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Old 04-04-2010, 06:11 PM   #21
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My concerns about accuracy in a handgun are only about combat distances. I have rifles for longer ranges.

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Old 04-04-2010, 06:26 PM   #22
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Thanks for the new sig line...

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Old 04-04-2010, 07:04 PM   #23
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Not to waffle on an answer, range is going to depend on the intended use. When shooting practice with one of my pure defense guns, it is usually 7 yds, draw, fire, reload, fire. 10 rds total, 25 second limit. For competition matches, typically 35, 25, 20, 15- mix of standing, barricade, kneeling, etc. Law Enforcement shoots here may run from 7 yds to 65. On the other hand, I am sometimes the idiot over on the 100 yard line with the revolver with the LOOONG barrel. But I usually manage not to embarass self too badly, and at least hit the target. And yes, have stood on the range and watched a member of the USMC team use my model 36 to shoot cloverleafs at 50 ft. Having seen the trophy shelf in his office, I did have the good sense NOT to put money on the outcome.

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Old 04-04-2010, 07:08 PM   #24
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Now that sounds like wisdom C3.

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Old 04-04-2010, 07:09 PM   #25
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Thanks for the new sig line...
My pleasure amigo.
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:13 PM   #26
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Handgun accuracy is usually about the shooter, not the gun. I have fired a lot of different pistols at varying ranges. I'm old enough to remember when mandatory qualification in an agency I worked for included a string of Single Action fire and also some actual 50 yard shooting. (At 50 yards we can quickly separate the boys from the men.) Back then you would approach the range and be issued a range gun you had never held or fired before. S&W M-10, Colt OP or PP, S&W M-15, 19, or 13, etc. All .38s and that was the common factor. You would step up to the line with a dozen other guys, shoot your 60 shot string (with some left handed shooting thrown in there), then clean the pistol and turn it in while the shoots were scored. Later if you weren't happy with the score you could go try again. Sometimes you got the exact same pistol, usually you didn't. If you could shoot, it didn't make a durn bit of difference which pistol you picked up. Can't tell you how many times we heard some novice blame the gun on his 310 score, then have nothing to say when someone else using the same gun shot a 590 (out of 600). All of the gun types were capable of covering a playing card at 50 yards. It was up to you the shooter to let them do that.

Later on PPC became in vogue and the 50 yard shoot and Single Action passed into oblivion as 25 yards became the official maximum range. [Yes, on weekends you'd maybe show up with your pet PPC revolver and spend the whole day at 50 yards competing with someone else who was also doing a 50 yard shoot. Maybe try his gun while he tried yours.] I never saw an inaccurate pistol. I did see mushy trigger pulls, creep, and loose or uncomfortable grips, but those things were fixable.

Then came modified PPC with the 25 yard shot being less important than shooting at 7 or less. Somewhere in there I transitioned from a 4" in a duty holster to become one of the 2" concealed gun guys. Private experimentation against others at the old 50 yard range on weekends soon disclosed that both the little S&W M-36 and the Colt Detective Specials could shoot quite well at 25 yards, and with a little practice and some experimentation even at 50. Similar when we all transitioned to short M-19s.

Somewhere in there agencies adopted the scoreless target in which what would have been an 8 ring shot with the old Colt K target now scored as high as a 10 shot as long as it was in a general 'lethal zone'. This was good for agencies because if we pretended a person could shoot well with a target that fudged scores, then we would spend less money on training. Around the same time period unlimited free ammo for range practice also stopped.

Likewise 'elitism,' as in being an expert shot at all ranges, could be discounted by dropping the shooting scores of marksman, sharpshooter, expert and distinguished expert, and simply substituting qualified vs. non qualified. In some agencies this allowed minimal skill shooters to be promoted as previously in at least two agencies I worked with firearms skill levels had been a pre-requisite for a promotion. Make everyone all pass or fail and everyone can theoretically go up in salary (somehow often only the new hires with college degrees but no experience went up while the ex vets with no degree stayed low salaried) even if the skill level (and experience) was less.

Around the late 80s pinpoint accuracy was very much discouraged. I got yelled at once by 3 different supervisors for cutting my initials into a 7 yard target (sheer boredom and quiet civic protest at the lowered standards that now ruled) while new recruits alongside me sprayed shot gun patterns and were scored the same. Thereafter I would put 33 rounds into the shaded area, then intentionally miss the target's kill zone. [In the 70s (and earlier) top scoring shooter for the year got a plaque and an extra week (off the books). 12 years later you got nothing.] They modified the course again and cut it down to 30 shots. On one hand some of the daintier officers were complaining of sore fingers, and on the other hand the departments were cutting costs by requiring less shooting.

Selling off the real estate where the 50 and 25 yard ranges were kept provided a cash income to the towns and agencies doing the selling. To maintain the pretense that it made no difference, indoor shooting in a trailer came into vogue. Smaller targets would somehow simulate the needed techniques for a 25 yard shot. Lead poisoning law suits soon raised their head and wax bullets came into vogue (any one else remember the Federal and S&W Ny-Clads? A teflon coated lead bullet supposedly not producing any toxic fumes) for judgment shooting. Then came the computerized laser simulator course. I got out of the game at the end of the wonder 9 craze. We qualified with bakelite 9mm bullets in a trailer, then went elsewhere to fire 9 rounds of real ammo, but in an unscored situation, least someone realize that the bakelite bullets had very little resemblance to the real thing.

I was lucky. I had a place of my own to shoot at. I quickly learned that at any practical range my 9mm Luger, my Ingles and my issued Sig 228 were all much more accurate than I would ever be. Bullet holes that touched each other were not unusual at either 7 yards or 20.

At all ranges the front sight is the king. Where it is will tell you where the bullet will go.
Trigger pull consistency and breath control is the queen that sits with the king.
Practice is the Lord that sits at their feet.

Those of us who were serious about being a little better than the other guy back in the days of the old Colt K target, fired at least 1,000 rounds a year. Some way more than that. (job training materials at tax time for the cost of the ammo.) You learned that until your skin toughened up, grooved triggers could mean bloody fingers, but smooth triggers left blisters somewhere around bullet 180 per day. Do two ro three years of that and you got fairly accurate.

IME it isn't about combat range accuracy vs. 50 yard accuracy. Rather instead it is about shooter experience and familiarity with the weapon, the ammo, and the range to the target. It's like riding a bicycle. Once you learn it, it is learned.

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Old 04-05-2010, 12:28 AM   #27
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When I shake that one, the barrel rattles in the bushing like a set of wind chimes.
haha awesome
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:01 AM   #28
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Kdog's point is a valid one, I think. At 25 m. the accuracy potential of a handgun is just beginning to truly kick in. At 50m. it is easy enough to separate the sheep from the goats. I do a lot of long range shooting (100+ m.) with my pistols and iron sights. Consequently, accuracy is important to me. Therefore, I like to know what a pistol will do from a Ransom Rest for two reasons. First it gives me confidence in the pistol to know that it will shoot two inches at 50m. Second, it makes my burden inescapable. I know if I miss a target at that distance, the fault is my mechanics, not the gun's.

At combat distances a pistol that will do only a pitiful six inch group at 25 m. from a Ransom Rest will still be capable of a two inch group at a combat distance of 25 feet. That should be plenty good. But the important thing to remember is that nobody uses a Ransom Rest in combat. So the combat solution boils down to the shooter's ability and training not the gun's potential. Nevertheless, the shooter should try to bend the odds in his favor to the maximum possible when selecting his defensive handgun; reliability, shootability, power and accuracy in that order are the things I would consider in a defensive pistol. (shootability would encompass ergonomics, sights, trigger, feel, balance,etc.)

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Old 04-05-2010, 07:25 AM   #29
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Just e question for my interest.

Here in germany, when a gun (pistol or revolver) is testfired and the testtarget shot at by the manufacturer and the sights zeroed in, that is always done at a range of 25m.

So the testtarget delivered with guns built here in germany, will always show the accuracy on 25m.

What is the distance chosen in the US by companies like Smith & Wesson, Colt, Springfield, and so on, for testing the new guns and zeroing them in?

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Old 04-05-2010, 09:48 AM   #30
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Quote:
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Just e question for my interest.

Here in germany, when a gun (pistol or revolver) is testfired and the testtarget shot at by the manufacturer and the sights zeroed in, that is always done at a range of 25m.

So the testtarget delivered with guns built here in germany, will always show the accuracy on 25m.

What is the distance chosen in the US by companies like Smith & Wesson, Colt, Springfield, and so on, for testing the new guns and zeroing them in?
While I don't buy many of my guns new, I have bought new ones from the 3 makers you referenced. The answer is: I have no idea as test targets are not included with these guns. A fired shell casing is sometimes included (some states here require it) but that's generally it. Again, I think the primary difference between Europe and the US is the intended purpose of handguns. Here in the US the focus is on self-defense whereas Europe the focus is on target shooting...
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