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liketoshoot
01-03-2008, 8:01 AM
My question is this,

How do I correct the drift I get while target shooting?

I can hit the target out to 15 yards, ( farthest out at the indoor range), but my groups use all the paper. I can hit the center ring 4 out of 10 but want to improve this. I average 100 to 150 shots each time I go and that is 3 times a month. The range operator says it could be the reloads he sells, but will not allow the use of factory loads there.
I do use different pistols but mostly stay with my 9mm as it is cheeper to shoot.

USN CHIEF
01-03-2008, 8:18 AM
My question is this,

How do I correct the drift I get while target shooting?

I can hit the target out to 15 yards, ( farthest out at the indoor range), but my groups use all the paper. I can hit the center ring 4 out of 10 but want to improve this. I average 100 to 150 shots each time I go and that is 3 times a month. The range operator says it could be the reloads he sells, but will not allow the use of factory loads there.
I do use different pistols but mostly stay with my 9mm as it is cheeper to shoot.

1. Find a different Range that will let you shoot your own ammo.
2. Shoot from a bench rest.
3. Don't be shy to ask someone that looks like they know what they are doing for guidance while at the new range.

Rust
01-03-2008, 10:13 AM
I'd do just what USN CHIEF said in reverse order. Supposing the gun is one you should expect to shoot better than it is. If its a subcompact or something with a short sight radius it might just be to hard to get lined up to shoot any better than you already are at range. Get someone who you've seen shooting well to run a few rounds through your gun. If they group well its you, if its still all over it may be a gun or ammo problem. If they shoot the gun well sit down at a rest and start figuring out whats wrong with the way you're shooting. since you've already found someone who's a decent shot them may be willing to help you out. And lastly, if you can't find anyone who can make it shoot well check to make sure everything is ok mechanically and then find somewhere you can shoot better ammo.

Kruzr
01-03-2008, 11:01 AM
When I see shotgun spreads on handgun targets, it is usually an indication that the shooter is not focusing on the front sight and not following up.

After the sights are aligned, you should see nothing in focus but the front sight. The target will be blurry but since you shouldn't be looking at it, it doesn't matter. Say to yourself over and over while you bring the gun up...........front sight, front sight, front sight.

Don't look at the target until the gun had come back down from it's muzzle flip. This is called follow-up. You keep your eyes where they were until the front sight reappears after the flip. Then look at the target........the holes won't move in that second. :)

Rob P.
01-03-2008, 11:02 AM
Work on your trigger pull. If your groups are huge, it's probably because you're jerking the trigger. The weapon should fire as a "surprise" each time. After the gun fires, you should "follow through" each shot by holding the trigger fully back for a second. "Follow through" is very important even though it sounds ridiculous because it trains you to hold firmly and pull smoothly on the trigger while staying pointed at the target.

Strength training to be able to hold the weapon at arms length steadily is important as well. If it's too heavy you can't hold on your target consistently. Lifting and holding a 5-7lb weight (a couple/three cans of tomato sauce/etc in a bag or empty milk jug filled with water [1 gal=7lbs]) at arms length for 30 seconds (repeat 20 times with 3-5 secs rest between) every day will cure this in about 2-3 weeks.

Practice target acquisition before shooting to help learn muscle memory. Start from "low / ready" position (both hands on firearm held at waist/crotch level arms extended but not rigid) and smoothly raise weapon to shoulder height (not just below, arms HORIZONTAL! Raise the weapon to your eyes instead of lowering your head to aim.) push arms forward and sight on target. Hold for 3-5 secs and (important!) break elbows and return to "low ready". Do this several times, then load firearm and shoot group as practiced. The arm break relaxes your grip while on the recovery but doesn't spoil the memory aspect.

After each group put the weapon down and "rest". Pull the target in and score it and cover/mark the holes. Not only does this slow down your ammo consumption but you don't get as tired as quickly. Your brain has time to process what happened and you can correct problems as soon as they happen instead of after 50 reinforcing shots.

Bad days happen. Don't be afraid to walk away and shoot another day. Better to do this than create a bad habit and then reinforce it with 500 repetitions.

Ammo has some influence but it shows up at all distances. If your groups as short distances are tight but huge at distance, then it's not the ammo. Ditto for the weapon. Bad ammo or ammo the gun dislikes results in poor groups or lots of flyers.

If your groups are tending in a specific direction instead of hitting Point of Aim (POA) then you likely have grip issues or recoil anticipation problems. Try having a friend load some snap caps into your magazine at random. When the gun doesn't fire, you'll know if you're flinching because you WILL flinch and will be able to see it without the recoil.

Bench rests are a crutch. Yes they help to immediately improve groups but they don't do much for your groups when shooting without the rest. Better to get good groups first from technique, then use the rest to get all shots in the same hole.

Good practice less often does more for good shooting than lots of bad practice. Good luck.

Kruzr
01-03-2008, 11:03 AM
Jerking the trigger will usually result in all the shots being off to one side and low. If you are all over the paper, there are other things to consider.

DigglerD
01-03-2008, 11:44 AM
Repeating what's said here...

1. Eyes on the FRONT SIGHT. I usually don't see what I hit on the paper until after the shot because the target should be blury while shooting.

2. Bench rest... well your off hand is all you need for a bench rest. Tuck it into your side and extend your shooting hand as far as you comfortably can. The triangulation in that should give you all the support you need. This is if you don't mind shooting bladed that is.

3. Shoot the same pistol every time until you know what you're doing. Glocks point different from 1911's, Sigs grip different from Springfields and so on...

4. Talk to someone at the range and make sure you are holding the pistol correctly.
Push with shooting hand, pull with off hand... not too tight but enough to kinda lock the pistol in.
Tucked, pointed or crossed... I don't care but keep those thumbs up and on the pistol.
Hold it at eye level and in front of your strong eye. You shouldn't be slumping over to aim.
Also... boxed stance, knees bent.

5. Finger correctly placed over the trigger. Too much trigger will push the gun, too little will pull it.

6. Surprise break on the trigger. Pull up the slop, and then even pressure until it's time for the next shot. If you don't know the millisecond the gun will fire, then your body won't try to anticipate the shot.

7. Eyes on the FRONT SIGHT.

These are the things I use and I shoot fairly well with a pistol. If you are all over the target, 1, 4 and 7 are your likely culprits. Like Kruzr said, the other things usually place your shots off target but in a consistent location on the paper.

Disclaimer: I am no pro, just passing along what works for me.

Kruzr
01-03-2008, 12:12 PM
Push with shooting hand, pull with off hand... not too tight but enough to kinda lock the pistol in.
Tucked, pointed or crossed... I don't care but keep those thumbs up and on the pistol.
Hold it at eye level and in front of your strong eye. You shouldn't be slumping over to aim.
Also... boxed stance, knees bent.
That is one way of shooing but it's what Todd Jarrett calls the obsolete, 20 year old style of shooting. Take a look at this video by him.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48

Or as Matt Burkett says, why pull back on the gun when it's going to come back all by itself. The modern isosceles stance has you pushing out with your shoulder and back muscles, locked wrists, thumbs forward, elbows straight but not locked, weight on balls of your feet, and with hips and shoulders square to the target.

You have to find what works for you. If you are interested in improving, you might want to read Brian Enos' book Practical Shooting Beyond Fundamentals.

ar15barrels
01-03-2008, 3:13 PM
As we tell the newbies in matches... front sight, squeeeeeeeeeeze.

5968
01-03-2008, 4:24 PM
If it isn't the gun or the ammo and you are the problem, maybe this will help:http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r187/5968/TriggerControl.jpg