Pulling Shots to Left with 1911


Gary H
March 26, 2004, 10:24 PM
I seem to be able to shoot my 1911 when shooting with deliberation, but when shooting from the holster, even with a more lax pace, I pull to the left when shooting right handed ( my strong hand ) and in a more traditional modified Weaver using both hands. I've played with finger placement on the trigger and same results. Now to make this more confusing, when making head shots from ten yards, I'm OK, but my body shots are all grouped about five to seven inches to the left of my intended impact. From a sandbag, the Valtro groups very nicely at 15 yards. I am shooting in the SF Bay area, so there might be some area related tendency to shoot left. Oh.. sorry.. correction.. the tendency is to retreat and declare victory.

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March 26, 2004, 10:26 PM
Sending to the handgun forum.

March 26, 2004, 10:27 PM
First of all, let's move this to Handguns, where it should attract more attention. That done...:

Is it possible that your trigger finger is making contact with the frame of the gun, as well as the trigger? This is a very well-known problem with Glocks (I suffer from it too): as the trigger finger pulls the trigger, part of it rubs against the frame and throws the pistol off-center in the critical moment of trigger release. Try checking your trigger pull from the holster (with an UNLOADED gun, of course! :D ) and feel for yourself whether this might be a factor.

Gary H
March 26, 2004, 10:58 PM
Sorry about the bad post.. Intended General Handgun..

I haven't been able to detect contact with the frame. I'm thinking that I might be squeezing my right hand while pushing it forward against my left hand and causing the gun to roll left. A version of "trying too hard." Whatever it is, I haven't been able to counter the defect in my technique. I was trying to see if my above theory was responsible, but did not detect this movement. In fact, when the shot goes off, my front sight looks good. I guess in court I'll be able to honestly say to the judge, "but your honor.. I was aiming for the dead man's left arm."

March 27, 2004, 01:04 AM
Your grip is different. You're gripping the pistol differently when you draw and shoot than you are when you just shoot. It may be the holster, where the holster is on your body or it may be you can't grip it when drawing the same way with the that holster.
Practice getting the same grip you do when not drawing while you're are drawing. Get the grip first then draw. Put the web of your hand where it's supposed to be, before you close your hand. If you can't, you need a different holster.

Gary H
March 27, 2004, 01:36 AM

That would make sense. I'll concentrate on my grip. I'm new to the 1911. I shoot mostly revolvers. I've had to work on my grip with the revolvers. Even if it turns out not to be the problem, standardizing my grip and making sure that I don't contact the frame with my trigger finger are good things to concentrate on. My first thought was that I was picking up the front sight with my weak side eye, but closing the eye didn't help. Grip and finger placement must be the problem. I don't think that I have a consistent flinch.

March 27, 2004, 02:03 AM
My initial thought is too much finger on the trigger.

If you traditionally shoot revolvers, maybe you're used to more finger on the trigger than is necessary on the 1911.


Gary H
April 2, 2004, 09:52 AM

I stand corrected... You were right. In an effort to get my hands high on the grip, I was contacting the trigger at the top of the trigger. This resulted in touching the frame just as the the trigger broke. I'm working on using the bottom of the trigger. It is a reach, but my groups center and tighten up. Maybe I can move up a bit at IDPA. My head shots at a distance have been a bit tough.

April 2, 2004, 10:19 AM
Gary said:

I'm working on using the bottom of the trigger. It is a reach, but my groups center and tighten up.

If your gun has a long trigger, maybe a short one would help resolve that.



April 2, 2004, 11:58 AM
One thing that helped me is to think of the 1911's trigger as a button more than trigger like that on say a revolver that hinges on a pivot. Also try to hold on the the handgun with 60% left hand and 40% right hand( if you are righthanded) . Then your right hand is more free to control the trigger err... trigger button thingy.:)


April 3, 2004, 07:10 PM
I started with snap caps and found I was back to that same old flinch, yanking the trigger. After a couple clips I got my concentration. By the end of the box there was nothing left of the bulls eye at 15 yards. Shooting a full sized Springfield 1911 A1 Loaded.

Part of my problem is that on each outing I also shoot a box through my .40 S&W carry gun, which is DAO. That gun has a lot more flip to it and is more intimidating than the big .45. Between guns or before shooting anything I work with snap caps and get the trigger pull in my mind. It's got to come straight back in a steady squeeze or it won't be accurate. Off to the left every time.

The flinch goes when I maintain the target view all the way until the gun flips. It helps if I try to will the bullet to hit where I want it too. No, seriously. That's just concentration.

April 4, 2004, 06:59 AM
Snapcaps is an excellent recommendation!

I have improved from so-so shooting to very good by just doing about 20 to 30 min's a day with snap caps in the week. I normall use my 10 min study break between sessions to practice. I can gaurantee you, you wil notice a marked difference in a week. Snapcaps is not as exiting as shooting for real, BUT the results are impressive.

I prefer to use snapcaps instead of just dry firing, because the red colour of the snapcap in the chamber gives me a very clear indication that there is no live round round in the handgun.


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