Today was the first day out testing handgun accuracy. It was definitely a learning experience:
- First of all: the Ransom Rest ROCKS!
- Second: Wind SUCKS when testing ammo.
- Lastly: We learned some stuff and as a result, we’re changing our procedure (more about that below).
Let me explain a little more in detail below…
That is a TON of ammunition to test!
Currently, we’re up to 110 variations. This morning we started off taking 1/3 of this (about 40 variations) with us to test. You probably predicted this already, but we soon realized that even 40 variations were a little too ambitious. Our goal was to test at 25 and 50 yards with both guns. In reality, we ended up getting through 1/4 of what we brought – 10 variations between the two Glock 19’s at only one distance: 25 yards. On the plus side, we figured out a lot that bogged us down in the beginning and will streamline future tests.
Here is the setup:
One of our biggest concerns was attaching the Ransom Rest to a stable platform. Normally we go out and shoot in the desert but we realized we couldn’t get a secure enough base if everything was mobile so we went to a nearby range where we could get a private bay to do the testing throughout the day… there was only one problem…Wind.
Yep. As you can see from this short video – the wind was obnoxious and resulted in a target that was swaying back and forth.
To us it was enough to make us call for a wind delay, throw out our results, and go back and rethink our target situation. The plan is to create a wind-resistant target platform using cinder blocks and lumber. Hey – our shooting platform is rock solid, so we should take as much variability out of the equation as possible and create a rock-solid target platform. Might as well do it right from the start and start over before we get too far along.
Testing Procedure Changes
The last lesson we learned was that 5 shots were NOT enough to get a measurable group. It may be when you are talking about rifles or accurate pistols… but we’re talking about “combat Tupperware” here! Glocks (as well as the other pistols in our testing plan) are not tacked drivers so five rounds could be no group at all. Check out these examples.
Federal Champion Aluminum Case (5 vs 10 Shots)
Speer Independence Aluminum Case (5 vs 10 Shots)
In both targets, you can see the first five rounds are forming basically the same way… a non-group. Add in another five rounds and there is a distinct group (the Speer is significantly tighter with a handful of fliers).
So, with this new information in hand, we have decided to update our test and fire 10 rounds at 25 yards and remove our 50-yard test. We may revisit the 50-yard distance for certain rounds that prove exceptionally accurate, but we feel that since 25 yards is the pistol standard we’ll start there so the data we create is comparable to other test sources out there.
Today was a little bit of a false start with a 10-yard penalty and repeat of 1st down. That’s okay because we learned a lot and hopefully we can take these lessons back to the lab and come back with even better data. Ultimately the goal is to have something that will help all of us make better ammunition decisions (or at the very least act as a starting point for picking your own ammo and running tests.).