" were pretty easy to determine on the practice targets we had at the time.

    So, accuracy needed depends on the application.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  10. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    I agree application is important and I also understand the difference between a competition shooter and an avg joe.

    maybe I should have been more specific. When I said SD distances I was assuming 10 yards which is where I practice. Or 7 yards and backing up. 7-10 is what is typically considered SD from what I have been told, trained, and read.

    7 yards being the old 21 foot rule.
    D
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  11. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I have owned some laughably inaccurate handguns and even they would put every round into the important bits from seven yards. With the rise of "A rifleman walks into a bar" terrorist incidents I have become a little more concerned about making a 50 yard head shot with a CCW piece, but I hope I am just being paranoid.

    Tl;dr: In nearly every self defense narrative I have ever read, mechanical accuracy was so far down the list as to be irrelevant. That won't stop the nuttier among us - myself included - from worrying about such things, but still...
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
  12. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Administrator Staff Member

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    For a self-defense gun, I would be happy with anything that I could shoot 6" groups (unrested) with at 25yards.
     
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  13. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    As for the arrow...

    I know how well I can shoot various kinds of handguns at various distances. A small 9mm at seven yards should have a group about this size, a large revolver at 15 yards should have a group about that size, and so forth.

    I try to enjoy my collection of oddball handguns by bringing a lot of different examples to the range. Thus, I don't always recall exactly how well my little Mauser 25 shoots compared to my Star in 25, or how well my Model 64 shoots compared to my pre Model 10, but I know what kinds of groups I normally get for a small 25 or a 4" K-frame.

    If I get consistently poor results from a handgun, it becomes trade fodder. Normally it's just that it fits my hand poorly or something like that, but maybe a few were just inaccurate.

    As for the Indian...

    If I can quickly and easily make fist-sized groups at POA at seven yards, I'm doing well enough for SD. It's nice to have a good day and shoot a couple of clover leaves, and I like to keep improving, but anything real will most likely be fast and close.
     
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  14. blue32

    blue32 Member

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    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  15. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    This is my opinion also.

    If the gun/ammo/shooter combination can manage that, I think that's accurate enough. Though consistently smaller groups are preferable.

    For me, yes. Cheap range fodder often groups larger than reloads or most premium SD ammo. But that's why it's cheap. Having practice ammo that is accurate enough I can tell the difference between a good shot and a bad shot is important, but it doesn't have to be quite as good.

    For SD, I want the bullet to hit pretty much where I'm aiming. I generally check SD ammo for POI at 25 yards, and that allows me to check offhand accuracy at the same time.
     
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  16. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    Good points all, and partially why I started this thread, I think I am going to add some 25 yard practice to my handgun shooting, and maybe a bit of 50 as well. Not sure this "indian" with iron sights can still see well enough at 50 yards for a head shot, but, guess maybe it is time to find out if I can and if my arrows are accurate enough to do so.

    I do carry premium SD ammo when I carry (not range fodder).

    d
     
  17. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Paper plate or pie pan at 25 yards is a good start. Work your way up to say 50 yards if possible. Seem to remember a gentleman making an insanely long head shot not that long ago. Cannot remember distance but when I read it I thought wow that was some fine shooting on his part.
     
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  18. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I mostly use a Glock 9mm, so as long as the ammo functions in the gun, I don't concern myself beyond that for accuracy, whether it is cheap steel case for practice or name brand HP for real world use. I want to place 2 rounds in a 8" plate from presentation in 1.5 seconds, full stop.
     
  19. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    For me, the longest reasonable distance I may shoot within my home is roughly 30 feet, so these are all shooting a shot-a-second pace at ten yards. The range I frequent every two weeks or so doesn’t let folks draw or rapid-fire so I work on trigger, grip, sights, etc. at 30 feet the most. (Sometimes further, sometimes closer, but 10 yds is my personal standard.)

    Most of these are B-27, the blue are Canadian silhouette targets with no scoring rings. With the various guns/calibers used I’d be pretty well served with shooting like this in a defensive situation:

    AEF7C2AC-8E5F-4C47-B2F7-72B9977B0F7E.jpeg AAF4C5A8-0527-4C64-B0C0-39F5EECAC19E.jpeg 7DDBAD2B-E547-4837-A15B-DD90398C5F52.jpeg DC9E1355-1086-442F-AC7B-BF8A37012C68.jpeg 9CE8D757-47B6-4F98-8059-D3E1BA018DAB.jpeg 14A85610-050E-4B63-8D57-3DBEB811C39E.jpeg DE0D1523-32C8-491D-8D8A-17414915B979.jpeg 2CE797BE-412E-4C8F-B125-2AF01CF97C03.jpeg

    Stay safe.
     
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  20. jak67429

    jak67429 Member

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    For a defense pistol I worry more about being able to get it into the fight quickly and mostly on target. More than what size groups I can shoot. Since most defense encounters happen very quickly and at short distances, if I can quickly draw from concealment and place 2 shots in the a zone of a idpa target I'm good. I will shoot my defense guns for groups and reliability before ever carrying them, but I don't fixate on it.
     
  21. webrx
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    webrx Contributing Member

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    I agree Riomouse. nice shooting.
     
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  22. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    I'm not a pistol guy, at 15' I'm lucky to hit the target. On my target rifles I strive to make one hole out of a 5 shot group on a 100yd target. For my hunting rifles as long as I can cover the group with my fist at 100yds it good enough, it's usually a lot tighter than that.
     
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  23. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    Yep, I just want to win the fight and 6" groups will do it. :thumbup:
     
  24. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I occasionally hear of such performance (not that I don't believe it). I can't even get one shot off with pie plate accuracy from concealment in 1.5s. I hover around 2.0s for one shot, and am chasing 2.5s for two shots. Depending on distance of course.
     
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  25. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I do similar.

    I've found that most guns with most ammo perform just fine even at 60 yards.

    I find that it's usually my fault when rounds don't go where they are supposed to.
     
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