Range Time: Two rounds through one hole

Instant Marksman: Just Add Walther
15 rounds at 15′

Jesse Ventura (in)famously said: “If you can put two rounds through the same hole at 25m, that’s gun control!”

I recently had the opportunity to fire a friend’s new Walther PPQ in 9mm.

The very first time I handled the gun, I was impressed. The trigger is simply superb, and the recoil and ergonomics are such that my friend commented that firing the gun was “instant marksman, just add Walther.” After firing the gun for the very first time, I had to agree. You can see the results. 15 shots in one ragged hole from 5 yards.


OK, so let’s take a look at that. That’s about a circle 1.5-2″ in diameter. Call it 2″ (it’s not more than that). The way I do accuracy practice is to fire one shot more or less at the area of the target I want to shoot at, then try and repeatedly hit that same bullet-hole. The first two shots I fired were through the same hole. With a gun I’ve never handled before. The next 13 proved that wasn’t luck: the gun just worked for me.

So, what would it take to put two shots through the same hole in GURPS, purposefully?

Well, the size modifier for a 9mm hole is -14, +2 because it’s spherical, for a net of -12.
The 2″ pattern I hit above would be about -8 (the eye is -10 because it’s on a moving head, not because of the absolute size).

The range penalty for 5yds is -2.

So I had to overcome -14 in penalties.

What about the upper end? Well, modern firearms have a limit, and the Walther shoots 6-10 MoA from a bench rest, which is solidly Acc 3. This gives a maximum of all positive things of 22 + 2*Acc = 28.

Let’s back off the two rounds in one hole thing for a moment, and think about 15 rounds in 2″.

That’s a total modifier of -10 for range and size. Maybe my 16th shot would have been a flier. Dunno. But my Skill, Task Difficulty Modifers, Aim and time spent, less the -10 penalty should wind up about 15, so that about one shot in 20 might miss. So I needed a net of skill 25.

Well, it’s an indoor range, plenty of time, and certainly no stress, well lit, etc. Pretty much +8 to +10 based on Tactical Shooting, p. 9. Acc 3 and an extra +2 for time to aim is another +5. That’s +13 to +15 right there, which means my Guns skill would need to be 10 to 12 to pull this off, at a miminum.

Ok, so with that skill, could I put two in one hole? Well, with Guns-12 and +15 in bonuses, less -14 for range and size . . . two rounds in one hole should happen about 85% of the time. Even with Guns-10 I could do it about two times in three.

Huh . . . and I thought I was a good shot. Turns out that trick isn’t that hard with the right gun and all the time in the world.

Parting Shot

I’m actually pretty good on the move and with time pressure also, judging by limited but decent performance with a couple visits to the local IPSC shoots. Still, what the stuff above shows is that close-in shooting with a high-quality modern handgun, on the range, is deceptively easy. I can’t wait to get out to try the PPQ in .40, as well as perhaps a Springfield XDM, and see how I do at longer ranges and with more practice.

The other thing this shows is just how fantastic higher levels of Guns skill can be. Give a character time, a good range setting, and a fairly stock Acc 5 rifle, and a guy with Guns-15 can look at a net positive skill of something like Guns-32 in an indoor range, or Guns-30 on an outdoor one. That means you can probably hit, 90% of the time (net Skill-14), a skull-size (-7) target at 70 yards. That’s a lot of dead zombies, if they’re slow zombies.

3 thoughts on “Range Time: Two rounds through one hole

  1. Are you being sufficiently kind to yourself? Did you really feel like there was *no* pressure to perform? Was the range perfectly lit? Were you giving yourself sufficient time to reorient between rounds?

    Could be you're a better marksman than you give yourself credit for, in these calculations.

    1. You may well be right, and my performance when I am pressed for time does suggest being a point or three better (at least in Guns Sport) than I indicate. I was just wondering what it would take to reliably do that stunt . . . and it turns out that with lots of time (and I really did take my time; probably a few seconds just to pull the trigger) it can be done enough to make an impression by someone with Guns Sport in the 10-12 range.

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