Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Salmo_g, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    The gun safety and training thread got me to thinking I need to do something about my training. I can hit the broad side of a barn quite well with my oldest gun, probably because it's a shotgun and two hands spread apart aim and fire more effectively than a single small pistol grip. I actually started thinking about getting a home defense pistol before the break ins when I was building the new house. Having a recovering meth head next door and all the tweaker stories may have moved the process along however.

    It started off like what I've heard and read about a lot of pistol shooters - low and to the right, indicating that my trigger finger is pulling me off target and down as I squeeze the trigger. So this weekend I thought I'd employ the power of positive thinking and not let that happen by aiming a wee bit higher and consciously not letting my trigger finger pull right. Now I have two different groups, low and center with my 22 and low and left with my 9mm. My best guess is that my left hand wasn't holding my right hand steady because I was so focused on not pulling down and right.

    Any ideas? I mean, other than sticking to the scattergun.

  2. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Practice, then more practice then practice some more. I like Josh's chart. Go shooting with OrangeRadish, he always loves to shoot and hangs with some really skilled shooters. If you can connect with them they will get you right as rain...but might flip you shit for being...older!
    Jim Ficklin likes this.
  4. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    Similar to what Ed said, develop a good stance & practice, practice, practice. Get some dummy ammo & practice dry-firing with that. Practice with live ammo after you have that down-pat. Also practice retrieving & shooting. Go to the range & watch competent shooters. Accurate shooting is an acquired trait. Hang in there & good luck.
  5. orangeradish

    orangeradish Bobo approved

    Give me a ring if you want to go shoot.
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    No, I haven't seen that before. I'll have to think on that some.


    I was thinking I could just practice, practice, practice, but with the cost and scarcity of ammo, I want to make the best use of my practice time.


    If you have a range pass, I'm using a pit about 5 minutes from my house. It's a big hole in the prairie and makes a good backstop. I'm thinking about building a bench rest and just leaving it there, figuring worst case some yahoo will use it as a target stand.

  7. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Bad squeeze with the .22, and recoil anticipation with the 9mm, resulting in a jerked shot. Slow, slow, slow down on each and every shot. begin with the .22, and don't pay attention to the sights at 10 yds-NO MORE than that distance. Put a round downrange, check your stance and arm/hand setup. Put another round downrange. See where they go, but don't pay attention to your sight picture at this time. Do this again, and gradually adjust to bring the point of impact to where you want it. Your target should be an 8-inch pie plate with nothing else on it. Cheap! And no more than you need to hit. Once you are hitting the middle of the plate consistently, begin to move a little faster. Any time you begin to not hit where you want, slow down again. Once you're consistent with the .22, switch to the 9. Be prepared to burn through a LOT of rounds though. Once you learn this, and lock in your muscle memory, you're there.
    Slow is smooth, smooth is quick; quick is deadly.

    and now you know how we trained (every day) in Naval Special Warfare.
  8. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    I bet back then there was no lack of .22 lr ammo at Big 5 and the local sporting goods stores.
  9. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    This IS a problem, no doubt. But you can still do it with .40 or .45, if you want. I train with both my .40 and my 9, but rarely take out my .22's
  10. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    I need to do more handgun shooting. I'm at one end of the spectrum on rifle... and all the way at the other with a handgun.
  11. Nate Buchanan

    Nate Buchanan Member

    I agree with Alex. Slow down. Breathing is an important part of the process.

    Inhale then firmly squeeze the trigger all the way back on the exhale. Slowly release the trigger until you feel the reset (click). Repeat

    Develop a rhythm, then slowly speed up.

    If it goes low left, correct by moving higher and to the right. Once you dial in on where to aim go to your sight and start putting together groups.

    Remember to focus your eye on the front site.

    One of the best days of my life was when I learned to shoot properly!
  12. tkww

    tkww Member

    I hadn't seen the chart before that Josh posted. What I've read and experienced is that down (and sometimes left) is recoil anticipation. Sometimes up and often right (right- handed shooter) is trigger. I've seen some dramatic examples of down/recoil anticipation. In one case they were so far down that left or right wasn't even in the equation. (Definitely the wrong gun for that shooter!!) Personally I have a hard time seeing recoil anticipation resulting in up, but maybe that's just me.

    Keeping your grip from shifting while you're pulling the trigger is obviously important. Besides proper gripping technique, a gun that fits (doesn't have too far of a trigger reach) is the only fix there. In some cases you can swap grips (revolvers usually) or backstraps (newer plastic 9s) to decrease the reach, if that's needed. And conversely, with really big hands and/or small guns you may wish to add a wrap-around grip to increase the bulk.

    If you have access to a revolver you can always do the one empty chamber trick. Watching your sight picture when you squeeze on an empty chamber can be quite the reminder. (You could do it with a snap cap in a magazine but someone else would have to load it or otherwise you'd have a pretty good idea of where it was in the stack.)

    One thing I find annoying is the different factory sight set-ups for POA. Some are a 6 o'clock hold and some have a center hold. I prefer a 6 o'clock, but the biggest problem is consistency when switching between guns. Unfortunately if you want them all the same and the gun(s) doesn't have adjustable sights it will require either modification of the existing sights or replacing the front post (or the entire set).

    I like the idea of building some sort of bench/rest. Eliminating as many variables as possible is always good when trying to narrow it down. If you can be sure of where the sights are regulated, you will be more sure of where your shots should be going vs where they are going. And a better idea of accuracy overall with whatever gun/ammo combination you're using.

    One thought about benches: make it higher (taller) than you think if you want the (hand)gun anywhere near eye level when you're sitting. You'll have to factor in whatever bag or rest you're using too. But a platform that isn't high enough will leave you hunched over and then craning your neck back up trying to get sight alignment. Not a comfortable or consistent way to shoot! (You can use a shorter chair too, but your leg length will also be a comfort factor.)

    Really wish there was more .22 ammo right now...
  13. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Ok, I have to wade in here, first of all you need to know your guns are sighted in, if they have adjustable sights you'll need to adjust them if they're out. You will need a controlled environment for this. Shooting bench, bench rest, targets. With the gun rested (I'm assuming these are pistols, not revolvers) in single action mode (hammer cocked) use the lightest pressure to release the trigger (since a mechanical gun rest might not be available). This should give you a decent grouping to see if the gun is sighted in.

    I agree with Alex most of the time except about not using the sights. If you don't, how will you ever bring the gun to the proper alignment each time? In my experience that leads to incorrect muscle memory...you could alway shoot gangsta style...gun cocked sideways...:rolleyes:

    Once sighted in you can now shoot free-handed and work on grip, trigger release, and total control of the pistol.

    That's my 2 centavos...adios amigo...
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    I think the sights are good, but I need to make a good bench and some small sand bags to verify. Or go to the range where they have that stuff. Both pistols have adjustable sights. But I don't want to mess with those until I know that it isn't me, and based on the other day, with my groups going from low and right to low center and low and left, it seems like it's me. I think I was getting impatient, wanting to empty the magazines, and call it good. There was an icy wind blowing.

    Not gonna' try the gansta' stance Roper. Accuracy is imperative. Should a tweaker come through the door, Mrs. Salmo is insistent that I not punch holes in the refrigerator.

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'll try and get out again this weekend and see where on the paper the holes end up.
    Roper likes this.
  15. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

    I'm also in the <10-yards, point & shoot interface users' group.
  16. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    After monkeying around trying to move my natural pattern location to the bulls-eye, I've come to the conclusion that hitting the dead center of the silhouette, and getting patterns you can cover with a .50 cent piece, is over-rated. I'm able to hit center mass with the .380, 9 and .44 single handed, at the closest and furthest distance the indoor range allows, with nary a miss... good enough for me.

    I have not seen that pie chart Josh, but it does seem to fit what some had suggested was cause for my low and right tendency. According to the folks at the local range, it's the most common problem for shooters of skill level.

    Let 2014 be a pivotal year for squashing gun control initiatives and re-affirming our 2nd Amendment Right!
  17. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

    I'm new to handguns. I do find I do way better with my S&W .45 SA/DA in SA mode than my Ruger 9mm DA. Trigger pull is huge! BTW-I just joined Custer Gun Club and if anyone in the Whatcom Co area wants to shoot, I'll take you as a guest! Rick
  18. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Trigger pull is such a huge opportunity to pull right (for right hand dominant shooters). Apparently tightening the grip while pulling the trigger is what causes the "low and right" groupings. I wish I could go practice every day for a bit to try and get this sorted out.

  19. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

    Salmo-I caught a utube video on practicing trigger pull. You mount a laser on your gun (I just bought one!) and with the laser on, practice dry firing your gun. The laser dot shouldn't move. I've been trying it, and I'm sure it will be a helpful practice. While double action is good for a carry pistol due to safety issues, I'm thinking of getting a single action 9 mm for target shooting. Also looking at a Browning Buckmark .22 for less expensive target practice. (BTW-found .22 ammo at Kesselrings in Burlington limit 2 500 count bricks) Rick
  20. tkww

    tkww Member

    Many people have become fans of striker-fired handguns (Glock, S&W's M&P line, Springfield's XD/XDm, etc) because it's the same trigger pull every time. The trigger more resembles a heavy single action than it does a double action pull. Often the trigger can be lightened (and improved in other ways) with aftermarket parts, if desired.

    For carry, the trigger/guard should be covered. And if you want the gun consistently in the same spot, a holster of some kind makes sense anyway. IOW, don't feel like carrying has to dictate the action you'd prefer to use.

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