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For guys that shoot for tight groups... how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 777funk, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. 777funk

    777funk Member

    Jan 3, 2013
    I've had to admit that I shoot worse now than when I first started with autoloaders. I would get 2" groups at 12 yards using a teacup hold and light grip letting the gun recoil as it pleased.

    Then I found out that this was how you shoot revolvers slowly and I was doing it wrong for speed with an auto. I've gone from 2" groups to around 8" groups currently.

    With that said, I use the both thumbs forward technique and grip as tight as I would a hammer and try to control the recoil to some degree. I used to keep my head high and now I've tried keeping it low with cheek touching my right arm. I'm left eye dominant and I've tried sighting with my left eye and closing to sight with my right eye. Not much of a change. But I did notice a big difference in the grip (tea cup vs both thumbs forward).

    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong but I figured the best way is not to figure out what I'm doing incorrectly but rather learn from better shooters who are doing it right. Are there any good videos out there on this?
  2. tarosean

    tarosean Mentor

    Oct 22, 2010
    are you bow shooter? using an anchor point with a pistol is definitely a recipe for contorting your body into a unnatural position, therefore not allowing for repeatability.

    A) shoot with both eyes open.
    B) you can either be fast or have precision.. Most of us cannot do both.

    There is a reason why "A" scores are 6"x6" and 8" diameter in IDPA
    3.93"x5.9" and 5.9"x11.02" rectangle in USPSA

    we are not shooting for .5" groups.
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2011
    Snohomish County, Washington
    Without getting into discussing your form (others will likrly tackle that better than I can), I'd say focus on shooting slowly. Take your time, control your breathing, and press that trigger slo o o w l y. Let it surprise you. Put entire mags on paper this way. Your groups should slim down quite a bit.
  4. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Active Member

    Nov 14, 2012
    Northern CA
    This may not be helpful to you but I find that if I was shooting pretty tight and then I start really having a hard time, more often than not, its because I am over thinking the whole operation.

    I just focus on sights and trigger pull. Groups *usually* tighten back up (for me).

    I don't try to control recoil at all, either. I focus only on my part: line up the sights, press the trigger. Everything after I press the trigger is the gun's job.
  5. Inebriated

    Inebriated Senior Member

    Mar 25, 2011
    Let me start by saying that, in most forms of shooting, maximum accuracy isn't required. But, learning to shoot with that in mind is detrimental. No matter what kind of shooting you're doing, you need proper fundamentals. Press the trigger in a way that your front sight does not move, and keep the trigger back until the gun is finished moving. That's about all there is to it. As long as you're pressing the trigger straight back in a way that your sights don't move, you're golden. Whether you let the shot surprise you, or you break it when you want, as long as you do so without the sights moving, you're going to hit your target. My best tip to you is dry fire... You'll see if you're letting your front sight move at all, and you'll get a solid feel for your trigger. Dry fire practice is the single-best thing I ever did. Also, when you're shooting, put some dummy rounds in the gun, or just stop and dry fire. You'll see if you're flinching.

    Here are a few really good videos that deal with fundamentals.

    Trigger Control
    Grip Video 1
    Grip Video 2

    Start with some of that info, maybe watch some other videos from good shooters, and then figure out what works best for you. There are a lot of different grips out there, and you really have to try them to see what you like, but trigger control is always the same. Also, don't be afraid to take a class. If you find yourself still printing 8" groups at 12 yards slow-fire, then having an instructor look at you and your targets WILL make you a better shooter.
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    I'm not too sure how tightly you grip a hammer, but your grip should be like a firm handshake...not hard, but not limp. It is very common to over grip a gun when you are first learning to shoot well.

    You may think you're adding stability to your head placement, like a cheek weld on a rifle stock, but you're really just adding tension which causes more wobble in your shooting

    While shooting with both eyes open is preferable, it isn't mandatory when first starting. When you are sighting with just your left eye, are you bring your eye to the gun or your gun in front of your eye?

    That's because the support hand is now actually helping manage the muzzle flip by holding onto the gun. That you aren't shooting as well after you've added the support hand is indicative of some negative pressure you're adding with the support hand.

    What would be very helpful, to us, would be if you would post up a video of you shooting so we have a better idea of what you are doing.

    What would be the most helpful, to you, would be to get some professional instruction to address flaws in your technique. There is only so much that watching videos can do as they can't correct what you are doing and can't see the results of those corrections. While I'm a big believe in Dry Fire, you have to learn the correct techniques to practice before you start to ingrain them...otherwise you just reinforce bad habits
  7. wow6599

    wow6599 Senior Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Wildwood, MO
    Breathing right and using the pad of my finger.
  8. JDGray

    JDGray Mentor

    Sep 16, 2005
    SW MI.
    Lots of dry fire practice, while staring at the front sight, it should not move at all. Shoot like you dry fire, and stare at the front sight, bullets will start stacking for you....
  9. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Participating Member

    Sep 17, 2013
    Practice, practice, practice and work hard at bullseye shooting. There are techniques as already mentioned by others that are important like breathing, trigger control and grip.

    Many years ago when I tried to learn self taught I failed miserably until one day an old timer was watching me shoot and asked me if he could make a few suggestions. I was thrilled...he changed the way I was standing and the way I was gripping the gun (I was shooting a Dan Wesson .357 with 6" barrel) and gave me pointers about a slow squeeze and trigger control.

    In 15 minutes I was shooting groups so tight all the bullet holes touched each other at 50'.

    A few lessons sometimes really helps if the instructor is knowledgeable.

    For me now, 37 years later renewing my love of shooting sports I have finally learned to point shoot and *not* use the sights but concentrate on the target and shoot accurate and rapid follow ups to a 6" X 10" target. I love bullseye shooting as well but point shooting/quick kill is my passion now and the thing I am working hardest on. Either way, having fun at it and banging it till it gets better is the way.

  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    1. Focus on only the front sight.
    (Your eye can only truly focus on one thing at one distance. That HAS to be the front sight at all time.
    The rear sight and target will be slightly blurry. But that's O.K.. your eye will automatically line up the rear sight and target without you trying to focus on them at the same time.)

    2. Control breathing.

    3. Control trigger squeeze.
    (Only increase trigger pressure as the front sight wobbles over the center of the target.)

    Sooner or later, the gun will go off while the front sight is centered on the X-ring.

  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Mentor

    May 29, 2003
    Try to maintain a proper sight picture while squeezing the trigger.
  12. readyeddy

    readyeddy Participating Member

    May 8, 2012
    Some great shooting advice above.

    You should also make sure it's not the gun or the ammo. Go borrow a gun and ammo combo that shoots accurate from a friend and see if your shooting improves. If it does improve, then you have an equipment issue. If not, then you know it's you.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  13. stressed

    stressed Active Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    Get glasses or lasik. You might be surpised
  14. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Active Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    Nampa, Idaho
    We learned trigger control in Army by placing a dime on the barrel and learning to dry fire without the dime falling off. I have found this to be a valid teaching method with new shooters and other shooting having control issues.
  15. CarolinaChuck

    CarolinaChuck member

    Jan 22, 2013
    I am not much of one to shoot a sidearm, but holding position for an extended period of time is a bad thing. Do like rcmodel said; align your sights concentrating on the clear front sight post; find your aiming point and shoot. The more time spent between sight alignment and sight picture means more time before you shoot; and that is bad.

    A natural point of aim stops most of this... Walk to, or stand, at the firing line; close your eyes for a few moments and then take a firing position; and then open your eyes. You should be looking down the sights on your desired point of aim; if not, work on it...

    Always go back to the basics of marksmanship; to heck with how coach Bob stands, or how coach Fred holds his pistola... The basics dude; learn and know the bedrock foundations of marksmanship: if Fred and Bob can not teach you them; you don't need it.

    You will get off track all your life; it is natural and human to do so. You always, always, always go back to the basics of marksmanship. This is the only cure, and it is always, always, always some problem with your basic marksmanship.

  16. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    Something to be aware of is not to let your desire to hold the sights on target affect your trigger press. In other words, don't hurry your trigger press to time with when your sights are "on target"...that is the surest way to miss.

    Stay in the process of pressing the trigger smoothly and evenly straight to the rear
  17. tuj

    tuj Participating Member

    May 2, 2011
    Puerto Rico, a US territory with more people than
    a. align the sights with the target
    b. pull the trigger.

    remember to do step b without disturbing the step a.

    that's really all there is to accurate shooting. Its just that a lot of us might spend lifetimes learning how to do that.
  18. arspeukinen

    arspeukinen New Member

    Oct 4, 2011
    Used to. No longer can with all sights. Aging is not fun.
  19. TestPilot

    TestPilot Active Member

    Oct 5, 2006
  20. hentown

    hentown Participating Member

    May 13, 2012
    The "teacup" method was taught by the military years ago. Other than an accuracy problem, if you ever have a KB, one place you don't want any of your body parts is under the mag well. ;)

    Try pulling back with your "weak" hand @ about 60% and pushing forward with your strong hand @ about 40%. Don't lay your head over on your arm. That's ridiculous. ;)

    I'm severely left-eye dominant, and I shoot pretty well, having only fired about 300k rounds through my Glocks over the past 20-yrs-or-so. :D

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