Finally learned something useful


PDA






Jonah71
July 27, 2011, 08:53 AM
Took a few guns to the range early yesterday morning before anyone was there to tell me I wasn't allowed to shoot outside of the structures. I wanted to fire from 20-25 ft. not 25 yds. I had 2 Glocks-the 23 and 26, the CZ Phantom SP 01, Kimber PB Pro, S&W Mod. 36, and my Sec. Six. I've been working on my accuracy for 3 yrs. with not much improvement. I've had several people tell me that if ever in a defensive shooting situation I'd probably be less than 10 ft. away or even closer. I usually concentrate on getting a good sight picture and small groupings but yesterday I worked on removing the gun from the holsters and firing quicker with less concern sighting in. I forgot my targets so I had stopped and picked up some paper plates. In less than 1 1/2 hrs. I was able to unholster, find the target with the front sight while pretty much ignoring the back sight completely, and hit the target with only a few very close misses with every gun except the Ruger Security Six that I never got around to firing. I wish someone had clued me in on this a long time ago. Or maybe I should say I wish I had listened. It was almost like the feeling of staying upright on my bike for the first time when I was a kid. It was suddenly easy to hit the target without taking an eternity to sight in and then still miss a lot. Going out again this morning to work on it some more. Of course I also understand the plates were not shooting back.

If you enjoyed reading about "Finally learned something useful" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
David E
July 27, 2011, 01:26 PM
Most people can hit faster than they think. Others think that to hit, you must go slow.

There are simple techniques that allow one to be accurate quickly.

9mmepiphany
July 27, 2011, 01:38 PM
So from that distance, 7-8 yards, what size groups are you getting?

I usually have my students shoot from 5-7 yards...makes the targets (hits) easier (for me) to see.

I took a gal out this last week and got her shooting groups just over 1" (called a shot out to 1.5") at about 4-5 shots per second...but I had her using her rear sights. We also cheat by shooting on brightly colored 3"x5" cards.

Her biggest improvement came with the switch from the Weaver stance, which she had been taught and had been using for a few weeks, to the Isosceles.

KodiakBeer
July 27, 2011, 02:51 PM
Sometimes you just have to go back to basics. Look through the rear sight and focus on the front sight. Put the front sight on the target and pull the trigger.

Stance, grip, finger placement, breath control are all way down the list. People have been shooting handguns and hitting targets for hundreds of years, mostly the wrong way according to modern shooting instructors. They just put the front sight on the target and pulled the trigger.

chhodge69
July 27, 2011, 03:41 PM
I started shooting IDPA to break out of the range routine. I know it's not "training" but doing something active with live ammo once a month helps. I find it comes naturally to point-shoot at close targets and to aim more carefully as distance increases. If you can find a match in your area give it a try.

GLOOB
July 27, 2011, 09:52 PM
There are varying degrees of point-shooting. It's not a matter of all or nothing.

When I was a kid, I practiced point-shooting quite a bit with a BB pistol. I got pretty fast with using the top of the gun as a sight rib, and just making mental adjustments for the parallax.

I still, to this day, elevate my front sight above the rears when trying to shoot quickly and/or at moving targets. The amount of parallax adjustment will vary wildly with the sight radius, but you can quickly get used to individual guns.

Jonah71
July 28, 2011, 09:29 AM
So from that distance, 7-8 yards, what size groups are you getting?

I usually have my students shoot from 5-7 yards...makes the targets (hits) easier (for me) to see.

I took a gal out this last week and got her shooting groups just over 1" (called a shot out to 1.5") at about 4-5 shots per second...but I had her using her rear sights. We also cheat by shooting on brightly colored 3"x5" cards.

Her biggest improvement came with the switch from the Weaver stance, which she had been taught and had been using for a few weeks, to the Isosceles.
I'm not getting small groups but staying within 8-9 in. I think the groupings will get smaller with practice. As I said, it's like learning to shoot for the first time. I was putting too much effort into making corrections due to not seeing in my rt. eye and trying to make just one 2-3" hole in the center of the target when I should have been more concerned with just hitting the target. So what if my first 2-3 shots are 4-5" apart if they're center mass shots. In a defensive situation I wouldn't be trying to win a trophy or score points. I had the wrong mentality imo when I was spending so much time lining up the sights/target. Now I just need to spend more time and $$ practicing and the speed and accuracy should improve. I only fired my Glock 23 yesterday and did even better than the day before. It will be my carry gun for quite awhile I think. I'll also practice with the 26. I think a minimum 50-100 rounds twice a week should do the trick. I can't afford to shoot any more than that.

BRE346
July 28, 2011, 12:06 PM
Jonah, I'm with you on that.

Homerboy
July 28, 2011, 12:39 PM
I use a paper plate on a cardboard target at 10 yards to practice my point shooting. Every shot hits that plate. 30 feet is more than the distance most SD shooting happen in. Shooting a handgun at 25 yards is almost useless, IMO. Unless you're sighting in a hunting handgun.

David E
July 28, 2011, 01:46 PM
A lot of people waste a lot of time doing what I call "confirming the confirmation."

The sights are lined up then they ask themselves, "are they still lined up?" Since a question was asked, they feel compelled to answer: "yes, they're lined up.".............."are they still lined up?"......."um, yes."........"ok, ready to fire?"......"yes, I'm ready to shoot."........"ok........BANG!"

That takes a lot of time.

Don't do that!

Ankeny
July 28, 2011, 01:49 PM
I think the groupings will get smaller with practice. Dry fire can take you a long way towards improving sight acquisition. People often times get so wrapped up in the mechanics of the draw and presentation that they fail to focus (no pun intended) on training their vision. The human eye is very fast. It takes just a small fraction of a second to read the relationship of the sights to each other and to the target face. Good luck.

Cop Bob
July 28, 2011, 02:16 PM
To me it is starting out completely with the basics..
#1 proper grip, this allows or rather forces you into proper sight alignment and repeatability, or consistancy.. that is 1/2 of proper rapid groups
#2 Proper trigger control, that is the other half
#3 Sight alignment... (see #1)

You stated that you were not using your rear sight.. I beg to differ, you were using it, or you would not have seen your front sight... as stated by KodiakBeer, you began looking THROUGH your rear sight..

Speed is nice, accuracy is certain... work on getting it in nice tight little repeatable groups,, work on trigger control, then pick up the pace... you will be amazed...

6 shot 2" group a 7 yards in 2-2.5 seconds in not hard to do, but perfect practice makes perfect....Don't do what so many to, and that is to go out there and start blastin, thinking it's gonna get better, only reinforces bad habits... You would not believer how much range time I have had to spend with folks just trying to break bad habits...

wildehond
July 29, 2011, 03:53 AM
Don't go slow. Go smooth. Dry fire practice at half speed, lots, helps. It helps with muscle memory. When the adrenaline is kicking, instinct will take over and form will go out the window. Then you need that muscle memory.

Jonah71
July 29, 2011, 09:55 AM
Cop Bob....You're right. I do use my rear sights. But it's more as just a quick reference point right at the start. Then my focus shifts to the target as it relates to the front sight. The back sight then becomes just a blur and pretty much irrelevent. I'm not really making an effort to increase the speed of removing the gun from the holster or sight aquisition. That will happen in time and with practice. I did however make one big change and that was in my stance. The ONLY thing that works for me is to almost squarely face the target (which I don't like to do) with my left foot at about 11 oclock in front of the right. I have physical handicaps that make this stance neccessary for balance. Going out again today but will be working with the old compact Kimber BP Pro. I've almost exhausted my supply of .40's this week, so I'll be working with the little S&W Mod.36 and the Kimber. The only rounds I have a large supply of is .38 spec. and .357 mags. Don't seem to use them much.

MrBorland
July 29, 2011, 11:10 AM
Dry fire can take you a long way towards improving sight acquisition. People often times get so wrapped up in the mechanics of the draw and presentation that they fail to focus (no pun intended) on training their vision. The human eye is very fast. It takes just a small fraction of a second to read the relationship of the sights to each other and to the target face.

+1. For me, dry fire drills are as much vision drills as they are gun handling & trigger control drills.

I don't think anyone yet has mentioned the value of a good "index" - the natural alignment of your sights, target and eye from the draw. With a good index, you can quickly draw, present the gun to the target, and the sights will be aligned. This is not point shooting. You get the shot off quickly when your subconscious confirms the alignment. You establish a good index with lots of dry fire practice.

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2011, 12:46 PM
1) The back sight then becomes just a blur and pretty much irrelevent.

2) I did however make one big change and that was in my stance. The ONLY thing that works for me is to almost squarely face the target (which I don't like to do) with my left foot at about 11 oclock in front of the right.

1) As you practice and learn more about seeing you sights...as opposed to looking at them...you come to understand that the rear sight is never irrelevant. You're just not consciously aware of it

2) It is faster to align your sights when using the Isosceles stance, that is why it has been almost universally adopted by top end shooters

9mmepiphany
July 29, 2011, 12:50 PM
I don't think anyone yet has mentioned the value of a good "index" - the natural alignment of your sights, target and eye from the draw. With a good index, you can quickly draw, present the gun to the target, and the sights will be aligned. This is not point shooting. You get the shot off quickly when your subconscious confirms the alignment. You establish a good index with lots of dry fire practice.
+1
This is one of the open secrets to good shooting...folks just tend to ignore it for some reason.

The newest monkey wrench being thrown in the mix are adjustable backstraps...trying the different ones out to find the one that helps you establish that natural index. It isn't always the one that is the most comfortable

Jonah71
July 30, 2011, 10:25 AM
I put the flat backstrap on the new CZ Phantom just to check out the feel. I didn't like it. Seemed like I had less control and it was very uncomfortable. I didn't bother taking it to the range before I changed it back.

ExMachina
July 30, 2011, 10:38 AM
I usually have my students shoot from 5-7 yards...makes the targets (hits) easier (for me) to see.

I took a gal out this last week and got her shooting groups just over 1" (called a shot out to 1.5") at about 4-5 shots per second...

Ok. I thought I was a decent shot, but I'm pretty sure I can't do this...maybe with my .22 but with my .45 auto I'm happy to get off 3 shots per second, but at that rate they're not going into a one-inch group @ 7 yards :eek:

So, what's your training secret? :)

9mmepiphany
July 30, 2011, 01:10 PM
There really isn't much secret to shooting quickly and accurately, the trick is to get folks to do it correctly and consistently. That is why it can't be learned over the internet, through books or through videos. It requires personal instruction.

After being able to see the sights (just about everyone is able to see the sights well enough), the most important factor in accurate shooting is trigger control. The perfect trigger press is straight back while disturbing the gun as little as possible...no secret here. Although it does help if you reset the trigger and take up the slack while the gun is in recoil.

A major factor in shooting quickly is speeding up your ability to see the aligned sights on target. You combine the two by allowing the appearance of the aligned sights on the target cue your trigger press. This is a very different skill than aligning the sights on a target and then pressing the trigger when you think the sight picture is correct/perfect.

My student had been doing visualization exercises prior to this session (I give pre-training homework) and we weren't shooting for group...we were working on improving her speed. After changing her stance to one (Isosceles) that better supported the sights returning to the original POA, I put up a pink 3"x5" card (vertically) and gave her the simple instruction, "When you see pink behind the sights, press the trigger"...we weren't shooting for a spot, just an area. I was personally stunned at the size of the resulting group...but I still took credit for it ;)

The secret...if there is one...is be more concerned about running the gun, than putting hits on the target

Ankeny
July 30, 2011, 11:49 PM
There really isn't much secret to shooting quickly and accurately, the trick is to get folks to do it correctly and consistently. That is why it can't be learned over the internet, through books or through videos. True for most, but not for everyone.

9mmepiphany
July 31, 2011, 01:12 AM
I'll modify it from "can't be learned" to "very few can learn it"

The difficulty that I have seen in learning through those mediums is knowing when you are doing it correctly and the minor corrections that make all the difference.

I'll add that I have never met anyone who learned to correctly perform the Press Out drill without personal instruction...firing the first shot from the holster at the moment the arms reach full extension, which is the basis of the statement that there is no speed advantage between action types to the first accurate shot from the holster

If you enjoyed reading about "Finally learned something useful" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!