Hello, I am pretty new to shooting. I am having issues with my 9mm. I am having trouble hitting the paper with it. I have a ruger mark III and I am getting a lot better with that and I am hitting the scoring rings pretty consistently. The problem I am having is with the glock 17. I am not really sure what I am doing wrong with it. The best I can tell is when I dry fire it, I seem to be pushing the muzzle down a little ( maybe overcompensating for the recoil).
I know it is a long shot but I was wondering if anyone knew of a personal instructor in the NY area, specifically Rochester that they could recommend.
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July 22, 2008, 01:27 PM
I seem to be pushing the muzzle down a little ( maybe overcompensating for the recoil).
A couple of weeks ago when I was at the range, I notice a LOT of novice shooters doing this with small Glocky looking pistols, and I assumed that's what it was - anticipating the recoil....
July 22, 2008, 01:51 PM
Anticipating recoil is sometimes hard to overcome. In rapid fire, I find myself expecting it and my shots go to heck.
Slow fire first. Load up a mag and set the target at 10 feet or so. Aim carefully, and slowly pull the trigger back. Creep it. The key thing is that the trigger should break when you least expect it.
If your sights are on target, when the trigger catches you by surprise, the shot should be dead on.
In rapid fire, the natural tendency is to force the gun to remain on-target (by pushing the muzzle down), rather than letting it recoil and come back on-target. You can feel a distinct difference when you keep a firm grip and let it recoil vs when you have a firm grip and are forcing against it.
You can also see the difference in your shots. Forcing the gun to remain where it is will cause the shots to drift down and opposite of your shooting hand. You will also see the first shot on-target but then they'll drift down on follow-ups.
Professional instruction will help immensely. Check the NRA website for certified trainers in your area.
July 22, 2008, 01:57 PM
When I took my brother shooting his first time ever, we shot my .45XD (was the only handgun I had)
Now my brother is taller and stronger than I am. I was hitting bullseyes, he wasn't hitting the paper.
He thought that the recoil of the gun would make the bullet shoot high so he was pointing it down before firing.:confused:
We eventually got him on target.. Now he's a decent shot.
Just take it sloooow. concentrate on the sights and make sure they are aimed at the target when the actual shot rings out.... If you think it might be the gun, ask someone shooting near you to try it out. Can't hurt.
July 22, 2008, 02:04 PM
1) Hold it straight up and down. Forget everything you ever learned from the movies and video games.
2) Assuming you are right handed. Hold it in your right hand, and extend it toward the target. Now, put your left hand over the "fist" that your right hand makes around the grip. Basically, your left hand's fingers should fall over/in-betweenish the grooves made by your right hand's fingers, and your thumbs will line up pointing up toward about 10:30 o'clock.
3) Now here's the fun stuff - You want to be able to -naturally- push forward with your right hand, and pull back with your left. This will stabilize stuff. Try it now while sitting at the keyboard. Your co-workers will edge away...
4) Put the front sight on the center of the target. Now, line up the rear sight with the front sight.
July 22, 2008, 02:06 PM
There are a few good instruction videos floating around youtube.
The biggest problems I had as a beginner were recoil anticipation, and target fixation.
Recoil anticipation just takes some trigger time to overcome. Squeeze the trigger slowly until breaks, and don't immediately jump off it, hold it down at it's full travel. Allow the muzzle to flip while maintaining a firm grip.
Target fixation takes some eyeball training. It's very natural to want to focus on your point of aim, but your clearest focus should be on your front sight, with the target and rear sights slightly out of focus. I had heard this many times, but it wasn't until someone told me "Look at the front sight as if you were trying to read something off of it" that my accuracy jumped up remarkably.
Take your time, take instruction where you can get it, and in time you'll be thumping bowling pins at 50yds as natural as can be.
Good luck and have fun.
July 22, 2008, 02:12 PM
Move the target close enough to see where the shots are going, that will help you to diagnose your problem.
July 22, 2008, 02:30 PM
I am not really sure what I am doing wrong with the 9mm. The best I can tell is when I dry fire it, I seem to be pushing the muzzle down a little ( maybe overcompensating for the recoil).
I'm guessing that its a pistol with a fairly heavy trigger (DOA or SA/DA trigger) pull where the trigger is hinged on the frame?
The reason I come up with this assumption is that I have a Beretta 92fs that would shoot 1' low and I eventually put in the safe and forgot about it a couple of years. Eventually I was in a gunshop that had a tricked out 92 and I asked the gunsmith to handle it and try the trigger. The trigger was a lot lighter and crisper than on mine. I ended up having the trigger worked on and it now shoots dead center. A lot of practice on trigger control may have eventually fixed the problem- then again maybe not as I shot the Ruger MKII and a 1911 very well, but the trigger work seemed to make the problem go away.
July 22, 2008, 02:39 PM
I am not often a stickler,
I have a ruger mark III
But isn't that a .22 lr?
A Ruger 9mm would be something like a P89DC or a P85. They even have a new polymer one that I am not up on but I think it is the SR9(?).
Anticipation of recoil is an up and down problem. If you use the thumb on thumb two handed grip with a Weaver stance that should help.
July 22, 2008, 03:17 PM
Invest in a set of laser grips.The ability to track the actual point of impact on the target will give you amazing insight as to what you are doing wrong.It was very enlightening (pun intended) to this old school shooter. Chuck.
July 22, 2008, 03:43 PM
You know, I've been through exactly what you're describing, as I only started shooting a handgun about 3 or so years ago myself. I started with a 40S&W HK P2000, a good amount of recoil in a rather smallish handgun. I jerked that thing like crazy for about 2k rounds before I figured out what I was doing wrong.
Just like me, you are anticipating reflex, as others have said. There are several things you can do to overcome this.
1) Slow fire, very very slow, alot. Press the trigger so slowly you are suprised by the shot breaking. Do this ALOT.
2) Continue practicing with your .22 pistol. Increased trigger time on a soft-recoiling weapon will help you forget the reflex altogether on your other guns.
3) Spend alot of time dry-firing. Unload your gun and practice going through the motions. When you press the trigger, nothing happens, and you will eventually convince yourself that there is no recoil to anticipate. then, when you put live ammo IN the gun and shoot it for real, you combine that conditioned response to not anticipate with the reality of a live round. This was incredibly helpful for me.
4) Buy snap caps and practice the "ball and dummy drill." Load a mag randomly with snap caps interspersed in with your live rounds. If you can have a friend do it for you, that's better - but if you're alone, It's ok, just try not to pay attention to the order you load the dummies in. As you shoot, eventually, the hammer will fall and nothing will happen. In that instant, you will see exactly what you are doing to the gun when you press the trigger. Next time you press the trigger, not knowing what will happen, you should be holding the gun perfectly still, and you will get a great shot off. Odds are that in one afternoon of doing this drill your shooting will improve 100% - it definitely did with me.
5) Here's a new one for me, but it's helping me more than I ever thought it would - and respectfully to all the Weaver shooters here - try the Isosceles stance.
I found that, when I was standing with my off hand pulling down on the gun (Weaver stance), that REALLY facilitated me jerking down - I was probably pulling more with my off hand than anything else. I read about the modern Isosceles stance, which is used by almost every top competitive shooter, and decided I would give it a try.
Take the gun in your strong hand, close to your body. Take your weak hand and wrap the fingers of your weak hand across the top of the fingers of your strong hand. POINT YOUR WEAK THUMB DIRECTLY AT THE TARGET, and lay your strong thumb on top of that thumb. This way your weak wrist is locked out and braced down and forms a VERY strong platform in conjunction with your strong hand.
Put the gun in front of your face, look through the sights. Push the whole hand / gun assembly out in front of your face, don't lock your elbows - have maybe 1-2" of slack in your elbows so you don't get too fatigued.
Stand squarely to the target and lean forward slightly, think "aggressive."
When you press the trigger, the gun will recoil directly back into BOTH hands, and if you're grip is proper - i.e. correct pressure on all sides of the gun - you will be suprised to see that the sights go straight up and come right back down to where they were before. That's called "tracking" and by adjusting how much pressure you put on the gun with each hand individually, you can get the gun to track very consistently no matter how fast you shoot. Meanwhile, all that recoil is very much absorbed by not just your strong hand pushing out but by both arms, acting like pistons.
I had no idea how to shoot an accurate "hammer" at 7 yards before I tried this stance, but it makes shooting fast and accurately unbelievably easier.
And to your concern, it will help you avoid anticipating, since, in order to duck that muzzle down, you will have to lean your WHOLE BODY down, or push BOTH ARMS down from the SHOULDER, which you are probably less likely to do - I find that anticipating usually comes in the wrists, which you had more freedom to flex in the Weaver stance.
I hope this is helpful - not an exhaustive list of things to try but they should all help you, hopefully as much as they did me.
July 22, 2008, 04:59 PM
As others have stated, dry firing helped me too. I would rack the slide each time rather than just thumb cocking the hammer. Would line up the sights on my target and hold steady untill after the trigger was pulled. The sights should not move from the point you pick on your target as the trigger is pulled. Have fired many thousands of imaginary rounds at a door knob or what ever in this fashion.
July 22, 2008, 05:32 PM
recoil in a 9mm, you have to kidding? they are pop guns movies come to blame 9mm blowing poeple out windows and over cars. Go out to the range and shoot some real guns.
July 22, 2008, 05:38 PM
I seem to be pushing the muzzle down a little
Stop doing that.
July 22, 2008, 05:40 PM
Take a few day trips up to the S&W range in Springfield MA.
I learnt how to shoot pistols accurately there between 98-02 they have excellent instructors.
July 22, 2008, 06:07 PM
another thing to try is to go to the range with a friend that owns a 38/357 revolver and have the friend load it with between 2 and 4 wadcutters in random patterns so you don't know if you are going to have a live round or and empty chamber--fire slowly:D. You also may have your friend leave empty brass in the "empty" chambers--also have your friend watch while you fire to see if you have a flinch. Revolvers have an advantage here because they don't need a round to fire to function normally.
July 22, 2008, 06:12 PM
Take a 8X11 sheet of paper and tack it to a wall and clear the gun. No magazine and clear the gun. Draw a small cross + about that size and stand about 12 feet away. Focus on the front sight and raise the the pistol up and squeeze the trigger. The front sight should not move. Most likely it did. Practice dry firing until it doesn't. Practice often enough until you geth those motor skills down enough.
Do not make the mistake of dropping your head while lining up for the shot. A large percentage of people do. I suspect it has somehting to do with firing a rifle and hunkering down behind a rifle. Keep that head up and bring that pistol up to the line of sight. If you don't then your shots will tend to hit the target low.
July 22, 2008, 06:22 PM
Little trick learned 40 years ago. Get some snap caps if you don't have them. Take a blank sheet of white paper and a fine point black pen and draw 1 horizontal line about 1 1/2" long in the center of the paper, then a vertical line through the center to make a cross. Put that up on your wall in a room where you have no distractions like blenders, TV's washing machines, what ever. Put your arm out and point your finger at the wall at shoulder height, thats where the cross goes.
With snap cap in place you put the muzzle of the gun no more than an inch from that cross and you dry fire. When you do this emulate what you are doing on the range, take your breath and let some of it out. Both eyes on the front sight, when you squeeze the trigger imagine the sight as being attached to the trigger with a steel rod and your objective is to pull that front sight back through the notch without letting the sight touch the sides of the notch or go up and down. Any deviation from perfect alignment will show up immediately with your cross going all wonky on you. Repeat till you have achieved 10 perfect shots.
It will be the hardest 10 shots you have ever done in your life. Do this daily till the 10 shots only take a few minutes and it seems fairly easy. Vary it up with weak hand, strong hand and various 2 hand techniques.
Learned the little 'tie the trigger to the front sight' trick from All Army champion and National champion pistol shooter Bonnie Harmon. You want to see a new to All Army championship matches shooter pay attention to fundamentals just put him between Bonnie Harmon the mens champion 2 shooters to my left and the Womens Army and National pistol champion Kim Dyer immediately to my right. Makes a hot shot local champion get downright humble let me tell you.
July 22, 2008, 06:30 PM
Too see a picture of the stance and grip that El Chupacabra is describing, go to brianenos.com and see brian's picture at the top of each page.
Mattburkett.com also has a bunch of very watchable pics and videos explaining this.
Google tod jarrett, for a bunch, too.
July 22, 2008, 07:22 PM
a HUGE help will be to do the snap caps mixed in with regular shots, you will be amazed how much you flinch while you are shooting. The exercises described by a few above me will help decrease it.
Go out to the range and shoot some real guns.
seriously, ragtop, small e-penis or what? take that stuff elsewhere.
July 23, 2008, 11:46 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I will be trying them. I have a ruger mark III, which I am getting a lot better with and a glock 17, which I currently am terrible with. If I was terrible with both I would be really worried but the reason I asked the initial question/statement was that I think I am having anticipation issues with the glock. Sorry about not being clear.
I shoot at a private range and we are required to keep the targets at the backstop which is 50'. Currently I have no way to move them closer but I am going to try a much bigger paper target to see if my shots are going down.
I still will be looking for some instruction so if you do know of anybody good in my area. please let me know. I will be checking the NRA website.
Thanks again for all the suggestions.
oh ragtopdog: recoil in a 9mm, you have to kidding? they are pop guns movies come to blame 9mm blowing poeple out windows and over cars. Go out to the range and shoot some real guns. I would be insulted but........ you should really learn to type/speak english before you try and put someone else down.:rolleyes:
July 23, 2008, 10:23 PM
oops..i thought this thread was asking for instruction on how to make long shots..like 50 yards+
July 24, 2008, 10:37 AM
have someone load your magazine for you, and ask them to sneak a snap cap or two or three in there, and learn to hold the gun steady whether it goes off or not. i used to do the same drill.... i found that i would shove the whole thing forward when i got to a snap cap, lol. eventually i got better at it and have pretty much neutralized the anticipation.
July 24, 2008, 11:34 AM
I'm from the Rochester area as well.
PM and I'll give you some names.
July 25, 2008, 01:57 PM
Also, with your Glock, and any pistol really, make sure you don't release the trigger until after the shot is over and done with, and release it just until you hear or feel the 'click' of the trigger resetting, the pull will be much shorter and pretty light if you do that.
Great thread, I always love these ones with basic shooting tips, since I'm not very good yet. Lots to learn.
July 25, 2008, 02:20 PM
I had to overcome the same issue with my Glock 32. I found that sometimes it has to do with the way you are holding it in the web of your hand. Try less finger on the trigger also.
Guns and more
July 25, 2008, 02:28 PM
I was always low and left. My gun dealer (a former NYC cop) said let's see how you hold it. First don't put the trigger in the joint of the finger, rather, right on the middle of the fingerprint. Second, your left hand, cup and saucer. Left hand under with both thumbs facing forward. My shooting improved.
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