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Old July 13, 2013, 10:57 PM   #1
MissPistol
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What to do tomorrow

My new 19. I worked with it for the first time last weekend, and am getting acquainted with grip, stance, sighting, etc. My shooting isn't terrible, considering I am a beginner. I keep it on the paper, and when I aim at a particular spot on the paper I do basic little groups. The target is still pretty close at this point - I am guessing 10 yds or so (?).

Tomorrow I am going back to the range. What order of events after I warm up with my 1-shot, 1-shot, 4-shot warmup.

Put the target farther away? Put uip 2 targets =- one close and one farther away and try going back and forth? multiple shots in a row? I have a couple hundred rounds I can burn, so I can do a variety of things. Whaddya all think?
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Old July 13, 2013, 11:38 PM   #2
BuckRub
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Whatever you do, do it right. Don't get overboard with a lot of training if you're training for bad habits. I'd rather do more dry firing drills at home and run a few different drills at range for recoil but don't get carried away by speed right now or distance. Remember smooth and consistency = fast and accurate. Master the trigger and point of aim.
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Old July 13, 2013, 11:39 PM   #3
JohnKSa
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I like to break things up between practicing "speed" and accuracy.

I used quotes around "speed" because I'm not really talking about seeing how fast I can shoot, more how about well I can manage trying to get shots on target without unnecessary delay. I could call it recoil management practice or followup shot practice and still be saying the same thing.

To practice "speed", try concentrating on the mechanics of shooting (trigger press AND release, sight alignment) while trying not to pause in between shots. You're not rushing, you're just eliminating any unnecessary delays.

This will help you fine tune your grip and stance by highlighting problems. If you find yourself being pushed backwards as your shot string progresses then you need to adjust your stance. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward slightly to remain stable and to use your upper body weight to control the gun.

If you find that you're having to readjust your grip on the gun between shots, you need to reexamine your grip to see why you can't maintain a good shooting grip throughout a shot string.

You should be making good hits on your target (inside a 6" to 8" circle). If you find your groups are growing unacceptably or if you feel you're flinching then you can stop that for awhile and work on just the basics with a focus on accuracy without worrying about the time aspects at all.
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Old July 14, 2013, 12:19 AM   #4
SgtLumpy
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If you're looking for marksmanship accuracy, I typically do this -

Shoot a target at your 10 yd range. Don't focus on how close you came to the bullseye or what the score totaled. Figure out what your group size is. At this point, for this exercise, it's not really important if your group is the size of a quarter or the size of a basketball. Just take not of it.

Now move the target out to 15 yds. See if you can keep your group the same size as you had at 10.

Move out to 20 yds, repeat, etc.

I feel like what that kind of exercise does is -

1) It measures your "tired" factor. ie, as you shoot more and more rounds your arms will tire. You'll learn how many rounds you can shoot before getting the shakes, the weak trigger finger, the jerks etc.

2) It allows your eye-brain to focus less on the tiny bullseye in the center and more on the entire target or even the entire frame if you're far enough away. At some distance, maybe 50, you can't even see the bull. When you're there you have to focus on where you KNOW the bull is based on everything else on the target. It's not unlike shooting a deer or a silhouette. You don't have a 1" dot to aim at. You have a much larger area.

I recommend always starting with something easy and predictably successful. Don't start out at 50 or farther. And I recommend always ending with the same kind of easy and predictably successful shots. If you end with the most difficult shots, you leave the range thinking "I'm not that good". Likewise, if you begin with the most difficult you go on to the next stages thinking "I can't hit the broad side..." etc.

Then some other day(s) work on other stuff like speed, reloading, weak hand, one hand etc.

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Old July 14, 2013, 11:18 PM   #5
MissPistol
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I did it.

What you all said, that is. I set up two sets of targets. One at appr 10 yds, the other at about 15-20 (guessing). I used stickon Shoot-n-sees. I took photos but haven't figured out how to post them yet - help!

I'll try to explain. I am very consistent - but in the wrong way. I would shoot 10 rounds at a target, aiming at the middle. Almost all of the shots were high and to the right. 9 would go into a basic group, and one would go off the target. weird. Some of the targets are a conglomeration of several sets of 10, and experiments of some kind, but a couple of targets were limited to a set of ten - one at each distance, so I could check it out. Turns out I am not sure it matters - I am doing the same thing almost all the time, whatever it is.

I finally figured out I was subconciously aiming at the bright yellow line ABOVE the center point and that improved the basic placement, but they were still consistently high. Am I aiming right? my sights on the 19 are square ends of a U at the outside, with a circle dot in the middle. I am trying to draw a line that just touches the tops of them all. I wear prescription glasses, so that probably complicates things a bit. I assume I need to adjust to some element.

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Old July 14, 2013, 11:57 PM   #6
JohnKSa
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Quote:
I am trying to draw a line that just touches the tops of them all.
That is correct.

Most likely, what's happening is that you're anticipating recoil or you're focusing on the target instead of the sights--or both. Both are extremely common mistakes and ones that can affect even experienced shooters.

The former is common across the board, and the latter is more common when the shooter is trying to speed things up a little.
Quote:
I am very consistent...
Consistency can be misleading because it's a pretty vague term without more careful qualification.

What I mean by that is: assuming corrected vision reasonably close to normal, the ability to see the front sight clearly, normal upper body strength, and normal hand-eye coordination abilities, then at 25 yards a shooter should be capable of shooting 5 shot groups that measure around 3-4" or so. Your pistol is very likely capable of shooting 5 shots into a group that is smaller than 3" when shooter error is eliminated. At 10 yards, the gun is probably capable of shooting groups with all the rounds touching each other.

That's not meant to be discouraging. Having that information will help a new shooter who is focused on trying to improve to understand clearly just how much they are affecting the on-target results. In other words, even groups that look consistent actually contain a significant amount of shooter error.

So the shot that's flying out of the group every now and then isn't really as much of an anomaly as it seems. It's just that for some reason, that shot is the "beneficiary" of more shooter error than the other shots.

What you're going through is very normal and it's part of the progression of improving. At this point, you can do some more practice at the range, but some home practice will also probably be very beneficial. Here's a resource that explains how to practice safely in the home.

http://www.corneredcat.com/article/p...y-fire-safety/

Obviously you can't learn recoil management or practice followup shots at home, but you can learn sight alignment, sight focus and trigger management at home.

When you dryfire practice, focus on keeping the sights on target not only while pulling/pressing/squeezing the trigger, but also during the trigger release phase.

Here's a good primer on posting pictures.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292842
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:03 AM   #7
Jim243
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Welcome to the forum. You are shooting a 9 mm if using a G19. Different weight bullets will have different points of impact. Heavier bullets will impact higher than lighter bullets with the same point of aim.

For 9 mm I like the 124 grain bullets, but 115 grain ones are more common.

Guns are funny, some like one brand of ammo and then others like different ones, you will need to try out different brands and configurations (FMJ), hollow points, round nose, flat point, semi-jacketed, etc... till you find the ones that work best in your gun and barrel. (this is normal)

You indicated that you were starting out a 10 yards (30 feet). Defensive handgun shooting should be measured in feet instead of yards. Most defensive shooting is short range. I would recommend that you start at 10 feet and then move out to 20 feet and finally 30 feet (10 Yards).

If you have a proper grip on your pistol, then forget about the rear sight. You need to concentrate on the front sight only (especially since you wear glasses) your eyes will not focus on both sets of sights at the same time. It is the front sight that is important. Hold your front sight directly on the center of the bullseye and shoot 5 rounds (slowly) if you are still hitting high then lower your front sight to a 6 o'clock hold just UNDER the bullseye. Use the tip of your trigger finger instead of wrapping it around the trigger and get the feel of how and when it will fire. (this is trigger control) Your shots then should not be going high right.

Start slow aimed fire and then work your way up to rapid double taps. With practice at 10, 20 & 30 feet you will get better as you learn the gun and how it shoots.

Good luck and stay safe.
Jim
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Old July 15, 2013, 12:11 AM   #8
SgtLumpy
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If you're shooting groups all in the same neighborhood, that's fine. The occasional flyer is, just as JohnK suggests, simple shooter error. You've proven you can shoot good groups. Keep doing that. See if you can sense what it is that you do when you send the flyer. I think most people can. We can feel when "Man I jerked that one" or similar.

Shoot good groups. If it turns out that you're consistantly high or low or left or right, then think about your aim point or your sights. But way before that, shoot a lot of good groups.


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Old July 16, 2013, 06:20 AM   #9
Al Thompson
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I'm going to be the odd man out. I'd recommend that now's the time to get some class time with a good trainer. Having someone watch, show and coach you will get you over that learning curve much, much faster.

http://www.corneredcat.com/classes/

http://firearmsacademy.com/classes/handgun
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Old July 16, 2013, 10:44 AM   #10
Frank Ettin
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I agree with Al. Some professional training at this stage would be an excellent idea.

Remember that practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. And practice also make permanent, so if you do it wrong over and over you'll become an expert at doing it wrong.

Good, professional training helps you learn what to practice.
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Old July 21, 2013, 02:43 AM   #11
skizzums
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i only started seriuosly pistol shooting about 4-5 months ago, this article really helped, especially the 1-2 drills. im no master at it, but ive gotten purty darn good in a short amount of time. just keep practicing, it took my fiance a good 500+ round just to keep it on the paper, and 1k later, she does well enough to protect herself.
http://www.best9mm.com/shootingtip.html
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Old July 21, 2013, 03:01 PM   #12
RBid
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MissPistol,

I see that you're from Portland. There is a fantastic place to shoot on the Vancouver, WA side of the river. It's called "English Pit", and it is an outdoor range. You can take your own rounds, the charge is about $15, and you can set the targets on the handgun range at comfortable distances.

One of the things that I would recommend is setting the targets up close to start. Get them set up at 5 yards or so, and focus on trigger control. Try to stack rounds on the bullseye. Don't worry about moving the target back for awhile. When the target is closer, you'll have an easier time seeing where your shots are hitting, so you'll have immediate feedback on your performance.

As you get more comfortable, start to speed up a little. With 10 rounds in the mag, try tracking the front sight as it lifts off target, then settles back down. As you do so, try to fire each round faster than the one before it. Through it all, try to maintain trigger control.

In time, basic practices like this will help you shoot more accurately, and with improved speed.
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