Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm far from a gun expert and in fact don't currently own any. But, i have gone shooting a fair amount of times with friends.

And I'm a horrible shot.

I have a hard time hitting the target paper (let alone the target area) at just 20 feet with hand guns. As they say, the first step is denial, but i'm well past that. I've all but given up on it and have focused my defenses and hunting in other areas like snares, sling shots, knives, etc.

2 major problems-
- I'm not stable. I'm not a jittery caffeine person by any means, but i 'wobble' when in the stance with my arms, resulting in a 'crazy' muzzle going all over the place and probably 80% of the problem.
- using guns my friends say are perfectly sighted in (by them) just don't appear to be 'straight' to me at all. my aim through the sights on to the target just feels WAY off of where i should be aiming. Is this 'fixable' in my mind, or does it need to be re-sighted in per person (like car mirrors for different drivers)


I appreciate any tips for helping me to hit the broad side of barn at 20 yards :X
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,760 Posts
There is only one kind of hitting the target, but you can miss in many ways.

What does your shooting look like?

Are your bullets all over the place, or are your shots consistently on one side (right, left, up, down) of the target?

Also, how many bullets have you shot in your entire life, approximately?


A gun that is sighted in (on a certain distance) is sighted in for everyone. It should not take major adjustments when changing hands, like car mirrors do. (sometimes minor adjustments are necessery, if one shooter has a slightly different sight picture).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
I gotta say that while you could read a bunch of books/magazines/internet articles and do a shed load of range work which may eventually correct some of your problems the only "short cut" to accuracy with shooting is sessions with a trained professional coach.

I used to be a lot like you, abeit different problems. Within one year of coaching I was better than a lot of my friends. Later I even went on to compete (and win on occasion).

Coaching may seem pricey, but actually you will save when you consider how much money you could spend otherwise on ammo/range fees/books as well as the time you would spend to get half proficient without a coach. You will see lots of guys at the range who will spend a fortune on schmidt and bender scopes/bipods/match ammo when all they need really to be accurate is good instruction and practice.

good luck and persevere
 

·
Crusty, Crunchy and Cute
Joined
·
3,040 Posts
Step 1. Find a good shooter willing to coach you but he must be somebody who can communicate and knows how to be a coach, being a good shooter doesn't necessarily mean he can teach it.
Step 2. A good book on the basics like 'Marksmanship, An illustrated guide to better shooting by Gary L. Anderson' is a good start to understanding what problems you are having and suggestions to correct them.
Step 3. Get a decent 22 rifle, personally I suggest a single shot bolt action for a lot of reasons but any 22 will do, brand and model are irrelevant in spite of what many are going to tell you. Most rifles are better out of the box than their new owners are and that goes for second hand guns.
Step 4. Learn how to dry fire before you ever put a round of ammo in your gun. Do the exercises till you feel confident.

Go put and buy a couple of bricks of ammo and print out a mess of free targets. You can get them on a lot of sites but the one I use most is mytargets.com and start shooting.

See my post on dry firing, it applies to both rifle and pistol.

Your wobble problem isn't as bad as you think. When you learn to dry fire you will learn to keep your sights lined up and keep them lined up while you are squeezing the trigger. If somebody is watching you and can see the muzzle of the barrel wobbling a 1/2" or 3" you will find that it made your group 1/2" or 3" larger not all over the paper like you would expect.

Shooting is only 10% physical, a good coach can teach you everything you need to know to become an Olympic Champion on your first day but it will take you years to be convinced and to master the skills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
my spread is never grouped. It's not that i'm always hitting top right--- i'm hardly ever hitting it at all.

I probably have 500-1000 down range. Some of that was 'fun' semi-auto 22 unloading into fruit/etc with little care for accuracy.



I might see if the range has an instructor available, but they require permits, which i don't have.... still working on the paper work
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
A gun that is sighted in (on a certain distance) is sighted in for everyone. It should not take major adjustments when changing hands, like car mirrors do. (sometimes minor adjustments are necessery, if one shooter has a slightly different sight picture).[/QUOTE]


i highly disagree with this statement. every gun ive ever sighted in for me with the exception of scoped guns has shot WAY HIGH for everyone else. nobody can shoot my guns except me. also when me or anyone else picks up my brothers gun it will shoot way low and left for us but dead on for him. Gun sights ARE like car mirrors, everyone has to have it adjusted for them. no 2 shooters hold the gun, squeeze the trigger,and see the sights exactly the same. Step one get your own gun and sight it in for YOU. Might not make any difference when shooting at full body silhouettes, but try to shoot something like a 1 inch bullseye, or better yet an empty 12 gauge shogun shell and see how you do with someone elses gun sighted in for them. I mean no disrespect to he poster i quoted, this is just my educated opinion based on my observations with multiple guns. SOME guns th sights wont need changed for you from shooter to shooter, but Alot will.



Ive tought a couple people to shoot but ive also had EXCELENT teachers. heres a few tricks they taught me.

- use a thumbs forward grip.

-squeeze the trigger slowly rather than trying to pull it really fast as your sights line up with the target

-use a good comfortable stance, if your not comfortable your accuracy will suffer, this doesnt apply to defensive shooting..you make do wit what you have, but for practical application, get a good stance

-look at your target more than your sights, think of it like this, if a car drives by you can point at it with your finger quit accurately cant you? your finger as no sights, learn to point your gun like this and youl be more accurate.

-practice does NOT make perfect. Perfect Practice makes perfect. So make sure every shot is done correctly. repeat it until it becomes muscle memory and you no longer have to "try" itl eventually become second nature, like walking or turning on a light

-if you get frustrated put the gun down and cool off. youl only get worse the more ****ed off you get.

- dont worry about the "wobble" so much, as you develop muscle memory, get a good grip and good stance youl find that the wobble lessons quite a bit, and youl always wobble some, its not just you.

-dont worry about speed. my brothers biggest problem. he refuses to slow down and take his time because he wants to show off. thers nothing "cool" about emptying a 17 round mag and scoring 3 hits. Cool is when you make every shot count and put them where they need to go. to feel pressured to shoot faster just because someone else can do it. I can empty my gun as fast as i can pull the trigger and ding the steel every time at combat range, doesnt mean you should try to do it too.

- the best advice ever given to me by an nstructor "smooth is fast" when you take the time to do each step proper and smoothe, youl be fast. when you try to hurry your motions are jerky and your not saving any time. every step from draw to the first shot, to the last shot should be smooth ad fluid. the more fluid and smooth you are, the more your speed will increase

-get to know your gun, once you understand your gun, and get a feel for the action and trigger things will get interesting, for example my Glock trigger has a very distinct braking point that if you learn it you can nearly fire the gun at "full auto" speeds without Jerking the trigger.
 

·
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
Joined
·
432 Posts
I'm far from a gun expert and in fact don't currently own any. But, i have gone shooting a fair amount of times with friends.

And I'm a horrible shot.

I have a hard time hitting the target paper (let alone the target area) at just 20 feet with hand guns. As they say, the first step is denial, but i'm well past that. I've all but given up on it and have focused my defenses and hunting in other areas like snares, sling shots, knives, etc.

2 major problems-
- I'm not stable. I'm not a jittery caffeine person by any means, but i 'wobble' when in the stance with my arms, resulting in a 'crazy' muzzle going all over the place and probably 80% of the problem.
- using guns my friends say are perfectly sighted in (by them) just don't appear to be 'straight' to me at all. my aim through the sights on to the target just feels WAY off of where i should be aiming. Is this 'fixable' in my mind, or does it need to be re-sighted in per person (like car mirrors for different drivers)


I appreciate any tips for helping me to hit the broad side of barn at 20 yards :X
First let me say that I am an NRA Certified Instructor. Having said that I would strongly suggest that you get some qualified, local, experience. We can't really diagnose and give advice without seeing you shoot and the pattern that develops. The Basic Pistol course is only $85-100 takes 8 hours and gives you all the basics of aiming including breath control, sight picture, stance, trigger pull, and follow through.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
491 Posts
Lean just a little forward into the target...feet comfortably apart, weak foot slightly forward, usually a touche oblique is the way your body faces the target, as long as it feels comfortable. Hold the gun firmly, but let the recoil happen, don't grip the gun like a deathgrip. Focus on the front sight of the gun, it should be the clear item in your vision...not the rear sight or the target itself.

These are just opinions, for what they're worth, maybe they can help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Surprised no one asked about eye dominance. A lot of folks are cross eye dominant and never know it. I've been a cop for over 20 years and have seen it many times. If they shoot alot, they usually compensate and don't realize it. If they only shoot occassionally, hitting paper can be difficult. Get someone to check which is your dominant eye. It may make all the difference in the world.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,760 Posts
my spread is never grouped. It's not that i'm always hitting top right--- i'm hardly ever hitting it at all.
Okay, so if I understand correctly, the problem is too much spread.

There are some things I recommend you do:

- Dry firing. Concentrate on the sights. Try to hold the firearm as still as you can. Then squeeze the trigger in a way that the sight picture does not change and the sights do not move. Repeat this until you get it right.

- practice. Go to the range and shoot. Go shoot 1000 rounds and go for maximum accuracy.

- Suprise dryfire drill: Have a friend mix up live rounds with dummy rounds in the magazine. While shooting, pay good attention to your sights. A few times the gun will go 'bang'. Then it goes 'click'. At that moment, you can see what your sights do. If the sight picture does not move when the gun goes click, you're doing it right. If the gun is shaking when you pull the trigger, you are moving the firearm while pulling the trigger. This is a major cause of inaccuracy with a lot of shooters.
 

·
أنا واحد
Joined
·
6,631 Posts
I'm far from a gun expert and in fact don't currently own any. But, i have gone shooting a fair amount of times with friends.

And I'm a horrible shot.

I have a hard time hitting the target paper (let alone the target area) at just 20 feet with hand guns. As they say, the first step is denial, but i'm well past that. I've all but given up on it and have focused my defenses and hunting in other areas like snares, sling shots, knives, etc.

2 major problems-
- I'm not stable. I'm not a jittery caffeine person by any means, but i 'wobble' when in the stance with my arms, resulting in a 'crazy' muzzle going all over the place and probably 80% of the problem.
- using guns my friends say are perfectly sighted in (by them) just don't appear to be 'straight' to me at all. my aim through the sights on to the target just feels WAY off of where i should be aiming. Is this 'fixable' in my mind, or does it need to be re-sighted in per person (like car mirrors for different drivers)


I appreciate any tips for helping me to hit the broad side of barn at 20 yards :X
Your need to purchase a firearm you like. And shoot it alot. My son is 11 and he hits bulls eye more than he doesn't (50 yrds ) it's really not that hard. Your shooting a gun that's sighted in for someone else.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,760 Posts
i highly disagree with this statement. every gun ive ever sighted in for me with the exception of scoped guns has shot WAY HIGH for everyone else. nobody can shoot my guns except me. also when me or anyone else picks up my brothers gun it will shoot way low and left for us but dead on for him. Gun sights ARE like car mirrors, everyone has to have it adjusted for them. no 2 shooters hold the gun, squeeze the trigger,and see the sights exactly the same. Step one get your own gun and sight it in for YOU. Might not make any difference when shooting at full body silhouettes, but try to shoot something like a 1 inch bullseye, or better yet an empty 12 gauge shogun shell and see how you do with someone elses gun sighted in for them. I mean no disrespect to he poster i quoted, this is just my educated opinion based on my observations with multiple guns. SOME guns th sights wont need changed for you from shooter to shooter, but Alot will.
That is not possible. If a gun is sighted in, and the sights are lined up correctly with the target, the bullet goes in the center. That does not depend on the shooter.

If you shoot way low with a gun that is sighted in correctly for everybody else (that's basically what you say; everybody else shoots way high with your guns), then you are doing something wrong. Either you're sight picture is unconventional, your frontsight is lower than your rear sight.

Or, you are jerking the gun down while pulling the trigger, causing you to hit lower than everybody else.

If I may ask, what is your accuracy when shooting? You talked about the 1 inch bulls eye, at what distance can you hit it consistently?
 

·
Super Moderator. I'm helping!
Joined
·
8,726 Posts
If we are listing credentials I'm also an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor, as well as a USPSA Certified Range Officer, worked managing a gun range for a couple of years, taught individual and group classes and was a competitive shooter until a neck injury forced me to give up shooting altogether.

During that time I worked with all kinds of folks who wanted to get their conceal carry licenses, their CMP, folks who were new to competitive shooting (or new to shooting altogether), and/or just wanted to learn to be better shooters and I can tell you that dry-firing was the single most effective tool I had when it came to helping people with the problems you have identified.

There's no sense throwing bullets downrange if you have no clue what you are doing wrong. Whatever it is someone is doing wrong, they are only reinforcing those bad habits by not doing some research and figuring out what is going on. Good for you for realizing that what you are doing is not working and that it is not the gun that is the problem. (Believe me, you'd be surprised how many folks SWEAR it is the gun ... LOL)

1. Take a look at this chart: Group Analysis - Pistol I know you say you don't have any group but actually your lack of a group is actually a group! (I know, I didn't get it the first time I heard it either but after a week of dry-firing I cleared up some problems and then the other problems became easier to diagnosis. I found this to be true of most people I worked with.)

2. I've got nearly every book written by competitive shooters for becoming a better shooter written over the last 30 years and the ONLY one I recommend to shooters who just want to be a MUCH better shot (but don't want the silliness of "be one with the bullet" that some competitive shooters think is necessary) is one of the most recent. (No, I don't work for Mr. Seeklander). It is "Your Competition Handgun Training Program" by Mike Seeklander. It is available on Amazon or his website here: Mike Seeklander's Website

3. Your "wobble" is most likely due to one of two things. Either you are gripping the gun too tightly in an attempt to control recoil or you have some generalized weakness in the muscles you are using when aiming and shooting. Dryfiring (10 minutes morning and evening to start) will help alleviate both of those problems. Other folks have addressed dryfiring techniques above pretty decently so I'll not repeat that other than to emphasize that SQUEEZING the trigger without tightening the other fingers on your hands and maintaining no movement of the sight is what you are needing to work on FIRST. Speed will come later.

4. Your sighting problem is a little more difficult to address without seeing you shoot but you should only be making minor adjustments with a gun that is accurately sighted in. But I can probably give you some things to try if you can give me some hints about what you are doing.

So, if you don't mind, can you answer these questions for me:

Do you shoot with one eye open (which one) or both eyes open?
Are you right or left-eye dominant?
Do you shoot right or left handed?
What kind of stance do you most naturally fall to when you shoot? (Not the stance you were taught. The one that you find yourself in after you've shot a magazine or two and no one else is looking.)
Do you know where your natural point of aim is? If not, do you know how to find it?
Do you keep a journal?

Uhmmmm ... there are probably some other things I want to ask too but can't think of them off the top of my head, which is pounding right now. :(

ETA: Don't give up ... There was NOT a worse shot on the planet than me. Add that to the fact that I really didn't want to learn now to shoot in the first place (I married a damned JBT and he insisted I learn how to shoot. :rolleyes:). It took him a couple of years for me to "catch the bug" (no, really ... it took that long) but once I saw an IPSC match I was hooked! :D: I really miss it now. :(

That's something else you can do. Find an USPSA/IPSC match in your area and go watch. Don't pay attention to the guys who blaze through the stages. Watch the ROs and how they treat the new shooters. Watch the new shooters. If you like what you see (and you will) gather up your guns and ammo, and equipment and go back next month. Competition shooting is NOT a replacement for good tactical training but it WILL make you a better, more confident gun handler and a better, quicker, more accurate shot.
 

·
Maximus
Joined
·
12,320 Posts
...
2 major problems-
- I'm not stable. I'm not a jittery caffeine person by any means, but i 'wobble' when in the stance with my arms, resulting in a 'crazy' muzzle going all over the place and probably 80% of the problem.
- using guns my friends say are perfectly sighted in (by them) just don't appear to be 'straight' to me at all. my aim through the sights on to the target just feels WAY off of where i should be aiming. Is this 'fixable' in my mind, or does it need to be re-sighted in per person (like car mirrors for different drivers)


I appreciate any tips for helping me to hit the broad side of barn at 20 yards :X


One thing to help your "wobble" in your arms is to try some isometric pressure to help stabilize your handgun. With your dominant arm, push forward. With your support arm pull pack. Keeping that push/pull pressure will help immensely. Try that right now holding something a few pounds in weight and you will see a notable difference.

Trigger control is another thing. Try only to move the trigger finger and no other part of the hand.

As far as the sights... I agree with the poster about maybe being cross eye dominant? My wife and my brother are and used to shoot with their head cocked to the side until we corrected it.

To check your eye dominance, reach your arms out and use your index fingers and thumb on both hands to create a triangle. Then keep both eyes open and look at an object through that triangle about 5-20 feet away. Now without moving your hands or head, close one eye and see if you can still see the object inside that area. Then try with the other eye. One eye should be able to see the object and the other eye will not. The one that can still see the sight-picture is the dominant eye. If you are good, then see if your friend is cross eye dominant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
That is not possible. If a gun is sighted in, and the sights are lined up correctly with the target, the bullet goes in the center. That does not depend on the shooter.

If you shoot way low with a gun that is sighted in correctly for everybody else (that's basically what you say; everybody else shoots way high with your guns), then you are doing something wrong. Either you're sight picture is unconventional, your frontsight is lower than your rear sight.

Or, you are jerking the gun down while pulling the trigger, causing you to hit lower than everybody else.

If I may ask, what is your accuracy when shooting? You talked about the 1 inch bulls eye, at what distance can you hit it consistently?
at 15 yards i can shoot one big hole through a 1 inch bull, and i can consistently shoot empty 12 guage shotshells off a wooden stand at a step up from slow fire speed.

at 25 yards i can consistently keep all my shots in or around the bullseye, minus the occasional one that i throw out of the group due to jerking the trigger,fireing before i was ready ext.

and at 50 yards i can make head shots on a standard Silhouette target about 85% of the time with any "misses" going low into the neck area

thats with a 1911 in 45 ACP, with my smith 44 magnum 629 classic ive killed deer at 100-150 yards and never wounded one. With my poor vision, if i can see it i can kill it with my 44 mag.

as for the guns, he majority of the guns my family owns we will shoot close to the same point. not exact, BUT there are SOME that shoot way different for all of us. my brothers beretta shoots a foot low and left for me, dead on for my brother, and high and right for my uncle. My Glock shoots dead on for me, High as **** for my grandpa, high as **** for my brother, and dead on for my dad. My smith revolver shoots dead on for everyone, my 45 colt shoots dead on for me and Low for everyone else (its not adjustable, its a single action army and what you get is what you get) My brothers AK-47 shoos dead on for him, but 3-4 inches high for me. All 3 of our 1911s shoot dead on for everyone, excpt the taurus shoots low for my uncle and brother.

It definitely helps to have your own gun and have it sighted in for you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
about cross eye dominance, just close your left eye or squint it if you dont feel comfortable closing it fully. (if your right handed) when i shot gunfighter in SASS (one gun each hand) when i shot the left gun i had to close my right eye and when i shot the right gun i had to close my left eye. Didnt stop me from winning first place a few times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Lots of good tips in here. I have taken the Basic Pistol class already (required for permitting in my area) and found it more about safety than anything else. I shot all of 10 rounds that day and got moved on for the rest of the class to have a chance to shoot.

I should have good finger dexterity, as i am a guitar player.

I am right handed and right eyed. I can't even wink my right eye, so the left always is the one to close.

Looks like i just need to pair up with someone whos not my friend and can actually show me a thing to two at a range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Lots of good tips in here. I have taken the Basic Pistol class already (required for permitting in my area) and found it more about safety than anything else. I shot all of 10 rounds that day and got moved on for the rest of the class to have a chance to shoot.

I should have good finger dexterity, as i am a guitar player.

I am right handed and right eyed. I can't even wink my right eye, so the left always is the one to close.

Looks like i just need to pair up with someone whos not my friend and can actually show me a thing to two at a range.
thats a good idea. just keep an "i can" attitude. once u get frustrated it can be hard, even for me i happens someimes on bad days
 

·
This site sucks
Joined
·
1,980 Posts
WOW, that is a lot of info. I will narrow it down for you. Go to the range and shoot few pistols in the caliber you like. Then go shoot a few thousands rounds and you will get better.
I bought a Glock 23 and did not shoot it that well, I have shot a lot. BUT after 4000 rds, I shoot it much better.
 

·
Maximus
Joined
·
12,320 Posts
WOW, that is a lot of info. I will narrow it down for you. Go to the range and shot few pistols in the caliber you like. Then go shoot a few thousands rounds and you will get better. ...
Or that could result in a few thousand rounds that re-enforce bad habits in shooting...
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top