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Old April 25, 2011, 08:13 PM   #1
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Need to remidy a bad "Hold"

For some reason I started shooting to the left with my Vaquero?
I tried to evaluate the problem and it seemes like I was pulling the grip at the point of the right thumb. This error was throwing me left of center as much as 3/4" at 7 yards. Extend this out to 18 yards and you have a potential miss.
Grip errors are easilly picked up and hard to un-learn! I have consciously had to let my right (trigger hand)Thumb extend straight out and hang loose to compensate. Now I need to add the thumb back into the full handhold and relocate the thumb pressure.
What a hassle! Bad habits are like that...
Once I accomplished letting go with the thumb, groups shifted back to center.
Now I have to try and develop a two hand hold where pressure is released from this point? The left (cocking) Thumb seems not to affect the POI.
At first I was apprehensive about letting go, with even full velocity .38 Specials, and I then tried some high end .357's with no problems.
My usual load is a 140 grain Lead RNFP loaded by a buddy to about meduim velocity. This target load is just below Winchester 158Gr Cowboy loads far as recoil goes. So I need to work-up to CAS recoil and keep it centered. Every error even when shooting at big CAS plates throws ya off!
Lucky I have an extensive background in airguns and am used to shifting miniscule pressure-points within my grip. Nevertheless, the quick, action shooting grip style this is going to be a learned trait. Repition is the trick.
Anyone got any suggestions?
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Old April 25, 2011, 10:08 PM   #2
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A couple of us went over this problem at a range lately. I guess my first question would be, "How are you standing?". I have a 357 New Vaquero as well. All I can tell you is my experience and that of a friend who was shooting a Sig 380 semi-auto. We both started to hit to the left. I am right handed, have a problem with my right eye so basically am now left eye dominant. I stand with my left foot extended and shoot two handed grip. The range office who we asked to watch us and give suggestions, told us that if we were pulling to the left a bit, extend the left foot out just a bit more. Trying to keep all other things constant, I followed his suggestion as did my friend with the Sig and it helped correct the problem. A couple of weeks lateer I was taking a CCW class and we went over the various grip holds and stances. I'm always open to trying new things and a couple of weeks after that, spent some time at the range and tried to follow some of the things suggested in the class. The results were terrible. I think in essence, I was trying to "correct" too many things at once - grip, stance, etc. I think we are all pretty much this way. For myself, I am now shooting with both eyes open and concentrating on the target. The key is practice, practice, practice. I concentrate on the target and the front sight, the rest is becoming "instinct". The last range session, I shot my New Vaquero foour most of the session (38 spl) and went back to my "old way" of standing, gripping, etc. and concentrated on working on developing my "instinct". My groupings improved and if I started to stray to the left (which is the direction I usually stray in if I do), I corrected my stance and it pulled them back to the right and on target. Believe me, I'm no expert by any means. I guess I'd start with trying to make sure you are "relaxed" and not trying to change more than one thing at a time. You can get all sorts of advice from a whole lot of people, but in the end, you have to use what works best for you. Good luck and keep us posted as if you figure out what you have to change, it may be something that will work for others as well.
If a pair of '51 Navies were good enough for Billy Hickok, then a single Navy on my right hip is good enough for me . . . besides . . . I'm probably only half as good as he was anyways. Hiram's Rangers Badge #63
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Old April 26, 2011, 10:53 AM   #3
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I have a hard time just trying to keep 10 in the black anymore. But I'm 68
and holding. Shot a 96 XX Sunday. Boy it's getting harder.
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Old April 26, 2011, 11:11 AM   #4
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You guys might want to consider shooting, shooting and more shooting and only change things that make your groupings smaller without regard to placement. Get comfortable, get comfortable (I meant to say that twice) and when you have found your own natural stances and grips, then move the sights to center your gun to your natural point of aim.

Trying to change what comes naturally to you can be a futile endeavor as down the road when you pick the gun up your body will naturally go back to what it is comfortable with if you don't constantly keep it trained to do otherwise.

BTW, using more of the tip of the finger on the trigger can get your sights back over right to center if you are currently using the crease of the first joint.
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