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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for more articles like (this) where someone did controlled testing of 9mm ammos on a rest and shot multiple 10 shot groups to quantify the accuracy of 9mm rounds. This article is on the right track but it uses some more obscure brands and doesn't leverage a match grade pistol which I think would be a better test.

NOTE: I'm not looking for people to share their targets of what they got with their gun for the ammo it likes best. I'm looking for articles that test a variety of ammos on a rest using the same test gun and shooter in a controlled test with complete data on all of the ammos tested.

If you have saved links, please share.
 

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I can shoot more accurate with a hand gun without using a ''rest''. Also one should practice without a rest. I do shoot with my arms on a bench when zeroing in a new handgun. If it has fixed sights then i learn how it hits shooting off hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can shoot more accurate with a hand gun without using a ''rest''. Also one should practice without a rest. I do shoot with my arms on a bench when zeroing in a new handgun. If it has fixed sights then i learn how it hits shooting off hand.
That's great you should probably get a job with ammo maker to do their testing as I'm sure they'll be happy to have your superior to a rest skills, but that's not the ask here.

The ask is for article links, not shooting advice. This isn't about shooting techniques - it's about controlled testing.

While a rest may not be perfect, people aren't made of steel so there will be variability that is inevitable. Using a rest is a apples to apples comparison so that the number of variables are reduced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Try this out. It’s not 9mm specific and it’s also worth checking out the articles linked within.

Thanks!

Yes, I like his testing a lot too but his focus is on ballistic gel test and expansion whereas I'm looking for articles focusing on precision and accuracy of 9mm ideally with a larger sample size. Two 10 shot groups at 25 yards is going to tell you more about what a given ammo can consistently accomplish (at least for that lot) than 5 shot groups shot at a shorter distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do have a job with an ammo maker. Me i load my own. Sorry for trying to help. There is a wonderful thing out there. It's called a search engine. Try it. You may find what your looking for.
I hear you and I did do that and get these results but as great as search engines are, they come back with high frequency results based on page rank - not always the best results. Rather than sharing a list of the articles I found, this was an ask for people who might have bookmarked links to harder to find results. This is why I was trying to be specific in my ask.

I apologize for taking it out on you, but it irks me when I ask for an article on controlled testing and there's always somebody who has to share that they are better than a ransom rest so let me show you the awesome results I got once.(similar to Hornady’s Ballistician, Jayden Quinlan's views on this same issue in this article).Since you are in the ammo business you are probably used to the reality that the internet is full of people who on their keyboard seem to believe in their minds that they have the ability to circumcise a fly from 300 yards with their Glock using any ammo and factory sights, but when you see those folks at the range they really struggle to stay in the 8 ring at 7 yards with a calibrated red dot.

I apologize for taking my frustrations out on you.
 

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ronmart, My response isn't going to help but I thought you might be interested in "why". Being an old bullseye competitor, the standards for match grade performance (combination of the pistol and the ammo) must be capable of repeated sub-inch groups at 25 yards from a Ransom rest. 9mm pistols are not known for this level of accuracy, in fact I've never seen a bullseye match won with a 9mm pistol. Further, I don't know of any production pistols that meet match grade requirements .... maybe a custom made gun???

I went on a one year quest to find the most accurate 22 LR cartridges only to find what might shoot very tight groups in one gun, might shoot very poor groups in another gun or have feeding issues. 9mm pistols are no different .... they tend to be ammo fussy so what one person reports as accurate in their pistol, may be mediocre in your gun.

Look at the charts in your reference .... not a single one of the cartridges tested came close to sub-inch groups at 25 yards. In fact the most accurate was a non-match grade Browning load with a 1.38" group. Ransom rests were used for testing so you can't blame a shooter for poor accuracy. That said, if a different pistol was used, the results would have been notably different. Here's a link for Ransom Rests, just in case someone doesn't know what they are: Home - Ransom Rest - International Shooting Rest Company

Why do 9mm pistols have such poor accuracy? For openers, the cartridges headspace on the case mouth. This means the cases have to be a very uniform .754" long to get a typical headspace of .010". Fact is, most unfired cases are at least .010" too short, which means headspace is .020" or larger. When headspace is so generous, it helps the pistol to feed without jamming but because the cartridge lays loose in the chamber, it is not perfectly aligned with the bore.

When a cartridge is fired, the bullet incurs damage from being misaligned, which makes it fly goofy and opens up groups. Typical 9mm bullets have the aerodynamics of a brick with a very poor ballistic coefficient. This means they don't deal well with normal air friction and especially with wind. Most 9mm pistols have a very fast twist rate .... usually 1:10. When combined with velocities over 1000 fps (1150~1200 fps is typical for 115gr bullets, 1100~1150 fps for 124gr bullets with many chronographing much higher), the fast twist rate spins the bullet so fast that it never totally stabilizes down range. This is called "overstabilization" and means the bullet will take a path that looks like a spiral and because each bullet does not leave the muzzle with the perfectly same velocity, the spirals down range forms a larger group. So .... 9mm pistols don't have a lot going for them when it comes to accuracy but they do make an excellent self defense cartridge that is accurate enough for what it was designed for, which are reliable center mass hits.

Good luck with finding accuracy information ... I hope it helps but I think you will be discouraged.
 

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No problem Ron. Yeah sometimes it takes some digging on search engines. Even device used makes a difference. IE phone vs computer. A ransom rest would be the cats meow. As well as pressure testing equipment. I use my chrono when developing new loads though.
 

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I hear you and I did do that and get these results but as great as search engines are, they come back with high frequency results based on page rank - not always the best results. Rather than sharing a list of the articles I found, this was an ask for people who might have bookmarked links to harder to find results. This is why I was trying to be specific in my ask.

I apologize for taking it out on you, but it irks me when I ask for an article on controlled testing and there's always somebody who has to share that they are better than a ransom rest so let me show you the awesome results I got once.(similar to Hornady’s Ballistician, Jayden Quinlan's views on this same issue in this article).Since you are in the ammo business you are probably used to the reality that the internet is full of people who on their keyboard seem to believe in their minds that they have the ability to circumcise a fly from 300 yards with their Glock using any ammo and factory sights, but when you see those folks at the range they really struggle to stay in the 8 ring at 7 yards with a calibrated red dot.

I apologize for taking my frustrations out on you.
A Glock? You'd be lucky to hit the south end of a northbound moose with THAT. A 1911 - any 1911, chambered in God's caliber, is the only handgun you will ever need. I can teach a schoolmarm to hit the X five out of five at 100 yards in a Minnesota blizzard with a Wilson Combat.
 

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A Glock? You'd be lucky to hit the south end of a northbound moose with THAT. A 1911 - any 1911, chambered in God's caliber, is the only handgun you will ever need. I can teach a schoolmarm to hit the X five out of five at 100 yards in a Minnesota blizzard with a Wilson Combat.
Wilson Combat... Come on, man! ATI and RIA are the only real 1911s out there anymore. Even Kimber makes a better 1911 than Wilson Combat.

Just joshin' ya'. I'm still burned up about the hammer strut that broke in my Springfield Armory and had to throw a little guff at the 1911 comment. ;-p
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ronmart, My response isn't going to help but I thought you might be interested in "why". Being an old bullseye competitor, the standards for match grade performance (combination of the pistol and the ammo) must be capable of repeated sub-inch groups at 25 yards from a Ransom rest. 9mm pistols are not known for this level of accuracy, in fact I've never seen a bullseye match won with a 9mm pistol. Further, I don't know of any production pistols that meet match grade requirements .... maybe a custom made gun???

I went on a one year quest to find the most accurate 22 LR cartridges only to find what might shoot very tight groups in one gun, might shoot very poor groups in another gun or have feeding issues. 9mm pistols are no different .... they tend to be ammo fussy so what one person reports as accurate in their pistol, may be mediocre in your gun.

Look at the charts in your reference .... not a single one of the cartridges tested came close to sub-inch groups at 25 yards. In fact the most accurate was a non-match grade Browning load with a 1.38" group. Ransom rests were used for testing so you can't blame a shooter for poor accuracy. That said, if a different pistol was used, the results would have been notably different. Here's a link for Ransom Rests, just in case someone doesn't know what they are: Home - Ransom Rest - International Shooting Rest Company

Why do 9mm pistols have such poor accuracy? For openers, the cartridges headspace on the case mouth. This means the cases have to be a very uniform .754" long to get a typical headspace of .010". Fact is, most unfired cases are at least .010" too short, which means headspace is .020" or larger. When headspace is so generous, it helps the pistol to feed without jamming but because the cartridge lays loose in the chamber, it is not perfectly aligned with the bore.

When a cartridge is fired, the bullet incurs damage from being misaligned, which makes it fly goofy and opens up groups. Typical 9mm bullets have the aerodynamics of a brick with a very poor ballistic coefficient. This means they don't deal well with normal air friction and especially with wind. Most 9mm pistols have a very fast twist rate .... usually 1:10. When combined with velocities over 1000 fps (1150~1200 fps is typical for 115gr bullets, 1100~1150 fps for 124gr bullets with many chronographing much higher), the fast twist rate spins the bullet so fast that it never totally stabilizes down range. This is called "overstabilization" and means the bullet will take a path that looks like a spiral and because each bullet does not leave the muzzle with the perfectly same velocity, the spirals down range forms a larger group. So .... 9mm pistols don't have a lot going for them when it comes to accuracy but they do make an excellent self defense cartridge that is accurate enough for what it was designed for, which are reliable center mass hits.

Good luck with finding accuracy information ... I hope it helps but I think you will be discouraged.
You are actually hitting on exactly why I'm doing this - I observed this to be true as well.

I'm not trying to answer what's the best ammo so I can go buy a bunch of that and expect sub MOA groups.

I'm trying to review patterns in results others have gotten and differences in their methodologies. The goal has to do with some testing I'll do for me with my gun at my range to answer some personal questions I have like what's really a good group size for a given ammo with my gun at this distance under X conditions so I can better understand what work I need to do vs I'm getting good results for that ammo.

I've done about 8500 rounds of MantisX fire testing (both live and dry fire telemetry captured), easily over 10k rounds of laser dry fire testing plus another 17k rounds of live fire practice - all in the last 8 months using a variety of pistols. The group size I get from a CZ TSO is going to be different from a P365, but on a given day using a ammo that performs best in the P365 vs the CZ might yield results that actually gave the lesser pistol an advantage.

Historically I'd just beat myself up and said it was me, but I'm seeing enough patterns to realize that might not be the case. However, the definition of good is a far cry different in reality than via the Internet of keyboard marksmen showing photos from their best ever results, so I'm trying to establish my own DOPE for what's good for my equipment for a given load under given conditions, distances, etc... much like I do for my long range shooting.

I've also shot 2616 9mm hand loads using TiteGroup and match grade primers that were meticulously loaded using the best equipment and fired them in a variety of pistols and seen patterns using my own targets. Even though the SD and ES suggested the reloads were fantastic, just as you point out, precise reloading doesn't seem to yield the advantage in 9mm as it does in say a 6.5 Creedmoor or a 6mm Dasher round.

A five inch group at 15 yards using ammo X fired through pistol Y might be a fantastic result whereas ammo X fired through pistol Z might yield 2 inch groups when the shooter does his job (which MantisX live fire telemetry can somewhat measure but it's not absolute). There will always be a Bubba on the Internet who says he can get 1/2 inch 10 shot groups with that pistol and that ammo offhand at 25 yards, but I'm not interested in that non-sense. I'm interested in what's really good for what I can do with it with my equipment and skillset.

The ask for articles is just to look at others testing methodologies and findings so I can have something to reference to see how to correlates with my own.
 

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Over the years, between being in law enforcement for 20 years and gunsmithing for another 31 years, I have done a lot of testing at the range for revolvers, pistols, and rifles. My goal is simple .... find a brand/type of factory ammo or reloads with optimum bullet performance, the best accuracy, and cartridges that feed flawless. Bullet weights are easy to find .... well maybe not during this dry spell, but normally you have at least three choices for a 9mm. 115 gr seem to be the most popular and the cheapest but seldom the most accurate. 124 gr are what 9mm pistols were designed for and are often the best overall performers. 147gr are great for shooting pins and plates but you seldom see them used in competition or self defense.

I try to take a practical approach and set my priorities based on the gun's intended use. For a 9mm pistol, it would be self defense so my very highest priority is flawless function. Accuracy or terminal performance past the first shot does you no good if the gun jams. Next is terminal performance ... penetration and expansion. I want a cartridge that will stop the attack as soon as possible so the gun and ammo combination needs to be lethal. Last is accuracy. The inexperienced shooters want guns with pin point accuracy yet in a real self defense scenario, you very likely won't be able to hold your gun at eye level to aim without getting it batted down or taken away from you. If you shoot at a distance where accuracy matters, likely you will be the one going to jail for failing to qualify for using deadly force. So, a gun that shoots 1 MOA versus one that shoots 20 moa (.1" groups at 10 yards versus 2" groups at 10 yards) is really not an issue. Of course when you go to a range and stand flatfooted to shoot at fixed position paper targets, the tight group guns and ammo are more impressive. Likewise with competition .... the smaller the group, the more the braggin' rights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Over the years, between being in law enforcement for 20 years and gunsmithing for another 31 years, I have done a lot of testing at the range for revolvers, pistols, and rifles. My goal is simple .... find a brand/type of factory ammo or reloads with optimum bullet performance, the best accuracy, and cartridges that feed flawless. Bullet weights are easy to find .... well maybe not during this dry spell, but normally you have at least three choices for a 9mm. 115 gr seem to be the most popular and the cheapest but seldom the most accurate. 124 gr are what 9mm pistols were designed for and are often the best overall performers. 147gr are great for shooting pins and plates but you seldom see them used in competition or self defense.

I try to take a practical approach and set my priorities based on the gun's intended use. For a 9mm pistol, it would be self defense so my very highest priority is flawless function. Accuracy or terminal performance past the first shot does you no good if the gun jams. Next is terminal performance ... penetration and expansion. I want a cartridge that will stop the attack as soon as possible so the gun and ammo combination needs to be lethal. Last is accuracy. The inexperienced shooters want guns with pin point accuracy yet in a real self defense scenario, you very likely won't be able to hold your gun at eye level to aim without getting it batted down or taken away from you. If you shoot at a distance where accuracy matters, likely you will be the one going to jail for failing to qualify for using deadly force. So, a gun that shoots 1 MOA versus one that shoots 20 moa (.1" groups at 10 yards versus 2" groups at 10 yards) is really not an issue. Of course when you go to a range and stand flatfooted to shoot at fixed position paper targets, the tight group guns and ammo are more impressive. Likewise with competition .... the smaller the group, the more the braggin' rights.
I'm not surprised, and let me start by saying THANK YOU for your service to the community! Unlike a lot of replies I got on this topic via a lot of places I posted this, you and one other person elsewhere are the only ones who really seem to have done some of your own real research and reached some of the same conclusions I have, so I really appreciate you taking the time to share.

Yes, I had gone down the path of barrel twist rates and optimal bullet weights and even reached out to Sig Sauer (because I own 5 of their pistols). They said exactly what you said that 124gr was the optimal weight for the best performance in their 1:10 twist rate barrels (but they did say that 150gr - 160gr was ideal if shooting suppressed), so when you replied with that I knew once again that you speak from wisdom and not pure BS. :) My CZ is a 1:9.7 twist so it's not quite as cut and dry, but generally speaking it's going to like the 124gr and 147gr a lot more than the 115gr.

Your final point about practical accuracy vs bragging rights at the range is another thing I've been contemplating.

I've shot a ton of 9mm at 15 yards or less, but only twice have bothered to go at distance. I could hit steel at 67 yards (max distance I could go) with my red dot and irons, but I had immediate feedback so it was a little easier than a recent trip to the range where I was hitting paper but could only see the results when I looked through the spotting scope. As a result, I was missing more than I thought.

When I saw the paper, I thought - crap I did terrible.

When I showed my brother who is a lot more about practical accuracy, he was like - wow that's fantastic.

Me being the nerd that I am, I decided to do math on the IPSC target and break down my results. They were as follows:

154015


While I won't be winning any competitions, I did think that it was better than I first thought. Granted, having some audible or visual feedback would have helped a lot, but for my second time at distance using iron sights I hit more than I missed and I got the A zone that I was aiming for a lot more than any other zones. Now if that target was moving I'd probably have 0 percent, so I won't declare myself ready to join the police or military, but right after I read this article on group size for rifles which sent me down this rabbit hole about group size for 9mm. I was shooting a pistol offhand that wasn't designed for tight groups at distances that are quite far for a pistol, so was I absolutely terrible or was I doing ok for the pistol and ammo combo I was using?

I have DOPE on my rifles, so why not create some DOPE on my pistols? At least it would help me understand for me and my capabilities, using my pistol, with a given ammo I'm shooting that day, at a given distance, what is a good day vs a bad day for that ammo.

And yes, I realize I burned a lot of ammo on this one. Honestly, I was having a bit of fun after finally scoring a big haul of ammo for the first time in a while so this was me enjoying a few of my pistols in a hurry before I had to leave to take my son to his practice.
 

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I'm not surprised, and let me start by saying THANK YOU for your service to the community! Unlike a lot of replies I got on this topic via a lot of places I posted this, you and one other person elsewhere are the only ones who really seem to have done some of your own real research and reached some of the same conclusions I have, so I really appreciate you taking the time to share.

Yes, I had gone down the path of barrel twist rates and optimal bullet weights and even reached out to Sig Sauer (because I own 5 of their pistols). They said exactly what you said that 124gr was the optimal weight for the best performance in their 1:10 twist rate barrels (but they did say that 150gr - 160gr was ideal if shooting suppressed), so when you replied with that I knew once again that you speak from wisdom and not pure BS. :) My CZ is a 1:9.7 twist so it's not quite as cut and dry, but generally speaking it's going to like the 124gr and 147gr a lot more than the 115gr.

Your final point about practical accuracy vs bragging rights at the range is another thing I've been contemplating.

I've shot a ton of 9mm at 15 yards or less, but only twice have bothered to go at distance. I could hit steel at 67 yards (max distance I could go) with my red dot and irons, but I had immediate feedback so it was a little easier than a recent trip to the range where I was hitting paper but could only see the results when I looked through the spotting scope. As a result, I was missing more than I thought.

When I saw the paper, I thought - crap I did terrible.

When I showed my brother who is a lot more about practical accuracy, he was like - wow that's fantastic.

Me being the nerd that I am, I decided to do math on the IPSC target and break down my results. They were as follows:

View attachment 154015

While I won't be winning any competitions, I did think that it was better than I first thought. Granted, having some audible or visual feedback would have helped a lot, but for my second time at distance using iron sights I hit more than I missed and I got the A zone that I was aiming for a lot more than any other zones. Now if that target was moving I'd probably have 0 percent, so I won't declare myself ready to join the police or military, but right after I read this article on group size for rifles which sent me down this rabbit hole about group size for 9mm. I was shooting a pistol offhand that wasn't designed for tight groups at distances that are quite far for a pistol, so was I absolutely terrible or was I doing ok for the pistol and ammo combo I was using?

I have DOPE on my rifles, so why not create some DOPE on my pistols? At least it would help me understand for me and my capabilities, using my pistol, with a given ammo I'm shooting that day, at a given distance, what is a good day vs a bad day for that ammo.

And yes, I realize I burned a lot of ammo on this one. Honestly, I was having a bit of fun after finally scoring a big haul of ammo for the first time in a while so this was me enjoying a few of my pistols in a hurry before I had to leave to take my son to his practice.
I do the vast majority of my own shooting at distances from 15-25 yards on steel plates and use a shot timer to track my times for first shot on target and my splits. While those distances are the least likely at which I might have to use my pistols, the technique necessary to get on steel gets a lot more refined, so that shooting at the more typical seven yards or closer will be that much faster and accurate.

I've never done a study of the groups I get with different ammo out of my pistols. I run the same cobtrolled pair and transition drills with everything I have from a Sig P938 up to my .44 Magnum Redhawk, shooting only magnum loads out it and my .357. Rather than comparing group sizes for given loads, I just want to know that any of them will consistently allow me to hit an 8" or 10" plate at 25 yards (depends on what plates are in the lane I get at the local range). If they do that, then I am happy.

On the subject of bullet weight, however, I do notice some variations in POI along the vertical axis, with ultra-light 9mm rounds hitting around 4" low at 25 yards and ultra-heavy rounds hitting 1"-2" higher. I haven't seen the same variations with my .45 ACP pistols, however.
 

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Dope with a rifle is useful. Assuming your rifle is accurately sighted in for a known distance with a particular load all you have to do is know the range, read the wind, adjust your sights/scope accordingly. Most rifles are either scoped or have iron sights that allow for quick adjustments for wind and range.

OTOH, dope with a pistol is pointless. First of all wind drift is essentially nonexistent at distances most pistols are shot at. Unless you're shooting beyond 50 yards the cross wind component is rarely enough to affect your shot in any meaningful way. Even if you could quantify wind drift how are you going to adjust your sights to accommodate it? Same with distance. I'm not familiar with any iron sights on pistols that are conducive to quick windage and range adjustments. If your pistol is scoped or has a red dot I suppose you could twirl the turrets to accommodate for wind/distance but that seems overly burdensome for a pistol. The only practical way to adjust for wind and distance with an iron sighted pistol is to change your POA.

I've read and reread this thread a couple of times. It's still not clear to me what kind of data you're looking for. Is it testing methodology? If that's the case it's been my experience that until I could shoot consistent groups at ranges I was interested in I was wasting my time and ammo. Shotgun patterns at 25 or 50 yards doesn't yield useful data. I would argue that most modern centerfire pistols are capable of at least 6-8" accuracy at 50 yards. More than a few are capable of much better. That said, I can't accumulate any useful data for 50 yards until I can put all my shots in a pie plate group at 50 yards. I need to shorten the range until I can put every round in the black. As I get better I can keep increasing the range. Once I'm putting them all in the black at the distance I'm interested in only then can I start accumulating useful data.

One last thing. I don't care how many variables you eliminate it's unlikely the shape of your groups will be consistent enough to garner anything useful from them. The size of the group is useful, or the fact you consistently have one flyer out of every 10 shots is useful but trying to discern anything useful from the shape of the pattern is very unlikely.

Good luck with your quest. Whatever it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I do the vast majority of my own shooting at distances from 15-25 yards on steel plates ...

... Rather than comparing group sizes for given loads, I just want to know that any of them will consistently allow me to hit an 8" or 10" plate at 25 yards (depends on what plates are in the lane I get at the local range). If they do that, then I am happy.

On the subject of bullet weight, however, I do notice some variations in POI along the vertical axis, with ultra-light 9mm rounds hitting around 4" low at 25 yards and ultra-heavy rounds hitting 1"-2" higher. I haven't seen the same variations with my .45 ACP pistols, however.
Good to know - thanks for sharing that. (y)

Unfortunately my local ranges don't have an opportunity to shoot steel at those ranges, so that's why I was using a IPSC target and aiming for the upper and lower A zones. Most of my C zone and Black Zone shots were misses when trying to hit the top A zone which is a 4" wide x 2" tall rectangle at the top of the target.
 

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Good to know - thanks for sharing that. (y)

Unfortunately my local ranges don't have an opportunity to shoot steel at those ranges, so that's why I was using a IPSC target and aiming for the upper and lower A zones. Most of my C zone and Black Zone shots were misses when trying to hit the top A zone which is a 4" wide x 2" tall rectangle at the top of the target.
Birchwood Casey makes 8" adhesive targets, which you could stick on your cardboard targets if you want to train at those distances. Where the Birchwood Casey targets won't give you the audible sound of a hit, they'll still give you a visible neon ring around the holes. Just make sure you don't shift your eyes from the front sight to the target to check for hits until you finish your strings. That can be tempting.
 

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ronmart, Sometimes we get wrapped around the axil looking for perfection when indeed we need to apply some common sense. A 9mm pistol is NOT a gun for a perfectionist. It's a great gun for its intended purpose, which is self defense where accuracy is measured in hits/no hits on a body sized silhouette target. If you want match grade accuracy in a handgun, there are a few good options. Probably the best is a 38 Special where match grade accuracy is possible with most revolvers shooting 148 gr LHBWC ammo. A S&W Mod 17 or 617 comes to mind .... super accurate and flawless function.

For pistols, the 1911 platform chambered in 45 Auto can also qualify for match grade accuracy (sub-inch groups @ 25 yards). I have a couple 45 Autos in 1911s that will group under an inch @ 25 yards, using a Ransom Rest. When I'm pulling the trigger .... maybe not so much. My Kimber Classic it set up in a target configuration with high profile sights, a match grade barrel, and a match grade barrel bushing. My old Series 70 Colt is also a match grade shooter. To compliment this concept, go to any bullseye match and see what the winning shooters are using for centerfire competition. It sure won't be a 9mm and it will very likely be a 1911 in 45 ACP or possibly a 38 Super.

Here's my Kimber, set up for target match competition for 45 ACP and 22 LR:

 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ronmart, Sometimes we get wrapped around the axil looking for perfection when indeed we need to apply some common sense. A 9mm pistol is NOT a gun for a perfectionist. It's a great gun for its intended purpose, which is self defense where accuracy is measured in hits/no hits on a body sized silhouette target. If you want match grade accuracy in a handgun, there are a few good options. Probably the best is a 38 Special where match grade accuracy is possible with most revolvers shooting 148 gr LHBWC ammo. A S&W Mod 17 or 617 comes to mind .... super accurate and flawless function.

For pistols, the 1911 platform chambered in 45 Auto can also qualify for match grade accuracy (sub-inch groups @ 25 yards). I have a couple 45 Autos in 1911s that will group under an inch @ 25 yards, using a Ransom Rest. When I'm pulling the trigger .... maybe not so much. My Kimber Classic it set up in a target configuration with high profile sights, a match grade barrel, and a match grade barrel bushing. My old Series 70 Colt is also a match grade shooter. To compliment this concept, go to any bullseye match and see what the winning shooters are using for centerfire competition. It sure won't be a 9mm and it will very likely be a 1911 in 45 ACP or possibly a 38 Super.

Here's my Kimber, set up for target match competition for 45 ACP and 22 LR:

Very nice setup - I really like how you can swap from rimfire to 45 - cool!

No, this isn't really so much about getting wrapped up in precision accuracy - I do that with my rifles. It's more about understanding what's realistically good for me with a given firearm, with a given ammo, etc... Now I would prefer to see smaller groups or bigger holes in my target with a Beretta 92x Performance or CZ Tactical Sports Orange than something like Sig P365, but it is all academic. A guide if you will for me to calibrate myself.

My only 38 Special is my snub-nosed M&P Bodyguard with its 1.9" barrel, so haven't thought much about accuracy from that round given my personal experiences. That's good to know though as some point I hope to get a nice 6 inch barrel 357 mag revolver that I can enjoy using that 38 Special ammo in.

A 1911 is definitely on the wish list as well. One day.
 
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