What do you consider a good grouping when shooting?

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    Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    What do you consider a good grouping when shooting?

    Hello all! I not brand new to the world of handguns but in some ways still pretty green. Is there a formal standard of what constitutes a good grouping? There are many variables at play such as the gun used, ammo used, distance to the target and size of the target. I understand that as the target is farther away you shots will begin to spread out. Also, what kind of grouping is enough to be considered "combat" effective? Sorry for all the wordy questions. Generally I just try to hit as close to the bullseye as I can. Should there be a goal to try and achieve?

    Thanks in advance for the replies!

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    When the bg stops moving :)

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    Member Array Sarge65's Avatar
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    Quarter size. Three of four rounds in a quarter size group will mess up any BGs day. Get consistent, then placement. JMHO
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    I'm kind of "average to above average" from what I see at my range. But I go by my old law school grading curve axiom - "A long as you are smarter than the idiot sitting next to you, you'll be okay."

    For rifles with open peep sights from a bench (.22), I try for a goal of 3/4" at 25 yards. And if I get 1" I'm happy. Some people here can shoot circles around that, but with my eyes I'm happy with that.

    For my .22 pistols at 10 yards, I try for about 0.5" and if I get 3/4," I'm happy. Again, some people here can shoot circles around that (I saw a guy and gal couple shooting tiny holes with a .22 pistol at 10 yards all day long. It was something to watch.)

    For point shooting at 5 - 7 yards I try to all in the "pie plate." (I saw a SWAT dude doing 2 to the chest/1 to the head rapid fire in very very tight groups at 10 yards. It was something to watch.)

    So I'm probably an average shot, and good is subjective.
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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    I dont go for tiny groups. I practice combat shooting. So if I can cover the group with my fist. I figure thats good enough for minute of bad guy. Stay safe.

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    Distinguished Member Array squid86's Avatar
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    for SD aiming center mass is your best choice. hitting anywhere in the center mass is good. try grouping in the center where the vital organs are if possible. i usually am happy with it if i can cover my grouping with my hand in or around the vital organ area.
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    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    When you have the basics really down pat, you should probably be able to put all rounds in 1.5" @ 7 yds. Remember, the "center mass" of most targets is actually gut shooting someone. Think of center mass as the area that contains the heart and lungs (thoracic cavity).

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    If it stays on the paper plate, I'm good with it. If it stays inside the debossed circle in the center of the plate, then I'm really happy with it.
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    Gotta get my eyes checked. I thought I'd read "Good Groping" and thought somebody had been handled in a misappropriate way.

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    If it stays on the paper plate, I'm good with it. If it stays inside the debossed circle in the center of the plate, then I'm really happy with it.
    I agree with this. While I think one should strive to shoot tight groups, realistically, one should be able to keep all shots on a paper plate at whatever distance one is willing to shoot; consistently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    I agree with this. While I think one should strive to shoot tight groups, realistically, one should be able to keep all shots on a paper plate at whatever distance one is willing to shoot; consistently.
    And to expound even more on the OPs question; "combat effective" could be a missed shot, assuming it doesn't hit something else that you don't want a hole in. IMO, combat effective is judged solely by result, so even a miss that caused the BG to turn and flee, would be a combat effective shot. Not that I'd ever advocate just trying to get lead in the general direction, or anything like that, I'm just offering my perspective on the term and how I would judge it.

    Three shots high center mass and one through the brain stem would be good too...
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    Member Array cookfromAZ's Avatar
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    An article about precision vs accuracy...interesting

    Precision vs. Accuracy

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    Distinguished Member Array shadowwalker's Avatar
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    Double tap no more threat

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    Distinguished Member Array SCXDm9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
    Double tap no more threat
    ...... repeat if necessary

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    My first goal in defensive shooting is to not have a stray bullet find an innocent civillian. This slows me down just a little and from that point on the thoracic cavity is the goal. I don't consider anything below the diaphram as a good grouping. Many will say breaking the pelvic girdle is a good shot I am not one of them. With a clear cut of the aorta a person with the will to survive can kill you before he dies. The Madulla Oblongota is in direct line with the center of the chest making it my goal to work up from sturnum to madula stopping all movement. Just as in pool I think being able to call your shot is where you want to be in self defense shooting.

    Just my thoughts on grouping is for target practice shot placement is where it is at for self defense.
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