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Old December 28, 2012, 03:00 AM   #1
Zamudio09
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Shooting better?

Any tips to become a better shot? I know a lot of practice, but any other tips?
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Old December 28, 2012, 03:32 AM   #2
warningshot
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Aviod any principle of marksmanship named after someone.

Avoid anyone or anything containing the word(s) 'tip', 'secret', or 'new way', 'new-ours-theirs technique' or 'shortcut'. Avoid believing anyone can sell you a skill level certificate before you learn the basics of:

Sight Alignment,
Sight Picture,
Trigger Squeeze,
and Follow Thru.

Last edited by warningshot; December 28, 2012 at 03:40 AM.
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:42 AM   #3
bonefamily
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Private shooting lessons from a well qualified instructor.
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Old December 28, 2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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I assume you mean more accurately? What technique are you using?
It starts with body alignment. Take your position them close your eyes for a second or two, open them, if you are not on target adjust your position. Then focus on sight alignment and sight picture. Extremely critical to focus on front sight. Once focus is right, control you breathing and squeeze off the shot slowly. Pull the trigger straight back. Make sure you only have the tip of your finger on the trigger. Practice by dry firing. Don't let your eyes drift from sight to target.
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Old December 28, 2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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I had the same problem back when I got serious in the late 70’s. A very good trainer showed me basics and then told me to get a good bolt 22 LR with peep or iron sights.
Start with bench hold at 25. When you can reliably hold one inch groups go out to 50 yards, do this till you end up at 100 moving 25 yards at a time.
Then shoot offhand starting over again.
Shoot a minimum of 100 rounds a week and see that same expert on a monthly basses to check on your basics.
Then switch to a 22LR hand gun. And start over but the groups are allowed to be 3 inches before moving out.
That summer I averaged 200 rounds a week and I was amazed what it did for as warningshot put it so well:
Sight Alignment,
Sight Picture,
Trigger Squeeze,
and Follow Thru.
The only thing I would add is
Breathing.
Trigger VS heart beat. (not that important with hand guns)
I got to the point that I knew where the bullet hit as soon as the trigger was pulled.
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Old December 28, 2012, 08:11 AM   #6
jason_iowa
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The only thing I would add is consistency from grip to draw to trigger squeeze You want to be able to repeat that the same way on every shot. I can pick up and shoot about anything "well" but going from auto to revolver I tend to push or pull sending shots wide of point of aim. At out to 25 yards I can draw and fire 3 rounds into a silhouette target 2 com and 1 head shot in a couple seconds blindfolded <I have not actually tried blindfolded and don't condone trying> with my p220. I have made the same shots tens of thousands of times though so its all muscle memory.

Like warning shot said its all about fundamentals and most of us can still improve our fundamentals. Don't dry fire a rim fire. Other then that unless someone tells you different, I feel comfortable dry firing any modern center fire for trigger control practice.
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:01 AM   #7
MrBorland
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Mental Junk...

As noted above, it's all and only about applying the fundamentals (sight picture/trigger control) consistently. Theoretically pretty easy, really, but most of us pack a lot of mental junk into the process that keeps us from shooting to the ability we already have.

Concern about the target (i.e. making a good shot) is a great example of such mental junk. Shooting well is only about the 2 fundamentals - since the target ain't one of those 2 things, it ain't going to help you make a good shot. Concern about it is a good way to make a bad shot, though. Accept the target for what it is - simply a recording device that records how well you applied the fundamentals. You can think about it and check it after you've shot your string (peeking at the target between shots is obviously a no no. Very common, and a hard habit to break, it's a real accuracy killer).

In a similar way, check yourself for other mental junk while you're shooting. Are you anticipating recoil? Or when the trigger might break? Or your stance & grip? Or what you had for breakfast, or that you need to remember to go to the store? Are you really watching the front sight? Where exactly was it when the shot released? Where did it go during recoil? Did it come back to the same place afterward?
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Engage in Bullseye shooting and read everything you can about it.
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Old December 28, 2012, 03:54 PM   #9
BigJimP
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Sometimes its about having the right gun ...to fit your hands properly ...and the right grip angle so the gun comes up level out of your holster and on target...and a trigger that you like ( how it breaks, how it travels, does it wobble, is there slack or creep in it - and how it resets...)...

What works for me....may be a big issue for you / or what you like, I may not like....

Then the proven fundamentals of shooting come into play ...good grip, good move out of holster ( and safe move) ...and safe in and out of holster ( no finger inside trigger guard ), etc....good stance...focus on front sight...shoulder position, width of feet, elbows bent or maybe almost locked out .... grip strength ( 60%/40%), or ( 70%/30% ) ....or whatever works for you ....managing recoil so gun comes back on target quickly and correctly...

managing the reload..( lots of stuff in that too )...

some good books, some dvd's ....all kinds of tools out there...and good instructors...
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:09 PM   #10
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Matt Burkett's pistol DVD's, Three GM {Grand Masters}, DVD, from Dillon Free Press, Magpul's, Art of the Pistol, DVD and Jerry Miculek's pistol DVD's
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Front sight, front sight, front sight! Concentrate so hard on it your eyes bleed.
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:31 PM   #12
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Buy a shooting strap {$7} from Cylinder & Slide. I swear by them...but it doesn't stop a flinch. It's just like shooting off the bench, but you're shooting while standing or kneeling. The Navy Seals, use a similar bungee cord system. It's even good, shooting a rifle offhand with it.
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:50 PM   #13
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This is not the end-all, be-all but it will get you started.

http://www.thesixgunjournal.net/back...hand-shooting/
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:19 PM   #14
Old Grump
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Quote:
Shooting better?
Any tips to become a better shot? I know a lot of practice, but any other tips?
Revolver, Pistol. small bore, large bore, rifle, shotgun??? give us a hint. What level shooter are you now, we don't know what you need without a little feed back.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:50 PM   #15
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Competition.

If there's a range near you see if they have leagues you could join. You'll shoot on a regular bases, get practical advice and have the scores to prove you're improving.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:13 AM   #16
Zamudio09
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Pistol 92fs. I am a beginner. I have been going to the range, today being my second with this gun, however I have made trips before shooting 1911s. So far I have gone once a week, and I plan to keep it this way at minimum. I have thought about taking classes. So far I keep all my targets, and compare to see if I'm improving. I would post some but they aren't anywhere near good. I mainly read about things and try to implement them, such as focusing on the front sight.
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Old December 29, 2012, 10:56 AM   #17
drail
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Dry fire practice. Hitting a target with any firearm requires 1) holding the sights on the target 2) firing the gun without having the sights move off of the target. That's all there is to it. Dry fire will allow you to see if you are moving the gun. Concentrate on that front sight and let the target blur.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:16 AM   #18
mete
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Our AMTU that does lots of scientific studies, showed years ago that that holding a gun steady deteriorates after 10 sec. so learn to shoot within that time .I do it even quicker since a deer may disappear in two sec !!
Front sight is the sighting trick .In hunting you may have to first focus on the target to roughly align the sights but then you must switch back to front sight for final alignment.
Trigger must be pulled straight back and it must be pulled in a quick , smooth motion.Handguns are very sensitive to how that trigger is pulled !! Another sensitive thing is the positioning of the hand .Small changes can alter POI a large amout. For multipls shots the gun should not move in the hand !! It's better with a heavily recoiling gun to bend the elbows and let them act as shock absorbers than permit the gun to move in your hand.
Don't fall for gimmick sights like those glowing plastic ones now so popular now. For one thing they give different sight pictures whether you're in sun or shade !
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:37 AM   #19
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You get better/faster feedback...by shooting painted metallic spinner or silhouette targets.
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Old December 29, 2012, 11:50 AM   #20
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For me it was just learning to-So to say- Not just shoot,but concentrate on what you are doing. Pay attention to your cheek weld, where your finger is on the trigger,how you are sitting,standing ,laying. I see lots of people out at the range just shooting like mad men. They never get any better because they are not learning from what they are doing. You can shoot a million rounds,but if your not learnig from each shot you just pulling the trigger.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:05 PM   #21
Erno86
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Its like the old saying: "You'll have to learn how to walk before you can run" --- which relates to --- you'll have to learn how to shoot accurately before you can shoot faster. Everytime you shoot faster, you're going to give up some accuracy --- that's why your going to have to shoot A's or Close Charlie's, before you shoot faster with trade-off's in accuracy; but still hitting the A Zone.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:29 PM   #22
Frank Ettin
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I'm a big proponent of good professional training. Among other things, there is really no good substitute for a qualified instructor watching what you are doing and coaching you based on what he sees. Remember that practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Practice also makes permanent. If you keep practicing doing something wrong, you will become an expert at doing it wrong. So some good training shows you what to practice and how to practice it. It thus helps you avoid bad habits which later on can be an awful hassle to try to correct.

The first principle of accurate shooting is trigger control: a smooth, press straight back on the trigger with only the trigger finger moving. Maintain your focus on the front sight as you press the trigger, increasing pressure on the trigger until the shot breaks. Don't try to predict exactly when the gun will go off nor try to cause the shot to break at a particular moment. This is what Jeff Cooper called the "surprise break."

By keeping focus on the front sight and increasing pressure on the trigger until the gun essentially shoots itself, you don’t anticipate the shot breaking. But if you try to make the shot break at that one instant in time when everything seem steady and aligned, you usually wind up jerking the trigger. Of course the gun will wobble some on the target. Try not to worry about the wobble and don’t worry about trying to keep the sight aligned on a single point. Just let the front sight be somewhere in a small, imaginary box in the center of the target.

Also, work on follow through. Be aware of where on the target the front sight is as the shot breaks and watch the front sight lift off that point as the gun recoils – all the time maintaining focus on the front sight.

Practice deliberately, making every shot count, to program good habits and muscle memory. Dry practice is very helpful. You just want to triple check that the gun is not loaded, and there should be no ammunition anywhere around. When engaging in dry practice, religiously follow Rule 2 - Never Let Your Muzzle Cover Anything You Are Not Willing To Destroy." As you dry fire, you want to reach the point where you can't see any movement of the sight as the sear releases and the hammer falls.

Think: front sight, press, surprise.
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:40 PM   #23
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try and make some friends at the range ...hopefully better shooters...and ask them to help you out ....work on some drills, so you can set goals and work on them a little every week by yourself or with them.

A couple of things that I still do:

a. Target at 15, 21 or 30 ft depending on your ability....but I shoot a 6 shot string...as slow as possible ...and as accurately as possible. I want all 6 shots touching - and all 6 to be covered by a quarter ..if possible. I start my range session with that 6 shot string....and after an hour or two, no matter what I'm doing....I end with a 6 shot string the same way. I keep a little notebook in my shooting bag...and measure the outside diameter and log it, date, which gun, caliber, etc...

b. tactical accuracy is different from bulls eye accuracy. Adding in some speed to develop your skill and still stay in a 10" circle as an example - is still tactically accurate. A shot in the center - is no more effective than a shot on the edge of the 10" circle. You have to let your mind get over the fact that a 10" spread is great ...not just ok.

c. on a silhouette target ...draw a triangle ...nipple to nipple and then to belly button. That's a critical triangle. Any shot in that triangle is a great shot. ( not for a bulls eye shooter ....but its a Great shot for a Tactical Shooter ). You have to decide which you are trying to be...

d. as you get better....drawing from a holster...and double tapping a target from 9 Ft - 30 Ft ...say under 4 sec to start, then drop time to 3.5 sec, then 3.0 sec, then 2.5 sec....and stay tactically accurate....and invest in a good "shot timer".....

Somedays I use made up targets just from 'craft paper' ..colored blue or whatever.....and I just cut a 10" circle ....tape it to a silhouette target....and I shoot at that 10" circle....count my misses.../ if my standard is 3.0 sec.....I put a quarter in the "kitty" for every miss or for every time I go "over time allowed". I toss the money in a jar at home...its not the money so much, as holding yourself accountable ....to practice with a purpose.....not just "blowing holes in paper" all the time ..with no purpose.

Work on "reload drills" .....Draw...fire 2 ...reload ...fire 2 ...Holster. Work on the reload time..../ do it in the basement as a dry fire drill..../ stay tactically accurate..../ but figure out all the fine points of reloading...position of fingers on the mag...position of gun...muzzle up and at target....eyes focused on target...and front sight as you reload...reload ...roll gun into your grip and fire ...and reholster. Do it 50 times...then do it 3 more times...and log your split times...reload time..and split times.

all that little stuff....
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Old December 29, 2012, 03:44 PM   #24
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Practice.

But remember, the old saying "practice makes perfect" is UNTRUE. Practice carefully, because if you practice bad habits they become ingrained. Don't try to rush through a practice session. Don't keep shooting when you see your groups degrading or when you feel you are getting tired ... or bored. Don't get lazy and just start tossing off shots.

If your goal is to shoot better, the mantra should be "PERFECT practice makes perfect. Practice good habits, good sight picture, good breath control, and good trigger discipline, and your shooting WILL improve.
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Old December 29, 2012, 06:17 PM   #25
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Quote:
Zamudio09
Pistol 92fs. I am a beginner. I have been going to the range, today being my second with this gun, however I have made trips before shooting 1911s. So far I have gone once a week, and I plan to keep it this way at minimum. I have thought about taking classes. So far I keep all my targets, and compare to see if I'm improving. I would post some but they aren't anywhere near good. I mainly read about things and try to implement them, such as focusing on the front sight.
Start here:

Dry Fire
________________________________________
Here is a start, it's a drill you do at home and what you learn at home if you work it hard will carry over to the range.

If you hold your arm straight out in front of you and hold your thumb up can you see the striations on your thumbnail clearly using both eyes, in other words is it in focus? You are a bifocal creature, that is you have an eye on either side of your face and they will turn in to focus on that sight about 30" in front of your nose. If you can do that then both eyes should be working and you can focus on the front sight, That is the hard part and you can see well enough to shoot like a marksman.

Next step is get snap caps for the caliber of your choice and insert it into the gun. Some guns are okay to dry fire without snap caps but most rim fires require them. Even if you don't need them I insert them anyway because now I know for dead certain the gun is safe. Looking into the chamber tells me I have a snap cap or dummy round instead of a live round. It's cheap insurance.

Get a plain sheet of typing or copy paper and in the very center of the paper use a fine point pen with black ink and make a little cross with 2.5 cm horizontal and vertical lines. No larger. Fasten that paper on a horizontal surface at shoulder height in a location with good light.

Pick up your chosen handgun with the off hand and place it in your shooting hand and get a good grip. Grip it firmly like you would a handshake, not to loose, not so tight that you shake. Extend your arm so the muzzle of your gun is no more than a cm away from the paper. Focus on that front sight with both eyes. You will see that the vertical line goes straight up the middle of the sight and the horizontal line sits squarely on the top of your front sight. Your front sight should now be centered in the notch of your rear sight and level.

Now with the gun cocked, your focus entirely on the front sight you play a little mind game. Imagine the sight is one solid piece attached to the trigger. When you pull the trigger back you are trying to pull the front sight back through the center of your rear sight. If you pull, yank, anticipate, jerk, grab anything but a perfect trigger pull those lines will move away from the front sight like a seismometer detecting an earthquake.

The objective of this exercise is to get 10 perfect shots and what you will discover is that when your focus is on the sight/trigger you will have no idea when the gun goes off. That will be your good shot.

Now the fun begins, switch the gun to your left hand and start over again. You will be sweating and hurting and mad at me but I will guarantee you that the top shooters do this and this is why they are top shooters.

Now the easy part, get your two handed grip and take 10 more shots but this part is pretty redundant. The whole point of the exercise is to get your focus on the front sight while your trigger finger squeezes the trigger without disturbing your sight alignment no matter which hand or hands you are using. If you can do that you can do it standing on one leg leaning over a table shooting through a door at an oblique angle or hanging by your knees from a trapeze bar. You will not know what position you will be in when you have to shoot but sight picture and consistent trigger pull will increase your chances of hitting what you want shot. Using both eyes will aid in your sight picture.

That is the basic to get you started with. Next item is I never saw what you were using for ammunition. My suggestion if you are using anything but 40 grain solids in that gun you might be handicapping yourself a little, CCI Mini-mag standard velocity should work well in the 22A but let the gun tell you, by trying a few different types. Just stay away from the light weight hollow points or truncated cone shaped bullets and you will be good to go more times than not.

Has anybody showed you how to find your natural point of aim. Get in your natural shooting stance, close your eyes and raise your arm out to the shooting position. When you have your arm extended move it to the left and to the right and feel the tension in your back and chest, when you center your arm in a neutral position you have your natural pint of aim, Open your eyes and look at where your gun is pointing. If you are off the target move your rear foot to correct your position not your arm and not your waist. Drop your gun to ready position, (45 degrees), close your eyes and raise your arm. Look, are you now pointed at the target. If you are not adjust by shifting your whole body by moving your rear foot again. Once you find your natural point of aim remember it.

Not last but I will end this little book for now by telling you what you already know. When you get your natural point of aim down, your eyeballs focused on the front sight, your trigger under control try and spend more time on the slow fire target and not the close up time and rapid fire drills. They are good for your ego but don't teach you how to shoot. When you can consistently shoot groups at 25 and 50 yards you will be a shooter and the close up belly button range defensive fire practice will be easier.

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