Having a hard time !


September 16, 2007, 10:37 PM
Its been about 40 years since Ive had any guns around the house. But now I have several grandsons that are very interested in guns and want to learn to shoot. Their parents do not have any guns ! So I bought a Ruger Single Six 22 revolver and they are getting pretty good with it, and I have been having fun also.
I was having so much fun that I decided to get me something serious to shoot , so I purchased a CZ75B 9mm. Ive only shot it on two outings and Im a little disappointed in myself. I guess I dont know where to start. I have been shooting at a distance of about 36 feet and only hitting the target about 60% .
What would be a good practicing distance to start out with ? All suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Maybe Im expecting too much from myself in such a short time.

Thank you,

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September 16, 2007, 10:48 PM
You don't say what size target you are shooting at .
I would say move closer until you are hitting the target most of the time and then move back a little at a time.

September 16, 2007, 10:52 PM
I printed out some free targets from the internet. About an 8 inch diameter target on 8 1/2 X 11 paper.


September 16, 2007, 10:53 PM
Your problem might be trigger control. You need to practice at home by dry firing the pistol a lot while keeping a good sight picture on a target. Get some snap caps(I recommend A-Zoom Snap Caps), chamber it in the CZ and start practicing. Make sure you chamber all rounds by letting it naturally strip off the magazine and into the chamber.......just reminding you after 40yrs. :D Holding open the action, manually inserting a cartridge into the chamber, and slaming the action shut on it can damage the extractor. You can also get a quarter and balance it on the front sight while you are pulling the trigger. It should balance on the front sight and not fall as you pull the trigger in both single action and double action. As long as you maintain a steady sight picture before and after you pull the trigger, you'll make great improvements.

CZ trigger pulls are usually a little rough from the factory. The pull will feel a lot smoother after you dry fire it a while and do some more shooting.

When you take it to shoot, try to keep the sight picture steady. Sometimes we all flinch with live ammo to try and compensate for the recoil, try not to do that. Let the recoil come and don't fight it......just keep that sight picture steady.

September 16, 2007, 11:46 PM
I'm a pretty new pistol shooter (lots of rifles and shotguns when I was a kid 20 years ago though). I have a CZ 75B, and I can second that the trigger improves over time. That'll be a big help.

For me, two things in particular seem to help. First, I do a lot better when I take a solid stance with my feet; no-brainer there. Second, someone suggested watching for the "smoke" when you fire a round. It's easier to avoid flinching if you can hold off on blinking. I can definitely watch the casing be ejected when I am paying attention and I flinch less.

My CZ seemed to shoot 124gr a bit better than 115gr, but I don't think I've got enough consistency to rule out random chance there.

Pretty much any of my friends with shooting experience lay out a tighter pattern with my pistol than I do. It's a bit disappointing for the ego, but that's life. I just keep practicing.

September 17, 2007, 11:18 AM
I'd say your probably being hard on yourself. I'd start at 7 yards, and pay attention to trigger control and grip. For me a consistent grip is the thing I have to concentrate on most, and shows an immense improvement in my group size. Also, the Ruger and cz are quite different; if it were me I would need a little time to acclimate. Give it a few more trips and I bet you'll be shooting much better.

September 17, 2007, 11:27 AM
Welcome to THR.

I agree with the others. Dry firing will help even though it is very boring, just 5 minutes a day will help a lot. Move in to 7 years and then let us know how your shots are grouping. If you consistently miss your point of aim let us know where you're missing and we can help you troubleshoot your problem.

You're a good grandpa.

September 17, 2007, 11:48 AM
Looks like you need to take baby steps. Start at 3 yards and work your way out.

September 17, 2007, 05:10 PM
Start at 7 yards, once you can comfortably shoot fist-sized holes into a target, then move to 10 yards, repeat before moving to 15 yards.

September 17, 2007, 05:26 PM
Get some snap caps, and a cheap laser pointer or sight to mount on the gun. Dry fire practice is your friend and the laser dot all the wall helps you learn to hold steady and keep the trigger pull smooth and straight.


September 17, 2007, 07:52 PM
Thanks to all for your suggestions ! At least I have a plan now. I will post an update soon.

Elm Creek Smith
September 19, 2007, 10:53 PM
Pencil drill. Get a pencil with an eraser that will fit down the barrel of your CZ. CLEAR the CZ! Put a piece of paper on the wall with a small aiming point that looks like your target at the range you're shooting. Holding your sights on the aiming point, move slowly forward until the pencil makes a mark below the aiming point. Pull back a few inches and pull the trigger (single action first). The firing pin will drive the pencil forward and make another mark on the paper. Push the pencil back in the barrel and repeat several times. You'll get a group on the paper. If the group is where the first mark was, you should be okay. If it's to the right (assuming you're right-handed), you're yanking the trigger. If it's to the left, you're pushing the trigger. If it's low you're anticipating recoil. If it's high, you're flinching. Practice until the group is right where the first mark is. It's really simple and inexpensive. Once you get the group in the same place, try it with live ammo.


September 19, 2007, 11:22 PM
You've already gotten some good advice in this thread, but I'd like to point out that where you go second isn't really as important as where you start out. You have picked a good initial platform for learning the basics of marksmanship in the Single Six, and as you point out, it's also a lot of fun.

Good work!

Don't be afraid to fall back to .22 shooting to reinforce good habits; you and the grandsons are better off several different ways doing most of your shooting volume there. Start close with 9mm, and limit your sessions to a box or two initially. Focus on maintaining good habits, and build up from that.

You'll probably want your 9mm targets a bit closer in than your .22 targets; 7 yards isn't a bad place to start. In case it's not obvious, you'll also want bigger targets for 9mm than you shoot with .22LR.

September 20, 2007, 08:39 AM
+1 for what Wally said. The cheap (less than $20) laser and dryfiring at home will do wonders.

One thing I have found is the philosophy of trigger squeeze and aiming. Some people get a good sight picture, sights right on target and then think, "I have to shoot now while my aim is good" and they jerk the trigger, pulling the gun off target.

Instead, as your sights start to line up, begin the slow steady trigger squeeze. Don't be in a rush. If your sight picture drifts off, hold steady pressure on the trigger and gently start lining up the sights again. As you get close to a good sight picture again, begin to apply additional pressure to the trigger. When the gun fires, it should surprise you. With practice, you will get to where you know how to time everything so the gun fires just as the sights come to the perfect aiming point.

Once you master the slow aim/squeeze technique, you will be surprised at how easy it is to apply the same principals to rapid fire as well.

And 36 ft is a bit far to be starting off with. The Navy only requires qualification on full size sillhouettes out to 7 yards!

September 20, 2007, 11:56 PM
You didnít mention the type of ammo youíre using. Some firearms are really finicky about that. Try different ammo weights.

September 22, 2007, 01:01 AM
I really appreciate everyones help with this. A lot of excellent suggestions ! I think I'm doing a little bit of everything. Flinching,closing my eyes when I pull the trigger,bad stance and as someone pointed out - pulling the trigger fast when I finally line up the sites. I've also found out that I'm not as steady as I used to be. Of course thats just old age .

One of these days I will have to tell my grandkids that I'm not as smart as they think I am - we sure have fun together. When we fish at the farm pond we make time for shooting also.

Thanks Again Everyone !!

Black Adder LXX
September 22, 2007, 04:51 PM
FWIW- CZ makes a 22 conversion kit that is second to none... You could then have some 22 training practice on the same frame...

Jimmy Newman
September 22, 2007, 05:19 PM
I took a three-day practical shooting class with a very good instructor. He convinced me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that pistol shooting for accuracy is 45% trigger control, 45% not flinching, and 10% everything else.

It's tempting to try to jerk the trigger when the sights perfectly line up on the target, but it's much more important to keep the sights aligned and not worry if they're perfectly, exactly centered on the bullseye. If you keep the sights aligned on the target but the gun moves 1/4" to the right (but stays aligned), your point of impact will only be 1/4" to the right, even though the sights will look way off.

As an exercise to prove his point about trigger control and not flinching being important, and the sights NOT being super important, he had each of us hold our handgun, aiming at the target, and he pulled the trigger for us to insure a clean trigger pull and no flinching. Would you believe that when he did that, I was shooting about 1-1.5" groups at 15 yards? That's a lot better than I can normally shoot :).

The instructor was Bruce Gray, who I would recommend to anyone. He also has a free packet available on his website that goes over dry-fire training, handgun maintenance, and safety. (www.grayguns.com)

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