a question to the really proficient handgunners..

boom

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i'm not that great with a handgun. i simply do not shoot enough, plus i naturally suck a bit to start with. in summary: i'm alright.

if someone says, "i can hit a 12" gong at 100 yards pretty much all the time"...i cannot debate it..i know i cant!

using math..(again.."i'm alright") similar triangles puts that same shooter hitting 3.5" groups at 30 yards.

is this fish-tales? or should the guy go pro for Glock?

never the less, i need to shoot more. :)
 

menhaden_man

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I kind of suck with a handgun too (and have plenty). Best thing for me was getting a heavier gun with a better trigger. The Kimber 45 ACP (I’ve got two) shoots better than my 22s... pretty sure it’s the trigger, weight, feel, sights, and build of a better gun. Not sure if there is a Tikka-like option in handguns

Also sold my 357 SP101 (5 shot, 2.5” bbl) and bought a full-sized GP100. Same round and manufacture but I can shoot it significantly better with the GP100.

Just my experience - others may have better advice.
 

Mighty Mouse

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I wouldn't consider myself an expert marksman with a handgun, but I'm decently accurate. Action type/firing mechanism and trigger quality has a huge impact on my handgun accuracy. A double-action gun with a long, heavy trigger pull like my hammer-fired Ruger LC9 is way more difficult to shoot accurately than a striker-fired automatic like my Springfield XDM9 or a single-action revolver. The overall size of the gun (barrel length and grip size) also affects my ability to shoot accurately.

In reference to your hypothetical groupings, I think there's a decent chance I could shoot 3.5" groups at 30 yds with my Springfield XDM9, but no way I could shoot that accurately with my Ruger LC9. They're both handguns but are very different in form, function, and intended purpose.
 

*zap*

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You did not clarify if they were shooting offhand or off a bench and what sights they were using.
 

Bubblehide

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Boom, our military has conducted a plethora of experiments for just as many reasons. In short two physical factors play a significant role in consistent accurate shooting ability; stamina and wind. Building both into a workout is a significant factor in improving one's accuracy. But like any shooting, if you start with (chit) a less accurate gun, you end with chit. Obviously to me is that this is nothing new for you, but good to keep in mind.

Back in the day, amongst other things, I was an exceptional dart player. So much so that I learned very quickly that no one would play against me. At my next station, my girlfriend bitched me out for playing with my eyes closed. I tried to explain to her that some people needed to win to feel good about themselves. Me, I was more than confident. She did not get it. My point here is not how badass I was, but rather that we both have aged. Back in the day I could skip shotgun shells to 50 yards with my pistol. Today I rarely shoot a pistol and I doubt I could hit a shotgun shell at 20 yards. Is it a lack of practice or age catching up to me. Frankly, I think is is mostly age catching up to me.

In short, hitting steel at 100 yards can be a very lofty goal for a young man. Hitting steel at 100 yards for men our age is a very elusive goal. But, hey, if you never try...
 

*zap*

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If you want to improve handgun shooting learn how to grip properly with the correct amount of 'crush'. Most people hold a handgun but you need to crush it with your grip and the grip needs to be correct. This plays a huge role in quick from the holster shots when exact finger placement on the trigger is not going to be possible, 'you need to shoot with what you get for trigger finger placement', and a crushing grip will mitigate issues from that plus increase follow up shot accuracy. For me functional handgun accuracy is about speed and hitting where you need to hit first and then it becomes about hitting where you need to while moving or while the target is moving. To achieve these most things training should conducted at 1/3-1/2 speed to ingrain proper muscle memory/form.
 

howl

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Beats me. I owned one Glock for a short period. If I had a revolver that wouldn't do 3.5" at 30 yards, I wouldn't own it much longer.
 

5MilesBack

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I used to shoot an 8" gong at a range years ago that was 75 yards with my Beretta M9 every time I was there. I was amazed at the ability of that handgun to hit that gong consistently. There was no rapid fire going on, but single shots were very accurate. I haven't done any longer range stuff in years though.

I loved watching a show a few years ago where some ex special forces guy shot a Glock G20 out to 300 yards at a metal human silhouette. I think he started at 100 and kept walking back 50 yards until he couldn't hit it. Pretty sure he hit 250 after a couple elevation changes, but then gave up at 300.
 

SoDaky

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I'm not much of a handgun shot,don't shoot much,but the Bereta M9 is my one exception.I can shoot that well.
 

Low_Sky

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...hitting 3.5" groups at 30 yards.

is this fish-tales? or should the guy go pro for Glock?
With a box stock glock, yeah probably fish tales. But a good pistol shooter with a good trigger, good sights, a good gun and good ammo can do that. 12 MOA is within human limits if the equipment is suited to the task.
 

tstith

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Some Glocks are easier to make that happen with than others. Sights are a factor but it's not a huge feat. A 34/17L can make it happen easier than let's say a Glock 42/43.
 

OXN939

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never the less, i need to shoot more. :)
This. Some of the above suggestions will make shooting accurately easier, but nothing will be as helpful as enrolling in a handgun course with a reputable instructor. Do this and then wear out a recoil spring putting the lessons you learn to good use, and going to the range will be a completely different experience.
 

muddydogs

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I shoot the 100 yard 12" steel target at my range all the time with what every firearms I brought be it rifles, muzzys or pistols all off hand. It might take me a couple 3 shots to figure out the drop on mouse fart loads out of my 357, 30-30, 7.62X54R or 40 but with normal velocity loads I generally hit 4 out of 6 times with the 2 misses being close. I can even hit 4 out of 8 shots with the little Ruger LCP 380 but it takes a bit of trigger control and a good day.

Most of my hunting shots have been offhand so I take every chance I can get to pop off a few offhand, been shooting that steel plate for the last 10 years or so.
 

Shootinsurveyor

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With a RMRed Glock, hitting at 80-100 is fairly easy. Not drawing on a shot timer or anything, but single shots. I’m going to say the RMR has a lot to do with it as regular sights cover my steel at that range.
 

Salmonchaser

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Not mentioned yet, Front sight, front sight Front sight. 20 years on the job and as an instructor taught me several things. Regarding hand guns, old eyes and hand guns don’t mix well; crush grip don’t limp wrist it, focus on the front sight. I use to piss my problem shooters off because I would make them chant front sight front sight front sight while they were shooting.
regardless the training, shooting a pistol and shooting basketball are athletic events. I routinely shot in the mid to high 90s on any combat qualification. I trained weekly for twenty some years. Don’t think I would shoot three inch groups at that distance routinely.
with a basket ball, if I practiced one a week for twenty years I probably couldn’t hang with the average high school varsity player.
Do I think there are people on here who could shoot 3 inch groups, hell yes, I’ve seen some scary good pistol shooters, but in my mind people who can routinely bang an 8 inch plate at 100 yards are certainly the equivalent of D1 basketball players. Life ain’t fair, God made man fallible, Colt May have tried to make them equal, but, again, life ain’t fair. With proper training you can get better. Have fun, shoot often and if you’ve never had legitimate instruction, treat yourself. You might be surprised how much you can learn.
I spend a day a year getting “refreshed” With a qualified instructor. Doesn’t hurt my feelings a bit. At 65 my speed is still fine, eyes not so much my quals have dropped to 90 and I think they may have given me a point this year:)
 

Desk Jockey

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I used to be more of a handgunner than I am now. Shot USPSA and IDPA matches mostly with some steel challenge and cowboy action mixed in over the years.

I went to a pistol course and the instructors could ring a 100 yard gong pretty regularly on their home range with semi custom to custom guns. They let me try and it was a bit like bow shooting. You experimented until you found a hold over that made the bullet drop hit the target and from there, it wasn’t easy but it was probably easier than you would think. More of a party trick than anything.

To your question about 3.5” groups at 30 yards, yeah, a good bullseye shooter could do that pretty easy. I have seen bullseye target groups from 25 yards that you could cover with a half dollar from guys that were far from expert. A decent uspasa shooter with an open gun and an RMR could probably do it too. With a more stock rig, I would say it would be a challenge but not impossible. I doubt I could do it now or even back when I was shooting a lot.

Depending on what you Intend to do with your pistol craft, I would say there is nothing bad about practicing for very precise and accurate, longer shots. Shooting small groups right where you want fairly far away is a good way to build and hone some skills and would also be good if you were a handgun hunter.

I would however say that I bet most people on this board are just pistol plinkers, or pistol shooters for critter or personnel defense, or both. If defense were your focus then I think training for more for action type shooting is a better use of time and ammo. Rather than shoot bullseyes, I would prefer some speed and action. I would much rather see a hunter that can fast clean a set of Bianchi plates at 10 or 15 yards or shoot an el Presidente in 6-7 seconds than someone who can ring a gong at 100 yards only after taking 10-15 shots to sort out the vertical.
 
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Turkeygetpwnd38

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Definitely doable. There was a time I was shooting 500-1000 rnds every month for a couple of years. Typically shot with a couple of friends on some land set up with silhouettes, dueling trees, gongs, etc. as far out as you could want them. Two of us could do that with regularity. That being said, not sure I could now. I don’t get to shoot near as much and when you are at that level, it is a very perishable skill. Also, I’m not exposed to many other shooters, so not sure how prevalent that ability is, but also know there are guys that wouldn’t even be challenged by that.
 

smithjd

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Keep in mind that a typical service pistol will probably shoot a 2” group at 25 yards at best, probably most would be in the 3-4” range. Most people who use them will never realize that level of accuracy.

IIRC, the FBI spec’d the Springfield Armory Professional 1911s to shoot under 2” at 50 yards. Good bullseye guns were even better than that.

I don’t know how good a good revolver would shoot, but would think they are very accurate, as the pistol silhouette discipline (rams at 200m) is arguably as difficult as any.
Sure, some shooters can utilize the accuracy of these competition guns, or they wouldn’t have been developed.
 

Nealm66

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Jan 14, 2020
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My son just bought a ruger single six that shoots both 45 acp and long colt. We went to the range to shoot some clays and he wanted to put some long colt rounds through it. He hadn’t shot a pistol much but wow, I thought maybe something was wrong with the gun or something. It had been probably 10 years since I shot but I used to shoot a lot , only owned revolvers. I was actually embarrassed when every shot was hitting the bullseye. There was probably 4 or 5 other people shooting and they weren’t doing much better than my son. I’m not sure if anybody else noticed but I did feel a little weird. Target wasn’t very far out,maybe 15 yards? I did compete some with a 44 mag in some bowling pin shoots a few times. I could definitely keep things in a paper plate at a 100 yards with that gun. It was an anaconda with a scope on it. I shot with my father in law who out shot me in every category. His father in law was 94 and completely schooled me shooting clays the first time I went out with him. I’d say if I was trying to learn , I’d start with a ruger single 6 in 22 lr. I have a scoped one that is like a laser. Then I’d got to the 45 Single six knowing if I missed, it’s likely me.
 

JayTx

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Sep 24, 2018
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Never shot pistols long range but watching pistol matches over the years shooting steel at 25 yards as fast as they could I'm betting they could hit a 12" gong at 100 yards. I like long guns for long work.
 
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