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Old January 17, 2005, 06:41 AM   #1
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What am I doing wrong?

I rarely have ever shot hanguns. I bought my first one Saturday at the range. Sig 229 .40. I can't seem to hit the broad side of a barn with it. I've shot rifles and shotguns my whole life and consider myself to be an above average shot with them, but with this handgun even at 10-15 fet I wasn't hitting where I was aiming at all. As embarassing as it is to admit this...i even missed the paper several times. This really was surprising and humbling at the same time.
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Old January 17, 2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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I am new to this forum, but I would like to offer a suggestion.

First nothing beats proper instruction. Find someone you trust, and can produce some credentials to convince you that they know how to instruct you in the proper use of your new acquisition.

Double action triggers are very different from the pull and break of most rifle and single action triggers.
The take up just before the hammer breaks is different from shooting single action hand guns and most rifles. Try to get used to the travel of the trigger just prior to the discharge of the weapon. Most importantly it should be a surprise when the hammer falls and the weapon fires. (Obviously this surprise is a controlled surprise as you should be lined up and pointing the gun at something you intend to hit.) Try concentrating more on the front sight and less on trying to line up the front with the rear.

Hope this helps.
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Old January 18, 2005, 09:56 AM   #3
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Old January 18, 2005, 12:45 PM   #4
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What Sharp said and I will add dry fire. The Sigs I have shot all seem to have a very long and hard trigger. It has been my experience that good dry fire will help a great deal.

Take Care.... Stay Safe.... Only Good Hits Count
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Old January 18, 2005, 05:15 PM   #5
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Follow through

You are anticipating the recoil and flinching. Your shots are going low (and maybe left or right). This is a problem many shooters have with the DA pistol--the anticipation of the 1st DA shot knowing that subsequent shots are SA. If you want to master the SIG pistol, learn to do a double tap-DA then SA. Quickly. Close range only, at first. Shoot no faster nor farther than you can hit the target with each shot. Then increase the speed and range as you progress. If you're not willing to master it with losts of practice, I suggest you buy something simpler to learn. Like a Glock. Personally, I prefer SIG pistols and carry a P228, or P229.

Do this: Shoot a couple mags DA only, decocking after each shot. You will shoot good groups when you get the hang of it. The secret is FOLLOW THROUGH. It is achieved by having TWO sight pictures for each shot. The original sight picture, and the second one after the gun recovers from recoil. You can't flinch prior to the shot that way.

Incidentally, the two sight picture rule should be used for single action shots, also. They are not immune to misses from lack of follow through, either. You will notice after a bit, that the gun recovers from recoil as fast as it recoils--instantly--and comes right back on target IF your grip is correct. You can still shoot fast at multiple targets. Professionals are taught this method without re: to type of gun. FOLLOW THROUGH!

NOTE: the emphasis on focusing on the front sight achieves the same thing, since if you're on the front sight, and it's on the target--then you have accomplished FOLLOW THROUGH and though shalt hit the target. The front sight is your salvation, so don't lose it on the 1st DA shot--or subsequent shots, either. At extremely close range, accurate shooting can be done by using the front sight as a reference only---but that's a whole other discussion.
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Old January 21, 2005, 09:25 PM   #6
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I also encourge getting competent instruction. The old saying "practice makes perfect" is not true. It only builds habits. Bad habits if your practice is not good.

"perfect practice makes perfect".

Good Luck
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Old January 22, 2005, 10:25 AM   #7
Charlie Golf
Join Date: December 2, 2004
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Front Sight, Front Sight, Front Sight.....and everything else the other guys said too.

Truly mastering (controlling) the elements of:

1. Sight Picture
2. Trigger Press/Squeeze
3. Follow Through

...are vital to shooting a handgun well.

Beyond that, Proper Grip and Stance and Proper Operation and Handling are very important too.

You can try to teach yourself but you may end up getting frustrated and rarely take the handgun out. Or get some "instruction" either from a professional or from a friend who is trained to shoot defensive pistols (although they probably have developed some bad habits).

Although I shot my first handgun at about age 10, I will admit there were only long guns in MY house until after Uncle Sam taught me how to shoot. After that the little lady was trained -- and now for some reason our handguns keep multiplying....I think they might be breeding in the safe

Defensive Pistol shooting and handling confidence is better and much more enjoyable when you know how to do it "correctly."
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Old January 26, 2005, 09:55 PM   #8
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Handguns are MUCH harder to shoot well than rifles. The lighter weight, instability and shorter sight radius combine to make this true. with handguns, all movement is magnified, so precise sight alignment and correct trigger movement are absolutely essential for accurate shooting.

Recently, I've gone back to the basics, as I realized how much ammunition I was wasting. This involves a .22 pistol (Browning Buckmark for me), paper targets at 10 yards, and lots of time, ammo and patience. What I'm doing is one-hand slow fire, to concentrate on alignment and trigger squeeze. I have been "pushing" my shots up and away from the shooting hand. so I'm slowing waaay down, and focussing on my trigger squeeze & holding the sights steady. Today, I was at the range for three hours. Toward the end, my shots were begining to group close around the aim point. I plan to go back out tomorrow and do it some more.

There isn't a quick way to become a really good shooter. You have to be patient, and take your time until it becomes consistent; then you can begin to speed up. Many people just miss fast, and get lucky hits.
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Old January 26, 2005, 11:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SHEP854
Recently, I've gone back to the basics,
That is very important. I have been shooting since I was old enough to hold a gun up. Fortunately my dad was a LE trainer, and I received early instruction from some of the best LE trainers in this part of Texas. This includes an FBI SWAT team instructor.

Still, at 43, I go to at least 4 schools a year where I am the student. In each class I learn much.
"Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"-Bill Jordan
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