Accuracy testing is an important part of any firearms review. For pistol testing I have historically employed a sandbag rest, which makes for a pretty stable platform. However, it’s still up to me to line up the sights properly and consistently every time. I’m okay at this, but admit that I can have on and off days based on caffeine intake, tiredness, and myriad other factors. If I test the same gun on different days, the results are going vary to some degree. To take as much fudge factor out of accuracy testing as possible, I picked up a nice LaserMax Uni-Max Green universal Picatinny rail-mount laser. But herein lies the question I’d like to pose to y’all…
What is it that you’re most interested in seeing in the “Accuracy” section of a review? Mechanical accuracy of a pistol, or the reviewer’s ability to shoot a certain pistol accurately from a rest? By using a quality laser like the Uni-Green I’m able to be very, very consistent with point of aim. Maybe not quite Ransom Rest consistent, but pretty close. Much closer than aligning sights. It provides a way for me to test many different pistols and end up with meaningful accuracy numbers that can legitimately be compared from one gun to the next.
On the flip side, what it doesn’t provide is an accounting of how well a pistol’s sights work. Some guns have nice, clean, tight target sights that I can line up very consistently shot after shot. Some have much more open, tactical/defensive style sights and they just cannot be aligned as precisely.
My opinion is that the “Sights” section and the “On The Range” subjective portion of the review can and should address a pistol’s sights and how accurately I was able to shoot the pistol itself, whereas the “Accuracy” section of the review should attempt to quantify the actual, mechanical accuracy of the gun while providing results that are as consistent as possible across as many guns as possible. That’s where the laser in combination with a good rest comes in.
But…what would you prefer?