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Off-topic question - not bullseye - for the best precision, how many hands to use?

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Post by mikemyers 3/31/2022, 9:01 pm

I bought my Springfield SA-35, a Browning Hi Power clone, just to enjoy shooting it, no competition.  It's not legal for bullseye anyway, unless somehow 9mm has been approved, which I doubt.

My question here, is "everything else being equal", which would offer the best chance of precision shooting, using one hand, or two.

The Springfield is small, and light, and reasonably inexpensive, with an MSRP of $699.  Eventually they'll be selling for that.  9mm ammo is readily available at reasonable prices, and Wilson Combat even sells "remanufactured" ammo, so shooting for fun with the Springfield is sort of like doing so with a 22.  It's an inexpensive way to just enjoy shooting.  It's not made for competition, and as far as I know, the only extra parts being sold for the gun are grips/stocks.  There aren't any red dot sights (yet) for the gun.

As to "strength" and "power", I was born without either.  In a past life, I would have been the "115 pound weakling" in the old Charles Atlas advertisements in all the comic books I used to read.

Which gets to the point of this post.  Which is inherently more precise (maybe not accurate) shooting with one hand or two?
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Post by Merick 3/31/2022, 9:36 pm

It's usually easier for me to lift something with two hands than one.  But with one hand the sights are farther out and you can tighten up sight alignment with smaller gaps.

The hi power has an odd design feature in that pulling the trigger moves the slide and sights to some degree or another, which isn't helpful, but usually I've forgotten about that by the time the hammer spur draws blood.

Try it both ways and see what works.

Fyi I think hi powers are ok for cmp leg matches, one handed of course.

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Post by mikemyers 3/31/2022, 9:43 pm

Definitely, about lifting something, but this new gun feels MUCH lighter than my other guns.  One handed is effortless.
Yes, for sure, about the sights being further away.  Good point.
The Springfield SA-35 doesn't have that issue when operating the trigger - it feels like a 1911.
The Springfield SA-35 doesn't have the magazine interlock, which all by itself improved the trigger feel.

Interesting - I thought there was no place for 9mm in the Bullseye world.  

Thanks for the update - will check that out.
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Post by GME 3/31/2022, 10:05 pm

Bullseye has .22, center fire and .45.  A 9mm qualifies as a center fire (as does the .45 - can do double duty).

I doubt you will find a definitive answer on whether one hand or two provides more precision.  The question has come up before.  Some say they do better onehanded, while other say two.  I don't know for myself, because I am training for bullseye, and don't want to confuse things by changing back and forth.

I'm with Merick.  Try both ways and do what makes you happiest.

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Post by Jack H 3/31/2022, 10:59 pm

The best precision is the one YOU learn, and practice at.
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 4/1/2022, 6:50 am

It caught my attention that when he was on Top Shot (two seasons), Brian Zins always used two hands for slow fire pistol shooting.
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Post by mikemyers 4/1/2022, 7:15 am

Someone sent me a PM asking if I'm losing my marbles, and after all this time why wasn't I aware that 9mm was allowed for CF.  Maybe I don't have enough marbles left to lose - I know 45 can be used for CF, but I was not aware that 9mm was also an option.

I never watched or heard of "Top Shot", or that Brian Zins shot with two hands for slow fire on that show.  

Regardless, my question was: "My question here, is 'everything else being equal', which would offer the best chance of precision shooting, using one hand, or two."

Repeating, "everything else being equal".   I was only asking about "precision" not about "accuracy".  So apparently the answer is that it doesn't matter, either one is potentially as good/bad as the other.  That's not what I expected to read, but it does answer my question.
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Post by james r chapman 4/1/2022, 7:39 am

Prior to 2015, 1911 in .45 acp and M9 Beretta.
In 2015 service pistol was opened up to numerous specified firearms of 9mm and larger

https://thecmp.org/cmp-pistol-program-rule-changes-for-2015/
2015 CMP rules
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Post by Wobbley 4/1/2022, 10:23 am

To answer your original question, I’ve found that if I can rest my entire arm on a table with the gun hand and wrist resting on a folded towel, and the left hand holding the right hand “tea cup style”, I can usually get a very good group.  I may still have a flyer but it seldom opens it up past the 10 ring.  Short of a random rest, it’s the best I can do.
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Post by Steve in MI 4/1/2022, 11:12 am

I was only asking about "precision" not about "accuracy".

I don't understand the difference between precision and accuracy?  To me they are the same, putting the bullet where I want it to go ( ie x ring).

I was always taught that whenever possible shoot 2 handed, it creates a more stable platform.  The "isosceles" position seems natural and seemed natural for beginners.  The "Weaver" and "Modified Weaver" (Chapman for example) are supposed to be improvements.

With that said, during our fun shoots (deck of card targets, connect 3 dots, etc) the Bullseye/Precision pistol guys always did better shooting one hand.  As Jack H mentioned you tend to shoot best the way you practice.

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Post by sharkdoctor 4/1/2022, 11:33 am

A lot of people mix the terms precision and accuracy regarding shooting.  The former is necessary but not sufficient for the latter.  Many benchrest shooters have great precision (think little tiny groups) but miss the aiming point entirely😁, but then, that's what adjustable sights are for.
 
At times, I have exhibited great precision by shooting a tiny group, but it was on my neighbor's target.  Precision- yes, accuracy?, not so much.

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Post by Wobbley 4/1/2022, 12:07 pm

Precision=putting all shots in a very tight group.

Accuracy=putting all shots where the shots are intended to go.  

If your target is large like an IPSC C zone precision isn’t necessarily required to be accurate.  And, as noted, short range Benchrest doesn’t require high accuracy but does require ultra high precision.
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Post by Steve in MI 4/1/2022, 1:28 pm

Thank you for the explanation.

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Post by Jack H 4/1/2022, 3:28 pm

IMO Precision has measurable parametres.  Standards really.  Accuracy is more about meeting those standards.
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Post by mikemyers 4/1/2022, 7:17 pm

sharkdoctor wrote:A lot of people mix the terms precision and accuracy regarding shooting.  The former is necessary but not sufficient for the latter.  Many benchrest shooters have great precision (think little tiny groups) but miss the aiming point entirely😁, but then, that's what adjustable sights are for.........
I used to be confused about those two terms, but posts on this forum cleared that up.  That's why I worded my post the way I did.

With good precision (gun + me) all the rounds might go into one hole.  More realistically, I'll get a small group.

Accuracy - if that hole, or group, isn't centered on the bullseye, the accuracy is not good.  As noted, adjustable sights can correct this (but if the accuracy can't be any better than what the shooter is capable of).


Using a rest, at 15 yards, I shot two groups of five rounds, as shown at the right in the image below.  I then shot a ten-shot group.  I was rather disappointed, until one of the better shooters at my range came to my table, and shot another group of 10 rounds.  His group was a tiny amount smaller than mine, but mostly just like what I shot.  He thinks I should shoot it a lot, without oil, and let it break in better.  

It's been a few weeks now, and probably two hundred shots.  Maybe the gun is still breaking in, or maybe it needs a clean & lube, or maybe this is the best I'll ever get from the gun without having someone work on it.  It's still very enjoyable to shoot, but I hoped for better results.  Maybe the springs are too stiff for this kind of shooting?  Maybe my Wilson remanufactured (cheap) ammo isn't good enough?  Maybe I'm not good enough, even shooting with the (old and broken down) rest.  I have a good, solid, steel, gun rest - but it's big and heavy.  Maybe I'll take it with me next time and try this again.  This ammo was 135 grain.  I also have lots of Magtech 115 grain ammo, which is known for high quality.  I will use that next time.  (My favorite is 148 grain, but I only have one box left of that.....)   Part of me thinks that it is ME that is somehow messing this up.  I wish I had a red dot sight.....

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Post by bihammond 4/2/2022, 10:54 am

I’m very much a beginner as far as bullseye shooting but I would recommend swapping one variable and trying some different ammo. My Beretta is noticeably different between 115 and 148 grain FMJ. I assume it has more to do with rifling and spin stabilization even at relatively short distances (<25 yards). That Wilson Combat reman isn’t cheap, try your Magtech or see if you can pick up a few boxes of decent brand name ammo online or local.

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Post by mikemyers 4/2/2022, 12:06 pm

james r chapman wrote:Prior to 2015, 1911 in .45 acp and M9 Beretta.
In 2015 service pistol was opened up to numerous specified firearms of 9mm and larger

https://thecmp.org/cmp-pistol-program-rule-changes-for-2015/
2015 CMP rules
Thank you Jim, for giving me a whole new perspective on this.  So, the SA-35 is technically legal for Bullseye, potentially even with two hands.  That completely changes how I see things.  Whether it's precise/accurate enough is another story completely, but I though of this gun as mostly a good way to have fun at the range.

'bihammond', I agree - I'll try using my Magtech 115 grain new ammo (of which I have lots), and my one box of Federal 147 grain ammo, which I used to prefer in my Taurus PT92-AFS (now sold).  I'm not sure how to describe the difference - the 115 ammo feels like it has more "snap", and the 147 feels like it has more "power".  I did shoot better with the 147.

Anybody here have a good suggestion for a source of 9mm 147 grain ammo?

Tomorrow I want to try all of the above, and I especially want to try shooting one-handed.  It's already easier for me to hold the Springfield than my 1911, because it is so light and because it fits my hand like a glove.  One handed I'll also have a longer sight-radius.  The open sights are easier for me to work with than my other "open" sights.  Here's a photo taken with my iPhone, but I can't get a real photo because my iPhone insists on focusing on the rear sights when I align them.  The shape of the rear sight makes things easier.  Unfortunately, with my standing in the shade, and the target in bright sunlight, I can't "see" the white dot while shooting at my range.

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Post by bihammond 4/2/2022, 12:22 pm

Agreed on the different ‘feel’ of the ammo between grain sizes. If you reloaded you may be able to tailor a light charge, light bullet combo but off the shelf will be standardized for reliability. Reloading 9mm just isn’t worth it for me.

For ammo, I usually look up on Ammoseek website and filter for what I”m looking for (9mm Luger, brass case and new manufacture only) and see what pops up. Haven’t seen much 147 lately, perhaps due to supply chains and cost? There are a few 124 grain options which is what my Beretta is designed for (whatever that means). More ammo is showing up locally but prices can’t match online. Although if you wanted to grab a few different boxes of 50, a local shop might be quick and easy.

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Post by mikemyers 4/2/2022, 12:27 pm

bihammond wrote:Agreed on the different ‘feel’ of the ammo between grain sizes. If you reloaded you may be able to tailor a light charge, light bullet combo but off the shelf will be standardized for reliability. Reloading 9mm just isn’t worth it for me......
Thanks to Jim, I have everything I need for reloading 9mm.  My press is now set up for 38, and when I have enough built up, I need to load up more 45 again.  I also have my old single station press, RCBS Big Max.  I suppose I could set that up for 9mm.  

So, anyone here have a good recipe for 9mm reloading for precision shooting, using Winchester WST ?
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Post by Wobbley 4/2/2022, 3:01 pm

I’m not sure I’d choose WST for 9mm.  MAYBE for 147 grain bullets to kinda-sorta duplicate the 38-148 Wadcutter ballistics, but I don’t think many are doing that.  I’d look at Titegroup, N340, WSF, Alliant PowerPistol, even old Alliant Unique and 800X for 9mm.
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Post by Froneck 4/2/2022, 4:15 pm

I found this topic quite late. Simply put the more hands on the gun the better the accuracy. When Army decided the AMU shooter will shoot Bianchi type Action shooting they did it with one hand and did quite well. In the one event they didn't drop in the prone position like all the other shooters either. But as time went on winning scores are perfect scores and winner is the one with most X's so accuracy counts. The mover that is traveling at 10 feet/sec left to right then back right to left is the hardest and again X's are required. In a self defense situation it is important you hit the person but as accurate as possible to limit them from returning fire though they may be fatally wounded. As were the FBI agents that were killed by someone they shot and though the wounds were fatal he had enough time to kill the agents before he too died.

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Post by mikemyers 4/2/2022, 4:31 pm

Wobbley wrote:I’m not sure I’d choose WST for 9mm.  MAYBE for 147 grain bullets to kinda-sorta duplicate the 38-148 Wadcutter ballistics, but I don’t think many are doing that.  I’d look at Titegroup, N340, WSF, Alliant PowerPistol, even old Alliant Unique and 800X for 9mm.
Well, if I was to start reloading 9mm, since I use WST for 38 and 45, what might the reasons be for not also using it for 9mm?  This is probably a long ways off, but who knows.  The 9mm is so small - I felt best reloading 44 Special with Unique.  The bigger things are, the easier for me to see everything I'm doing, and to recognize a potential mistake.  I'm not sure what I'll be doing in the future, but I'd like to be able to load my own.  With 44, and 45, and even 38, going through a box of 50 would likely be enough for me for a shooting session.  For 22 - double that.  For 9mm - I'm not sure.

For now, I think I'll benefit most from dry-firing, and I find that it's very easy on my body to dry-fire one handed.  When I hold up my wad gun, or my Nelson, one handed, it feels like I'm about to start shaking from the weight - which is why I practice with a lead-filled magazine.  Maybe I can ask Dave to fill up a High Power magazine with lead, for me to practice with.


Back on topic, two hands means the support hand can handle part of the weight, and between both hands, the gun should be more stable.  It doesn't really work that way in 9mm, as with one hand wrapped around the gun, everything feels more stable than when I also use my support hand.  It just feels like it gets in the way, and if I lift up my right thumb to allow my left hand to fit in there, it messes up my grip.  If I keep my right thumb where it feels like it belongs, my left thumb feels lost.  Then there's the increased sight radius with one hand shooting.  That it's also good practice for me, improving my ability to shoot with only one hand, is a bonus.

I might have more to say after my range trip Monday morning......
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Post by Froneck 4/2/2022, 5:13 pm

From what I understand most of the Bianchi shooters use the 9mm, I know Adam used the 9mm when he won Bianchi  in 2018 and came is second by 1X in 2019. He also shot the record perfect score with the 9mm in metallic class (metallic being iron sights only, no optics) using 2 hands. Later that year Adam came in 3rd at Camp Perry in 2019 using the Hammerli 208 and the 1911 with Red dot sights and Won Presidents 100 with Beretta M9 (Presidents 100 requires Iron Sights) All with one hand hold. Length of arm or hold does not increase sight radius, the distance between front and rear sight is sight radius.

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Post by mikemyers 4/2/2022, 7:13 pm

Oops, sorry, you are correct.

What is the term I am looking for?  
If I hold a gun six inches in front of my eyes, there is no way to aim accurately.
If I hold a gun six inches in front of the target, the hole will be perfect precision.

The further away from my eye that I hold any given gun with open sights, the easier it is to aim.

That's what I was referring to - with one hand, the gun is way out in front of me, but with two hands, the gun is closer to me.

Is there a proper way to describe this?

(You are spot on - I got confusabobbled about the definition.  Thanks, and sorry!)
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Post by Mike M. 4/7/2022, 9:14 pm

Honestly?  One-handed will give you better accuracy.  A two-handed grip is better for recoil management, but it's going to be easier to keep the forces on the gun balanced with one hand.

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