Help...new SIG making keyholes at 3-5 yards.


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SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 12:46 PM
So, I took my new/used SIG out yesterday for the first time. I say new used because I bought it from a guy that only put a 100 rounds or so through it. Tearing it down to the basics it was pretty evident that it had not been used much as there was really no visible wear on anything. So, anyways I gave $400 for it. The reason the guy sold it was because he said he could not get used to the DA/SA trigger.

Anyways my first range session went like this, shot my Makarov, a couple of .22's, FN 57, a couple of .38's etc. Then I moved on to the SIG. I shot it and let 2 other people shoot it. Here is the weird part. At first it was pretty dang accurate, say for 30 rounds but we seemed to be having feeding problems. I am guessing the feeding problems was due to brand new mags since it worked better with only 6 rounds instead of 8. I also learned that you need to rack the slide pretty quickly to have it work well. Anyways so we continued shooting and everybody liked it, despite the fact it was a .45 ACP. It had very little kick to it, the trigger is awesome, and everything else seemed to be good, aside from the dang shells being launched 10 foot away when ejecting lol.So anyways about round 60-70 I noticed that accuracy dropped off considerably at 3-5 yards, I mean like 15-20 inches and that the bullets were making keyholes. So, at this point I am wigging out because I am not sure what to do with the gun. Like I said it is pretty much brand new and I like it but if I cant shoot without getting keyholing at those distances then it has got to go as it is hard as hell to be accurate with a gun that has bullets tumbling as it leaves the barrel.

What do you think could have or be causing this? I was figuring maybe it needs a good cleaning so I cam home and gave it a good run over and some lube in the normal places but honestly it was not that dirty. So, I am open to suggestions here. I figure I will go try it out one more time after the cleaning and see how it runs even though it was dirty the first time. I mean it could be the ammo I suppose as I ran about 250 rounds of 230 grain Remington UMC through it. Perhaps that was too heavy and the barrel was not able to stabilize it, I don't know. However, if I change ammo, know it was clean, take it to the range again and it sill does this what do you think I should do or what do you think the most likely culprit is? I guess I could take it to a gunsmith but geez I would not expect this out of a gun that is basically brand new with like 350 rounds through it that costs anywhere from $700-$900.

My final question is, do you think I did more damage, if there really is any, to it by shooting it another 100 rounds or so when I noticed it doing this? I will post pics from my phone here shortly.

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rcmodel
August 12, 2012, 12:55 PM
3-5 yards, I mean like 15-20 inches That simply isn't possible without some shooter induced flinching and trigger jerking going on.

If the bullets all came out of the barrel sideways & backwards, they would still group smaller then 15"-20" inches at 9'-15' feet.

As for the key-holing?
Was your paper target free-hanging, or backed up by a hard backer-board of some sort?

If free hanging, the target was trying to get out of the way while the relatively slow .45 bullet was trying to punch through it. That makes the holes appear elongated.

rc

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 12:56 PM
Yeah, I was actually way off on that. I would say they were more like 4-6 inches, max, apart.

9mmepiphany
August 12, 2012, 01:14 PM
...and the backer board?

Also which model of the SIG 220 do you have?
Where was it manufactured...it is marked on the slide/frame?
Folded or Milled slide?
Internal or External extractor?

Fremmer
August 12, 2012, 01:21 PM
My initial thought is that it isn't keyholing, it is just ripping thru target paper, and the accuracy dropped because you were shooting a .45 at the end of a long range session. But I'm not trying to insult you, my friend. :)

Take it back to the range, and this time shoot that pistol first, and let us know how she shoots.

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 01:37 PM
Sorry, I forgot to mention some things. It did not have a backer-board to the target. It was freefloating. It is a milled slide stamped Exeter-NH-USA, the frame was made in Germany. G379XXX. It has an internal extractor so even though it was never used, apparently I am guessing, it is one of the older ones.

J2FLAN
August 12, 2012, 01:49 PM
The only time I was able get real "key holes" was with some undersized cast bullets and a much reduced load, now that will produce them!
Maybe try different ammo, or IF you have to, slug your barrel just so you can rule that out. You did check inside the barrel real good with a light to see it something was messed-up. Luck

tarosean
August 12, 2012, 01:50 PM
Range ammo?

9mmepiphany
August 12, 2012, 02:12 PM
It sounds like you have several issues going on at the same time.

1. keyholing - as mentioned in post #2, it is a function of the paper

2. feeding - gun problem; since you mention that you have the stainless slide and the internal extractor, it is likely a stacking of tolerances.
Check that your magazine springs are correctly oriented also.

3. ejection - seems slightly excessive if they are really going 10 feet, but not a huge worry
What color is the paint on the spring?
Is it the factory twisted spring or an after market single strand?

4. degrading accuracy - sounds like shooter fatigue

tipoc
August 12, 2012, 02:14 PM
I have a few questions based on what you wrote...

First I'm guessing that the gun is a Sig P220 cuz I don't see where you say.

At first it was pretty dang accurate, say for 30 rounds but we seemed to be having feeding problems. I am guessing the feeding problems was due to brand new mags since it worked better with only 6 rounds instead of 8.

I'm not clear on what you mean here. For a few mags the gun was accurate but then, suddenly you seem to say, accuracy dropped off. Is this the case?

You say you seemed to be having feeding problems. What type of problem or problems? You say that the gun worked best with 6 rounds in the mags instead of 8. Is that the case? What exactly happened when 6 rounds were in the gun and what when 8?

Did these mags come with the used gun?

I also learned that you need to rack the slide pretty quickly to have it work well.

It's that way with most guns. But usually with the P220 the slide is fairly easy to rack. Was there something particularly troublesome to this one?

So anyways about round 60-70 I noticed that accuracy dropped off considerably at 3-5 yards, I mean like 15-20 inches and that the bullets were making keyholes.

At 30 or so rounds you began having feeding problems and later at 60 or so the rounds began keyholing. As others have said it's likely the rounds weren't keyholing. More likely the bullet punched a round hole through the paper and the paper tore an elongated strip. This is easy to check on by examining the target close up.

Like others said I'd get some more ammo and return to the range. Load up a couple of mags full and shoot. Pay careful attention to what the gun and the shooter are doing. Have someone else shoot the gun and see if the problems crop up for another shooter. Come back here and let us know.

tipoc

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 02:19 PM
No it was not range ammo but then again Remington UMC is not exactly known for being extremely great either. Here are some of my crappy iphone photos...

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8281/7767410586_066895f8c4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767410586/)
SIGP2201 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767410586/) by photo•genic (Justin Lancaster) (http://www.flickr.com/people/25679621@N04/), on Flickr
This is the picture of the first 30 shots or so at this target. Not all shots were taken in this picture.


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8432/7767407532_9f1863e04a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767407532/)
SIGP2202 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767407532/) by photo•genic (Justin Lancaster) (http://www.flickr.com/people/25679621@N04/), on Flickr
Here is the rest of the shots taken at the first target. I think this is all of them and to me it looks like it is starting to drop off in accuracy here, either that or there are multiple bullets going into the same holes LOL.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8288/7767404838_d1b4cf94c3_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767404838/)
SIGP2207 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767404838/) by photo•genic (Justin Lancaster) (http://www.flickr.com/people/25679621@N04/), on Flickr
Here we are starting on the second target and it looks to me like we are either getting tired or it is opening up in the groupings a good bit. Keyholes are starting to add up now.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7246/7767402076_9f1f05f379_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767402076/)
SIGP22205 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767402076/) by photo•genic (Justin Lancaster) (http://www.flickr.com/people/25679621@N04/), on Flickr
Keyhole close-up. It just started getting worse from here.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7266/7767393856_062262fbdb_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767393856/)
SIGP2206 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25679621@N04/7767393856/) by photo•genic (Justin Lancaster) (http://www.flickr.com/people/25679621@N04/), on Flickr
Here are some of the final shots of the day. I was aiming different places the whole time so its really hard to tell you now where my point of aim was and where the bullet landed on target but you can get the idea. I am more concerned with the keyholing at the moment than I am with POI even though they may go hand in hand.

rcmodel
August 12, 2012, 02:21 PM
You don't have key-holing.

You have a paper target shot without a backer-board.

The slow .45 bullets are tearing through the paper because it is moving out of the way as the bullets pass through it leaving tears instead of clean holes.

rc

Walt Sherrill
August 12, 2012, 02:24 PM
I'd say that NONE of the shots shown are evidence of keyholing. In every case I can see, it's clear that the round hit the paper head on -- and there are marks on the paper to indicate this. That they did not TEAR evenly is more a function of the backing, or lack of it, and the quality of the paper. Mount that target on cardboard, and you'd see something different. Lift the tears from the reverse side, to close the hole, and you'll see that the bullet hit properly.

If the rounds were keyholing, you wouldn't seen the small, circular, dark areas where the round hits the paper -- you'd just see big tears, and no neat marks.

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 02:28 PM
Ah good, well that is a relief. I will try targets with a backer next time. I am going to give it some more time at the range. I really like the feel of the gun, the trigger, etc. but at 15-20, maybe 30 feet I was expecting better accuracy than this, but then again that could be the shooter or the fact that I am not used to shooting a .45 ACP. I should also mention that this was my very first time shooting this gun so I am sure that had something to do with it as well. So, overall how are these groups to you guys?

rcmodel
August 12, 2012, 02:43 PM
I'd suggest you shoot two-handed of a bench, or prone, with sandbag rest next time just to see if it's you flinching / jerking the trigger, or the gun itself.

I'm betting on the former, not the latter.

rc

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 02:52 PM
You are probably correct sir. This was my first time shooting a .45 in a very long time so I have a feeling you are 100% correct. Let's say it is me without a doubt, what do you suggest I do to get over it?

9mmepiphany
August 12, 2012, 03:11 PM
Same advice, same belief

The SIG 220 is usually very accurate right out of the box. At 5-10 yards, you should be able to put all the rounds within a couple of inches of each other...even when new to the gun.

Off a rest, you should be able to hold inside an inch.

It is hard to offer advice unless we know how you are holding, sighting and pressing the trigger...how about linking a video of you shooting?

rcmodel
August 12, 2012, 03:16 PM
shot my Makarov, a couple of .22's, FN 57, a couple of .38's etc. Then I moved on to the SIG.
4. degrading accuracy - sounds like shooter fatigue

Next time start out with the .45 and shoot a couple of 5 or 10-shot groups,.
Slow fire, concentrating on the front sight and trigger squeeze, while trying to make every shot a 10-X.
Then put the .45 away for a while.

Then wear yourself out with the other guns

No good comes of extended shooting practice lasting past the point when your brain is telling your body it has had enough of that foolishness.

Thats when you start jerking the trigger, flinching, and shooting worse & worse groups with harder kicking guns.

You are just reinforcing bad shooting habits that will be very very hard to get over.

rc

chris in va
August 12, 2012, 08:26 PM
Shoot off a rest next time and see how accurate the gun really is.

SilentStalker
August 12, 2012, 11:57 PM
Will do. So you guys think the groups in the pics I posted is bad?

tipoc
August 13, 2012, 02:23 AM
On how your groups are and it's just my own opinion, others may differ...

In particular, looks like you have several groups there. I'm not sure how far away from the target you were when you shot them. I also don't know what type hold you were using, shooting one handed or two, for example. I also don't know how fast you were shooting or what type of shooting you were looking to do, for example fast self defense type shooting or slow, well aimed accurate shooting.
Without knowing these things it's hard to have an opinion on what you are showing me in particular.

In general, though you were shooting a gun that was new to you in a round that you are unfamiliar with. Looks like everything was on paper and about the size of an outspread hand. A good start!

tipoc

hentown
August 13, 2012, 07:27 AM
If you shoot a paper target that's freely suspended from the top, with no backing and no bottom support, what exactly would you expect??

Walt Sherrill
August 13, 2012, 08:07 AM
Will do. So you guys think the groups in the pics I posted is bad?

Everybody's being diplomatic.

Try it again, fresh, first from a rest -- to evaluate the gun -- and then standing, not using the rest, to evaluate your technique. You're pretty close to the target,and with most SIGs, should be getting much smaller groups. (A rest: buy a large bag of rice, and leave it in the plastic bag from the store. Use a two-hand grip, find a chair, and rest your hands on the bag before you shoot. Slowly, slowly pull the trigger. That will remove most of the "human error" from the equation -- and give you a better idea of what the gun's capable of doing.)

The fact that it's a new-to-you gun, being used at the end of a long range session, and in a caliber you don't shoot as often, skews the results -- and doesn't tell us much, about you, the gun, or either's current abilities..

Do it all again, when you're fresh and then show us the targets. Use more targets, or try to do your groups in specific areas. Too many shots on target without changing the target obscures the results. (You don't have to shoot just for the bullseye; set up some OTHER spots on the target, and try to hit it.)


.

SilentStalker
August 13, 2012, 08:50 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I will probably head back out to the range once I return from Russia and Alaska, so about 4-5 weeks. When I get back I will post my results. Again, thanks for the help.

ndh87
August 14, 2012, 08:34 PM
Quote:
Will do. So you guys think the groups in the pics I posted is bad?
Everybody's being diplomatic.

I've never been accused of being diplomatic.

Your groups arent bad by any means, most the rounds landed inside the outline of the silhouette; I've seen much worse.

There is definately room for improvement, but that will come with more practice and getting used to the gun.

The sig double / single triggers still get me too

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