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Old February 23, 2012, 12:26 PM   #1
Join Date: February 16, 2012
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px4 .40 Shooting low/left at 25 and 30 feet

Any advice? Here are two photos. The first is 50 rounds fired at 25 feet. The second is 50 rounds fired at 30 feet(10 yards) at my local range. They are rounds 300-400 out of the gun.

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Old February 23, 2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert...

So take this for what it is - another enthusiast's advice but nothing more substantial than that.

It looks to me (just from looking at the targets of course) that you're probably not gripping your pistol properly and/or you're anticipating the shot/recoil.

Typically an "over grip" as in you've got your right hand rotated too far forward so you've got more than just the first section of your trigger finger on the trigger will cause you to shoot low and to the left.

Most people who anticipate the recoil of the shot and "adjust" for it will end up shooting low and to the left as well.

My advice - check your grip and load your gun with a couple of live rounds then a dummy. If your grip is rotated too far forward you'll shoot low and to the left. If you squeeze the trigger on the dummy round and find yourself flinching on the squeeze that can cause it too. Isolate the problem and fix it.
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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There is a definite group in the midst of the holes, so you certainly have something to work with as opposed to just some random pattern. The very first thing to do is to shoot from a rest/sandbag to eliminate the shooter as a variable (as much as possible anyway). The second thing is to have a shooter other than yourself, and of a known quantity shoot the gun. Forget 50 round groups for these exercises and shoot 5 round groups. If the thing still shoots low and left then adjust the sights. More than likely, and especially at those ranges, the sights are just fine. If it shoots straight off of the bench, then it is you. Have a good shooter observe you stance, grip and finger placement. Slow down and concentrate on the fundamentals and you will be surprised. You should also take a target home, make very very sure the pistol is unloaded and dry fire while paying particular attention to the fundamentals as well and sight alignment all the while. Do this dry firing several times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. I guarantee you those groups will shrink.

Good luck.
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Old February 25, 2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Try concentrating on not gripping with your little finger.

For demonstration purposes. clear your pistol.

assume your normal stance, get your sight picture. While watching your sights tighten your right little finger. You should see the front sight dip down and left.

This might be part of your problem.
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Old February 25, 2012, 10:58 PM   #5
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Assuming those are full-sized silhouette targets and are not shot rapid-fire, I would be inclined to agree that the problem is flinching/recoil anticipation/poor trigger control.
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
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Old February 25, 2012, 11:05 PM   #6
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In other words, when the gun goes off you're not aiming at the spot you're trying to aim at.

For me, low and left is usually a grip problem, not a trigger problem.

How long did it take you to shoot those 50 shots?
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Old February 26, 2012, 05:24 PM   #7
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They are 2 1/2 by 1 1/2 feet targets. It took me roughly 45 minutes to go through 100 rounds. After every shot I bring the pistol down while continuing to stare at the target, then bring it up to my line of sight. I definitely appreciate the feedback!
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Old February 26, 2012, 09:06 PM   #8
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Get a few snap caps and load one of them randomly into each of your magazines when you're shooting at the range.

My guess is that when you hit the snap cap and the gun goes "click" instead of "boom", you will notice that you're moving the gun during your trigger pull.

One cure for flinching/recoil anticipation is dryfiring to train your brain not to tell your hands & trigger finger to flinch in anticipation of the muzzle blast and recoil.
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Old February 27, 2012, 10:38 AM   #9
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looks like you're tightening your fingers on your trigger hand while squeezing the trigger (assuming you're a righty).

work on gripping hard with support hand, and relaxing your grip on your firing hand.

get a buddy to help you with trigger squeeze drills.
with his back to you have him either load or not load a round, and hand you the pistol. You aim at the target, and squeeze the trigger. If it shoots then YAY! if it doesn't go off (i.e. he DIDN'T put a round in), and you flinch or push the muzzle, then dryfire 5x GOOD trigger squeezes. Continue this for 30-50 iterations (you should use a MAX of 10 live rounds).

Either do this with an empty chamber, or a dummy round if you're concerned about damaging your gun. I've tried and it doesnt work well with an expended casing instead of a dummy round.
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Old March 10, 2012, 04:48 PM   #10
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I had to same problem

I started aiming with my left eye and making sure my neck was not leaning to the right and this corrected the problem.
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Old March 10, 2012, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quick answer: When the trigger is engaging, the gun is moving.

Long answer: There are 5 (or 6, depending on which school of thought you follow) shooting fundamentals. Most of us are not born with the ability to be precision shooters. Shooting is far more mental than it is physical.

The fundamentals are:
  • Position
  • Grip
  • Breath control
  • Trigger control
  • Sight alignment
  • Follow thru

The 1st three and #6 sets up a good platform for #4 & #5, which are the two most critical for accurate shooting. If the gun does not move while the trigger is being pressed, and up to the time the bullet leaves the barrel, and assuming the gun is reliable and functional, the bullet will hit where the gun is aimed.

Without seeing you shoot, I would be hard pressed to accurately diagnose what you are doing incorrectly. Based on the information you've presented, and based on my own thousands of hours shooting and hundreds of hours instructing others to shoot, I would guess that you are
1. Flinching
2. Flinching
3. Maybe flinching.
4. Right hand applying too much (grip) pressure to the gun

Flinching is a clear indication of lack of concentration on keeping the front sight aligned. Flinching shows that you are thinking about controlling the recoil that is about to happen. The new shooter cannot properly control recoil anymore than the new bullrider can stay on the bull. The goal is to be able to not worry about recoil too much, and "ride it out" (like correcting for a loss of traction going around a corner on a motor vehicle).
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Old March 14, 2012, 06:23 PM   #12
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'Thank you's to everyone offering feedback so far in this thread.

I recently decided to act on my longtime interest in taking up recreational shooting. I did a lot of research, and bought a Walther PPQ.

Today was my first (ever) day at the range. I shot 150 rounds of Blazer 124 gr TMJ, at 5 yards. I'm bad with measurements, so let's call the targets 'head sized'

Things went alright for the first time out, but I am a bit of a perfectionist, and was annoyed with a strong tendency to shoot low & left.

I hit the forums as soon as I got home, and found this thread. I am glad that I did. There seems to be some great advice in here. As I am taking some time off, I will likely hit the range again, tomorrow. I will apply advice found here, and see if results improve.

Thank you, again!
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Old March 14, 2012, 09:06 PM   #13
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Have a look at these

reverse them for left-hand shooting.

Lost Sheep
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Old March 17, 2012, 04:20 PM   #14
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First off, thanks for posting the distance and type of gun. Helps get a sense of how you're shooting. How many of these shots are double
vs single action?

Everything that people said in the thread so far rings true. Stick with fundamentals: focus on a consistent stance, consistent grip, and a trigger press that goes straight back.

If you think its the gun (which I doubt), find someone who's really experienced or a good bullseye shooter, ask them to shoot a few rounds through your pistol and see where and how tight their group lands.
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Old March 17, 2012, 06:23 PM   #15
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Have an experienced shooter try your gun. Or a couple different shooters.
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Old March 29, 2012, 12:27 PM   #16
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If the shooter is right handed, and consistently shooting low-left, I'll wager that at least 95% of the time the issue is "flinching" (anticipating recoil).

If the shooter is left handed, flinching usually send the round to the right and (typically) down.
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