It may seem old hat for a gun enthusiast to admit that accuracy with a handgun is harder to come by than with a rifle, but for the newly minted firearm owner, this can come as a bit of a shock. After all, confidence with rifles is one of the main reasons people opt to purchase a gun in the first place. A handgun is just smaller and easier to carry, one might think. Isn’t that where the differences end?
In truth, there are numerous reasons why a handgun’s performance is so difficult to nail down. And while it is certainly easy to chop everything up to user error, the guns themselves have been known to make life difficult with the design of their components.
The Three Pillars of Performance
As manufacturers and marketers of gun accessories, we at 45 Blast have handguns on the brain, a lot. As such, we are constantly investigating how to make it easier to handle as well as hit a target with them. In essence, a gun’s performance lies in three crucial categories:
- Design and manufacture
- User expertise
- Atmospheric influences
Let’s take a look at these three groups, in turn, starting with our favorite.
Design and Manufacture
We mentioned above how for many, the acknowledgment that handguns are basically smaller, more convenient rifles. While there’s a lot we could say about the reductiveness of that statement and how it is inaccurate by definition, it does not stray far from how their design has hindered the owner’s performance with the firearm.
In the end, the very size and compactness of the gun have made them notoriously hard to keep accurate.
A handgun’s iron sights — that is, the basic aiming mechanism without any type of gun accessories attached — make zeroing in much tougher to do. This is in large part thanks to the shorter sighting radius that doesn’t give your eye much of a guide to keep the gun level. Handguns also typically don’t allow for an adjustable sight mechanism, something that helps rifle shooters reacquire their target in a changing environment.
In Colonial America, muskets were notoriously difficult to keep accurate because they didn’t have grooves in the barrel that helped the ball spin and cut through inertia. Today, recoil remains one of the biggest factors in gun accuracy.
Thankfully, that problem can be solved in large measure thanks to gun accessories like the Canik compensator from 45 Blast. By giving the gas and fire someplace to divert to, the barrel is not kicked up so drastically each time the trigger is pulled, making second and third shots more accurate.
Despite the simplicity of its design, the trigger is much more than a lever that makes the gun shoot. Whether the trigger has a heavy pull or how the components are adjusted all have a bearing on the performance of the gun.
The barrel recoil isn’t the only thing that can affect the gun’s movement as the bullet is being fired — the trigger must also snap back into place after the hammer has been struck. There are, of course, ways to adjust the trigger so that it’s easier to fire but many of these adjustments can be subject to liability. It is better, instead, to clean the trigger and its components often to ensure a smooth action.
Unless you’ve rigged a machine to pull the trigger for you, the performance of your gun has a lot to do with how you’re directly using it. The most common problems caused by the user include:
- Unsteady hands
- Closing their eyes as the gun fires
- Neglecting frequent cleaning and disassembly
- Picking a model that is “too much gun” for the user
- Pulling the trigger improperly
The guns that 45 Blast has worked with historically are known for their high performance in competition, especially when using one of our gun accessories. Getting the right kit for your firearm can make all the difference in how it feels to shoot.
If the gun is of a precise design and the shooter is confident, there is still the outside world to contend with, in terms of performance. These influences naturally mean less the closer one is to their target, but the wind, temperature, and even the curvature of the earth can all play a part in how the bullet travels.
- Temperature: The surrounding temperature’s influence on gun performance has long been a matter of debate. While there are many opinions on whether a gun will jam or misfire due to hot or coldness, moisture (especially frozen condensation) has been proved to affect the handgun.
- The Coriolis Effect: Depending on the distance of the target, the speed of the earth’s rotation will cause the bullet to drift, as the circumferential speed of the target is faster than that of the firing point during the bullet’s flight time.
- Air Pressure: More air pressure, and therefore denser air, slows the bullet down and makes it more susceptible to the effects of gravity. Some shooters may carry a ballistic calculator with them to determine how the air pressure will affect their shot but this kind of information is most useful to those shooting a rifle.
At 45 Blast, guns are our passion. When you purchase one of our gun accessories, you should be confident in where that bullet is going every time. This is why we have designed our products with care and precision so that owning your gun is as fun, as useful, and as cool as you always hoped it would be. Contact us today with questions about our current and future products.