Acceptable accuracy for defense?

This is a discussion on Acceptable accuracy for defense? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; We all have different skill levels and so likely have different definitions of what is acceptable accuracy in a defense scenario. This isn't a scientific ...

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Thread: Acceptable accuracy for defense?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Acceptable accuracy for defense?

    We all have different skill levels and so likely have different definitions of what is acceptable accuracy in a defense scenario.
    This isn't a scientific poll or a 'who's best contest', it is hopefully a consensus of opinion that will serve to inform people as to what they should strive to achieve. I constantly seek improvement in my shooting and will find it interesting to see what others can achieve with similar guns.

    Please try to list handgun and caliber, distance, number of shots, single handed or both handed shot, approximate speed and if fired from low ready or drawn.

    Here are my average groups with a selection of handguns, I find these acceptable for defense scenarios. Obviously when shooting from a rest the performance is improved.

    XD SC - 9mm.
    7yds, 3 shots, two hands, firing fast from low ready.
    2"

    Taurus UltraLite 85 snub - 38 spl.
    7yds, 3 shots, two hands, firing fast from low ready.
    3 - 4"

    Kel Tec P32 - .32
    4yds, 3 shots, either one or two hands, firing fast from low ready.
    4"

    Sig P232 - .380
    7yds, 3 shots, two hands, firing fast from low ready.
    3"

    I haven't specified ammo, I am referring to generic FMJ. I have listed close ranges that reflect probable defense circumstances. I listed data for three shots to reflect a double tap followed by a single round.

    I am interested in any data you can provide, there is no need to replicate my parameters exactly, I will be able to draw comparisons on any variables as should anyone using the information.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array AnimalKracker's Avatar
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    That's not too bad at all. Here's a couple of mine. From low ready rapid fire point and shoot.

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    Hmmm, Sounds like a challenge.. I'll have to get some paper plates and see what I come up with..

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    Member Array Sam Douthit's Avatar
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    Guns are more accuate than the shooters of guns. Put a gun in a device like a Ransom rest and check the gun to be sure. If you get a group of 2 inches at 25 yards then you must add that to whatever ability you have to hold the gun steady. So it is all relevant. Shooting free hand is more of a check of the shooter than the gun.
    Sambo74
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    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    From concealment and hit a man size target in about 1.25 at 7 yards. Is that fast enough, well I don't know. Acceptable accuracy in a defensive situation is in my opinion the ability to hit the BG cold without warm up. Stance is irrelevant, shootings are dynamic, grip is much more important, movement is essential.

    Yes we do practice square range drills in order to shoot better but if we do not practice them correctly and realistically we are fooling our selves. I have seen a video of an FBI agent in a bank during a bank robbery, he drew shot BG#1, re-holstered, faced, drew and shot BG#3, re-holstered, faced, drew and shot BG#3, all without being shot. Was it ideal? Well he won but from so many range drills he did the holstering and drawing out of muscle memory. Another LE was involved in a shoot out and out of drills and range rules when his gun malfunctioned he stopped and raised his non-gun hand.

    So I would say if you can draw while moving dynamically and hit a 9 inch paper plate strong hand only under 2.0 your on a good start but vary the drills and always use movement.

    We can stand on the range and have gun fight fantasies all day,but when bullets start getting launched back at you, reality has a tendency to slap you in the face.
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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Firearmz, I'm not saying that we don't need training. This isn't a thread about training. It's a thread about what to expect from various guns. I don't fantasize about combat, thanks for the speculation there.
    Sam, I mentioned in the first post that this isn't about shooting from rest.

    I did think people would post information.

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    Member Array FIREARMZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0.02 View Post
    Firearmz, I'm not saying that we don't need training. This isn't a thread about training. It's a thread about what to expect from various guns. I don't fantasize about combat, thanks for the speculation there.
    Sam, I mentioned in the first post that this isn't about shooting from rest.

    I did think people would post information.
    Wasn't trying to be sarcastic in my post but it is really irrelevant in the broad spectrum. Most all modern handgun have more than acceptable accuracy for defensive use (reliability is another issue). It is more of a user question, what are you capable of under stress with a given handgun?
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  9. #8
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Agreed.
    My point is that this thread and any posts in it could be information on generally acceptable accuracy for any given handgun. We already have exhaustive data on what any particular gun can achieve from rest but little on how they differ fired in less controlled situations.
    Say there are 5 posts regarding the XD9 SC, from those we get an average of 3" at 21ft. Then someone who has just bought that gun and is getting a 2" group under similar conditions will know all is well so far, someone getting 5" will need to address whatever problem is causing that (faulty gun or technique).

    There are differences in handgun accuracy, consider the Glock 17 and the Kel Tec P32 if you have those guns. To a new owner of a snubbie or pocket gun, the drop in accuracy can be alarming. The information here could help with that process.

    Nothing is a replacement for training, this isn't at issue here though. Thanks for the feedback, do you have any rough data?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIREARMZ View Post
    From concealment and hit a man size target in about 1.25 at 7 yards. Is that fast enough, well I don't know. Acceptable accuracy in a defensive situation is in my opinion the ability to hit the BG cold without warm up. Stance is irrelevant, shootings are dynamic, grip is much more important, movement is essential.

    So I would say if you can draw while moving dynamically and hit a 9 inch paper plate strong hand only under 2.0 your on a good start but vary the drills and always use movement.

    We can stand on the range and have gun fight fantasies all day,but when bullets start getting launched back at you, reality has a tendency to slap you in the face.
    I was going to say the same thing, only add in the stress and fatigue factors. That is the only way your going to get an idea of what you can do with accuracy in a self defense situation.
    I like balloons and 9" paper plates when doing stress drills, that reallly opens your eyes about what your skills really are.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    0.02 I have had the same questions.

    Apparently, I was under the dillusion that I wasn't good enough until I was shooting quarter sized groups at 25 yards with a 3" barrel. I was very frustrated with myself for not doing so that I took it in to 7 yards and started practicing (my goal is to eventually make it to 25 yards with a 3" barrel and still have at least 3" groups. Maybe I'm unrealistic, maybe not. Time will tell.

    Unfortunately for me, I shoot VERY fast no matter how much I try to tell myself to slow down. I start out well, telling myself to keep it slow and smooth but after that first shot, in seconds I find that I have just dumped eight rounds in my target and I'm cursing myself for ignoring my initial request to SLOW DOWN.. take my time and get the best groups possible. With a 3" barrel I'm getting about 3" - 4" groups and I'm not happy with it.

    I've been TOLD that's good for defensive shooting. I want it to be better.

    I know that training while moving and training for stress and all sorts of other situations are very important, but if you can't make but a few lucky flyers on a piece of paper at 7 yards I think you need to start with the basics and work up. (Not that I'm saying that is your problem, but I hear a lot of people tell "newbies" that they need to train in all these different types of combat related shooting tactics (not necessarily here, but in different forums and situations were the experienced oppress the inexperienced with their experience) when they haven't even really started shooting yet, PERIOD. Trying to do too much too fast for anyone could do more harm than good. I know.. I've been there.)

    When I went through a pistol course that had four targets at multiple, unknown distances that were meant to be hit as I ran for cover. I was able to hit each target twice but my hits were sporadic. Most of the time I landed at least one shot COM but at least two of my second shots just grazed shoulders.

    I was upset. Sure I hit all of the targets with both of my shots but had the targets been moving I might not have been so lucky. I feel part of my success in that area will have to do with my accuracy and how familiar I am with my gun, it's recoil, sites and control, the rest will have to do with moving and stress.

    I was grateful for my husband and my cousin, they kept yelling at me while I was going through the course and it upped my stress level like you wouldn't believe.

    I consistently found myself stopping to reload or stopping moving when I was shooting because that was the first time I'd ever moved while shooting and I wasn't used to moving my feet and pulling a trigger. I also wasn't used to people behind me screaming, "MOVE, MOVE, MOVE. RELOAD, FIND COVER. RETAIN YOUR MAG. MOOOOVE!"

    I was very stressed but it did teach me a lot.

    I wish I could get more practice moving and shooting and finding cover but that will have to come later with time, opportunity and money. In the mean time I'll keep plinking away and working on groups.
    Last edited by limatunes; April 24th, 2007 at 11:21 AM.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by robere View Post
    Hmmm, Sounds like a challenge.. I'll have to get some paper plates and see what I come up with..
    I figger paper plates are close to the size of the ol' bread basket. Keep em on the plate point and shoot I'm happier than the the B/G on the recieving end.

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    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    I put 200 rounds downrange today and was very disappointed. I kept pulling everything low and right. Everything was in the scoring rings...but still not where I wanted it to be. I"ve been told that being LH and pulling to the right means my support hand is pulling the shot off...is that true?

    I'm comfortable that I can make the shot when need be...but the X didn't suffer too much today.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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