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Old December 30, 2005, 12:21 PM   #1
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How am I shooting?

Ive been waiting to get my camera back from my sister for a couple days now so I could take some pictures and show everyone how I shoot, to ask for any advice, and see how everyone thinks Im doing. I'm fairly new to guns. I only started shooting 3 months ago. Since then, Ive fired maybe 1500 rounds (a lot of which were provided by my work, so thanks to them for that)

Anyway, I started out shooting a .40 Caliber, and thats what Ive stuck with. The only other gun Ive ever shot in my life was a 9MM. I kept most of my targets up until about a week and a half ago, but I had so many I threw them all away without thinking. I should have kept my very first one to show how much Ive improved. To describe my first target...it was a B27 like the one in the picture below. I fired 50 rounds at it, and only hit it about 30-35 times. Distance was about 7-12 yards, and most of my shots were in the lower left hand portion of the target, with maybe 3 hits in the center. In other words, I was shooting like crap.

Well, after much practice, a 3 day firearms class provided by my work so I could become armed certified, and a little guidance from someone I work with, I corrected all my mistakes.

Here is my most recent target from my last trip to the range. I had a few more pictures taken, including one of my other target from that day, but my camera is a POS, and it deleted them on me for some reason, and Im too lazy to go take another one. I cant remember if this was with my Beretta, or my XD, but they were both about the same, though I shoot a little bit better with the Beretta I think.



I need a tiny bit more practice, but Ive been shooting like that for my past few trips to the range, so I think im starting to get as good as Im going to. I do however need to work on my long distances. I can put them in the 8 or better pretty much every shot up to 15 yards, then I start to lose accuracy. 25 yards I can barely even hit the target.

Here is a couple pics (the ones that didnt get deleted) of my XD. I tried to make them look all pretty by displaying some of my other toys around it. I am not affilliated with Law Enforcement yet, but I hope to be in the future, so dont ask why I have handcuffs or an ASP....just looking for an excuse to waste money I guess, and I'll be using them on my job when my work certifies me to carry an ASP and I go through the class for Cuffs and OC Spray




Questions, comments, suggestions on my shooting are greatly appreciated. I think Ive come a long way, but Im not perfect yet.
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Old December 30, 2005, 12:52 PM   #2
WhyteP38
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I posted some info a while back that you might find useful. It's for bullseye shooting, but it's good for shooting fundamentals that will help build your self-defense skills. Look for it in the Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training section under the thread title "Exercises for one-handed shooting" started on 11/24/2005.

Your mindset is most important. You should be able to get good hits at 25 yards. And I'm confident that you will. Just start slowly, build in increments, don't let your ego try to rush things, and ... enjoy the practice sessions.

Finally, I found it helpful to start off by shooting 6x8 index cards taped to a target. Just concentrate on trigger control and maintaining sight alignment on the card; don't worry about your groups. Once you're consistently hitting the card, go to the smaller 3x5 cards. Later, cut those in half. As you move to smaller and smaller cards, your groups will naturally take care of themselves.
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Old December 31, 2005, 08:53 AM   #3
tjhands
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Your groups aren't bad, let's start with that. Also, I don't think you mentioned if these shots were rapidfire or slowfire. If they were rapidfire, you are doing well.
I have only been shooting handguns for a year and a half now. My range is a 50foot range (17 yards). At first, I'd say that my slowfire groups looked like yours. I wanted to improve, so I took the advice that you'll hear SO many times on this forum: to dry-fire drills at home where you triple check your gun to make 125% sure that it isn't loaded, put a paper plate with an "X" drawn on it on the wall, and stand back 20 feet or whatever you are comfortable with. Then take slow, steady aim, and sloooooowly sqeeze the trigger, watching the front sight the entire time. DO NOT focus on the target!! The target should be a blur in the background, while your full attention is on the front sight. After the gun goes "click," make sure there is no movement of the barrel or the front sight. Do this drill for 20 or 30 slow, deliberate shots every night or two and you will see your groups improve at the range.

My regular range closed for awhile, so I had to go out to a different one, where the minimum distance is 25 yards (75 feet). I was intimidated by the distance, but after using the same tactics at the range as I do at home when I am dry-firing, I found that it wasn't that bad at all.
Like the guy said above, start with a 6x8 inch index card with an "X" drawn on in a thick magic marker and shoot at that. Then move down to 3x5 index cards.
Now that I'm back at my indoor range (the 50 foot one), I can put 14 out of 15 shots close to the center of the 3x5 cards with my Glock 10mm. With my 1911, all shots are dead on, unless I lose my concentration and start looking at the target instead of that front sight. I'm telling you, THAT is the key.

Good luck. Don't ever say, "this is as good as I will get." I started out shooting groups like yours, but have improved so much in the past year. I've found that it doesn't matter how often I actually go out and shoot, but rather how often I practice my dry-firing that makes the difference. Your trips to the range should simply be an affirmation that your dry-fire drills are going smoothly.

One last thing, make sure that you know what is behind the wall you are dry-firing at. I have an empty field back there, so nobody would get hurt in the event that I mess up big time and somehow forget to check my gun first.
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Old December 31, 2005, 09:02 AM   #4
tjhands
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By the way, you don't appear to be pulling any shots DOWN, which is good. They all seem to be on the same horizontal plane, with just a left or right drift from the center. Again, I thing front sight focus will help tighten those far left and far right ones in.
At 3 months, you are shooting at least as well as I was at that point. Keep practicing, and keep asking for advice. Don't listen to just one person (even me!) and their advice, though. Ask many people the same question. When you hear the same answer come up again and again, then you'll know to heed that advice. Buy a book or two - they can be helpful.

Happy New Year!!!
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Old December 31, 2005, 10:39 PM   #5
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That was great advice tjhands...Im going to try what you said about dry firing, and I may try the index cards thing that Whyte mentioned next time I go to the range. Unforunately my membership expired today, so I wont be there until I can get back to work and get some money (probably the beginning of february) but ill practice my dry firing, and watch my front sights to see if it moves. Thats probably what is causing it. I used to shoot real low too, so atleast I got that problem taken care of.

Thanks for the book also
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Old December 31, 2005, 11:18 PM   #6
WhyteP38
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You can try the index cards with the X or without it; whatever works best for you. Try both. For me, without the X worked better. I taped the white card against a black slow-fire target background. Then I just concentrated on keeping the arc of movement--and my front sight (properly aligned with the rears)--on the white area. I found that helped me to limit the number of things I was thinking about so I didn't overwhelm myself.

The idea of the card is to help you work on your arc of movement. As your muscles get conditioned to shooting, your arc of movement will shrink. The 6x8 card is big enough to give you plenty of room but smaller than the normal black area of a slow-fire target (I'm talking the entire black area here, not just the 10 ring). Once you get to where your shots consistently have about an inch of space between them and the edge of the card, move to the smaller card.

It's pretty cool when you consistently hit a 3x5 card at 25 yards. I found it seemed to impress a lot of folks. Actually, it's easier to do than it sounds, but a lot of people don't practice that way, so to them it seems hard.

Eventually, however, you'll need to wean yourself off the cards completely. The white-against-black contrast is so sharp that it can become a crutch, and when you go back to shooting regular targets, it will be uncomfortable at first not to have that contrast. But after a few range sessions, you'll get past that and will have a lot of fun with your small arc of movement and improved trigger control.

By the way, where are you in NC? I'm in Statesville. There's a good outdoor range that charges $8/hour for pistol shooting. Kind of a drag if the weather sucks, but all of my money goes into practice sessions and not a membership. The shotgun and rifle ranges, however, require a membership.
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Old December 31, 2005, 11:40 PM   #7
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Im in Eden, about 5-10 minutes south of the virginia border near Reidsville.

I go to Calibers in Greensboro. Im always willing to try some new ranges though. Is the range located in Statesville? I know where that is. Its probably about 2 hours from here, maybe a little less
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Old January 13, 2006, 03:00 PM   #8
last_stand
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good shootin

I think you're doin pretty good. I've been shooting for around 6 months and thats what my groups look like at aprx 25 ft.

I've practiced the dry-fire exercise and I found that my arms move more than the front site. I've noticed this at the range too, I can keep the sights aligned and hit whatever I point at, it's just that 1/2 the time i'm not pointed at the bullseye because of arm-sway. Any suggestions...

good shootin, keep it up
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Old January 20, 2006, 09:17 PM   #9
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Unless I missed it you don't say what distance you were shooting at. From your post I assume it's 15 yards. For someone who's only put 1500 rounds downrange, I think you're doing great. I also think you're not giving yourself enough credit if you think you can't do any better. I've seen threads where people post their results and (if they're being honest) some people are holding 2" groups at 25 yards. That is damn good.

The advice about doing lots of dry firing is right on. You will definitely improve. Also, remember sight alignment and FOCUS ON THE FRONT SITE.

One final piece of advice, don't get too hung up on slow fire accuracy alone. Start mixing it up with some rapid fire shooting (a whole different challenge). Try moving around. Shooting around improvised barriers. (All this assumes you have access to a range where you can do this safely). Remember, in a real life situation your target isn't going to stand there for 30 seconds while you carefully align the sights and slowly squeeze the trigger.
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Old February 4, 2006, 11:08 AM   #10
chasgrips45
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Are you left or right handed? If you`re right handed , I think you`re pulling some shots to the left . The reason you`re doing that, could be that you are "pushing" the trigger when you fire. It might be that you need to bring your trigger finger slightly towards the first joint on your finger. Make sense? A left handed shooter is "pulling " his shots he,or she should move his finger slightly the other way. Practice (MAKE SURE THE GUN IS UNLOADED) pulling STRAIGHT back on the trigger ,without moving the muzzle either way. If you have trouble seeing the target (like I do ) aligning the front site will almost make a natural point. I focus on aligning the sites because I can`t see both in focus. I see the target (it`s blurry, but it`s still there) , If you`re not lining up the front blade as Houndog recommends you should. IMHO. Get a .22 ,shoot all day for $5.00.This procedure works for me . Thanks Chas.
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Old February 7, 2006, 12:45 AM   #11
GLOCK21
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I think your problem is trigger control. You have to find the "sweet spot" of your finger. this is close to the tip. Try placing your finger on the triger at differant spots while dry firing. Your sweet spot is where you put your finger on the trigger, squeeze, and the gun doesn't move. Watch the sights carefully during dry fire practice. Dry firing is the best practice next to the real thing. I also beside dry firing my gun have a CO2 pellet gun that is a revolver. I dry fire this a-lot on double action to build finger strength. I aim and squeeze carefully on single action for accurcy. Then I dry fire my hand gun that I am training with at the time also. REMEMBER PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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