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Old 11-09-2008, 05:53 AM   #1
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Default 1st Handgun grouping woes

Hi All,

I recently purchased a Glock G19 (9mm) new from the local shooting range. Today I took it to the range to give it an honorary first spin.

My first shot was dead center of the BG's chest, beginners luck.

After that, I found myself consistently dropping shots down and to the right. Not all of my shots, but a good enough chunk to leave me feeling in the dumps about my accuracy and a lovely scattered pattern on the target :-)

I'm a right-handed person, but am left-eye dominant and shoot left handed. (long story, but found out when I was much younger while taking a hunter safety course...10 shots with 22 rifle right handed all missed, instructor had me switch to left hand, and 10 shots all hit the target....not much of a grouping, but they left a mark)

This is my first handgun. Haven't really shot in a few years. Did some shooting with a 20 & 12-gauge (rabbit / squirrel / clay) at a friends farm, and some plinking with the 22 rifle in my younger years. I'm actually not too shabby with a shotgun.

I tried variations of how much finger was on the trigger, holding full breaths vs letting some out. I occasionally found myself flinching before the gun had fired (not to place the blame on someone else, but there did happen to be a bunch of dudes firing a rented mp5 full auto right next to me, and it was a bit chilly in the range.....but I'm sure most of the blame is on me)

So, roundabout way of getting there, but, any tips for a beginning handgun shooter?

I was firing Winchester 115gr FMJ at 10 - 15 yards out. In total about 150 rounds have been fired through the gun so far. I've read postings mentioning a gun needs 300 rds to be broken in. Is this an old wives tale or is there some substance to this?

My girlfriend (along for the ride, but not for the fireworks) noticed the guy to my left (who happened to be shooting very tight groups, 40 cal, at 15 - 20 yds) had more of a squatted stance, and I was more 'upright'.

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falseharmonix View Post
Hi All,

I recently purchased a Glock G19 (9mm) new from the local shooting range. Today I took it to the range to give it an honorary first spin.

My first shot was dead center of the BG's chest, beginners luck.

After that, I found myself consistently dropping shots down and to the right. Not all of my shots, but a good enough chunk to leave me feeling in the dumps about my accuracy and a lovely scattered pattern on the target :-)

I'm a right-handed person, but am left-eye dominant and shoot left handed. (long story, but found out when I was much younger while taking a hunter safety course...10 shots with 22 rifle right handed all missed, instructor had me switch to left hand, and 10 shots all hit the target....not much of a grouping, but they left a mark)

This is my first handgun. Haven't really shot in a few years. Did some shooting with a 20 & 12-gauge (rabbit / squirrel / clay) at a friends farm, and some plinking with the 22 rifle in my younger years. I'm actually not too shabby with a shotgun.

I tried variations of how much finger was on the trigger, holding full breaths vs letting some out. I occasionally found myself flinching before the gun had fired (not to place the blame on someone else, but there did happen to be a bunch of dudes firing a rented mp5 full auto right next to me, and it was a bit chilly in the range.....but I'm sure most of the blame is on me)

So, roundabout way of getting there, but, any tips for a beginning handgun shooter?

I was firing Winchester 115gr FMJ at 10 - 15 yards out. In total about 150 rounds have been fired through the gun so far. I've read postings mentioning a gun needs 300 rds to be broken in. Is this an old wives tale or is there some substance to this?

My girlfriend (along for the ride, but not for the fireworks) noticed the guy to my left (who happened to be shooting very tight groups, 40 cal, at 15 - 20 yds) had more of a squatted stance, and I was more 'upright'.
Fist off, don't get discouraged!

Second, you need an experienced shooter there with you, while shooting. There may be many things you may, or may not be doing correctly.

Third, 10 to 15 yards is WAY TO FAR off for a new shooter. You should be shooting at 9 to 15 feet! YES, 9 to 15 FEET, until you get acclaimated to shooting properly.

It will be awhile before you do this kind of target shooting, but it will happen...
target25.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:55 PM   #3
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See if this little pie chart helps......

fixit.jpg  
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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Thank you both. Man oh Man, I wish I could do those tight groups Mark :-)

It may be a week or so before I get back in the range. I do work for a sign company (graphic design, yard signs, vehicle lettering and wraps, etc) and I managed to slice my left thumb quite nice with a razor knife. So, gotta let myself heal.

The pie chart is actually helpful, if I'm reading it correctly. I do recall wondering about my grip (too tight) and the position/grip of my left thumb.

Ran into this video,

in the forums, and I also think my weak hand (right) may not have been as far forward rotated as it should have been. Also, I do know for sure I had the gun centered in my body and moved my head for the gun (As private Pile knows well, 'move the rifle around your body, Pile, this aint your daddy's shotgun!)

Thanks for the advice, and I'll see what happens the next trip.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:45 PM   #5
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good advice and that video is good help as well.... good luck and keep on shooting

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Old 11-09-2008, 10:18 PM   #6
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Default few more questions

Couple of quick questions.

1) Should I be closing my non-dominant eye while I look down the sites? (I have been)

2) I have the standard sites on the Glock. I know this should probably go in the Glock forum, but does anyone have the G19 with alternate sites they would recommend? I wouldn't say the sites are hard to see (the range is well lit, indoors) but if there are some that would make my job easier, that would be fantastic :-)

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:01 PM   #7
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The sights on your pistol are probably within a gnat's ass of being perfect. If they are not perfect, at least they are consistent. The other half of the shooting machine (The nut holding the weapon ) will never be perfect or consistent. Like fingerprints, every trigger-squeeze is unique. All of us ( Okay, all but 2 who will deny it) let go a "flyer" every now and then. Some of us (Me) do it more than most, and it's impossible to pinpoint just which one of the variables caused the shot to go wandering. I'm talking about missing the target entirely at 15 yards when you're accustomed to putting half inside the 7 ring or better. I don't count anything inside the 8 because I know it was just luck, because I'm not that good.
The idea is to recognize that you have 2 things working for you (A well-made gun and a stationary target) and about a gazillion things working against you (Distractions, all of your muscles, your eyesight, ADD, whatever) and to work on minimizing the things which work against you. The thing I have found to be the most helpful is rhythmic breathing. It gives me timing, keeps things fluid, and keeps me from fixating on muzzle wobble. See it, shoot it, inhale; see it, shoot it, inhale. Firearm design and ballistics are studies in mathematics, but shooting is Zen. You have to put the human into it, but you can't force the issue. The big thing is to practice a lot so that you're not caught up with the mechanics of the act and more focused on simply recognizing when the shot is going to go where you ask it to.

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Old 11-09-2008, 11:11 PM   #8
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I'm a beginner as well, and have found a good coach to be a very good investment. Basic lessons aren't expensive, with good training you'll notice better results in no time.

A few weeks ago a coach at my gun club helped me work on my grip, a slight change in the way I hold my revolvers made a HUGE difference in grouping.

I wouldn't touch the sights on your Glock until you've become more proficient with it. I was going to order some new sights for my CZ75, but I know that I'm still not on a skill level that would benefit from match grade sights (when I miss it's because of me, not because of the gun).

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Old 11-10-2008, 12:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falseharmonix View Post
Couple of quick questions.

1) Should I be closing my non-dominant eye while I look down the sites? (I have been) ACTUALLY, NO... learn to use your dominant eye while keeping your passive eye open.

2) I have the standard sites on the Glock. I know this should probably go in the Glock forum, but does anyone have the G19 with alternate sites they would recommend? I wouldn't say the sites are hard to see (the range is well lit, indoors) but if there are some that would make my job easier, that would be fantastic :-)
The OEM sites are EXCELLENT, and you really don't need to change them unless you just want to spend money.

You really need an experienced "instructor" to spend some time with you. There are a lot of "little" things that you need to learn, that can only come from a REAL instructor... not from a buddy that happens to shoot.
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Old 11-10-2008, 07:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by falseharmonix View Post
Couple of quick questions.

1) Should I be closing my non-dominant eye while I look down the sites? (I have been)

2) I have the standard sites on the Glock. I know this should probably go in the Glock forum, but does anyone have the G19 with alternate sites they would recommend? I wouldn't say the sites are hard to see (the range is well lit, indoors) but if there are some that would make my job easier, that would be fantastic :-)
close quarter shooting should be done with both eyes open. focus on your front sight, bend your knees just a little.also try keeping your elbows bent equally and dont be afraid to hunch a little. as said before start close then work your way back 2-3 yards at a time, also do you shoot stiff wrist or loose. that makes a difference
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