Umm... what? (1911 shooter tries firing a Glock)


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jpatterson
March 2, 2009, 11:33 PM
Okay, so I have to pass a shooting test for a German Army Proficiency test for the military and (long story short) we have to shoot a silhouette target with a G19 from 25 yards. I'm a decent shot, at least I thought so, and I didn't stress it too much. Time came to practice today, and now I realize how terrible of a shot I am. Here's what happened:

We have 5 shots to get on a black silhouette target at 25 yards. I can shoot this no problem with my 1911, so I had no worries going into it. First thing I noticed upon shooting (this was my first time with a Glock) was the absence of 3-dot sights, instead using the G19's front-dot, rear-U sights. Anyway, I take my first 5 and fail miserably. I get 1 on the silhouette and 4 completely off paper. Round two, same thing.

I am one of the few cadets in my battalion who has had some (if any) handgun familiarity, so I think the battalion had it out that I was gonna be some prize-bullseye shooter. So when any of them saw my silhouette, the cadre quickly got me on a .22 to quit wasting the precious little 9mm ammunition we had.

I load 5 rounds in some kind of Ruger .22 target pistol and shoot, reel the target back and see that all 5 shots were within the best area, probably a 3" group. Again, 5 more rounds and all within the centermost area. Get back on the Glock and make 4/5 of the shots, 5th was nowhere to be found.

I've come to the general conclusion that I am not good whatsoever with "boxy" handguns, but unfortunately for this competition I'll have to be sticking with a G19. Is there anything you 1911 shooters would recommend that you change in your hold, stance, etc when shooting a polymer/blocky-style gun?

The only thing that I can correlate might be the sights, I am really not fond of the dot-U style but all the G19s we will be using have those same type. Any advice? I have to be able to consistently make 5/5 by Saturday!

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feudalson
March 2, 2009, 11:42 PM
xds have the same grip angle as a 1911 so do s&w sigma like the sw9ve... my advice would be to let your weapon hand(trigger finger hand) set alittle lower on the weapon than you normally would also dry fire the weapon a few times b4 the real deal and pay close attention to when the trigger breaks .. triggers on 1911s are clean and crisp and so are ruger 22 target pistols , glocks DA trigger is probaly making you use to much trigger finger as well,, hope this helps good sir

Boats
March 2, 2009, 11:45 PM
The only tip I have is get yourself side profiled in a mirror, put the Glock at low ready, close your eyes, and then bring it up to where you feel you'd fire it, and then take a look at how it actually is sitting compared to your natural grip. If you are like most 1911A1 shooters handling a Glock, you won't be pointing true, but high. I have passed on a G20 for years due to the bad combo of irregular grip angle, weird backstrap, and annoying finger bumps.

The Glockophiles say there is nothing wrong with the grip of the weapon, but an entire cottage industry of Glock grip modifiers says otherwise.

Pulse
March 2, 2009, 11:50 PM
Any advice?

tell however makes that German Army Proficiency test to go and get you a H&K P8 or P12 (diffrent versions of the USP).
because in the entire German army, there will not be a single Glock Pistol, guaranteed.

problem solved.. :p

jpatterson
March 2, 2009, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the advice, I'm going back tomorrow night and hopefully I improve.

And Pulse, we know that the Germans use H&Ks, but the German Liaison Officer told us to find three 9mm handguns that we can use for the test and since three people in our battalion have G19s, that's what we use :)

ETA: Now that I think about it, I think feudalson might have nailed it on the head. I remember when squeezing the trigger that there was a considerable amount of creep comparable to my 1911 and it kind of threw me off. I hadn't had the opportunity to dry fire, and will definitely do that tomorrow evening.

louie19
March 3, 2009, 12:11 AM
Sounds like the trigger is new to you. My friend also has a Ruger .22 target pistol and it has a lighter trigger pull than my G19.

I'd suggest dry firing the Glock 19 a lot to get used to the trigger. Press the trigger slowly to the rear until you feel more resistance. This is "prepping" the trigger which is important for Glocks. The shot will break pretty soon after this if you press more.

After it fires, hold the trigger back for a second. If you're dry-firing, you'll rack the slide at this point while holding the trigger back. Then slowly let it back out again. You will hear a click. This is how you "prep" the trigger after the first shot.

Hopefully that helps you qualify - seems like you are a good shot, but just need more practice with this particular trigger.

Dirtpile
March 3, 2009, 12:22 AM
Another thing you could try is hooking the index finger of your support hand on the front of the trigger guard. It should stabilize the gun against pulling and might bring the nose down for you too if that's the problem.
Another note: The sight picture on the glock if different than what you're used to. If you're centering the front dot in the U of the rear sight you are likely to shoot low. try centering the front dot at the top of the rear sight, meaing if you draw an imaginary line across the top of the rear sight it should go through the center of the front dot.
Another thing that may help: Is there any way for you to see where the bullets ARE going when you miss? Like a berm? If possible set up something behind the target that will tell you in which direction and by how far you missed when you do. That'll give you the information you need in order to correct yourself.

Prince Yamato
March 3, 2009, 01:03 AM
I'd suggest dry firing the Glock 19 a lot to get used to the trigger. Press the trigger slowly to the rear until you feel more resistance. This is "prepping" the trigger which is important for Glocks. The shot will break pretty soon after this if you press more.

Yes! I call this the "Squeeze-Stop-Bang" method. You literally squeeze the trigger, come to rest at the stop/prep, then pull further until you get the 'bang'.

I personally find that I need to get as high a grip as possible on my Glock 34 and was taught that grip by someone involved in the Glock Shooting Sports competitions (I think that's the correct name). It seems to work. Incidentally though, I do have 3-dot night sights installed on the gun.

ljnowell
March 3, 2009, 01:47 AM
To be honest it takes practice. I made the 1911 to glock and it was rough the first time I shot it. At 10 yards it looked like a shotgun pattern on paper. I found that grip is very important on a glock. They tend to be very unforgiving of poor grip. Trigger control is a must also. You are used to shooting a SAO gun, its going to take time. You need to work on shooting from reset. Dont release the trigger all the way and pull again. Only release the trigger until you feel the click of the reset. This alone will help you, it does everyone that I have seen shoot glocks. What is your grip style?

C-grunt
March 3, 2009, 04:58 AM
Dont use the ball and cup sights. Our firearms instructors actually turned all the front sight posts around on our Glocks. Just line up the top of the front sight with the top of the rear sight.

I bought Heinie sights for my Glock the first week I got it. The stock sights are the biggest problem with the Glock.

Zach S
March 3, 2009, 08:03 AM
Squeeze the trigger. You may think you are, but you're going to a long trigger pull from a pistol that has less than an 1/8" of travel. You're probably pulling the tirgger more than you think.

I went through the same thing when I got my .38 snub. Dern Kimber triggers have me spoiled.

Our firearms instructors actually turned all the front sight posts around on our Glocks.
After I finally got to where the grip angle was manageable, I found the white outline to be "distracting." I colored it in with a sharpie, and started shooting better. When I had the night sight installed up front on mine, I had the rear sight spun around backwards. The sharpie kept wearing off.

I use the night sight front/plain black rear combo on a few of my pistols. First tried it on my 1991A1, loved it.

23Glock
March 3, 2009, 08:05 AM
Another thing you could try is hooking the index finger of your support hand on the front of the trigger guard. It should stabilize the gun against pulling and might bring the nose down for you too if that's the problem.
Another note: The sight picture on the glock if different than what you're used to. If you're centering the front dot in the U of the rear sight you are likely to shoot low. try centering the front dot at the top of the rear sight, meaing if you draw an imaginary line across the top of the rear sight it should go through the center of the front dot.
Another thing that may help: Is there any way for you to see where the bullets ARE going when you miss? Like a berm? If possible set up something behind the target that will tell you in which direction and by how far you missed when you do. That'll give you the information you need in order to correct yourself.

I'm sorry, but there's a lot of bad info here. First, putting your support hand index finger out on the trigger guard is not recommended. It does weird things to the position of the tendons in your wrist, actually weakening your grip.
Second, IF ANYTHING, he should take a black sharpie to the white dot and U on the sights. If he can't make modifications to the sights then he should be IGNORING the dot-U as best as possible. He should be focusing on the top of the blade of the front sight. Period.
Finally, "looking for your holes" is a BAD habit. Either looking for it on paper after each shot, or looking for a "splash" on a berm gives you no valuable information. He should be analyzing his groups, not individual shots.

@jpatterson
I think you would be best served by Dry Practice with the Glock for a few hours. I get the feeling it's all in your trigger press. The "boxyness" of the weapon shouldn't matter. Get in your stance, use proper grip, and breathing, and then Meditate on the trigger - "prepping" the trigger on a Glock is very important. It's not a good idea to squeeze a Glock trigger in one smooth motion until you've become very proficient in its operation. Instead squeeze it to it's primary tension point, pause, and then LEAN on it with your finger - press it straight back and to the rear until it "clicks". Repeat this for an HOUR today before you shoot.
When you do shoot, if possible, I would recommend realing the target into 8-10 yards and shooting a 5 shot string. Shooting a target out at 25yds makes it difficult to get a good group to analyze - shots are typically too scattered.
Shooting a little closer will give you a better grouping to analyze:
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/training.htm

INSULATION TIM
March 3, 2009, 08:15 AM
I never shoot as well with my G19 as I do with my RIA 1911. The differences in trigger pull is very noticeable to me.

If I've shooting the Glock for a period and then pick up my 1911, I sometimes double fire the 1911 before I know it.

Tom Fury
March 3, 2009, 08:32 AM
Have had the same experience with G-21 as a longtime !911 guy; grip angle left me with muzzle slightly up and not on target; had to develop the muscle memory of rolling my wrist forward a bit more to get consistent hits. Became a muscle memory thing for me after a while when my fingers came in contact with a Glock.

Ditto what others have said about changing the sights; I have had Heinies on and Wilsons. Liked both, no outstanding preference between the two.

Cheers, TF

rcmodel
March 3, 2009, 01:03 PM
For a 1911 shooter, Glock triggers suck chicken eggs. Forget the trigger because there is nothing you can do about it on a weapon issued to you. You have to learn to live with it.

Sight types?
Forget the sights too. You can't change them either on a gun issued to you for a match.

You should focus on nothing except the front sight anyway.
Let the target & rear sight blur slightly because you can't focus on three things at once. It's impossible.
If you focus on the front sight only, the target and rear sight will get themselves in alignment automatically due to the way the eye works.

Think of nothing except - Front Sight, Trigger, Front Sight, Trigger, as you continue to white-knuckle the Glock trigger until the shot breaks.

If the front sight was on the target, you will hit it every time!

rc

sohcgt2
March 3, 2009, 07:34 PM
The initial trigger pull on a Glock is very long and heavy, after that first shot you reset the trigger by releasing slightly (about 1/4 of initial travel). Then the trigger will feel more like your 1911. If you release the trigger you will continue to fire double action. Breathe slowly and squeeze. you'll get it.

NG VI
March 3, 2009, 08:22 PM
Just learn that reset, the reset point of a Glock actually isn't bad at all, I wish some of my other DA autos had a trigger that felt like the Glocks. You should do fine, but time on a Ruger .22 is not going to help you shoot a G-19 better, since you already know how to shoot, it's just the platform that's confounding you. Learn that reset, ignore the rear sight, the platform is different than a 1911 but it does work very well for most people for a reason.

ironvic
March 3, 2009, 09:19 PM
I once shot a 9mm Baby Glock and couldn't hit the target with a mag full of ammo. With my Colt .45 Auto, 9mm Sig P-226 and revolvers (.357 and .38) No Problem. Then I bought a Glock 36 (some days, you just can't resist) and was almost as good with it out of the box as with the .45. I think it has to do with the double stack grip v.s. the single stack grip of the Glock 36 .45 Auto.

Radagast
March 4, 2009, 04:46 AM
The first thing to look at is your sight picture. The ball does not sit neatly in the cup when on target, the bottom 1/3 of the ball is obscured. Either ignore the white, or use a marker to blacken the sights.

The second thing to keep in mind is that the front post is the same width as the rear notch, so it is hard to obtain a good sight picture.

My groups with my Glock 17 halved when I replaced the trigger connector with a minus connector for a 5.5 pound trigger pull. Groups halved again after I replaced the sights with Heinie Straight Eights. I subsequently made the Australian practical pistol team shooting that gun, even though I can shoot a 1911 more instinctively due to the correct for me grip angle.

jpatterson
March 4, 2009, 10:18 PM
Okay, just got back from the range and have a bit of a follow-up...

Didn't get to shoot a G19 today, there are a few people testing out for this German thing that are much worse off with Glocks than I am, but I did get the opportunity to fire a G20 a bit.

Anyways, I did get to dryfire the G19 a little, and the trigger was definitely my issue. I was doing the "squeeze" action of the firing much too early, and I must've been jerking the muzzle substantially to not even hit a giant piece of paper like the silhouette.

Also when dry firing I corrected myself with the sights. I don't know why, but I think when I shot on Monday I was trying to line the front dot up with the top two lines of the U. This must've made my shots go even more off the grid!

Finally, shot the G20. Gotta admit, this was my first time with a 10mm and it was FRIGGIN' SWEET! :evil: But on the other note, I made 7 out of the 7 shots on the black silhouette with the G20, so I think I'll be good for Saturday. Besides, we have 3 5-shot chances to hit all 5, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

Just took a little adjusting, thats all :)
Thanks for all the help everyone!

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