The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old December 11, 2007, 10:35 PM   #1
Sigma 40 Blaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 997
Shooting a plastic .40 cal

Guys...especially those who like their plastic .40 cals.

I was shooting IDPA this weekend (and last month) and was almost embarrassed at the muzzle flip I was experiencing that no one else seemed to be having in their pistols. One guy gave me some advice that I tried out last night...curious if other "snappy" pistol shooters use the same grip.

Two handed, left thumb over right thumb (my hands are too small to have both pointed down range). Isosceles stance, elbows locked in, weak hand pushing back slightly, strong hand offering resistance BUT not pushing.

It's a very different grip than I'm used to (someone here called it the bar of soap grip) and my accuracy at 15 yards suffered BUT my recoil control was excellent, follow up shots were much faster, and my "fliers" were just to the left instead of being all over (vertically lined up well). Anyone else here use that (or similar) grip technique on snappier pistols? I don't have much problem with 9mm or .45, just this stupid .40 cal that I love so much.

Also, any right handed left eye dominant shooters? I always shoot about two inches to the left...I don't know if it's shooting isosceles or what but I'm consistently about 1.5 inches from the X at 7 yards. I'm almost to the point of just drifting my sights to compensate IF I can prove that it's not my trigger technique (have guys load snap caps instead of live rounds...no jerking going on).
Sigma 40 Blaster is offline  
Old December 11, 2007, 11:08 PM   #2
Perldog007
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 26, 2007
Location: Estados Unitas / United States
Posts: 968
The grip you described sounds like the one I have found since I spend more time now with pistols than revolvers.

My XD .45 recoils soft and that grip works well. My .40 is a lowly Hi Point and very soft shooting for a .40, same grip. My Hi Point 9mm is snappy and again that kind of grip works well.

With wheelguns my weak hand elbow is on my ribcage and strong hand is supported by the weak hand braced against bone. Very nice with a mild revolver like my 25-5 .45 LC. Not so good with pistols.

Sounds like you are getting very precise. If I hit within an inch and a half of the X I consider it a good shot, even at seven yards. Better to erase it though.
Perldog007 is offline  
Old December 11, 2007, 11:32 PM   #3
NetJnkie
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2007
Posts: 60
I've heard that stance used for cross dominant shooters. I'm on (left eye dom, shoot right handed) and don't really like the stance. I just found a balanced stance works better for me. I shoot an HK .40 sometimes in USPSA. The biggest help to me on recoil was to learn to roll my wrists forward and lock them to keep the gun down.
NetJnkie is offline  
Old December 11, 2007, 11:58 PM   #4
vox rationis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2007
Posts: 1,855
I don't know, I'm not a super ninja Wild Bill Hickock High Speed Low drag operator, but that technique doesn't sound optimal. The first trick is to perfect your two handed grip and isosceles stance, sight picture and trigger control. Here is Todd Jarrett's video, and Lurper's video (I hope he doesn't mind me posting it here again, but it is very good).

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48&feature=related
http://youtube.com/watch?v=oQgLmQl1zDw

Then the second trick is to let the gun recoil naturally, BUT as soon as it starts to rotate/flip/recoil learn to actively bring the sights back down on target immediately (smoothly, not jerky or pushy), and as you are doing this you are re-prepping the trigger, and as soon as the sights are back on target you should be far enough in the evolution of the trigger prep/press that you let off a round as soon as you have your sight picture again . When you learn to do this well (it is a small concert of motion and technique) the amount of muzzle flip is largely irrelevant because as soon as the gun starts to recoil/rotate/flip, you are already bringing the sights back down on target as you are prepping the trigger for your next shot. I think it is a mistake to "fight" the recoil with suboptimal grip and thumb arrangements as this will push the gun into all sort of weird places and cause thrown/pushed/jerked shots. If you have a gun that doesn't flip very much, and it naturally and quickly returns to the initial point of aim, then you obviously don't have to be as active in bringing the sights back onto the target (and let me just emphasize that this is a natural, deliberate, yet smooth act, no a jerky push or anything of the sort).
And locking your elbows will cause more felt recoil not less.

Anyway, these are some immediate thoughts that came to mind, I hope this helps.

And what you describe is almost like a Weaver, but I believe the above described isosceles approach is more neutral, more natural, and ultimately faster and more accurate.
vox rationis is offline  
Old December 12, 2007, 12:33 AM   #5
easyG
Junior member
 
Join Date: August 30, 2004
Location: Right here!
Posts: 972
Trust me, the problem is only in your head.

It's just a case of mental self sabotage.

If you can accurately shoot and control a 9mm and a .45, the you should have no problem with a .40.
Even my mother can accurately manage a .40.
While the .40 is more powerful than the 9mm, and just as powerful as the .45, it does not produce that much recoil, snap, or muzzel-flip.
Remember, there are small asian guys and small females who qualify everyday with the .40.
easyG is offline  
Old December 12, 2007, 12:42 AM   #6
evan1293
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 16, 2007
Location: CT
Posts: 784
Quote:
Remember, there are small asian guys and small females who qualify everyday with the .40
evan1293 is offline  
Old December 12, 2007, 08:21 PM   #7
kgpcr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 23, 2005
Posts: 946
For me a .40 is not hard to controll. Its what you hit that counts not how fast you can dump a mag, on the other hand you need to be able put some rounds out to hit anything or put a few in the bad guy if you have to. You walk a fine balance there. When i was in the Marines they taught us fire discipline. Dont waste your ammo. when you are out its game over.. BUT you dont want to die with a full mag either. Balance!
__________________
Colt King Cobra .357 Colt Anaconda .44mag
Springfield Armory .45 Double stack Loaded
XD40 service XD45 Taurus 617 .357mag
Smith M&P 40
kgpcr is offline  
Old December 12, 2007, 09:45 PM   #8
Shane Tuttle
Staff
 
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: Blue Grass, IA
Posts: 8,607
I'm left eye dominant and usually shoot right handed. Isosceles stance doesn't work for me due to my stature and unnatural feel.

I normally use the Modified Weaver/Chapman technique. But, I'm goofy that way...

I agree with Vlad, here. I actually welcome the muzzle flip. I use it to reaquire the target.
__________________
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting
Shane Tuttle is offline  
Old December 12, 2007, 11:27 PM   #9
NetJnkie
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2007
Posts: 60
The problem he is having isn't the same as someone qualifying with the pistol. He's doing competition shooting. Muzzle flip is a bad thing. It costs you time. The flatter you shoot the better.

Like I said above.... .40 in a plastic gun can be tough. That's one reason I know shoot a nice STI based 2011. It's heavier and just doesn't flip up like my HK .40 does. I shoot much flatter and therefore much faster with the 2011.
NetJnkie is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 07:36 AM   #10
Sigma 40 Blaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 997
Thanks for all the feedback so far guys.

I shoot IDPA competition as "training" for real life. I shoot my EDC in my usual holster dressed as usual (no tac vest etc). So I'm not really shooting to win the match, I'm shooting to get more accurate and faster under a semi-stressful environment (not as easy as it looks when the buzzer goes off and at least ten people are watching you). IF I can get fast/accurate enough to rank as expert with my stock pistol I'm happy BUT winning the matches aren't a huge concern, it's all about improvement.

The guys at the match often either shoot a 9mm or .45 ACP, not many shoot the .40 because of it's "snappiness". Remember this isn't USPSA Open here, just stock pistols for the most part.

On my follow up shots I either take to long OR rush the shot and miss, when I say my recoil control is embarrassing at times the muzzle of the gun usually hops up between 30 and 45 degrees from the "firing" level. I had a tendency to anticipate the recoil and would usually shoot way low...since I broke that habit I'm doing absolutely nothing to stop or even meet the recoil.

I got some really good ideas from the replies so far.
Sigma 40 Blaster is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 12:20 PM   #11
pax
Staff
 
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 6,983
I used the thumbs-locked-down grip and a locked-elbows isosceles stance on everything I shoot, and find (especially in snappier calibers) that it's much faster for followup shots for me, with recoil being absorbed by skeletal support rather than trying to muscle through it. Very fast recovery time and the gun snaps right back on target.

YMMV ...

pax
__________________
Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
pax is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 12:30 PM   #12
TexasSeaRay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 810
I never cared for the Isosceles stance as it squares me up too much to my target. In the world I came from, targets shot bck. The Weaver isn't perfect either, but at least it doesn't square you up to your target.

For competition action shooting, I think the Isosceles is without peer. It affords itself to a grip more advantageous to controlling recoil, sweeping across a range of targets (ala the old El Presidente run), and better peripheral vision.

Jeff
__________________
If every single gun owner belonged to the NRA as well as their respective state rifle/gun association, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

So to those of you who are members of neither, thanks for nothing.
TexasSeaRay is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 06:51 PM   #13
warrior poet
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2007
Location: Whereever Uncle Sam wants to put me
Posts: 415
I'm not a real big fan of isosceles either... unless I've got body armor. Then I'm getting max protection out of the armor, and that's why cops are taught to use it the most. In a weaver (or worse in a modified weaver) you expose your sides which are largely unarmored.
As for the .40 cal round and its kick, I shot a VERY compact little .40 that a buddy of mine owns, a Kahr. It flipped about as much as a Kel-Tec P-11 in 9mm (a nice little BUG BTW), meaning it was more than a 'regular' pistol, but still very controllable. If you can shoot a .45 ACP, a .40 (of the same general dimensions) should be cake. Full size .40s, like the Springfield XD, are joys to shoot.
Just my two slugs o' copper
warrior poet is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 07:08 PM   #14
ludwig1138
Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 74
If you have a digital camera, get one of the guys to take a digital movie of you shooting. Most cameras have a little movie camera icon somewhere on the camera that will let you make a movie of the AVI type file. You can then play it back on your computer with windows media player.

I did this and found a number of things to work on. Beware you may find you look like a big lumbering stumblebum and wonder how come no one was laughing.
ludwig1138 is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 07:30 PM   #15
vox rationis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 15, 2007
Posts: 1,855
Quote:
The problem he is having isn't the same as someone qualifying with the pistol. He's doing competition shooting. Muzzle flip is a bad thing. It costs you time. The flatter you shoot the better.
Like I said above.... .40 in a plastic gun can be tough. That's one reason I know shoot a nice STI based 2011. It's heavier and just doesn't flip up like my HK .40 does. I shoot much flatter and therefore much faster with the 2011.
True, certainly the guns that have less inherent muzzle flip (and faster trigger reset for that matter) are superior for competition and there is a reason why 1911 based designs like your STI are so incredibly popular for competition.

Interestingly, or for what its worth, when I shot .45ACP and .40 from an HK USPc I couldn't tell much of a difference at all. If anything the .40 "snap" allowed me to get back on target more quickly.


Sigma, if the muzzle rise bothers you that much why not try another pistol, maybe in 9mm even? Or get a steel frame .40 gun. And I could get shot down here, but perhaps trying to shoot too fast too soon in the context of a competition might not be the best idea. Perhaps it is better to smooth out the grip/sight picture/trigger prep/recovery of front sight on target/etc technique before you throw yourself in a competition setting that could enforce poor technique and bad habits.
vox rationis is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 07:56 PM   #16
Shane Tuttle
Staff
 
Join Date: November 28, 2005
Location: Blue Grass, IA
Posts: 8,607
Quote:
The problem he is having isn't the same as someone qualifying with the pistol. He's doing competition shooting. Muzzle flip is a bad thing. It costs you time. The flatter you shoot the better.
In pure competition this may ring true. I honestly don't have a leg to stand on for arguement since I don't compete in IDPA or such...yet. However, some people adapt to muzzle flip by allowing the gun to recover right back on target due to the single plane movement.

When other types of gun platforms/cartridges recoil in a manner of a "flat" pushback, there are sometimes multiple planes of movement. The more planes, the higher number of variables of correction need to take place.

Quote:
I shoot IDPA competition as "training" for real life.
...and here-in lies the curveball.

Quote:
I used the thumbs-locked-down grip and a locked-elbows isosceles stance on everything I shoot, and find (especially in snappier calibers) that it's much faster for followup shots for me, with recoil being absorbed by skeletal support rather than trying to muscle through it. Very fast recovery time and the gun snaps right back on target.
Pax has a valid point, especially since she will forget more than I will ever learn.

Quote:
If you have a digital camera, get one of the guys to take a digital movie of you shooting.
Ludwig's statement rings true for another fantastic different style of training aid. People can tell you what you're doing, you can try to "feel" what you're doing, but video really makes it sink in when you see for yourself in a 3rd person view of yourself.

The best advice that I can give you is this: Once you figure out what works for you, whether isosceles, weaver, chapman, or whatever....constantly try all the basic stances and shoot with right AND left handed. The reason why I suggest this is that no matter who tells you the best stance is for competition or SD, the best is the one that you excel the quickest and feels the most natural. If you don't feel at home on your stance, it becomes a distraction. This, IMHO, is the worst thing you can put yourself in. Whether it being hitting an IDPA paper target or defending yourself/loved one in the heat of the moment.

Also, the different stances are best used in different situations as far as cover/defensive postures when acting in SD. NONE of the stances are the end all, be all to use 100% of the time. Therefore, if you practice on all of them, you will be better off.

"You won't rise to the occasion, you'll default to your level of training"-Barrett Tillman

Quote:
Just my two slugs o' copper
Poet, that's one cool statement...
__________________
If it were up to me, the word "got" would be deleted from the English language.

Posting and YOU: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting
Shane Tuttle is offline  
Old December 13, 2007, 09:11 PM   #17
Sigma 40 Blaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 997
Thanks again everyone.

More good stuff to think about. Like I said, I'm not really trying to win any competitions, just shoot in some "practical" situations. I shot an IPSC match last week...it was fun but practicality was out of the window unless you're SWAT or special forces...it was a blast and I learned from it just the same though.

I am pretty careful about trying not to rush and force bad shots, a lot of the guys say I'm doing well for a newb. I also read that the biggest drawback of the isosceles is that you're squared up on your target...maybe I'm not shooting true isosceles because my left foot is a bit in front of my shoulders so it's a little easier to aim with my left eye. Since I found that this stance KILLED recoil it's all I have been practicing two handed...I'm putting in a handful of rounds a session with strong and weak hand...even get in some decent time shooting on the move if no one else is at the range.

The hardest thing about these competitions is that standard marksmanship goes out of the window...meaning that 98% of the time you're shooting behind cover at an angle...nothing like punching paper from the line. So trying to master this grip and stance while adding the awkward positions is kicking me in the @@@. Hopefully if I ever have to use my weapon in self defense I will not be facing the BG(s) out in the open with no cover so this experience is vital.

Luckily I have a month to prepare before my next outing...I might try to post some videos or stills somewhere for some of you gurus to critique if you don't mind. Sometimes I feel like the guys I shoot with don't want to point out anything bad for my confidence or something...

But at the end of the day...it's front sight, press, front sight press...read that here.

I will be getting someone to video me next time, my wife is just dying to see me do this stuff and she's coming around to the shooting sports. Thanks again for the comments, feedback, and ideas.
Sigma 40 Blaster is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10443 seconds with 7 queries