What are the secrets to shooting the 1911??


November 29, 2009, 02:44 PM

I just donít shoot a 1911 very well. I am a decent shot with most anything else I have tried but 1911 type I stink.

What are the secrets to shooting the 1911??

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November 29, 2009, 02:45 PM

November 29, 2009, 02:49 PM

The Lone Haranguer
November 29, 2009, 02:56 PM
Perhaps, if used to DAO guns, you might be subconsciously afraid of the light trigger and are flinching.

November 29, 2009, 03:24 PM
1911's take some practice, especially if you are transitioning from a DA pistol. Some people I have watched actually try too hard to shoot a 1911. It is a natural shooting pistol, like the Browning Hi-Power, and if you position your finger on the trigger in the wrong place or try and grip it low or off center, it can be very frustrating until you figure it out. You also need a good trigger and sear in a 1911. Heavy weight triggers ( anything above 4#s in my book) are harder to shoot well. A creepy trigger will also draw your attention away from shooting and to the sloppy trigger pull.

Find a good 1911 with a polished trigger and sear, and see if your shooting doesn't improve.

November 29, 2009, 03:40 PM
If you're coming from a DA trigger, make a point to use less finger on the trigger. Also dry fire, ALOT. This will get you used to the trigger and how it feels.


November 29, 2009, 03:42 PM
I finally solved my 1911 shooting problems . . . . . . . . I bought a CZ:evil:


November 29, 2009, 03:46 PM
I agree. The whole point of the 1911's shootability is the great trigger. If yours doesn't have one, you might want to have it looked at. My experience is that pretty much all 1911s have at least a good trigger, if not a fantastic one. The RIAs and Mil-Spec I shot recently weren't as clean as my Kimber, but still good enough.

I also recommend this book to anyone who shoots a 1911 defensively. If you already knew all this stuff, you're a better man than me. :)


There are a few things you can tweak. Order the free 1911 catalog from brownells.com. You can get a different-length trigger, an arched or flat mainspring housing to change the fit, and there are GREAT improvements you can make to the sights.

November 29, 2009, 04:32 PM
rell: That is some great shooting
jf: I have a series 80 seems a good gun but I dont do any better than I did years ago with an old govt 1911

November 29, 2009, 04:43 PM
Practice, practice, practice.

It's all about that front sight and trigger control. And with a decent 1911, you've got the best trigger known to mankind.

November 29, 2009, 04:54 PM
That is strange. I have always found the 1911 the easiest pistol to shoot. I have always figured that is why they are so popular. I wish all my pistols (glocks, sigs, rugers, S&W's, etc.) were as easy to shoot as a 1911.

November 29, 2009, 07:56 PM
the hardest part of shooting a 1911 well is to resist the temptation to believe that it's short and crisp trigger relieves the shooter of good trigger management

November 29, 2009, 08:48 PM
For me it is gripping the pistol high, as in what appears to be too high.

Man With A Gun
November 29, 2009, 09:11 PM
The TRICK to the 45, 1911 is not to GRIP it like the DA autos or revolvers but to squeeze it in your hand (ie make a "v" with your hand and fingers ) place the pistol into the V and leave the trigger finger out of the squeeze. It's sole job is to press the trigger. USe the sights, press the trigger and let it fly.

It is a totally different manner of holding a weapon from the revolver and the DA autos. An Old Gunny in the Marines taught me to shoot it. I could not hit the ground with it until he took the time to show me. If you grip the 1911 as you would a DA you are likely to "milk" your shot to one side or the other. If you flinch or anticipate the recoil the shot will go high or low. Just press the trigger and let it surprise you.

MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR 45: Most shooters do not know the 1911 45 ACP is a very accurate pistol. I used to win money hitting an iron man target at 100 yards with my 1911. It has the arch of a football but is consistant shot to shot. Once you find the sweet spot, bet the "experts" and laugh all the way to the bar with their money. :evil:

November 29, 2009, 09:37 PM
It is easier to shoot than a revolver, but different. No gun I'm aware of points as naturally or feels as comfortable in the hand. Use a high grip and, no offense if you've been shooting single action revolvers, use two hands before you try to shoot with one hand. Triggers vary, but they are generally fairly short and light. Let them surprise you.

Your grip should be tight. Some people allow revolvers to "roll" back with the recoil of the shot. That's NOT what you do with this gun. Finally -- and I realized this when I went back to revolver shooting -- the front sight is going to be lower than what you'll find on most revolvers. Get a good sight picture, backed up by a strong stance and grip, and this gun will become second nature.

Art Eatman
November 29, 2009, 09:48 PM
Yeah, Weaver stance, front sight, press, hit target. :) Easy, really.

Grip firmly with thumb and lower three fingers. DO NOT squeeze further when you press the trigger. IOW, don't "milk" the grip. Move ONLY the trigger finger. That keeps you from shooting low-left, which will result from what is called "wristing".

There is a good game for practicing trigger control. Take a sheet of typing paper and a nickel. Draw a bunch of nickel-sized circles. Then, with SWC loads and at five yards, try to cut out the nickels. Physically possible with seven shots. :) Not easy. :D

November 29, 2009, 10:32 PM
Front sight. Press trigger. Don't place any side pressure on the gun. Let the gun fire.

November 29, 2009, 10:57 PM
The ergonomics of the 1911 grip and grip angle combined with the relatively low bore axis make the 1911 extremely easy to control during recoil and when combined with the single-action trigger pull, make it far easier to control the shots than pretty much any other auto-loader out there.

I will second the "Weaver stance, front sight, press, hit target."

Practice doing that correctly and you will master the 1911 in short order.

November 29, 2009, 11:04 PM
Front sight, front sight, front sight.

Bullets in the gun.

November 29, 2009, 11:24 PM
Hey There:
Most of these guys are right on. It is all about trigger time. The right way to hold one and so on. Keep it back a little , don't push it out so far from you.
Both eyes wide open. You would not enter a gun fight and close one eye in a shoot out. Don't target shoot that way either.
Get the {gun } low in your grip.. In other words hold it high. Your hand should be tucked right up tight under that beaver tail. This will help with muzzle flip too.

When you point it : mean business... It should not be flipping and flopping around when touching off rounds. Just short recoil...
Shoot that 1911 as if it has no recoil at all.
The very back of the stock should fit straight in line with your arm and not so the gun can flip side ways or up very much at all during recoil.

If you shoot with arms fully extended as many do , you will have recoil issues. Pull it back about 1/2 way from full extension..
And as I said before Mean business when you shoot it. You should see a difference soon.

They are good handguns and have one of the best factory trigger systems ever designed.

The Wiry Irishman
November 30, 2009, 01:58 AM
Practice is key. The most important part of accurate handgun shooting is grip and trigger control. Anybody that's been shooting long enough to not get tired holding a gun out at arms length (read: about two weeks) can get a perfect steady sight picture. Its what happens after that picture is acquired that makes for accuracy. Trigger control is key. Improper trigger pull is what ruins that perfect sight picture. So practice your trigger control tape a target to your wall, triple-check your gun is unloaded, and get a sight picture, and dry fire. Did you see the sights move? Then you fail, and you start over, and you keep doing it until you can get 10 straight dry fires with no sight movement. Then you repeat that. Its like a dry-fire pushup. Do these "pushups" every free minute of the day. Time spent in front of the TV is perfect for this.

Grip practice has to be done at the range. You're going to want to find a grip that allows you to maximize recoil control, accuracy (acheived by altering the grip so the trigger finger hits the trigger in the proper place every time) and user comfort. You may also have other hurdles to deal with, such as many thumbs-forward grips ride the slide stop on a lot of guns, but we'll ignore that for now. All these things tend to find you once you shoot a few hundred rounds through the gun, making subtle changes if something hurts, or if you're pulling shots somewhere you weren't before.

With a good grip and good trigger control, the only thing that's keeping you from beeing an amazing shot is high-volume, dedicated practice.

November 30, 2009, 08:51 AM
Get some snap caps and do a lot of dry firing. Get to know the trigger. Once you can reliably feel that point where the trigger releases, your accuracy will improve quite a bit.

November 30, 2009, 09:34 AM
Some guns just don't fit.
They're good guns but they won't shoot well for you.
It's really that simple.
I had a Taurus PT 945. I couldn't hit the side of a barn from the inside of the barn with it.
Didn't matter how much I practiced. It didn't fit me.


November 30, 2009, 02:37 PM
You might have to define what "good" 1911 shooting its. The guy in the youtube video is real good-fast and accurate. I define good as what an nra bullseye shooter can do.
Basically this without the three fliers out in the nine ring. I understand your pain because where as, I have been pretty good with double and single action revolvers, I can't sustain this kind of accuracy unless I practice several times weekly and even then, I 'm likely to lose trigger control at any time. I suspose I like these pistols because they are a challenge. It's sure not because I am an expert whiz with them.

November 30, 2009, 03:28 PM
Compared to any other caliber I am all over the barn. With a 380, nine, 38 spl, several 22s I can put 50 rounds in the black, slow fire, of a standard target at 25 yds.

I am suspecting I might have a similar experience to AF shooter but I figured I would ask for some help then go try again.

I have some ammo to burn up and if things don’t improve the 45 will be added to the list of guns I need to get rid of.

November 30, 2009, 03:46 PM
Also dry fire, ALOT.

The 1911 is the pistol I shoot best. But I do a whole bunch of dry firing as well as practice shooting.

pale horse
November 30, 2009, 04:02 PM
You are going to get a lot of information here. But there is no one silver bullet to become a good shooter with a 1911. If you practice the wrong habits you will be right back where you are now.

All of the following drills are at 7 yards. You can do 3 yards but 7 will let you know what you are doing as far as flinching, pushing, pulling or healing shots.

- I would suggest you get the dry fire practice in to the tune of 15 minutes a day.

- Once you have taken care of your flinch with an empty pistol you will be set for ball and dummy drills. Or you can do a 5/1 drill; that drill is 5 dry fire and one live fire, for this drill you do not need to put dummy rounds in the magazine.

- Line Drill next. Draw a line on the target and shoot the line to find the proper grip pressure you need to keep the rounds on the line or within half an inch.

- Dot Drill. You can use a pastie or a quarter sized piece of tape. It is best to do these drills 5/1 for one magazine of 5 rounds.

There are more you can do but try these first and see how they help you. Anyone can shoot a weapon, but if you want to shoot yours well its just like anything in life you are going to have to practice doing the right thing every shot. You should be smoked mentally and physically after your range session. If your not shoot some more.

If you want to become really good 70% dry fire and 30% live fire. Plus it saves on ammo costs.

November 30, 2009, 05:10 PM
Dry fire with snap caps, make a note of the sight picture when the trigger breaks. You'll learn to call the shot, and once you can do that you can evaluate and re enforce the process that make good shots.

A trigger job may help also.

November 30, 2009, 06:59 PM
What are the secrets to shooting the 1911??

You put the bullets in that square thing that comes out of the bottom, the bullets come out the end with the hole in it.:rolleyes:

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