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  1. #1
    scoob_i_e is offline Junior Member
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    Handguns: Most difficult firearm type to shoot accurately?

    My question is just like my topic suggests......

    I hear it all the time: Handguns are inherently more difficult to shoot accurately than most any other type of firearm. I've also heard that long guns simply point more naturally and are therefore easier to shoot accurately. So why is this? Why is a handgun more difficult to shoot accurately? (I would assume there's more than one reason.)

    While we're at it, why are long guns easier to shoot accurately?
    These questions have just kind of fascinated me for awhile but I never thought to ask until now.

    So to re-cap:
    1. Why are handguns difficult to shoot accurately?
    2. Why are long guns not-difficult to shoot accurately?


    I didn't see a delete option for my own post so I assume only the mods can delete a post? I ask this because if my question has popped up on this forum before, then obviously it needs to be deleted.

    Thanks in advance. Oh yes, and if you aren't able to tell from my post, I am very noob to firearms.

  2. #2
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    the front and rear sights are further apart on rifles than pistols making them more accurate.they are also easier to hold steady while aiming.

  3. #3
    spacedoggy's Avatar
    spacedoggy is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoob_i_e View Post
    My question is just like my topic suggests......

    I hear it all the time: Handguns are inherently more difficult to shoot accurately than most any other type of firearm. I've also heard that long guns simply point more naturally and are therefore easier to shoot accurately. So why is this? Why is a handgun more difficult to shoot accurately? (I would assume there's more than one reason.)

    While we're at it, why are long guns easier to shoot accurately?
    These questions have just kind of fascinated me for awhile but I never thought to ask until now.

    So to re-cap:
    1. Why are handguns difficult to shoot accurately?
    2. Why are long guns not-difficult to shoot accurately?


    I didn't see a delete option for my own post so I assume only the mods can delete a post? I ask this because if my question has popped up on this forum before, then obviously it needs to be deleted.

    Thanks in advance. Oh yes, and if you aren't able to tell from my post, I am very noob to firearms.
    You are allowed to ask twice, we just ask that you look once and then there are the posts that need to be asked a number of times throughout the year like if you could just have 3 guns what would they be ect ect ect. The mods here are very friendly and in the 3 years I've been here only two have been stopped none deleted and a few moved. Welcome and enjoy the best site for handguns on the internet. Also check out the sister site for tactical and long guns at http://www.tacticalgunforum.com/

  4. #4
    JimmySays's Avatar
    JimmySays is offline Supporting Member
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    Welcome aboard from Texas!
    The longer barrel on a rifle gives you a more steady and stable shooting platform, slight movement of the longer barrel may put you just off target.
    With the shorter barrel pistol, and it's inherantly unstable platform it only takes the smallest movement to put your bullet way off target.

  5. #5
    TerryP Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by stormbringerr View Post
    the front and rear sights are further apart on rifles than pistols making them more accurate.they are also easier to hold steady while aiming.
    He has it right as the margin of error in a misaligned sight is much greater with a shorter sight radius.

  6. #6
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    to answer your subject: handguns with a barrell smaller than 3"

    for the second shot: the magnums. Until you get use to the recoil

  7. #7
    scoob_i_e is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks again. I think my question has been resolved.
    Also.... None of you mind if I seek out a 2nd opinion on some other forum do you? I just like to get a LOT of opinions.

  8. #8
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Let me throw out a few reasons, too.

    Handguns are a challenge to shoot well because:

    - They are light in weight. The trigger pull weight usually exceeds the weight of the weapon, so it is very easy to pull the trigger so hard that the entire weapon moves before the bullet leaves the barrel, spoiling the shot.

    - They are completely hand-held. Long guns are held by both hands AND anchored at the shoulder when fired in a traditional manner; this third contact point, to a large and relatively stable part of the body, makes long guns aim steadier and swing more smoothly as they come up on target. A fourth contact point is the cheek on the stock, which keeps the face in the same relative place and the eye lined-up behind the sights. In contrast, it's not unusual for a new shooter to bring a handgun up to eye level and not be able to see the sights at all, because they have angled their wrists or arms in such a manner that the gun is pointing slightly downward and the sights are hidden by the slide/frame of the weapon.

    - Short, light, hand-held weapons have recoil and go "BANG!" when used. When you fire a handgun, it jumps in your hands and makes a loud noise. Sudden movement and loud noises are two things your brain does not like very much, and once a shooter experiences them and knows they are going to happen again, it makes it difficult to concentrate on applying the fundamentals and shooting well without flinching and moving the gun off-target.

    - Fear of the weapon. Some people fear a handgun in the same way that others fear a snake, a roaring/slobbering bear, or a poisonous spider. For others, it's just a fear of the unknown, and once they get used to holding a handgun and understand how it works, they relax. For new shooters, reactions like these are more common than you might think. In either case, if a person is shaking or trembling with fear, they usually don't shoot very well.

    Hope this was helpful.
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 10-09-2007 at 03:18 AM.

  9. #9
    falshman70's Avatar
    falshman70 is offline Member
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    One that I found was eye dominance. With a long gun you can shut one eye - even if it's your dominant eye and be accurate. With a handgun you want to have both eyes open, so you have to get your dominant eye behind the sights. This can be a challenge for cross-dominant folks (such as myself.)

  10. #10
    neophyte is offline Member
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    Lack confidence

    Confidence is practiced practice. It is easier to set up a long gun with all factors set in place. At 100yds. [long gun] hit the 10 ring; most can in short order with the new fangled whachamacalits. Remove all the whachamacalits
    Iron sight the same target. What do you think will happen? Confidence; maybe not there.
    Handgun shooters; by and large do not "target" shoot. We just shoot.
    How many will sit at a table; breathe properly, concentrate, squeeze the trigger?
    Answer is here:
    next time at the gun range watch 'handgunners' blast away. "I think it is fun to watch them enjoying themselves". Realized enjoyment. Hitting something @25yds. YOU WIN.
    How many times have you watched a newer shooter not hit anything with his/her unit. D@#mn gun. How many of you/I asked could we shoot said unit and check/test/reinforce junk gun prognostication.
    I am an average handgun shooter: routinely [when I go shooting] I use one of my Rugers @100yds. Many times folks will come and ask How I'm able to accomplish targeting at such distance. Quote [sarcasm] MY GUNS are better than yours. Occasionally I'll ask them to take a crack at it.
    Without fail; they improve immediately. "MY guns aren't JUNK"; yeah right.
    Why is it; newbie takes my unit and after a few moments outshoots me?
    Trust; I always try a least 100%, old eyes, half crippled, shake like a leaf in the wind, can concentrate sometimes. Not with a scope, don't own a sand bag; do got; adjustable Iron Sights.
    Self doubt is the answer. YOU CAN shoot handguns as accurately as any long gun with PRACTICED Practice.
    Most of our 'combat' weapons were not designed for 100yds. targeting.
    Most of our 'combat' weapons are more accurate than we at 15yds.
    Most of our 'combat' weapons were designed around 7-15yds.
    Most of us try; accuracy at ranges; that cause failure thereby creating "self doubt"
    The ANSWER: PRACTICED practice breeds CONFIDENCE
    "The Little Red Train" 'I think I can'

    did I again; miss the question

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