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Old August 21, 2005, 12:25 PM   #1
Slateman
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My sight-picture sucks

Actually, I suck I figured this would happen cus I'm a new shooter but still I'm kinda with myself.

I'm at the range today and I set up my target at 10 feet. And do pretty good. Manage to pretty much remove the X ring. There are a couple strays here and there, but no big deal. Just not concentrating on the front sight and some anticipation of recoil.

So I go out to 15 feet. And I do pretty well. Not as well as before, but still at least 85% of the shots are within the 8 or higher rings.

Put up a new target and bleh. I stink. I mean I stink. First shots are a low. Then the next string is to the right. Finally I concentrate real hard and get them in the middle. But then I suck it up even more. I was everwhere. And finally, the gun started shaking in my hand. Not a lot, but I couldn't line up the sights without effort. I felt tired

After the final string where I hit the middle twice (out of ten) I just went home.

So whats the deal? Is this just my inexperience? Obviously, I can hit the dang target at that range. Was that last bit just because I was tired? Just could not line up the sights at all

Edit - I'm shooting a 9mm HK P2000 v.2 with the LEM trigger.

Last edited by Slateman; August 21, 2005 at 01:18 PM.
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:11 PM   #2
chris in va
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I forgot, which gun are you shooting? How many rounds did you fire?

Don't beat yourself up too bad, there's a reason why you're called a 'new shooter'. I've only been at it a year and still have trouble sometimes.
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Old August 21, 2005, 01:39 PM   #3
Colonel Klink
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Check that you are doing all the following:

Sight picture - Focus must be on the front sight. Front and rear sights aligned on top with equal light on either side of fornt sight.

Trigger squeeze should be slow enough and smooth enough that you don't know when the hammer drops. This prevents you from moving against recoil BEFORE releasing the shot. If you can dry fire with a dime on top of the gun so the dime stays on. (Check the gun at least three times and have no ammo in same room when dry firing.)

Breath control is the one I most often forget. Deep breath, let out half to three quarters, hold while firing. Resume breathing

Follow through is what a lot of people don't even know about. There is a certain amount of time, after firing, that the bullet is in the barrel. If you move the gun before the bullet leaves the barrel it won't hit where you aimed. When you have pulled the trigger all the way rear hold that position for half a second or so. Don't worry about the recoil, it will take care of itself.

Hope this helps. We all have bad days so go tyr again.
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Old August 21, 2005, 04:10 PM   #4
USP45usp
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,

Don't give up. It takes time and many hours of sending lead down range.

I've been shooting for over 20 years (and some). I got so caught up with the information and teachings of sight picture, sights, breathing, etc.. that I was a bad shot.

You breath, that is a fact of life. Yet when I'm behind a gun, I don't know if I'm breathing or not. I don't add that "factor" to my thought process. I don't bother with sight picture (as in dwelling on it), I just aim the front of the gun down range, to the point that I wish to shoot, and fire.

I've gotten to the point that I am actually surprised when the trigger breaks.

In a way, I think we think too much.

Just keep putting lead down range, your way of shooting will come to you .

Wayne

Last edited by USP45usp; August 21, 2005 at 04:12 PM. Reason: Still searching for my mind... innocent mistakes, got my mind on many things right now if I can find it
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Old August 21, 2005, 04:31 PM   #5
ATW525
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How many rounds did you fire before putting up the new target? I find my shooting definitely degrades over time duirng a range session. Different calibers and different guns can wear you down at different rates, and a regular shooting routine will help build up some stamina in that regards.
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Old August 21, 2005, 04:40 PM   #6
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Unfortunately you will always have some bad days at the range, even when you've had a lot of experience. I think that the best thing to do on a day that nothing seems to go right is, have some fun without worrying about your target. Then, before you leave the range, take your time, and even if you have to move up close, fire a nice group and leave on a good note. This way you will always leave with a mental picture that lends itself to wanting to come back again and shoot well.
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Old August 21, 2005, 05:22 PM   #7
joplin
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bad day shooting

You might be squeezing the gun to hard. Check and see if you are holding the gun with a really tight handgrip, if so, you might want to relax your grip just a little. I know that if you hold something in your hand and squeeze it for a lengthly period as your hand gets tired it will begin to shake. You want to maintain control of the gun but try to use a slight push/pull method. Just a thought. Good Luck!
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Old August 21, 2005, 05:51 PM   #8
Slateman
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Yea, the more I think about it, I realize I was making a lot of the mistakes you guys are saying.

1. Breath control. Always baffles me how something as simple as breathing can affect you. I wasn't paying attention to that at all.

2. Trigger. Need to work on this a lot. I tend to anticipate where its gonna break. Problem is I'm never right. Gotta work on gently squeezing it.

3. I am squeezing the gun too hard. Probably has to do with the recoil. Still not used to it and I still keep flinching.

4. And finally, my glasses were fogging up. They didn't do that the last time I was at the range. Oh well, one more thing to buy.

Ok thats it. I just wanted to make sure that someone else has/had these problems and that I'm not doing something way differently wrong.
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Old August 21, 2005, 06:33 PM   #9
john in jax
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I'm getting old and it sucks - - lasers sights are my next stop.

I used to hate trying to sight through safety glasses, now I wear glasses and trying to hold a good sight picture through glasses and then safety glasses is near impossible for me.

Lasers, like high powered scopes, are good at letting you see just how unsteady you are - - if nothing else a useful dry-fire training tool.
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Old August 21, 2005, 09:33 PM   #10
23Skidoo
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A bad day at the range beats a good day [fill in the blank].

It just takes practice.
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Old August 21, 2005, 10:31 PM   #11
Eghad
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at 3 and 7 yards its kinda hard to tell if you have any error in your sight alignment...although I have seen folks that missed the target @ 3 yards. sounds like you got the trigger n other stuff down pretty decent.

Try starting out at 15 yards and working your way back down to 3 and 7....
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Old August 22, 2005, 08:28 AM   #12
tjhands
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I've only shot handguns seriously for a little over a year. With dry-fire practice at home, I've gotten pretty OK at the range (50 ft and 75 ft), but I went out a week ago and wasn't even keeping all my shots on the paper plate at 25 yds. I was disappointed with myself, and after 20 minutes, I packed up and went home. I was antsy about some things going on in my life - I'm sure that had factored into my poor shooting. Also I had not dry-fired in over a week.

It's just not worth slinging lead down range when you KNOW you are having a bad day.
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Old August 22, 2005, 09:09 AM   #13
BerettaCougar
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Quote:
It's just not worth slinging lead down range when you KNOW you are having a bad day.
That's the best time for me, Shooting is a great stress release for me.
I clear my mind of everything, shoot so much I am dead tired, get home shower and sleep all day.
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Old August 22, 2005, 10:31 AM   #14
XDoctor
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You know, its possible that it isn't your fault at all. Its entirely possible that you were experienceing muscle fatigue, which caused the weapon to shake. It took me a couple years to get to the point where I can fire a pistol all day, I just don't use those muscles in my daily life and it took some time to build them up.

Next time it happens, take a break. Go get a cup of coffee and rest for awhile. Then when you feel a little better about it, load up a mag, empty it as fast as you can at nothing in particular (downrange of course), smile and start again. Can't promise it will work for you, but it always has for me.
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Old August 22, 2005, 07:57 PM   #15
Colonel Klink
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1. Breath control. Always baffles me how something as simple as breathing can affect you. I wasn't paying attention to that at all.

stateman It is my understanding that miliary snipers as so trained that they not only pay attention to their breathing but the break their shots "In between heartbeats" Remember that when you thing controlling your breathing is tough.

Something I didn't mention is staying on target too long. Once you raise the gun from the ready position you should take your shot within a few seconds - maybe five to ten at the most. If you stay on target longer it turnes into a test. Forget breathing until you can raise the gun on target and take you shot within those few seconds. Once you learn that then add breathing.

Iwould suggest staying away from coffee if you want to be steady. It might work great for Xdoctor but it doesn't for me.
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Old August 26, 2005, 02:40 PM   #16
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Not sure if anyone mentioned this or if it is only a practice for me, but I load the magazine with 3-5 rounds at a time and shoot 3-5 as opposed to the 13 rounds you maybe putting into your magazine. Then take a breather. Not a 10 minute breather just relax for a minute. Its amazing how much heavier a pistol is with a full magazine and how much more fatigue it can cause after you've been at the range for a while. Seems to be working for me. Just my $.02 Stay safe and keep shooting! Good luck!
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Old August 26, 2005, 05:15 PM   #17
Slateman
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I was doing ten at a time.

Had a much better day today. Especially at the 21 foot line.

Started out at 15 and fired a box of 50. Then took a little break, drank some water, watched some other shooters go at it. Came back and went to the 21 foot line and did strings of five. Most of them ended up where they are supposed to

Anyway, thanks for the advice!!
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Old August 27, 2005, 03:27 AM   #18
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Awesome! Keep it up, practice, practice, practice. Stay safe.

Dave
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Old August 27, 2005, 05:41 AM   #19
DAVID NANCARROW
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Lotsa good advice here. In addition, may I say to eat a decent meal before you go. I have noticed that if I go to the range a bit hungry, intending to eat after my shooting session that my groups are not as good as if I eat before I hit the range.

Preparation and practice.
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Old August 27, 2005, 07:30 AM   #20
DanV1317
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Quote:
Trigger squeeze should be slow enough and smooth enough that you don't know when the hammer drops. This prevents you from moving against recoil BEFORE releasing the shot. If you can dry fire with a dime on top of the gun so the dime stays on. (Check the gun at least three times and have no ammo in same room when dry firing.)
I found the key to the recoil problem is to pull the trigger back so slow, that you dont know when it's going to go off. If you pull fast, you know as soon as you start to pull, it's pretty much going to go off, and you anticipate that. If you pull sloooooooowwww, like as slow as possible it really helps. At the distance that you are shooting, a slight shake of the front sight really shouldn't put a thrower too far off center.

Move up close to the target, start at 3-5 yards (it seems close, and it is). You want perfection. At this distance you should be hitting the same hole over and over and over again. Without any problem. Front sight......squeeze slooooooowww. When i started to shoot, i didn't shoot further than 10 yards for the first 8 months of my pistol shooting.

Remember: Front sight.....Squeeze slowwwwwwww

If you are having trouble at 7-10 yards, move to 3-5. My bets are, if you arent' doing decent at 10 yards, you aren't doing great at 7 either. Perfect the closer range before you embarass yourself out further.
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Old August 27, 2005, 01:53 PM   #21
X-RAY
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I'm with StinkyTool on loading only 3-5 rounds when practicing. It gives your muscles time to re-coop and your eyes time to relax. When i first started shooting, an instructor told me to "press" the trigger, don't "pull" it. Don't know why, but it worked for me.
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