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What Is Reasonable Accuracy For Handguns?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by DMW1116, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Three factors are involved, basically. What is the variation due to the gun itself (probably not able to determine other than from a Ransom rest properly set up), what is the variation due to ammo, and finally, variation due to shooter ability.
    in years past, before health related issues beset me, I could do pretty well testing handgun accuracy from a bench. Certain guns wouldn't shoot as well as others. Duh! I've gotten inch groups at 100 yards with a .17 HMR scoped Tracker on a totally calm day. Same with a 22 bull match barrel Contender. Super Blackhawk, 5" with the irons. 2 9, same.
    Same group at 25 yards, 5" , with a couple military autos, and one holers with a Gold Cup.
    The final answer, it all depends on gun, ammo, skill and then "conditions".
    All that said, my brother could shave 20% off my groups.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  2. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I function tested a batch of 9mm loads yesterday. All fired and stayed in about a 6" group at 25 yards standing. It's not great, but it's a vast improvement from last time I shot standing at that distance. It was several months ago and I was doing good to keep all my rounds in the 8 ring or better of a full size silhouette.
     
  3. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    2" at 25 yards.
     
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  4. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    In my younger days I shot enough Bullseye at 25&50Yds to fill several 55Gal Drums with the empties. Today I no longer shoot Bullseye as I am more orientated to defensive shooting, thus I shoot IDPA targets at 7Yds utilizing a S&W Shield 9X19mm and or M640 38 Spl as examples. You'll have to establish your accuracy standards for you pursuit of purpose. A good read would be the current book-Concealed Carry Class The ABC's Of Self-Defense tools And Tactics by Tom Givens (Gun Digest Presents) Books.
     
  5. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    If you can keep all your hits on a pie pan at 50 yards I think you are doing good. Just my opinion its worth what you paid for it.
     
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  6. CleanDean

    CleanDean Member

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    I am not as precise as Dustin Johnson is at Golf... But I have been told by game & Hunting Guides. " that ole boy puts shots where he wants to" or " he hits what he shoots at".

    BTW. Trigger jobs & good sights ... on my guns helped me a lot, in competition and Hunting.
     
  7. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Nothing wrong with that. Shooting offhand, that's probably better than 90% of the people out there shooting right now.
    For reference the 9 ring on a 25yd NRA bullseye target is 5.5".
     
  8. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I feel like I should be able to hit with the gun as it comes from the factory. That said, there is little doubt a good set of sights would make it easier. I kinda like the trigger, but I'm sure it could be improved too.

    That's good information on the NRA size. I think what is accurate for a rifle is widely known. For a pistol, it's harder to find. Based on the group next to me at the range, it surprises a lot of new pistol shooters how much more difficult it is to shoot a pistol than a rifle accurately.
     
  9. czhen

    czhen Member

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    Accuracy rely on concentration, training (including physically) and repetition.
    However, until you gather all you know and under rules of competition you don't how good you are.
    Some shooter are incredibly good on informal shooting. But poor under stress.
    Know your skills, improve your deficits, in addition some shooters advanced changing categories once they find what they do best more than what they want to do.
    Improving just a tad take months and is physically demanding be ready to quit drinking, coffee and lose some pound.
    Almost forgot, reloading will be your ally, because knowing your hardware is almost mandatory.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
  10. EccentricInTexas

    EccentricInTexas Member

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    I have a Browning Buckmark 22lr I have shot snakes in the head at 25 yards with the first shot when they are swimming across fishing pond. I am not that accurate with any of my other handguns.
     
  11. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    That me with my Victory. It shoots so much better than my 9mm pistols. My goal is to be able to shoot the 9mm as good as the Victory. My never get there, but that's the goal.
     
  12. lsudave

    lsudave Member

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    I'd say handgun accuracy with a good 22 lr (the S&W Victory, a Ruger Mk series, High Standard, etc) is going to be your pinnacle as a shooter. It's a good idea to try to match that with a centerfire pistol, but I doubt you or anyone can do that consistently, especially standing and shooting offhand. At any sort of distance, I'm happy just to hit the target (I'm talking about one of those 7" splatter targets). I think a lot has to do with the sights, they're just not as precise. I imagine if you put most handguns into a vise, you'd get a ragged hole at reasonable distances. Humans (usually) can't maintain that level of consistency with a pistol.
     
  13. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Accuracy is only relative to goals you wish to accomplish in reality, competition or training.

    Some days my groups are 10" at 7 yards (one might say thats terrible). But im drawing from holster and shooting as fast as i can. The accuracy for that training drill is adequate, even so by the highest standards, given that the shots were made in the established [very short] time limit.
    (Glock 19)
    Slow fire at 10 yards, im hoping for 1 ragged hole, call it a 1" or 2" group at 10 yards. On a good day. (Glock 19)

    Hunting deer with a 6" Dan Wesson 44 magnum from a tree stand, im hoping to hit a 9" circle (paper plate) at up to 35 yds. from unsupported 2 hand grip.(My personal limit for that unique situation, i factor error in when hunting animals)
    I can hit 9" groups at 50 yds at the range, but i never will attempt in the field, just because i can do it on the range (with rifles from a rest, different story)

    Practice practice practice of course, with regular training you should be able to shoot better than the guy next to you, usually. Good luck!
     
  14. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I use 5 inch E zee C targets at 25 yards. If I keep all rounds on that 5" target with my carry pistols, I'm happy. I do get way more accuracy out of my Ruger MkII, S&W 22A, and Kel-Tec CP33, but I should since that is what they are for. I don't own any scoped hunting handguns but would expect good groups if I did.

    With any type of shooting but especially with handguns, practice makes perfect.
     
  15. Pivot Dr

    Pivot Dr Member

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    Depends on the gun. My .17 Mach IV is a 1/2” er, many others I have, not so much, but good enough for me.
     
  16. walnut1704

    walnut1704 Member

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    When I first started shooting handguns on a regular basis in the late 70's, the pistol ranges were all 25 & 50 yards. That's a long ways away for a new shooter. Offhand my targets were just all over the place. Staying on an 11 x 17 target was tough. This was discouraging.

    I wondered if it was the gun, or my reloads, so I started shooting over sandbags. After some practice I got good at it which gave me confidence in my equipment. I slowly started standing up more and more, but still shot some from sandbags. I spent a couple of years shooting from a rest. I learned that just about any 6" barreled American made revolver would shoot under 2" at 25 yards for me with the right ammo. They are probably more accurate than that, there's still human error involved to some degree.

    I quit shooting at 25 yards years ago. The proliferation of shorter ranges (7-10-15yards) really made the 25 yard pistol range a thing of the past. The 25 yard line is now mostly populated with rimfire rifles.

    I remember reading some writer who said proficient was keeping all your shots in 8" at 10 yards. Yeah...maybe...seems like a low bar. My own personal goal is all 25 rounds in 4" at 15 yards. I can do that often enough that I've switched to 3" at 15 yards. I don't do that anywhere near as often but I'm staying inside 4" more often.

    Funny thing: shooting at a 3" bull tightened my groups up versus the 4" bull. It's true: aim small, miss small. You'll achieve the results you train for. Push yourself.

    But we all get to approach this endeavor as we see fit. I am a target shooter. Not a Bullseye type but just an informal target shooter. I shoot the guns I've found I shoot best (long barreled revolvers). I have no interest in anything defensive/combat/tactical. That's just me, you get to approach things your way.
     
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  17. CleanDean

    CleanDean Member

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    I always tried and practiced using this training Philosophy...
    Aim small ... miss small. For the most part in shooting for hunter's accuracy that means more than just words.

    The best thing to your advantage is practice with the same good ammo . Ammo that your gun shoots well.
    Shoot as fast as your competence level allows then keep shooting untill your a bit faster.
    Unless you are trying out for the Wyatt Earp tribute show ... You wil be on the right path.
     
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  18. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I think that claims of inaccuracy is more related to the shooter's skill than the gun's lack of accuracy. Of course most shooters want to be known as ol' dead eye and blame the gun instead of fessing up to it being their fault.. As I have aged and my eyesight had degraded along with tremor problems I'm well aware of what causes my guns to be less accurate than I would prefer. That goes for rifles too.
     
  19. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    A vague question with a complicated answer. Depends on several unnamed factors. The specific guns, shooting position and range. Taken out of context, a fixed barrel .22 auto fired from a rest will utterly embarrass a service auto fired offhand. Just as a scoped Super Redhawk will humiliate a .38 snub when fired at 50yds. The purpose for which they are used will determine how to interpret the results. Nobody expects a Super Redhawk to fit in a pocket any more than they expect a .38 snub to shoot tiny groups at 50yds.
     
  20. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    While there are clearly many answers to this question, one thing I can say is my shooting has improved over the last year. Ultimately that's my goal. Today just a bit better than yesterday.

    On a good ending note, I tested out my moms 38 snub nose revolver. Its surprisingly accurate, able to keep 3 rounds in the 10 ring at 15 feet. I've never shot such a revolver before and always thought they'd be all over the place. Decent sights too, so I was quite surprised. Pretty easy to see and line up.
     
  21. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    This isn't from some definitive source, it's just my thoughts on the topic.

    All of this assumes that the guns in question are being used with good quality ammunition that is suitable for the task at hand and accurate enough in the gun being fired so that it doesn't swamp out the accuracy of the gun and dominate the outcome.

    Guns
    • Competition/Target guns should be able to keep all their shots inside the A-Zone/X-Ring at the maximum distance that they will be shot and when fired from a rest.
    • Practical/self-defense guns should be able to keep all their shots inside the highest scoring zone on a practical target at ranges up to 25 yards when fired from a rest.
    • Hunting guns, when tested under ideal conditions, should be able to keep all their shots inside the vitals zone of the animal they will be used to hunt up to double the maximum distance a shot will be taken.

    Shooters
    • Competition/Target shooters should be able to keep most of their shots in the A-Zone/Ten Ring at the maximum distance that the competition is shot when they are firing under match conditions.
    • Practical/self-defense shooters should be able to keep most of their shots inside the highest scoring zone on a practical target at ranges up to 25 yards when fired from typical shooting stances including use of cover. The same should apply at ranges up to 7 yards when the shooter is moving while shooting.
    • Hunters should be able to keep all, or at least very nearly all their shots inside the vitals zone of the animal they are hunting, shooting from field positions and up to the maximum distance a shot will be taken.
     
  22. PzGren

    PzGren Member

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    I have shot competitively for more decades than I care to remember and was the coach in more than one pistol club, preparing shooters for competitions. I expected a good shot to pick up a service sized handgun and keep ten rounds off hand on an eight inch paper plate at 25 yards and to be a good rifle shot to do the same at 100 yards with open sights and from a standing position. Those few talented shooters that could do that after a few months got more attention and time from me to develop them into competitors and go beyond the very basics of pistolcraft.

    When the basics are learnt and reinforced - and for some that took much longer than for others - almost everybody could put at least 8 out of ten shots on the plate.
     
  23. murf

    murf Member

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    one or two handed?

    murf
     
  24. PzGren

    PzGren Member

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    That does not really matter. People that shoot mostly single handed will do better that way. People that shoot with both hands get used to that. For me it does not matter at all, even though I have two hands I shoot both ways and a 6 inch pie plate is fine for me.
     
  25. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I found my old target from a few months ago. There was a reduction in group size of about 25% from then to the 4" circle target I tried a couple of weeks ago. That might well just be the difference in shooting a 4" circle vs a full sihouette target. However, its improvements so I'll take it.
     
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