View Full Version : RANGE: Low and to the left,9mm,45,38,22

August 28, 2007, 11:07 PM
With the temps up and the rain coming down, I have been going to the pistol range lately instead of the rifle range.
Since I'm primarily shooting pistols[no scopes or dots], I've noticed that I am shooting low and to the left of the bull’s-eye consistently.

With my scoped rifles I can expect all my shots grouped towards the bull’s-eye.

Any theories as to what I'm doing"wrong"?

August 28, 2007, 11:13 PM
Have someone else load your magazine with several live rounds and one dummy round without telling you when it's going to come up. A simple drill, but you can learn a lot from it...

August 28, 2007, 11:18 PM
Try this link. It may help.



August 28, 2007, 11:37 PM
your pulling the trigger, not sqeezing it, as you pull you are moving it slightly off center. try using the pad of your finger and not so close to the first knuckle. That is just a guess, but I bet it is a good one.

August 28, 2007, 11:55 PM
Try assuming a good stance and holding your gun with a good two handed hold with your finger on the trigger. Have a "helper" stand beside you and put their finger on top of your trigger finger and squeeze the trigger steadily with no hesitation.

Your only job is to keep the sights on the target - you have no control over the trigger except your finger is on it. I think you will be amazed at how accurate you are. I have done this exercise several times in classes. I found it very enlightening.

Like Rob Leathem (sp) says: "its all about trigger control stupid"; nothing personal.

We all try to time the let off to when the sight picture is "perfect". We are always behind the curve or worse, trying to force everything to be the way we want it to be. This exercise if nothing else shows sight picture wander averages out and is usually a better solution to accuracy than trying to force it.

August 29, 2007, 05:58 AM
It could also be that you are using the 1st joint in your trigger finger and not the pad.

Check this out. Very helpful.


August 29, 2007, 07:53 AM
Logs - Excellent tutorial video!!!

August 29, 2007, 08:45 AM
I think your first task is to find out what the pistol actually does. Fire a few rounds from a bench rest, something where you can bee very assured that you aren’t moving the pistol. A machine rest would be better but usually not practical. Once you know what the pistol actually does then you can start looking at your technique.

Are you using a double action or single action, a revolver or a semi auto. The trigger pull on the pistol can be one of your biggest impediments. My Kimber 45 has about 1/16 in. travel on the second stage of its pull and I can generally hold 3 in. at 20’ rapid fire. On the other hand, I fired my friends Sig 380 and I couldn’t hit anything because the trigger was horrible. Too long, kept expecting it to break but instead it just kept creeping back and by the time it finally did break I had lost the target.

August 29, 2007, 08:54 AM
Ohh and one other thing, I set the trigger in the first joint of my finger. I find that using the pad of my finger causes the gun to move too much. When dry firing my pistol and watching the movement of the bones and muscles in my hand through the trigger pull I find there is a lot more movement going on if I have my finger on the first pad. This is because it places the rest of my finger out away from the gun and unsupported. Whereas if I set it in the first joint of my finger then my finger is flat against the pistol and this cuts down on the number of parts in my hand that are moving thus giving me a steadier shot.

August 29, 2007, 08:59 AM

give that target a try ... it will hlep your shooting very well

August 29, 2007, 09:38 AM
Have someone else load your magazine with several live rounds and one dummy round without telling you when it's going to come up. A simple drill, but you can learn a lot from it...

+1 on that, except you can do the drill by yourself. Have 2 magazines, load one with a snap cap, and one with live. Mix them up in a bag and pull one out, and without looking load and chamber. You won't know which you loaded, so it's the same as the dummy load drill.
If you move on the snap cap, you know that you are anticipating the recoil.

Low left is almost always the above. You are anticipating the recoil and jerking the shot.

August 29, 2007, 10:26 AM
anticipating the shot just takes training. That target I posted about really helped me out.

August 29, 2007, 10:45 AM
Some other stuff I have noticed is my first shot of the day is almost always dead on and typically I can keep it there for the first couple of magazines (26 rnds) but by the time I get to maybe 50 rnds I find myself anticipating the recoil. Also by the time I get to 50 rnds I find that fatigue is beginning to have an effect.

I was going with my Dad to help him prepare for his CCW license, He was barrowing my pistol to take his test. My pistol is a 45 ACP Kimber Pro Carry Ten II and has a 13 rnd magazine. My Dad hasn’t really ever done any pistol shooting so when we first started I watched him as he would fire a shot and then reset himself and take aim and fire the next shot. Each shot was a separate and distinct operation allowing far too much time to think about he shot. After the first shot and really even the first shot I could see that he was really anticipating the recoil, the shots were all over the place. So trying to think of a way to interrupt this reflexive movement I told him to try just running out the magazine. To get the gun back on target as fast as he could and get off the next shot. This had the effect of taking his mind off of the recoil and focusing his concentration on recovering from the shot quickly and pulling the trigger. His groups immediately closed in to about 4 to 5 in. That’s for 13 rnds fired as quickly as he could recover from the shot and fire again. This for a first time shooter using a gun that was completely new to him.

Obviously there are some contributing factors here. For one, the gun itself will perform, clean trigger and very accurate. So all my Dad really had to deal with was overcoming his natural reflexes.

August 29, 2007, 01:16 PM
Thanks for the avalanche of feedback!!

Yes,I agree that I am anticipating the recoil.

Even with a solid 2 hand grip, I see that I am doing it.

I see why now I achieve better results one handed or braced on a bench.

At the rifle range,my setup is designed for recoil management.

This all makes sense now.

However, I do think I'll need some more range time to refine my skills...;)

August 29, 2007, 09:18 PM
You may want to do some dryfire practice. Shooting practice with a .22LR handgun is often helpful too.

Be VERY careful about dryfiring. Many negligent discharges happen when starting, stopping or when interrupted during dryfire practice.