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Thread: Handgun shooting - accuracy goal?

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    Default Handgun shooting - accuracy goal?

    I am tired of toting around a shotgun for bear protection while hiking/fishing and am considering buying a 44 mag. I have plenty of experience with rifles/shotguns, but limited experience with handguns. My question is: What size group can an average shooter expect to achieve when drawing and shooting 6 rounds relatively quickly? Lets say at 25 yards.
    I'm trying to set some goals to "shoot for". I don't want to swap out my 870 for a 6 shooter until I've established a decent proficiency.

    I am asking because I know several guys that have packed hand cannons in the field for years, but I had never seen them shoot. I finally got them to unholster those bad boys and take a few shots. Lets just say that the bears are plenty safe when those guys are in the woods. In the time it took them to settle in and gather the confidence to pull the trigger, a bear would have covered 50 yards and had them for lunch. And their groups were halibut barn door size at best. Now that I've seen how highly inaccurate a pistol can be in the hands of someone that doesn't practice, I would like to know what kind of accuracy can be expected from someone that has paid their dues at the firing line.

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    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Just google "Jerry Miculek video". Check my spelling on the last name. He "paid his dues" at the range a long time ago. 100s of thousands of rounds and numerous guns used to the bone, I am sure.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    Just google "Jerry Miculek video". He "paid his dues" .
    Gunbugs,
    Jerry Miculek is pretty amazing! But I doubt I can expect to match someone with multiple world records and championships to his name.

    How about this. What size group can YOU consistently shoot at 25 yards? (6 shots from a large cal revolver, double action, fired quickly).

    Thanks.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coldpaddler View Post
    What size group can YOU consistently shoot at 25 yards? (6 shots from a large cal revolver, double action, fired quickly).
    Sounds like your trolling (for bravado and bloviation). I think you already pretty well summed up the long and short of the matter in your OP. Probably 99% of those guys packing large bore DA revolvers (or semi-autos for that matter) in the field "for bear protection", couldn't hit the broad side of a barn. That said, I know some who can, one of whom did in fact stop a charging brown bear with a .44 revolver. Personally, I'll stick with the shotgun tho, if I really feel the need for bear protection.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Draw and fire two rounds in two seconds four inch spred max on bull at fifteen yards with 454 and three inch spred using hot 45colt. Much easier to do with the 45colt round and would expect the same with good 44mag ammo. For me twenty five yards is to far to know the bears true intent. As I get older I'm starting to carry a shotgun more and pistol less. Five slugs in three inch group at twenty five yards as fast as I can pull the trigger is why. Two shots touching at ten yards in a second or so is nice also.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    What is the average group size at 25yds well the average person could not keep 6 rds in a pie plate at 25yds. Sorry to the readers out there not trying to insult anyone. A trained professional could or should keep 6 rds in a 9'' group from a standing position at 25yds. Now you put the factor of a threat coming in your direction and you can subtract about 50% of them that could still hit a 9'' group at 25,20,15. Now to compound that by using a 44mag or equivalent and you could probably reduce the average even more, the recoil or lift from the mag caliber are hard to control various... say a 9mm or 38 with much less lift or control. As some have already stated some of this can be learned over time and thousands of rounds of practice in different raised levels of stress. The shootgun is much easier to learn and achieve the level of protection that most would desire. If however you still wish to want to learn to carry a pistol then I would suggest either taking a course or on defensive shooting and go down and buy a smaller cal that is more economical to shoot than a 44mag and start practicing. If you would like PM me and we could talk about some instruction. I will be back in the country in a couple weeks.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I think group size is meaningless without time limits. I would say six shots on a pie plate at twenty five yards in four seconds as a max.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    I would agree but i would also add that if we had 10 shooters on the line you might find that only two of them could achieve 6rd in 4 seconds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Personally, I'll stick with the shotgun.
    The more i think about it, I probably will stick to the shotgun because I can handle it well and know my capabilities with it.

    Still, I think taking up a revolver sounds like a hoot. I reload, so I can crank out plenty of reduced loads to ease me into it. Will be interesting to see how long it takes to reach an acceptable level of speed and accuracy. For right now, I'm just trying establish some realistic goals.

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    Good post.

    My approach is to shoot alot, enough to be very familiar with what it takes to, shoot. And, what it takes to hit what you're aiming at. The idea is to be completely familiar. Should you need to shoot, it will be automatic.

    I like to shoot my 44 at 10 to 15 yards. I shoot some at 20 to 25 yards, but it's harder/slower to hit my target at that range.

    I would not practice trying to shoot fast or worry about group size, but just hits. It can be fun to shoot both SA and DA, Left-handed, from sitting on the ground, point and shoot at dfferent targets.

    I don't/won't hunt with a beeg handgun, I just want it for bear protection when I don't have a rifle, or when that is inconvinient. Like when I'm fishing or packing meat.

    Shootguns are not for me when it comes to bears. I'd druther have a rifle. I won't knock them, but it beats me, why folks think they're better than a rifle.

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    If you're basing this solely on a Bear Defense aspect, then you'd be better off dropping the pie plate at 25 yards, 6 shots, etc. criteria.
    Having spent a fair amount of time in close proximity to bears in high bear density areas, 25 yards is a whole timezone away in Ursus Land. A bluff charge may likely bring the bear to within 3-5 yards, and you're likely not going to know at 25 yards what the outcome is going to be.
    Personally I've opted to become efficient with >10 yard "snap" shots as this is likely the most realistic scenario in bear country.
    This isn't to say that one shouldn't be proficient in their ability to hit a pie plate at 25 yards, but speaking solely from a "When the chips are down" bear charge, well there isn't likely going to be a shooting lane, time for getting the weapon cleared and a proper shooters stance obtained, much less the time for 6 rounds to be put down range. It's going to be brushy, you'll likely have one hell of an adrenaline surge, fear will be a given, and you'll be on uneven ground with gear on.
    Instead of worrying about groupings at 25 yards, I suggest the following.

    1.Eat 3 bars of laxative

    2.Grab a blue tarp, place some basketballs, footballs, cinder blocks, chunks of firewood, and a few air mattresses underneath it.

    3.Aim a sprinkler at the tarp and crank it on full volume.

    4.Put on your pistol in your preferred holster, then strap on a 50# backpack and grab a fishing pole.

    5.Walk 300 yards away from the tarp and then SPRINT back to it, and try to stand in the middle of it, as you arrive at the tarp have a buddy drive a Dodge Super Duty 4x4 out of the brush nearby at 40 mph.

    -You're now out of breath, standing on unstable footing, about to soil your boxer shorts, soaking wet, with a fishing pole and a heavy pack on and there is a 1,000+ pound threat bearing down on you from 10 yards away.-

    6.Now, draw your pistol and hit the hood ornament.
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    The pie plate is just a reference of size as a (A) zone hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweepint View Post
    The pie plate is just a reference of size as a (A) zone hit.
    No offense intended, and I apologize if my statement was taken as an insult.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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    None taken

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    Hippie has pretty much the exact situation laid out in his course of fire.

    But to the concept of shooting a revolver... forget the 25 yards crap. No gunfights (bears or people) ever happen that far away. In the real world, you need to be able to complete your draw and put the first round into a standard 9" paper plate at 5-7 yards in less than 2 seconds. And you need to be able to do that 100% of the time with a surprise start time (use a random start timer or get a buddy to give you a random "go" signal with no warning). Even one holster hang up or misdraw will kill you.

    So stop worrying about putting 6 rounds into a 4" group at 25 yards. That is square range target shooting hogwash. No one, and I mean no one can make a 6-round 4" group under acute time pressure at 25 yards. If you have all day to aim and squeeze, sure. But not in the bushes under a bear charge.

    Now, back to reality again. If you have a shotgun and get bum rushed by a grizz, you'll never get it up to shoot it before you get knocked on your pooper. Bear fights always go to the ground. Try and find a bear attack survivor who was standing after the battle started. Long guns are worthless in hand to paw combat. I know guys who survived bear attacks and the first thing that happened was they lost their long guns. One of them had his rifle in his hands and pointed forward but didn't have time to get off a single shot before the bear tackled him. He drew his 44Mag revolver from his chest holster and got it turned enough to fire all 6 rounds into the bear's chest while the bear was chewing on (and fracturing) his skull. The bear didn't like that and walked away (they never found it) and the guy then hiked 5 miles back out to a road to flag down a passerby to take him to the ER.

    Most bear attacks are quite similar but none of them involve slow, well-aimed shooting from 25 yards away.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I believe a shotgun it hand is every bit as fast as handgun in a holster. That said a person needs to know his gun no matter what he uses.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    I believe a shotgun it hand is every bit as fast as handgun in a holster. That said a person needs to know his gun no matter what he uses.
    I am not an expert by any means, but I can share my experience. After being charged twice, if someone asked me what to carry for bear protection, my answer would be "What are you most proficient & comfortable with." If a bear charges & your pistol is still holstered, your too late. The speed of these animals is just plain wicked, think quarter horse+. At least in the one case, I could only get one round off in a lever action. She was at 15 yards, when she charged and covering 5 yards in a single bound. Accuracy would not be my first priority, because the range will be very short. Proficiency, then speed with the weapon would be my primary concerns. Unless you have a semi-auto, which some say is not reliable, you would be doing well to get off two shots, three on a good day. Just my 2 pennies.

    On a side note: there is evidence out there that suggests bear spray increases ones chances of avoiding being mauled over a firearm. I'm not going to debate this, but, if I were going into high density bear country, I would be carrying the spray, on a chest holster, & my firearm in my hand. And put in a lot of practice using both in sequence. Mama with cubs, I would probably use the firearm first. Any other situation, I would go with the bear spray. Just my 2 pennies.

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    JOAT:
    I'm just a guy who has never been attacked by a bear, but I've read lots of such accounts.

    You make some good points, as you usually do, BUT just offhand, I can think of 3 attacks that didn't end up with the victim on the ground. One guy was on his way to his bait station when he heard something crashing through the brush. He knelt down and seen it was a brown bear charging him. He, being ready, shot the bear with his rifle, a 300 Weatherby, IIRC.

    You can create any number of scenarios, with preconceived outcomes, but situations vary.

    If one is alert, no matter what you're packin, that can make all the difference.

    A couple three weeks ago I was fishing about a mile away from the road and anybody. I had my rifle, because I was also hunting. I took my pack off to fish, but I kept the rifle on my shoulder, and I kept a lookout.

    There I was with the water making noise, and the sun reflecting off the water, blinding me, and I'm hard of hearing too.

    Probably no bears within 50 miles, but I didn't wanna be surprised by one.

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    I learned the most about DA shooting with hot loads back in the hayday of bowling pin shoots, using a ported 4" 629 with handloads launching 240's at 1100. Couldn't do it consistent enough to win in registered shoots, but with that combo I could often break 4 seconds in practice sessions. I still think it's the best way to practice fast and accurate DA shooting with hotter loads. Bowling pins were a might scarce for practice sessions, so I came up with my own. I chainsawed 12" sections of 3" limbs, stood them on end and went to work. That's still what I use for practice, mostly because it's a whole lot more fun than paper plates. And if it's fun, you'll do it more often. I'm too old and geezerly to break 4 seconds any more, even in practice. But 5 seconds for 5 shots is entirely do-able.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Real life pratice for the shotgunner,timber doodles and patridge
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNzKmdiW6Oc
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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