View Full Version : Why do I shoot all handguns low compared to other people?

March 30, 2009, 09:17 PM

I've noticed that I consistently shoot handguns low compared to other people...I always have to adjust the sights to shoot higher. And on guns with fixed sights, that's just not possible...

Anyone know what is different about how I see things compared to most people, and what can I do? :confused:

March 30, 2009, 09:33 PM
When you site your target are looking at the sites or the targets and whats the last thing you see when you shoot. when I am and looking down the sites my front site is my main focus on the target not the target itself.I can see my targets but the front site is my main focus and the last thing I see when I Shoot is the front site and normally I can put them where I want.Granted I am not the best shooter around but pretty consistent unless I am tired or have a off day.

March 30, 2009, 10:04 PM
All people are differant. Adjust your sights to fit you and dont worry how other people set their sights.

March 30, 2009, 10:16 PM
Agree dont worry about other shooters and how they shot, However the OP when shooting fixed sites and he is shooting low and looking for general ideas or tips to try to help for what he can not adjust manually as he can with adjustable sites.

March 31, 2009, 12:16 AM
If you're shooting a fixed sight handgun and your shots are going low, you should look at your trigger pull before you blame the gun.

are you attempting to counteract the recoil by trying to push the front of the gun back down? this will cause your shots to go low.

get a small sandbag or something somewhat soft and relatively heavy (a folded up jacket will work) and hold the gun on it. set your sight picture and pull the trigger. do this repeatedly so you get a shot group. if the shots are all going where your sights are pointed, the problem is your trigger pull. if it is still going low, look at the ammo. In 9mm at least, this can happen on some guns with 115g ammo. with Sigs at least, this is common. they test fire the guns using 124g ammo, which acts differently than the 115g that you would normally use for target practice. How would you go about fixing this while still using your target ammo? Use a taller rear sight. On a fixed sight handgun, this isn't an option, so your choice is to either aim higher (figuring out where you need to aim in order to land dead center) or switch ammo.

March 31, 2009, 01:15 AM
Iv seen some one use this before to help with shooting technique I personally think it KIND of works, perhaps re-phrase a few of em but I think its a general idea hope it helps. The only reason why I think it KIND of works, well occasionally in my groupings (with a rifle) it goes a little down and left=jerking slapping of the trigger. which I agree with.


March 31, 2009, 03:13 AM

Just kidding , Scrap, I can't sleep tonight.
I aim for the knees, I'm only 5'5":(

On a serious response to your question; Does this happen with different handguns? If so, it could be your "sight- alignment" or "sight-picture". Especially if you are using the same type of target. Does your support hand tighten and pull down as you fire? Just some thoughts that came to me.

March 31, 2009, 12:07 PM
If shooting a revolver try putting one snap cap in and the rest live rounds give it a spin.Now see what happens. This can be done with autos also.Try it.You might see what is going on. Dry fire,Dry fire,Dry fire, 10 min a day will help all kinds of bad habbits.

April 4, 2009, 10:24 PM
I shoot every pistol I have ever shot about 3" low. I agree with the 3rd post
All people are differant. Adjust your sights to fit you and dont worry how other people set their sights.

You are the shooter it is your gun, make that work together.


April 9, 2009, 10:45 PM
That sounds like anticipation of the shot, or over adjustment for recoil. One quick way to test is to use your weaker hand, or to turn the firearm upside down (not joking). If it is corrected with these "distractions," then your sights are fine.

Thank you Aunt Cindy ;)

April 10, 2009, 02:29 AM
If you are shooting low AND left, 7-8 o'clockish, (right handed), you're likely moving the gun off target when you pull the trigger.

If that's the case, try using just the last pad of your trigger finger to fire. Too much finger in there can pull the gun off POA. Focus on pulling straight back and try not to anticipate the shot, it may cause you to flinch and be off target.

Focusing on the front sight is proper, but don't forget to make sure the top of it is even with the top of the rear sights. It could be while you are focusing on the front site, you may not have noticed that it dropped below even with the rear sites.

For the site picture, I think of the front site as a golf 'T'. My target is the bullseye, which is just above my front site. Like a golfball set on a golf 'T'. (hope that makes sense) My handguns are pretty much all good for bullseyes with that site picture out to about 10 yards. Beyond that I use a 6 o'clock hold and make slight north/south adjustments in POA to hit the bull. With practice you can get a good feel for how far south a POA is needed for desired POI at various distances.

Hope this is helpful, it cost me plenty of $ in ammo to learn but it was worth it.

April 10, 2009, 04:53 AM
I found this chart useful.

http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/2784/targetgif.th.gif (http://img10.imageshack.us/my.php?image=targetgif.gif)

May 5, 2009, 12:07 PM
If that's the case, try using just the last pad of your trigger finger to fire. Too much finger in there can pull the gun off POA. Focus on pulling straight back and try not to anticipate the shot, it may cause you to flinch and be off target 100%+ That was my problem. Eliminated that with less trigger pull weight as well.

May 5, 2009, 12:19 PM
Try compensating and aim a little higher? :D

September 9, 2009, 10:41 PM
Dry fire practice...a lot. Sounds like you may be anticipating the shot/recoil. Practice, practice, practice. If you can, get some dummy rounds and have someone else load your magazine and not let you look. When you get to the dummy round, you will understand what anticipation is.

November 5, 2009, 11:26 PM
You are flexing your wrist down in anticipation of the muzzle rise. Get a wrist band for your shooting hand, cup your strong hand with your off hand and besure to pull the trigger straight back with the tip of your finger. That should correct your shooting.


November 15, 2009, 04:56 PM
Lots of good advice here... If it's an option for you, get it diagnosed by a pro. They can often quickly spot things that you may not even realize that you're doing.

From what you've said, I'm guessing that you've not been in a good formal training class, otherwise I expect that you would have had good first-hand feedbacks from your instructor(s). Get that training if you can.

November 18, 2009, 04:45 AM
Could be everybody else is shooting high.

I won't revisit the other great suggestions,this one is a little different.

Any possibility your trigger squeeze is using your whole hand?

Pinky and ring fnger squeeze will drop the muzzle.

Couldbe,if your grip is way firmer than the others you'd shoot lower.

How are your groups??If you are shooting tight groups,likely you are doing most things right.Loose groups,,I have had problems myself with a "premature recovery from recoil" bad habit.

Follow through,call the shot.

January 14, 2010, 04:47 PM
It takes some concentration and an open mind. A really open mind. I have only been able to instruct those who listen. In my line of thinking listening is doing.
You might be shooting low because of what is mentioned above. "Bucking the gun." Anticipating the recoil. If you are then you might be shooting a heavier caliber. There are good fixes posted in the prior postings.

You might be shooting low because you are dipping your head when you shoot. As stupid as it sounds people do it as a habit learned from hunkering behind a rifle IMHO.
The line of sight is critical. It begins from the shooter's eye and continues through "aligned" sights to the bull. Trust me when I tell you I have seen countless people shoot low because of hunkering their head each and every time they get ready to fire.

Bring the pistol up to your line of sight. Do not lower your eyes to the pistol's line of sight.
Focus on the front sight and not the target and let the bullet go. Do not focus on the target.
Target alignment. Place the top of the front sight where you want the bullet to go.
When shooting a pistol remember this one thing. You will be hard pressed to notice if the muzzle moves during the shot. No matter how much focus you are paying attention to the front sight.

Dry firing may not help if you are shooting low if you are having a problem with sight alignment. You need feedback.

January 14, 2010, 04:56 PM
Generally I need to hold at 6:00 with my revolvers .357 and .44mag

with my semiautos I hold the little dot on the front sight dead on bullseye.

I'm not sure if it's the grip angle difference or what but this is what I have to do.

Claude Clay
January 17, 2010, 02:56 PM
everyones eyes are a bit different. heck, even your right eye is a taste different from your left one. so why not that bone structure varies also?

try tilting your wrist up a bit and than locking it in that position when you squeeze off a shot. said another way--acquire your target as you usually do and then before the shot is taken cock your wrist up and resight. this may result in your elbow bending--thats ok..

good luck

March 1, 2010, 01:01 PM
well i had the same problem and instantly realized it was teh heavy trigger pull that was making me shoot low. I began to compensate by aiming the front sight higher then after I got used to the pull I noticed I could hit pretty much anywhere I wanted. Mind you though, my trigger is very heavy at close to 10 pounds..
I tried an IDPA competition and did ok for a beginner. I hit the targets with reasonable accuracy and made some shots I thought I would never make with my pistol.

Good luck.