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Old 04-08-2011, 10:37 AM
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Default Pistol shooting accuracy(Kind of a long post)



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I have been struggling a bit with my pistol accuracy. Before last year I had never really shot pistols a lot. I had owned a couple through the years but never shot them regularly. When i was in the Army I always had an M-60,M-249 or an M-16A2. I i did carry an M9 some but i didn't train much with it. So needless to say my rifle marksmanship is deadly accurate. Breathing and trigger squeeze seem to come naturally and I don't even have to think about it when shooting rifles.

Now that I have started shooting pistols a lot more in the last year it has come to my attention that I stink at it. I did improve a little bit at first but now I don't seem to get any better. Now don't get me wrong at 20ft i can keep all the rounds in the silhouette so I would say It is probably good enough but i don't want "Good enough". So I was out on the range last week and I was shooting a bit, taking my time concentrating on my breathing and a steady trigger squeeze when I finally got frustrated with the lack of accuracy and almost gave up. I figured i already have my ammo out and was at the range (private range out int the country) i might as well stay and have some fun with it. loaded up the Mags put my target at 25 ft and started shooting. i was shooting fairly rapidly only allowing enough time to bring the sites back lined up without much thinking about it. And ill be darned if i didnt put all 17 rounds and make almost one single giant hole in the middle with one or two a few inches off. I then tried rapid fire "point shooting" from both of these positions


And once again I had almost one ragged hole in the center mass of the target with a couple strays here and there but still all chest hits. I even basically shot from the hip and shot better than i do when i aim and concentrate.

In summary, it seems as though when I am aiming and taking my time I am somehow OVER thinking everything and messing myself up but when I shoot quickly without giving myself time to think about breathing and trigger squeeze im tearing the "paper enemy" a new one.
With this new information about what i am possibly doing wrong what should my first step be practice wise to remedy the problem??
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:47 AM
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Google "Shooting to live" by Capt. W.E. Fairbairn and Capt. E.A. Sykes
Old 04-08-2011, 01:13 PM
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I also do not consider myself a pistol person. The only reason I have pistols is because I can legally carry it in my state and other states.

I always tell new pistol shooters to shoot slow and take their time....speed can be worked at down the road...I always found it important to hit what you are aiming for...if the shooting fast works for you...go for it, I just hope that when you need to use your pistol that you don't empty the mag and hit other people/objects in the process.

I don't typically shoot 25yrds with my pistols...I tend to shoot it at distances where most pistol shootings occur, which is normally 7 yards or so...I tend to practice at 10 yards for the most part.

If you can afford it, I'd suggest taking a pistol course from a reputable instructor.
Old 04-08-2011, 02:31 PM
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Like any aspect of marksmanship, proper training will help you overcome a lot of mistakes. It then allows for proper practice which reinforces good habits rather than reinforcing bad ones. For some of us, pistol accuracy takes a lot of work. I'm one of them. I had to put in a LOT of time at the range to gain proficiency. That's where a .22 pistol is nice to have. Affordable to shoot, doesn't induce flinching after a while, and helps train correct form and muscle memory, which are key to effective shooting.
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:36 PM
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I've done a lot of pistol shooting on a combat range. It sounds like when you did good you shoot like I do. Shoot by instinct. Doesn't work for everyone but sounds like you have the knack. Act like the barrel of your gun is your finger and just point at what you want to hit. Practice at home (after double checking the gun is unloaded). It's the best way to shoot a pistol if you can. No time looking for a site picture, much quicker.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:21 PM
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There is a video posted at this address: click here. There is so much good information there from a guy who REALLY knows what he's talking about! Watching it really helped my pistol marksmanship and I've been shooting for a very long time.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:44 PM
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Come on man I see guys shoots 100yds with a pistol on TV all the time and they are dead on accurate. Why shoot at 10 - 25 yds
Old 04-09-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimmer View Post
Come on man I see guys shoots 100yds with a pistol on TV all the time and they are dead on accurate. Why shoot at 10 - 25 yds
Yeah, but they have those bottomless magazines too!
Old 04-09-2011, 05:25 PM
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Go to Youtube and research pistol shooting techniques. Also consider going to some pistol training classes at a local range or Gun Site. Training will overcome any fears or problems that you may have. The pistol is a convenient means of personal defense when used in the right manner.
Old 05-02-2011, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimmer View Post
Come on man I see guys shoots 100yds with a pistol on TV all the time and they are dead on accurate. Why shoot at 10 - 25 yds
Well sir I can't claim to be dead on accurate but I have some time on the range practicing and I have shot in some big matches. Here is a 100 yard target shot at 100 yards with a 22 pistol, with a 10 mph cross wind blowing from right to left. 10 shots fired 10 shots on paper. Where is that idiot who keeps saying handguns are only good for 25 yards?
[IMG][/IMG]

The trick is to forget about the target once you get pointed at it and put both of those pretty eyeballs on the front sight. Now you play a mind game with yourself. You imagine that the front sight is attached to your trigger and when you pull the trigger back you are pulling the front sight back through the notch of the rear sight. You will be working so hard to keep that sight centered in the rear sight you will not be able to think about the target, you will not be able to think about when the trigger comes back far enough to release the hammer.

Your first hint will be a slight push in your hand, the slide coming back and the brass flying up and right if you are shooting pistol or just the sight moving up and you bringing it back down again for the next shot if its a revolver in your hand. I don't care if it's 50' or 200 yards. Play this little game and watch your patterns turn into groups.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:01 PM
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Five years ago I started shooting IDPA right from the start I needed to do something about my skill level with a pistol, draw from the hip and shooting on the move were new to me and I sucked at it; My buddy got me started on dry firing I clear my 1911 make sure it’s safe and that there is no ammo in the same room there is a red dot on the wall I draw slowly get a sight picture and squeeze the trigger at first I said this sucks what the heck he said just do it.
After some weeks went by I started doing better at matches, it seems that dry firing builds muscle memory, sight picture and trigger pull dry firing has helped me a lot and it’s cheaper than burning up ammo at the range.
Old 05-04-2011, 12:27 PM
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Yep my pistol shooting improved tremendously by lots of dry firing. Concentrate on the front sight while doing it and try to acheive a straight back pull that doesn't move the front sight. When you can do this you'll be surprised how much your shooting with live ammo has improved.
Old 05-04-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchie3409 View Post
I tend to shoot it at distances where most pistol shootings occur, which is normally 7 yards or so...I tend to practice at 10 yards for the most part.
^ This.

Quote:
Originally Posted by munchie3409 View Post
If you can afford it, I'd suggest taking a pistol course from a reputable instructor.
...and this^.

I'll paraphrase some of the best information I've been given:
Pistols are pistols and rifles are rifles, each is the correct tool for a a given application.
Do not confuse the two.

+1 on the dry firing.

</close thread>
Old 05-04-2011, 06:00 PM
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I stink too - so I fully understand how you feel.

I shoot regularly with a friend and her husband. At first we were the worst. Then, we kept practicing and over time we got better.

Then we got smart and took a couple classes and started watching training books and reading articles. We learned so many things we were doing wrong I can't even begin to count.

#1 Take a class

#2 Take another class or some private lessons

#3 watch some videos and read some articles

#4 practice what you've learned

I've improved so much in just the last year that I can proudly say I only partially suck. And put a Bersa 380 in my hands and I can actually do head shots with confidence. (I've found I am MUCH better with my Bersa and my S&W 686 than I am with my Glocks - so while I still practice with my glocks - if TSHTF I am picking up the 686 or the Bersa first.)
Old 05-08-2011, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearfoot_25 View Post
I have been struggling a bit with my pistol accuracy. Before last year I had never really shot pistols a lot. I had owned a couple through the years but never shot them regularly. When i was in the Army I always had an M-60,M-249 or an M-16A2. I i did carry an M9 some but i didn't train much with it. So needless to say my rifle marksmanship is deadly accurate. Breathing and trigger squeeze seem to come naturally and I don't even have to think about it when shooting rifles.

Now that I have started shooting pistols a lot more in the last year it has come to my attention that I stink at it. I did improve a little bit at first but now I don't seem to get any better. Now don't get me wrong at 20ft i can keep all the rounds in the silhouette so I would say It is probably good enough but i don't want "Good enough". So I was out on the range last week and I was shooting a bit, taking my time concentrating on my breathing and a steady trigger squeeze when I finally got frustrated with the lack of accuracy and almost gave up. I figured i already have my ammo out and was at the range (private range out int the country) i might as well stay and have some fun with it. loaded up the Mags put my target at 25 ft and started shooting. i was shooting fairly rapidly only allowing enough time to bring the sites back lined up without much thinking about it. And ill be darned if i didnt put all 17 rounds and make almost one single giant hole in the middle with one or two a few inches off. I then tried rapid fire "point shooting" from both of these positions


And once again I had almost one ragged hole in the center mass of the target with a couple strays here and there but still all chest hits. I even basically shot from the hip and shot better than i do when i aim and concentrate.

In summary, it seems as though when I am aiming and taking my time I am somehow OVER thinking everything and messing myself up but when I shoot quickly without giving myself time to think about breathing and trigger squeeze im tearing the "paper enemy" a new one.
With this new information about what i am possibly doing wrong what should my first step be practice wise to remedy the problem??
Overthinking shots causes more missing than anything else.
Old 05-08-2011, 11:49 PM
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It sounds worst than taking up golf!
Old 05-09-2011, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boiledfrog View Post
It sounds worst than taking up golf!
All you have to do is remember that shooting is only 10% physical skill and the rest is between the ears. It only takes 10 minutes to learn all you need to know to become an Olympic class shooter and years to achieve that status.

Okay, it will take an hour to learn the fundamentals and a few finer points and you can become competent in a few months but I was serious about the years to become a top of the class shooter. It isn't rocket science but being a rocket scientist wouldn't hurt. Good physical condition and discipline is required so its a choice of caffeine, alcohol nicotine, late nights with the boys at the local burp and slurp or you get serious about the shooting. You can't do both.
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Old 05-12-2011, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bearfoot_25 View Post
I have been struggling a bit with my pistol accuracy. Before last year I had never really shot pistols a lot. I had owned a couple through the years but never shot them regularly. When i was in the Army I always had an M-60,M-249 or an M-16A2. I i did carry an M9 some but i didn't train much with it. So needless to say my rifle marksmanship is deadly accurate. Breathing and trigger squeeze seem to come naturally and I don't even have to think about it when shooting rifles.

Now that I have started shooting pistols a lot more in the last year it has come to my attention that I stink at it. I did improve a little bit at first but now I don't seem to get any better. Now don't get me wrong at 20ft i can keep all the rounds in the silhouette so I would say It is probably good enough but i don't want "Good enough". So I was out on the range last week and I was shooting a bit, taking my time concentrating on my breathing and a steady trigger squeeze when I finally got frustrated with the lack of accuracy and almost gave up. I figured i already have my ammo out and was at the range (private range out int the country) i might as well stay and have some fun with it. loaded up the Mags put my target at 25 ft and started shooting. i was shooting fairly rapidly only allowing enough time to bring the sites back lined up without much thinking about it. And ill be darned if i didnt put all 17 rounds and make almost one single giant hole in the middle with one or two a few inches off. I then tried rapid fire "point shooting" from both of these positions


And once again I had almost one ragged hole in the center mass of the target with a couple strays here and there but still all chest hits. I even basically shot from the hip and shot better than i do when i aim and concentrate.

In summary, it seems as though when I am aiming and taking my time I am somehow OVER thinking everything and messing myself up but when I shoot quickly without giving myself time to think about breathing and trigger squeeze im tearing the "paper enemy" a new one.
With this new information about what i am possibly doing wrong what should my first step be practice wise to remedy the problem??
Buy an hour with an NRA shooting instructor. Don't be afraid to record yourself with a vidcam.
Old 05-12-2011, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rextex View Post
I've done a lot of pistol shooting on a combat range. It sounds like when you did good you shoot like I do. Shoot by instinct. Doesn't work for everyone but sounds like you have the knack. Act like the barrel of your gun is your finger and just point at what you want to hit. Practice at home (after double checking the gun is unloaded). It's the best way to shoot a pistol if you can. No time looking for a site picture, much quicker.
I agree. Look at your target and guide your gun to the bull without looking at the sights. Never take your eyes away from your target and both eyes open!
Old 05-12-2011, 08:56 PM
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A ragged hole at 25 ft..... Sounds like you solved your problem to me. Muscle memory and a good natural point of aim seem to be working for you. Now go do some more muscle memorization.
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