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Old November 10, 2019, 05:44 PM   #1
dyl
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Reasonable accuracy test for the near-sighted?

Hey all,

Just wanted to run my typical accuracy test by you guys.

Typically when I am testing a load/reload/new pistol, I shoot at 7-10 yards at a color changing paper target (like Shoot-n-see) off hand, preferably at a red bullseye. Slow fire. When I can get 1" groups or less, or most holes touching for a 5 round group, I call it good. And believe me, some loads that just don't have enough powder will scatter rounds over 2-3 inches.

I figure that in all my gun magazine driven wisdom (roll eyes) the typical service size polymer pistol will get about 3-4 inches bench rested at 25 yards. So if I can get 1" at 7-10 yards, and multiply that by 3, I'm kind of close to bench rested gun writer accuracy worthy of being published.

Any thoughts? Ways to improve? I could bring a portable chair and folding table. But I figure if I can do it off hand, I could do it rested too.

I think this reduces the role that being near sighted (with astigmatism) plays into the results.
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Old November 10, 2019, 08:24 PM   #2
rodfac
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That's my standard as well...groups of 1" @ 10 yds two-handed from a Weaver Stance (with the sun behind me and on a good 'eyes' define good loads for that gun. With iron sights, I can't usually do better, no matter what the load, tho 6" bbl's on my revolvers can usually shade that by a little bit.

My auto-loaders break out as follows: Sig's group far tighter than Glocks, by at least 1/2" in my examples and the grip and built in accuracy of my 1911's make them clear winners over both of the preceding, in my hands.

Eye sight is critical...at 73 years old, I have my no-line, transition glasses ground with the close up (bi-focal) portion ground in higher on the lenses...makes it easier to see the front sight without tipping my head back, and helps too with computer screens. I've found too that 1.5 to 1.75x Walmart reading glasses do as well if I've mislaid my usual day to day glasses. To get accuracy beyond 7 yds, that's defined as 5-shot groups that are 1" or less, you must FOCUS on the FRONT SIGHT. This is not combat shooting, just checking for a good gun/load combination...as I'm a reloader, I do a bunch of it.

If the load/gun combination is that good, I check it again at 15 yds offhand, then 25 yds from a seated, back against the deck supports with the gun extended through my drawn up knees...Keith's old long-range position if you're familiar. It's tough on Levis at the knees especially with revolvers as the gas leakage at the cylinder/barrel junction blackens them. I find that position mirrors my offhand, Weaver stance zero, whereas shooting from a bag rest across a table etc, does not.

As always, uniformity of grip, blackened sights, sight picture and alignment all play a part in truly wringing out the best from a hand gun. I think many shooters do not use a uniform grip...and a tight one at that. In my experience, it's critical to accuracy at all but the close in "defensive" ranges of less than 7 yds.

Too, loads that are accurate at short range, say out to 25 yds, may not hold up well if the range is increases. To check for that, I use the back rested position mentioned above and shoot at steel railroad tie plates (~8"x15") painted white or light tan. I arrange these out to 100 yds and can quickly tell if a load/gun combination is good.

I do the majority of my shooting at 10-15 yds, from the leather, and practice draw and presentation on each shot of series of shots. It tells me a lot about how the gun is reacting, as well as my concentration on the sights. I use Front Sight's version of the silhouette target with no real aiming points for the most part. For precision work, I paste 1"x1" blue masking tape squares to practice sight picture and alignment concentration, other wise it's the raw silhouette for body and cranial shots.

HTH's Rod
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Old November 11, 2019, 01:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Typically when I am testing a load/reload/new pistol, I shoot at 7-10 yards at a color changing paper target (like Shoot-n-see) off hand, preferably at a red bullseye. Slow fire. When I can get 1" groups or less, or most holes touching for a 5 round group, I call it good. And believe me, some loads that just don't have enough powder will scatter rounds over 2-3 inches.

I figure that in all my gun magazine driven wisdom (roll eyes) the typical service size polymer pistol will get about 3-4 inches bench rested at 25 yards. So if I can get 1" at 7-10 yards, and multiply that by 3, I'm kind of close to bench rested gun writer accuracy worthy of being published.
Well as you know errors that are small at 7 or 10 yards are larger at 25.

We can guesstimate what we can do at 25 yds. based on shooting at 10, but nothing replaces the actual shooting at 25 yds. Especially if you are planning to shoot at 25 yards or want to.

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Last edited by tipoc; November 11, 2019 at 01:37 PM.
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Old November 11, 2019, 01:58 PM   #4
GlenF
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Ways to improve?

For my wife am I, a small diameter fiber optic front sight has improved on our accuracy. And has reduced time to get on target.

And, I agree with those above.
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Old November 11, 2019, 04:59 PM   #5
dyl
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How's this idea

If I were to try shoot at 25 yards being nearsighted (with glasses... still isn't 100%) what about using a BIG target with a big bright bullseye? Or a big bright anything that won't be covered up by my front sight?

Like books printed for... wise people.

I wonder if that would let me check accuracy while minimizing the impact of nearsightedness.
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Old November 11, 2019, 06:42 PM   #6
Don Fischer
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I kind of envy you guy's that shoot for group's with handguns. My groups were always so bad I settled for just making a hit! never got much out of that. Like to shoot my 38 and 32 long at longer ranges and then actually try to aim, near miss's excite me! With my 9mm auto's I gave up aiming even at short range, no body get's to see target's like that, shoot, I don't even use paper target with the 9mm's anymore. Block of wood, plastic pop bottle or what ever, get close and just point and shoot. Surprising but I can actually hit stuff withing about 20" that way!

1" at 7 to 10 yds? Don't think I could do that.
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Old November 11, 2019, 07:16 PM   #7
dyl
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Block of wood, plastic pop bottle or what ever, get close and just point and shoot.
You know what Don, that sounds like some real practical shooting. That might be all you need to be ready for whatever you'd need a pistol for!

You don't want to see me try shoot trap or skeet. Or see me try calculate bullet drop or windage using mil-dots or mil-rads or whatever they're called.

I mostly do this nit picky accuracy stuff to test a new load or a new pistol. Sure it makes me feel good because I'm egotistical In real life slow fire is only good for practicing fundamentals. I've spent too long only shooting for small groups and just recently started branching out and trying things like point shooting (what you're already doing) and shooting faster, moving (begrudgingly), drawing and shooting.

Those IDPA competitors push their speed until they miss the bullseye an acceptable rate - otherwise they could have gone much faster. And I've heard it said that in defensive shooting, you want to shoot fast enough that your shots are a 6 inch spread. To me that sounds a bit wide but I get the point.

Anyways, 1 inch at 7-10 yards? I bet you could. If you felt like it.
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Old November 12, 2019, 01:31 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
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A 1" groups or less with a handgun is Olympic class shooting, regardless of your eyesight. And not with a new firearm or load. The 2 or 3 inches is more normal.
"...loads that just don't have enough powder..." That has nothing to do with accuracy. The classic .38 Special 148 grain HBWC target load has 2.5 to 3.1 grains of Bullseye. Max loads of Bullseye in a .32 S&W Long, the newer standard target pistol cartridge, is 1.8 grains with a 98 grain HBWC. And they're shot at 25 meters, not 10 feet.
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Old November 12, 2019, 08:11 PM   #9
rodfac
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A 1" groups or less with a handgun is Olympic class shooting
Not at 10 yds....and not at 25 yds either if it was shot off sand bags....or with a scoped handgun...or a red dot sight...
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Old November 12, 2019, 08:58 PM   #10
Catman42
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im 77 and nearsighted. not as bad in my right shooting eye as my left. i dont use glasses when i shoot one of my many revolvers. with out glasses i can see the sights clearly and the bulls eyes less so. that doesnt make any difference to me as i center on what i see. seeing the sights clearly ids more important to me that seeing the bulls eye clearly.their are ghostring sights that can be installed on a revolver. may cost some to be right but they will make you see the sights and through them way better and the target will look sharper through it also. their are more than one way to skin a cat.
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Old November 13, 2019, 07:35 AM   #11
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I am probably the worst case scenario for near sighted-ness. I have learned to overcome and shoot with good proficiency. I don't gage my overall performance by a minimal MOA "number" I guage my performance by consistient 6 shot placement group size on the paper. I generally practice at 25' and I also spend a lot of time at 50' to challenge myself. Always work in progress for me trying to minimise those random fliers
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Old November 13, 2019, 06:54 PM   #12
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I shoot at NRA competition targets at 50’ or 25 yards. I used to enjoy 50 yards but the targets are expensive and I am getting old. If I can’t hold the black, as I can with my .22, I know the pistol could be better.

I’m coming to accept that my Ruger lcrx in .38 special might just be a “fishing gun” but am not done developing loads.
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Old November 13, 2019, 08:02 PM   #13
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I'm lazy and cheap. I don't like changing targets all the time. At outdoor ranges this can be difficult if it requires a cease-fire. I've come up with a system that lets me gauge my progress and drives me to improve.

Pick a target and pick a range. Stick with that, it needs to be a constant. It should be something you have difficulty hitting 100% of the time. For incentive purposes it should be about...maybe....80% of the time. Whether it's 4" at 10 yards or 8" at 20 yards it matters not. Whatever works for you at the range you shoot at. Shoot 25 rounds per target.

I track my hits by percentage. It's easy to figure this in your head with 25 rounds per target. The target and the range don't matter much. But once you start hitting your target 95%+ of the time, move on. Move out the range or reduce your bullseye.

You can also track your results by gun, which will tell you what you shoot best (for me that's long barreled revolvers). You can track your results by load. This is like the slowest ever accuracy test method. But I've had loads that I thought were second best turn out to be better...over a couple of thousand rounds of actual use. Testing over sandbags is fine, but you shouldn't take one session as the gospel. It's repeatable results that count.

You'll also be surprised to find how your target changes your results. "Aim small, miss small" is true. I'm 63 and I wear Trifocals.

I usually use the average of last eight range sessions for my baseline to tell me whether I'm improving or back sliding.

My method is training for consistency. Flyers are failure. This has nothing to do with anything other than target shooting and completely ignores any sort of defensive use of a pistol. Although precision is always useful.

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Old November 21, 2019, 08:15 PM   #14
dyl
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"...loads that just don't have enough powder..." That has nothing to do with accuracy.
I want to agree with you, but my experience with underpowered loads will not allow me to. For example, in 9mm, my hand loads with 115 grain FMJ's with 4.2-4.3 grains of ETR7 (kind of like Titegroup) give me worse accuracy, don't have enough force to reciprocate the slide of my full size pistols, and ejection is weak and erratic. When I bump it up to 4.6 - 4.7 grains of ETR7, groups at 7 yards tighten up from about 3 inches to 1, ejection is at 4 o clock instead of dribbling out the pistol, and no stovepipe malfunctions. So, unfortunately, I have to test whenever I switch projectile brands or weights.

I'm not talking about the inherent accuracy of properly manufactured cartridges, but accuracy testing in a way that minimizes the impact of near-sightedness. My comment about underpowered loads was kind of on the side, a reason as to why I have to do accuracy testing sometimes. It's usually to see if my loads have enough powder for a consistent burn for a given projectile weight and overall length.
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Old November 22, 2019, 10:15 AM   #15
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Find a local range you can get to as often as possible, so you can train & practice as often as possible. If you’re shooting at an indoor range, consider installing a taller fiber optic front and blind battlesight rear sight set, that is properly zeroed to the gun. You can learn to shoot a bad trigger better, but it’s easier to shoot a good trigger. Dominant eye wide open when you’re shooting (don’t squint). Reactive targets are the way to go.
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Old November 22, 2019, 02:48 PM   #16
tipoc
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I'm not talking about the inherent accuracy of properly manufactured cartridges, but accuracy testing in a way that minimizes the impact of near-sightedness. My comment about underpowered loads was kind of on the side, a reason as to why I have to do accuracy testing sometimes. It's usually to see if my loads have enough powder for a consistent burn for a given projectile weight and overall length.
This is a common issue and many, many shooters have found work arounds.

OK so nearsightedness, or myopia, is a medical condition where a person sees thing clearly up close but objects at a distance are quite blurred. So this should mean that for you, the front sights are clear and sharp but beyond a certain distance things blur so that it very difficult to see the target even as a blur. Normally for shooters who focus on the front sights the target is blurry but for you even more so.

Seems that most folks with myopia also wear glasses so that they can see things at a distance while driving, out for a walk, etc. These type glasses usually are bi-focals and enable the person to see things at a distance with the upper portion of the lens and see closer up (front sight distance) through the lower portion of the lens. With these you have to tilt your head up to see the sights clearly. You say you don't like these. Though it's one of the simpler options and a simple solution. When testing loads what's if matter if the head is tilted?

Seems to me that if you want to test loads at 25 yards you need to mount a scope or red dot sight on a handgun. Either one just removes the issue.

If that won't work (because you don't want a scope on a certain gun, or whatever reason) than continue to test loads at a shorter distance 10-15 yards with a 3" target.

You mention that your front sights cover the target. If you are testing loads then go to a 6 o'clock hold where the target rests on top of the sight. The gun will be as accurate there. Not every shot has to go in the center of a target when testing accuracy.

You haven't said much about what you do for defensive drills and at what distance. 7 to 10 yards works well for that purpose. You can try point shooting or just indexing off the slide.

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1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
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