Help! I am a terrible shot :(

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Porter, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Porter

    Porter Member

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    Jun 3, 2008
    Houston
    I took my Sigarms 1911 out for the first time on Sunday, and while I am happy to report that it outperformed the brand new Kimber in the lane next to me (I had no failures of any sort in 100+ rounds, he had 5), I have to admit that I am a terrible shot.

    After about 50 rounds I finally started consistently putting round on paper at 7 yards. Yes, it was that bad. Once I did begin at least hitting paper everything was falling low and to the left of point of aim. Whatever I am doing wrong I did consistently wrong on the last two mags, because I managed to shoot a ragged hole. However, the hole was not being made where I wanted it to be made.

    So, based on my description, does anyone have any suggestions as to what stupid mistake I am making?

    This is my first pistol, I have fired numerous rifles, and while I am not a sharpshooter with a rifle, I am considerably better than with my pistol.
     


  2. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    Sounds like you're anticipating recoil and jerking the trigger. That's my fault as well.

    When I start doing that, I'll dry fire a few times and you'll see how much you're jerking it. You'll get nice a steady and at that point, start shooting live rounds again and repeat what you did.

    Another trick some suggest is to load up a snap cap or 2 in a mag (better, let someone else do it so you don't know where they are) and when you get to one, you'll see how much you're jerking it.

    Look for the surprise fire also. Gently pull on the trigger and let loose, them pull again, each time getting firmer and firmer until "bang".

    Those are things I've had suggested.

    I'm attaching a chart I just found that is great to let you see what you're likely doing depending on where you're hitting.

    OK, guess I'm not. I already reached my pic quota with the 1 pic I've got posted somewhere else. :rofl:
     
  3. Porter

    Porter Member

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    Jun 3, 2008
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    I have seen that chart before, but can never find it when I want to. I PM'd you my email. Would you mind shooting a copy of it over to me?
     
  4. htxred

    htxred Active Member

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    inner loop houston
    im a pretty good shot inside the shooter's box. id have to see you shoot in order for me to help you out. ima warn you though, i have a big problem with only making one hole when i shoot. so you might not want my advise..... lol :p

    anyways if you're anywhere near shiloh, stop by and i'll see if i cant get you hittin ipsc groups. :D
     
  5. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    Mar 11, 2008
    DFW, North Texas
  6. SIG_Fiend

    SIG_Fiend Administrator TGT Supporter Admin

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    Those charts have entirely too much info on them in my opinion. Draw a big plus sign or cross on the center of the target. If you are a right handed shooter and you are hitting ANYWHERE to the left, it's almost guaranteed to be a trigger control issue. If left handed then it's the reverse (hitting to the right would be trigger control). Trigger control issues are the number one factor in inaccuracy problems IMO.

    9 times out of 10 inaccuracy issues are either due to improper trigger control or improper sight focus. Very, very, rarely are the sights ever off. Some people advocate "point shooting", target focus, etc but for the sake of pure accuracy just focus on the front sight. As far as the trigger issue goes, there's a good drill which helped me out immensely. It's called the "surprise" break. Basically, once you line up on target and have your sights aligned, start focusing on the front sight hard. While doing this, you want to very, very slowly start easing the trigger back. Don't even try to "make" the gun shoot, just pull it back slowly, slowly increasing pressure. The whole time, it can help to say to yourself or out loud FRONT SIGHT, FRONT SIGHT, FRONT SIGHT to get your mind focused on concentrating there. If done correctly, eventually the gun will go off when you don't expect it. The point is, this keeps you from yanking the trigger back. With the sights in proper alignment, a front sight focus, and not yanking the trigger, the shots should hit right at the point of aim every time. There are other issues that can creep up as well though like improper sight alignment with the eye (this can really show up if you are cross dominant, wear glasses, etc). Though, other issues aside, start there and see how you do.

    One other piece of advice I picked up from those more knowledgeable than myself, stop making the gun shoot. What I mean by that is no one can ever really hold the gun completely still. Some people feel rushed by the slight movement in the gun when held extended. Don't worry about it, as long as you aren't shaking all over the place, a little movement is not going to hurt your accuracy too much (well unless you are shooting bullseye matches or something). Stop feeling rushed to press the shot off and focus purely on properly aligning the sights and squeezing the trigger.

    One thing that might also help is to shoot at no target whatsoever. If it's indoors, just don't put a target on the hangar, outdoors just shoot into the berm or whatever. Take your focus off the target or other aspects and allow yourself to focus on the front sight and trigger control. Eventually I think a person needs to see the bullet holes on the target after their string of fire (don't be focusing on the target and looking for bullet holes WHILE shooting). After seeing the results it will start to make more sense and will increase your confidence level.

    I highly recommend buying this video: Link

    Hehe, I feel like a salesman for Yeager at TR sometimes but, that video is the single best thing I have found thus far for learning handgun shooting proficiency. For someone starting out, it would give you a big head start over the normal route most people take.
     
  7. TexasHK

    TexasHK Member

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    Jul 7, 2008
    Seguin, Tx
    Being a 1911 fan myself and experiencing differences in shooting, I'd give two possibilities from seeing others shoot a 1911 style:
    First off, at first glance reading your description I'd say you could be jerking the trigger in anticipation of the climb and recoil, which is easy to see witht he dry firing, but I'd say to make sure that just the pad of your trigger finger is on the trigger and talk yourself through a nice and easy trigger pull.

    Another possibility that I've seen comes close to a limp wrist as you could be 'helping the round down range.' I've seen this when a shooter flinches the muzzle down a bit when firing. This will cause you to drop your rounds fairly low and to one side. The best course of action for this could be to take a good firm stance, make sure you are locking your arm(s) depending on the stance you use (squared up or weaver stance) and talk yourself through a nice squeeze a few times. Once you try this and those rounds come back to center, you should gain confidence and eventually do it without thinking.

    But without seeing you shoot, these are my two best guesses.
     
  8. LittleGun

    LittleGun Active Member

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    Spring/Houston
    These suggestions are things my instructor told me when I was shooting for the first time. My problems were anticipating the shot and too forceful on the trigger. All my shows left and low. I learned not to anticipation the shot - just let it happen. I used the suggestion of fixating on the front sight by verbally repeating SIGHT...SIGHT...SIGHT...SIGHT. Then blam! The gun fired and I wasn't expecting it so I didn't ruin the shot. Once I learned to relax and go easy on the trigger, my accuracy dramatically improved.
     
  9. mac79912

    mac79912 Well-Known

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    Yep sounds like limp wristing.Try dry firing to practice.Had the same problem when I first started shooting the 1911.
     
  10. JKTex

    JKTex Well-Known

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    I like the charts but agree, there's lot of info. that's too defined/refined for shooting. So they can be used, but as a guide but not the final word. The causes are all pretty good where you're shooting might not be exactly in those regions.

    It's a tool that can help if you don't try to let it drive and understand those lines (maybe remove the lines so we don't fixate on the "region").

    I like the "sight, sight, sight" as it's just something that will allow you to focus on something else rather than hyper-focus on the upcoming shot.
     

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