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Handgun accuracy


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Old 04-02-2010, 11:42 PM   #11
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I want to expand a bit on things I have posted in other threads. Many newcomers to handguns will specify "accuracy" as one of their desires in a gun purchase. My take on this is every production handgun built by a reputable manufacturer will have "acceptable" mechanical accuracy. I've owned and shot handguns for many years and have tried many different varieties. I can state beyond any doubt that I cannot "outshoot" the mechanical accuracy of any handgun I've owned.

I'll caveat this by saying there are differing levels of performance inherent in gun types. A J-frame snubbie can't be expected to have the mechanical accuracy of as a custom shop 1911. Within each design group, I'd wager that there are very, very, very few people that can "exceed" the mechanical accuracy of any quality built gun.

Each of us will tend to shoot some platforms better than others and that's because we're all different. I shoot 1911s better than any other platform - but that's me. To the folks new to the addiction, don't worry to much about the accuracy of any particular gun as the vast majority of accuracy issues relate back to the shooter and not the gun...
Did we miss Bob Munden pop a ballon with a stock 2" snubbie at a couple of hundred yards? S&W snubbies are harder to shoot but they are NOT inaccurate guns. I've seen folks that know how to shoot making cloverleafs with model 36s

I want my handguns to be as accurate as possible because while it is impossible to outshoot the mechanical accuracy of a handgun it is possible, if you can shoot, to get darn near close to it. A bad shooter with an inaccurate handgun is a recipe for disaster because one problem compunds the other. A good shooter with an innacurate handgun will be utterly frustrated.

The best of all worlds is putting the sights where you need them to be and watching a hole appear exactly where your sights were. For that you need a good shooter with an accurate handgun.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:09 AM   #12
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c3, you make me nervous anytime you reply to one of my posts. I agree with you which is why I included the caveat I did. Within a "group" or a "type", say 4 inch barreled production 9mm handguns - there isn't a difference that the average shooter will see. Yes, comparing the inherent accuracy of a GI 1911 to JD's Nighthawk is not appropriate at all. However, comparing the accuracy of JD's Nighthawk to a Les Baer or Ed Brown would be. I'd wager that the vast majority of shooters could not demonstrate the accuracy difference between his Nighthawk and my Kimber Gold Match. Mechanically I'll bet there is a difference but only a true professional shooter might be able to prove it.

This is a good challenge for the Texas meet & greet folks. Lonyeager has some top end 1911s and I'm sure someone will bring some mid-tier 1911s. Lets get a report whether any of the accomplished pistoleers can prove a difference in inherent accuracy...
Kicking us East Costers in the junk again...
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:38 AM   #13
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The accuracy of a gun has a few sides.

One side is the mentioned mechnical accuracy, that depends on the used materials, type of production and so on. That means everything done by the manufacturer.

The next issue is, what one can do additionally to gain the accuracy. Change the type of sights, change the triggerpull, change the trigger type, change grips, and so on.

In the end you have the human accuracy left over. And I think this is the hardest part of accuracy.
I have learned, that with two different fireamrs, you will not shoot with same accuracy.
I hava a CZ75 Pre "B" and a Sig Sauer P226. Although genrally the SIg is the more accurate pistol, I get more good hits with my CZ 75.
Why is that? Well for one these two pistols have differently thick grips. The CZ, although a double stack Mag, has a thinner grip, that fits better into my rather short hands. The Sig has a thicker grip that makes it harder for me to grip.
Then comes the geral ergonics of the two pistols. They are both different and I guess the ergonomics on the CZ just seem to fit me better, then on the Sig.
After that the trigger handling. Sig has a longer trigger travel, before the shot breaks, compared to the CZ, what makes it a bit harder for me to get used to.

Then of course comes the vision. How crisp are the mounted sights? What is with lighting and target visibility at the range and the weather?
How is one feeling on that specific day?

One can`t just break it down to mechnics. There are far to many factors, that interfear with accuracy.
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Old 04-04-2010, 11:26 AM   #14
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IMHO, there ARE variations of accuracy, trigger, etc that are noticable at standard handgun distances- but they may not be something the average shooter would push the envelope for.

Hey can I ask a completely uneducated & noobish question, c3?

Do you have any idea of what 'standard handgun distances' would be classified as? I'm asking as we were shooting at 35m during last Saturday's IPSC comp and have no idea if that would be considered a 'standard' distance.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:04 PM   #15
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Hey can I ask a completely uneducated & noobish question, c3?

Do you have any idea of what 'standard handgun distances' would be classified as? I'm asking as we were shooting at 35m during last Saturday's IPSC comp and have no idea if that would be considered a 'standard' distance.
That depends. Most of us that see a handgun as a practical defensive weapon probably see 3 to 15 yards as "standard handgun distance". Target shooters probably extend that to 25 yards or so. Heck, I couldn't see a target at 35 meters so it would be a waste of time for me to try shooting at that distance.

For me, I tend to judge relative handgun accuracy from say 7-10 yards...
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:14 PM   #16
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That depends. Most of us that see a handgun as a practical defensive weapon probably see 3 to 15 yards as "standard handgun distance". Target shooters probably extend that to 25 yards or so. Heck, I couldn't see a target at 35 meters so it would be a waste of time for me to try shooting at that distance.

For me, I tend to judge relative handgun accuracy from say 7-10 yards...

Ah, many thanks NGIB. Makes a whole lot of difference if you're talking defensively I see now. We don't often shoot at 35m distance, it depends on the particular stage setup for that day. But from what you say then it's no wonder I couldn't see where the fall of shots were going (hell I have trouble at the best of times in the heat of the adrenalin-filled moment, heh) until I (kinda grudgingly!) walked up to check out the targets afterwards and found I got a hostage/no shoot bullseye lol


Seems to be my speciality sometimes
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Yes, at WalMart, you can pick up a gun, ammo, ski mask and your antidepressants all in one trip. Darn convenient if you ask me...:D
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:54 PM   #17
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My Question would rather be, how accuracy can be tested on such short distance.

Yes, there is cobat distance and target distance.

Here in germany we normally shoot at 25 meters. Since combat shooting is not permitted here, we alsway have to get the accuracy to be at it`s best on a distance of 25m.
Anything below that is just getting warmed up or looking for mistakes done by the shooter.

But that is an issue of different countries and laws, I guess.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #18
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Exactly. In places where a defensive gun is not allowed, I expect the norm to be strictly target shooting at longer distances. Here, a large percentage of us carry and train with handguns at defensive distances. At over 25 yards - I'm switching to a rifle...
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:58 PM   #19
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And that is my question.

What does accuracy at combat distances really say about the accuracy of a firearm at all?
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:04 PM   #20
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Maybe nothing to you, maybe everything to me...
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