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What do you consider good handgun Shooting?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by ScrapMetalSlug, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. UpperAtmosphere

    UpperAtmosphere Member

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    Winning money at league. :)
     
  2. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    If it is a revolver and I am shooting DA, I consider it good shooting if I hit the target. Don't care about groups just hitting the target.
     
  3. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I got my first revolver at a young age and thought myself to be a pretty good shot with a handgun until I got my first snub revolver.
    I thought there was something wrong with the gun until I realized all my shots were going low and left.
    Grip. Trigger control. Sight picture. Trigger finger placement. Concentration.
    It's easy to shoot a rifle accurately, you gotta go to another level to shoot a handgun with consistent accuracy.
    Once you get it all sorted out, you can ring the 100yd gong like Hickok45
     
  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Not trying to be snarky, but you might consider it good shooting, but that doesn't make it so. You describe the marksmanship of first time shooters at the local range. Your bar should be considerably higher, IMO. With some practice, one can be pretty darned accurate with the DA trigger (3"@25 yards; see my earlier comment). Even if you're not shooting for groups, one can score multiple and fast CoM hits with a DA revolver.
     
  5. Danoobie

    Danoobie Member

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    Improving my groups, every time I shoot what I brought to the range that day.
    IME, accuracy is going to vary some, from pistol to pistol.
     
  6. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Absolutely, and way to many of these folks are preaching the "combat accuracy" mantra and have no idea what a good shot can do in the time they're taking to get "combat accurate" hits.
     
  7. Milt1

    Milt1 Member

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    You mentioned Hickok45 and his abilities. I think anyone can do what Hickok does with just a little practice. Handguns are much more accurate than people realize. I used to hunt jackrabbits in Montana with a .22 pistol and hits up to 75 yards were not unusual with my butt on the ground and bracing the pistol off my knee. Recently I tried my SR-22 at 25 yards off a padded rest just to see what it would do. I shot a five shot group that measured 3 & 1/4 inch and if I remove one shot from that group, the four remaining measure 2 & 1/2 inches. I think the SR-22 has a 3 & 1/2 inch barrel.
    If one practices with a handgun at different ranges (not in a SD mode) it's amazing how good one can get.
     
  8. bds
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    bds Member

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    With A LOT of practice. ;)

    He has his own range right behind his house. He will often shoot in a day what most people shoot in several months.
     
  9. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Even so, he's a plinker, so he's good at plinking. He hits his intended target, so he demonstrates decent marksmanship, but that doesn't automatically mean he's the truly exceptional shot many seem to credit him to be.

    Based on what I've seen, I tend to agree with @Milt1 that most can do what he does (and/or better) if they'd just put a little quality time and effort into it.
     
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  10. bds
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    bds Member

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    I have been a fan of Hickok45 for a few years and believe me, from what I have gleaned, he is not your average "plinker" guy from Tennessee.

    He has been shooting for 50+ years and has been through numerous LE training academies and courses. He also competed in USPSA matches. While he was a reserve deputy he shot hundreds of thousands of rounds and in his lifetime perhaps millions of rounds.

    I shot USPSA and fast approaching 500,000 round count and even though most of those rounds were reloads at lower cost, my factory ammunition and reloading expense is totaling around $100,000. And I only shot local matches. While I can shoot 2" average groups at 25 yards with most pistols I have, there are regional USPSA match shooters who compete up and down the state with way more trigger time than me and they will leave me in the dust as to speed and accuracy.

    Trigger time does matter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  11. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    It's necessary, but not sufficient.

    There are guys who've been shooting for decades, have training at LE academies, shoot competitively and spend boatloads of money on their hobby, and yet, aren't nearly as good a shot as one would expect.

    It takes more than trigger time - it takes quality and focused trigger time. And IMO, so long as the quality and focus are there, one doesn't need "Hickok45" amounts of trigger time to gain reasonable proficiency, nor, as mentioned, does that amount of trigger time alone guarantee you anything. The hypothetical shooters just mentioned are simply good at repeating what they've been doing.

    I'm not concluding Hickok45 is a bad shot. He might very well be able to shoot 25 & 50 yard cloverleafs on demand, but all I and anyone else have to go on is his plinking, so all I and anyone else can conclude is that he's a good plinker.
     
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  12. bds
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    bds Member

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    OK. How about "deliberate" trigger time does matter?

    I have taught countless people, including LEO, to shoot - particularly point shooting. No, I am not a professional trainer.

    Most people, within one 30 minute session with me can learn the basics of point shooting at 5-7 yards using multiple targets to achieve minute of paper plate sized groups. I tell people it takes deliberate practice to shrink group size down to melon, softball and even baseball size to shoot fast and still maintain group size - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...r-good-handgun-shooting.829298/#post-10696936

    Some people would call softball/baseball sized groups at 5-7 yards with sighted shooting "good shooting", especially when done with speed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  13. 340PD

    340PD Member

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    It is not "what is considered good shooting", it is all about "what is considered good shooting while under extreme pressure". I suspect everyone's group sizes will expand exponentially in the latter scenario.
     
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  14. bgw45

    bgw45 Member

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    Accepting my best effort.
     
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  15. Jim NE

    Jim NE Member

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    I'm not a competitive shooter, so center mass at 20 yards is the requirement for my guns. Even at that, I understand that there are going to be a few flyers now and then. Unless they're cheap conversation pieces, I won't own a gun that can't work reliably and shoot with self-defense accuracy. Still, If I have a revolver that's a consistent flyer on one specific chamber, I don't want to keep that gun. I also have a CZ 52 that's on the borderline of acceptability of accuracy...and those are supposed to be accurate guns.

    As far as my own abilities go, I'm not in the good shot category, but competent. Part of my problem is owning a wide range of handguns, so I don't hone my skills on any one pistol or revolver....though I do have regular carry pieces and stay practiced with them. A good shot is someone who can keep it in a saucer sized circle at 25 yards most of the time.
     
  16. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    Marksman in IDPA is a good indicator if your main interest is defensive and action pistol disciplines. Handgun hunting and sports with less time pressure favor accuracy more than a combination of speed and accuracy.

    In my first few years as an NRA trainer, I became familiar with the NRA Marksmanship Qualification program, which I like a lot.

    By the time you reach the Expert level in the Pistol Qualification, you are well above average in terms of what I've seen seeking my training for concealed carry licenses. See:

    https://mqp.nra.org/media/4205/pistol-qualification.pdf

    After you reach that level (between above average and good), you may want to have a look at the qualification program called Defensive Pistol 1:

    https://mqp.nra.org/media/4199/defensive-pistol.pdf

    By the time you reach Expert here, I'd say you are pretty good. These qualifications are pretty good, orderly, and achievable preparation to get from beginner to good. After that, I recommend branching out to some of the action pistol sports (IDPA, ISPSA, Steel Challenge, NRA Action Pistol, Multi-Gun, etc.) for continued improvement. Resist the temptations to geek out the equipment and game it, try and use the opportunities to improve your marksmanship. Someone who reaches the Marksman level in IDPA and the equivalent in two other disciplines is probably going to prevail in real life, especially if they do it with their real duty/carry gun.
     
  17. DDDWho

    DDDWho Member

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    Three years ago I bought a Remington R1S, 1911. I brought it home from my FFL, loaded it up, set a target 30 yards (60 feet) from my front porch and using the bannister for a rest fired 3 rounds. The one lower left I call the fouling round.
    When I walked up to the target I said aloud "thats good enough"

    DSC02244_zps3ed3f0b3.jpg
     
  18. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

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    4" groups from 1-25 yards. Losing even 50% of your hand-eye coordination means you're getting 6" groups. This still puts rounds in the cardiac triangle or head from the front or sides.
     
  19. cp1969

    cp1969 Member

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    Was all this with a stationary target? My definition of a "good shot" is one who can hit a small (say, 6" diameter) moving target before he runs out of ammo.
     
  20. bds
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    bds Member

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    I used to shoot 5 shot groups to determine accuracy of my pistols/barrels/reloads but at the urging of THR members jmorris and Bart B. (who posted all shots count), I now always shoot 10 shot groups to determine accuracy.
     
  21. hdwhit
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    hdwhit Member

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    At the distances you shoot, can you reliably (say, 9 our of 10 time) put the bullet where you are aiming? If so, you're good.
     
  22. bds
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    bds Member

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    And the key word is "reliably". It doesn't matter what your smallest shot group was "once" in a blue moon or years ago.

    It is what you are able to shoot consistently that counts.
    • I can "reliably" shoot a slightly crooked smiley face fast offhand at 7 yards
    • I can "reliably" shoot fast double-taps at 7-15 yards into 1/2 sheet of 8.5"x11" copy paper targets (tool I used to hit all A's for USPSA scoring).
    • I can "reliably" slow shoot all my shots into 1/4 sheet copy paper targets out to 15 yards (tool I used to practice head shots).
    • I can "reliably" point shoot 4"-6" groups at 5-7 yards.
     
  23. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    While I agree with you that his abilities shouldn't be put on an alter as they are pretty easily achievable with a little focused practice, I can pretty easily deduce that Hickok45 is easily capable of your 3" @ 25 yards benchmark, his 200 yard gong is 24".
    You're gonna need to define speed though softball size groups @ .5 splits isn't going to cut it, yet a lot of folks call 2 shots a second fast.
     
  24. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    Sure, I agree it's likely he can shoot 3@25 - as I indicated earlier, it's what I think is reasonably achievable by most with a little quality instruction and practice. But as you suggest, many of his admirers confer superhuman marksmanship skills upon him. He might be a superhuman marksman, but one can't conclude that from his vids (or number of rounds downrange, money spent, training classes attended, etc).

    Also, it always seemed to me that assigning superhuman skills to select others is often a very slippery slope, as it can become a way guaranteeing our own underperformance. When we do this, we think we're merely being humble, but our subconscious hears "they're great; I suck and will never be great". This becomes what we subconsciously believe about ourselves - it becomes our self-image - so this is how we shoot. Yet, as Lanny Bassham preaches, "self image = performance". The dude stuck in "Expert Hell" is often there because, while he believes he wants to make Master, his self-image is that of an Expert, so, without knowing it, he undermines his own efforts at making Master. It's a really frustrating place to be.

    My advice to shooters looking to improve is to learn from better shooters and respect their skills, but never put them on an altar. Dumping all your other negative narratives isn't a bad idea, either ;)
     
  25. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    I would say that accuracy is what your trying to accomplish with in the constraints of time and distance. As an example I do a certain amount of handgun shooting at 7&10Yds by indexing the handgun outline as opposed to standard sight alignment on as an example the IDPA target employing rapid firing sequences with movement lateral, diagonal and retreat/fallback. That's completely different than Bullseye at 25 & 50Yds.
     

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