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Bad shot

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Iloadntie, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Iloadntie

    Iloadntie Member

    Hello, I'm a semi-active participant on these forums. I love the information and the things I can learn. I've been a rifle shooter for a long time, and have learned to reload and love that. My new adventure is an XDm 40 cal. I love the gun. I need help with one problem that is kind of embarassing. I can't hit a target. I can consistantly hit off to the left and make some pretty good groups, so whatever I'm doing I'm doing well. If I aim a foot to the right at 15 yards I can get them all on paper. I think I might have a problem with my eyes switching dominance and can't get them to settle. Any good ideas? This is my first handgun.

    Thanks Scott
  2. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    A lot of it can be finger placement on the trigger. Too much or too little finger on the trigger can pull or push the gun off target. I don't have the chart handy, but someone here will jump in (momentarily, I'm sure) and post it. It shows the different places your shots go based on different "faults" in shooting grip and technique.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  4. chris in va

    chris in va Well-Known Member

    Eye dominance, or your sights are off. Have someone else try your gun or shoot it off bags.
  5. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    In order to eliminate some of the variables, shoot from a rest. I was using a homemade one until my girls gave me a store bought one that's very nice. I prefer the rest over the bags. They don't have to be expensive.
  6. Iloadntie

    Iloadntie Member

    I was hoping it was the gun, but my son shot bullseyes with it. Thanks for the replies.
  7. nevadabob

    nevadabob Well-Known Member

    Go to www.glock.pro ( Glock Pro Forum) and scroll down to Training & Tactics. Check out the first sticky: "Grip & Trigger Pull". He's really done a nice job on the basics.
  8. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

  9. JoePfeiffer

    JoePfeiffer Well-Known Member

    Shooting to the left can be caused by tightening up your whole hand instead of just pulling the trigger (assuming you're right handed).

    I've found a quick (and fun!) fix for major problems is to set up a row of 4x4s, maybe a foot high, on a cheap table a couple of yards away. Start at one end, and blast away at it (without thinking too hard and spending too much time) until it falls over. Then move to the next one over. A subconscious feedback effect does a lot to smooth things out; once you're hitting every 4x4 within a couple of shots it becomes time to move to a paper target and watch what's happening carefully.
  10. Torian

    Torian Well-Known Member

    Sometimes its the way you are pulling the trigger, and other times its the way you are holding the weapon.

    One way I like to test if my grip and trigger pull are proper is looking down the sights while dry firing. If your sights are jumping all over the place, or pulling one way or the other, you need to adjust your grip and your trigger pull until it is stable before / after the trigger pull.

    For me, it was a combination of positioning both thumbs side by side using a two handed grip, and not reaching in quite as far with my trigger finger.
  11. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    I'd bet you were jerking the trigger. This is technically for 1-handed shooting, but a lot of it applies to a right-handed two-handed stance.

  12. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    There's an old joke about a tourist in New York City asking a hippie, "How do I get to Carnegie Hall". The hippie's response, "Practice man, practice".
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  13. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Well-Known Member

    Shooting left, or low left, is common when people first start with handguns. A .40 is a lot of gun to start with - imagine if your first rifle was a 30-06! - so it's not surprising that you're finding it a challenge.

    The advice offered about about grip and trigger squeeze is good. I'll offer two more tips:

    1) Invest in a 40 caliber snap-cap. Have a friend load one somewhere into an otherwise full magazine. I'd bet good money then when your gun surprises you by going 'click' instead of 'bang' you'll see the muzzle dip to the left, in anticipation of the recoil. Every beginner does it.

    2) Find a safe place for dry-fire practice, and do it for maybe five minutes every day. Be sure to use a firm grip - the idea is to train your hands so that you can pull the trigger without moving the sights. When you have it mastered, you'll be able to balance a coin on your front sight, and dry fire without disturbing it.
  14. ezypikns

    ezypikns Well-Known Member

    Dry fire, over and over and over...

    while maintaining your sight picture.

    Another suggestion: Don't shoot at 15 yards. Halve the distance. If you're training for self defense, the shorter distance may be a little more realistic.

    Just remember, the sight radius on your pistol is a LOT shorter than your rifles, plus you don't have the same anchor points you have with a rifle.

    Also all of the previous suggestions have been good ones.
  15. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Tuj, that chart while somewhat helpful is for SINGLE HAND BULLSEYE style shooting...
  16. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

    Yes, I know that and noted it. That doesn't mean the a right-handed shooter jerking the trigger with a two-handed stance won't shoot low-left; they probably will. Probably the biggest challenge most people have shooting pistols is trigger control, therefore that's what I suggested the OP's problem might be, without having ever seen him shoot of course.

    The OP says he's getting good groups but they are off the bull. In my experience, you can develop a pretty consistent 'jerk' in your pull that will put the groups to the left or low-left. If it was a recoil flinch, I would not think he would be getting consistent groups.

    BTW, best way to work on trigger control? Shoot some bullseye....
  17. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    Yep, and it's taught thousands of us just that and a few other things too.
  18. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    First of all, if you're getting a good group, you have no problems -- as long as the sights can be adjusted to center that group at point of aim.

    Next, if the group center of impact changes over time, re-adjust the sights.

    Finally, if you have eye dominance problems, no need to change hands -- I went from a right-eyed shooter to a left-eyed shooter as my right eye became far-sighted and my left became near-sighted. I developed a trick of slightly inclining my head to see the sights with the left eye. I shoot both eyes open and can see both sights (left eye) and target (right eye) in perfect focus -- the brain merges the two images nicely.
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    We just had a two page thread on this subject...here...it is well worth a look

    If you are shooting pretty good groups...you didn't say how tight or at what range...but just to the left and you son's groups are centered, it isn't the sights, it is your technique.

    My first suspicion is also that it is your grip, but it is pretty hard to tell without pictures or a video clip. Take a look at the other thread, snap a picture of your grip, and we may be able to offer further suggestions
  20. rtba

    rtba Member

    If you'd like something in video form, I thought this one was especially well done:


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