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Old February 7, 2013, 02:46 PM   #1
Join Date: September 11, 2012
Posts: 29
How to shoot 40 cal well


I own two Sig Sauer P229. One in 9mm, another one is 40 cal. I shoot 40 cal far worse than 9mm in shooting range although they have the same grip. Can someone suggest some training?
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:12 PM   #2
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Assuming you're right handed (if left handed reverse the procedure)

Take a moderate, not hard, grip with your right hand. Making sure you grip does not interfere with the trigger finger. If your grip is hard, you can move your trigger finger without disturbing sight alignment.

Now use your left had to get a firm grip over the right.

In other words, relaxed shooting hand, hard grip with the support hand.

Tons of dry firing and practice will allow you to shoot your 40 just as well as your 9 mm in the same gun.

This will also improve your 9mm shooting.
Kraig Stuart
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:28 PM   #3
Join Date: September 11, 2012
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Thank you for your suggestion!

But is there any reason why I shoot 9mm better.

Again, it is the same gun with the same feel.

Could it be because my wrists were not locked hard enough?
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Old February 7, 2013, 05:49 PM   #4
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The only real reason is that you are anticipating the sharper recoil of the .40.

Practice with dry-firing, and then when you go to shoot for real, have a friend put a snap cap in your magazine. It will let you know how bad you are flinching when you are shooting it.
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Old February 7, 2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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I am a fan of the Hogue HandAll. It did not state it was for either my SR9 (9mm) or PX4 (40 cal). I put it on both of them after setting the grips to their smallest setting. I had a slight soft spot at the top near the tang but that fits the soft part of the hand webbing so not a problem. I used thin stiff plastic sheet from a syllabus, cut into long strip so it could act as a glide for the rubber grip to get it on the gun handle. Once the grip was worked down, I removed the plastic by pulling on the excess plastic lengths. The Hogue grip has finger grooves and helps the perceived recoil bounce. The Hogue grips aren't bothered by hand moisture from a long hot day of shooting. One more thing that might help. First, no hot load in the chamber and no mag in the gun. Then pick up the gun by the barrel side and opening your gun hand wide and then placing the gun firmly in the hand then wrap your fingers around. Some times picking up the gun like most do leaves the extra skin and muscle/fat in the palm. Its just a temporary help guide to get used the feel of the gun all the way back into the hand. Once you get used to that feel, then you can adjust your normal picking up of the gun like usual. If the gun isn't all the way into the hand, the next shots are worsened because it effects your trigger finger placement and the angle you pull the trigger back with.
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Old February 7, 2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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You're almost certainly reacting to the recoil. (That doesn't mean you don't enjoy the recoil -- you might. Some folks do, but still react to it in ways that affect their accuracy.)

Try the tips in this article:

Kathy Jackson
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Old February 8, 2013, 12:01 PM   #7
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Try the tips in this article:
Great information on your site, Kathy!
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Old February 8, 2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Try mixing in one snap cap and load your magazine or better yet, have someone else load it for you. When you get to the snap cap, the gun will obviously not fire. If you notice yourself pushing the gun down, then you are anticipating the recoil. The recoil of the .40 S&W is not that bad in the P229. Maybe you should also consider doubling up your ear plugs with muffs. Sometimes people react more to the perceived increase in recoil due to the louder report. I had a P228 and I have the P229 in .40 S&W. I shot both equally well. For a "compact" handgun, they are remarkably accurate.

One thing I learned early on is to always try to let the shot "catch you by surprise". That means you pull the trigger slowly and smoothly without anticipating when it will go off. Make sure you have good trigger control and I'm sure your accuracy will improve. Good luck!
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Old February 8, 2013, 07:44 PM   #9
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Like many of the previous people here have said, it sounds like recoil anticipation. I don't know if you're a novice or experienced shooter, but it's nothing to be ashamed of.

Don't laugh, but I've been working on taming a 9 mm. I've shot everything from a Ruger MK II to S&W 29 with loads ranging from pea shooter to spicy habanero and had no problem. Granted, this is not all in day one. I worked my way up.

My little Keltec PF-9 is its own whole little animal. Light weight and small grip area make it tough to hold on to. Anticipating the sharp recoil, I initially adopted the strangle hold grip style, and have been trying to correct myself ever since.

.40 S&W is not that bad in the recoil department. Ms. Pax has it right, throw some dummy rounds in and see if your front sight takes a nose dive. If that's the case, you're tensing up in the wrist anticipating recoil. No more than a firm grip on the gun is required.

The best cure I can offer is spend some quality time on the range with your pistol. DO NOT go for marathon sessions! Initially, shoot no more than a couple boxes of ammo per trip. Fatigue and frustration can set in quickly.

I've taken my problem pistol and whatever .22 I felt like bringing out on many occasion. I would spend some time with the firearm I needed to work on my marksmanship issues with, then relax and plink away the rest of the afternoon. Shooting is supposed to be fun and relaxing. If you're having a hard time with one, switch to something else and come back to it later.

Keep at it, marksmanship comes with perseverance.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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I was at the range one day shooting my Shield 9mm and a friend asked me if I'd like to try his FNP 45. Of course, I said yes. I have to admit that I flinched just a hair in anticipation of the 45 kick. I pulled the shot about an inch to the right. But, it was all in the anticipation, because if you've ever shot an FNP 45, you know it shoots like butter. (I think my 22/45 has more recoil!) I put the next 4 shots through a single hole!

Try the suggested grip change, and try more hearing protection. Practice makes perfect! You'll get 'er.
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Old February 9, 2013, 10:11 PM   #11
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A few things you might try:

1) Buy some Hogue grips. They're cheap and make recoil absorption into the hand much smoother, so you're less likely to flinch. I love them on my P226.

2) Try the 9mm barrel, spring, and mags in your .40 P229. Then you can be 100% confident it's not a difference in the gun.

3) Remember consciously, the bullet is long gone by the time you feel and can react to recoil, so trying to compensate for accuracy is pointless. I know this is a hard one and I continue to struggle with it
Shoot smart. Shoot S-Mart.
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