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Old March 11, 2013, 01:01 PM   #1
Pistola Pedro
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Aggravating day of shooting!

Finally was able to find some 9mm to overpay for just in time for an annual trip with friends where we do a bunch of shooting in the woods.
We set up small course runs so we could use less ammo. One particular course of fire only had 6 targets. 2 shooting cubes from about 5 yards, a mandatory reload and move to a station with 4 hanging bowling pins from about 15 yards away. I was only loading about 5 rounds in the first mag and 10 in the second mag. I shot my FNP-9 EMPTY SEVERAL TIMES while missing the stupid bowling pins !!! Admittedly the pistol is pretty new to me ( second time owner ), but I'm better than that. A couple misses here and there due to going too fast wouldn't have been so bad, but I purposely slowed myself way down and still would completely miss several shots in a row!
I was so angry that I just tried to convince myself that I was too tired or something. I picked up my Buckmark and ran the same course twice in a row with only 1 miss and shooting as fast as the sights lined up. That only made things worse.
Someone convince me not to immediately trade out of that FNP-9!!!! I have shot it and done just fine at the range, but I've never been so disgusted with a shooting performance as I was this weekend.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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Yeah, . . . but hey, Pedro, . . . you didn't have to put up with the boss, . . . no traffic freeway frolic, . . . no timecards, . . .

A bad day shooting, hunting, or fishing, . . . still beats the best day at work

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Old March 11, 2013, 01:42 PM   #3
Pistola Pedro
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True, but this was the weekend and that's MY TIME. I used up my free time and costly ammo on misses! I'm certainly not a world class shooter, but missing without understanding why is pretty rare for me. It knocked me down a couple pegs on the old confidence meter.
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Old March 11, 2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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Sounds like it's time to go back to shooting paper for a bit to see what's wrong. Could be your gun is shooting to a different sight picture that you're using. (among other possibilities)

I've been enjoying a partial implementation of the Dot Torture Drill.

I put up a Post-It note or 3 then step back 3 paces. Getting all the shots on a post-it, even at that close range is surprisingly difficult - even slow fire.

If it's too easy, just step back 2 more paces.
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Old March 11, 2013, 03:19 PM   #5
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Shooting a 9 mm and a .22 LR are at times two seperate worlds. Also the way it sounds I am guessing that you have not been shooting as much as of late due to lack of ammo. There are probably more reasons than that, and we all have them.

Shooting is a very perrishable skill. Lots more practice with the gun in question sounds like it would be of great benifit as well.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old March 13, 2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Don't rule out the possibility that the importance of the day to you, and the cost of the ammo, were messing with your mind, even if you did not realize it. The .22 ammo was cheap so you didn't care and did well. I know this may sound like a lame excuse, but personally, the only 2 things that keep me from shooting more often than I do are time and money, and it sounds like you may have had that in the back of your mind and it threw you off.
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Old March 13, 2013, 02:57 PM   #7
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Some Advice

I used up my free time and costly ammo on misses!
Those few misses will teach you more about yourself as a shooter than a thousand hits. This is much the same as any other competitive sport.

Skiing (one of my favorites)..............If your not falling your not trying
Football.........................................A missed block is the one you remember
Tennis...........................................Even The williams sisters fault

My point being that you should miss occasionally and if you are not missing you are not pushing yourself. I believe that if you don't push yourself you will never really improve.

Just something to think on.

Regards, Vermonter
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Old March 14, 2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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you ever hear the saying that shooting is mostly a mental game? well it is. If your going to agonize over missing shots your going to have problems with your shooting.

You hit on a pet peeve of mine when it comes to dealing with some of my students.

i HATE it when the shake their head and beat themselves up for missing or not coming up to the standard the rest of their class is shooting at. Its a very poor habit to get yourself into. The round is gone - get over it and work things through. you cant unring a bell and you cant change where your bullet went.

a negative attitude doesn't help a damn thing. I brief students all the time - if your screwing up and cant seem to get into the groove - holster and step away from my firing line - i don't want you shooting without your head in the right place - ammo is too expensive these days.

I shoot against a couple well known gunfighters all the time and we occasionally make friendly wagers and I win against them more often than not because both of them have the same head problem - I bet after they miss - because i know both of them have a tendency to dwell on misses especially when they are trying too hard.

If you get to a point where your not having fun - quit till you get your head on straight. Right now im teaching advance marksmanship to a crew overseas and they all know my peculiar range command sequence:

Izra'ahat - relax
Pepkanan - smile
Hazir - ready
Taka - Fire

I started this because they took their shooting waaaaay to seriously and hated missing to the point of making it personal.

lighten up have fun, think your problem through - know your fundamentals and know how to diagnose your shot group.

Dwight55 has it right - a bad day at the range is always a better than a good day at work

hmmmmm that wont work for me - I shoot for a living :-)

Last edited by Spats McGee; March 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM. Reason: Removed profanity
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:24 AM   #9
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When I would shoot trap a miss would upset me to the point that I would miss
more. I learned to relax and accept the lost bird and my shooting got better.
you can't worry about the miss and concentrate on your next shot and don't blame the gun. As I got better the gun didn't. Just practice and enjoy it is okay to miss if you can learn from it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:53 AM   #10
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From my experience if you set your sights for target range practice, the setting is non-effective when shooting tactical.

I would put up some larger targets to see if you are shooting hi,low, left, or right more often and adjust the sights accordingly.

Worked for me, just had to compensate at the range where i still shoot.
Seems that sight picture is different for me on the move than standing still.
Furthermore are you on foot or machine? what stance do you use?

The weaver is fine for just target practice but the isosceles stance is better for movement and moving target. Good luck!
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:43 PM   #11
Pistola Pedro
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Great replies fellas! I have to admit that I was still angry when I posted this and I am not actually thinking about getting rid of my FNP-9 ( unless someone wants to trade it for an STI in 9mm ). I pressured myself a lot and ended up doing worse for it, which is rare for me, but I was trying to show off and it worked against me. Normally at the range I'm very relaxed and quickly diagnose problems if there are any.
I also think that I realized that the sights were part of my issue. I blacked out the rears and painted the front so that I can actually get some contrast for my eyes to pick up on. The low sights mixed with the glare of the sun off of the top of the slide in broad daylight made focusing on the sights extremely difficult.
As much as I consider myself a somewhat seasoned and skilled pistol shooter, I think there was still some great tips in here that I can learn from, so I appreciate it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:51 PM   #12
Spats McGee
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I don't blame you for being frustrated. Misses are even worse when the ammo was expensive. Still, a bad day shooting beats a good day at work, doesn't it?
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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Old March 15, 2013, 12:54 PM   #13
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Oh, I think you are on the right track here. You need to sell that FNP-9 off now. And since you have already proven there is a problem with it, I will give you $50.00 for it. ;-)

The cost of ammo seems to bother you a bit, maybe you were thinking more about that than shooting? Anyway, everyone gets a bad day sometimes. It's what you learn from it or do differently next time that matters.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:40 AM   #14
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If the price of the ammo is part of your aggravation perhaps reloading could be in your future. It is a very relaxing hobby that can give you a sense of accomplishment and you end up with a usable product.
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Old March 16, 2013, 11:12 PM   #15
Ludwig Von Mises
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Start with bowling balls (lot of alleys will sell broken/bad ones for dirt cheap) and then graduate to pins. Tie them up with basketball nets. Pins are really discouraging to the average shooter, they look alot easier to hit than they are, and the shape throws one off. I've found balls to be alot better, just don't stand too close, they have a tendency to splinter like big suckers lol.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:23 PM   #16
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Some days you need to put up the pistol. Kick back with your favorite beverage and forget about the issue.

The other thing is you need to rewind the shots you made and figure out what you did right. Focusing on the things you did wrong will frustrate you and soon you will start getting worse without improvement.

The top bulls eye shooters maintain a log. They chart each shot and analyse it. When they get in a slump they go back and review the log to help diagnosis what is going on.

It is kind of like driving through a hazard area. If you focus your attention on the hazard you will hit it. If you focus on the path to avoid the hazard you will not be involved in the accident.
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:35 AM   #17
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Is shooting meant to be work, or another escape from the rat race and the holy, high altar of high-tech with its frustrations (for some of us)?

At least you know how to use a handgun.
Today was my first day out of about four (over two years), to barely begin to learn how to hit on or near tiny targets from 120 yards with my Yugo Mauser's iron sights.

Any gun training or fun might be viewed as progress.

I still dislike the tiny notch in the Mauser's rear leaf, and lack of any rear aperture, but being able to destroy a small concrete target can make it worthwhile.
But unlike the case with so many young guys, it's not meant to impress other people (or this middle-aged guy). The goal is to have fun and
forget modern life etc.

Last edited by Ignition Override; March 18, 2013 at 02:48 AM.
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