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  1. #1
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Can sights change while shooting?

    I was at the range today with my P99. I put 25 rounds through at 10, 15 and then 20 yards and every shot went exactly where I wanted it having my sights lined up. Then my shots started going way off the mark, usually off the paper. It was that abrupt, first 25 or so were on the mark and then all of a sudden my shots were going all over the place. I didn't drop the gun or bump against it and I certainly didn't touch the sights, so I can't think of why my shots changed like that all of a sudden, it was weird. I put another 25 rounds through and I had no idea where they were going so I stopped shooting after that.

    Maybe this just seems like a phenomenon to me cause I don't get to shoot much and it's well known to you guys, but is it possible for the sights to move about while shooting, maybe from the recoil or something?

  2. #2
    zhurdan's Avatar
    zhurdan is offline Senior Member
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    I'd say that if they moved because of recoil, then you can probably move them by hand. It's most likely that it is not the case.

    Do you shoot often?
    Did you start shooting faster than at first?
    Did you change your stance?
    Was there a girl present? (showoff hehe)
    Do your wrists hurt the next morning?


    I ask these things because...
    If you don't shoot often, you will fatigue and shots will go to crap.
    If you started shooting faster than at first you may not have had complete control over the pistol.
    Changing your stance can change everything including point of impact.
    Girls tend you make men do "macho" stuff, seriously. (hehe)
    If your wrists hurt after shooting, hit the weights a little, get a racketball to squeeze during the day. It'll help alot.

    Zhur

  3. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    They sure can. To paraphrase the great John Bender, "Screws loosen all the time. The world is an imperfect place."

    They can also change more drastically. I was once shooting an El Presidente with a 1911, and when I got to the third target, I noted I no longer had a front sight. It had apparently been launched into orbit.

    But shooter fatigue can also come into play, especially for inexperienced shooters.
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  4. #4
    Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I think your technique may have changed. Just my opinion. I did have a pellet rifle once that the rear sight vibrated every time I fired a shot...I fixed that with super glue.

  5. #5
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    especially for inexperienced shooters.
    That was a slap in the face Mike

    I honestly don't think it was any fault of my own, I didn't do anything differently than I've done every other time I go. I've been shooting enough so that my hands don't hurt and I didn't get tired. Sure, my stance changed but every time I go to the range I'm walking around, checking the target, getting a drink of water etc., I never stand in one place (I don't shoot indoors). I don't think it was my technique, it was so sudden. One mag and every shot was were I want it, next mag they're going all over the place. This has never happened before, that's why I'm at such a lose for an explanation other than the sights changing. I'm gonna take a look at the sights again, thats got to be it.

  6. #6
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    They sure can. To paraphrase the great John Bender, "Screws loosen all the time. The world is an imperfect place."
    Actual quote:

    "Screws fall out all the time. The world is an imperfect place."

    I'd say fatigue plays a big part. Not only in the hands but throughout the body, in the legs and shoulders as well. If the sights moved once, you would still be grouping consistently. If the sights were so loose that the shots were erratic, meaning the sights were moving with every shot, you should be able to feel it when you touch the sights.

    After 200 to 250 shots off hand, my shoulders are pretty much shot (bad from baseball) and even an hour rest can't bring them back. I definitely feel, see and notice trembling movement with slow trigger pulls after that many rounds.

  7. #7
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    Marcus99,
    Please remember that when asking for advice... expect to hear things that you may not want to hear.

    I also said basically, that inexperience may be the cause. Just out of curiosity, how many years have you been shooting?

    I truly am not trying to aggravate you here, but help you. Not being able to "see" the problem, it is very, no strike that... near impossible to diagnose the problem. So, we have to make assumptions. Well, we all know what happens when you assume.

    That being said, I believe that Mike is a very experienced shooter and probably more able to diagnose issues from text alone better than most.

    I've been shooting for the better part of 27 years or so, seriously for 10-12 years. People offer up advise, most of the time, based on where they are, not where the person they are helping is. That may not be the case here, but something you may want to take into consideration when asking a text based question to a completely and utterly dynamic situation like shooting.

    My personal suggestion is this. Wait a few days... inspect the firearm to make sure there are no physical faults. Go out shooting again and see if the problem remains.... then, start eliminating possibilities. Use one magazine at a time... for several strings of fire. Use a bench rest or sandbags. Shoot slow and steady. Shoot a bit faster to see if it's you.

    Someone calling you inexperienced is like someone calling you the wrong name when all you offer up is "Zhurdan". That's not my real name, but no one would know that aside from taking a guess, or knowing me personally. I don't know you personal history with handguns, I haven't held your weapon, I haven't shot it and seen the same results.... so... we assume things. Don't take it so hard.

    In fact, Mike was all "bustin' on me" for slapping in one of my videos. I could have taken offense, but I didn't. I saw that he knows what the frak he is talking about, and noted that the video was quite old, but still indicative of good muzzle control for the .357Sig pistol. The point is, he pointed something out that he may or may not have had enough information to accurately diagnose. I took the parts that were correct (aka slapping) and corrected the information on the time line.

    The internet is a ruthless place to ask for help, as people cannot express themselves fully through text as they may in face to face conversations. Take things with a grain of salt and absorb the good information that you get.

    I see the big smiley face after your first statement and realize that it may not be that you are actually honked off about it, but thought that for the benefit of others, it might be worth explaining. See, the funny thing is, a lot of people have tons of questions that never get asked because they are worried about what response they will get. So consider this information for everyone.

    Shoot safe.

    Zhur

  8. #8
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Zhurdan, you got me all wrong, I was just busting mike's balls. I didn't take offense at all. I guess sometimes it's hard to get sarcasm through on internet forums, sorry. I appreciate the comments very much, I'm definately gonna keep in mind what you guys recommend, otherwise I wouldn't have made this thread. I want the advice, and I want to hear it all whether possitive or negative, I'm not touchy or sensitive so don't worry about it. I admit I'm inexperienced (if you look through my posts you'll see I've said so many times), that's one of the major reasons why I'm here at handgunforums, to try and gain some knowledge.

    To answer your question, I've been shooting for six years. I'm only 18, so the laws make it difficult for me to go unless I'm with my father/grandfather or a friend who has a Class A, or I'm in NH where I can go alone. As such I don't shoot as much ammo as you guys do since I can't afford it, so my target shooting overall is scaled down from the norm that you guys do.

    The thing is, I only shot 25 rounds before they started going off the mark. It's not like I was shooting for hours and getting tired, I had only been at the range for 10-15 minutes before it started to happen.

    BTW, the post that you're looking at (#5), where I quoted mike, the second paragraph of that post wasn't related to me quoting mike at all. I realize it kinda looks like that, but that wasn't my intention. I was kinda thinking out loud when I typed it.

  9. #9
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    Well good on ya bud. Taking advise is a learned skill. You are wise to do so at such a young age.


    I wasn't sure if you were really honked off or not, but like you and I both said, the internet is a hard 'book' to read.

    Unless there is a physical fault to the pistol or sights, it may be a magazine issue, but that is very unlikely.... patience and repeated trials are in order... keep us update... WITH VIDEO IF YOU CAN YOU BUNCH OF INTERNET WEIRDO'S DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT VIDEO ROCKS????

    (was there enough sarcasm and blatant humor in that last part?, but seriously, if you can film it, it will help you!!)

    Zhur

  10. #10
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Sights can definitely walk around. Try bumping them with a screw driver butt end. Not extreemly hard but a medium hard bump. If they move you can remove the loose one and use a center punch to raise some metal in the dovetail area of either sight or gun then reinstall and reset. I add a bit of blue Locktite. Don't use the super strong type though.

    I am pleased to see you and the other young guys stepping in to take over from us old goats as we turn into frogs and croak.

    May the Force be with you.

  11. #11
    Dsig1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    Unless there is a physical fault to the pistol or sights, it may be a magazine issue, but that is very unlikely.... patience and repeated trials are in order... keep us update... WITH VIDEO IF YOU CAN YOU BUNCH OF INTERNET WEIRDO'S DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND THAT VIDEO ROCKS????
    Zhur,

    You mention that it could be, however unlikely is, a magazine problem. How might it happen that a mag would feed OK but throw you off target? I'm hoping this is some new angle to blame my bad groups on.

  12. #12
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    I used to have an old Tokerov pistol in 7.62x25 that with one magazine, for whatever reason, the gun would not lock up properly by just a tiny amount. Not enough to stop the hammer from falling. The hammer fall would push the slide forward the touch it need and fire and it shot like crap. The other magazines worked fine and the pistol shot well enough for what it was, I tossed the magazine and didn't worry about it anymore. In the end I sold the pistol and bought something of higher quality.

    Thinking back, I'm glad I did sell it, it was pushing the slide into full battery before detonation, but that kinda scares me thinking about it now.

    That was one of the first pistols I ever owned of my own. All the rest were my dads or grandpas. After that, I learned the lesson about quality. Sometimes a little extra money can go a long way.

    I wouldn't think this is very common, so that's why I said it'd be very unlikely.

    Zhur

  13. #13
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    If we delve into possible causes of inaccuracy as opposed to the OP's original question we need to consider possibility of cleanliness of the mechanism among other things. What brand and type ammo was in use. Could it be leaving unburned powder particles in the gun causing a different lockup to occur. Have you inspected for breakage within the mechanism etc.

    Is the gun new and the first 25 the first ever?
    If new was the gun cleaned prior to it's first use.

    Anything that can cause the barrel and slide to end up in a different relative position will cause random POI because the sights are on the slide and the bullet is directed by barrel position.

    Good luck

  14. #14
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    The gun is not new, I believe it is 4+ years old. Maybe a thousand rounds put through it, that's a rough estimate, probably less.

    The gun was cleaned several weeks ago, I did a very thorough cleaning. Field stripped it and hoppied the whole inside down, then some oil and wiped it all out. It looked almost new when I finished. I took it to the range a few times with maybe 200 rounds put through it before this happened.

    Now that I think of it TOF you bring an interesting point to mind.

    I was shooting a box of 115gr Winchesters, the ones that go for $20 at Walmart, they are cooper coated, they are pretty much the only 9mm's I shoot. It was a new box, i.e. It was full when I took it to the range. Now that I'm looking at the gun I see gold colored shavings on the outside and inside of the action, particularly on the end of the barrel that is inside the action( the exposed part of the action with the serial number on it, what's that part of the barrel called?). They're definitely shavings from the rounds fired, and I don't remember seeing them there before or any other time that I've shot those similar rounds. Maybe in this particular box the rounds were cut slightly too large, but why then were my first 25 shots all on target.

    You know what I think, I don't have enough info to really figure out what's going on. I'm gonna try and go to the range this weekend when I'm up in NH, but it's always so damn crowded on weekends, probably just go early next week. I'll let you guys know what I figure out.

    Thanks for the help!

  15. #15
    unpecador's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
    Maybe in this particular box the rounds were cut slightly too large, but why then were my first 25 shots all on target.
    Well it's obvious all of the other rounds were defective, damn Wal-Mart ammo...

    Just playing Marcus, good idea on going troubleshooting.

  16. #16
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    You need to clean it thoroughly before shooting again. If it starts scattering pull the slide and barrel off and simply wipe it clean to see if accuracy recovers.

    I have seen brass colored debri from factory ammo before and I think it was part of the powder charge rather than case material.

    Recover the cases and look for scraping or other case damage.

    Let us know what happens and enjoy the problem search. Thats how you learn about these cantankerous tool/toys.


  17. #17
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    I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that "brass colored" debris is not brass at all. I have always had that mess in/on my guns since I only typically shoot WWB for practice, and it has never caused any issues in my guns. Just a thought, and I'll be interested to see how this turns out when you do some more troubleshooting. Good luck!

    -Jeff-

  18. #18
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
    ( the exposed part of the action with the serial number on it, what's that part of the barrel called
    The barrel hood.
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  19. #19
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    It was the sights.

    I cleaned the gun this morning and went down to the range with the same box of ammo (had 40 rounds left) and a screw driver. I took a look at the sights and it was clear that the back one was way off, played with it a little bit to get it on the mark every couple shots and now It's a lot better, although not as good as it was before.

    I think what may have caused it is I hit the sights somehow when I put it in my holster. I just got two Comp-Tac holsters a little while ago and I'm not really good at drawing/putting the gun in them so It's likely that I bumped the sights.

    So anyhow, that's the deal. Live and learn I guess. Thanks guys!

  20. #20
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
    I just got two Comp-Tac holsters a little while ago and I'm not really good at drawing/putting the gun in them
    Get good. This is a recipe for an ND that will ruin your week - and your leg.
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