Tricks up your sleeve?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by yvette, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. yvette

    yvette New Member


    I'm pretty new to shooting. Been going to local range for around a year now. Gotten a bit better, but somedays it's like my first time. I really crack under pressure... severe stage freight I guess. I hate it when people watch me shoot. Anyway, I really need tips, hints to calm down and take my time. Maybe some sort of mental trick. Nothing has worked so far....just reminding me to calm down definitely does not work!

    Oh.....I like bigger guns...I feel I can steady myself better with them. I'm a pretty small frame girl...120? Anyway started out with a 22 and I was all over the place. The bigger the gun the more I could calm my hands down and not jerk the trigger so much. I have a 357 6" barrel now that I LOVE! But I still have a lot of trouble. The first time I shot a rifle, it really calmed me down....sitting and waiting. I loved it! Shot an AR15 well at shooting I've done.

    Anyway, any help would be amazing!
  2. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    get your 22 out but dont hang a target. just shoot. focus on pacing your firing by counting to 3 between shots. this takes the worry about grouping and sights and what not out of the picture and lets you focus on only one thing which is being calm while using the firearm. another thing is to load only 1 round shoot it then load another.

    thats what i find works well when teaching new shooters that are having trouble with control.


    IGETEVEN New Member

    What he said. ^^^

    So let me get this saying size does matter with you? ;)

    Welcome to the FTF Yvett. :D When ya get a chance could you stop by INTRODUCTIONS and say howdy to everyone, but it's your call.

    I would recommend some one on one firearms training time with a certified instructor there at your range, if have someone available there. Breathing control, along with trigger control can easily be picked up with some dedicated practice, plus it will help some with the "stage fright."

    There are dry-fire exercises that can done as well, to help with your control and aim.
  4. group17

    group17 New Member

    I would go to the range early or late so you have the range to yourself. Less worry about who's watching over your shoulder. Would calm your mind your not being judged on your marksmanship so you could can concentrate on the important stuff.
  5. opaww

    opaww New Member

    I tend to shake a lot when I shoot, and when I am shooting my Howa it is magnified in the scope. To help I close my eyes and take a few breaths slowly, and think of something not stressful like smelling a rose. Then I open my eyes get my sight picture inhale and exhale half way hold by breathing and squeeze the trigger.

    I go to the range very early in the morning so I avoid the crowds of people that make me nervous
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Concentrate on the four parts:
    sight alignment
    breath control
    follow through.

    Follow through is releasing the trigger at the same rate you squeezed it. Releasing the trigger too fast will upset your shot.
  7. Neophyte1

    Neophyte1 New Member


    yvette: Ma'am, Welcome from ''Mecklenburg'' NC :)
  8. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    Welcome Yvette! Everyone was a novice at one time, unless they were born with a gun in hand like some of our members. :D Don't worry about the others at the range. Learn good safety practices and practice, practice, practice. A few hours every other week with a good instructor mixed into your range time is invaluable.
  9. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    Welcome to the FTF community Yvette.

    Winds of Change should be by in a while and she shoots a .357 Magnum. In fact, she just posted a range report.
  10. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Here I am!! :D

    Yvette, I think most people at the range aren't really 'watching you'. I believe most are concentrating on their own shooting. I, too, am shooting a .357 6" barrel Ruger GP100. Before I ever went to the range I bought snap caps and practiced at home just squeezing the trigger, looking through the sights. It also might help you to go shooting with someone with lots of experience and listen intently to what they have to tell you. Somethings you can't learn on your own, you have to be shown.

    I just shot a Ruger Mark II yesterday and I really liked it. I liked it because it was light and easy to shoot. What I would maybe suggest is to practice on one gun for now until you feel confident with it.

    The words of wisdom that always helped me was 'everyone was new to guns at some time'. Believe me, no one is judging you at the range. Just go, concentrate on your gun, the sights and the target and you'll forget about the others there.

    I am pretty new to guns and have loads and loads to learn but I like to shoot and have fun doing it. If I can help you in any way, please let me know. I probably can't teach you much but I'd love to learn right along with you.
  11. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    Get some snap caps and a laser for your revolver. You can practice at home with the snap caps. The laser should be aligned with your sights at the distance you will be practicing at. Tape a target to safe wall or pick a safe object to aim at. The laser will immediately let you know if you moved when you squeezed the trigger. Nobody is watching except you.
  12. winds-of-change

    winds-of-change The Balota's Staff Member

    Probably a good suggestion and I can't speak for Yvette, but I, myself, would have no clue how to install the laser let alone how to align it with my sights. If someone could help her with that, it might be a great suggestion I never thought of.
  13. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    I have a Crimson Trace LG111 on my SP101. It is a replacement grip with the laser built in. CT makes laser grips or frame mount lasers for a lot of different guns. They are quality and not cheap. I believe they have a sale on their website. I am planing on installing CT lasers on mine and my wifes SR9cs.
    Crimson Trace Laser - Sight Grips - FREE SHIPPING ON ALL PRODUCTS!
  14. pranc2

    pranc2 New Member

    dont they have lasers that you can put in the camber and come out the barrel?

    besides all the good advice given above... i found that going to the range more often rather than longer helped and is helping me. it keeps me from making it such a big event. ask lots of the same questions to different people when you can. (i guess that is also us too) "aim small miss small" and good luck
  15. boatme98

    boatme98 Well-Known Member

    Yep. What Jon said. If you can, go shoot in the woods or on a friends property. Toss out a soda can and shoot at it one handed using the front site. You can make it dance. Then try it offhand.
    Much more realistic than trying to bullseye paper.
    Remember Redford in Butch Cassidy when they were in South America applying for the job as payroll guards..."can I move?".
  16. Car54

    Car54 New Member

    Welcome to the FTF Yvette.

    It's possible you are gripping the gun to tight and when you pull the trigger you are pushing the gun forward sort of "helping it shoot". When the shot goes off it should be kind of a surprise to you. Everyone else who posted had good tips to try. With practice you'll get better and it won't be an issue.
  17. yvette

    yvette New Member

    Thank you guys so much!

    I love all the advice! I go to the range with some people from work and I think we are headed there I'll let you know how it goes.

    I'm going to try my friend's custom-made 38super! I dry fired it this morning and it seems to be a really light, smooth trigger, which I love.

    I have gone out to a friend's property to shoot and it was so relaxing that I did great. I think I just psyche myself out when I feel pressure. I like the idea of going to the range early....

    I am gripping too tight. I feel it. I was the same with taking notes in school...I have strong hands though! :D

    And I do shoot with very experienced and excellent marksmen. They help me out a lot but it's nice to get other opinions too. So thanks to everyone!
  18. kenhesr

    kenhesr New Member

    For the stage fright thing you might try this old public speaking aid. Temporarily imagine everyone in the room, except you, is in the nude! Also tell yourself you know for a fact that their combined incomes is only a tenth of yours and that they all have bad breath. Under these conditions why would you really care what they thought about anything!?? The pressure is removed!! ;) Attitude can be a good thing!

    On the shooting part, a great old trick is to have a friend load your weapon with only one round -- or not. They do it with your back turned so when you squeeze the trigger it might go bang or just click, you don't know whats gonna happen! Focus on just the weapon, see what happens when it only clicks, repeat this a few times every range trip. You might notice some very bad habits that require attention, when you are not distracted by the muzzle blast and recoil.

    Like people said, practice makes you better. Its kinda like backing up a car trailer, if you have to think about it, that ain't good. Eventually it all becomes second nature and you'll even impress yourself like you did with the rifle.

    PS - Welcome to the forum! Ken
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  19. ManInBlack83

    ManInBlack83 New Member

    There are a number of books that may help as well.

    I came across this one a couple years ago and the author does a good job of explaining all the important fundamentals in depth. After applying what I read at range my groups tightened up substantially. Crucial Elements of Police Firearms Training: Refine Your Firearms Skills, Training and Effectiveness (9781932777307): Brian Johnson, Brian R. Johnson: Books

    As others have mentioned as well, just stay calm, concentrate and don't worry about everyone else judging your performance.

    Oh yeah...and beware of the annoying "Mr. Cool Range Expert Guy"......every range has one if not more.