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What is "good" for handgun groups?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Demos, Oct 9, 2013.

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  1. Demos

    Demos Member

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    Hi guys ,
    I went to the range and was shooting unsupported standing at 50 feet with my 22/45 and 92FS today and after shooting for a bit I realized that I have no idea what "good" handgun groups. I was consistently getting 2.5-3" groups (5-10 rounds) shooting as soon as I felt the sight picture was good, not deliberately taking my time, and not rushing (I'd say about 2-3 seconds per shot). Should I be proud of that, or disappointed? What should my goal be?

    Thanks,
    Demos
     
  2. Droid noob

    Droid noob Member

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    From the shooting I see at ranges, that probably above average. Most the people I see don't even go past 7-10 yards.
     
  3. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

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    I would call those good groups. Putting rounds in the same general area, where you meant to put them, is good enough for me. Some days I shoot better, some days I shoot worse.
     
  4. Kayaker 1960

    Kayaker 1960 Member

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    Good groups

    I usually shoot at 25 yards. On a good day with my Glock model 22 I can keep most of my shots within a 6" or so circle. With my Buckmark .22 closer to 3". Honestly most folks that I see are hitting all over the target at 25 yards. I've seen a few guys shoot into a 3" circle all day though.
     
  5. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a common rejoinder, but it is really doing a disservice to a new shooter.

    While distance may be irrelevant, accuracy isn't. Accuracy is mostly a matter of trigger control. The way you learn trigger control is by learning consistent trigger management...trigger press. Consistency is developed by shooting very small groups at a distance, measured in yards, to make it easier to see flaws in your technique.

    If all you do is learn to slap the trigger quickly to get your shots into a 6-8" dinner plate at a couple of yards, you're going to develop a horrible flinch which could well cause you to miss under pressure at a couple of feet. I've seen more than a few people miss from that range under just time pressure

    OP - at 50 feet, just a hair under 17 yards, I would think it would be more than acceptable if you kept all your shots under 2".

    That is pretty slow for shooting two handed and that level of accuracy. You might consider some formal instruction to learn to maintain that accuracy while shooting a bit faster. Two shots a second and keeping all shots inside 2" at 15 yards (45') is pretty easy once you have learn the correct technique.

    I usually have clients shoot into a 3"x5" card when shooting a 3-4 shots a second at 5-10 yards
     
  6. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine member

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    To continually get more accurate and faster.

    Personally my scoring system is easy.
    I either put all the rounds in what I'm aiming at (100%),

    or I don't. In which case the score is Zero.


    For instance,
    I do a good bit of low light/dark laser and laser/light shooting in the evenings (home range).
    Mostly I shoot steel at 5 to 15 yards while I'm on the move.
    Lately I've been using a Crimson Trace equipped Ruger SR22. Good gun.
    I have ten magazines so I shoot 100 rounds at a time, mostly at this steel target.
    SR22laserlowlight25to5yards_zpsd8505c92.gif

    This was a couple weeks ago.
    Not bad for rapid fire while I was moving, except I was "killed". I missed one shot (3 o'clock in the black).
    That's not acceptable.


    Just try to get a little better each time you shoot but don't forget to have fun while you are at it. :)



    .
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Sounds like you are shooting quite well. There is group size and then there is placement. Small groups center of target is much better than small groups in the 5 ring.

    If you are looking for a goal, a master rated bullseye shooter on a good day can put 10 rounds all within the X ring at 50 yards slow fire and 25 yards in timed and rapid fire, shooting one handed, no support allowed. The X ring is 1-5/8" and the 10 ring is 3-3/8" in diameter. Now such shooting is an exceptional target but a "Master" rating means that they are shooting (95-96.99%) of the possible score on average while a High Master is shooting over 97%.
     
  8. PakWaan

    PakWaan Member

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    3" groups at 50 feet is good. Keep the fundamentals in mind and keep shooting!

    target.jpg
     
  9. TestPilot

    TestPilot Member

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    What is "realistic" about limiting yourself to be a 1ft range wonder?

    There are cases after cases where it is proven that self-defense shooting also happens greater range.

    Range is relevant. Not only is long distance shooting relevant for distant target, it is also relevant for small target at close range.

    Only in a fantasy world, thugs always present full frontal body like a B-27 target.
     
  10. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    Demos, in my experience shooting that well at 16 to 17 yards (your 50 feet) is pretty darn good.

    It's about average among the group I shoot with. But the group I shoot with are all long time shooters with good skill level. On the other hand compared to the average once a month noise maker at the range you're doing WELL above average.

    Now don't go all mushy and start resting on your success... :D I'm no bullseye Olympic shooter. But on a good day at the same 16 to 17 yards I can produce 2 to 2.5 inch groups pretty consistently. I'm somewhat limited to that thanks to my "old guy eyes" and nerves. And provided I'm not all coffee'd up.... :D
     
  11. MrWesson

    MrWesson Member

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    At 25yds I can do a 3-4" group pretty consistant with my XD9 with a trigger job.

    .22 with a red dot can get down to around 2" at the same distance. Done off hand of course without a rest.

    I consider that to be good and you to be above average.

    Keep in mind the average joe blasts away a mag at a time rapid fire never focusing much on bullseye type of accuracy. I'd say 6-10" groupings at 15yds to be around the average I see from my buddies who own guns but aren't huge shooters(id consider that average).

    I worked hard to get my long range pistol groups down by doing hand exercises,holding milk jugs for a commercial while watching TV,dry fire, and etc.
     
  12. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Most shooters at the handgun range have no idea what they're doing. They blast away pretty randomly at 10 yard targets, hitting vague groups. It's a sad spectacle of American marksmanship these days. If you can master the basic stances and pay attention to fundamentals it's not difficult to do much, much better.
     
  13. scaatylobo

    scaatylobo Member

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    For S/D ?

    If your talking self defense shooting groups ?, then I vote for a FAST grouping of no more than 5".

    And that at between 3' and 7 yards.

    All distances in between.

    If your talking about just slow fire for accuracy ,then slow fire at 25 yards should be no more than 3" group = leastwise that is my 00.02 cent.
     
  14. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    My revolver can do this (five shots at 25 yards):

    FreedomArmsAccuracyTest_zpsfa2c8816.jpg

    I cannot (yet).

    Dan
     
  15. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    PakWaan,

    I can consistently shoot groups, like yours, at 15 yards with my Colt Trooper 4" .38 Spl.revolver. I'm not an Olympic shooter either, just pounds and pounds of powder and lead, plus a place I can go 2 or 3 times a week. Good shooting.
     
  16. MrWesson

    MrWesson Member

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    You mean the gun capable of that right?

    I know very few people who can do that unsupported and offhand.

    Very few.
     
  17. dvnv

    dvnv Member

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    I think Ross Seyfried said one was a decent shot if he could shoot groups that were an inch for every ten yards of distance.
     
  18. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator Staff Member

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    My standard for good (but not excellent) handgun target-style shooting is 3"@25 yards with a serviced-sized handgun. Revolver shooters ought to be able to do this in DA as well as SA. These are 5-round, unsupported, honest and consistent groups shot under no time constraints. "Honest" means no "fliers - everything counts, and "consistent" means that 3" group you shot isn't a once-in-a-lifetime event. :rolleyes:

    IMO, 3" @ 50ft is much better than what you're likely to see at most ranges, but it's not likely what one is able to do with a little good instruction, practice and mindset.
     
  19. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I see that you are getting some very different answers, depending upon the abilities of the shooters.

    IMHO, you are doing quite well, although you should continue to concentrating on improving. Then again, I can't shoot 3" at 25 yards, and I have never seen anyone who can...although I'm sure that some can, they are not common.

    When I am at the range, 75-85% of the guys there shoot 12" groups at 9-15 feet...on a good day. I shoot mostly at 25 feet, and if I can make 5 rds touch I'm pretty happy. If I can do it twice, so much the better. That doesn't happen very often.

    Hmmm...not to be disagreeable, but I think that shooting small groups is far more difficult. If you can shoot a small group consistently, then you can either adjust (or change) your sights to move that group, or you can use "Kentucky windage" to place that small group where you want it. Just my .02.
     
  20. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    That is a pretty reasonable standard

    No, acceptable gun capability would be that at 50 yards. A really accurate service handgun will let a shooter keep pretty much <2" off a sandbag. A really good shooter...I'm not one...will hold 3-4" at 50 yards, with that gun.

    It only makes sense to aspire to be a better shooter as opposed to an average shooter

    At just over 8 yards, taking my time shooting, I'd be really concerned if my shots didn't touch
     
  21. hovercat

    hovercat Member

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    My starting question is, What is your firearm + ammo combination capable of? See if you can borrow a rest, or at least use sandbags. You may or may not want to try different ammo to get better groups. You cannot hold better than your pistol accuracy.
     
  22. MrWesson

    MrWesson Member

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    I guess I hang around the wrong groups of shooters.

    In my defense I mostly hang around USPSA shooters a couple being top tier(shoot for a living) and any one of these guys could barely hold a 3" group together at 30yds(most couldn't). I know its a different discipline but still.

    I can come close with different pistols but with my XD with a trigger job I can do 3" at 25yds pretty regularly(still not easy) and get within 6" at 50yds.

    I will say that after 10 years of shooting every week I have only met a few people who could keep it inside 5" at 25yds with a centerfire service gun.

    When I shoot rimfire bullseye matches we shoot out to 50yds and I see some good shooting with super modified pistols with scopes but offhand centerfire being a huge difference.

    Internet good VS real world good IMO hugely different things.

    Edit: What I mean by internet good is a larger pool of shooters, some BS, and most people who read/post about shooting are above average to begin with.
     
  23. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    THE CHAIR IS AGAINST THE WALL
    I'm about to get somewhat philosophical, so bear with me.

    What is "good" accuracy?

    This question leads to another question, one that's a bit more complicated, but with a much more satisfying answer.

    So, what is "good" accuracy?

    Well, by what standard to you want to measure "good"?

    If you can answer that question, you now have a standard by which you can judge your current abilities, and hopefully a path to follow for improvement.

    What constitutes good will vary depending on the standard you want, and what you want to accomplish. Are you interested in just beating your buddy? Being prepared for a self-defense situation? Competing in Olympic- or NRA-style bullseye matches? Shooting an IDPA or IPSC match?

    At the very base, are you interested in pursuing pure accuracy, or does your concept of accuracy take into account things like timed pressure, speed, drawing from a holster, multiple targets, moving, reloading, etc?

    If you answer these question, you now have some idea of where you want to go on your journey to become more accurate.
     
  24. Justin

    Justin Moderator Emeritus

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    I will add one caveat to my above post.

    Make sure you don't choose accuracy standards that are too low, lest you end up spouting this sort of nonsense:



    The biggest advantage offered by a handgun, especially in a self-defense situation, is that it allows you to engage your adversary without having to be within physical touching distance.

    If you can't hit a target, under pressure, from more than a couple of feet, you've completely defeated the purpose of carrying a handgun in the first place.
     
  25. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    The guys I was referring to earlier...3-4" at 50 yards...are USPSA Grand Masters. They are a bit older, but you might have heard of them Bruce Gray and Mickey Fowler...and they both tell me Mike Dalton is even more accurate.

    It really isn't that different, they can just take that accuracy and do it at high speed when they need to
     
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