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View Full Version : Confession time - I suck with a pistol.


JavaBrewer
05-03-2012, 8:23 PM
Some days not as bad as others...but compared to shooting the 686 in SA mode I am terrible with any modern semi auto pistol.

Background, I have rented many versions of the auto pistol...Sigs, Glocks, M&P, HK all in 9mm, .40 and .45. On a couple occasions I have shot "ok" but nothing like with the revolver. So obviously the slide is compounding some fundamental mistakes...and other issues I am sure.

I am self taught and new to the sport. I am worried that the more I try the more I am enforcing bad habits.

I need an instructor to show me the proper way to handle a SA pistol. Anyone in North County San Diego willing to help or at least suggest an able person to educate me on the evils of my mechanics? I would be interested in sharing the lesson with my eager 15 yr son if that would be alright. Willing to discuss compensation but will of course cover ammo and range costs.

PM details if you prefer over posting publicly.

Thanks Calguns.

Arkangel
05-03-2012, 8:27 PM
I would be glad to help. PM for details.

CalNRA
05-03-2012, 8:32 PM
Some days not as bad as others...but compared to shooting the 686 in SA mode I am terrible with any modern semi auto pistol.

three ideas,

1) try shooting the gun in DA mode. the 686s is well known for its trigger and you should take advantage of that. Master a DA revolver and you will master any other pistol.

2) do some strengthening exercises. The less effort it takes you to pulll the trigger the less you hand moves as you trigger finger goes through its motion

3) take a class. Seriously, take a class.

compulsivegunbuyer
05-03-2012, 8:34 PM
Master the 686 in double action and you will be able to shoot anything. I like to mix snap caps in with my rounds. Shows me what I'm doing wrong.

fennecfrank
05-03-2012, 9:03 PM
Besides some good points mentioned by other calgunners.



.....Background, I have rented many versions of the auto pistol...Sigs, Glocks, M&P, HK all in 9mm, .40 and .45. ....


I don't see 1911 here.....

Try a good decent one, maybe you'll solve your problem :D

fighterpilot562
05-03-2012, 9:44 PM
three ideas,

1) try shooting the gun in DA mode. the 686s is well known for its trigger and you should take advantage of that. Master a DA revolver and you will master any other pistol.

2) do some strengthening exercises. The less effort it takes you to pulll the trigger the less you hand moves as you trigger finger goes through its motion

3) take a class. Seriously, take a class.

+1.

Press Check
05-03-2012, 9:50 PM
I don't see 1911 here.....

Try a good decent one, maybe you'll solve your problem :D

I was going to say the same thing! :D

tacticalcity
05-03-2012, 10:03 PM
three ideas,

1) try shooting the gun in DA mode. the 686s is well known for its trigger and you should take advantage of that. Master a DA revolver and you will master any other pistol.

2) do some strengthening exercises. The less effort it takes you to pulll the trigger the less you hand moves as you trigger finger goes through its motion

3) take a class. Seriously, take a class.

#3 is my first recommendation. Not only did it DRAMATICALLY improve my ability, it got me seriously hooked on shooting. The competition, action-shooting, and training secion has ads for schools right in your back yard. You just have to find them. That section will help.

ihavenoidea
05-03-2012, 10:05 PM
i was the same way till i got my hands on my cz sp-01, you would be surprised how having a gun that fits you helps out

Snoopy47
05-03-2012, 10:07 PM
us army marksmanship manual

http://marksmanship.info/

or PDF version

http://www.saveourguns.com/Ar_Marks_Un_Pistol_Train_Guide.pdf

five.five-six
05-03-2012, 10:08 PM
Master the 686 in double action and you will be able to shoot anything. I like to mix snap caps in with my rounds. Shows me what I'm doing wrong.

I use spent brass... makes it harder to cheet

dbbspider
05-03-2012, 10:11 PM
Aim at the Target, control ur breathing, at the pause from inhale to exhale, slowly squeeze (not pull) the trigger. Try ur hardest not to anticipate the recoil. Practice, practice, practice. I have been shooting for 15 years and I still on occasion, anticipate or pull instead of squeeze, rush, etc. Good luck.

chad68
05-03-2012, 10:52 PM
Was watching a pistol review once and the guy had a cheap red dot mounted on it.

He said he used it mainly as a tigger training aide. He demonstarted by pulling the trigger fast and then slow and smooth and you can see how much the red dot, moves around depending on how you pull or squeeze the trigger.

It's common sense really but actually seeing how much the laser jumps around and how you could easily miss what you're shooting at in real time is eye opening.

IrishPirate
05-03-2012, 10:57 PM
Google The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual and find a PDF to download

hyperion.excal
05-04-2012, 12:41 AM
You can find a wide variety of helpful videos on youtube on how to shoot just about any gun... you can learn proper stance, proper pistol grip and ect just by watching vids.

Not sure where you are in northern SD but if you need my help and time will allow for it i can offer you help and let you shoot my guns, you dont have to pay me. I only own sig sauer pistols.

mpwang
05-04-2012, 9:45 AM
Pistol shooting isn't a natural trait for most people. You are not alone. Don't feel less of yourself that you don't have the best shot because you may not have the best training.

If you must own or really wedded to the idea of a semi auto pistol, try a .22 lr pistol first. The ammo is still relatively cheap, low recoil, and the sights are generally good enough. A hole in the ten ring still feels good, and I find that new shooters can get easily discouraged, leading to frustration and more poor shooting.

Also, some people are really into wheel guns for a reason. They just may she your thing, and there's nothing wrong with that

mpwang
05-04-2012, 9:46 AM
Pistol shooting isn't a natural trait for most people. You are not alone. Don't feel bad that you don't have the best shot because you may not have the best training.

If you must own or really wedded to the idea of a semi auto pistol, try a .22 lr pistol first. The ammo is still relatively cheap, low recoil, and the sights are generally good enough. A hole in the ten ring still feels good, and I find that new shooters can get easily discouraged, leading to frustration and more poor shooting.

Also, some people are really into wheel guns for a reason. They just may be your thing, and there's nothing wrong with that

tacticalcity
05-04-2012, 9:58 AM
Honestly, a Tactical Pistol I course with an experienced and professional instructor is the absolute best way to go. Local small schools usually start around $160 a day and are often taught by off duty SWAT team guys. When you look at the cost of the big name schools, that is EXTREMELY affordable. If you can afford a big name school, so much the better, but if not then get to know your local schools by researching them online and pick the best of the bunch.

The other suggestions such as downloading books and watching videos are great things to do AFTER you have taken a course or two as refreshers and refinements to established skills. They could be made to work on their own. But trying to learn on your own means lots of bad habits will creep in without your knowing it, much more so than if you take a course with a professional instructor. Much, much better to start off right...with an instructor walking you step by step through the process and correcting mistakes you cannot see but he can because he is standing over your shoulder and knows what to look for. Plus the process is infinitely faster if you take a course vs. trying to teach yourself.

You also do not need to buy another pistol in 22lr. I understand the argument, but there is nothing you can gain from a 22lr that you cannot gain from lots and lots of proper dry fire practice. Once you have taken a course and know what you are doing you should have 3-4 hours of dry fire practice or more to every hour of live fire. Much less expensive than buying a separate gun.

llamatrnr
05-04-2012, 10:15 AM
pm me if you'd like to shoot my Glocks east of Ramona...

drunktank
05-04-2012, 10:49 AM
I agree with most all the advice above but just wanted to throw this out there. I've been instructed by many friends and family on how to shoot. Most of them being mil/Leo/competitive shooters. I have crooked index fingers though so only a few guns shoot "naturally for me". With others it takes like 1k rounds of practice just to be decent. Point being, some guns will "fit you" better but practice the platform you wish to be good at and it will come. Take a class. Being self taught can teach you bad habits, as watching a YouTube video can only teach so much. Good luck & be safe!

J.D.Allen
05-04-2012, 12:52 PM
The first step in recovery is to admit that you have a problem. Good job! :clap:

J/K I would agree on taking an actual class with a qualified instructor. Then you will have the basic skills so that you can practice on your own more effectively

bandook
05-04-2012, 1:01 PM
Some days not as bad as others...but compared to shooting the 686 in SA mode I am terrible with any modern semi auto pistol.

Background, I have rented many versions of the auto pistol...Sigs, Glocks, M&P, HK all in 9mm, .40 and .45. On a couple occasions I have shot "ok" but nothing like with the revolver. So obviously the slide is compounding some fundamental mistakes...and other issues I am sure.

I am self taught and new to the sport. I am worried that the more I try the more I am enforcing bad habits.

I need an instructor to show me the proper way to handle a SA pistol. Anyone in North County San Diego willing to help or at least suggest an able person to educate me on the evils of my mechanics? I would be interested in sharing the lesson with my eager 15 yr son if that would be alright. Willing to discuss compensation but will of course cover ammo and range costs.

PM details if you prefer over posting publicly.

Thanks Calguns.

Does shooting the revolver in DA get you similar results to the pistols?

If so, you need to work on a smooth rolling trigger squeeze that doesn't pull the muzzle off target. (its not the slide, its the wavering of the muzzle as you pull the trigger).
The trigger finger hardly moves when firing a revolver in SA.

Also, shoot at 5-7 yards and verify where every shot went (easy at an indoor range where you jsut have to flip a button to bring the target closer).

BTW, what exactly do you mean by terrible (i.e. ? grouping at ? yards)?

A lesson is always a good idea.

JavaBrewer
05-04-2012, 2:23 PM
Thanks for all the great input folks!

I have gotten several offers from members and suggestions on professional training. I will update this thread as I go.

To specifically answer bandook - my groupings shooting the 686 in DA were slightly better than with a semi auto pistol but still pretty crappy. I get what folks are saying about the trigger pull. Honestly I have no idea how (what part of my finger) I am currently pulling the trigger with. I am shooting at 7 and 15 yards and groupings are about 8-10" with a stringer here or there and typically low or high left. Shooting the 686 in SA mode my groupings are 2" at 15 yards.

Lots to learn. That is why I came here ;)

Also to clarify I don't yet own a semi auto pistol. I totally thought I would have that squared away by now. A few months ago I was sold on the M&P 45 full size. Then I rented a Sig P220 and liked that too. Then I saw the P220 Combat and was hooked. Sat on it to save up the extra $$. Since then I shot both again (range rentals) and was really struggling - more so with the Sig.

bandook
05-05-2012, 6:43 AM
Take a beginners handgun training class at a local range. The all use semi autos and the semi auto grip is quite different from a revolver grip.

If that is not feasible, dry fire is your friend.

It appears that you are unable to keep the muzzle steady in DA.

Try 10 minutes dry fire a day. Double action only. One hand only. After taking all precautions ( empty gun, safe direction etc) dry fire against a blank wall ( i.e. don't aim at anything). This will allow you to focus on how much the muzzle moves against the cavas of the blank wall as you move through the entire trigger pull up to releasing the hammer. ( did I mention that you should hear a click and not a boom at this point... :) )
Do this until you can keep the muzzle steady ( ok it'll never be totally steady but you'll know improvement when you see it).

After one week of consistently being make to keep the muzzle steady in DA, stick a 1 inch square piece of tape ( or one of the pasters that come with the shoot-n-see targets) on the wall and use that for dry fire practice going forward.

Also, for each trip to the range, fire at least 50 rounds DA at 7 yards. Take your time.
One at a time. Slowly. Keep your focus on the front sight and you should be only slightly aware of the fuzzy target behind the sight. Grip the gun as hard as you can ( for now) and the sight WILL dance around on the target. Implement the same trigger pull you've practiced during dry fire and your groups will shrink. I won't go into the surprise shot as based on your SA grouping, that is not an immediate issue.

I also forgot to mention. Point at the same spot on the target every time ( easier said than done. Do you remember the exact point of aim AFTER the hole has been punched?).

Good luck. I'm sure the sessions with the other calgunners will greatly enhance the learning curve.

trew10
05-05-2012, 6:52 AM
I was going to say the same thing! :D

1911 is not the cure for everything. like the poster said he rented different guns all the time. pick the caliber you feel is best for you, and gun that fits good in your hands and stick with that one. practice and repetition will make you better.

Stan08
05-05-2012, 9:14 AM
IM sent

Doctor Suarez
05-05-2012, 9:36 AM
TJ Johnson's company, Allsafe Defense, trains people out of Orange County, though sometimes his classes take place at Burro Canyon, way up in Azusa. He's a good instructor and his prices are quite fair.

http://www.allsafedefense.com/index.htm

On another note, after my son was born, I had a lot of trouble making it to the range and fell out of practice. To compensate, I bought the Magpul Dynamic Handgun DVD, and it had a very, very positive effect on my shooting. The first disc is almost entirely about fundamentals, and if you're looking to build a solid shooting foundation from the ground up, it's an excellent way to go.

Sheperd80
05-05-2012, 10:01 AM
:(Was watching a pistol review once and the guy had a cheap red dot mounted on it.

He said he used it mainly as a tigger training aide. He demonstarted by pulling the trigger fast and then slow and smooth and you can see how much the red dot, moves around depending on how you pull or squeeze the trigger.

It's common sense really but actually seeing how much the laser jumps around and how you could easily miss what you're shooting at in real time is eye opening.

I do this excercise with my rail mounted light. I point the gun at a small target like a doorknob with the light on, rack the slide and squeeze the trigger. u can clearly see the movement of the light and work on reducing it with a better squeeze. It has helped me quite a bit.

I found it interesting that even though im a much better shot than my girlfriend, she consistently gets less visible light movement from this excercise. Which leads me to believe that recoil anticipation is probably her biggest issue.

Sac-AR15
05-05-2012, 10:18 AM
I had issues also in the beginning. Groupings were terrible. Took a course a Frontsight and lots of practice helped me out a lot. Dry firing practice is what the instructor recommends especially for beginners. I'm still looking art taking more classes to get better.

MAC USMC
05-06-2012, 10:00 AM
Want expert training? Contact weapons instructor Dave BRIDEMAN, retired LEO, at The American Shooting Center in San Diego. Great guy, fantastic instructor.

USMC 82-86
05-06-2012, 2:54 PM
Well I see a lot of folks shoot revolvers really well especially in SA and most of the time there is little trigger travel and the weight of pull is very light. If you have a lot of finger (hook) on the trigger use the last pad of your finger. When you place the pistol in your strong hand make sure your grip is high in the web of your hand and the rear of the grip is supported by the radius bone in your arm. You can feel the difference when a gun is supported by the bones vs muscle, you don't want the pistol to rest on the pad on the heel of your hand but in the line between the upper and lower pad of your palm. For me I then apply most of the pressure with my second and third fingers straight to the rear. The support hand usually will fall into the opening between the fingers and palm of the strong hand with the weak hand second joint on your index finger under the trigger guard hand tilted forward again this allows for the bone support on your weak hand to be in line with the bore. Now the last thing I always tell someone when they ask is to press the trigger straight to the rear. I don't like to use the words pull or squeeze because most people will use the entire hand trying to engage the trigger vs using the trigger finger to engage the trigger. Most people will try to overpower the trigger when using cues like pull or squeeze the trigger and this can cause you to pull up, down, left or right.

This is easier to show someone than to explain it to someone. I hope I have not confused you too much. A good instructor will save you many hours of frustration.