Where do I measure up?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by wbwanzer, Aug 7, 2022.

  1. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    I would like to get a feel for how I'm shooting. I don't shoot competitively, just against myself, always trying to improve. I'm retired and go to the range on weekdays, so about 90% of the time I'm at my outdoor club range and no one else is there.

    I'm standing, shooting unsupported with a Canik Rival which is 9mm. Not shooting rapid fire but maybe a second between shots. My best 5 shot group the other day was 1 and 3/8 inches from 7 yards. The week before I did a 3 and 1/4 inch 5 shot group from 18 yards. I know that is not great accuracy, but where am I? Poor (hopefully not), average, pretty good, real good? What ever you think, I have improved quite a bit over the last six months and I think dry firing in the evening has helped.

    As I said, usually no one else is at the range, but when there were others folks there, I have been worse than some and better than others. But no one else has been around for a while since I have improved. Anyway, let me know where I stand.

    Thanks
     
  2. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    Sounds good to me. Caniks are great shooting guns.
     
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  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    You won’t win at Camp Perry, but you’re doing much better than the average Joe at the local range, IMO.;)

    FWIW, I offered my thoughts on “what’s good” numerous times, so I just copied & pasted from this link:
    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/what-do-you-consider-good-handgun-shooting.829298/#post-10698972

    “ I agree the answer depends on the type of shooting, but in general, the one asking the question is asking about just picking up a handgun and shooting a slow-fire group on demand. My answer is, and has been the following: Good (but not outstanding) shooting is a consistent and honest 3" at 25 yards. That's a 5-shot unsupported group with a service-sized handgun under no time constraints on an appropriate bullseye-style target. "Consistent" means this is what you're typically able to do on demand (not the once-in-a-lifetime target you hang on your refrigerator), and "honest" means all shots count - no "fliers". Those shooting SA/DA guns should be able to do this in SA as well as DA.

    As far as group size not being relevant if one's interest is SD, I heartily disagree - the fundamentals always matter. If you're a bad shot when you've got all the time in the world and no stress, you're certainly not going to suddenly be competent in a highly stressful situation when those shots really count. If you're competing in runNgun games or mainly interested in SD, working on your marksmanship should be part of every range session.

    Speaking of range sessions; combat accuracy at combat speed is fine. Target accuracy at target speed is fine. But the "combat accuracy at target speed" hybrid isn't fine - it's poor shooting, and there's a lot of it out there. Don't delude yourself into thinking this hybrid form is preparing you for anything. All it's doing is making you dangerously overconfident in your own abilities.”
     
  4. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Good.

    This business of people shooting the proverbial 1” groups at 25 yards always tickles me. It doesn’t come from casual target shooting. It comes from lots and lots of practice and that practice must happen often.

    You are shooting good. Shoot often and enjoy yourself.
     
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  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

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    You're doing fantastic. Definitely above average.

    Keeping it fun is the secret to regular sitting. So long as shooting is fun, you'll shoot more often and you'll keep your skills up there.

    If you find shooting isn't fun, it's time to take a break, pack up for the day, change things up, etc.
     
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  6. Pudge

    Pudge Member

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    6 months?, you're seeing improvement because you're working hard. Keep it up. Lots of work, lots of rounds, grip, sight picture, trigger control, follow-through...

    Nothing makes the groups open up like increasing the distance, but keep your standards high, and they'll tighten up, so you can move back again.
     
  7. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Pretty good shooting! From what I have heard the Canik Rival is a decent pistol with a good trigger. For many decades I have used the 9 ring on a B-8 target (5.5") as my personal standard for decent shooting at 25 yards unsupported.
     
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  8. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    That's the thing I enjoy most about shooting: It's a performing art that you can continually improve upon. When I was younger, I enjoyed things like basketball for the same reason.

    My inexpert opinion, based on not much of anything, is that if I can empty the handgun quickly from seven yards away and cover all of the holes with the palm of my hand, that's probably good enough accuracy for basic SD. (Biased opinion from someone with very large hands.)

    I enjoy shooting at longer ranges for fun and practice, but expect actual SD to be up close and fast and dirty.

    Scruffy-looking guys have tried to get close enough to mug me twice (that I've noticed), and both times my awareness and attitude made drawing a weapon unnecessary.

    (good awareness + basic marksmanship) > (basic awareness + good marksmanship)
     
  9. wbwanzer

    wbwanzer Member

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    Thanks everybody.
     
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  10. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    If I measure myself against this example, well maybe I'll not.
     
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  11. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    It sounds like you are doing well. How is your presentation (draw) from the holster? A pro timer may be a good investment to get true feedback in real time on you overall speed and split times. You can also practice your presentations from a holster in the privacy of your home (double check that pistol is clear). Doing this repeatedly will shave time off of your engagements by developing muscle memory to present the pistol. For realistic drills at various distances, you can go to some of the channels on youtube from people like Kyle Lamb, Tactical Rifleman, and so on. For defensive/combat pistol shooting an experienced coach can provide you some observational feedback and put some "final polish" on your overall performance. You don't need to pay big $ to some famous SOF operator to do this- someone who is decent in your local matches or a former or current cop could give you some valuable pointers. It is always nice to put all the bullets into 1 ragged hole if your objective is to win bullseye matches. Its ok to have some shot dispersion and to sacrifice some accuracy for speed if you are trying to be an efficient tactical shooter. Putting multiple rounds into a larger group quickly is what wins gunfights. The 5 zone of an IPSC target is a good place to start with this.
     
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  12. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Sounds good to me. I am estatic when I get a less than 2" group at seven yards now. My 61 year old son-in-law can't do that good and neither can his 37 year old son. Neither get to practice much or I would be out of luck against them, especially the grandson.
     
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  13. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Pretty good now do it quicker. Do you carry a gun for self defense? If you do it would be wise to practice drawing and putting several shots on target quickly. It sounds like your range allows drawing and moving while shooting so I would practice that too.
     
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  14. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    You are doing well, keep it up!

    Every once in a blue moon I will photo the targets of the blast-o-matic noisemaker in the next lane over as a reminder of why I practice.

    Example; target was at 7 yds from a recent trip, I hope he had fun:

    79E7A4AE-BDC0-4218-A5D0-E8D5E7AF578E.jpeg

    Start slow, practice the fundamentals, focus on the front sight and you’ll be fine.

    Stay safe.
     
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  15. triplebike

    triplebike Member

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    My two newest firearms are both Canik's. A TP9SFX & METE SFX. Your Rival is a cut above those two. Have you considered a red dot? I put a red dot on both and it's really helped my 70+ yr old eyes. My hand gun range is 15yrds. In a standing position on a good day 1-1/2 inch group with 15 rds.
     
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  16. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I've sort of come to the opinion that there are three levels of shooters.

    The first is perfectly demonstrated by @Riomouse911 in post #14. The fellow in question has either never heard of or never listened to basic instructions about sights and trigger, and is probably afraid of his gun. I suspect he makes up 60 to 80 percent of the shooting population.

    The second is made up of folks who did hear and listen to the basic instructions. They generally expect to keep their seven yard groups to 1" to 3", slow or "controlled" rapid fire. I believe these folks make up almost all of the remaining 20 to 40 percent.

    The last group is made up of folks who shoot daily or nearly so, either in the pursuit of trophies or supreme combat performance. This group can be broken down into a couple of subgroups: accuracy and speed. There's obviously some overlap, but the folks concerned primarily with accuracy (10 meter air, 50 meter free, bullseye, etc.) expect that seven yard groups wouldn't be much larger than the diameter of their bullets, while the "practical" fellows are satisfied with the same 1" to 3" groups - but at superhuman speeds. I figure this group might make up something like two or three percent.

    Short version: Sounds like the OP is firmly in group two, which is a fine place to be.

    Postscript: There is, I suppose, a fourth group, made up entirely of online hobbyists. No one can shoot as as well as they can - not even them - and so they should be ignored completely. ;)
     
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  17. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    My pistol shooting has improved over the last 4 years. About once every couple months I’ll shoot my carry pistol and service pistol at a silhouette at 25 yards. That has improved substantially. My bullseye scores are improving but still lacking imho. Hopefully every target is a little better than the last and even a personal best shows where to put effort for more improvement.

    We have an Olympic class shooter who frequents the range and at 80 years old he still shows everyone up, shooting bottle cap size groups at whatever range he decides to put his target.
     
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  18. MrBorland

    MrBorland Member

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    Sadly, this group also includes, IME, a surprising number of gun enthusiasts - those who've either been shooting quite a while, so they think they know everything already and/or those who spend more time talking about guns and their trappings than actually putting quality rounds downrange.

    The OP should be aware that the marksmanship generally displayed at your typical range is pretty abysmal, so it's good to ask to get somewhat objective thoughts on what's "good', beyond the bar you see at the range. Another, more objective way is to look up the ring sizes for an official bullseye target at a given distance, then see what average score you'd need to classify as a marksman, expert or master, and figure out what size grouping it'd take to get that. I haven't checked to see if it jives with my earlier 3"@25, but IMO, a "good" shooter should be able to shoot a sharpshooter-to-low expert (85-to-low 90s, respectively) when they can do so shooting 2-handed, unsupported and under no time constraints. Some may disagree, but I consider this very reasonable, since it's very achievable by the average Joe with some quality practice and reasonably good gun/ammo.

    EDIT: In the event I was blowing smoke, I checked to see if my 3"@25 jived with my high sharpshooter-to-low expert bullseye classification metric. The rings for the NRA B16 25 yard slow fire target are:
    X ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.67 in
    10 ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.51 in
    9 ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2.60 in
    8 ring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.82 in

    There'd be some distribution of the shots, of course, but a 3" group puts 2 shots into the 8-ring, so depending on the distribution and centering of the grouping, you're looking at a score of about 44-45, or 88% - 90%, which is high sharpshooter - low expert.

    Bottom line, then, is: if you want to test your target marksmanship, get some B-16s, set them up at 25 yards, and - taking as much time as you need - take your 5 best shots. You're "good" if you're typical score is in the mid-40s. Or test yourself more by taking your 10 best, and you should regularly score in the mid-to-high 80s, low 90s. Again, though, we're talking about your typical score - not that uber-high score you managed to score once.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
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  19. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I’m pretty happy if I can keep all my shots in the black on the Rapid and Timed fire targets at either 50 feet or 25 yards. That’s a 5.5” circle at 25 yards and a proportionally smaller circle at 50 feet. My consistency is way off though. One day they’ll look like I shot from a rest and the next they’ll look like I used a blindfold. Accuracy, consistency, and speed are all key. I usually just pick one and maybe get two.
     
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  20. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    That makes me better than you. I can miss at high speed with incredible consistency!
     
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  21. DMW1116

    DMW1116 Member

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    I can shoot very accurately and consistently but speed suffers running 50 yards round trip for a contact shot.
     
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  22. mcb

    mcb Member

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    If you willing, find a local USPSA or IDPA group and go shoot a few of their matches. In my experience most USPSA/IDPA clubs will be more than happy to help a relatively new shooter become a better shooter and introduce you to the sport. From a real world sense being reasonable good at these sports will put your gun handling an shooting skills well ahead of the larger majority of handgun shooters. These practical pistol sports are not real world self defense training but it will make you more proficient at your gun handling skills (draw, shooting, reloading, malfunction clearing etc under time pressure) than nearly any other activity you can do with your handgun. Not to mention its a lot of fun.
     
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  23. Jeff olson

    Jeff olson Member

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    3 1/4" at 18 yds is pretty darn good. Hell, even from a rest I'd be content.
     
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  24. eddiememphis

    eddiememphis Member

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    Hey that's me!

    I'll give the original poster one bit of advice that has helped me a lot in narrowing my groups.

    Slow down.

    Mag dumps are fun and it takes discipline to not speed up towards the end of a magazine.

    It you shoot at a slower speed, it gives you time between shots to assess everything that went into them. Try taking 2 seconds between shot next time.

    Don't buy a shot timer, don't shoot for speed over accuracy.

    Once you can hit where you aim, every time, then work on speed.

    Please remember patience. It takes a very long time to become "real good".
     
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  25. Bugster

    Bugster Member

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    I don't shoot competitively, about once or twice a month and for me that is good shooting. I don't compare my accuracy to someone else as they may shoot more or less often than me. I compare my targets to the guy that shoots closest to what I do, mine. If I can get better that's great. If I want to get a good read I do a steady series of practice. I haven't had any problems at least keeping up with my accuracy. A far as non competition shooting goes I would be very satisfied with your accuracy.
     
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