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Accuracy vs Power

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by eliduc, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. eliduc

    eliduc Active Member

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    I just loaded some 357 mag 158 g bullets for the first time with a medium load. I just returned after shooting 10 shots to test the load. I made a silhouette head and torso target that I use. I fasten a 8"x11" inch paper to the torso with a one inch dia. red sticky to it to cover the old holes. I had a 1 1/4 inch four shot group poa at 25 feet shooting single action. I threw one high three or four inches. The next five I shot double action rapid fire. Four were despersed all over the paper. I don't know where the fifth went because there are other holes in the backing board. Recoil was a factor. So was my lack of familiarity with the mag bullet.

    Ok. So at least four of the five shot into an eight inch area of the torso probably would have been fatal. In any case the stopping power of the 357 would be greater than the 38 caliber bullet. All four of the single action shots would have been fatal.

    Using the same gun, a S&W M0dle 66 with a four inch barrel, I am putting my 38 special loads rapid fire into about a three inch diameter circle with some consistency.
    All would be in the kill zone. Do I go for more accuracy and less stopping power? There are a lot of factors. In a real situation there is a stress component. The target would probably be moving. There might not be the opportunity for a sure kill shot. The 357 would have more stopping power but the 38 special would be more accurate. Which bullet?
     
  2. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts United States Well-Known Member

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    I would load up some more of the full power stuff and see if you can train yourself to time your shots through recoil.

    If it becomes a liability, maybe decrease bullet weight to 135gr. If that doesnt work, shot placement over power.
     
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  3. oli700

    oli700 Rogue Valley Well-Known Member

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    Since they are all in the zone I would go for full power. Being your not grouping for competition , sounds like your defensive gun, your going for center mass fast stop as possible
    Most all common handgun rounds are all about placement anyway , it sounds like you have that might as well have as much power as you can get IMO
     
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  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    That's the ticket right there.
    BUT! if you can rapidly put the first shot in the right area,the follow ups are just dressing
    If it's a full sized revolver and you aren't flinching with the 357 full house and you can place the first shot,then you can slow down to get the rest where you want
    Studies show that in a small frame 357 revolver 38+ps are better for follow up shots
    Sorry no link for another 1/2hr or so:rolleyes:
     
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  5. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Shorter barrels, more powerful loads etc have different muze flip and will cause some funny shots in revolvers.

    Just keep them all in a 16"x16" square.
     
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  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    16"x16" square? Ouch. Your groups should be fist size no matter the distance.. but especially at seven yards.
     
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  7. Deebow

    Deebow Portland Well-Known Member

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    Having the most powerful bullet in the world will make no difference if you can't get it on target.

    Having all your bullets in a nice tight group is nice, because it means you have mastered the fundamentals of marksmanship; but spreading your shots over the target area induces more leaks and more for your enemy to deal with. More bullets in the same hole works on the paper target, more bullets in different holes works better in the real world.

    Only hits count, regardless of caliber. :cool:
     
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  8. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    If you're good enough to purposely spread your bullets out so they "work better in the real world", why not just send one to stop the shenanigans?
     
  9. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, the most important thing is the shooter's ability. Then, accuracy of the gun and ammo. Lastly, the stopping power. Slow-fire, the grouping, with magnum rounds, was pretty good, so the gun and ammo are fine. .357 Magnum stopping power is fine. The issue is rapid-fire grouping with mag rounds. Rapid-fire with .38 special is pretty good, though. I'd say... use the .38 special for SD, and practice with the mags until rapid-fire skill is better.
     
  10. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Is there a need for rapid fire?

    Most likely you will only get one shot off before someones on you.

    So the next 5 will be at point blank range.
     
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  11. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I think the big thing here is if the shooter is skeered of the gun in the first place,they won't hit anything.
    That's why I say 22lr CAN be a defense cartridge if that's all the person is capable of shooting
     
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  12. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    @Certaindeaf
    I'll clarify my earlier statement.

    In an effort to build confidence you would start with a larger target, say the above mentioned 16" square.

    After you get all on target then go for a smaller target; maybe 12". As accuracy increases so will your confidence and the target size and patter will decrease naturally.

    Starting out with a tictac at 21' may not be the best route.

    Also the larger target gets you comfortable with that particular rounds POI vs POA. (Impact vs aim).

    Same reason you start a new shooter with a rifle at 25 yards. Build confidence.

    $.02
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm glad you did that. Your stand-alone statement of "Just keep them all in a 16"x16"square." left little to the imagination.
     
  14. CHLChris

    CHLChris Portland Metro East Love me some guns! Bronze Supporter

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    It's a good thing you know how your DGU will look. Let me know what mine is going to look like.

    On the other hand, I think it is a problem when anybody says that their encounter is going to go like such and such and use that as a reason to base their opinions. An actual defensive gun use will look different for everyone. Though there are averages, it is always best to build one's skills to the point that they can shoot small groups, very fast, even on a moving target.

    And wow, that's tough.
     
  15. Joe13

    Joe13 NW of Vancouver Opinionated & Blunt Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Paintball will help with those moving targets if you need it.;):D

    Any threat to me that I can not retreat from will most likely be within 20 yards... I'm very aware of my surroundings. So yea, I Feel I can fairly accurately guess what scenarios I'll need a firearm/knife/hand etc to defend myself with.

    I would go beyond just small groups and focus on changing targets faster and still hitting them, I'll take 6 wounded attackers over 1 or 2 dead ones - worst case for me...



    Or I could be a moron and the next poor sap on the news... Its the internet and all:p
     
  16. eliduc

    eliduc Active Member

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    Where did you get 16"x16"? I was using 8"x11" letter paper.
     
  17. eliduc

    eliduc Active Member

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    Need for rapid fire competence. I'm using a revolver whereas the perp might have an auto. 2. There may be more than one perp. 3. It's the difference between Jerry Miculec surviving an encounter and someone who does not have rapid fire capability. 4. It's fun bang bang bang bang bang bang!
     
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  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    See post #5. I was responding to.. nevermind how it works
     
  19. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Yeah sorry, it's been an EXTREMELY stressful week:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: thoughts seem to bounce sometimes.

    Sorry that was me, I was referring mainly to a 16" square as in the torso/chest size of an average person or maybe a stout person.
     
  20. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    The concept of stopping power has been completely discredited in a couple of large FBI studies. The first thing they point out about ammunition and firearms at the state police academy is that all handgun bullets that meet the FBI standard for penetration do the same thing.

    The speed at which a human is incapacitated is a function of the anatomy hit, the damage done to that anatomy and the intangible of the persons "will to fight" for lack of a better term. The FBI found that after going through the actual medical and pathology records 90% of the shootings reported as "one shot stops" did not have a physical injury that would instantly incapacitate them. The person knew they got shot and just gave up is about the best explanation for the phenomenon.

    This Dr. does a really good job explaining terminal ballistics -

    Since you own every round you fire legally and morally you should ask yourself if the added penetration of rounds like the .357 and the increased risk to anyone around or behind your target is worth it if the .38 will do the same thing.

    Dig around a bit and you will find plenty of actual shooting videos of both people and animals like hogs, which are similar enough to people that they are used for modeling trauma and trauma care in humans.

    Unless the central nervous system is damaged, people and hogs can go on for a long time. Even if you catastrophically damage the heart a human has at least a few seconds of purposeful movement before they die. Most people in EMS or hospital ER's and cardiac care units have had 6 second conversations with people after there hearts have been stopped with Adenocard to correct dysrythmias.

    The FBI has pointed out that the big take away from all this information is that you should never expect the threat to stop until it is no longer a threat no mater how many times you though you hit them and what you hit them with.

    Shoot the threat until it is not a threat. Never depend on a magic bullet based on some voodoo study and anecdotal information.
     
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