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  1. #1
    natedog244 is offline Junior Member
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    Newbie with bad aim

    Morning,
    I'm new to the forum and I need your help. I just purchased a new 9mm. My aim is horrible. I'm hitting the target very low. What causes this (besides being a horrible shot) and what are some tips you may have?

  2. #2
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome to the forum!

    It sounds like it's not your "aim" so much as your trigger control. Low hits are often a sign of "mashing" on the trigger. Forum member milquetoast gives excellent advice in this thread: Frustrated. What am I doing wrong?.

    Good luck with it!
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  3. #3
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    1) "Bench rest" the gun to determine impact point of the gun, in relation to the sights. One of my XDs came with the sights off from the factory.

    2) Bring the targets in to 5M to start, then move it back as you get better.

    3) Practice your trigger squeeze "dryfire" with an empty gun at home. Maintain the sight pcture through the release until you can keep the sights dead still.

    4) Finally, head to the range, and practice, practice, practice until you can sqeeze live round without disrupting the pistol.

    It'll get tighter! Nothing is a subtitute for a few hundred rounds down range... Most low and right hits for a beginner are from "over-squeezing" the trigger, and flinching. Dry-fire will fix it.

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Snowman's Avatar
    Snowman is offline Member
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    You'll find good advice here. Stick with it though - I don't consider myself a noob, but I have days where I can't hit much either.


  5. #5
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    Dry fire and practice

    What everyone else said. I'm still a newbie to pistol shooting myself. I had the same problem when I first started (and still do sometimes when I forget to be patient.) After dry-firing at home and really concentrating a SLOOOOOOOW trigger pull, I'm getting better with each trip to the range. I've been posting target pictures in the Range Report area and asking for tips. Everyone here is very friendly and encouraging.

    I really like how Milqetoast put it to me: Your trigger needs X pounds of pressure exerted on it before it breaks. Your goal is to try and only apply X + .01 pounds of pressure.

  6. #6
    natedog244 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the tips and encouragement. I have the Smith & Wesson Sigma so the trigger requires quite a bit of pressure. I'm sure that I'm applying a lot more than the require amount.

    I guess it wouldn't be fun if it was easy would it. I'll dry fire it and practice, practice, practice. Maybe Santa will bring me a lot of rounds for X-Mas.

  7. #7
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    I think we all sgree with that X-mas gift... lol

    Celebrate! my Walmart now stocks 250 round boxes of 9mm and 45ACP FMJ. Remington UMC brand???

    My GF thinks I'm a little nutty, dryfiring at the TV at night... but then everybody else likes to ogle at my tiny little groups at at the range... 100-200 rounds per week makes the patterns shrink fast.

    Turkey-shoot pictures tomorrow I hope.

    Jeff

  8. #8
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    Print some of these and shoot them at 5,7, etc yards. Click here: http://www.bullseyepistol.com/training.htm

  9. #9
    milquetoast is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffWard View Post
    I think we all sgree with that X-mas gift... lol

    Celebrate! my Walmart now stocks 250 round boxes of 9mm and 45ACP FMJ. Remington UMC brand???

    My GF thinks I'm a little nutty, dryfiring at the TV at night... but then everybody else likes to ogle at my tiny little groups at at the range... 100-200 rounds per week makes the patterns shrink fast.

    Turkey-shoot pictures tomorrow I hope.

    Jeff
    Safety Rule Two is "Don't point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy," or "Don't point your gun at anything you don't want to shoot," or "Don't point your gun at anything you can't afford to replace," or some variation.

    One of these days, you will fire a round unintentionally, when your pistol is not as unloaded as you thought it was. Count on it; it will happen some day. If you don't mind shooting your TV, and if you can afford to replace it, then knock yourself out. However, the bullet will go all the way through your TV and into (and through?) whatever is behind the TV. Just be sure that there are no people, pets or other irreplaceable things behind the TV, or behind the wall that is behind the TV.

  10. #10
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
    Safety Rule Two is "Don't point your gun at anything you are not willing to destroy," or "Don't point your gun at anything you don't want to shoot," or "Don't point your gun at anything you can't afford to replace," or some variation.

    One of these days, you will fire a round unintentionally, when your pistol is not as unloaded as you thought it was. Count on it; it will happen some day. If you don't mind shooting your TV, and if you can afford to replace it, then knock yourself out. However, the bullet will go all the way through your TV and into (and through?) whatever is behind the TV. Just be sure that there are no people, pets or other irreplaceable things behind the TV, or behind the wall that is behind the TV.
    Good advice. When I was a much younger man, I shot a picture on the wall of my bedroom. It was a learning experience, and fortunately no one else was home at the time. But if you handle guns enough, an ND will likely befall you.

    Still, no less an authority than Jeff Cooper advocated dry snapping at the TV. Then again, I think he had a low opinion of television.
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  11. #11
    natedog244 is offline Junior Member
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    I just went to Dick's today. If you buy a case, the Remington rounds are $6.98 a box.

  12. #12
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    Low shots are caused by a variety of things. You can actually use this image as a target, but be aware that if the bullets land in a zone it's not necessarily that problem; it could be a combination of the two problems either side of it, or simple inconsistency.

    One of these days, you will fire a round unintentionally, when your pistol is not as unloaded as you thought it was. Count on it; it will happen some day. If you don't mind shooting your TV, and if you can afford to replace it, then knock yourself out. However, the bullet will go all the way through your TV and into (and through?) whatever is behind the TV. Just be sure that there are no people, pets or other irreplaceable things behind the TV, or behind the wall that is behind the TV.
    I am ashamed to say I did this just last weekend. I was practicing dry-firing one-handed with a loaded mag in (for proper weight of course ) but the chamber empty. However I chambered a round while racking the slide to check the chamber without realizing I had done so. Clicked off the safety, pulled the trigger and instead of the click I'd gotten a hundred times... BANG! It was a good shot right through the center of the TV screen. Being a 9mm JHP going through a very thick piece of glass, it didn't make it out the back of the TV, but it put a nice inch and a half hole in the center of the screen, and (you can bet) killed it dead. I almost wet myself, then cleaned the gun, went to the nearest pawn shop and dropped less money than the first one cost for a bigger TV My old one was only a 20"; I managed to make a deal for a 37" TV for $130, and it works perfectly, though the remote is iffy.

    Anyway, I prefer Penn & Teller's version of the 4 rules, rearranged slightly for dramatic effect:

    1. Always treat every firearm as if it were loaded, unless you, yourself, have checked it. ()
    2. Always be sure of your target; not just the target itself, but above, below, to the left, to the right, and behind the target.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your target is sighted.
    4. Never point a gun at ANYTHING, unless you intend to destroy it ()

    I now always check the chamber and mag before I pull the trigger, and I do not keep a loaded mag around the gun unless I expect to seriously use it.

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    That's a good chart, but in my experience it is a better diagnosic tool for one-handed (bullseye-type) shooting than modern two-handed shooting.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  14. #14
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    That's a good chart, but in my experience it is a better diagnosic tool for one-handed (bullseye-type) shooting than modern two-handed shooting.
    Depends on your two-hand grip. If your off-hand cups the butt of the gun, you get similar behavior to one-handed, just steadier. With an "isoceles" grip where your off-hand overlaps your grip hand, I'd agree with you.

  15. #15
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liko81 View Post
    Depends on your two-hand grip. If your off-hand cups the butt of the gun, you get similar behavior to one-handed, just steadier. With an "isoceles" grip where your off-hand overlaps your grip hand, I'd agree with you.
    Okay, I'll amend my statement. The chart works if you use an improper two-handed grip, but not if you use a proper one.
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  16. #16
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    Thumbs down


  17. #17
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    when i was a teenager i was messing around w/my cousins 380 and shot a hole in the wall near the cieling. the round went through the wall and outside of the brickwork. then it fell to earth....i think.
    it was at night in an apt complex. no one was hurt and no one ever found out.it scared me real bad, and i have not had another ND since.
    it was a long time ago.i had nightmares for weeks thinking of what could have happened, if anyone happened to have been standing in the line of fire.ever since that day,i have been extremely careful w/all firearms...

  18. #18
    Joeshwa24's Avatar
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    All the info so far has been really good but I have to say; you can read all day but the thing that will actually make you a good shot is to tae a class. Most of the time it is very hard to self diagnose your issues, so find a good NRA course on handguns and go have some fun at the range.

  19. #19
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeshwa24 View Post
    All the info so far has been really good but I have to say; you can read all day but the thing that will actually make you a good shot is to tae a class. Most of the time it is very hard to self diagnose your issues, so find a good NRA course on handguns and go have some fun at the range.
    +1. A large volume of brass, sent downrange under the eye of a knowledgeable, interactive teacher (could be a range instructor or simply a marksman friend) hath no equal in developing skill.

    That said, the only difference between my first trip to the range and my second trip to the range was better knowledge, from the Web, of what my previous spreads said about my technique (and a little more confidence, little less nerves behind the trigger).

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