The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The North Corral > Competition Shooting

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 29, 2017, 12:39 PM   #1
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Reasonable expectations for a "decent group" - 9mm military at 25 meters?

Hi all,

I have a Luger P08 and a Walther P38 which I have tried at competitions shooting at military targets at 25 meters. What is a "reasonable" expectation for a "decent group" when shooting with one hand, and 30 seconds to fire 5 rounds?

I am a shooter who can get 2-inch groups with a 22 cal S&W Model 41 using CCI MiniMags at 10 meters. (2 hands). With one hand the spread is up to about 4 inches with an occasional flyer.

The Luger is a great gun to shoot but the sights are difficult. P38 sights are a bit better. Recoil is significant (I use Fiocchi 124 gr FMJRN). I don't think I am flinching... have researched my grip; my trigger pull is steady and straight back....

Perhaps I need to shoot a proper target using a bench rest and see where these rounds go- I haven't done that yet.

I'm looking for a quality target 9 mm semi-auto which I can use in competitions as described above. I have my eye on a Sig P210, a Sig P210-6 (my preference now from the description) and a 1975 Luger P08 bullbarrel (shooter, not collector), because it's an unusual gun, because I like Lugers and because this should be a very good target shooter.

Have already received GREAT feedback in the thread below: THANK you!
https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=589689

Here I am asking about technique, or practise tips to root out errors.

Feedback most welcome. Thanks!
__________________
Enjoying any firearm is like staying happily married- take her out on a regular basis, treat her with respect and pay attention to proper maintenance.
RShaw, Venlo, the Netherlands

Last edited by rshaw; September 29, 2017 at 12:46 PM.
rshaw is offline  
Old September 30, 2017, 11:44 AM   #2
ShootistPRS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2017
Posts: 1,584
Practice is the key to success. Practice with live ammo is not the "best" for accuracy, especially with handguns. Dry fire practice is a great tool to learn breathing technique and trigger control. It will also help with sight acquisition and alignment. Handguns require a consistent hold in order to get accurate results. This requires practice without the blast and recoil of the gun. You should dry fire at least twice as much as you actually fire the gun. I used to balance a dime on the front sight and practice double action (on a revolver) in order to get a consistent grip and a smooth pull.Once I got the grip and trigger control down I practiced sight acquisition and alignment. Start slow, noticing how things change as you pull the trigger and work to be smooth first and then add speed.
ShootistPRS is offline  
Old September 30, 2017, 12:06 PM   #3
tangolima
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2013
Posts: 2,043
I expect a service pistol can group better than 12" out 25m at the least. 8" is average. 6” is good. 4" is very good. 3" or less is excellent. 10 shots or more.

It is my standard.

-TL

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
tangolima is offline  
Old September 30, 2017, 01:12 PM   #4
ShootistPRS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2017
Posts: 1,584
I am not sure how one defines a "service pistol" but I shoot under two inches with my CZ75B at 25 yards and I am still looking for a good load. The gun is still new to me and I know that part of my problem is getting and keeping a consistent hold on the grips. I don't consider two inch groups acceptable or even adequate. I expect that I will get the group size down to one inch like I get with my 357.
ShootistPRS is offline  
Old September 30, 2017, 02:19 PM   #5
tangolima
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2013
Posts: 2,043
A service pistol is like one you will find in a plain policeman or a soldier's holster as issued. No custom parts, optics, or fancy trigger job. The ammunition should be close to the issued load, not reduced target load. If you can shoot less than 1” group 10 shots or more out 25m, you are definitely a better man than me.

-TL

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk
tangolima is offline  
Old September 30, 2017, 07:59 PM   #6
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,776
Shoot the guns on the bench with sandbags to determine how well they'll group. Chances are neither will hold 2". they are not target guns. A new FS92, Sig, even a new Glock may shoot into 2" with the right ammo. Standing on your hind feet with one hand and shooting into 2" is great shooting. A 1911 gun is easier for me to shoot than an FS92----don't know why, I cannot shoot the Beretta with one hand. Test the gun on the bench, then test your ability.
pete2 is offline  
Old October 4, 2017, 12:14 AM   #7
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Thanks to all!! Yes I have some homework to do.
I have not dry fired my pistols at all, nor have I shot from a bench rest.
I was concerned that the gun or ammo was at fault, but I realize these are not target guns. Still, with these suggestions I should be able to do better.

BTW, I saw the Luger bull barrel last Sunday. Beautiful firearm but too expensive for a shooter. Has serious scratches as well- not normal wear- so decided to pass.
rshaw is offline  
Old October 4, 2017, 08:27 AM   #8
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 15,101
A Swiss made P210-6 will have shot a 50mm group at 50 meters. That by the company expert from a rest, but it shows you what the gun will do. The test target will have been included with the gun and may still be in the box.

The best I could do with mine from a sandbag rest was about that size group at 25 yards. Limitations of the shooter, and in some cases the ammunition, not the gun.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old October 4, 2017, 10:54 AM   #9
ShootistPRS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2017
Posts: 1,584
When shooting Hunter's Pistol Silhouette I was shooting under 2" groups with my revolver at 50 yards off hand. I was a AAA category shooter when that was the top classification. The revolver was a Ruger 357 4" with nothing done but a load developed for it. The gun is still capable of under one inch groups at 25 yards but sadly I am not except from a rest. My CZ75B is now shooting under 2 inch groups and I am just zeroing in on a load for it. I am sure that I will be able to get one inch groups from a rest.

I measure my groups with 20 rounds in an aggregate target so It takes steady hands and good sights with a load developed for the gun. I don't imagine that most shooters do the load work-up for pistols that I do.
ShootistPRS is offline  
Old October 5, 2017, 07:11 AM   #10
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Thanks Jim!! It's good to know that the gun is not the limiting factor.... but I should do the bench test just to see how consistent the results are.

Shootist, I did my own loads when I lived in the USA, but that was almost 30 years ago. Here I use commercial ammo, and have to be happy with that for now. Your shooting achievements are remarkable!!

Am almost for sure going to acquire a Sig P210-5 (with the extended 150 mm barrel) which I just saw yesterday at a local LGS (I've bought ammo and accessories from them). Balance, overall feel, and sight picture are all very nice! More about that on page 5 of the thread whose link is here below:
https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...=589689&page=5

Thanks for all the feedback!! Much appreciated
rshaw is offline  
Old October 5, 2017, 11:07 AM   #11
MrBorland
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2,545
Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw
What is a "reasonable" expectation for a "decent group" when shooting with one hand, and 30 seconds to fire 5 rounds?
Some see it as a high bar, but my standard for "good" (but not excellent) 2-handed handgun marksmanship is a consistent and honest 3" at 25 yards, 5 shots, unsupported with a serviced sized handgun of reasonable quality, and decent ammo (DA/SA revolver shooters ought to be able to do this in both DA and SA mode). Some bullseye shooters have told me that since they're so practiced, their 2-handed marksmanship isn't much better than their 1-handed. Still, for most, I'd open that up to 4" at 25 for 1-handed. "Consistent" means that's what you're typically able to do on command, and not the once-in-a-lifetime target that's hanging on your fridge. "Honest" means everything counts, i.e., you don't discount shots as a "fliers" just because they don't group as well as the others.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tangolima
I expect a service pistol can group better than 12" out 25m at the least. 8" is average. 6” is good. 4" is very good. 3" or less is excellent. 10 shots or more.
Well, I typically shoot 5-shot groups, and I was able to group my new-to-me M&P into 3" or better on the first day I got it. I don't know for sure how much that'd open up with 10-shots, but my guess is a decent "service pistol" itself should be capable of 3" at 25 or better from a rest, so a good shooter ought to be able to be able to get 4ish" at 25 2-handed. IMO, a good quality (but not dedicated target) revolver or semi-auto with good sights, trigger & ammo ought to print an inch or better at 25 yards from a rest.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw
I am a shooter who can get 2-inch groups with a 22 cal S&W Model 41 using CCI MiniMags at 10 meters.
BTW, if it were my M41, I'd only be shooting SV ammo through it. As I understand it, the M41 wasn't designed for HV ammo like minimags, and their use can add wear and tear (or even damage) over the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rshaw
I should do the bench test just to see how consistent the results are
+1.
MrBorland is offline  
Old October 5, 2017, 01:19 PM   #12
stuckinthe60s
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 31, 2017
Location: Va., Ct., Mo..
Posts: 251
depends soley on the trigger and your skill.
i can easily put all mine in a 4" group at 25yds OH with a sig 226.
__________________
Retired Military Aviation
Former Member Navy Shooting Team
Distinguished Pistol Shot
NSSA All American
stuckinthe60s is offline  
Old October 5, 2017, 06:20 PM   #13
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Well.... I have some decent targets to work toward. I just shot my P38 with subsonic 145 gr rounds on a bench today- At 10 meters and 5 rounds, group was pretty close- within 3" and one flyer. 25 meters was terrible. Recoil is considerable. I'm waiting for that Sig P210-5 which I will almost certainly purchase- and see what that does. We all know that gun is accurate. And ammo cannot be THAT bad...
rshaw is offline  
Old October 6, 2017, 01:24 AM   #14
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
"If I t were my M41, I'd only be shooting SV ammo through it. As I understand it, the M41 wasn't designed for HV ammo like minimags, and their use can add wear and tear (or even damage) over the long run."

Reason for using Minimags is poor cycling with the SV CCI. Stovepipes, missfeeds with every mag. Replaced the recoil spring- (which was 5 mm shorter than the new one) with the standard S&W spring. Don't think that spring is too strong... could be though. Thanks for the cautionary comment. Should check that again.
__________________
Enjoying any firearm is like staying happily married- take her out on a regular basis, treat her with respect and pay attention to proper maintenance.
RShaw, Venlo, the Netherlands
rshaw is offline  
Old October 6, 2017, 06:00 PM   #15
gwpercle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 797
Interesting you should mention the Walther P-38 and target shooting. My Dad gave me a WWII marked P-38 and I've been working up handloads with it. Our local indoor range goes to 75 feet , I had about 5 different loadings, different powder and bullet combinations to test . One of my better loads shows a 20 shot group , all bullets touching each other (one ragged hole) that measures 2 1/4 " from top to bottom and 1 1/2 " wide, no fliers out of the group. I was shooting slow fire , 5 shots at a time, one handed , reloading and shooting until I had fired 20 rounds on the target. I was impressed with this load. I strung the group vertically after I noticed the first 5 shots were striking a bit low on the target. I like the P-38 sights also.
Group size is directly proportional to skill, but I believe the P-38 should be able to group into 2 inches at 75 feet. I need to make another range trip and shoot some more of this particular load, it may be a winner.
Gary
gwpercle is offline  
Old October 7, 2017, 01:19 AM   #16
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Hi gepercle,
Very impressive result!!
I found my P38 (its an ac43) at a nearby gunshop- and I couldn't resist taking her home... (I have an interest in WWI and WWII handguns)- it's a simple but rugged gun which shoots anything I've put through her so far. I'm limited to commercial loads for now, since I'm not shooting THAT often. I knew that the type of ammo also affects target results, but from what you are saying the effect is more than I had thought.
My groups are not as good as yours reported here, but it's nice to know the gun can do it.
Yes the sights are very nice!
Recoils is considerable- I'm using Fiocchi 9x19 mm Luger 124 gr FMJRN, Winchester white box and subsonic flat nose 147 gr.
How's your recoil??
rshaw is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 01:37 AM   #17
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 21,787
Quote:
I just shot my P38 with subsonic 145 gr rounds on a bench today- At 10 meters and 5 rounds, group was pretty close- within 3" and one flyer. 25 meters was terrible. Recoil is considerable.
The original issue load for that pistol was 124gr at about 1100fps. I can't think of a good reason to be shooting loadings with bullets heavier than 124gr, or anything hotter than the original issue ammo. In fact, I would be inclined to shoot 115gr FMJ practice ammo through it as long as it cycled the action consistently.

3" groups from the bench at 10 meters is not encouraging. I would expect better groups than that at twice that distance.

Is the rifling in decent condition? If you can tell there's rifling and the crown of the rifling (area where the muzzle transitions to the bore) is undamaged then things should be ok in that department.

Is the gun really super loose? With a dummy round chambered, the barrel shouldn't wiggle significantly.

Are the sights fixed in place? They shouldn't wiggle or move around at all.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 02:12 PM   #18
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Used 115 gr Fiocchi 9 mm Luger- group a bit better but not great. Recoil is quite strong, but I'm not flinching- shot comes as a surprise with continued trigger pressure straight back. Bore looks good when viewing from the breech end with a LED light at the muzzle. No, barrel is not loose.... very little play. The sights of the P38 are better than those of the P08- but both are difficult. The forward sight is sharp, but the rear sight is so blurred that i don't see it really at all- have to figure a way to improve that...
only reason I use the heavy subsonic was because the LGS recommended them. Only bought one box... so not a big problem. I try to learn....

Anyway, thanks for your interest and questions
Cheers,
RShaw
rshaw is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 03:47 PM   #19
ShootistPRS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2017
Posts: 1,584
The first thing I check when pistol groups are larger than they should be is my grip. If you don't have a consistent grip you will never shoot small groups. A tight grip shoots lower than a lighter grip. If you push with the heal of your hand or squeeze your fingers it will pull right (assuming a right hand hold). If you squeeze more with your thumb it will shoot left.
It doesn't matter how you hold or squeeze as long as you do it the same every time. The rest is done by adjusting your sights.
ShootistPRS is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 05:09 PM   #20
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Ahh Thank you! I don't think my grip is so consistent.... I'll pay attention to that..
__________________
Enjoying any firearm is like staying happily married- take her out on a regular basis, treat her with respect and pay attention to proper maintenance.
RShaw, Venlo, the Netherlands
rshaw is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 05:47 PM   #21
MrBorland
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 2007
Location: NC
Posts: 2,545
Well, as long as we're talking technique, I'll chime in with 2 more very common issues…

…first, do not peek at the target between shots! This is very common and bad habit, and a real accuracy killer. Just get a good sight picture, and under no particular time constraints, take 5 of your very best shots, without having to adjust your grip, and while keeping your focus locked on the front sight at all times. No peeking! You can look at the target afterward (and it ought to tell you what you already know ).

…secondly, don't "time" your shots. In other words, don't try pulling the trigger at the instant you see the front sight passing the center of the target. For one thing, by the time the shot breaks, your front sight won't be at the center of the target. More importantly, when you time the shot, you will most certainly yank! that trigger. Formal target shooters uniformly will tell you timing the shot is a fool's errand. If your wobble zone is within, say, the black, your shots will land in the black if your shot release is true. This is best you can do. With practice, your wobble will improve, and you'll trust your wobble enough to not yank the trigger.

I do agree with JohnKSa, though, that 3" from the bench at 10 meters isn't very encouraging. I'd be curious to hear how your Sig groups. In the meantime, I'd work on your fundamentals with your Model 41.
MrBorland is offline  
Old October 9, 2017, 06:00 PM   #22
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Thank you so much for these comments! Very useful!!
I'll print this and other replies and take them to the range )
__________________
Enjoying any firearm is like staying happily married- take her out on a regular basis, treat her with respect and pay attention to proper maintenance.
RShaw, Venlo, the Netherlands
rshaw is offline  
Old October 10, 2017, 01:10 AM   #23
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 21,787
Shooting from the bench with a pistol is not as easy as it sounds and there are some gotchas.

Shooting from a rest with a pistol.

To do it right, you need to get the rest high enough so that you can hold your head normally while shooting. If you have a some sort of arrangement that you can use while standing that's great. Otherwise, you need a chair or a stool to bring yourself down to the level of the bench.

A rest can be something as simple as a folded towel for you to rest your hands on while shooting, or something more involved like a 'V' or 'Y' shaped stand to rest the barrel/frame of the gun on. If you have a stand to rest the gun on, you need some sort of padding between the gun and the stand. I've done some pretty good rifle shooting using a cardboard box for the rest and a coil of rope as the padding. But resting any part of the gun against a hard surface will make it very difficult to get good results. The gun will bounce away from the surface when it fires and accuracy will be inconsistent.

Get settled into position and get comfortable. If you're strained, adjust something until you are comfortable. Don't lean down or hunch over to get your head aligned with the sights when the gun is on the rest, rather, bring the rest upwards until your back & neck are in a normal and comfortable position.

When things are right, you should be in a comfortable, natural feeling position that doesn't strain anything and the sights of the pistol should be steadily aligned on the target. Now it's just a matter of focusing on the front sight and pulling the trigger straight back smoothly. You can mumble "front sight...front sight" to yourself over and over while you're squeezing the trigger straight back.

Anyone with a couple of folding chairs, some boxes, a towel and a very little ingenuity should be able "create" a perfectly functional setup to shoot a pistol from a rest.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old October 10, 2017, 01:22 AM   #24
rshaw
Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2017
Location: Venlo, the Netherlands
Posts: 82
Ahh Ok.
I just did some more bench work last night with 2 differences:
1. I was hunched down rather than standing straight (bench should go up 3-4 inches)
2. I rested the butt of the pistol, not the barrel, on the padded rest.
I did notice, the gun bounces away anyway when firing.
Results were "not great "
I'm using Fiocchi 115 gr. Luger 9 mm FMJRN.

I wonder if even this load is too much. The recoil is quite strong...
Subsonics have a flat nose- the P08 doesn't feed these short rounds very well. (No problem in the P38)

I'm waiting for this Sig p210-6 to come through.... although my technique clearly needs work.
I really wonder- what influence does recoil have on a group .... of everything else is right??-
Consistent grip, straight trigger pull, light trigger, sight picture, ammo load and and....
The round is long gone when recoil begins isn't it?
rshaw is offline  
Old October 10, 2017, 06:45 AM   #25
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 21,787
You're going to get some bounce, but if the gun is resting against a padded surface it shouldn't affect accuracy. It's when it's on a hard surface that the problems show up.
Quote:
I really wonder- what influence does recoil have on a group .... of everything else is right??-
Recoil affects the point of impact to some extent (though the effect is much smaller in most autopistols than in revolvers) but it doesn't really affect the group size (accuracy), other than by the effects it has on the shooter.
Quote:
The round is long gone when recoil begins isn't it?
Recoil begins the instant that the bullet begins to move. As soon as the bullet starts moving, Newton's laws of motion require that the gun (or at least part of the gun) must begin moving as well and the motion of the gun is recoil.

Here's a video of various firearms being fired in super slow-motion. At about 29 seconds into the video there is one place where it is possible to see the slide move before the bullet exits the barrel. At 1:35 there's a better shot where it's very obvious that the slide and barrel are recoiling well before the bullet leaves the barrel.

https://youtu.be/HElQk2wEY5w

But it does happen very fast and therefore its effect tends to be very consistent. The reason people tend to be less accurate with heavy recoiling guns is because it's harder to focus on shooting and not anticipate the shot/flinch when you know you're going to get whacked by heavy recoil when the gun goes off.

I'm not sure what to think about your comments that the recoil is strong. Normally a full-sized 9mm pistol would be considered to have light recoil. I'm thinking it might be time to have another experienced shooter try the gun.
__________________
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09946 seconds with 8 queries