Accuracy to carry competently carry? (cross-posted on packin

Discussion in 'General GWL Questions' started by Sine Nomen, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Sine Nomen

    Sine Nomen New Member

    I recently attained a GA CCW and a Kahr PM9 for personal carry in Atlanta. After 400 rounds at the shooting range, my groupings were still about 8" at 10ft. I don't believe that being armed like that will make anyone safer, so my gun is currently unloaded and locked in my safe at home.

    What can I reasonably expect for accuracy with this firearm, given that I will not be able to shoot more than three times a month? Also, what level of marksmanship would be considered adequate by a reasonable person (and a jury) before I carry for defense in public? My apt is about 30' deep and I would think being able to hold a 6" grouping at that distance is sufficient, but I really have no perspective on that matter. What does Law Enforcement generally require of their officers for qualification?
  2. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

    If you can shoot reasonably quickly and keep all your shots in 10" at 30 feet, you're doing fine for defense work.

    If you're new to shooting pitols, slow down.

    Don't worry about increasing range or speed yet. You want to get the fundamentals down solid.

    You really need to get some professional instruction. It's hard to read things in books or online and translate them well into real life if you dont have much experience.

    Money spent on training classes is always money well spent.

    I recommend Ken at He's a great instructor for all levels.

  3. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday New Member

    Be sure that you are seeing the front site clearly. It should be perfectly aligned with the rear sight. The target should appear fuzzy because what you are really concentrating on is the front sight. Don't jerk the trigger. Slowly squeeze the trigger until the round goes off. These are what helped with me improving my accuracy when I first began shooting. Take you time, it will come with lots of practice.
  4. Mastino177

    Mastino177 Member

    Doc is right. It's all about trigger control, front sight alignment, and grip. If you can put all rounds within a 10 inch plate you're on the right track. Remember, don't expect spec-op type of shooting...their only that good because they've mastered the above and have put 10's of thousands of rounds down range. Oh, and it would help to get professional training...they seem to be able to see problems that the individual shooter doesn't. Several holes spread apart is better than one big hole with several rounds through...the idea is to great multiple wound channels.
    Know what's behind your target.
  5. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member


    The size of the PM9 is going to make these things a bit trickier. It has a short sight radius and a short grip. Things things are going to magnify any issues with your technique. I would recommend some dry firing excercises so that you focus on what's going on with your sights as your trigger breaks. Whenever my groupings start getting too big, I can usually see what's going wrong with my technique (i.e. milking the grip, flinching, torquing the gun toward my trigger finger) by dry firing.

    BTW, I always shoot better with my Glock 23 than with my PM9 even though its a larger caliber.

  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    Sine nomen, is this what you are doing, focusing on the front site so that the target is blurry and the rear site is a little blurry, but the front site is in focus?

    If not, then try it out!
  7. foshizzle

    foshizzle New Member

    My girlfriend is PD and I've gone through some drills with her a few times. Of course, I'm going off of memory here. We use one of the larger man-sized targets... the ones that actually simulate a "man sized" target... maybe 12-15 inches across at the shoulders? 3 yards, 7 yards, 21 yards. To get points you stay in the black... the black being the man sized target. They do a kind of odd string of fire... one handed (strong and weak) and they actually alternate targets (side-by-side). I have run mozambique drills with her and I think that is part of their training as well. Mozambique meaning two to the body, one to the head... the first shot of each string being double-action. All of this is timed.

    Of course, this is just a rough approximation... I've never run the course of fire nor has she really adequately explained it to me. She has had troubles with qualification so it's not easy. Her department is one of the more strict as far as marksmanship... maybe that's why they hit more crooks than the others.

    I guess my point is that with 8" at 10 feet, I wouldn't feel as if I was endangering anyone. I think it's safe to say most of your self-defense situations are going to be a lot closer... think arms reach. You're not a cop.. you're probably not going to go confronting bad guys unless they directly endanger you... say a mugging. A crack-head with a knife... I dunno. You need to know how to safely handle your handgun and present and fire should need be... besides that, accuracy is necessary, but I don't think you should expect to be able to consistently make head shots at 25 feet.

    I agree with the others on front sight alignment. One other thing that has helped me improve my shooting is my grip. I'm probably going to screw up explaining this, but when you hold a pistol with two hands, one set of knuckles goes around the handle, and the knuckles of your other hand wrap around the front of those. Thumbs both point towards the target. What helps me is to actually push forward with my gripping hand (right) while pulling back with my supporting hand (left). The objective is to provide a stable platform for follow-up shots and to reduce the effect of recoil. Someone gave me this advice a while ago and it works for me.... give it a try.. it can't hurt.

    Like anything else, shooting requires practice to get really good. It's also a lot of fun trying to get really good! My .02 is that when and if it ever came down to it... theres an even chance all your training at the range is going to go out the window and you're just going to shoot until your attacker stops or goes away. Of course, if you want to carry a gun in public, you should be proficient, hence the range training.. but I'm not sure there is a level of accuracy one should attain before feeling safe carrying a firearm. Just know how to carry it safely (4 rules) and you would meet whatever expectations as I would have as the guy next to you at wal-mart :lol:
  8. Wiley

    Wiley Guest

    Use a few the targets at this link: . Where the bullet hits will tell you what you are doing wrong.

    And, as others have said the front sight should be in focus, the target a blurr. It is impossible the focus on two objects at the same time. Those with young eyes can change focus rapidly, giving the impression of both the sights and target in focus. Try to keep both eyes open or at least the off eye not squinched tightly shut. You will be more accurate and more comfortable.
  9. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

  10. GeorgiaGlocker

    GeorgiaGlocker Romans 10:13

    I think trigger control is one of the hardest areas in shooting to master. It just takes practice, practice and more practice.
  11. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

    Trigger control is very important, you should squeeze the trigger not pull it. Also, do not anticipate the shot, most shooters will push the pistol/rifle forward prior to firing. As an instructor I would take the magazine out of the rifle, remove the round from the chamber, load the magazine, and make it appear that I was loading a round into the chamber. After that I would instruct the shooter to sight in and fire, and watch them push the muzzle forward and down as an unconscious effort to brace the rifle prior to firing.
    The shot should surprise you when it goes off, also time your breathing so that the shot goes off during your natural respiratory pause.

    Natural respiratory pause is when you take in a deep breath and let it out, at the end of the exhale there is a moment when the body is most relaxed, this is when you want to fire. Granted these techniques are for accurate shooting, but the more you practice them, the more unconscious they become. Drill, Drill and Drill, is the best way, that's how good shooters become great shooters.

    A good drill to ensure that you are correctly squeezing the trigger is to place a dime on the front of your weapon, sight in and dry fire. If the dime falls off, you are pulling/jerking the trigger. You want to have a slow steady squeeze.
  12. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

    I have seen a diagnostic target before, but I hadn't see this one. I may have to play with this next time I'm at the range. :shoot: