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The "average" gun owner...

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by XDemon(m), Feb 27, 2010.

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  1. XDemon(m)

    XDemon(m) Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Let's see how this goes...

    I had ad odd experience at the range that made me wonder about the other gun owners out there in the world. You see, I have only been shooting about 9 months. I took several courses from a local firearms instruction company, loved it, applied for and got my license to carry concealed (passed the shooting test with no problems) and have probably shot about 2000-2500 rounds since getting the license.

    In my mind, I'm a newbie, and not very good. I don't worry about groups. I typically stand at 7 yards and while I keep all my shots on the paper, and in the rough general area of where I want to hit on the paper man (headshots are somewhere on the head, etc...), I am definitely not drilling the center every time.

    So, today, this guy looks at the paper man as I'm rolling him up to take him home, and says that I'm a really good shot. I sorta looked at him and said thanks, and went on my way. But it got me thinking...

    Just how bad a shot is he, that I'm "good"?

    Which leads me to my question for the group:

    How good/bad a shot is the average gun owner?

    I hear people online talking about 1 inch groups and this and that, but out there in the world around us, how good or bad is the average guy who owns and maybe carries a pistol?
     
  2. woodsoup

    woodsoup Member

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    Free standing slow fire I can get them all into an 8" paper plate at 10 yards. On the bench I can get 2" groups at the same distance. This is with a S&W 65 DAO police turn in from J&G sales. We won't discuss my attempts at 6 shots in 10 seconds into the same target.
     
  3. David E

    David E Member

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  4. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Member

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    The key is that you got professional instruction. Many shooters don't do this. You learned proper technique from the beginning without picking up bad habits.
     
  5. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I can teach you to flinch in no time!!
     
  6. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    I'd bet not very good. I say that just because there's statistically what, something like 80 million gun owners (or whatever, someone can please correct me if I'm way out). And it sure seems like a great majority of them seem to buy a gun, take it home, load it, stick it in a drawer somewhere and rarely ever look at it again, let alone shoot it. I certainly know some gun owners who fall in that category, or at least only very rarely shoot (not enough to really improve their skills).

    Just saying that there are a lot of gun owners, but much fewer gun enthusiasts and regular shooters.

    Myself, I'm okay out to about 15 yards, but beyond that things get bad pretty quickly (progressive lenses can only do so much). And it depends a lot on the caliber I'm shooting and the particular gun. I'm actually best with an all steel .45acp 1911 or my SIG P226 9mm, or a 4" Ruger Service Six with .38spl (with .357's, my consistency leaves a bit to be desired).
     
  7. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I get by pretty well with a rifle and have been known to shoot skeet pretty well, but I'll be the first to admit, I'm not very good with the pistolas. I'm not sure what average is, but I'd wager I'm below it. I contribute this to the fact that I've had less trigger time with handguns. I'm about to be practicing a lot more though, because I want to kill a deer with a pistol. I've got a lot of improving to do between now and November.
     
  8. content

    content Member

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    Hello friends and neighbors // There is no exact anwser.

    It depends on the pond and the fish so to speak.
    Average for all gun owners from the twice a year shooter to someone fine tuning themselves to a certain firearm .....

    I'm 47, been shooting since I was 10. I have friends that shoot my own firearms better than I do. Yet compared to everyone I " know "who owns a firearm I consider myself above average with handguns and shotguns but below average with rifles.
    I've seen some folks do amazing things with rifles.

    I have no way to compare myself to every gun owner. Thus the pond and the fish.

    I would say that most folks participating on this site have above average firearms knowledge. That knowledge should transfer to their shooting skills, making them above average shooters also.

    From what you describe I'd say you are a good shooter. If you are using a handgun with an under 4" barrel I'd say very good. At least compared to the fish in my pond.;)
     
  9. CornCod

    CornCod Member

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    The truly average gun owner has grandad's old Model 10 Smith & Wesson in his night table drawer and hasn't shot it in 15 years. Even 15 years ago, he just shot it on a lark. There is a big distinction between gun owners and shooters. Keep on shooting!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  10. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    Most folks don't shoot enough to get really good. I know I don't. Plus, my 55 year old eyes simply don't work as well as they did when they and I were younger. I can't clearly see the bullseye on a 25 yard target.

    With any sort of a decent gun I can probably deliver a 4-5" group at 50 feet. That's shooting from standing with a two-handed hold. Once in a great while the sun and the moon and the stars align and the force is with me as seen in the 25 yard target seen below fired from a 6" Python (a notoriously accurate revolver) using full-power Magnum ammo.


    standard.jpg


    I have a Ruger Mk I target 22 pistol made in 1966 that is crazy accurate. I can shoot 2-3" groups with it and I can only imagine what a really competent shooter could do with it. It has the best trigger I have ever felt on any handgun and that seems to be the single biggest factor in printing small groups.


    standard.jpg


    Now that I think about it, my S&W 25-2 seems to want to shoot really well, too. I've only tried it once but I was impressed by how well it grouped. Better than average for me. Might be the weight and long barrel just want to hold steady. Great trigger helps, too.


    standard.jpg
     
  11. Albatross

    Albatross Member

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    I have had the opportunity to hang out with gun owners of both types.

    I shoot rifle and pistol competitions and have witnessed the shooting skills of people who semi-annually attending expensive shooting schools or are shooting instructors for large city police departments and who regularly practice shooting (some more than 20k rounds a year). These people are rare. At the rifle competition I shoot at often 70ish people show up, I'd say less than 10 could be described as above. The majority of the rest are also pretty good, but many who regularly attend have trouble consistently hitting man sized steel at 200 yards (likely due to not knowing the method of "firing a shot). It isn't uncommon for people to fail to complete a stage (usually occurs once or twice a match).

    I also attend college and every year a student group hosts a second amendment day and some 40 (weather depending) college students bring out their guns and shoot them at washing machines and the walls of the rock quarry. I've witnessed it 3 times now (I am graduating in the spring w/ BS in Biology), it didn't happen my senior year because when they all went to the local sports store to buy ammo they were surprised to find that it had been sold out of popular ammo for months.

    I also have a number of pals/acquaintances with large collections of guns, many of which they never shoot. Typically they go out once or twice a year with a few hundred rounds, aren't surprised/upset when they forget to bring targets and happily shoot at some nearby trees and dirt banks.

    Just today, I spent my morning with a couple of such gun owning specimens. One owned 5-6 firearms. He was honestly surprised that there was no .45 ammo locally available (population here 150k). He owns two .45 caliber guns (1911 and glock) that he cannot currently feed.

    Anyway, based upon my experience I am pretty sure that the vast majority of gun owners are terrible shots, with at best, only a vague notion of how to line up the sights and make hits.
     
  12. jad0110

    jad0110 Member

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    More often than not from my observations, it is an RG-10 22 short in place of the Model 10.
     
  13. Oscar 14

    Oscar 14 Member

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    +1 on what Content said. I freely admit to being an awsome (imho) rifle and pistol shot, but, I suck with a scattergun.(pheasants love me) My buddy never misses a bird or a deer but when he shoots one of my handguns, (and it doesn't seem to matter if it's a revolver or an auto) he might as well be throwing a handfull of gravel. I've tried to help him as much as I'm able but he no longer wants to try. Some people are adept at some things and lousy at others. That being said. Practice Practice Practice. I think if I put in the time I'd get better with the shotgun, but I don't. I just have more fun with the rifle and the pistol.
     
  14. Bhamrichard

    Bhamrichard Member

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    Until recently I haven't been much of a shooter, but I'm getting into it more and enjoying myself. This was this past weekend.. 50 rounds, 50 hits so I'm not complaining at this point. This was from 7 then backing up to 15 yards. I did much better than I thought I would :)

    group011.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  15. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Bhamrichard. please reduce the size of your pictures.
    1 inch groups are usually rifle groups. Sometimes handgun target load groups.
    "...How good/bad a shot is the average gun owner?..." Depends entirely on how well the pistol/revolver fits the shooter's hand, whether or not he has taken the time to find the ammo his firearm shoots best and how much he practices. I suspect most shooters who aren't shooting the assorted matches(great fun)/regularly, don't test ammo or practice enough. Worse when he doesn't practice with the ammo he intends using for SD. No point in practicing with target ammo and not with the HP's or whatever used for SD.
    There are a lot of firearm owners, mostly men, who think they're natural shots(John Wayne syndrome) and don't shoot regularly. Just as many who buy a handgun that's too big for their hand and/or in a calibre that's too big for their skills.
    Hitting the paper, consistently, at 7 yards, when you're new, is good. Move out to 10 yards. Join a shooting club and shoot some matches too. Match shooting really is fun and you'll meet some fabulous people. Most of whom will bend over backwards to help you, including letting you shoot their firearms. Opens other doors as well. Invites to hunt, etc. Don't worry about placing or your scores. That'll change.
     
  16. XDemon(m)

    XDemon(m) Member

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    Well, based on the response so far, I am both encouraged (at my own progress), and terrified (for the general population).
     
  17. JLaScala

    JLaScala Member

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    Experience/training + firearm being used + location= accuracy
     
  18. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I can usually miss pretty close.
     
  19. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    Within Internet land, or the physical World?

    'Cause there is a difference.
     
  20. tkopp

    tkopp Member

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    Really depends on the firearm. All these sizes are the result of ~25 rounds. I've been shooting handguns about a year.

    With my kel tec 380 I'm lucky to stay all on paper at 10y. Horribly unergonomic.

    I shoot an 8-10" group at 10 yards with my Tokarev on a bad day, mostly due to horizontal stringing. Darn heavy trigger. I can do 4" with that gun on a good day. All depends on how tired I am.

    Regularly shoot about 6" with my Colt 1911. Most shots will end up in a ragged hole in the middle, but the rest like to pattern out around the orange. With smaller group sizes occasionally I get lucky, but so long as I keep pulling the trigger fliers start emerging.

    With my scoped Ruger MKII government I put them all in a 2" group without difficulty, and it's not tighter because I'm lazy and figure 2" is good enough. From a bench I can push that silly little gun out to 100y. It's a lot of fun.

    So, average? Hard to say. Depends on the hardware.
     
  21. Al LaVodka

    Al LaVodka member

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    "Free standing slow fire I can get them all into an 8" paper plate at 10 yards."

    Dude, you need some serious coaching. For everyone's sake including the public. Not knocking you, just saying...

    Al
     
  22. David E

    David E Member

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    If you want to get better with your handgun, then start shooting some USPSA/IPSC and IDPA competitions.

    www.uspsa.org

    www.idpa.com

    Both sites have "club finders" so you can find the ones near you.
     
  23. LeontheProfessional

    LeontheProfessional Member

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    At 11 yards I can keep all my shots in the head of a full size silhouette with my Glock 22. With my Browning Buckmark I can keep all shots within 3inches at 11 yards.
     
  24. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    At 15 yards, I can keep all of my shots inside 6", two handed hold standing up. This is with my XD-40, an accurate semi-auto. I figure that is good enough for any situation I might run into.
     
  25. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    That's good advice. While IPSC and IDPA won't get you as amped as I'd imagine a real firefight would, it does give you practice shooting under pressure. Range work is good for all kinds of things, but it won't get you in the adrenaline zone and training there is important.
     
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