Frustrated and asking for help!

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by bayonet_extended, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. bayonet_extended

    bayonet_extended New Member

    2
    0
    0
    Hi,

    I'm an excellent shot with a rifle, especially with open sights, but no matter how much I practice with handguns I'm still terrible. The best I can do (with nice guns, like a new Ruger GP100 and a Browning Hi Power in great condition) is maybe 3" groups at 15 feet on a really good day. On a bad day it's all over the target (like today).

    When I practice dry-fire exercises I get a little better, but if I stop practicing for just a few days I go right back to being terrible. I'm working the basics of grip, sight picture, trigger squeeze, and breath control, but I just plain stink! :mad: I haven't noticed a consistent pattern to my groups - they are not low or off to one side, just lousy, wide groups all over the place. I'm not a newbie, but I can't say I've been very consistent with practice. It's discouraging because I don't seem to improve much.

    Thanks for any suggestions!
     
  2. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

    3,659
    0
    0
    Ive had much the same experience as you regarding rifle/pistol groups. Im still working on improving my handgun skills.
    One thing I noticed I was doing when shooting at close range was letting my concentration drift since I could see the bullets striking the paper.
    I was not following through/ staying focused on the front sight. I was searching for the bullet impact.
    If not that, maybe a little "target panic" as it is referred to in the archery world.
    Maybe have someone mix some snap caps into your magazine/cylinder.
    Do that, maybe double up on the hearing protection (plugs and muffs) if flinching shows up with the snap caps.
    Other than that keep at it with the dry and live fire and try to make every shot count.
     

  3. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    19,847
    3
    0
    It's possible that you are flinching or anticipating the recoil. That's not an insult or anything. It's quite common. Try what doing what Gate said.
     
  4. TexasShooter

    TexasShooter New Member

    11
    0
    0
    Hi,
    I know the feeling, perhaps it's your weapon of choice, or like CA357 eluded to, you are anticipating the recoil? I know I've shot a Browning High Power and simply did not like the weapon- it felt top heavy like several others I did not like shooting...
    I can't speak for the Ruger.
    Maybe try something that feels a little different, experiment with other handguns and maybe you'll find one that 'just feels right'.
    Caliber could be another issue, where one might prefer a .45, .40, or .357, some folks are just more suited to a smaller caliber like a .380 or .32 and are wickedly accurate from the start. Lots to choose from even in the 9mm category.
    Just a thought...
    Jim
     
  5. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    4,991
    48
    48
    I felt stupid the other day at the range. I was trying some really hot 45 auto. It was a heavy recoiling round. I had gone through several mags and hit a dud. I would never have admited it if I hadn't hit that dud round. But when that hammer fell I saw the front sight move. I obviously did it because it did not go off. It can happen to anyone. I normally have nice groups with practice ammo.
     
  6. Jpyle

    Jpyle New Member

    4,828
    0
    0
    I sense from your frustration that you are not a golfer or you would be familiar with inconsistent results. :D But seriously, as in golf, accurate shooting requires a proper mix of stance, grip, swing (triggering) and follow through (recoil management). Best advice is practice, practice, practice but seek help in identifying bad habits before they become ingrained.
     
  7. yesicarry

    yesicarry New Member

    306
    0
    0
    What really helped me early on in training was believe it or not, was a .22 pistol. A Ruger MK II.. Bull barrel.. After 1000 rounds, it seemed to be coming together. Grip, stance, finger placement on the trigger.. And Concentrate on one thing at a time. Also, everybody at the range had suggestions. Try one at a time. If it doesn't work, go back to what you know.. And shoot another 1000 rounds..
    When you finally get consistent, pull out the bigger caliber pistol. You might surprise yourself.
     
  8. stungunmike

    stungunmike New Member

    4
    0
    0
    A very accurate documentary on how to fire handguns effectively is the movie "Wanted" with Angelina Jolie. After watching the movie and duplicating their training techniques I'm sure you will see your accuracy improve 10 fold. :D
     
  9. jbd

    jbd New Member

    138
    0
    0
    i did the same thing yesicarry stated. get yourself a solid 22 handgun to practice you will really learn about the way u shoot sight pic, control, ect. the 22 ammo is also so much cheaper to practice with. it really helped me alot maybe it will work for you too.
     
  10. carloglock19

    carloglock19 New Member

    77
    0
    0
    Yeah I feel you for me sometimes its concentration that spaces my shots wide! When I really focus (Jpyle's proper mix) I get a nice grouping each and every time. I have been hitting the range 3 times per week just to make sure that I become extremely proffecient with my handgun so for me practice has been the key to keep it consistent. Good luck!
     
  11. gadrooning

    gadrooning New Member

    327
    0
    0
    Consistency in your basics will make better shot patterns. Sometimes when you don't shoot for awhile or just get fustrated consistency and basics goes out the door even when you think you are doing it properly. Check out this link for Todd Jarrett. He really has some good advice on this clip. I found that by changing the grip(my hold) made a world of difference. I shoot with both my thumbs pointing down range now, and helps me prevents overtighting my grip on the pistol, which threw a lot of my shots off. Everyone is different so you will have to find your own process, and practice a lot.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48]YouTube - Todd Jarrett on pistol shooting.[/ame]
     
  12. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    2,361
    1
    0
    Breath
    Relax
    Aim
    Squeeze
    Suprise

    The Brass acronym.
     
  13. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

    2,396
    0
    0
    Pay particular attention to not thinking about the details. Concentrate on not concentrating. The days when I shoot like crap (Every day I've gone, so far!) I find that I am adjusting my trigger finger 150 times, or getting myself cross-eyed trying to make sure the sights are dead-on, or trying to find my perfect balance point on the balls of my feet. Or like when I went shooting with Cane, trying not to crap my pants.
    On the days when I shoot best (And I learned this from years of sucking like an Electrolux at golf, and decades of throwing pretty good darts.) I'm completely downrange. The mechanics are established, and it's simply a matter of letting Zen have its way. There's nothing more fun than the times when you just can't miss, and those times are when you aren't sweating the petty things. It's more like petting the sweaty things. I made my hole-in-one a couple of years ago, and halfway through the swing, I thought to myself "This is in the jar." Sure, there are quantifiable mechanical adjustments you can make to fix defined problems, but it's the intangibles that put you on the X every time. Or the Q if you're shooting the jug target.
    That said, I can't tell you how to get to The Zone. I just know that being there RAWKS!
     
  14. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    6,165
    0
    0
    Mythbusters

    Did you catch the Myth Busters episode on this? They actualy build a machine and tried to "curve" the bullet like in the movie. Hillarious! Thank god for Hollywood, that's were most of our potential adversaries get their training:)
     
  15. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

    6,165
    0
    0
    Suggestion

    First of all, 3" groups at 15 feet are not all that bad. I shoot with a lot of guys who'd be happy with that. There is a lot off good feedback here but break it down to the important ones.
    1. Stop worrying about your breathing. Breathing is critical w/rifles but has minimum impact on handgun shooting.
    2. Try a different grip. I assume your shooting 2 handed so wrap the knuckles of your weak hand over the knuckles of your strong hand and use weak hand pressure to "lightly" pull back on your strong hand. This will steady your sight picture considerably.
    3. Focus on the front sight and a consistant sight picture, don't look for the holes until your done. This works better if you start w/3 round groups.
    4. If possible, go to a mild recoiling target pistol, like a Ruger .22 LR. I shoot easily 10,000 rounds per year through my handguns and still occasionally find myself dropping the muzzle while pulling the trigger on an empty gun. Happens to the best of us:)
     
  16. William

    William New Member

    13
    0
    0
    Umm I'm new to this forum but I am good with a pistol if you need to work on your basics and can't can't get out to the range alot my suggest getting an airsoft pistol I know kids gun right but there good for working on basic hand placment sight pic.......etc.

    You can get full metal ones for $15 on line, that I what I use when I can't get to the range and my groups got alot better.
     
  17. yesicarry

    yesicarry New Member

    306
    0
    0
    Yeah, but when the wife vacuums the living room, look out !!
     
  18. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    1
    0
    I certainy hope the smiley face folloing your post indicates this is a joke, RIGHT? Your 1st post after introducing yourself is not the time to throw jokes around such serious subjects. We have a joke thread for that.

    Not trying to be a ball breaker. It is just hard to get a handle on the mind of a new member with only 2 posts.
     
  19. gadrooning

    gadrooning New Member

    327
    0
    0
    Actually this is exactly what I do during the really cold winter days. It is great practice for sight picture and trigger control. It is good practice. Practice is practice be it airsoft or 45.

    Tip:
    I tape a target to an open paper bag. I slide a piece of cardboard that is exactly the width of the paper bag and high enough to sit in the bag at an angle. Angle the cardboard top tiped towards you and you basically make an air soft trap. The BB is strong enough to penetrate the bag but losses enough energy to not go through the cardboard. It just rattles around inside and gets trapped in the bag.
     
  20. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    The best way to practice to practice is by doing dry fire excercises. Make certain you memorize the basics (stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger control, breath control {yes, breathing IS part of shooting any firearm, despite some other opinions} and follow through). Practice doing these things correctly each and every time while dry firing. All these basics should become natural and it takes approximately 3,000 repititions of an action to develope muscle memory.

    There is absolutely no difference between dry fire and live fire aside from the noise and recoil. Nothing about your seven basics changes. Once you are fluid with ALL of the basics then add live fire into your practice sessions. If you are not doing everything correctly and consistantly during dry fire, and you start live fire training, you're just making noise. Keep at it and you'll get it.

    Good luck.