Improving my pistol shooting...help


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Pendragon
September 16, 2003, 08:09 PM
I shot 200 rounds through my Valtro a few days ago at the indoor range here in Yuba City, CA.

I kind of used the first 100 to "warm up" and then tried to get serious.

I was using a #15 target - the one with 5 bulls eyes on it and I was shooting at 7 yards.

On average, I think I was putting 5 shots at a time (slow fire) into a 2"-3" group. Occasionally I had a flyer and I made a few with all the holes touching - and one with 4 in the red and 1 just out. Out of 100 shots, only 3 were not in the black. That may not be that great to a lot of people, but that is the best I have ever shot.

The problem is - when I push it back to 10+ yards, I find it is much harder to just aim at the same spot. I think I could shoot better if I had a better way to sight the target, but the red dot seems smaller than my front sight (at least, I remember it that way)

I understand that you are supposed to have two equal verticle bars of light around your front sight - my lateral placement is a loght tighter than my verticle placement in general.

I thought about having a small groove put in the top of my front sight to help me line up on little dots at range. Short of going to very fine sights, I dont know what else to do.

The Valtro is supposed to be a 1" or less @25yards gun, and I would like to be able to make it shoot as such.

Any suggestions?

This is really a sight picture and visual technique question more than anything else.

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Skunkabilly
September 16, 2003, 08:14 PM
My problem with black sights on a black target is I can't really see it...try shooting for a sharply defined target, like the 6:00 of an orange dot.

Maybe some people do, but I always thought that kind of accuracy on a pistol was impossible offhand unless youre on a rest. I sure as heck can't do it.

10-Ring
September 16, 2003, 08:29 PM
At longer distances, your flaws are magnified. What might be just slight movement at 7 yards becomes a flinch at 10+ yards. Comes down to patience & ooodles o' practice! ;)

Majic
September 16, 2003, 08:41 PM
Try amber shooting glasses. They seem to magnify existing light giving you a better look at the front sight. Most important will be practice. As the distance grows longer the ability to sight a target gets harder.
Use a 6 o'clock sight picture. This way the front sight will have no impact on the size of your intended target.

Kruzr
September 16, 2003, 09:26 PM
The Valtro is supposed to be a 1" or less @25yards gun, and I would like to be able to make it shoot as such.

That is from a Ransom Rest.

You didn't say where your shots were going but trigger control is crucial.

http://www.sportshooter.com/improving/images/correction_chart_small.jpg

You can get a full size (or left handed) one of these at:
http://www.sportshooter.com/improving/targetgallery.htm

Standing Wolf
September 16, 2003, 10:00 PM
It might be worth your while to try the six o'clock hold rather than aiming for the center of the black bullseye. Line up the top of your front sight with the top of your rear sight with the bottom of the bullseye, then make sure there's an equal amount of light on both sides of your front sight. Obviously, you'll have to raise your rear sight a few clicks so your gun actually shoots higher than the point of aim.

I don't know a bullseye shooter who doesn't use the six o'clock hold.

mete
September 16, 2003, 11:41 PM
You should never cover the target with the sight. 6 o'clock hold is the right way. Don't go for "finer" sights it doesn't work. For Patridge sights the front sight should be square , about 1/8" wide and the square notch should also be about 1/8" also. If you are having aproblem with that you might widen the notch a bit. The eye will easily level the top of the notch and post and will also try to equal the the amount of light on each side of the post. Remember also to shoot fairly quickly , you loose ground if you hold 10 seconds or more.

Pendragon
September 17, 2003, 01:52 AM
Thanks guys - I think I do use the 6 o clock thing.

Red dot sits on top of front sight like an ice cream cone.

My problem is - finding a good way to hold the sight on the dot for each shot. I need a more precise visual alignment system I think.

I have also seen that diagnostic target - I think my groups are tight enough that I am not doing something majorly wrong - maybe better ultra fine control, but like I said - I was hitting the 1" red bullseye at least once per 5 shot group and on one group, I got 4 on the red. When the target is farther away, the red dot is too small and I just have trouble deciding where to put my sights.

I thought a very very small notch or grove in my front sight (I have a white dot, still too big though) would help.

Majic
September 17, 2003, 07:36 AM
Your Valtra is probably a 1" gun, but like the other poster said that's with the pistol fired in a mechanical rest. Open sights are not precision sights. You will have to judge where you align the target to the front sight. For true precision shooting try a scope on the pistol. Practice and a lot of it will tighten your groups. Dont' worry about pin point precision now. You just started at 7 yards with a new pistol (at least it sounds like it's new to you by your post). Now put in all the needed practice to attain the same level of accuracy at 10 yards. Then believe it or not the same stituation will appear again when you move the target back to 25 yards, only worst. You will never be able to shoot the pistol as precise as the Ransom rest, but with natural talent, good eye sight, proper trigger control, and lots of practice you can get close.

Skunkabilly
September 17, 2003, 11:46 AM
Also try dry firing by balancing a coin on top of the frontsight. It's time consuming and can be frustrating setting up, but you really try to control that trigger....

Keith
September 17, 2003, 01:14 PM
This advice isn't about sight picture or visual technique, but it's something I've found very useful in honing fine trigger control when you get to the stage that you want to shoot "bragging" groups.

As a step two (after you've tried out the 6 o'clock hold and worked out any other visual changes you are going to make), try holding the pistol with only a very light grasp - just barely tight enough that it won't fly out of your hands and no more. The recoil isn't that big a deal with a full sized steel gubmint model like you have there.
What that really light hold does is remove any grasp or recoil anticipation errors from the equation and forces you to pull the trigger without any muscle interference from the rest of your hand.
This is only a training aid - it's not a good shooting technique because you'll be forced to re-acquire your grip after each shot, but you can shoot really great groups like this! Shoot that way for a while (50 or 100 rounds), paying careful attention to the trigger squeeze. Then slowly start tightening your grasp in ways that don't affect that newly learned fine motor control of your trigger finger. You'll be forced to mentally separate "grasp" from "trigger control" and your groups will shrink dramatically.

This technique works very well and it doesn't have to be a one time deal. Any time your shooting goes downhill, just step back and shoot a few mags with that light grasp again. And then a few mags with a tightening grasp until you've separated the two muscle memory components again.

Keith

RTFM
September 17, 2003, 01:41 PM
Skunk OH tactical one... tell me more on the coin.. Make a "T" with coin on front sight, dry fire (duh) and keep coin from falling off???
Do I have that right?

RTFM

BigG
September 17, 2003, 01:42 PM
You said you fired 100 shots just to "warm up." I would submit that you were tired after your warm up and unable to concentrate on the fine shooting skills required to make small groups.

My personal experience shooting with 45 ACP (200 LSWC/6gr Unique): After 100 rounds, I am thru keeping groups. Eyes, mind, nerves, etc. are tired from all the concentration and the groups naturally open up. I use Gold Cups and they shoot better than I do so I wouldn't be presumptuous enough to blame the pistol. The Valtro may well be capable of 1" at 25 yards, but that is with a 1" shooter which are about as scarce as mammary glands on a bull, in my experience. :uhoh:

Intune
September 17, 2003, 01:48 PM
Am I being silly to say get something with a bigger bull? 1" at 30' would be pretty hard for me to aim at. If I were going for a good group at that distance as opposed to placing a bullet in the bull, I would aim at the 6 o'clock of the whole black part of the target, like a ball on the sights, not the orange bull. But I've been wrong and silly before. ;)

MoNsTeR
September 17, 2003, 02:02 PM
I suggest the opposite of Skunky's advice (nothing like mixed signals eh? :evil: ). Use a black target rather than a red or orange one. I find it harder to get consistent sight picture with black sights and colored target dots.

Also, try using a larger target. It may seem like cheating, but you'll probably find you can shoot better groups at long distances (like 15 or 25 yards) when shooting at, say, a 5" bullseye than a 2" or 3". When I shoot at 25yds I like to use a target with a 6" black circle.

Kruzr
September 17, 2003, 03:46 PM
.Also try dry firing by balancing a coin on top of the frontsight. It's time consuming and can be frustrating setting up, but you really try to control that trigger....


I used a spent .45 shell (rim on the front sight, mouth up) instead of a coin. You can see a wiggle better. It takes practice but after a while, you can balance it on the sight and cock the gun without it falling off for a few times. Do this a few thousand times. You'll get muscle memory in your trigger finger

Correia
September 17, 2003, 06:48 PM
Or just put Ashley Express sights on your gun and go faster. :) As long as you can group them all in something the size of the head on an IDPA target I would call it good.

Seriously. I see far to many shooters beat themselves up over shooting pretty little groups. Practicing group shooting is good for one thing. Shooting pretty little groups. In my opinion, if you have a tiny little group then you are going too slow. :)

Majic
September 17, 2003, 08:12 PM
Practicing group shooting is good for one thing. Shooting pretty little groups. In my opinion, if you have a tiny little group then you are going too slow.

Speed is not always the only game in town. Those pretty little groups are what wins in bullseye competitions and precision is most definately wanted in hunting situations.

Sean Smith
September 17, 2003, 08:41 PM
Speed is fine. Accuracy is final. It takes alot less talent from what I've seen to shoot speed with decent accuracy vs. shooting with genuine precision at distance.

Of course, in my mind I'm not good enough at either one. :D

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