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louderthangod
06-17-2011, 11:11 PM
Quite simply, I'm inconsistent at the range. Sometimes I'll have a good run of things and get decent groups and even with the errant shots I can tell what went wrong. Even on my best days though my groups at 7-yards are still too big (I don't measure but I'd say around 3") and at 25yards it's just a mess. I'm still new to shooting and obviously more trigger time is key but are the shooting classes and clinics all that useful? The only class I've taken was the beginners handgun safety class. I've gotten a lot of info from the interwebs but they don't provide constructive feedback.

If classes are the best route and you know of some good ones in the bay area then I'd appreciate your insight. Thanks!

wu_dot_com
06-17-2011, 11:35 PM
classes are useful, but not necessary for everyone. research and the ability to isolate your errors and correct the errors will help you improve your grouping.

CK_32
06-17-2011, 11:38 PM
when you shoot say the words... "Nu nu nu nu nu nu nu" "nu nu nu nu nu nu" should hit bull every time. :D

Bryansix
06-17-2011, 11:39 PM
I doubt anybody here will take this advice seriously but what I did was to set up an at home range for my airsoft handgun. Its semi-auto gas powered but fires the light plastic BBs. Then I went through the steps just like I was at the range with my 9mm and took time to focus on every single shot. Because the airsoft has no recoil you can see what you are doing when you squeeze the trigger. You can get this with snapcaps in your real gun too but the Airsoft has the added benefit of showing you where the shot landed. If you can't get every shot in the bullzeye at 7 yards with the airsoft then you will have a heck of a time at the range.

locosway
06-18-2011, 12:00 AM
Quite simply, I'm inconsistent at the range. Sometimes I'll have a good run of things and get decent groups and even with the errant shots I can tell what went wrong. Even on my best days though my groups at 7-yards are still too big (I don't measure but I'd say around 3") and at 25yards it's just a mess. I'm still new to shooting and obviously more trigger time is key but are the shooting classes and clinics all that useful? The only class I've taken was the beginners handgun safety class. I've gotten a lot of info from the interwebs but they don't provide constructive feedback.

If classes are the best route and you know of some good ones in the bay area then I'd appreciate your insight. Thanks!

Slow and smooth is the key here, along with a lot of dry practice. Once you're able to be consistent slowly you can start speeding up. Dry practice is essential to building good trigger control. Without it you'll end up slapping the trigger and pulling the gun all over the place. When you run dry you can focus on trigger pull and nothing else. You can even try placing a penny/dime on the front of the slide which will tell you if you're dipping your gun when pulling the trigger.

9mmepiphany
06-18-2011, 12:47 AM
If you decide to go the class route...which I highly recommend...don't take a Tactical class or Defensive class. What you need is a shooting class to get all the basics of grip, stance, sight alignment and trigger management correct. Once you have learned how to do it correctly, you'll be able to self-correct on your own.

I teach a lot of 1:1, so it is a bit more expensive per hour, but the focus is completely on you. I can usually get brand new students shooting well into 2" at 5-7 yards in less than half a day.

A group class is nice if you like to be around people all learning together. Most classes run 2 days, but you'll get into the draw and mag changes...my goal in a 2 day class is to get students shooting accurately at about 4 shots a sec.

louderthangod
06-18-2011, 1:25 AM
What kind of price ranges are typical for 1 on 1 lessons compared to group lessons?

KandyRedCoi
06-18-2011, 2:06 AM
www.glockfaq.com click shooting and trigger control

i think the steps outlined there helps more than just the average glock shooter but all new shooters alike

41M
06-18-2011, 3:29 AM
In addition to the benefits of basic handgun shooting instruction as mentioned above I would recommend getting a friend or family member involved in shooting and to accompany you on range sessions. Take turns shootings and observe each other's technique to help spot problem areas.

cineski
06-18-2011, 6:36 AM
Classes will help. It's all about trigger and brain control. Buy some snap caps and load your gun with half live bullets and half snap caps. Trigger control and taking control of the anticipation your brain is going through before the gun goes off means your brain is telling your hands to move to protect itself from the jump of the recoil. Using snap caps will help train your brain to not flinch when you pull the trigger because you'll see just how much you're flinching which in turn will help you control it. What caliber are you shooting?

HighLander51
06-18-2011, 6:49 AM
What you need is a shooting class to get all the basics of grip, stance, sight alignment and trigger management correct, what 9mm said.

95% of shooting problems are caused by lack of proper fundamentals, the last 5% is mental.

Post up a video and we can get about 75% of that corrected right away.

USMC 82-86
06-18-2011, 10:19 AM
Alternating snap caps with live rounds as mentioned will help pick up any trigger control issues. I also suggest a lot of dry fire with snap caps. I had a guy at the range fighting the same problem at 7 yards, I told him to bring the target back to about 3-4 yards and get comfortable with the basics. You can get a very clear sight picture at 3-4 yards and you will see any movement of the muzzle at that distance. I practice my stance, posture, grip on the gun, as well as grip pressure. Breathing, sight picture and trigger press are also a very important factor. Elbows out, elbows down can make a difference in recoil management, that can effect accuracy. A good teacher goes a long way in helping with establishing a solid foundation to build upon.

xibunkrlilkidsx
06-18-2011, 10:26 AM
what we did was to place an empty casing on your front sight, typ need 2 people for this though and a flat front sight, and fire snap caps you should be able to fire a round and not ahve the casing fall off.

drdarrin@sbcglobal.net
06-18-2011, 10:57 AM
What are you shooting and is this your first handgun?

The most common problem I see in handgunners is they start out too big and don't learn the fundamentals of good markmanship. I started my kids with 22 revolvers. I loaded them and every chamber did not have a live round in it. Quickest way to pick up a flinch I know of. If the hammer falls and the muzzle drops, you got a flinch. You can mix in snap caps in a semi auto and accomplish the same thing I suppose. Once you recognize that, you can work on it. It is entirely normal to flinch. It requires training and practice to have something explode 2 feet in front of your face and not flinch.

Learn to call your shots. If the sights are properly aligned and the bang is a surprise, you should have a real good idea when the hole will show up. Key to this is when the sights are lined up, squeeze. When they are not, stop squeezing but don't let off. Repeat until the bang occurs. Also, focus is always on the front sight, never the rear; never the target. Your target should have a high viz aiming point. Put the top of the front sight right under it; like you are balancing that little round ball on your front sight.

Quality not quantity is important. If you shoot 50 well aimed shots you will be much better off than 500 not so well aimed shots.

Most of this can be accomplished without ever firing a live round. Use Snap Caps, concentrate on sight alignment through the squeeze and when the hammer falls, the sights should still be where you want them to be.

Rest between shots. So many people I see load up, hold that pistol out there and won't put it down until they have fired every round. Their targets tend to look like they've been sprayed with a shotgun.

I've rambled enough...

Shady
06-18-2011, 11:31 AM
trigger control

doing dry press drills helps alot too

fiddletown
06-18-2011, 1:40 PM
You've received a number of good suggestions. It's also been my experience that there's really no good substitute for feedback and coaching by a qualified instructor.

Reasonably local to you are --

9mmepiphany (post 6) is an excellent instructor.
Bill Tidwell (http://www.train2besafe.com/index.html) puts on some basic classes that include some hands-on marksmanship instruction.
Louis Awerbuck, a nationally known instructor and author, teaches classes from time to time at Reed's Indoor Range (http://www.reedsindoorrange.com/training.html). While his focus is self defense, the first class in his series, called Stage 1, is a one day class in the basics.
A group called Bay Area Professionals for Firearms Safety and Education (http://www.bayprofs.org/) (Bayprofs) regularly puts on a ten hour Basic Handgun class, several hours of which is devoted to hands-on marksmanship instruction.

I think you'd be doing yourself a big favor to get some instructions. Good instruction is perhaps the quickest, and in the long run the most economical, path to good shooting. I try to take classes regularly, and I'm always learning something new and improving.

louderthangod
06-18-2011, 3:11 PM
I do catch myself flinching with either a dip or a pull left from time to time. When I really focus and that from sight gets more in focus and I force myself not to flinch or blink I tend to do a lot better.
Lots of great responses. I have the next two months off of work so I have plenty of time to practice. I'm going to look into some private lessons for me and my girlfriend. My girlfriend's dad and brother are ex-military and good shots so I'll try and drag them out. I own a Glock 21 but maybe I'll rent a .22 to work on fundamentals. Thanks again!

Cato
06-18-2011, 4:15 PM
Remember shooting isn't an Art, it's a Science. You have to perfect:

Grip
Trigger
Sight
Stance

Then you have to train yourself to perfect GTSS like it was second nature. That takes practice.

Remember "practice doesn't make perfect." You are just wasting rounds.

"PERFECT practice makes perfect." Take your time and focus. When you get tired, take a break. Fatique only encourages bad habits and wastes ammunition.

fiddletown
06-18-2011, 5:15 PM
...Remember "practice doesn't make perfect." You are just wasting rounds.

"PERFECT practice makes perfect."...And practice also makes permanent. So if you're consistently doing things poorly or wrong, you will become an expert at doing things poorly or wrong.

And that's another benefit of instruction. It shows you correct ways of doing things, so you can practice doing things correctly.

tacticalcity
06-18-2011, 6:19 PM
Take a courses. They are key to catching bad habits you'll miss on your own. The longer the course the better. Short classes are nice refreshers, but if you want to really get fine tuned take a 4-day course. I always leave those amazed at the progress I make. Not to brag, but it is amazing the difference those courses make. Massive leaps in ability.

At Home: Dry fire practice like crazy. Daily. As often as humanly possible.

At the Range: Trigger control drills for the first half of your training. Be sure to take full advantage of the guns trigger reset. Work at speed from them on, stopping and reverting to trigger control drills if your group opens up too much for comfort. Load dummie rounds randomly to your mags not just for accuracy sake but to master malefaction clearances at speed. Try to hit the range at least twice a month. More is better. But dry fire daily.

You will see bursts of improvement. Then you will level out for a while. A long annoying while. You'll have really bad days. Don't give up. Progress comes with peaks, valleys and long plateaus. Consitency is key.

Now, if I could only follow my own advice. I do for a while after a course, then get distracted. Then get back into it after a few months of slacking. The skills get rusty quick.

sammy
06-18-2011, 6:28 PM
I have a method that works great for new shooters. If you want to meet up I am going to USI in Concord tomorrow.

9mmepiphany
06-18-2011, 10:03 PM
What kind of price ranges are typical for 1 on 1 lessons compared to group lessons?

1:1 work usually runs $60-$80/hour. The differences usually have to do with who is traveling

Group lessons (8-15 folks) usually range from $180-$240 per person per day for a two day class, based on the fame of the instructor

Shenaniguns
06-18-2011, 10:10 PM
I'd take up 9mmepiphany on his offer if possible, he's as local as you'll get to have the same fundamentals I learned in Bruce Gray's class. Hell he even diagnosed me using too much pressure with my thumb when we were shooting last.

IntoForever
06-18-2011, 10:40 PM
All the recommendations are great. Have someone load your magazines with snap caps randomly placed and use a video camera from the side to show yourself how bad you are yanking that thing. I was told by a few great people to let the shot surprise you.

LBDamned
06-18-2011, 11:18 PM
grip, trigger control and knowing the nuances of the specific pistols sights

A steady forward pressure with strong hand and a controlled back pressure with the stabilizing hand - along with proper sized grips usually result in correct finger position on the trigger (tip/pad, not joint/crease) where you can squeeze and not pull or jerk the shot.

As with almost anything... the more you practice - the more proficient you get... some people are better inclined than others - but no matter who you are, the more you shoot the better you get.

wu_dot_com
06-18-2011, 11:37 PM
In addition to the benefits of basic handgun shooting instruction as mentioned above I would recommend getting a friend or family member involved in shooting and to accompany you on range sessions. Take turns shootings and observe each other's technique to help spot problem areas.

i dont think this will help if no one in the shooting party knows how to shoot or what to look for. i go to the range to practice about 4-5 days a week. about 95% of the people who goes there did not know how to shoot accuracy, and 100% of those 95% is teaching the wrong stuff to the other shooters.

wu_dot_com
06-18-2011, 11:44 PM
Classes will help. It's all about trigger and brain control. Buy some snap caps and load your gun with half live bullets and half snap caps. Trigger control and taking control of the anticipation your brain is going through before the gun goes off means your brain is telling your hands to move to protect itself from the jump of the recoil. Using snap caps will help train your brain to not flinch when you pull the trigger because you'll see just how much you're flinching which in turn will help you control it. What caliber are you shooting?

actually trigger is only a part of the equation. brain is the biggest part, but most people cant even get over the basic trigger control.

there are two type of developments that are require to deliver an accurate shot. one is physical requirement, the second is mental.

the physical requirement starts from the trigger finger, to the grip, to the wrist, then elbow, shoulder / head position, torso, legs, and footing.

the training sequence need to be accomplish as such.

the mind is a completely different story, first you need to learn to concentrate, then you need to learn when to concentrate. next you need to learn the rhythm of shooting, by learning to visualize the steps going in to shot delivery. at the end, you must learn how to consistently repeat the shooting mental process to make it repeatable.

wu_dot_com
06-18-2011, 11:52 PM
What are you shooting and is this your first handgun?

The most common problem I see in handgunners is they start out too big and don't learn the fundamentals of good markmanship. I started my kids with 22 revolvers. I loaded them and every chamber did not have a live round in it. Quickest way to pick up a flinch I know of. If the hammer falls and the muzzle drops, you got a flinch. You can mix in snap caps in a semi auto and accomplish the same thing I suppose. Once you recognize that, you can work on it. It is entirely normal to flinch. It requires training and practice to have something explode 2 feet in front of your face and not flinch.

Learn to call your shots. If the sights are properly aligned and the bang is a surprise, you should have a real good idea when the hole will show up. Key to this is when the sights are lined up, squeeze. When they are not, stop squeezing but don't let off. Repeat until the bang occurs. Also, focus is always on the front sight, never the rear; never the target. Your target should have a high viz aiming point. Put the top of the front sight right under it; like you are balancing that little round ball on your front sight.

Quality not quantity is important. If you shoot 50 well aimed shots you will be much better off than 500 not so well aimed shots.

Most of this can be accomplished without ever firing a live round. Use Snap Caps, concentrate on sight alignment through the squeeze and when the hammer falls, the sights should still be where you want them to be.

Rest between shots. So many people I see load up, hold that pistol out there and won't put it down until they have fired every round. Their targets tend to look like they've been sprayed with a shotgun.

I've rambled enough...

two points i need to highlight.

many times, what throws a shot off is not actually the trigger dip but the wrist dip. that is a result of improper wrist tension. unfortunately, we are not naturally born with the ability to stiffen our wrist. though i do have training method to stiffing it up.

focusing on the front sight is only 1/3 the story, calling your shots is the other 1/3 of the story. how mate those two requirement in one smooth action is the key technique that most coaches don't know how to teach.

wu_dot_com
06-18-2011, 11:57 PM
Remember shooting isn't an Art, it's a Science. You have to perfect:

Grip
Trigger
Sight
Stance

Then you have to train yourself to perfect GTSS like it was second nature. That takes practice.

Remember "practice doesn't make perfect." You are just wasting rounds.

"PERFECT practice makes perfect." Take your time and focus. When you get tired, take a break. Fatique only encourages bad habits and wastes ammunition.

you missed the two most important and hardest aspect. timing and concentration.

having only GTSS w/o timing and concentration, you will still splatter your shots, just to a relatively smaller circle. perfecting the last two, your shots will be on top of each other shots after shots upto the mechanical capability.

wu_dot_com
06-19-2011, 12:05 AM
Take a courses. They are key to catching bad habits you'll miss on your own. The longer the course the better. Short classes are nice refreshers, but if you want to really get fine tuned take a 4-day course. I always leave those amazed at the progress I make. Not to brag, but it is amazing the difference those courses make. Massive leaps in ability.

At Home: Dry fire practice like crazy. Daily. As often as humanly possible.

At the Range: Trigger control drills for the first half of your training. Be sure to take full advantage of the guns trigger reset. Work at speed from them on, stopping and reverting to trigger control drills if your group opens up too much for comfort. Load dummie rounds randomly to your mags not just for accuracy sake but to master malefaction clearances at speed. Try to hit the range at least twice a month. More is better. But dry fire daily.

You will see bursts of improvement. Then you will level out for a while. A long annoying while. You'll have really bad days. Don't give up. Progress comes with peaks, valleys and long plateaus. Consitency is key.

Now, if I could only follow my own advice. I do for a while after a course, then get distracted. Then get back into it after a few months of slacking. The skills get rusty quick.

plateau only occur when you stop doing self diagnostic.

generally, when you find a working shooting system, you will practice by repetition w/o thinking much of what you are doing. the practice will be repeated on auto pilot until you reach a specific level of repeatability. however, when you reach that level of repeatability, if you dont review the new custom shooting system you developed, you will not be able to find the next area of improvement. this is where plateau occurs. for many, they will need a coach to find the next area of improvement for them.

wu_dot_com
06-19-2011, 12:08 AM
I'd take up 9mmepiphany on his offer if possible, he's as local as you'll get to have the same fundamentals I learned in Bruce Gray's class. Hell he even diagnosed me using too much pressure with my thumb when we were shooting last.

let me guess, your shots grouped right at approximately 3 ol clock position?

wu_dot_com
06-19-2011, 12:12 AM
All the recommendations are great. Have someone load your magazines with snap caps randomly placed and use a video camera from the side to show yourself how bad you are yanking that thing. I was told by a few great people to let the shot surprise you.

surprising shots only works for beginners, a better way is to track your sight picture during pull. the goal here is to not disturb the sight picture from the moment the pressure is applies to after the gun return from recoil.

ideally, your sight picture should look the same prior and after you pull the shots.

Hilldweller
06-19-2011, 7:37 AM
Damn, lots of good advice.

To improve my accuracy I do one of two things....
1. Get targets with larger bullseyes.
2. Stand closer.

Both require less time and effort....


(Tee Hee)

Striker
06-19-2011, 8:48 AM
The short answer to your question is that your fundamentals need work. Your sight picture is inconsistent or your trigger control is bad or any one of a number of things. Tigerswan calls it Brilliance in Basics. From their website; There is no such thing as "advanced tactical skills" - there is only perfect execution of the fundamentals under stress. Get some training. You will enjoy shooting a lot more if you do.

Bryansix
06-19-2011, 5:37 PM
I think you'd be doing yourself a big favor to get some instructions(sic). Good instruction is perhaps the quickest, and in the long run the most economical, path to good shooting. I try to take classes regularly, and I'm always learning something new and improving.

Instruction may be useful but it is surely not the most economical. They guy already took a basic shooting course and if they couldn't teach him basic grip and trigger control in that class then they have no business teaching anybody anything.

Let's take an analogy. I played saxophone for about 6 years straight. I took lessons all of zero times. I practiced on my own and with others multiple times a week (usually 5 days a week). I was good at what I did. Yes, I had to be taught how to hold the instrument and how to go up and down the scale but from there I took over with practice and drill and got better myself. To say that people need to fork over money constantly to make improvement or that it is economical to do so is intellectually dishonest.

Shenaniguns
06-19-2011, 5:54 PM
Instruction may be useful but it is surely not the most economical. They guy already took a basic shooting course and if they couldn't teach him basic grip and trigger control in that class then they have no business teaching anybody anything.

Let's take an analogy. I played saxophone for about 6 years straight. I took lessons all of zero times. I practiced on my own and with others multiple times a week (usually 5 days a week). I was good at what I did. Yes, I had to be taught how to hold the instrument and how to go up and down the scale but from there I took over with practice and drill and got better myself. To say that people need to fork over money constantly to make improvement or that it is economical to do so is intellectually dishonest.



You can make any analogy you want, but taking a basic handgun class usually focuses on safety and not prepping the trigger, pressing out, watching your front sight lift, efficient reloads etc...

I shot thousands of rounds for almost 10 years before I took my first legitimate formal shooting course which I learned more in 2 days then the previous 8 years of bad habits I needed to break.

The Virus
06-19-2011, 8:00 PM
two words
1.Trigger
2.Control

Bryansix
06-19-2011, 9:50 PM
You can make any analogy you want, but taking a basic handgun class usually focuses on safety and not prepping the trigger, pressing out, watching your front sight lift, efficient reloads etc...

I shot thousands of rounds for almost 10 years before I took my first legitimate formal shooting course which I learned more in 2 days then the previous 8 years of bad habits I needed to break.

Why are those things that you need a person to stand next to you to tell you? Why can't you just read and learn the same things? The OP asked for advice on technique, not for the best classes to take.

wu_dot_com
06-19-2011, 10:08 PM
You can make any analogy you want, but taking a basic handgun class usually focuses on safety and not prepping the trigger, pressing out, watching your front sight lift, efficient reloads etc...

I shot thousands of rounds for almost 10 years before I took my first legitimate formal shooting course which I learned more in 2 days then the previous 8 years of bad habits I needed to break.

can you elaborate the lessons you learned from that class where you wouldn't have otherwise discover?

one of the biggest problem that i've found is that people often times dont know what contribute to accurate shooting. they only mimic the illustrations of others w/o understanding the core concepts.

for example, there is this guy at my range whom is extremely good with his 45. however, he hold his shots for way too long. regardless of your condition, 3 shots in 10 seconds will cause muscle fatigue and vision blur. as a result, his improvement is limited by his shooting system. unless he change his shooting system, i really dont see any improvement that can be made.

wu_dot_com
06-19-2011, 10:15 PM
Why are those things that you need a person to stand next to you to tell you? Why can't you just read and learn the same things? The OP asked for advice on technique, not for the best classes to take.

couldn't agreed more. classes is needed for tactical training for sure. but accuracy shooting is just your personal interpretation of the shooting fundamentals.

BTW i have no idea what he mean by prepping the trigger, and pressing it out. but one thing i do know is that efficient reload have nothing to do with improving accuracy.

i do think that people spent way too much time coming up with shooting jargon that end up making understanding shooting basic that much harder.

chits like "visualizing hitting the targets" makes no sense what so ever but to further confuse the student.

MarioS
06-19-2011, 10:17 PM
Classes and instructors can help but you might get a different opinion from every new instructor telling you what they think your issue is. But, one of them just might be the key to setting you straight. It's mostly just range time and a lot of dry firing. Dry fire a lot. Make sure the gun is clear and put a bottle or other "target" in a safe direction in your house, then dry fire as many times as you can actually mentally picturing yourself firing a live round at the object.

IPSICK
06-19-2011, 10:18 PM
Why are those things that you need a person to stand next to you to tell you? Why can't you just read and learn the same things? The OP asked for advice on technique, not for the best classes to take.

Because a good instructor can get you to understand those concepts and execute them in your shooting by examining where you may be making errors.

I took Bruce Gray's class on practical fundamentals and my group sizes shrunk at least in half. I believe 9mmepiphany was one of the other instructors for the day and he also knows what he is talking about.

I've read many books on technique but it took a class for me to know and believe that I could execute.

IPSICK
06-19-2011, 10:21 PM
Instruction may be useful but it is surely not the most economical. They guy already took a basic shooting course and if they couldn't teach him basic grip and trigger control in that class then they have no business teaching anybody anything.

Let's take an analogy. I played saxophone for about 6 years straight. I took lessons all of zero times. I practiced on my own and with others multiple times a week (usually 5 days a week). I was good at what I did. Yes, I had to be taught how to hold the instrument and how to go up and down the scale but from there I took over with practice and drill and got better myself. To say that people need to fork over money constantly to make improvement or that it is economical to do so is intellectually dishonest.

Playing and practicing notes and music doesn't cost money but shooting live rounds down range does. Now who's being dishonest?

fiddletown
06-19-2011, 11:01 PM
...classes is needed for tactical training for sure. but accuracy shooting is just your personal interpretation of the shooting fundamentals....I disagree. It's not a question of one's "personal" interpretation of the fundamentals. The fundamentals are pretty well established, and first class shooting means executing those fundamentals properly and consistently.

...BTW i have no idea what he mean by prepping the trigger, and pressing it out....Prepping the trigger (taking up the slack in the trigger) is a fundamental component of a good trigger press and proper trigger control. And trigger control is the first principle of accurate shooting.

And how are you on trigger reset?

...Instruction may be useful but it is surely not the most economical. They guy already took a basic shooting course and if they couldn't teach him basic grip and trigger control in that class then they have no business teaching anybody anything....He actually said that he took a "beginners handgun safety class." Those are often bare bones classes focusing just on safety and passing the HSC test. I've seen plenty of those classes that just zip through the theory of shooting without any, or only very minimal, hands on shooting and coaching.

...I played saxophone for about 6 years straight. I took lessons all of zero times. I practiced on my own ... I was good at what I did....Some people can become reasonably competent on their own playing a musical instrument. Of course there's always the question of how good you actually were and whether, with instruction, you could have been a lot better. What did professional musicians think of your playing?

Freq18Hz
06-19-2011, 11:35 PM
#1 buy the right gun

#2 practice


-Freq

Voo
06-19-2011, 11:46 PM
Instruction may be useful but it is surely not the most economical. They guy already took a basic shooting course and if they couldn't teach him basic grip and trigger control in that class then they have no business teaching anybody anything.

Let's take an analogy. I played saxophone for about 6 years straight. I took lessons all of zero times. I practiced on my own and with others multiple times a week (usually 5 days a week). I was good at what I did. Yes, I had to be taught how to hold the instrument and how to go up and down the scale but from there I took over with practice and drill and got better myself. To say that people need to fork over money constantly to make improvement or that it is economical to do so is intellectually dishonest.

This isn't quite true when it comes to shooting. You didn't address the fact that the costs for practicing an instrument is virtually nil. You can play anytime, anywhere you want for FREE. Shooting is not the same. There are range fees and the costs of ammo. You can say dry fire but even that is still insufficient for grip and front sight familiarity.

The reality is that a good instructor can show you quickly what you're doing wrong and (if they're good) can provide insight on how to correct/learn from it. It's one thing to say, "do x, y, z" but making someone understand what goes into obtaining 'x, y, z' is much trickier. If all it took was the instruction to say, "aim at the black circle and shoot" everyone would be a bullseye shooter. That's obviously not the case.

In terms of the cost, just look at the expense for just a 1000 rounds of 9mm or 1000 rounds of .45. Now multiply that over 6 months, a year, or however much you shoot and you'll see it can potentially reach several hundreds (or $1000's). Taking a 1 on 1 class with an instructor (from prices I've seen/heard) can vary from $200-400 dollars for 2-3 days of instruction. That's why I disagree on the economics of it. Someone good can help you improve immediately after observing you shoot just a few rounds of ammo. Time is also another intangible. For most of people, time is not an overly abundant luxury. If I can reach a better understanding in a much shorter of time (im talking about on the order of weeks or months) then almost certainly that's something worth considering paying for.

I do, however, agree with that you "don't" need to take classes to improve. Reading and understanding proper fundamentals goes a long ways to self improvement. There's a lot of information out there if your google-fu is good. But at the same time, I also know that even professional athletes obtain personal training. Pro-baseball, football, tennis, golf players- all have coaches and personal trainers observing and watching them. Same thing with olympic athletes. They all have trainers to help refine their mechanics. Natural talent is a wonderful thing to have, but how often do you run into true savants or those that are uber-gifted? Virtually everyone else trains with instructors.

limitdown
06-20-2011, 12:19 AM
Search for videos on Youtube of how IPSC shooters stand, grip and pull the trigger.
You'll notice many common practices among shooters.

- Isosceles triangle stance
- Lean shoulders forward
- Suck in tummy
- 80% arm extension
- Left wrist completed locked forward/downward
- Left hand gripping down at 45degree angle, automatically squeezes - right hand up higher into the dovetail
- Firm grip strength: 70% grip strength on left hand, 30% grip strength on right hand
- Light trigger pull with just the first section of index finger
- No jerking, pushing or pulling of trigger with index finger
- No jerking of gun downward in anticipation of muzzle flip (ie, no flinching)
- Focus on the front sights, and not on the back sights


This is how I was taught many years ago when I first started shooting IPSC and USPSA.
Although I had read a lot already, getting a human coach 1-on-1 sped up my learning exponentially.

wu_dot_com
06-20-2011, 12:38 AM
I disagree. It's not a question of one's "personal" interpretation of the fundamentals. The fundamentals are pretty well established, and first class shooting means executing those fundamentals properly and consistently.


by personal interpenetration i mean tailor the shooting principle to their own unique shooting capability boundaries. i.e. things like tilting the gun for cross eye dominate, different trigger finger position placement, shoulder locking position, foot position, center of gravity for body stance etc. what i've found is that what works best for some might not work at all for another. its all a bit of trail and error of the principle application of shooting technique.


Prepping the trigger (taking up the slack in the trigger) is a fundamental component of a good trigger press and proper trigger control. And trigger control is the first principle of accurate shooting.

And how are you on trigger reset?


okay that makes sense, its just another jargon here.

from my experience, taking up trigger slack is more dependent on the equipment than actual fundamentals. some gun will require this take up, while others have 2 stage trigger. some have zero take up. each will require a different style of trigger/ sight picture timing to deliver an accurate shot. also this should only affect your shots on the first shot if the trigger was reset properly. its not something you need an instructor to master it, just a lot of dry fire or live fire.

for the most part, i am decent with my reset. right now i am working on cutting down the reset timing. this reset timing is where my gun return from recoil and i regain sight picture alignment to the brain give me finger the command to release the trigger until reset. as far as my proficiency goes, every once in a while, i will still jump the shots by accident. by accident i mean i break the shots before my new sight picture is fully settle as i am trying to break the time barrier from a 5 shots 10 second string to 6 second string. but this topic only matters if the shooter is intended to shoot strings. for single shot accuracy, trigger reset should not matter to him.

bubbapug1
06-20-2011, 1:03 AM
1. The best way to shoot more consistantly is to shoot a good gun, like a 1911 with a nice trigger. Most 1911's have great triggers,

2. Next would be getting your grip squared away...watch this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Yohikhl9_c&feature=related

3. I find the biggest issue with shooters AFTER they get the trip worked out is flinch or anticipation of recoil. One way to get around this problem is to practice repeatedly with a 22lr pistol. Get used to shooing with no recoil, and watch to make sure you aren't jerking the trigger. Another excellent way to get around this problem is to dry fire...a lot. Dry fire allows you to see where the gun ends up as you pull the trigger...the gun should stay on target.

Put all of that together and if you don't start to flinch immediatly when you pull out the bigger gun you will shoot better.

Blackhawk556
06-20-2011, 1:34 AM
^^^ this video that bubba posted is extremely helpful. Before I use to go to the range and pull the trigger not knowing what the hell I was doing. Once I watched this video and applied Todd's techniques, my groups started shrinking dramatically . I still need practice, but compared to before my groups have improved. I swear that is one of the best videos anyone new to shooting should watch. OP, watch this video and use todd's techniques, he's a world champion so he knows what he's talking about.

9mmepiphany
06-20-2011, 1:51 AM
classes is needed for tactical training for sure. but accuracy shooting is just your personal interpretation of the shooting fundamentals.
If you believe you can learn accuracy from reading the fundamental, why would you not believe that you could learn tactics the same way. I found it was actually easier to pickup tactical training than to learn to shoot quickly while maintaining accuracy

from my experience, taking up trigger slack is more dependent on the equipment than actual fundamentals. some gun will require this take up, while others have 2 stage trigger. some have zero take up. each will require a different style of trigger/ sight picture timing to deliver an accurate shot.
That is a common belief among folks who are self-taught. There is only one way to correctly prep a trigger and you should not be preping a DA trigger at all...like the Sig DAK, H&K LEM, Kahr or DAO revolver...their management is completely different, if you want to shoot quickly and accurately. The only pistols I've ever come across with zero takeup were Olympic single shots, if you think that you have a Service pistol trigger that you can't "Stand On" a bit, you're just slapping through it

this reset timing is where my gun return from recoil and i regain sight picture alignment to the brain give me finger the command to release the trigger until reset. as far as my proficiency goes, every once in a while, i will still jump the shots by accident. by accident i mean i break the shots before my new sight picture is fully settle as i am trying to break the time barrier from a 5 shots 10 second string to 6 second string.
Shooting like that, it may be a while until you get up to speed.

A fairly standard evaluation drill is Todd Green's F.A.S.T. It consist of:
1. drawing and firing 2 shots in a 3"x5" card
2. reload from slide lock
3. firing 4 more shots into a 8" plate/circle
4. all fairly close at 7 yards

The ranking system is:
10+ seconds: Novice
less than 10 seconds: Intermediate
less than 7 seconds: Advanced
less than 5 seconds: Expert

The record is 3.56 seconds...oh, did I mention that is from concealment

In the classes that Shenaniguns, IPSICK and Voo are referring to, the expectation is that by the end of a 2 or 3 day class, that all the students will be shooting at 4 accurate shots per second and closer to 5 per second. Granted, at that speed, we're not shooting into 1" groups...mostly into 4"-6".

We do slow down for accuracy and we've likely added some things. I can't remember if we had them cutting the playing cards in half edgewise from 5 yards when they took the class. This isn't some of the students, this is every student in the class.

Bryansix
06-20-2011, 7:38 AM
Playing and practicing notes and music doesn't cost money but shooting live rounds down range does. Now who's being dishonest?

I guess you missed my first post in this thread about airsoft. It costs about $10 per 10,000 rounds fired out of my airsoft gun. I recycle the BBs so its for the lube and the gas to operate the blowback.

Shenaniguns
06-20-2011, 7:43 AM
I'm glad somebody else explained it :D

richie3888
06-20-2011, 8:21 AM
Set up a target at your home and dry fired for 20mins a day. Try to Pull the trigger without moving the front sight.

wu_dot_com
06-20-2011, 11:09 AM
If you believe you can learn accuracy from reading the fundamental, why would you not believe that you could learn tactics the same way. I found it was actually easier to pickup tactical training than to learn to shoot quickly while maintaining accuracy


That is a common belief among folks who are self-taught. There is only one way to correctly prep a trigger and you should not be preping a DA trigger at all...like the Sig DAK, H&K LEM, Kahr or DAO revolver...their management is completely different, if you want to shoot quickly and accurately. The only pistols I've ever come across with zero takeup were Olympic single shots, if you think that you have a Service pistol trigger that you can't "Stand On" a bit, you're just slapping through it


Shooting like that, it may be a while until you get up to speed.

A fairly standard evaluation drill is Todd Green's F.A.S.T. It consist of:
1. drawing and firing 2 shots in a 3"x5" card
2. reload from slide lock
3. firing 4 more shots into a 8" plate/circle
4. all fairly close at 7 yards

The ranking system is:
10+ seconds: Novice
less than 10 seconds: Intermediate
less than 7 seconds: Advanced
less than 5 seconds: Expert

The record is 3.56 seconds...oh, did I mention that is from concealment

In the classes that Shenaniguns, IPSICK and Voo are referring to, the expectation is that by the end of a 2 or 3 day class, that all the students will be shooting at 4 accurate shots per second and closer to 5 per second. Granted, at that speed, we're not shooting into 1" groups...mostly into 4"-6".

We do slow down for accuracy and we've likely added some things. I can't remember if we had them cutting the playing cards in half edgewise from 5 yards when they took the class. This isn't some of the students, this is every student in the class.

my experience comes from shooting Olympic style rapid fire, and im currently doing most of my practice on M41. the slack take up is there, but its something i only worry about only during the first shot. i usually take up the slack during raise, so by the time my sights is on target, the trigger is primed and ready for release. i kind of just treat it like any other 2 stage trigger.

so in my practice, no drawing or reload, just raise the gun from 45 and shoot 5 shots as fast as i can. keep in mind that the 10 second is the total time including raise, not from the time the first shot was fired.

my personal best with consistency is shooting NRA B-5 at 20 yds including targets transition, 5 shot strings, 6 strings, 8 second avg per string. the results were all in the 9 rings and above. that was achieve with CCI HV bulk. i use it to keep the practice more economical, but i think i can shave about .5 a second with SV rounds.

btw let me clarify, the accident release, it means that i release it in the 8 rings or occasionally in the 7. the targets were all at 20 yards out.

keep in mind that all those are shooting international style, i.e. free standing, 1 hand, iron only.

Todd Green's F.A.S.T IMO is still more tactical orientated than actual accuracy shooting. hence the draw and reload.

at 7yds, placing all the shots using both hands its generally much easier for me even with larger calibers.

9mmepiphany
06-20-2011, 11:10 AM
I recycle the BBs so its for the lube and the gas to operate the blowback.
While you are of course free to recycle if you'd like, most manuals I've read advise against it...maybe they just want to sell more 6mm pellets...as the pellets deform when striking a surface (affects accuracy) and dirt is picked up which is abrasive to the inside of the barrel tube (affects velocity also)

9mmepiphany
06-20-2011, 11:28 AM
my experience comes from shooting Olympic style rapid fire, and im currently doing most of my practice on M41.

keep in mind that all those are shooting international style, i.e. free standing, 1 hand, iron only.

Todd Green's F.A.S.T IMO is still more tactical orientated than actual accuracy. hence the draw fire / reload.
Thank you for the clarification.

This certainly explains much more about your post and views. International Shooting is a completely different animal than what I thought we were all talking about...but there is a great deal of technique to be learned from it. International Air Pistol was a huge eye opener for me in the importance of follow through. I don't personally have the patience for it, but certainly respect practitioners who do.

Perhaps I mis-read the OP...maybe I'm just used to addressing a more practical side to accuracy when folks ask questions here...but my sense was that the OP was less about ultimate accuracy than practical accuracy.

You are right in that Green's test is more about the use of a concealed handgun in everyday carry.

What folks find interesting, maybe somewhat disbelieving, but advanced shooting at speed is based on seeing the sights in the same way as Olympic shooters do...with the subconscious

wu_dot_com
06-20-2011, 11:34 AM
If you believe you can learn accuracy from reading the fundamental, why would you not believe that you could learn tactics the same way. I found it was actually easier to pickup tactical training than to learn to shoot quickly while maintaining accuracy

i guess the reason why i said that is because i have no way of getting actual practical experience from a tactical environment. thus there is no way i can replicate the true condition and restrain to simulate tactical shooting.

in my mind, the only way for me to know if i am doing tactical shooting correctly is to put me into a shoot out environment. since i cant do that, i will need a coach to to explain the missing pieces.

accuracy shooting condition on the other hand can be replicated at the range. so i will know if im doing something right or wrong immediately. at least for my kind of accuracy shooting anyway.

Gecko 45
06-20-2011, 11:53 AM
ive found the best way to is to just practice. Me and my fellow officers go through a couple hundred rounds at the range every night, me using a Glock 23 and going for a standard two to the chest one in the head. If you do it enough you will eventually be able to make smaller than 1" groups at 25 yards as i have

Shenaniguns
06-20-2011, 11:54 AM
Todd Green's F.A.S.T IMO is still more tactical orientated than actual accuracy shooting. hence the draw and reload.

at 7yds, placing all the shots using both hands its generally much easier for me even with larger calibers.




Learning how to shoot accurately quickly from a holster is not what I'd call 'tactical'. And there is a difference on what people want to do accuracy wise so I'll agree there, but I believe the OP is talking of practical accuracy and not Bullseye type.

Shenaniguns
06-20-2011, 11:55 AM
ive found the best way to is to just practice. Me and my fellow officers go through a couple hundred rounds at the range every night, me using a Glock 23 and going for a standard two to the chest one in the head. If you do it enough you will eventually be able to make smaller than 1" groups at 25 yards as i have


If you don't know what to practice, how will you improve?

jakuda
06-20-2011, 12:30 PM
My 2cents as a bullseye shooter, but it applies to any shooter wanting to get better.

+1000 on dry fire practice HOWEVER, what is equally important is to train (not practice) like you were at the range or at a match.
Don't dry fire sitting on the couch watching TV. Concentrate only on shooting. Setup a blank paper, or small target on a wall, and dry fire in your proper stance, grip/breathing/drawing routine. Don't take short cuts on your "shooting routine".

When you dry fire, and you notice your front sight move, objectively think why that front sight moved. What exactly did your trigger finger (or gripping fingers, or thumb, or wrist) do right before the shot broke? If you didn't know, then you aren't focusing enough on what you are doing.

10 minutes of slow, but mentally focused dry firing is better than one hour of random dry fire on the couch.

9mmepiphany
06-20-2011, 12:48 PM
in my mind, the only way for me to know if i am doing tactical shooting correctly is to put me into a shoot out environment. since i cant do that, i will need a coach to to explain the missing pieces.
I used to believe that too, until the day I saw a trainee make excellent use of cover and movement while shooting relatively accurately...it was during an airsoft force-on-force drill. I asked her where she had received her prior training and she replied, "From watching movies and playing video games"

On the other hand, I have found that communicating the subtleties of trigger management, grip and sight alignment much more difficult. As demonstrated in this thread, the same words mean different things to different people. Also I have found that most people have a very hard time in self-diagnosing their faults/mistakes.

The most commonly overlooked, often attributed to jerking the trigger, is tightening the grip of the other fingers when pressing the trigger.

A common misunderstanding is that watching the front sight to shoot accurately is a goal rather than a path to the goal of seeing the aligned sights

meaty-btz
06-20-2011, 1:53 PM
I will add my 2cents.

Shooting is a martial art.
Shooting is a VERY perishable skill. It is not like riding a bike. It is more like every other martial art. It takes training, practice, practice, and more practice.

Over the years I had training, and while still in highschool shot often, very often. After that I shot only rarely. Then years without shooting. Then I went shooting and I had every bad habit and little skill. I proceeded to practice my training but was only shooting once a month at best. I had ZERO overall skill improvement. I was floored, I had gone from being an expert marksman to n00b. I was very frustrated and was considering getting additional training. Then I moved to where I can shoot any time I feel like it in my own back yard.

Two weeks in I had already regained much of my previous lost skill.

Was I shooting more rounds down the pipe than before? No.
I was however shooting less rounds, more often, and regularly. That was the key, TIME BETWEEN SHOOTING. My skills diminished quickly without consistent regular practice.

Do you ever expect to become good at an eastern martial art form when you only go to the once a week class? No, you will remain a neophyte forever. No if you practice what you learned in class every night, you will become an expert at each trained skill. Shooting is no different.

If you want something that isn't a perishable skill play footie. I understand how difficult it is though with firearms vs eastern martial arts to get "practice time" in. Our whole culture is set to make it into a simple sport or hobby, which it is neither.

Snap-caps and manual of arms drills as well as laser-caps are a great tool for at home practice. Not as good as 20 rounds down the pipe but better than nothing and thats good. In the end you are seeking the same thing that you are in an eastern martial art: muscle memory.

wu_dot_com
06-20-2011, 3:35 PM
My 2cents as a bullseye shooter, but it applies to any shooter wanting to get better.

+1000 on dry fire practice HOWEVER, what is equally important is to train (not practice) like you were at the range or at a match.
Don't dry fire sitting on the couch watching TV. Concentrate only on shooting. Setup a blank paper, or small target on a wall, and dry fire in your proper stance, grip/breathing/drawing routine. Don't take short cuts on your "shooting routine".

When you dry fire, and you notice your front sight move, objectively think why that front sight moved. What exactly did your trigger finger (or gripping fingers, or thumb, or wrist) do right before the shot broke? If you didn't know, then you aren't focusing enough on what you are doing.

10 minutes of slow, but mentally focused dry firing is better than one hour of random dry fire on the couch.

you nailed it right there with the essence of effective dry firing.

when i dry fire, i get into my ready stance. then i walk though the steps mentally through out all the shot break processes. think of it like "head movies" from simple jack. in my mental recount, i distinctively define and differentiate the start and stop of each action. only after i can clearly recite the shooting sequence, then i am ready to raise the gun.

during the actual shot sequence, i will carry out the mental sequence step by step. if i happened to rush any steps, i will restart from ready position until i can perform a continues shot sequence from start to finish w/o any mental or physical interruptions.

wu_dot_com
06-20-2011, 4:00 PM
I used to believe that too, until the day I saw a trainee make excellent use of cover and movement while shooting relatively accurately...it was during an airsoft force-on-force drill. I asked her where she had received her prior training and she replied, "From watching movies and playing video games"

i would have never thought of that. learned something new everyday.


On the other hand, I have found that communicating the subtleties of trigger management, grip and sight alignment much more difficult. As demonstrated in this thread, the same words mean different things to different people. Also I have found that most people have a very hard time in self-diagnosing their faults/mistakes.

The most commonly overlooked, often attributed to jerking the trigger, is tightening the grip of the other fingers when pressing the trigger.

A common misunderstanding is that watching the front sight to shoot accurately is a goal rather than a path to the goal of seeing the aligned sights

from what i've found, the secret to consistent shots revolves around 2 principles.

1. the shot sequence should be " Pull, No Breath, AIM". this is what i've found to be the best repeatable trigger management method. the trigger pull must follow this sequence to attain maximum results.

here is how it goes.

when the sights is in the approximate vicinity of the bullseye alignment. perform the following:

Pull, it meant the actual sear actuation movement disengagement. it's not just take up of the trigger slack. so in a trigger with lots of slack, this is where i experience major resistance. in a two stage trigger, this is the second stage.

No breath. like it says, it means absolutely no inhale or exhale. the goal here is no chest movement. closing the airway in the throat its a common method people use, myself included.

Aim, this is where to spent most of your concentration in to stabilizing your arms to minimize movements until the trigger is pulled all the way back. in this sequence, the pupils will dilate, your arm will literally stop following the natural arc of movements. some people call it subconscious shooting, while other call it visualizing, or seeing through the shots.

second, is sight picture.

to shoot accurate and predictable shots, there are two elements that goes into this sight picture.

first, is the commonly known item of front and back sight relationship. where the front/ back sight ration must be maintain during shots.

second, is the hidden piece of the puzzle that most people either dont know or cannot explain. and that is, the relative position between your front sight to the location its pointing on the target. the key for predictable shooting is to track this sight to bullseye relationship during shot break.

doing really well with the first criteria will let you shoot where you are pointing at. however, you dont really know what you are pointing at unless you mentally account for the second factor.

concentration for maintaining the sight picture is only require during the aim phase of the trigger pull. if you concentrate during any other phase of the trigger pull, you will not be able to maintain the mental focus needed to momentary immobilize your arm during the moment the shot breaks.

fiddletown
06-20-2011, 5:36 PM
...the shot sequence should be " Pull, No Breath, AIM". this is what i've found to be the best repeatable trigger management method. the trigger pull must follow this sequence to attain maximum results.

here is how it goes.

when the sights is in the approximate vicinity of the bullseye alignment. perform the following:

Pull, it meant the actual sear actuation movement disengagement. it's not just take up of the trigger slack. so in a trigger with lots of slack, this is where i experience major resistance. in a two stage trigger, this is the second stage.

No breath. like it says, it means absolutely no inhale or exhale. the goal here is no chest movement. closing the airway in the throat its a common method people use, myself included.

Aim, this is where to spent most of your concentration in to stabilizing your arms to minimize movements until the trigger is pulled all the way back....momentary immobilize your arm during the moment the shot breaks.This, as well as some of your other posts, highlights some of the significant differences between practical shooting and precision shooting.

KandyRedCoi
06-20-2011, 5:55 PM
dry fire practice :)

Ieyasu
06-20-2011, 6:25 PM
The most commonly overlooked, often attributed to jerking the trigger, is tightening the grip of the other fingers when pressing the trigger.

Interesting. I had the opposite problem.

I was shooting left with my USP 9mm. It was the only gun I was doing this with. I didn't have that problem with my USP 45F or GLOCK 21 (or any other gun I tried shooting).

The problem was driving me crazy. No amount of dry-firing helped. The sights didn't move.

I finally realized that I was relaxing my right-hand grip just a tad as I was pressing the trigger. (Obviously I need to learn not to blink as I'm pressing the trigger and thus would have noticed it.)

9mmepiphany
06-20-2011, 9:29 PM
Obviously I need to learn not to blink as I'm pressing the trigger and thus would have noticed it.
It does make it a bit easier :p