Target Shooting Advice For Novices
I am new to handgun shooting. I am fairly skilled with long guns, both shotgun and rifle, but have never really shot a handgun, except in impromptu scenarios with my buddies.
Recently, I purchased a couple of S&W 22A’s for my wife and I and we joined a local shooting league. Mine has the 5 ½” barrel and hers has the 4” barrel. Both guns have open sights with adjustable rears. She’s a small women and the balance of the short barrel felt better to her. She has virtually no experience in shooting of any kind.
With that bit of background, I need some advice regarding technique and expected results. We shoot weekly at a distance of 50’ at an indoor range rented by the hour by the gun club. Targets have a 4” black circle, 8” outer ring on 12” square paper. We shoot 3 segments, 10 rounds per segment. They are Slow-Fire (10 rounds/10 min), Timed-Fire (5 rounds/20 seconds, reload, repeat) and Rapid-Fire (5 rounds/10 seconds, reload, repeat). A perfect score would be 30 rounds in the 10 circle for a total of 300. We are in our 3rd week of shooting. My cousin and his daughter routinely shoot scores from 210 to 250, and they are by no means the best.
To be honest, I am disappointed in my performance (shooting scores of 100 to 150). My wife has been shooting scores less than that. We are both in our 50’s. I seem to score better on the timed and rapid fire, while my wife seems to do better on the slow timed portion. I have bore sighted both guns at 50’ (the sight rail is part of the barrel and the barrel is removable).
I guess the questions I have are:
Should a different technique be used to sight in the pistols? (It is cold now, up in north and no outdoor open shoot ranges are open and if they were, methodical sighting in 20 degree weather would not be enjoyable)
Should we be sticking to open sights or go to some sort of optics, such as red dots or scopes?
If the guns are sighted properly, should a person stick with open sights and work on technique?
My original intent here was to get us more proficient with handguns and to eventually acquire our Carry Permits. Which is why, I thought, maybe learning to shoot accurately with open sights would be better. Sorry this is bit long, but I wanted to give pertinent background information.
Any thoughts, advice and ideas would be welcomed. I am a firm believer in taking advice from people who have ‘been there, done that’!
Thanks, in advance!