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Old July 23, 2018, 11:02 AM   #1
Excoastie
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shooting low and left

Good afternoon everyone:

I have noticed that I will typically shoot consistently low and left. From doing some research I have found that two of the most common reasons for this is grip and trigger push.

I am pretty sure that it's not trigger push, which leaves me with grip issues.

I went to the range this morning. I put about 100 rounds each through both my Shield 9mm and the new EZ .380 that I just picked up.

I was conscious of my grip with my 9mm, and I seem to have improved, though there is still lots of room for improvement. I didn't see much improvement with the .380. I was shooting low/ left with few exceptions.

Now to my question... would adding something like a talon grip (or something similar to fatten the grip) help me? My current train of thought is that the .380 is very narrow, and I can't get a good enough grip to avoid "milking the gun", and a little bit thicker grip on the 9mm might help reduce my tendencies further.

any ideas? am I better off just practicing a lot?

thanks

Exco
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Old July 23, 2018, 11:37 AM   #2
OhioGuy
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Have you shot from bench rest?

If you can, grab one of those soft and heavy rests for rifle shooting. Sit on a chair at the bench, brace your arms against the rest (or a range bag) and concentrate on the sight alignment. This is as close as you can come to removing random movement.

Given that it's happening with more than one gun, it's probably not a sight misalignment. Meaning your sights are fine -- you're moving somehow just during the trigger press. I had a similar problem. I found that fixating on correcting it made it worse because then I was super-anticipating each shot and messing myself up. It's like "trying" to fall asleep -- it never works!

One option, if you want to spend bucks on it, would be Mantis-X or a similar product that records and shows movement during the trigger press. Mantis also works as a good shot timer that doesn't rely on sound, meaning it works indoors around other shooters. This will answer your question very quickly.
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Old July 23, 2018, 02:00 PM   #3
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Why are you pretty sure that it's not a trigger issue, if I may ask? A lot of people don't realize that the gun is moving during the trigger press until they dry fire. Practicing with snap caps can really be valuable.
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Old July 23, 2018, 02:12 PM   #4
saleen322
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For a right-hand shooter, the low-left error is the most common. Left is normally caused by not activating the trigger straight to the rear as the trigger finger is putting more pressure on the right side of the trigger pushing the muzzle left. The low is caused by snapping/jerking the trigger instead of a smooth squeeze. Next trip to the range try this from the bench shooting from a rest. Position your hand so the trigger finger is perpendicular to the trigger and moving it straight to the rear. Then fire a few shots with smooth, steady pressure straight to the rear. Your goal should be to shoot like 5 perfect shots. Take as much time as you need to get 5 perfect shots. See if they are more to center. Hope this helps.

Last edited by saleen322; July 23, 2018 at 02:18 PM.
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Old July 23, 2018, 04:43 PM   #5
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Check this out. He slays all kinds of sacred cows like the pie chart for one.

https://youtu.be/wERenwNh12U

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Old July 23, 2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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I have done quite a bit of dry firing with my Shield. I haven't done much with the new .380.

I've used snap caps, I've used an empty chamber.

I believe that I have a decently smooth straight pull back on the trigger, as I don't believe that the muzzle will move while dry firing (or using snap caps). I have had others watch for movement as well as myself, so the no movement isn't just my opinion.

I settled on the grip issue, after I saw several videos where grip was a factor, and based on the description I realized that my grip may not have been optimal. As I stated above, concentrating on the grip with my 9mm showed some improvement, but not so much on the .380. I have close to 3000 rounds through the 9mm and barely 200 through the .380... could be a factor as well.

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Old July 23, 2018, 05:22 PM   #7
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Anticipating the shot can add to the low left phenomena. I would recommend a firm grip on the pistol and concentrate on not pushing forward at the same time as you are pulling the trigger rearward.
This is a common problem with a lot of shooters. Try a firmer grip on your pistol and see if that helps you.
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Old July 23, 2018, 09:05 PM   #8
MandolinMan
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I battled low left placement for years. In my case it was poor trigger control and recoil anticipation. The difficulty is that sometimes it's nearly imperceptible. I've come to discover that a huge element of accurate shooting is mental. Convince yourself that the recoil won't hurt you, breath deeply, squeeze the trigger, don't jerk it, and allow the trigger break to surprise you.
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Old July 24, 2018, 03:00 AM   #9
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Imagine there is a wire from your trigger finger tip to your eyeball.
Consciously move your fingertip along that line.


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Old July 25, 2018, 10:44 PM   #10
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Try shooting with your other hand. You won't be able to anticipate the recoil because you don't know how...yet.

Years ago in the police academy they had us shoot both hands. I found I could shoot better with my off hand sometimes. Then began shooting both sides almost equally well.

When I notice I'm pushing or slapping the trigger, I just switch sides for a few mags. Usually the problem goes away when you go back to your natural side.

Just took a class at Front Sight and since we were drawing from the holster all the time, I couldn't shoot other side and it had a definite effect on maintaining my marksmanship over the 4 day course. They don't teach off hand shooting until you spend more money, (ahem) I mean time, learning their shooting system. Its actually a great training facility and staff.
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Old July 26, 2018, 10:55 AM   #11
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Do not grip at all with your strong hand.
Just enough to hold the gun.
All the gripping is by the support hand. The more the better.
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Old July 26, 2018, 06:54 PM   #12
Art Eatman
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Low-left occurs when at the time of the press of the trigger, all the fingers are flexed, rather than only the trigger finger.

As a test, look at what happens to the muscle of your forearm when you try two ways of pressing: First, squeezing all the fingers; second, only the trigger finger. With the first, you see the muscle flex. With the second, it does not flex.
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Old July 27, 2018, 08:09 AM   #13
grinner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Art Eatman View Post
Low-left occurs when at the time of the press of the trigger, all the fingers are flexed, rather than only the trigger finger.

As a test, look at what happens to the muscle of your forearm when you try two ways of pressing: First, squeezing all the fingers; second, only the trigger finger. With the first, you see the muscle flex. With the second, it does not flex.
This is the best description of the problem I have ever seen on this. Thanks for posting it. Everyone always says it’s all in the trigger control and to dry fire to fix. But that alone may not be the solution.

I had the same problem when I first started shooting semi-autos a couple of years ago, so I followed the dry fire advice. Everything looked good. No obvious dipping of the barrel when I pulled the trigger. But at the range, the first shot went to POA, but the follow ups went low-left. I figured I was just getting used to the DA/SA transition and kept going.

When it never got better, I paid for an hour with an instructor. First thing he pointed out (and videoed to show me) was that I was slightly tightening my grip just as I squeezed the trigger, anticipating the recoil. I was used to shooting heavier revolvers where the recoil never bothered me, but on the lighter pistol I had noticed it and developed a flinch of tightening my grip.

Once I realized the problem, I could better concentrate on fixing it. I suspect this is the OP’s problem as well.
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Old July 27, 2018, 08:56 AM   #14
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I agree that Art Eastman's description of the mechanics involved is very insightful. It is the reason I always use the same grip when possible. With the pistol in my right hand most of the grip is done with the left. It took me years before I sought the advice of a trained professional to learn this. My accuracy improved dramatically, especially at speed. Have someone who knows what they are doing teach you about grip and stance. It will save you time, money and aggravation. Good luck and enjoy the process.
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Old July 28, 2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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It could be your sights.....
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Old July 28, 2018, 12:42 PM   #16
Excoastie
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Thanks for the insight everyone. You have given me a lot of info to consider.

Quote:
It could be your sights.....
If this happened with only one or two weapons, then I would agree. It happens with everything that I shoot from 2 different.22s (Mosquito and M&P .22 Compact), XDs .45, Shield 9mm, full-sized FNX 9mm, and even an S&W 686 revolver.

I'm pretty sure the problem lies with me and not with the weapon.

Exco
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Old July 29, 2018, 09:16 AM   #17
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Lot's of good info posted here already.

I would first rule out flinching/anticipating. The drill at this link will help greatly with that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxyTFzgWjhk&t=89s

As mentioned it is important to isolate the trigger finger from the rest of the strong hand when doing the trigger press. Dry firing at home with an unloaded pistol can help with that with the goal that the front sight does not move after trigger press. I like to use a laser trainer cartridge for instant feedback on dry fire and it makes dry fire more fun. LaserLyte makes such a product with a great warranty and replaceable cap/switch.

https://www.amazon.com/LaserLyte-tra...+trainer&psc=1

Grip is definitely important. I find it really helps to put pressure front to back on the pistol grip with the strong hand rather than a monkey grip. Support hand grip is extremely important too. The videos below on pistol grip may help.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJrA7wMXuuQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wz4HFTW22ok

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTLi6_96t1o

Any training you can do to increase your shoulder/arm/grip strength can improve shooting too.
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