paper panic


Dennie Suman
March 11, 2004, 09:39 PM
I have had a problem over the past several years of not being able to group well when shooting at paper targets. Seems that shots are all over the place! However, I have done rather good at picking out a distant target at an unknown range and hitting it on the first shot.
This happens with handguns or long guns, has even happened with my compound bow.
Has anyone else experienced this? Do you have an answer as to why?
Thanx for your help.

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March 11, 2004, 10:12 PM
Wish i could help but i just can't hit anything:(

where do you shoot at in cincy???

March 12, 2004, 01:58 AM
I don't have an anwser to your question, but being able to hit things at a distance at unknow range and on the first shot sounds sort of like a "Zen " thing. You mentioned bows, got me thinking about Zen:)

When all else fails start back at the begining. Can someone else get tight groups with the same gun? If so, then revisit the basics, on the bench, and spend some time dryfiring at paper. Hope you figure it out:D

March 12, 2004, 02:06 AM
My shooting can be really "inconsistent" as well.

My first time shooting trap since I was a Boy Scout, I shot 0 out of 25! The next time out, I hit 24/25. From then on, I've been getting around 19 or so per round.

I've been able to shoot 20 rounds into a quarter sized group at over 15 yards with a Glock 21 and the next day my targets could look like a shotgun pattern.

My shooting (and sports in general) have been plagued with wild inconsistencies. With shooting at least, I know it's because of a lack of practice and probably training.

March 12, 2004, 03:34 AM
Sometimes it is good to have another experienced shooter watch how you are setting up for a shot. Are you flinching, breaking your wrist, jerking the trigger, or a whole host of other issues.

The rest is pretty much ZEN though!

March 12, 2004, 06:02 AM
I know it sounds silly. But have you tried using smaller targets? Sometimes when your shooting at something with a smaller aparent size you instinctively are more carefull with aiming and movement.

Dennie Suman
March 12, 2004, 08:43 AM
Thanx for the replies. It may be "Zen", especially since I lived near Zencinnati, sorry, couldn't help it. The picking smaller targets has seemed to help before. Kinda like shooting at a spot on the animal, nut just the entire animal. Concentration may be a problem. Not many interesting paper targets that I know of.
Black92LX, my GF and I bought a place near Hamilton. We have 18 acres and do our shooting at home now. That is really nice!
We did shoot some at Target World on Kemper road. Nice people but high prices.

Henry Bowman
March 12, 2004, 09:52 AM
Dennie - Black92LX and I belong to Fairfield Sportsmens Assn. near Ross. Either of us would take you there and show you around (and shoot too). We'll be there tomorrow. On the other hand, if you have enough of your own private property, we'll come there and help make noise. :D

It's kind of like learning to play a musical instrument. It take a LOT of practice to be able to really play. But even a beginner hits a few good notes. Sounds like you like to shoot; you just need more practice and instruction.

March 12, 2004, 09:53 AM
A little story:

My wife likes shooting the 9mm CZ75B I bought her - a lot. But for her to hit anything she just has to point and shoot. When she does that she can pretty much make 10 or 12 inch groups on a man sized target out to about 15yds.

OTHOH if she tries to aim using the sights and thinks about what she's doing she can barely (meaning she might actually hit the target 2 out of 10 times) hit a man sized silhouette at 3 yards. Nothing I've done helps - period. If she just shoots - she hits. If she thinks about it she misses.

Maybe you're just tring too hard with paper. With the long plinking target you're relaxed, you pick something out take aim and shoot. With paper you're tense, anticipational, worried about the result etc etc.

My advice - loosen up. It's just paper and nobody cares what the size of your group is but you (and you probably care too much).

March 12, 2004, 09:58 AM
Has anyone else experienced this?

Yes! And I'm very happy to know that I'm not the only one.

I can barely hit paper at 50yds with my GP100, but I can hit bowling pins (which are narrower than paper targets) 6 for 6 at 50yds most of the time. I'm a terrible shot on paper, but I manage to hit what I'm aiming at when it comes to hitting "stuff".


March 12, 2004, 10:33 AM
We did shoot some at Target World on Kemper road. Nice people but high prices.

HA THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!! Nice people please:banghead:

March 12, 2004, 12:53 PM
Has anyone else experienced this? Do you have an answer as to why?

Could it be you're aiming carefully on the first shot but not on the following shots?

Dennie Suman
March 12, 2004, 09:02 PM
Thanx again for the replies. Perhaps I do concentrate more on the first shot than following shots. Something about concentration that I never learned.
Henry and Black92zx, I probably live within 10 minutes of the club but am tied up Saturday. Perhaps another time. Thanx for the offer.

March 12, 2004, 11:15 PM
Could it be you're aiming carefully on the first shot but not on the following shots?

I do this too. My FIRST shot will (occasionally) punch right through the "X". Things kinda go to heck after that though. It could also be fatigue.

Black Snowman
March 12, 2004, 11:58 PM
Lots of things conspire to hurt your groups. My advice is every time you shoot, treat it as a 1st shot. Even set the gun down and pick it up again if you have to. You're obviously doing things right with that 1st shot so if you get your muscles and brain working that way you can slowly elimiate things from the "1st shot" rutine until you get to the point where you are performing well with a "normal" follow-up shot process.

A problem I often have is "recoil scare". Where I mess up because I'm anticpating the shock of the next shot. Usually I don't even realize I'm doing it. If I notice my groups suddenly getting worse I can often improve on them but shooting a magazing or two in aimed rapid fire. Often these quickly shot groups will be superior to my "careful" groups because I don't have time to worry about things and just fall back on my practiced techniques. For that to work though you already need that "programing" in place.

My advice is worth what you paid for it so don't blame me if it doesn't work ;)

March 13, 2004, 12:53 AM
I shot those mockup deer paper targets, yaknow the big life sized ones for...gosh a long time. I started off shooting great,eventually my dear 10/22 started shooting worse and worse. I thought it was the rifle. I just couldnt maintain a tight group nomatter -what- I did. I ended up switching to my current 336 and no improvement. I ended up switching targets on a whim and I was back in business that day. I always explained it as my brain just got bored with the same target. I try and vary my targets a whole bunch and while I'm no white feather, I tend to suck consistantly and not occasionally like before. :D

March 13, 2004, 01:28 AM
What if we take this expert thing a little farther and have his companion randomly load a dummy cartridge(wax for a primer, no powder) into his mag and have Dennie go through the mag like he regularly would.

This way his companion could look for and maybe notice the flinching.

or it could turn out that with a companion, he may not flinch at all and this will have all been for naught.

March 13, 2004, 01:59 AM
My first shot from a fresh mag is usually my worst. I think it takes that shot to ease back into the recoil. I'm also pretty recoil sensitive.

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