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If you shoot sub-MOA at 25 yds offhand with handguns, do not bother to read

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Impureclient, Nov 6, 2012.

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  1. Impureclient

    Impureclient Member

    Dec 30, 2008
    I've only been in the gun community now for a couple years but one thing that has always perplexed me is people claiming that they can shoot groups that are extraordinarily small compared to what is seen in real life.
    It happens in every gun forum. Somebody will complain about how they're "only" shooting 1/2" groups at 50 yds with their rimfires, so they need to find what is wrong. Then another's handgun will shoot 1" offhand
    standing all day long at 25 yards. The best part is, this type of consistent shooting does not exist in reality. There are no videos of it to speak of and I've never seen anybody do it in real life. If confronted, claims
    of not having a camera or other "great" excuses fly until whatever is written/posted is forgotten and the subject has moved on.

    What really set me off today was somebody claiming they are shooting better at 50 yds with irons than I am seeing at 25 yds with a scope on the same exact gun. That and every range visit I come away seemingly
    short(along with the rest of the hundreds of people I see there) from what people are claiming on the internet. So for those who have been in this rodeo for a while, is there a reason other than being a braggart?
    We aren't earning points here for our shooting skills so what does this bring for the person claiming this? I mean eventually these people have to back their claims up and it should end but there seems to be an endless
    line of these crack shots online.

    Sometimes it's so hard to decipher what you should expect out of a gun when all you hear is nonsense. If you get one great grouping, then hooray for you. Just don't come online and start going on how you do this all day
    long and brush it off as it's nothing out of the ordinary. Is there something factual written that outlines what to expect from different calibers at different length barrels or do we all have to rely on manufacturer claims and
    internet heroes for this? I research guns I want by way of what I hear about their quality and accuracy from other users. I try to get this information by looking through the "more adult" forums out there which are calmer
    and all the "operators" have no interest in but lately it is getting harder to separate. I guess ultimately what I'm asking is how do you weed out fact from fiction on accuracy when purchasing a new firearm?
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Jan 16, 2012
    Wet Oregon
    They want to make you disgusted with your Colt Python and sell it to them for fifty cents.
  3. brboyer

    brboyer Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Tampa Bay Florida
    Spend some time hanging around good shooters in IDPA, USPSA, Bullseye, Steel Challenge, SASS, 3-Gun, GSSF, among others, and you will see it is quite common.
  4. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    There are some really good shooters out there...

    Actually THR is what has inspired me to up my game. For the first few years of shooting I felt satisfied because I shot better than 90% of people at the (public) range, and on TV when you see the cops shooting at the range they are lucky to group 8" at 8 yards. So I thought my 5-6" groups at 7 or 8 yards weren't too shabby. First time I heard someone brag about a 3" group at 25 yards, I thought, total BS. But it is possible. Not for me (yet) but some people out there do it.

    Of course I am still skeptical anytime someone says they shoot absurd groups all the time, even when posting pictures of targets, you can't verify range, but I'd say at least at THR, 90% or more are telling the truth.

    Go to youtube and do some browsing, there are plenty of people making trick shots and awesome groups on video. Hickock45 is crazy hitting this gong at 100 yards with almost-boring regularity. I saw another guy shoot a .22LR through the hole of a soda can tab, from about 7-10 yards. He readily admitted it took 4 tries, but still, that is impressive!
  5. WNTFW

    WNTFW Member

    Jul 16, 2006
    I agree with what you are saying. The flip side of it is if I say I shot a or even a couple 1/4 MOA group with my rem 700 some people read into that that I claim I have a 1/4 MOA rifle and can do it all the time. Where the rubber meets the road for me is 'Context' and 'Matches'. Matches are a good place to compare what you can you in a given environment and fairly equal conditions. Context is also a factor. No Wind vs Constant Wind or Tricky Wind all matter.
    FWIW I think as a shooter you need to savor the better results and acknowledge poor performance for what it is. You have to own both if you are honest with yourself. I think the key to becoming better is being honest with ones self.
    I can tell you at one range I go to there are a lot more "A" game shooters than at others.
  6. *NOVA*

    *NOVA* Member

    Jun 15, 2011
    Reston, VA
    I think the OP is not referring to match grade firearms using match grade ammo. He's talking about regular Joe Schmuckatellies bragging about unrealistic shooting ability using standard equipment. I think there are plenty of folks whose shooting ability / accuracy is not extraordinary and as such they feel no urge to post their results. You only hear from the ones who amazed themselves out of pure luck and of course the story gets better by the time the get home to write about it. I have impressed myself after trying different techniques, barrels, ammo, etc. and showing slight improvement, but have figured out the really good shooters out there have been at it for years and literally thousands of rounds
  7. Halal Pork

    Halal Pork Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    I've seen some amazing marksmen do their thing. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them.

    Some of the detailed online reviews of firearms I've come across are far better than anything I've read in any gun magazine. I sift through those pretty often. If I'm seriously thinking about something or other, I'll also ask some folks I know whose opinions I respect and are usually far more knowledgeable than me. Sometimes they have good points and otherwise I get the shoulder shrug.

    Is there any particular type of firearm (or category) you're interest in? Maybe there are specific sites you can be pointed to for reviews and info.

    Here's an example of a search I've done a million times using Google:

    CZ 550 review site:thehighroad.org
  8. RJTravel

    RJTravel Member

    May 26, 2011
    "sub-MOA at 25 yards" would be pretty hard to do given that MOA at 25 yards is 1/4 inch. They would all need to be in one hole. Perhaps the bragger hit the target only once and assumes all bullets did indeed go through the same hole. That really makes sense.
  9. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

    Jun 5, 2006
    In a part of Utah that resembles Tattooine.
    It's gibberish. It's very rare to find a handgun/ammo combination that is even that accurate. When they are, it's usually a revolver. The best guarantee I know (that can be verified) is Nighthawk guarantees 1" @25 yards out of the box, on a rest. (I got my Kimber to do 2" one day.) MOA @ 25 yards is 1/4". Good luck.
  10. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Richmond, Virginia
    "If you shoot sub-MOA at 25 yds offhand with handguns"

    I've known some good shots, but I don't recall any of them shooting 1/4" groups or smaller at 25 yards.

    "Then another's handgun will shoot 1" offhand standing all day long at 25 yards."

    That's 4 MOA rounded off. Good shooting, but not sub MOA.

    "Somebody will complain about how they're "only" shooting 1/2" groups at 50 yds with their rimfires"

    Heck, almost anybody can shoot that well with a couple of my rifles - a Cooper, a Rem 541S, a Finnfire Hunter and maybe a few more. On a good day my father's Model 17-4 with a 2x scope and 8.375" barrel might manage it off a rest. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it's all a fantasy.

  11. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Apr 13, 2007
    As mentioned, there are some really good shooters out there - yet, for a variety of reasons, you're unlikely to see (or notice) them at your local range (and on forums like this, they tend to be relatively quiet). But your perception of what's good and do-able is largely based on your experience (e.g. your local range), so anything beyond that must be BS, it seems.

    Case in point: I recently went to the range with a friend of mine. Both of us are competitive revolver shooters, so he knows a thing or 2 about shooting. The topic of marksmanship came up, and he confessed he's read my forum postings (that, IMO, honest and consistent 3" 5-shot groups at 25 yards is good, but not exceptional shooting) and thought "BS". So, right there at 20 yards, I shot a 2" unsupported group on demand. Even better, after offering him a few tips, he raised his revo and shot a 2" group himself. Far and away anything he'd achieved earlier. He was blown away and shook his head, saying "I guess I thought it was BS because it was beyond my experience".

    Shooting well takes practice, but if reasonable and achievable standards seem unreasonable and out of reach because most others say they're merely the products of "liars, braggarts and keyboard commandos", you'll never achieve anything close to your potential. I can't speak to anyone else's motivation, but IMO, those who demonstrate good marksmanship skills often do so in an attempt to show their forum buds what is do-able and reasonable.

    ... or balancing a nickel on it's edge on the barrel while cycling the action:

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  12. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I shoot 3-gun comps with a guy that can consistently (8 out of 10) hit a bowling pin with his SA 1911 at 90yds. I chalked it up to being very farmiliar with his gun until he picked up my Dan Wesson 15 and hit that same bowling pin 4 out of 5 times at 90yds.

    Some people are just that good.
  13. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    I suspect that many who use the term M.O.A. do not even know what a minute of angle is.

    Because 1 MOA at 100 yds is (approximately) equal to 1", you'll hear a lot of talk about 1" groups..... So I'm convinced that some of the less mathematically inclined will assume that 1 MOA at 50 yds also = 1", and so on .... and so on.


    I've shot BB guns, shotguns and 22s since I was a kid. I've had firearms instruction in the Navy and qualified Expert pistol. I've hunted some (mostly bow) and have now been "really into" guns since ~ 2006. I consider myself fairly proficient and have (with the exception of shooting while moving)... out shot my USMC reservist buddy (who was a Marksmanship Coach) every time.

    Yet, for the record, I have never shot a bonifide 5 shot 1" group at 100 yds.

    Still trying.... came close the other week.... but no cigar.

    I have a rifle that I think holds promise .... but not there yet.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  14. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

    Mar 4, 2010
    Valley of Stucco and Sadness, CA
    I'd settle for minute of paper plate at 25 yards with a handgun.

    Handgunning is not among my natural talents, though I still can't wait to get back into that game soon.
  15. whtsmoke

    whtsmoke Member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Kearney Mo.
    I go out everytime to the range trying to get that sub moa target and work hard at it and expend alot of ammo doing it to no avail, oh well just another excuse to go to the range:rolleyes:
  16. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

    Sep 13, 2010

    I, too, have often wondered about the veracity/accuracy of some of what is said here and on other forums.
    To wit:
    That is a good example. A one inch group at 25 yards is good enough to give the shooter ten Xs on a Bullseye slow fire target. So....why is the shooter not the national champion? If he can shoot the timed and rapid stages as well, the trophy is his for the taking.
    With talent like that, if it were real, not competing is a waste of a remarkable ability.
    Some of the difference can be, I am certain, chalked up to what a shooter means by "offhand". For me, it means shooting with one hand, unsupported. To another, both hands are on the gun. Quite a difference there.
    For the record, the National record for 25 yard slow fire with a .22 pistol is 199 9x.
    For the .45, it is 199 8x. Twenty shots.
  17. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

    Sep 11, 2005
    People often talk about that one magic grouping, and not the others. I also shoot different firearms differently. I am not going for maximum bullseye targetting with my defense weapons.

    For example, yesterday I got some great groupings on my Kimber .22lr Conversion. I was sighting in my JPoint [ have to remove the sight to change the battery ]. Once dialed in and at 20 yards, I shot a 5 target sheet 5 rounds per target.

    First two have a group of ~7/8" (center to center, offhand standing). Last two have a group of ~1/4" (center to center, standing with shoulder/weakside against partian). Middle one? Well, lets not talk about that one.

    With the .45acp upper, I am not shooting for maximum precision. I'm shooting semi-rapidly. As long as I can hit a 9 on a police silouette at any reasonable range with both eyes open, I'm happy.

    By and large, for most firearms and ammunition, I am the limiting factor.
  18. KAS1981

    KAS1981 Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Twenty-five yards? Are some folks just that good?

    This is how I shot at 25 feet a few days ago:


    At 50 feet my groups opened up to about the edges of the 8 ring. I hate to think what they'd be at 75 feet.
  19. mls

    mls Member

    Nov 6, 2011
    I do understand the op's question. This is the internet, however. The truth, is Camp Perry, if you want to take a road trip and see for yourself. True, not your out of the box guns or ammo, but try it on with the wind, sun, rain and noise and pressure. If you are not shooting high ninety percent at fifty yards, you are not going to show up on the board.

    Take pleasure in what you are doing and trying to accomplish. Test yourself every time at the range and don't worry about anyone else or what they brag about..

    I see all the time, people so proud of their groups at 7 to 10 yards. Well, good for them. If that is what their goals are then more power to them. Practice and more practice. If you are going longer...a lot, as in a lot, more practice...
  20. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

    May 8, 2012
    I just wouldn't get worked up over it. Who cares if the guy can shoot tight groups or if the guy is being dishonest? Now if the fella was selling me his gun and claimed that it can shoot "one ragged hole" all day long, well then it's probably time to go to the range and see for myself.
  21. blarby

    blarby Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Calapooia Oregon
    I cant do it, my wife does it all the time.

    Thats not bragging, its envy.
  22. wgaynor

    wgaynor Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Western Kentucky
    Don't believe what you see on tv or read on the internet... It's good to remain skeptical but always challenge yourself to do extraordinary things.
  23. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Nashville, Tn.
    Some years ago I shot with a club called Nashville Matchmasters. I only shot for fun while some were serious competitors. Walked in one evening and Mr. Riggle wanted to show me a set of targets. After work on his Colt .45 he was working up new loads to shoot matches with. Useing a Ransom Rest, at 50 yds. ,he showed five targets. Groups went from about 6" to 3" to just under 2"...then opened up as more powder was used. He laughed and said the 2"er was his load and he had no excuse when he missed at 25 yds. It would be him...not the gun. He was a good shot but he couldn't hold tight enough to repeat that group consistantly. I saw him shoot a few "ratty hole" groups but not on every target.

    So, I see what you mean. Some of these super shooters should be winning all these competitions...every time!

    Every shooter gets a surprise once in a while. That really great small group...just not on command.:D

  24. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    Apr 13, 2007

    Well, part of the problem is exemplified right here. The first claim is about the gun itself. Nonetheless, that little detail often gets missed, so it's interpreted as a statement about the shooter's ability.
  25. browningguy

    browningguy Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Some of you are just hanging with the wrong crowds. If you want to see itty bitty groups with handguns go to your local Bullseye match. Want to see tiny groups with rifles then the NBRSA matches will make you happy.

    The problem is the vast majority of people have neither the skill, or the inclination to practice enough, to shoot really tiny groups consistantly. And don't go comparing your factory built Remchester to what folks are shooting in competitions, not the same animal, even in Hunter class it's not at all a facotry gun. The same with pistols, the winners are shooting pretty darn good guns and your factory glocks, colts, CZ's, whatevers won't shoot with them.
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