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Thread: Pistol Accuracy at Longer Ranges

  1. #1

    Pistol Accuracy at Longer Ranges

    Several threads over the last few days have inspired me to work a little more beyond 25 yards with a pistol, so I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hijack the existing ones. Maybe we can use this thread to swap ideas and knowledge about shooting service-type handguns at ranges longer than what most folks think is possible, practical, or even a good idea.

    I'll start.

    Today I did some work with a new VP9 at 25 and 50 yards. Pouring rain on the range, so the targets are wet and it may be hard to see all of the hits clearly. Ammo was American Eagle 147-grain FMJ, S&B 124-grain FMJ, and S&B 115-grain FMJ. All shots fired offhand and (very) slow fire, except for the 25-yard group with S&B 115-grain FMJ, which I shot a little more quickly because people were waiting to go downrange for a target change. Cadence of this group was about 1 shot per second.

    American Eagle 147-grain FMJ First Target
    Top group was fired at 25 yards. It’s about 3.5” Bottom group was fired at 50 yards. It’s about 5-6”.

    S&B 124-grain FMJ First Target

    Top group was fired at 25 yards. It’s about 2.5”, with four hits touching. Bottom group was fired at 50 yards. It’s about 5”, with three in about 1.25”. I’m thinking that this load has promise in this pistol IF I can learn not to abuse the trigger. On the other hand, this pistol is new, so a little time should make the trigger smoother and lighter, making abuse less likely.

    S&B 115-grain FMJ First Target

    Upper group was fired at 25 yards and is about 3.5”. I shot this one a little more quickly than the others. The lower group was fired at 50 yards—the first shot was low and off the paper. Extreme spread for those four shots is probably 4-5".

    American Eagle 147-grain FMJ Second Target

    50 yards. Extreme spread is probably about 4” or a little bigger.

    S&B 124-grain FMJ Second Target

    Group fired at 50 yards. Extreme spread is about 8" because of the flyer I threw to the left. Extreme spread for the other four shots is probably 4-5".

    S&B 115-grain FMJ Second Target

    Still hitting low, but this time I added a clean target backer below the paper so you can see low hit. I called the high flyer. This group probably has four hits in about 4”. The fifth hit opens the group to about 9”.

    Let the games begin.

    Okie John

  2. #2
    Member Luke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    As soon as I get my new blaster I will post targets with no holes shot from 50

  3. #3
    I mostly shoot longer distance on steel and anyone who knows me in person or just from my past online content understands that longer range pistol shooting is a regular part of my training routine and has been so my entire professional career from pretty much day 1.

    Over the many years I have always been an outspoken proponent for long range pistol training. In my early professional years we shot a 600 point qual on a B27 with 6 shots (60 points) at 50 yards. Now the general agency qual stops at 15 yards and guys/gals often think 25 yards is stretching it and 50 yards is impossible. Sad but true. For myself 50 yards is medium and longer range starts around 100 yards. I will take my guys out to 100 yds fairly regular and 200 yds on occasion. I like to stretch my own training out to around 300yds from time to time.

    Over the last several years where agencies seriously neutered their quals and distances decreased, Shooting out to or past 25 yards was pretty much unheard of, considered to be impractical and a waste of time and resources. Because of this overwhelming belief I took a ton of heat in person and even online for being a proponent of long range handgun training and it's practical value that even your average shooter can greatly benefit from. It has been nice to see a slow swing in more progressive trainers that are figuring this out and putting it out there.

    Stick with it. If it gets easy at 50 or 100 yards, anywhere from contact distance to 25 yards is stupid simple. Confidence, accuracy and speed on target dramatically increases in closer encounters as long range proficiency increases.

  4. #4
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    okie john, those are some nice targets.

    I used to do some long range shooting years ago when I could shoot in old strip pits. I used a .357 Blackhawk and shot at rocks way out there. I also used to do some ground hog hunting with handguns.

    I seldom shoot past 50 yards now, with a few shots at 75 or so. I need to do more.
    Last edited by Bill Nesbitt; 12-06-2015 at 06:52 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    I posted my thoughts on this in another thread and totally agree that 50 yard shooting with a handgun should be in your normal practice regiment. When that gets easy do it strong hand only and other strong hand only. Keep pushing out 75, 100....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Thanks for starting this topic. I've been thinking about practicing at 50 yards with my Glock 26. I'm going to try and get out today if I can.. If not I will next week and post my results.

  7. #7
    Member voodoo_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Inside your safe space
    Whenever possible I shoot longer distances with my EDC pistol (g19).

    Steel is best and I prefer to shoot 75 yards and out because under that hitting a man size torso is not very difficult.

    If you have the ability to do so.

    Get an NRA B8 target, shoot ten shots regular speed standing free style at 25 yards. Then go and do a walk back drill on steel to at least 150 yards. After you hit at least two or three consistent dings at 150 yards, go back to 25 yards and run another ten rounds regular speed on a fresh target, compare the two.

    You'll be surprised.
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  8. #8
    I prefer to use steel, and paint after each run with white primer spray paint. This gives the benefit of instant recognition of a hit, but still the ability to see the group.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    First time shooting at 50 for groups today and my first time using Win 124gr NATO. I shot one round at 15 and windage was good. A not so great five shot group at 25 yd was ~POA.

    Full mag (16 rds) at 50 yd and a 6"x6" target using post it notes. I didn't have a scope or binos and just held a 6:00 hold for the whole string and don't know why I didn't think to account for bullet drop.

    Last edited by johnson; 12-06-2015 at 05:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter Bill Nesbitt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Some old time tips from Elmer Keith. Don't hold the front sight higher and cover the target. Hold the rear sight lower. He explained it better.

    Some of the old timers had gold stripes across the front sight to allow for distance.

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