1st Time at the Range
Well, it kinda goes like this. And I'll warn ya all I can rant.
Both my wife and myself decided to join the local gun club in an effort to spend more "quality time" away from our kids and get off the couch this winter.
Her father recently gave her his 1954 unmodified Ruger Single Six .22/.22Mag as a "hand-me-down" as he's beginning to clear out some his gun collection to his 4 kids. (I'm getting one too....just not sure which one) We've talked about it for a few years, but never really had anything other than my 10/22 gopher blaster. This Ruger handgun was the "boost" we needed.
I've shot handguns before - this one/ Ruger MK2/Glock 17/Springfield 1911/ S&W.44 to name a few, none at a range and all owned by friends & her family.
So the wife took sympathy on me and let me buy a new Beretta 92FS 9mm as my range "toy" because I figured a 9mm was a "logical" choice up from a .22lr.
Anyways........last monday we decided to "break-in" my new toy and for her to get re-aquainted with her father's old Ruger.
As this was our 1st outing, we got a detailed range course/rules tutorial from the senior range officer on that night, and set out 1st set of targets at 10yds.
Now since we started out on this venture I'll admit I've maybe gone a wee bit overboard on how much info I've absorbed from the web, some classes we both took recently and others that I know. Everything from grip/stance/breathing/trigger control - you name it.
When I finally got ready & pulled the trigger for the 1st time...BOOM! WOW I didn't think a 9mm had "that" kind of kick! - I didn't hit a damn thing.
After that initial shock .....I focused....fired....barely hit the target!
The range officer was nice (and laughing) and helped point out what he felt I was doing wrong, and let me go again.......100 rounds worth.
What I discovered that night was :
1. I need bigger grips. My large 2-handed wrap grip overlaps too much, affecting my trigger control. - so I ordered a set of HOGUE grips w/finger grooves.
2. I can't shoot worth a damn with both arms straight out infront of me, and leaning forward slightly - dropping back with my rt leg and lowering my left shoulder - (socom look) better!
3. Trying to aim with dot sights - confusing?? Ignored them, used "old" style allignment with front sight - good grouping - a little low to the left, but overall not bad
4. 10yds/25yds - very little difference in where I'm hitting, although my groupings are closer at 25?
5. If I "think" too much - I miss. If I draw and fire - I'm way more accurate?? - keep trying that
6. Not sure about this one but I was using 124gr. Blazer Ammo - maybe not the best for starting out? -so I switched to Winchester 115gr. from Walmart (mainly cause it's cheaper)
Bottom line.....I'm hooked...I luv it......and practice makes perfect! This Wed. is my next night to try again, and this time I'll keep the targets!!!
Oh, my gun firing "distracted" my wife so she shot very little, and focused her attention on my trials & tribulations and was quite amused.
ahhh coffee good tonight
Last edited by cupsz71; 11-19-2007 at 09:27 PM.
Reason: college education - still can't spell
Glad you're hooked. Some observations:
Originally Posted by cupsz71
- The "kick" is not what made you miss. The bullet is on its way before recoil can have much (if any) effect on point of impact. You missed the target because you were worried about the "kick" and you yanked the living snot out of the trigger.
- You didn't need new grips. But, they probably won't hurt, and spending money on guns is almost as much fun as shooting them, so enjoy.
- Your ammo is fine. The difference in accuracy between cheap ammo and expensive ammo is a matter of tiny increments, insignificant except to somebody shooting at a high level bullseye match, where a tenth of an inch is the difference between first place and second place. Your gun, with that ammo, is capable of astonishing accuracy. You would be amazed how accurately that pistol will shoot that ammo.
- 25 yards is extreme long range for pistols. Don't even go there for a long time, at least not until you can shoot five shots into one ragged hole at 5 yards, on demand, every time. Do your practicing at 5 yards and 7 yards, and think of 10 yards as your long range target.
- You're drawing from the leather? Well, OK, but that's a little scary. You might get better results if you work backwards. Start pointed in. Then start with the gun in both hands, but held just in front of your strong side shoulder, pointed in the general direction of the target, finger off the trigger, and bring it forward for the shot. Then start with the gun in the holster, and your hand on the gun in a full, firm firing grip. From there, draw out and bring your hands together in front of the strong shoulder, and then bring it forward for the shot. After you've done each of those a couple thousand times, start with your hands clear of the gun, and put all the steps together.
- You and your wife should try wearing both foam plugs and hard earmuffs on top of those. The noise of your shots won't distract her that way, and you'll be less susceptible to yanking by anticipating "kick." The perception of recoil is often really perception of the noise (which is damn loud) rather than the actual movement of the gun.
Welcome to a life long learning process, enjoy.
Welcome to the wonderful world of shooting. Stay loose and enjoy what you are doing. Listen to the pointers you get from some older shooters and try them. Not all will work for you but keep enjoying what your doing. Don't leave the wife on the side line to long or she will get bored. Get her up and shooting and then you'll have a partener. Good luck and enjoy.
Thanks for the FYI Baldy about keeping the wifey involved. Your right, I don't want her to feel left out or bored. We joined this venture together, I'll keep a better eye on that. - and I want to try her Ruger out too -
I had no idea that 25 yds was too far, alothough I had a sneeky suspicion it was, because of how "wild" at least 1/2 my shots were. I'll move in my target closer to around the 7-10yd mark and try that
Oh, and when I said "draw" I meant lifiting/raising it off the range table infront of me. No holster yet, but I did complete/pass my Concealed Carry requirements and am considering a holster, but I'm having trouble picking one. I'm 6'05" over 300lbs so it's a challenge. - sofar the "paddle" with the FBI tilt is looking like more the style of what I need but the jury is still out. My 92 is the "hang-up" I bought it because it fit my hand and felt better that others I tried. The drawback - kinda large as a CCW?
I'm considering a smaller pistol after xmas, but one problem persists.....I pretty sure I have too large of hands for a compact/semi-compact pistol. I've got to try some. - any ideas/thoughts?
ahh coffee good thismorning!!
You're dead on the right track...
I agree with the above. Start out at 7yds (20ft) and tighten up your groups.
1) Shoot the gun seated, off the range bench, resting on a jacket for ten shots, to take any man-in-the-loop-errors out. Find out where it is hitting.
2) Bring the gun and target to a pistol-smith if the sights are off. Most are good from the factory, some are not...
3) Now... practice practice practice 5 to 10 shot groups at 7 yds.
4) That gun is good for 1-2" groups at 7yds EASY. When YOU are good for 2-4" groups, then move out, and move to holster-draws.
5) Only competitive target pistol is shot at 25yds, and not with three-dot sights with a combat gun.
Have fun, and have a little healthy comp with the wife!
I'm envious of you shooting wiht your wife. My girlfriend even likes to shoot but she has a lingering finger injury that is really hurt by the recoil of pistols. She broke her ring finger, right hand when she was younger and never got it fixed properly so it's super sensitive now.
HGF Forum Moderator
Jeff, I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you on number 5, above. Although I'm sure many, or even most, handgun shooters don't regularly practice at 25 yards, there are still many that do. Heck, at one of my local outdoor rifle/pistol ranges, the CLOSEST target berm is at 25 yards. At the other range, 15 yards is the shortest frame where you can hang a target. Not only myself, but all the shooters who use these ranges shoot at the distances indicated, three-dot sights or not. And as long as you know and apply the fundamentals of shooting, most folks can produce very good results at these longer distances.
Originally Posted by JeffWard
Now, when I want a challenge, I put the steel plates out at 50 yards, or shoot some synthetic "rubber" swinging targets at 100 with my Glock 9mm; THAT'S long distance shooting for conventional pistols.
The 25yds I was shooting was what the range officer that night wanted me to try. The club I joined has an outside range (little chilly now it as 10F here thismorning) and If I remember correctly, he did mention that the closest target on the Handgun side is 25yds. He is a local competition shooter(IPSC) , so I guess 25yrds is "the norm" to him. He also mentioned to me that I should try it.
I'll admit it looks like a blast, and my groupings at 25yrd were "good" as far as a rookie is concerned. - low/left.
But for now on the inside range I'll work on the essentials, and hopefully master 7-10yrds first or at least try.
ahhhh coffee strong today