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Old November 11, 2011, 06:17 PM   #1
steve1147
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What IS good off-hand handgun shooting?

Hello All,
I've never been to a range, only shoot in my back yard, so I have little to compare to except my non-shooting friends who usually shoot the concrete blocks out from under my targets and scare the hell out of the neighbor's cows and my dogs.
With my GP-100, at ten yards, I can normally land most of 50 rounds within a 3" circle off hand, and with an XD-45, maayybbee a 4-5" circle (I need to work more with the .45, I tend to go low and left...).
My sights are standard, and pretty much cover the 4" middle of the target.
How tight do you guys shoot off-hand standing at ten yards? I'd like to know just how BAD I am so I can work to get better!!!
Steve W.
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Old November 11, 2011, 06:38 PM   #2
Nnobby45
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I'm not a target shooter.

Save your life type shooting (also referred to as Combat) is different. If you can put your shots into an area the size your hand (with fingers curled) then that's the first step. Putting them there quickly is the next. When you can do it at a given range, increase the range. You'll have to slow down as range increases.

For target shooting for group, you don't talk about good shooting until you start cutting YOUR group size in half.

I'm talking about doing it on demand--or at least pretty close to that. Not once every 4 tries.

Last edited by Nnobby45; November 11, 2011 at 06:44 PM.
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Old November 11, 2011, 06:41 PM   #3
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Looks like you're asking about target accuracy, in which case my standard answer is that "good" (but not excellent) is an honest & consistent 3" at 25 yards with a serviced-sized gun (e.g. your GP-100). That's 5 unsupported, deliberate, aimed shots. "Honest" means everything counts (no "fliers"), and "consistent" means it's what you can typically do on demand (± 10%). Good Revolver shooters ought to be able to do this in double action, too.
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Old November 11, 2011, 07:28 PM   #4
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And usually people are talking 5 shots per group.
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Old November 11, 2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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Old November 11, 2011, 08:32 PM   #6
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There is a little sure fire "game" you can shoot against yourself, . . . and it gives you a yard stick to use to "measure" if you are getting better or not.

You shoot at five different distances, . . . 10 shots each. All 10 shots have to be accomplished in 30 seconds or less on each stage.

You shoot at 5 yds, 10 yds, 15 yds, 20 yds, and 25 yds.

Score 1 point for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 5 yds.

Score 2 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 10 yds.

Score 3 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 15 yds.

Score 4 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 20 yds.

Score 5 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 25 yds.

Here is the kicker: you have to shoot a perfect string of 10 on each stage before you can move up to the next one.

Example: you shoot a perfect 10 on the first distance, a perfect 20 on the second, but miss one shot on the third string. Now you have to shoot the third string a second time, and the 4th string once for your 50 shot count.

Keep track of your scores, . . . you will be surprized, . . . seriously, . . . how quickly you can get up to the perfect 150.

That is where the fun begins again: once you have maxed out kinda regularly, . . . change to an 8 inch circle, . . . then a 6 inch circle.

When you max out regularly on a 3 inch circle, . . . you are one darn good shooter.

May God bless,
Dwight

PS: Uhh, . . . no, . . . I'm not at 3 inches, . . . yet, . . . but I'm shooting
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Old November 11, 2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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that's a good tip Dwight, I'll be trying that next time at the range.
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Old November 12, 2011, 08:52 AM   #8
Archer 9505
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Thanks ^^

Quote:
There is a little sure fire "game" you can shoot against yourself, . . . and it gives you a yard stick to use to "measure" if you are getting better or not.

You shoot at five different distances, . . . 10 shots each. All 10 shots have to be accomplished in 30 seconds or less on each stage.

You shoot at 5 yds, 10 yds, 15 yds, 20 yds, and 25 yds.

Score 1 point for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 5 yds.

Score 2 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 10 yds.

Score 3 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 15 yds.

Score 4 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 20 yds.

Score 5 points for each hit in a 10 inch circle at 25 yds.

Here is the kicker: you have to shoot a perfect string of 10 on each stage before you can move up to the next one.

Example: you shoot a perfect 10 on the first distance, a perfect 20 on the second, but miss one shot on the third string. Now you have to shoot the third string a second time, and the 4th string once for your 50 shot count.
Thanks, always looking for new shooting regimens to break the routine.
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Old November 12, 2011, 10:57 AM   #9
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I use to "dabble" in International Pistol a bit. You want to be humbled, step up to the line of International Free Pistol. You'll see some outstanding one handed slow fire scores (don't look at my target, it wasn't one of them).

Another one I liked ( and also couldn't shoot very well) was international rapid fire.

You had 5 targets out there at 25 meters. From the shooting hand pointed down at 45 degrees. When the targets turned you had 7 seconds to engage each target once (5 rounds).

Then you did the same thing in 5 seconds.

If that didn't humble you, you had the third stage fired in 3 seconds.

Want to see good one handed off hand shots, take in an international pistol match.
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Old November 12, 2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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In many ways the only way you can know how good you are shooting is to first find out what the gun is capabale of. Your 3-5" groups may be just great if the gun (and ammo) is only capable of 2-4" groups from a bench. But infortunatly for you, your guns are capable of much better accuracy than 2-4" groups and I'm betting that each will shoot 1" groups or better at 10 yards from a bench. More than likely the GP will 1" groups or better from twice that far.

We also have no idea of the type of shooting you are doing. We are assuming slow fire because to tell the truth if you're shooting rapid fire your groups are outstanding. But from a slow or even moderate rate of fire you can do better.

In a lot of circles I'm a average or better than average shooter, in others I'm a below average shooter and in some others yet, I just plain a$$ suck. My benchmark I set for myself is hitting the "majority" of 2" spinners at 50 feet. If I can do that I figure me and the gun are doing something right. But I do have guns that due to the gun, me or the combination of both I really have to limit myself to 30 feet to accomplish the same feat. And to tell you the truth, I don't like a gun that the best the gun will do, or maybe I should say "best I can do with the gun", is 2" at 30 feet. I like accurate guns and more importantly, a gun that "I" can shoot accurately. There is a difference.

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Old November 14, 2011, 10:26 AM   #11
federali
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Offhand shooting

Everyone who has a handgun they might someday use to defend themslvs should be proficient in off hand or one handed shooting, especially with the weak hand. However, I would devote the bulk of my shooting practice to two handed shooting as two hands on the gun is more accurate than one hand.

While I haven't done a search, I'm sure you can find examples of the isoceles and Weaver stances on youtube as well as the FBI crouch, which I think is obsolete.
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Old November 14, 2011, 11:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
However, I would devote the bulk of my shooting practice to two handed shooting as two hands on the gun is more accurate than one hand.
Gonna have to disagree with that. I believe most practice should be done with one hand. Both hands, one at a time.

Think about it, in just about every situation, you're more then likely going to have to shoot with one hand.

In my LE days we did a heck of a lot of building searches. You have a flashlight, door handle, mirror, or something else in the other hand. At traffic stops you'll have a ticket book, radio or something else.

In SD you'll be in the same position, you'll have a car door, bag of groceries, something, or pushing a family member away. Maybe a coat or shirt tail has to be pushed aside to get to the gun. Maybe the bad guy is too close and you want to give a little shove while you draw your revolver.

Go to matches where they interject one handed shooting in a stage, both weak and strong hands, Watch the misses pop up.

Practicing with one hand isn't going to hurt your two handed shooting. But it certainly will help your one handed shooting.

I like to (but don't always do it) spend 2/3s of my practice with my weak hand, and 1/3 with my strong hand. Follow up with a few rounds with two hands. But I'm lazy, and to keep my confidence up, I tend to drift away from that and do most of my shooting with my strong hand.

I carried a pistol/revolver most of my adult life either in the military or LE. Not very often did I have the luxury of having the use of both hands.
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Old November 14, 2011, 11:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Gonna have to disagree with that. I believe most practice should be done with one hand. Both hands, one at a time.
I heartily agree with Kraig on this one. After I started shooting Bullseye (one-handed competition), two-handed shooting became much easier. Now, at the practice range, I do most of my shooting one-handed, using two almost seems like cheating. I still have a long way to go with the weak hand, but it's important too.
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Old November 14, 2011, 01:08 PM   #14
Clifford L. Hughes
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Steve1147:

The ten ring on a standard bulls eye target is 3.5 inches on both the twenty five and the 50yard targets. However, several of the lesser rings are black, about six or seven inches to give a good aiming point. A fifty yards a master shooter shoots 97 to 100 points and at 25 yards, master shooters shot 100 consistently. I haven't shot bulls eye in forty years so I can't give you the actual size of the black. Most bulls eye matches are 2700 points. Most master shooters shoot 2650 out of the 2700.

Semper Fi.

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Last edited by Clifford L. Hughes; November 14, 2011 at 01:13 PM. Reason: word choice
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Old November 14, 2011, 02:18 PM   #15
stu925
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Quote:
Think about it, in just about every situation, you're more then likely going to have to shoot with one hand.
I'll agree with that but I don't practice often enough one handed let alone weak handed. I'll have to start doing more of that I guess. My pistol practice is almost always done on B-27 silhouettes. If I can keep 50 rounds within the 9 ring at 25 yards I'm ok with it. I always start from concealment and practice my reloads while I'm at it. I also try to practice failure drills too, although not as often as I should. I have found I often shoot better weak handed due to having to force myself to slow down and probably because as I get older my eyesight in my right eye seems to be getting worse. I wish I had a place to practice shooting in the dark, however my gun club won't allow it.

I guess the answer to the original question is it depends on what you're talking about, combat style shooting or just straight up target shooting.

Stu
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Old November 14, 2011, 02:53 PM   #16
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For me really good shooting is getting all my shots on paper at 25yds. On a very good day I get every shot in the target zone. That's with a printed out 25yd pistol target.

Personally I practice one handed both weak and strong side as well as two handed.
Single handed is more natural for me, cause that's the way I was first trained. I'm more accurate with modified Weaver.

I shoot at 15yd and 25yd. The only time I shoot 10yd is with a new gun or when I'm having a bad day.
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Old November 14, 2011, 04:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Looks like you're asking about target accuracy, in which case my standard answer is that "good" (but not excellent) is an honest & consistent 3" at 25 yards with a serviced-sized gun (e.g. your GP-100). That's 5 unsupported, deliberate, aimed shots. "Honest" means everything counts (no "fliers"), and "consistent" means it's what you can typically do on demand (± 10%). Good Revolver shooters ought to be able to do this in double action, too
"Good" and "excellent" are subjective terms, but I'd say that is a fairly high standard. Using standard service-style autopistols or revolvers with iron sights, I'd be surprised if one in 10,000 handgun shooters could meet that standard, shooting standing unsupported, whether with one hand or two.

In fact I'd be surprised if one in a thousand could do it from a sandbag rest. The majority of handgun shooters I see, and I see many, can't shoot a tight enough group at any range to sight their guns in properly. Lots of service autopistols, probably the majority, are incapable of shooting consistently into three inches from a machine rest.

It's interesting how quickly we jump from what most shooters can do, to what bullseye champions can do. There are probably only a few thousand serious bullseye shooters in the U.S., and only a handful of those capable of winning a national championship. They don't do it with service pistols, and for the last 30+ years they don't do it with iron sights.
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Old November 14, 2011, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
I'd be surprised if one in 10,000 handgun shooters could meet that standard, shooting standing unsupported, whether with one hand or two.

In fact I'd be surprised if one in a thousand could do it from a sandbag rest. The majority of handgun shooters I see, and I see many, can't shoot a tight enough group at any range to sight their guns in properly. Lots of service autopistols, probably the majority, are incapable of shooting consistently into three inches from a machine rest.

It's interesting how quickly we jump from what most shooters can do, to what bullseye champions can do.
It's a high bar (we are talking about "good", after all), but it's not that high, IMO. Certainly not in the realm of champion bullseye shooters with target pistols. Read GySgt Hughes' post, and you'll see that master level bullseye shooters are capable of much better than 3" @ 25. My guess is that a 3"@25 bullseye shooter would rank as an Expert. An excellent shooter, in my book, as they'd be able to do this under match conditions.

As far as the guns, yes, the gun & ammo have to deliver. Many factory revolvers can deliver the required accuracy, as can many semi-auto rimfire pistols. A Ruger MkII/III or Buckmark should certainly be up to the task with it's preferred ammo.

My 3"@25 is based on what someone can realistically accomplish with good instruction, quality practice and application of the fundamentals. It's true that you don't see this kind of marksmanship at your local range: Sad to say, most people are pretty bad shots, but I don't think we do ourselves any favors by lowering the bar to make the masses feel good about their shooting. IMO, 3"@25 is good, very do-able, and a worthwhile goal.

That's my story & I'm stickin' to it.
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Old November 14, 2011, 09:55 PM   #19
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What is 'good' off hand shooting is subjective.

To a NRA master bullseye shooter 2 inch 25 yard groups might be considered 'good'. TO a NRA Hunter Pistol shooter it might be 3 or 4 inches at that range. To a IPSC shooter it might by 8 inch groups at that range.

And it depends on what you are shooting. Match .45? S&W K-38. J.C. Higgans .22? RG?

But if say you just had a plain jane S&W 4 inch M10 and 158gr LRN 'widow makers', then a 4 inch group at 25 yards would be pretty decent.

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Old November 27, 2011, 05:04 PM   #20
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As noted, what is good is subjective. For most the benchmark that 5 shots inside 4 inches from 25 yards being good is a sound one, in that most cannot do it but could if they dedicated themselves to it. From there, good shooters get better.
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Old November 27, 2011, 07:13 PM   #21
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Once you gain some skill at trigger control, follow-through and calling the shot, you should be able to shoot groups approaching what the gun is capable of producing.

You won't be able to shoot terrific groups every time, but you should be able to shoot good groups on demand.

The Ruger 22/45 shown below could probably shoot groups around 0.3 - 0.5 inches at 25 yds.

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Old December 2, 2011, 12:39 AM   #22
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It is certainly different strokes for different folks. There is no way on God's Green Earth that I can ever get to shooting 3" groups at 25 yards with my S&W 627PC. The revolver has the ability, I do not. Back in the 60's I was on the base rifle team. Today I am a disabled old man with loss of fine motor coordination and half my balance sensors. If I can hold 6-7" at 25 yards, 3-4" at 10 yards, or 2/3'rds on the paper at 50 yards I am very happy. These are a leisurely ten shots in ten seconds, not a rapid fire scenario.

I think folks do a disservice by specifying a certain level of performance is "Good", "Bad", or "Excellent".

It seems to me such judgment calls remain with the individual. If a person is happy with their performance, then shoot to maintain. I not happy, then raise the bar and practice more often, get outside help, try some competition shooting. Keep it up until you are happy with your shooting. Maybe you are one of those types that just ain't happy til you beat the other guys. On the other hand you might be happy putting 3/4's of your shots into the black at whatever range you choose.

Good luck, and happy shooting.
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Old December 3, 2011, 10:16 AM   #23
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Good off hand shooting is a good as you want or need to be.
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Old December 3, 2011, 10:55 AM   #24
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If you have to shoot the neighbor and you shoot him but not his cat you done good. If you are the one still standing after a gun fight and the other gun shooter isn't you done good. If you can do the above using either hand you done good.
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Old December 3, 2011, 05:50 PM   #25
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I agree that there is a huge difference in target shooting and combat shooting. All so if I ever had to shoot with my left hand I would be in trouble. My brother turned me on to shooting with the left hand if the right hand was ever disabled. With my right had (even shooting 1 handed) I am pretty good but shooting left handed my targets look like they where shot with a 12ga rather than a hand gun.

It wasn't until recently that I started working on the speed of my shooting.
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