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Define shootability?

earlyearly Senior MemberThornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
I have seen this term used in gun rags.
I have a couple firearms that seem to lack this trait, and others that maybe possess it.

My Ruger P90DC is ergonomically challenged. The transition from double action to SA is awkward. I've kept it because it's reliable.
My Russian SKS carbine puts the rear of the recoil spring cover in my face when shouldered and the rear sight needed a file to open it up. Kept it because it's also reliable.

On the other hand when I raise my Colt 1991A1 to aim it it's already there. Same with my Model 70 Featherweight.

Maybe some guns have more than others?
Or maybe the term is subjective?
My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.

Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member East TexasPosts: 10,815 Senior Member
    I can't define it, other than to say it's a gun that you shoot well, without having to make adjustments in the way you hold it or in your sight picture. I once would have said that like you said about your 1911 (i have the same experience), but one of the handguns that feels the most awkward to me is a G-20 Glock, but I still naturally shoot it as well as the 1911 or the Springfield XD45 that I like the best. The same is true between my Model 70 and the AR-15.

    On the other side of the coin, my S&W Shield was more or less unshootable (with any consistency of accuracy) before I installed a straight trigger and sear kit in it. Now, it is very shootable.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Sometimes I have guns I love to shoot that don't have shootability.
    My Stevens 311A swings like a snow shuvel. My Hawken has a curved butt-plate that just ain't right for fast aim in the woods. I love to shoot them guns though.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,620 Senior Member
    Firearm design philosophy is something I've thought about a lot.

    The best of them seem to have grown from a clear understanding of what the tool's ultimate purpose is. With the lesser specimens, the thinking of what the tool is supposed to be seems to have been muddled by other concerns.

    John Browning is an unavoidable example. Not only did he clearly understand that the driving concerns were (1.) ease of ability to put bullets on target, (2.) do it safely, and (3.) do it with a gun that is very hard to break, but Winchester, Colt, and FN at the time he worked with them were of a mind to build the best product possible as the first priority, and only worry about what it cost as a distant second. Sam Colt and Paul Mauser also got it. The folks behind the Webley, the S&W hand ejectors, and the SMLE got it.

    The DA/SA, decocking, double-stack magazine semi autos popular in the 1970's through 1990's are perhaps my best example of folks that DIDN'T get it. The ultimate intent of a pistol being being a tool with which you able to shoot at and hit stuff was compromised with designing a trigger that would (in vain hope) work around people who don't adhere to basic safety rules. Since the "shootability" was then sacrificed by the inconsistent trigger, the shooter then needed more rounds to actually hit something, which increased the size of the grip making it even less shootable. And since idiots not shooting themselves in the foot took priority over actually getting the gun into action quickly, the safety was usually designed in such a way that it's easier and faster to engage than disengage.

    Then you have the evil monster of cost raising it's ugly head. Rather than craft a durable, ergonomically sound tool, the emphasis is on building to suit the average, not the extreme. Why build a gun that you can hand down to your son and grandson? We'd rather have them buy ANOTHER new, cheaply built P.O.S.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I think you're spot on.
    Custom makers were in big demand making rifle stocks of proper proportions once upon a time. Still in demand now but not as much due to polymers etc.
    A lot of high end 1911's for sale but the shape and design remain the same regardless of price range.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,628 Senior Member
    It's nonsense-speak for the gun industry. Meaningless words like shootability rank right up there with the car industry's driveability, and so forth. Gun scribes will complain about an autoloader's location of a button or a switch, whether you can reach it from this or that location, and other hogwash while not raising an eyebrow over the fact that with a bolt action or lever action rifle you have to actually have to use both hands to hold the weapon and manipulate the action just to get the damn thing to fire a second time.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    horselips wrote: »
    It's nonsense-speak for the gun industry. Meaningless words like shootability rank right up there with the car industry's driveability, and so forth. Gun scribes will complain about an autoloader's location of a button or a switch, whether you can reach it from this or that location, and other hogwash while not raising an eyebrow over the fact that with a bolt action or lever action rifle you have to actually have to use both hands to hold the weapon and manipulate the action just to get the damn thing to fire a second time.

    Just when I thought we had a consensus, a voice cries out from the wilderness.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member A true 'Southerner'. NZPosts: 8,393 Senior Member
    Smith and Wessons have 'shootability', so do 1911's.............in fact nearly all makes of firearms have it..............Taurus's don't.............
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Well, if I had to choose the gun I would call best as far as shootability or suitability,
    The winner of all time would be the S&W model 10 revolver in .38 special, I could shoot a S&W model 10 all day long and have a ragged one hole group with boring consistency......
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • bisleybisley Senior Member East TexasPosts: 10,815 Senior Member
    DoctorWho wrote: »
    Well, if I had to choose the gun I would call best as far as shootability or suitability,
    The winner of all time would be the S&W model 10 revolver in .38 special, I could shoot a S&W model 10 all day long and have a ragged one hole group with boring consistency......

    Good choice, although I doubt that I can do the 'one ragged hole' thing.
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