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Old December 2, 2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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ProxyBoy,

Did you follow the link in my earlier post? It should help provide some of the basics for you guys.

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Old December 2, 2010, 12:25 PM   #27
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Yes I did Pax... it looked to have a LOT of good info and I plan on reading it thoroughly... I just haven't had the time yet... been working non-stop this entire week, I haven't even brought my laptop in from the car at night it's been so busy.

Thanks you for your post it was also helpful.
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Old December 2, 2010, 01:57 PM   #28
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teaching

THE PROBLEM WITH SHOOTING IS EVERYBODY THINKS THEY CAN DO IT!
I teach a course at my gun club for kids and newcomers, and when we finish the first 1/2 hour, most students are hitting a 2" bullseye at 15ft with a 1911 .45.
Flinching is the typical newcomer's problem, if they've had a little experience. It's one of the hardest bad habits to break.
You wouldn't give driving lessons to someone who kept hitting things with the car without seeking professional help
So get professional help. her bad habit will only intensify unless she takes positive steps to cure it. Being ignorant of how to correct this doesn't make you a bad guy, or mean you mother had character problems, it just means this is an area outside of your expertise. A pro can diagnose her problem, help her cure it, and the end result will be that she has a lot more fun, is a lot better at shooting, and you can learn a little as well.
Good luck and God Bless.
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Old December 2, 2010, 02:06 PM   #29
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Pax and her Cornered Cat website are probably two of your best resources. Gunhilda will be one of your more amusing resources.

I would say getting a real genuine human with good shooting experience is also high on the helpfulness scale. I'm fortunate I have a former Marine and LEO as a resource for shooting (he's the one that swears by lasers as a good training aid - he can watch the dot as one shoots to help diagnose shooting errors), as well as other shooting friends.

Just make sure the person actually know what they are doing and can teach - an NRA or police instructor, something like that. Your local gun shop is a good place to get names of such people. Remember:
  • Just because someone has shot a long time doesn't mean they necessarily have good practices
  • Just because someone has shot a long time and have good practices doesn't mean they necessarily can teach those practices to others
    • Teaching is a talent, usually worth paying for
Sorry to read about your frustration. Best approach is to just ignore the people who aren't answering the question. They usually intend to be helpful, but sometimes it's a case of answering what they see as a deeper issue that isn't actually there - I've made that mistake myself.
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Old December 2, 2010, 07:50 PM   #30
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An easy way to get some good use out of dry firing at home is to use a laser. This way the shooter can use the sights to dry fire and the observer can can watch the laser to see what is happening right at the time of the trigger break as well as the follow up. The observer can tell the shooter what they have seen and they can work on correcting the problems. I like using snap caps to protect the firing pin for dry firing. You might even set the laser to be zeroed in about 2" low so the shooter won't be distracted by the dot. Use something small as the target to make it more challenging. Keeping fairly steady all the way through the trigger pull is an art that takes time to learn to do. Some shooters never do learn to do it, but still enjoy shooting.

Since there are two of you you can take turns being the shooter. The results after this kind of practice can be quite helpful. The laser can be a very cheap one. Some fit in the trigger guard and others on the rail if the pistol has one. You should be able to find them selling for 15 to 25 dollars. They are not all that easy to zero in either. Since you are looking more for something for the observer to see and not the shooter does it really matter that much on how close it is to the point of impact?

Adjusting your grip and the way the trigger is pulled will the things that will keep you on target in many cases.
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Old December 2, 2010, 09:49 PM   #31
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My wife follows everything you write, she met Vickie Hughbanks recently when she was on an assignment at Ft. Huachuca and is trying to get the time off for your Ft. Huachuca area class.
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Old December 2, 2010, 10:23 PM   #32
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Thanks for the pointers... I might see about strapping on a regular laser pointer for the dry firing practice mentioned above.

Most modern guns can handle dry firing from what I've read. I do have an older Llama 380 that I can attest should NOT be dry fired (broke the firing pin already on it. )
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Old December 10, 2010, 07:59 AM   #33
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Quote:
Most modern guns can handle dry firing from what I've read.
This is true; and many modern handguns Must be dry-fired in order to disassemble them. It's really not such a big deal anymore.

I think a good summary of some points here are these:
1. You can point out small things to your wife, but teaching a wife is a very difficult endeavour. So if you're thinking of learning in order to teach her, it'd be better to bring her along for the learning.

2. It DOES sound like a flinch, which is often quite hard to fix. If you need to convince HER that that's what it is, then you can give her a malfunction drill:
a. Load a magazine with a few live rounds, add a Snap-Cap, then load it to capacity.
b. Load the weapon and tell her to fire though the magazine, trying to aim properly, and pay attention to how much she's moving the gun (which really shouldn't be any at all).
c. When she gets through the first few rounds, she'll start flinching. When that snap cap shows up, it'll be impossible to miss, and she'll know she's doing it.

3. Watch how she pulls the trigger. If she's slapping it back in a single motion, this could be causing a low impact, and could be a result of her "flinch".

4. Calm down a little bit.

Your whole last post was very defensive, and I can't help but feel that you took offense to a number of posts that, in re-reading, were quite benign and informative. For just a single reference, JohnKSa, who is a very respected member here was not at all offensive, and I have a lot of trouble understanding how you turned this helpful piece of advice:
Quote:
Barring a pretty serious mechanical issue or really poor ammunition, the gun should be capable of grouping under 5" at that distance. If the sights were aligned when you started pulling the trigger then something pulled them off target by the time the gun fired.

Since you state that you are able to dryfire without the sights moving that leaves flinching as the reason for your group being more than 3x larger than it should have been.
into this:

Quote:
4.) continuing 3 essentially... I have NO delusions that I am a "good" shot. I simply said that I was impressed that I did so well my FIRST time shooting a pistol. It amazes me that some how you guys have taken a first time shooter that happened to hit 12-15" groupings at 25 yards with his first magazine into "you can't shoot worth a crap and you should be shooting 5" groupings at that distance!" Truly amazing that you guys would say that.
He didn't say that "You can't shoot worth a crap and you should be shooting 5" groupings at that distance". He said that your gun (that specific make, model, and caliber, in the hands of an expert or on a dead rest is capable of making a 5" grouping. The fact that her "patterns" were no where near what an average shooter could do at that range begs the question, "If the gun is in good working order and can do that, what is going on to pull her sights off target?" THEN he went on to provide you with a recommendation. Thank you JohnKSa.

I can't help but feel like you're taking a lot of offense that isn't intended or warranted. We are all simply here to help. And when a multitude of people return with the same (or similar) answers to your problem, then the response from you should NOT be to tell them how little they are contributing, but rather to take a step back and look at it statistically. You asked a question. Now, what is the most in depth answer? Got it? Okay, now what was the answer MOST GIVEN? Those are going to be your 2 most helpful tools.

Just take it easy. We're all friends here. No one is slinging mud.

~LT
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Old December 10, 2010, 10:31 PM   #34
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I definitely wasn't trying to tell you that you did poorly, I was specifically responding to your question about why someone would suggest that there was a problem (i.e. room for improvement) with your shooting.

You did well for your experience level, but that wasn't what was under discussion. Pax mentioned that you were probably flinching and you asked why she said that. I was simply explaining how she reached that conclusion, not denigrating your shooting ability.

Just to make it clear, I've been shooting for several decades and I'm still finding ways to improve. I'm still finding things I'm doing wrong or things I could be doing better.

It's a good thing to feel good about shooting accomplishments, but it's also a good thing to realize there's room for improvement. Both things are very constructive.

For example, last weekend I broke 4 seconds for the first time in my life on a plate run. I'm very happy with the accomplishment but I realize that I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of room for improvement. It was a very fast time for me, but there are many folks who can shoot a lot faster than that. So while I'm very happy about shooting a personal best and I'm definitely going to enjoy the feeling, I'm not going to take the attitude that I can't do better or that I shouldn't try to do better.

Nor would I feel badly if someone offered me suggestions for why I'm not doing as well as I could or ways to improve.
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Old December 12, 2010, 12:33 PM   #35
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LordTio3, You are correct. I relooked at everything and I think what happened with JohnkSa, is that I mixed him and pax's post together. He responded to what I asked about what pax had said and I assumed it was the same person that originally said it. If you put those two together it sounds a little more offensive. I guess it could have been better stated with "though you did well, it is suggested that you are flinching because that gun can do...."

I agree that I could have received the post better but I will also say that these post could have been better stated with "here is my take on what is going on ... but I do also agree with what others have said, some professional instructions would be your best bet on improvement." Because I completely agree with what they were saying... but the point of being here was to try and figure out how come she couldn't hit the side of a barn. I know a professional could fix all of her problems but I'd also think our time/money would be better put to use working on finer points vs flinching or something really dumb that is causing her to miss by such a large margin.

I did get a few PM's from people that did agree that some of these post weren't very constructive and just critical, so I don't think I was completely off base with some of my concerns.

LordTio3, your post was a lot more constructive and yet still critical... I can handle that no problem. I like the idea of No. 2.

JohnKsa, I'm sorry I took your post incorrectly. Trust me, I understand... you ALWAYS can improve on your game, no matter what it is.
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Old December 12, 2010, 01:50 PM   #36
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AwlArtist: If you made your own holster, it's a rule you have to post pics.
The Colt New Frontier is a great gun. No matter how great the gun, it's the shooter that makes the difference.
There are likely classes near you that cater to women shooters. It would be a good idea to check one out.

ProxyBoy: It is the nature of internet forums that the posts become repetitive and or miss changes in the thrust of the thread.

But the basic comments are sound. Get instruction, flinching seems to be the problem, and taking up the "slack" in a trigger is bad practice.

My own two bits is that you should get a .22. A Ruger MK., a Browning Buckmark, or a Beretta Neo would be great choices. Let you wife pick which one she likes.
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Old December 13, 2010, 02:06 AM   #37
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Quote:
and taking up the "slack" in a trigger is bad practice.
Explain.
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Old December 13, 2010, 03:39 AM   #38
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The trigger pull should be continuous and smooth as PAX mentioned in her post.

Quote:
A beginning shooter especially should focus on every trigger pull being very slow and very smooth, going at the same speed all the way from the moment you touch the trigger until after the shot fires. This smooth, steady trigger press should happen while you continuously keep the sights aligned on target, and you should never "hurry up fast" to yank the trigger back when the sights are perfectly aligned. Rather, you accept that as a human you can't hold the sights perfectly still, just keep realigning them while steadily pressing the trigger.
Slack in the trigger is a sign of a bad trigger.
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Old December 13, 2010, 11:34 AM   #39
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Hmm, even my brand new XDm has almost a 1/4" of travel before it "hits" something and becomes a good bit tougher for that last 1/4" before the trigger breaks.

I don't know the nomenclature to explain myself very well, but I'd say it takes about 1lb to pull through the first 1/4" then maybe 5lb to get to the last 1/4".

This isn't like loose play. I just assumed I should be bringing the trigger back to that first point where the pressure needed to move the trigger changes then from there one nice steady pull till it breaks. It seems like if it's easy to feel then 1/4" to break the trigger is easier to keep clean than 1/2".
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Old December 13, 2010, 10:40 PM   #40
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That's a typical two stage trigger. There's some takeup initially and then it gets harder to pull to actually fire the pistol.

In some designs that takeup is unavoidable and actually does some or all of the work of cocking the firearm and/or disables passive safeties.

In some it's actually designed into the trigger pull as a safety feature even though it doesn't have to be there in those designs.

In some designs it's there because the manufacturer didn't take the time to eliminate it although they could have if they had taken the time/money to make it so.
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Old December 14, 2010, 11:14 AM   #41
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I really learned how to shoot a handgun accurately when I started going to bullseye matches. I started showing people my target and asking questions about what I was doing wrong. Since I am right-handed, but left eye dominate, one of the first things they told me was to start shooting left-handed. After that, they started showing me how to improve my grip, my stance, trigger finger position, etc. Over time, I could see steady improvements. Not all advice will work for you and you will quickly figure out what works for you and what doesn't.

A lot of new shooters, or those who don't shoot all that great, are afraid to go to matches because they are afraid of being embarrassed. You will never learn how to swim if you don't get in the water. This is just like learning how to play chess. The best way to learn and get better is to find people who are a lot better than you and play them over and over and over.
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Old December 15, 2010, 12:54 AM   #42
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JohnKsa, So do you suggest I pull the trigger as I described... taking up "slack" or I guess you could say "staging" then doing your main trigger squeeze through the 2nd "main" stage?

Gunrunner1... Really? They suggested left hand shooting just because you are left eye dominate? I'm Right Handed, Left Eye dominate also... I shot a magazine left handed and though it wasn't "terrible" I certainly wasn't as confident with it.

The worse thing about being RHLE is that my father was a real a-hole and didn't understand that and used to fuss at me all the time because I'd naturally lean over the gun (rifle/shotguns) and look down the barrel with my left eye. Then one day we went to a hunter safety class and I found out I was of course doing it right. Never got an apology but at least I knew in that instance he was definitely just being a jerk.
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Old December 15, 2010, 02:25 AM   #43
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OK,I have no stake in this,just read it over.OP,please re read your own last post
Do you pick up a certain stress,tension,frustration,emotion?
It is because you are too close.Its your wife.In matters such as learning to paddle a canoe tandem,drive,shoot,no disrespect intended,but ego and relationship and tone of voice and how the bacon was cooked 2 months ago can lead to not talking at the breakfast table and then shooting is not so fun any more.
Let me ask you this.As you coach her,are you looking at the target?You must be,as you see her hit the dirt.no disrespect to you,I am glad you are learning to shoot!A coach who is looking down range does not know how to coach shooting.I hope you want her to have a good coach.
If there is a local bullseye range that has firearms training,or if the game warden will give you the name of the person who trains him,etc,,
I taught my daughter to shoot a .22 rifle,her rifle.I taught her some about driving,coached her learners permit time,but we had her take a paid drivers ed class.
But whe she came of age,and was on her own,I checked with the Division of wildlife armorer,shooting coach.A retired veteran,LEO,and a quiet,kind,good man I respect.i asked about one on one training.
I approached my daughter,explained I would pay for the training and buy the handgun if she would take the training.The training was pre=requisite,and I declined to train.She did not prioritize it,so it was not done.
I suggest you get a nice 22.Very cheap to shoot a lot.Shooting a lot badly won't help.You are training unconcious things.You train shooting good shots.Bad shots have to be untrained and re trained.Noise and recoil make and cover up bad habits.Even a replica pellet gun at 15 ft may be good.
Here is a parallel.Learning to roll a kayak.Your unconcious self says hanging upside down in a boat with water running up your nose is unacceptable.This must be overcome to smoothly and powerfully grab the surface of the water and roll up.Holding a loud,kicking gun in your hand is the same.the reflexes jump.The eyes close.Anticipating recoil,the muzzle goes down.
But no spouse wants to hear from their other half criticism.And that is what coaching,especially from a frustrated,not so competent coach amounts to in a spouse.
I couod tell you grip,natural point of aim,breathing,sight alignment,trigger control,focus,calling the shot ,etc,but you have somethng else to overcome.
i highly suggest you go back to pax's post.Go to her site,follow her links,search "all posts by pax" and get an idea of who just took the time to give you an honest,respectful response.
For what it is worth,I'm a mediocre to OK handgun shot.Nothing special.So is my former spouse.
When we were shooting 25 yd pistol indoor leagues,we shot with some good shots.Old guys who shot at camp Perry.Kirkpatrick was a kind old guy,true gentleman,interested in my old High Standard GD.Coke bottle glasses,a little tremor in his hands.I recall a slow,rapid,timed 30 round string of his that scored 297 of 300 pts with a lot of "X"'s.Those guys were good.
I was averaging in the 270 something range and my ex was a 238 avg.The last shootoff we were in,we took 7 of 28 trophies.
Get a 25 yd smallbore handgun NRA target and see what that is.
Experienced folks here,when you ask for advise,give you honest answers.
You ever see "The Magnificent Seven"? The kid,and Yul Brynner,in the bar? Clap hands? pax likely has hair,but I'd give her Yul Brynner respect,myself.
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Old December 15, 2010, 02:23 PM   #44
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HiBC, I understand what you are saying... especially given that she has shot a WHOLE lot more than I have. BUT, that being said, she is pretty smart and level headed (most of the time )... so she recognizes "I'm hitting the dirt and no where near the target... He doesn't. I must be doing something wrong." Sure I understand that lots of women, especially my daughter, can't do that.

She ran through a good 100 rounds of ammo. That leaves PLENTY of shots that you can look at where she is hitting and realize. "hey, you are hitting in the dirt... what is going on here." Then you can adjust your focus to watching HER shoot and stop looking down range. When 9/10 shots hit the ground in front of you, you don't have to really worry if you are actually watching her make the mistake... chances are she is still hitting the ground and you can trust to just focus on her motions.

I say ALL of that with ZERO emotion. This also brings up my point. You have deducted that because I have seen her shots go in the ground that I am watching the target and therefor I am in no position to help. But you didn't take into account that we shot more than 1 magazine and that one can shift his focus. When she was first shooting of course I watched the target, I had ZERO intention of teaching her anything or critiquing anything... I actually assumed I'd be asking HER questions as she was more experienced than I was. It wasn't until she expressed frustration in her shooting that I then attempted to see what was going on the best I could in my limited understanding of "proper" technique. I was only able to recognize that she was pulling the trigger all the way through and that MIGHT be causing her to yank when she gets to the 2nd stage of the trigger. I then asked her if that was what was going on and she said "yes"... I then asked her to stage the trigger (obviously not with those words, as I have just learned them) and she was doing a tad bit better. Now she was hitting the base of the tree and not the dirt 10' in front of it and occasionally actually hitting the target. I still didn't know what was going on and I had no further suggestions. By then she was done shooting anyway.

Then I came in here to ask for some help. That is also when I got her to dry fire and realized she was flinching like others were suggesting. My suggested remedy for this? Practice dry firing and focus on not moving (flinching) during the trigger squeeze. That is all I feel I am qualified to "teach" as I don't know anything else. This is also the one thing I did while I was sitting at home for so long with a gun and no place to go shoot. I feel that is what helped me to be able to shoot as well as I did for my first time shooting. Do I have room for improvement... ABSO-FRICKIN-LUTELY! That day was all about putting some rounds through the gun and getting a feel for it... basically having fun. Now that that is done next time I'm out shooting I'm hoping it is just the wife and I and we can focus on individual shots one at a time.

As far as PAX... I have already said thank you for the links and suggestions... I certainly hope that she understands that I never meant ANY disrespect. I have already apologized to her and JohnKsa about some confusion on who posted what. That was just an oversight on my part in regards to that issue.

An example of useful vs frustrating post is as follows, yours is the first that suggested the use of a 22 for a GOOD reason (a larger gun mask mistakes)... I can see and appreciate that when said that way. But for those that said "well, you should start out the little lady with a 22 so it doesn't scare her off of shooting"... well clearly they didn't even read my post because SHE purchased the P95 a long time ago and has shot it many times and LOVES to shoot. She is no where CLOSE to "scared" of shooting. Hell, she wants to shoot larger guns, just for fun. Obviously she flinches and one could argue that is because she is scared of the gun... but I'd more likely say that is just a natural reaction like you suggested. The other post is very frustrating when you don't even feel like the person actually read your post... seems like they just read the title and tossed up a generic "guide to getting your lady into shooting" post.

BTW, for the record my quotes above were purposely condescending towards females... but not because I personally feel that way. It should be obvious that I feel the exact opposite, but only if you actually read my post.
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Old December 15, 2010, 11:37 PM   #45
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Quote:
So do you suggest I pull the trigger as I described... taking up "slack" or I guess you could say "staging" then doing your main trigger squeeze through the 2nd "main" stage?
Generally speaking, the goal should be to smoothly pull through the entire trigger travel until the gun fires.

When extreme precision is the goal it's acceptable to stage the trigger, but it can create some issues if it becomes a habit.
Quote:
They suggested left hand shooting just because you are left eye dominate?
When you get down to the nitty gritty of shooting, both hands have pretty important jobs to do. It's reasonably easy to make the case that there's not enough of a difference in the dexterity required to create a disadvantage by teaching a right hander to shoot left-handed if he's left-eye dominant. It's very different from forcing a left-hander to learn to write right-handed. On the other hand, teaching someone to shoot cross-dominant will mean a lifetime of trying to compensate for the issue with less than ideal shooting positions.
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Old December 16, 2010, 12:33 AM   #46
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So you are saying I SHOULD try learning to shoot left handed?
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Old December 16, 2010, 12:51 AM   #47
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If you don't have any experience shooting pistols and you're left-eye dominant, I'd say it's worth your while to give learning to shoot left-handed an honest try.

You may find out that it just doesn't work for you at all, but if it does work then I think you'll find that you'll be a better pistol shooter down the road for not having to deal with cross-dominance issues.
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Old December 16, 2010, 12:53 AM   #48
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I will give it a try!

See, a professional trainer MIGHT not suggest such a thing.
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Old December 16, 2010, 10:11 PM   #49
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There are definitely some things about shooting that aren't intuitively obvious. A good trainer can help you steer around some of the speedbumps.

I'd be suspicious of a trainer, claiming to be a pro, who didn't start a brand new shooter out by checking eye dominance before doing anything else.
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Old December 17, 2010, 01:42 AM   #50
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I agree with that, but it doesn't mean they would suggest switching to your weak hand.

So far just checking with some dry fire test I still tend to crank my head over. I guess it's become a natural habit for me to lean over to look down the barrel of a gun.
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