The best thing to improve your technique is to have someone teach you proper technique....
But as far as self improvement, dry fire practice will help a lot.
I just got back from my first time out with my M&P 9c. I love how the gun feels but it's only my third time shooting pistols.
I'm a pretty decent shot with long guns but my accuracy was pretty bad today. I was wondering what is a good way to practice my accuracy before my next range outing? I imagine of I didn't have a guy shooting an ak47 next to me might help but I would like to get a lot better.
I do want to take a class. But with the expense of a new gun and foreseeable range time in the near future I'm going to wait a bit on one of those. I have a few friends that are handgun enthusiasts but I honestly haven't seen them shoot before.
Here's a simple at-home practice technique:
1. Unload your pistol by removing its magazine and then emptying its chamber. Now, check it again. Put it down.
2. Take all of the gun's ammunition to another room. Leave it there.
3. Return to the gun, pick it up, and check it yet again.
4. Now, load-up with snap-caps.
5. Holding the pistol in a firing grip, place a penny or a dime flat atop its slide, as close to the muzzle as you can get it.
6. Grip the gun in both hands as usual, and carefully fire a practice shot. The coin fell off, didn't it?
7. Re-cock the gun. Replace the coin. Try it again, but this time concentrate upon smoothly pressing the trigger rearward without moving the pistol.
8. Keep trying. When you can fire five consecutive "shots" without seeing the coin fall off in the process, you will have learned something about trigger control.
9. OK, now let's make it harder. Balance the coin on the pistol's front sight, and do the exercise some more.
The next time you do some live shooting, you will see lots of improvement.
Remember that, to really learn something, you must not try to establish speed or quickness. What you really want is smoothness. Be slow and smooth.
If you keep practicing to be smooth, you will surprise yourself with how quick you have "automatically" become.
Maintain your skill by doing some dry-fire practice each and every day, but for no more than 10 minutes each day. Don't tire yourself out.
"Shoot" at a blank wall, rather than at the TV or a photo of your mother-in-law. That way, you can see whether the front sight is steady, or if it's "dancing around." Go for smooth and steady.
Thanks Steve. I've been doing that drill with an empty casing as opposed to a coin. I haven't been able to find snap caps any where though. I think most of it is mental. All the noise of an indoor range might be throwing off concentration.
I am cross dominate (right handed left eyed) so I shoot long guns lefty but I think my stance isn't helping shooting right handed with a pistol.
I am also left eye dominate, this worked well for me - hope it helps
How to make your own snap-caps:
1. collect enough empty cases.
2. Remove their used primers. You can do this with a finishing nail pounded halfway into the end of a piece of dowel. Press the base of the empty against a piece of wood with a hole in it.
3. Clean the cases well. Soap and water works well, especially when you also use a small brush of some kind.
4. Press some sort of resilient material into the empty primer pocket of each case. Nylon rod is particularly good, but pencil eraser works too. The new "primer" should be oversize, so it will be a jam fit, and it needn't be exactly circular either.
5. If you want your snap-caps to feed through a magazine, you will need to add "bullets," too. You could use wooden dowel pressed into the case, all the way to its bottom, and then rounded-off at its top to form the "bullet." The exposed wood should be waxed.
You can buy snap-caps online from Brownells.
Thanks again Steve. I did some more balancing drills and shot another 150 rounds at the range today. I'm holding most in the 7 circle but still pulling to the left. All but one of strays were from ~20 yards the rest are 10-15. All in all for my third time shooting pistols I'm decently happy. But I do want to get to the point were I can start shooting the local pistol night.
Now, if your range will allow it, stop using bulls-eye targets.
Instead, switch to eight-inch-diameter paper plates, taped or glued to plain, blank paper.
Start with the paper plate out at seven yards. Yup—only seven yards. Try to hit only the paper plate. No other hits count.
When you can hit the plate with every shot, move the plate out to 10 yards.
Then go to 12 or 13 yards. Then to 15 yards. Then to 20 yards.
When you hit the plate with every shot at 20 yards, you're accurate enough for self-defense.
(You can try 25 yards too, if you're brave and confident.)
Now do the exact same thing...but using "double taps"—that is, firing two fairly quick shots for every presentation.
Do not try to be fast. Be slow and smooth. You are trying to become smooth, not fast.
I will try that Steve. I am not going for speed yet although ill admit I've tried two or three rapid fire mags just to see what it felt like. Cost will keep me away from the range for at least a few days. But I got some snap caps and I will be doing a lot of drills.