View Full Version : Comments on my practice.

September 10, 2006, 10:06 AM
Besides the safety course I'm on my own.
I practice target shooting at 25 ft indoors and and 25 yards outdoors
using the same 25 yard slow fire pistol paper targets.

After few months, my shots are almost all now inside the circle, with
the clusters more on the left, than right. This is true irregardless of
cal( 40, 45 or 9). I'm a lefty.

I'm please with my humble progress, since when I started, I could not even
hit that damm paper!!!!!
Is it my trigger pull, focus or grip or all of the above that needs more
refinement? Thanks .

September 10, 2006, 10:24 AM
Lefty and you're grouping slightly left? Off the top of my head, it sounds like a little too much finger in your squeeze--say, somewhere around the inside of the first knuckle? Should be somewhere between the first knuckle and the pad of your finger tip. Too much finger tends to pull towards your strong hand, not enough finger tends to push towards your weak hand.

September 10, 2006, 10:26 AM
You didn't mention which sort of pistols you're using. Do they have fixed or adjustable sights? It could be as simple as a sight adjustment.

When I get the "flinchies" (sort of the golf putting equivalent, "the yips"), I tend to pull to the right (I'm right handed).

You might want to do some practice with a .22 before pulling out the hand cannons. That might help, and will certainly save you some money.

September 10, 2006, 02:59 PM
ennikor, what exactly are you practicing for? What is the context of the training?

Are you practicing to be a bullseye shooter on paper only? Are you concerned at all about self defense applications?

I can not comment until I know what your goals are.

September 10, 2006, 03:59 PM
You may be clutching the gun too tightly, and/or you may be using the joint of your finger or even the middle section of the finger to actually pull the trigger, and in so doing, you are pulling the gun as you shoot. Check your sights with a boresight (or have someone do this for you at a gun shop). Have someone watch you shoot and see how your posture is, too. You may not be standing correctly. Also, do you know which eye is dominant?

Hope some of those ideas help.


September 10, 2006, 04:41 PM
Oh by the way, I think on further thought, the "clusters" are more on the
right of the bullseye, and I am a Lefty!!! Sorry about that. A few are hitting
bullseye but most are slightly right!!!

I figure it is a combination of the supporting hand not gripping too much
or something to do with the way I push the trigger backward.

By the way this is what I do for bullseye shooting only.

For defensive practice which I also started, I use a human paper
Sillouette and try to hit everything in the center of mass as fast as I
can. I started with double tap then, decided to hit about 5 shots in a row,
25 feet indoors. I started slow, then becoming faster, now hitting the
subject with all shots, all except for a rare Bullseye are slightly right,
but hitting where the heart is, left lung and lower lung area.
Comments are appreciated!!!!

silicon wolverine
September 10, 2006, 05:47 PM
Im a lefty and i do this as well. its your trigger finger sliding in too much. Youre actually pulling the trigger with the joint of your finger. Watch yourslef and youll catch it. Its a tough one to break but practice makes perfect.


September 10, 2006, 07:07 PM
ennikor, There is bullseye accuracy and there is combat accuracy. Bullseye accuracy is important (fundamentels are always important,) but not as important as combat accuracy in the context of combat training.

There should be a balance between speed and accuracy. If you are training within the context of self defense you should be looking for hits inside of the thoracic cavity. This can be determined by an eight inch paper plate in the upper chest area.

Remember that most people die when the attacker is within six feet. You need to work more from the six feet to seven yard mark. Once you get into this proximity and you are working the balance between speed and accuracy, within the self defense context, your slight trigger control problems will stop being much of an issue.

If you train within the realities of the most likely self defense situations you will find that a minor trigger control problem is not that big a deal when the SHTF.

I have been trained extensively out to 25 yards with a handgun in the past, working through much of the same issues that you are going through. The reality is that a 25 yard shot in self defense is an extremely rare accurance.

I have also seen that many times a trigger control problem can come from "thinking too much" and "taking too much time." Some people are just better when they are training within the self defense context. They do not have that time to think too much.

September 13, 2006, 09:30 AM
You can get in a "rut" by only shooting at "fixed" distances. I don't think that any bad guy will oblige you by getting out to 25 feet or 25 yards. Think "real world", which usually means that handgun shoot-outs take place at much closer distances, and RARELY all the way out to 25 yards.
Just be VERY cautious when firing at targets that are INCHES away from you!

As for groupings being mostly on the left side, my first guess would be that your trigger finger is too far up on the trigger, but it COULD also mean that you're not locking your wrist and elbow. The majority of handguns will torque to the left, so it's also possible that your stance needs to be adjusted slightly.

You said that you're "on your own", as far as practise. I'd suggest that you try to find a shooting buddy, and preferably someone with as much experience, if not more, as you. Being "on your own" means that you might pick up bad habits and not even realize it. A reliable shooting buddy would be able to monitor your shooting skills and give you critiques/suggestions. Turn that around, and return the monitoring for your shooting buddy. Believe me, BOTH of you will benefit!

When you shoot at the "same place and same thing" all the time, you will also get into a "rut". Try to vary your shooting practise by using "irregular" targets, if possible. As it is with the standard paper targets (bullseye/silhouette), you get used to seeing black with a white outline.
Try some home-made targets that have small dots or circles on larger pieces of cardboard. Try shooting at over-ripe fruit (apples, oranges, canteloupes, watermelons, etc.). How about out-dated eggs, or maybe even "Necco" wafer candy?
Helium-filled ballons on a relatively calm day?
Maybe some "jury-rigged" pop-up targets? Targets on pulley set-ups? Be creative! Of course, you won't be able to do any of these things at a "formal" range....so, maybe look around for a safe spot that is "remote". Heck, you can blow up fruit, eggs, "Necco" wafers all day long without having to worry about cleaning it up! The "critters" will LOVE you!

Lastly, most shooters abide by the rules of being fully rested before shooting, not consuming coffee or tea for at least 30 minutes, no consumption of alcoholic beverages, no smoking for at least an hour beforehand, wearing ear and eye protection while shooting, etc. Is that the "real" world?
Maybe I'm a "sinner", for I have broken ALL of those rules quite often! The only one that I won't break "all the way" is consuming an "excessive" amount of alcohol while shooting! Anything beyond, say, 2 beers, CAN impair you greatly! (By the way, I am 60 years old, and recently had a complete physical exam. My doctor asked me about my alcohol consumption, and I honestly told him that I only drink 3 beers, and not on a daily basis. I was surprised when he said that "It doesn't matter if it's beer, wine or mixed drinks....3 drinks is considered as being 'medicinal'. Anything beyond that is 'in excess'.")

September 13, 2006, 09:44 AM
As was already said, there's bullseye accuracy and there's combat accuracy.

So what is it you're training for?

Most people around here (on TFL) are interested in self defense for the most part. So if that's what you're training for, and you're putting all your shots in the ring at 25 yards, then you're now just wasting ammo and time.

You're next step (if training for combat) is to get hooked up with a local IDPA organization and take the next step toward training for "sort of" actual defense scenarios. This is where it gets really fun as well. ;)


September 14, 2006, 03:16 PM
You're fine. Practice transitioning some hand combat and movement to your gun. It's cool you can shoot, learn to protect yourself if you're muzzle gets averted or you end up having to fight a guy off to get to your gun. There are some key defensive movements you can make which give you time to reach for your gun. Also learn how to use it in close to your body. Position 2 of the 4 point drawstroke.

September 23, 2006, 12:37 AM
Lefty shooting on the left but still "in the circle". LEAVE IT ALONE! Unless you decide to do competition or you're just plain anal retentive, your shooting is fine. I guarantee if you shoot "just slightly left" of center mass on a BG, he'll go phlunk, down on the floor, and the coroner won't even recommend a sight correction.