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Old January 25, 2014, 05:07 PM   #1
sigp226wgerman
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Help me improve my pistol shooting

I have been shooting rifles for a long time but recently started shooting pistols in March and would like to shoot better. I usually shoot to the left. My groups are usually about 3-4" at 7 yards. I usually shoot a Springfield Loaded 1911 in 45ACP or a SIG P226 in 9MM at 7 yards. I shoot weaver with both eyes open but I am right hand left eye dominant. I sometimes have problems focusing on the front sight with both eyes open. Should I try to close my right eye (non-dominant eye)? Are there any main things to focus on next time I go shoot? Any specific targets? Thanks for the help. I do have a Ruger MKIII 22 pistol. Anything I can do with the 22 to improve my centerfire shooting?
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Old January 25, 2014, 07:46 PM   #2
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Lots of things come to mind, but primarily I would focus on trigger control, slow trigger press, let the break "surprise" you. Dry fire practice at home with snap caps. Aim, slowly press the trigger (straight back), and when the trigger breaks, your sights should never have left the bullseye. This helps a lot of new shooters and is easy and free (I.e.- no ammo used).

I'm sure there will be other suggestions coming.
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Old January 25, 2014, 10:01 PM   #3
1stmar
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If you only target shooting, close the eye if it helps. Two eyes open can be tough, start with one eye closed and squinting with the other eye gradually opening it more and more. Personally I prefer the isosceles stance but there is nothing wrong w a weaver. For best results start w body alignment, front sight on target close eyes reopen and adjust your stance till the gun naturally stays on target. Focus on front sight and slowly break the trigger. Some things to check. Get your strong hand as high on the grip as you can, make sure just the tip of your finger is on the trigger. If you are shooting low left you may be anticipating recoil.
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:50 PM   #4
tahunua001
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I am left eye dominant and right handed. I've found that if I shut my right eye and cock my head over and shoot with my left then I often am off balanced and my accuracy suffers more than with both eyes open. I close my left eye leaving the right to become the dominant and lines up with my right handed sight picture perfectly and does not affect my balance.
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Old January 26, 2014, 09:47 AM   #5
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Dot scopes help, too.
They kind of force you to use the correct eye.
It's a good training tool, in addition to being an vision aid.
Any mistake in form will cause the dot to disappear, off screen.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:23 AM   #6
kraigwy
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Keep shooting with both eyes open. Closing one eye and cocking your head as mentioned screws up your equaliberam and tires the eyes.

If you shoot right handed and are left eye dominant, then tape a piece of dark paper on the right lens of you shooting glasses (which if you don't were START) and keep both eyes open.

You say you're shooting to the left; didn't say how much. You can adjust your impact with your trigger finger. I can't say for sure if its the problem without watching you shoot. Slide your trigger finger in the direction you want to move your impact same as you would the rear sight.

If you're shooting to the left slide your trigger finger a bit to the right, and if shooting to the right, push your trigger finger farther into the trigger guard.

You concentrate on the front sight. You have three objects in your sight picture. The rear sight, front sight, and target. You cannot concentrate on more then one thing. That has to be the front sight.

Trigger control is critical. Everything can be perfect but you can screw it up with poor trigger control.

Trigger control is SMOOTH,....notice I didn't say "slow squeeze", I said "smooth".

For example if shooting double action, or a striker fired gun, Don't slowly pull the trigger while your trying to keep the front sight on the target. Pull your trigger smoothing and continuously.


Grip is important. Assuming you are shooting with two hands. Get a firm but not tight grip with your right hand (you said you shoot right handed). If your grip is too tight, your hand starts shaking plus it makes it hard to move the trigger without disturbing the sight picture. If the shooting hand is more relaxed there is less disturbance with movement by the trigger finger. Don't let the trigger finger touch the gun anywhere but on the trigger.

If you need a more firm grip, then grip hard with your left or support hand.

The best method of working on trigger control and grip is to use a laser sight. You can see what is happening when the trigger falls by watch the red dot on your dry fire target.

Some say put a dime on your barrel and dry fire without the dime falling off, that's ok I guess but you're concentrating on the dime. It tells you nothing about what is going on at the target.

Dry firing is critical in rifle and pistol shooting. But like live fire you must follow the basic rules of firearm safety.

Treat every gun as its loaded. There is always a chance that the gun you are dry firing isn't dry.

Keep the trigger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot OR DRY FIRE

Don't aim at anything you don't want to shoot. You'd hate to be dry
firing at your neighbors dog and find out you're not dry firing.

Be sure of your back stop, or what's behind the target. Put your dry fire target in a location where as if you screw up, and have a round in you gun, you don't want to screw up and put a round through the wall without knowing what's on the other side of that wall.

It is just too easy to for get to unload your handgun when dry firing. I've done it. But I dry fire at my pistol targets in my back yard range.

Hope this helps a bit, It's about the best I can offer without watching you shoot.
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Old January 26, 2014, 02:11 PM   #7
Erno86
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You might be able to mind train your right eye to focus on the front sight, while your left dominant eye focuses on the target. You'll have to train your subconscious that it will focus into a single sight picture; though it may not work in dim lighted situations.

In most gun confrontations, a Weaver style shooter will still revert to a Modern Isosceles stance, regardless. So why not train in the Modern Isosceles stance?
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:03 PM   #8
Frank Ettin
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One of the instructors in our group is right handed and left eye dominant. He keeps his head erect and just turns it slightly to the right to line his left eye up with the sights. He doesn't cock his head, it strains the muscles. But keeping one's head erect does not.

It works well for him. And now I use a similar technique when I practice shooting with my left hand (since I'm right handed and right eye dominant).
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Old January 26, 2014, 05:53 PM   #9
sigp226wgerman
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Thanks for the help guys. I went shooting today and really focused on the front sight and trigger manipulation. I used isosceles and closed my left eye. Here is 5 shots at 7 yards.
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Old January 26, 2014, 07:17 PM   #10
1stmar
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Nice shooting. Start working your way back to 25 yards
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:03 PM   #11
MtnMike1
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This is a timely post for me being new to handguns and it reinforces much of the material I've read online. However there is also much on line , ex. Massad Ayoob says to grip the weapon as hard as you can, even if it's shaking. Some say feet apart shoulder width with a slight lean forward while others say one foot in front of the other. I'm sure over time we all learn what works best for us but it is confusing for a beginner.
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:08 PM   #12
1stmar
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Realty depends on what you are practicing for. IMO isosceles is a better position for target shooting, then say weaver. It allows you to return from recoil easier, natural body alignment is better and I feel it is more stable. However, weaver is a better defensive stance as your profile is smaller.
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Old January 27, 2014, 01:53 AM   #13
Home Defense Gun
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Try using what Massad Ayoob calls the Power Stance - basically the isosceles with the firing side foot a bit back. I learned the isosceles but found myself always dropping the foot back in stress situations. You should be in a slight crouch, shoulders hunched forward. Do a search on Power Stance, there is a lot to it.

I second what everyone else has said about front sight focus and grip. Keep at it.
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:38 AM   #14
kraigwy
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Quote:
Some say feet apart shoulder width with a slight lean forward while others say one foot in front of the other. I'm sure over time we all learn what works best for us but it is confusing for a beginner.
Find and dandy for target shooting. Choose what is comfortable for you not who's telling you what stance to use.

For SD, practice from setting in a chair, recliner, car seat, laying on you butt on the floor, or ducking for cover.
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Old January 27, 2014, 01:25 PM   #15
zombietactics
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There is only so much you can learn by reading the words of others.

Shooting a gun is not unlike any other physical skill ... I can't imagine being given advice on playing basketball in an internet forum, and getting much value from it.

I'd suggest training ... a good self-defense or competition-type class from a qualified instructor could work miracles.
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Old January 27, 2014, 02:19 PM   #16
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Agree with zombietactics. From an earlier post of mine:

Quote:
You would not try to learn how to waterski, how to perform gymnastics, or how to hanglide by reading a book or watching a video. Shooting skills are no less physical than these endeavors, and equally require a certain amount of hands-on physical learning.
It really is very inefficient to practice bad habits, especially when trying to guess at what (competent? incompetent? How do you know, online?) people mean via the written word. When you get yourself into a professional firearms training class, you will be amazed at how fast you progress, how much you did not know, and how much you assumed that was incorrect.

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Old January 27, 2014, 04:53 PM   #17
Erno86
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"Don't be afraid to work around these stances to come up with a mutation that works for you. You might need to adapt the Weaver, the Isosceles or both to suit you."
Quote: Richard Mann of Shooting Illustrated
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:00 PM   #18
sigp226wgerman
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Is that good shooting?
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:30 PM   #19
1stmar
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It's a good start. That would be a very good group (without the flyer) from 3.5x the distance. From 15 yards it would be good and from 7yds it's a good start. Imo
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Old January 27, 2014, 06:43 PM   #20
Cowboy_mo
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Quote:
I am right hand left eye dominant. I sometimes have problems focusing on the front sight with both eyes open.
I share your problem and 'fought it' for years. I learned how to close my dominant eye and focus on the front sight with my right. I had pretty good results.

My Dad et. al. told me for years to learn to shoot 'both eyes open' because it would be important should I ever find myself in a "defensive situation". Well no matter what I tried, I couldn't make it work.

Then about 6 years ago I took my CCW class with a guy who was a self defense instructor and shared my cross dominance problem. He taught me a lot of things in 16 hours including how to shoot with both eyes open and using the dominant left eye while shooting right handed. The trick .... cock your head to the right which puts your left eye (dominant) above the right and voila your dominant eye is now directly line up on the front sight!

My shooting improved dramatically and we spent less than 2 hours actually shooting.

P.S. From a SD standpoint he also taught us to forget about practicing 'bullseye' shooting and concentrate on getting a double tap anywhere on a 8 1/2 by 11 inch target from a holster or gun in ready (muzzle down) position as quickly as possible!
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Old January 27, 2014, 07:04 PM   #21
Constantine
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Oh man. To me it's simple. But I've been a pistol shooter since age 12.
When I get a new gun it takes a bit of time though, like several magazines to get accurate at least. Training is entirely different. Anyways, shooting a lot and or dry firing. Learning where the tigger resets is a great thing.
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Old January 27, 2014, 10:02 PM   #22
DannyB1954
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This is a guide for a right hander. reverse it if you are a lefty
http://www.m1911.org/technic30.htm
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