Minute of Man Accuracy
Dr. John Woods 09.12.17
New pistol shooters often complain that their new handguns are not particularly accurate. An immediate query about the ranges at which they consider accuracy acceptable, and the true story is revealed.
These pistol shooters are trying to put three to five holes in a target off hand at fifty yards. That is utter nonsense for a semi-auto pistol of the type selected for personal defensive uses, every day carry, or concealed carry. These are short range guns at best.
Again, we are not talking about a Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum with a scope mounted to be used for hunting. In this case we are basically talking about pocket pistols or handguns of a similar type even up to a .45 ACP 1911 class pistol. Such guns are not intended to be minute of angle accurate at long ranges.
Instead such pistols or even short barreled defensive revolvers are meant to be used and effective for “minute of man” shooting distances. And that means close range. Really close ranges.
It is widely reported from law enforcement shooting incident statistics that the average shooting confrontation occurs at about seven yards on average. That’s 7 yards. That is hardly further than across the room from one wall to another in a common conference room or down a residence hallway.
A typical self-defensive pocket pistol these days with barrels of 2-4 inches in length are simply not intended to group three holes in target paper at 25-50 yards. Some shooters actually believe their new guns should be capable of such. They simply are not.
A standard .380 ACP or the 9mm pistol designed for self-defense was engineered with the proper ammunition to hit the target of a human being sized shape at ten yards or under with typical field use accuracy. Forget trying to accurately hit an escaping thief or thug half way down a street alley or even across the street. Even the venerable .45 ACP in a 1911 would be hard tasked to make such shots by average shooters.
So, when you pick out your concealed carry, EDC weapon, or self-defense handgun, use practical range distances for realistic training, and shooting practice. Forget about the expectation that a short-barreled pocket pistol is going to tap gongs at 50 yards much less put down a targeted threat at such ranges. Concentrate on real threat ranges of under ten yards.