Got back from the range..and...
Everytime I shoot (I'm a new shooter) I always shoot to the lower left hand side of the target. Im right handed and I keep the left eye open. Ive been using the thumbs forward approach when gripping. Any suggestions?
With an empty gun, dry fire and watch closely (or have someone watch) the barrel from the top...It may be pushing the barrel to the left by the way you are pulling trigger...If you can, try to put just the very tip of your trigger finger on the trigger and let no other part of your trigger finger touch the gun...I was putting my trigger finger in too far and when I squeezed the trigger I was moving the barrel just a touch to my left..
If you go low, you are probably anticipating the shot ever so slightly. That is very easy to do and sometimes not so easy to realize..
If you firmly (very firmly) grip the gun and move ONLY the trigger finger, you should be ok...If when you squeeze the trigger you also tighten your grip inadvertantly, the muscles in your hand contracting can move the gun too...
Try to keep a firm grip on the gun and take your time and concentrate on moving only the trigger finger and let the shot kinda surprise you, then you should shoot where you are aiming...
after I typed all this I failed to ask what gun you shoot. Semi-auto, revolver, SA or DA
When you shoot, do so slowly. You didn't mention the type of gun you are using but if it is a .40 or .45 you are probably anticipating the recoil. Willy D gives good advise. I'd also encourage you to pick up some snap caps and load them into your magazine at random points, along with your target ammo. What this does is allow you to shoot downrange and at random times you will pull the trigger without a shot being fired. At that point you will see how much you are anticipating the recoil of the shot. The gun will go down and to one side noticeably. Practice making each trigger break a surprise.
Last edited by Dsig1; 07-24-2008 at 09:38 AM.
Ed McGivern mentions in his book, "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting" to hold the end of the barrel close to a mirror when dry firing and watch the barrel move. When you see what it happening, it makes it easier to correct it. BTW: for those of you that have never read the book, it's a beaut! McGivern was also one of the characters in the Stephen Hunter book, "Pale Horse Coming". But along with Audi Murphy and some others, their names were skewed slightly. Awesome book also.
First... CHECK YOUR SIGHTS! Two of the three XDs I own came from the factory with the sights OFF. Now they are all perfect. Your technique could be perfect, and your sights off... Benchrest the gun, or have an experienced shooter benchrest the gun at 7-10 yards, and see where it is grouping. Assuming the GUN shoots straight... NOW... Dry-fire, dry-fire, dry-fire... assuming it is an auto.
I'd say Willy D hit it on the head in his first paragraph. Make sure your finger isn't too far in on the trigger. right between the tip and the first knuckle on the pad of your finger is about right. Also, practice this...
hold your right hand out with fingers all straight. curl your trigger finger while trying not to move any other fingers, voluntarily or not. You'll probably notice your middle finger dipping a little. With practice, you can get that to be just a tiny little movement rather than a whole hand movement.
Also, here's another great way to see if you are flinching. Buy some 'snapcaps' for your pistol. Either load them randomly or have someone else load them for you putting live ammo mixed in with the snap caps. Only put 1 or 2 snap caps per magazine or it won't be a surprize. Focus on slow shooting. Being that you don't know what is in the pipe, a live round or a snap cap, you will probably notice a giant flinch when you drop the hammer on a snap cap. This just takes some trigger time and focusing on trigger control and not flinching. It takes a while so be patient.
+1 on the too much trigger finger. I also agree with the other advice that you have recevied.
Thanks everyone! I will try it. I'm shooting a CZ 75 P0-1 9mm. Yea, it never failed, every target had a cluster of holes on the lower left hand side. I will try your advice. Im still trying to feel more confident behind the trigger..I guess it will take more time and more practicing
What I usually do is load 10 rounds at a time and shoot them, then I pull back the target and see where I shot...If you can confirm the sights being on track on your gun, that is a plus...Whatever you do, dont compensate by aiming high and to the right to get your hits in the center...
If your sights are on the money and you are hitting off target, then it is your influence on the gun that is making it miss the mark...Stay focused and don't get discouraged...
Anticipating the shot is something that your body will subconsciensely want to do...You have to just relax and concentrate on consciensely not doing it...after you get past that, it will be natural to not do it...it was a hard thing for me to get through too...just try to not get yourself to a point of frustration about it...with time and patience and practice it will come naturally..
The slightest amount of influence on the gun (even 1/16th of an inch at the muzzle) can pull you off target a pretty good amount at 7 yards. The her the target away, the her that small amount affects the hits on the target...
Looks like good advice has already been given so I just thought I'd ramble. When I took my P-01 to the range for the first time, I spent most of the hour session just pointing at the target and pulling the trigger to get a general feeling of shooting it. I didn't worry too much about aiming for accuracy at that time although most of my shots were still in the black of the target but scattered. Since then I spend most of an hour session at the range practicing shot placement and the last 10-15 minutes just pointing and shooting and even if I had a bad day with accuracy I could always find comfort in knowing that I could simply point and shoot and still hit my target.
Another thing you didn't mention is how far your target is down range. I usually start off at about 7 yards and gradually move it further back during my session.
Low-left hits for a right-handed shooter are a sign of jerking the trigger.
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Originally Posted by Ram Rod
Ram Rod's makes a great post. I've actually printed from my computer and used it as a target at the range. It'll give you the ability to analyze your mistakes after each 3 round grouping. With ammo becoming increasingly more expensive it's a good way to make your range time as effective as possilble. Snap caps are also a good way to get some trigger time in between range trips.
Originally Posted by zhurdan
Another +1 on the trigger finger placement. A little too much finger adn you will push the gun a little. Bit that 1/8" starts to really add up over more yardage,
Ok, I did what everyone said, and wow! It did make a difference! Now I notice that Im clustering about 60% at 6 O' Clock and the other 40% are dead on. Not bad for 3 time shooting a gun hu? All these targets have been at 25' to 30'
Now you're just anticipating the recoil... Good shooters do the same on occassion. Your pushing the barrel down subconciously. That too will go away.
I'm not nearly as concerned about vertical spread in my groups when practicing defensive shooting. In reality, "shooting to stop" means clustering yourhits as frequently as possible on the spinal column of the target. The "stop-zone" on an agressive human target runs from the center of the brain, to the base of the spine... 2 ft+. But is only an inch or so wide... When I'm practicing faster, defensive-style, "metal-over-meat shooting", I'm focused entirely on barrel/sight alignment, minimally on elevation or leveling the sight picture. If the front sight is a bit high or low, he's still stopping...
This will be great for a new shooter class I give - It will make it easier for my students to visualize what they are doing incorrect when I cannot be there. Thank you for sharing this!!!
Originally Posted by biegel34
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