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Old 10-18-2013, 6:52 PM
DeadWhiteGoose DeadWhiteGoose is offline
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Default Working on my target shooting

I've been shooting consistently for the past couple of years and was wondering about some advice on how to get better. I am thinking about hiring an instructor but figured I'd ask you guys for some advice as well. Can't hurt right? I mainly enjoy shooting handguns and as of right now I shoot a Ruger MkIII 22/45, a S&W 686+ Pro Series, a Beretta 92fs and a Springfield Loaded Stainless 1911.
Here is my target from my last range visit. 50rds of 9mm through my Beretta 92fs at 15yds. any tips about my shooting low and left would be appreciated! (Also, I shoot consistently right with my 1911, so I'm not sure if its me, the guns or both)
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:17 AM
sofbak sofbak is offline
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I had a similar problem with my groupings. For me the cure was a stronger grip-but not the "squeeze-with-the-fingers" element of grip, but a stronger push/pull-i.e. push a little harder on the back strap with the strong hand and pull a little harder with the fingers of the support hand.

With your groups being low and not too far off center, you may be anticipating recoil and flinching a little too.

I have a training aid that I used to practice at home with-and it helped me a lot. Consists of a laser bore sight and a target with a 1/4" photocell in the emits a continuous tone as long as the laser strikes it. The drill is to put the laser on the photo cell and keep it there while pulling the trigger. If the tone is continuous, then you know your trigger work is good. If you hear the tone is interrupted during the pull-your trigger pull needs work.

It helped me smooth out the trigger pull, and got rid of the flinch as well.

I don't use it anymore and was considering selling it. PM me interested but try tightening your grip a bit with the push/pull.
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:33 AM
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kentactic kentactic is offline
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Right-handed shooters that are hitting low left are jerking the trigger. Your group is A-OK for self defense honestly. But ya low left means your forcing the trigger on command a bit rather then Squeeeeeezing it off. It dosent look very serious though.

When I shoot rapid fire a very obvious low left pattern emerges sometimes. Just be aware of it and correct the problem.

A good way to explain it is when you apply trigger pressure and it loads up on that 2nd stage you should be applying pressure in incriments. 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% BANG! ... as apposed to loading up the trigger and going right to 80% BANG!

Its a smooth squeeeeeze not a PULL!

Last edited by kentactic; 10-19-2013 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 10-19-2013, 2:14 PM
tyrant1714 tyrant1714 is offline
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Tourqe with your support hand thumb by pressing against the frame of the gun, this should center up the left movement of the gun cause by the movement of the trigger finger. There is also the use of back tension eight he firing hand but that is a can of worms on its own.
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Old 10-19-2013, 2:33 PM
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SonofWWIIDI SonofWWIIDI is offline
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Take a camera to the range, set it up to get your hands and arms in the shot, have someone else load your mag with a dummy round somewhere in the stack. If you are pulling or flintching, it will most likely show up on the video.

This may help too.

And, start using smaller targets. Three inch rounds placed on the back of a standard target. Aim small, miss small.

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Old 10-20-2013, 7:44 AM
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Wicked Pete Wicked Pete is offline
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Really, I look at the target and think: "this is 50 yds"? Damn good shooting (standing?) if you ask me.

Good enough for the ole "hostage shot"!
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Old 10-20-2013, 3:23 PM
DeadWhiteGoose DeadWhiteGoose is offline
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Haha thanks but no no it's only 15yds. I see what happened though. I said 50rds of 9mm at 15yds. Haha I haven't even tried 50yds yet but my 1911 will get that honor.
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Old 10-21-2013, 8:13 PM
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BIG_G BIG_G is offline
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You're shooting a 92FS, I've had some experience with this.

I believe you're peeking at the target, your grip is good, I suspect. I'm assuming you are a right handed shooter? If so, you're peeking at the target and you have an excellent support hand grip. Your up and down error is greater than your left right error.

Let me ask you, have you tried the one ragged hole drill? AKA the dot drill? Firing at the target from three yards are your shots always in the same hole? They should be.

What I'd advise you to do is to set up a one ragged hole event. I like cheap paper plates and an extra wide sharpie for making targets. Use the sharpie to make a series of 1" squares on the paper plate. Place the target on the target board and back up 3 yards. Dry fire the drill from the holster a couple dozen times. Don't go fast, just concentrate on doing each segment of your movement perfectly, if it's not perfect it's too fast, slow down and work your body mechanics until you can do them correctly without consciously thinking about them.

From your shot group photo that you posted, I can see you have some skill. I can see that your rounds are impacting low. For your own information you should know that only M9's are zeroed at the Beretta factory. 92FS are test fired for functionality, but they are not zeroed for accuracy. Several years ago, Mr. L.L. at Beretta sold us over a dozen 92FS pistols that we purchased with our own money for our own personal development as military shooting team members. We took our pistols to the range, and noticed that some of them were shooting about 8 inches low at 15 yards. The poor guys doing this were mercilessly teased. Until they passed their pistols to other team guys to shoot, with similar results. We contacted L.L. at Beretta and found out that in fact, no, the 92FS are not test fired for accuracy at the factory. Beretta sent us out some complete replacement slides and barrels. Problem solved. We bought a Beretta rear sight adjustment tool (not cheap). And from then on, we zeroed each and every 92FS or M9 we shot. A very long story to say to you to check your sights by firing from a bench rest. I don't think your sights are off, because if they were, your shot group would be much further south of where it is now. But it's worth it to check.

Once mechanical sight issues are resolved. It's time to work on the one ragged hole.

A curious thing about target pistol shooting, you must keep your focus on the precise tip of the center of the front sight blade during the entire time you're firing. What's happening to you is that you are cycling your focus from front sight to target.

So the question then becomes, well how do I line up the front sight, rear sight and the center of the target without looking at them? You cannot look at the target. EVER. If you do, your shots will continue to drift down.

Add an element of time to your practice, put a shot clock on yourself. With two five round magazines loaded, one inserted in the pistol, round in the chamber, hammer forward, pistol holstered, the other 5 round magazine on your belt. Two targets (use the target type in the photo you started this thread with) at 15 yards down range. Beginning with the pistol in the holster you have have 10 seconds to fire 5 shots, reload and fire 5 more shots, this time on target #2. You're looking for 5 hits on each target. In 10 seconds you will draw, fire five rounds on target 1, reload, transition to target 2 and fire five more rounds.

I will bet you dollars to donuts that a few of your shots are much, much lower on the target. This is because you are looking at the target, trying to find center. YOU CANNOT DO THAT while focusing on the front sight.

Keep your eye precisely focused on the tip of the center of the front sight, during the ENTIRE act of firing.

The human eye cannot focus on three things at once. It can focus on one single point at a time. As you move your focus to the target, you are moving the pistol down to see the X on your target. After that first round or two is fired as you shoot holes in the target and a beam of light shines through, you are looking for those holes each time. A beginner (heck even champions get caught looking at Medusa from time to time), as you shoot more holes in the target, your shot group gets progressively lower on the target.

Slow down and force yourself to concentrate on the tip of the sight, no matter what. If you lose focus on the sight. Re-holster and start again. Do NOT allow yourself to fire if your focus is not on the precise tip of the center of the front sight. In this way you will train your brain to find that precise spot each time you begin to fire and hold it through out the act of firing. Your mind will want to focus on the rear sight and the target, your mission is to train your brain to use the information from your peripheral vision to meet the brains requirement for information. See the rear sight, don't look at it. Do not allow it to lose focus on the tip of the center of the front sight.

As this begins to work for you, you may be overcome with giggling like a little kid. It happens. Since you just realized what a bad *** you are with a pistol.

You can see how focus works by holding your thumb in front of the TV. Focus on the tip of the center of your thumb. Maintain that focus, and as you do, notice the images on the TV ... WITHOUT FOCUSING ON THEM. You focus on your thumb, you "see" the images on the TV. In the same way, you focus on the tip of the center of the front sight, while you "see" your target. YOU NEVER TAKE YOUR FOCUS OFF OF THE TIP OF THE CENTER OF THE FRONT SIGHT.

I'd like to take a look at your body mechanics and watch you shoot those two 5 rounds magazines in 10 seconds.

It seems that about 99.9% of all the shooters I've trained or shot with have made "SPEED" a fundamental of good marksmanship. Early on, I would include myself in that lot. But Speed is not a fundamental. If you will pay the cost to master the fundamentals, I promise you speed will show up all by itself. The fastest I ever did one particular hostage drill, was after 5 days training predominately slow fire dry fire drills over and over and over. Until I was angry and flabbergasted that they were still making us do the damn drills. It was not fun anymore, it was pure work. As part of the final exam, I stood with my back 5 yards from a "hostage" IPSC target, flanked closely by two "TANGO" IPSC targets. At the buzzer we would turn and fire two shots at each "TANGO." I turned and fired four shots, two in each B zone box on each of the TANGO IPSC targets. My time was less than 2 seconds beginning from the holster. Each B zone hit was about 3/4" apart. Thankfully there were three witnesses there that I can still call on to verify that this was done by me. I was giggling like a little girl. One of them is a Seahawks fan, so he's got no reason to lie for me. Anyhow, the point is that I learned at that moment just how much payoff there is in relentlessly and precisely working the mechanics. Until you hate it. And when you hate it, do it two more days. Then go shoot.

If you want to come a lil more to the right with that shot group ... first master the front sight focus and body mechanics, and then I'm betting you have an excellent grip, a very powerful left hand. Ease up on the grip power by 2 percent with your left hand, and apply just a hair more pressure with your right hand, but you probably don't need to increase pressure with the right. (Crush with the left, the rounds will impact left, crush with the right the rounds will impact right.) Note that immediately the rounds have impacted to the right on the target. Play with the grip pressure until you get it right. When you're consistently good at it. It's time to start all over again; drawing, aiming, firing from your left hand.

There is always something to train.

I may not know what I am talking about. In the last 5 years my program has produced 6 U.S. Army Distinguished Shooters, and is the 2013 U.S. Army Small Arms Champion Team, and has the 2013 U.S. Army Small Small Arms Individual Champion at the U.S. Army - All Army - Small Arms Championships. My pistol shooters score about 180 to 190 on the EIC pistol course of fire, a perfect score is 200.

The wheel graphic above is a tool for beginning coaches and shooters to address obvious shooting errors. Someone shooting like you are is not doing what is indicated in that wheel. Trust me, ease up just a teensy bit with your left hand grip while holding normally with your right. NEVER LOOK AT THE DARN TARGET. See it in your peripheral vision, beyond your focus, but never allow yourself to lose focus from that precise point on the tip of the center of the front sight.

Last edited by BIG_G; 10-22-2013 at 7:27 AM..
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