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Accuracy in Precision Shooting

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Post by mikemyers Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:14 pm

Most of the time, if I go to my range I have something specific I want to work on, but occasionally I want to forget the "work" and just relax and enjoy shooting. While "working" I have a one track mind, and it is focused.  On "relax" days, I rest for a while between shooting, chat with others, and sometimes watch other people shoot.  Some people I feel are very talented, and others I feel are the opposite.

Meanwhile, there is still a thought floating around in my head that says "the better the gun, the better I'm likely to shoot".  For myself, I don't believe this, but I can't it out of my mind.

Last night, I was bored, couldn't sleep, and got up to watch something that explains how Hickok45 can shoot any gun of any caliber, and he seems to shoot them all equally well regardless of the cost of the gun.  I've been noticing that for a long time, and last night I tried to find something about him.

This video shows and explains it all:
Hickok45 on Accuracy (Precision)
(He says in the video that it does NOT apply to precision shooting.)

I find it difficult to accept that most of us in this forum would shoot just as well with an inexpensive "average" gun, instead of the precise tools most people here seem to want to shoot with.

From watching the video, 99% of what's important is the "shooter", not the "gun".
It's hard to argue with this, after watching the above video.

The video doesn't apply to many people in this forum, who are already very talented.
I think it does apply to a huge number of people in this forum, who haven't yet reached that level of skill.
Since I'm struggling to accept what Hickok45 says, it probably does apply to me.


To quote Hickok45:

The term "accuracy" is often misused, in my opinion. This is MY take on it. You might not agree, but it makes sense to me. :-)
I'm talking about "practical," defensive pistol accuracy here. If you have three Olympic Gold Medals for shooting bullseye targets, I'm not talking about you. :-)

By the way, a dictionary will tell you that shooters really mean "precision" when they use the term "accuracy," so lectures on the correct use of the terms will serve no purpose and just take up space. :-)
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Post by zanemoseley Fri Jun 17, 2022 1:16 pm

Well most average folks have dog dookie for fundamentals. They slap the trigger, often poor stance and/or grip and flinching. Didn't watch the video but guess he's nicely telling people not to go out and buy a $4k Wilson Combat thinking they're gonna cut their group size in half. I see people all the time shooting at 5-7yds that probably think they can shoot and I wouldn't be happy with their group at 50yd.

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Post by james r chapman Fri Jun 17, 2022 3:53 pm

Yeah, if you can’t hold your rounds RF in 1” at 7 yards save your 4K
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Post by Pinetree Fri Jun 17, 2022 9:42 pm

That guy shoots a LOT, and he's been doing it for years.

(He also uses both hands.)

You could probably make the same analogy with "It's not the instrument, it's the musician" or whatever.. but a good musician sounds a lot better with a better (more expensive) instrument.


It's a hobby. If you can afford a 4K pistol, then go for it.. just don't go thinking that you'll magically improve
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Post by messenger Sat Jun 18, 2022 4:48 am

Pinetree wrote:That guy shoots a LOT, and he's been doing it for years.

(He also uses both hands.)

You could probably make the same analogy with "It's not the instrument, it's the musician" or whatever.. but a good musician sounds a lot better with a better (more expensive) instrument.


It's a hobby. If you can afford a 4K pistol, then go for it.. just don't go thinking that you'll magically improve

I believe the analogy your looking for is "it's the singer not the song". But let's face it a good song helps.

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Post by mikemyers Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:05 am

Pinetree wrote:That guy shoots a LOT, and he's been doing it for years.

(He also uses both hands.)

You could probably make the same analogy with "It's not the instrument, it's the musician" or whatever.. but a good musician sounds a lot better with a better (more expensive) instrument.


It's a hobby. If you can afford a 4K pistol, then go for it.. just don't go thinking that you'll magically improve
He shoots equally well with one hand, or two hands, single-action or double-action, with fixed sights or adjustable sights.  He switches around a lot, during many of his videos.  Sometimes he shoots at targets, at varying distances.  He seems more "attentive" at 80-yard steel plates, his "gong".

He makes a very impressive case that for his kind of shooting, it's all up to the shooter, not the gun.

Watch him enough, and you get an idea of which guns he prefers (steel, not plastic), and older rather than newer.  In his comparison of newly introduced guns, such as the new S&W Model 19 compared to what was sold long ago, the older guns always come out on top.
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Post by Pinetree Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:15 am

I've watched him for years, and he's quite the Glock fanboy.. which he also shoots very well.

He's also hilarious, especially when watermelons are involved.

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Post by BE Mike Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:49 am

One thing I keep in the back of my mind when watching Hickok45 is the word, EDITING. Don't get me wrong, he has skills, but he shoots a gun a lot before the "director" says, PRINT! One other thing is that when shooting metal, it is very easy to disregard the misses. The ring of steel has a bigger impact upon our senses.
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Post by WSR32 Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:53 am

Pinetree wrote:
It's a hobby. If you can afford a 4K pistol, then go for it.. just don't go thinking that you'll magically improve

Sometimes pride of ownership give motivation to practice (dry fire) away from the range.  That will in of itself drive improvement, or should. 

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Post by SonOfAGun Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:26 am

I think Hickok45 has a ton of fairly interesting and informative content. He's very personable, watchable, knowledgable, and skilled. It's fun to watch him shoot on that cool range with all those targets. It sure makes me wish I had access to such a facility- especially if it were right off my back deck.

But again, we've got a discussion of general shooting in the context of a forum dedicated to the sport of BULLSEYE. His frame of reference is defensive, or practical shooting. He literally says that near the end of the episode. In context of this forum, our frame of reference is precision shooting. Around the 3:40 mark he literally excludes Bullseye shooters from the points that he is making.

The threshold for success on a range like his is considerably different from the goals of Bullseye. His gong is 80 yards away, but it's probably 20 inches in diameter, and is graded on a pass/fail system: if you hear the DING, you've succeeded. In Bullseye (the reason we're all here, right?) our reference for success is an area less than 3.5" in diameter, 50 yards away. Bonus if you hit the X-ring within that.

So in the context of Bullseye- accuracy matters more to us than it does to most casual shooters. And it matter at least a little more to us than it does to people shooting the practical games.
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Post by SonOfAGun Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:32 am

BE Mike wrote:One thing I keep in the back of my mind when watching Hickok45 is the word, EDITING.

I think there is 100% chance that he shoots each gun before the camera starts rolling. Sights get adjusted, if possible. On non-adjustable sights he just figures out the necessary hold and remembers it.
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Post by mikemyers Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:37 am

Regarding editing, I don't think there is very much editing - I think his son John just presses "record" and keeps going.  I'm very involved in video, and I think I can spot places where there is a small "flicker" between scenes - with most of Hickok45's videos it is very obvious in the few times it happens.  When he's shooting it's also "obvious" when he misses, and sometimes he really struggles, reloads, and goes back to do it right.  That he can shoot so well with tiny pocket guns to me was amazing.  

Something else - the way he flips the slide back and forth, looks to me like there isn't any recoil spring in the gun!  It looks effortless.  For me, it's anything BUT effortless.  He just moves the slide back and forth several times, as if there was no resistance.  He is obviously far stronger than I have ever been, or ever will be.

I figure for many people here, what he does is no big deal.  For me, it's plenty of "big deal".  At my range, I can shoot at a 10" steel plate at a little over 50 yards, using my 22 S&W revolver, and 3 or 4 times out of 5 I will hear the "ping".  I figure that's the "law of averages", and my group size is larger than the 10" of the plate even if it is centered on the plate.  For Hicock45 I think it would be at least 9 times out of 10, with an early shot being his only miss - and this is on guns with fixed sights.  If I remember correctly, he even shot that well with a Walther PPK.

I used to wonder how well he would do at a Bullseye Match......


Hmm, the response by SonOfAGun snuck in while I was typing that, and I totally agree with everything he wrote.  But, while this forum is dedicated to Bullseye, and Precision Shooting, I know there are a lot of people reading who are interested in Bullseye, but who don't compete.  When I first signed up here, I had no interest in competition, and a LOT of interest in how to do better at target shooting.  That other group is probably the type of person Hickok45 is trying to reach.  

Until watching this video, I never expected that a Glock could do as well as a precision 1911 in general shooting.  Now I accept that I was wrong.  For "precision shooting" I accept that the Glock would be left wanting.  ......which leaves me wondering, what percentage of readers in this forum are currently capable of "precision shooting"?

Bottom line, I enjoy watching his videos, and learning more about different kinds of guns.
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Post by Pinetree Sat Jun 18, 2022 7:50 am

He's entertaining, for sure.

It helps to have good equipment.

It really helps to practice.

Kinda reminds me of the old "What's the best accessory that I can buy for my new gun?"


Ammo.
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Post by CR10X Sat Jun 18, 2022 9:34 am

Question often heard on the line:

"How do I get my gun to shoot better?"

Answer often heard on the line;

"Give it to someone else."

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Post by BE Mike Sat Jun 18, 2022 9:56 am

mikemyers wrote:

I used to wonder how well he would do at a Bullseye Match......


Not in the running, would be my guess. Bullseye requires a different skill set. He skill level is is head and shoulders above most internet gun forum folks. On the other hand, most bullseye pistol shooters wouldn't do well in other pistol disciplines without specific training.
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Post by Jack H Sat Jun 18, 2022 10:56 am

Google this up:
accuracy vs precision
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Post by SonOfAGun Sat Jun 18, 2022 11:40 am

mikemyers wrote:Regarding editing, I don't think there is very much editing - I think his son John just presses "record" and keeps going...

Not editing, per se, but rather working up off camera familiarity with each gun that he demonstrates. You know, fire a few rounds, figure out the POI vs POA. Especially with a new gun, or one that is on loan.

But yes, the episodes seem to be taped mostly as one long take.
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Post by Froneck Sat Jun 18, 2022 3:34 pm

Simply put the gun does matter! But most guns will shoot good at 25 yards and even better at shorter distance. Top scores are achieved by both the gun and the shooter. An accurate gun helps the shooter get better by removing any error from the gun, yes even the best of guns will shoot a bad shot from time to time due to ammo or something but generally most of the shots will group in a small circle and function 99.9999% of the time. A "good" shooting gun will shoot 2" at 50 yards, function 99.9999% of the time and have the ability to be adjusted to the shooters hand. The 1911 can be made to achieve all that. Triggers can be changed as to length, lots of different grips are available to fit the hand, hammers and sears can be "stoned" to make it as the shooter desires, barrels are available to be fitted to make the gun shoot accurately and skilled hands can tighten he slide and frame. With a functional "tack" driver the shooter has one error to correct, themselves. A Bullseye shooter can never become good with an inaccurate gun. We can only learn by seeing accurate results. Granted the best most accurate gun will not help a poor shooter shoot better but it will show the poor shooter accurate results of what they did and if they intend to get better determine what was done to shoot the bad shot and correct it.

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Post by mpolans Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:07 pm

Most people can't shoot to the full mechanical capability of any half-way decent .22 semi-auto*...Ruger Mark 1-4, SW22, etc. In that sense, nobody really needs a Hammerli, Model 41, or Pardini SP to shoot great scores. That said, the ability to adjust grips, triggers, sights, etc make it easier for people to shoot to the best of *their* ability. 

*I think there's greater variability in the precision of centerfire semi-autos.

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Post by Froneck Sat Jun 18, 2022 9:17 pm

Yes the centerfire semi-autos have more issues due to the moving barrel. Most .22 do shot very well primarily because of the fixed barrel. It is a very good inexpensive gun to start with. They will shoot Good scores! But I doubt you will find many High Masters shooting Rugers out of the box because they want to shoot Great scores. Trigger control is very important to great shooting, length of pull as well as repeatable trigger movement and hammer release is where the higher price guns have the advantage.

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