Quantcast

How should I best use range time to improve handgun accuracy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by MrBitey, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    NC
    Hi all, I'm new to shooting handguns and looking to improve my accuracy. I try to get out to the range once a week, and I'm looking for advice on how to practice. I've signed up for the concealed carry class and intermediate class, but first available are 2+ months away, and I'd like to improve in the meantime.

    Since taking the intro class, I went back and tried out various 9mm handguns, bought a full-size P320, and have been back two more times, each time shooting 100 rounds. I think my stance and grip are good, and I've gotten used to shooting with both eyes open, focusing on front sight. My main problem is that I'm consistently shooting a little low and right (left handed). From what I've read here I need to work on trigger control, is that right?

    Any recommendations on how to structure my range time, e.g. drills, etc.? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Messages:
    7,387
    Location:
    SouthEastern FL
    Here's a handy diagnostic chart. Being left-handed, you'll have to imagine a mirror image (in your case, the chart indicates possible jerking/slapping trigger, or excessive finger tightening.) Also remember that lighter bullets tend to hit lower; if your gun's sights are more adjusted for, say, 124-142 grain ammunition, and you're using 115-grain, they may hit low (they always do for me.)

    diagnosing-shooting-problems-guide-1024x995.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  3. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    6,134
    Location:
    Fl panhandle
    1- Get professional training from a competent instructor who truly understands the basic principles and analyzing performance. Shooting is like most other sports- you need a coach. 2- baby steps.
     
  4. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks, MedWheeler and FL-NC. I do have one private lesson scheduled, but the wait list is really long right now.
     
  5. Ks5shooter
    • Contributing Member

    Ks5shooter Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,268
    Location:
    Communist state of nj
    Join the NRA if you not a member already. Sign up for their courses.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  6. labnoti

    labnoti Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2018
    Messages:
    1,892
    Lucky Gunner put up 13 episodes of "Start Shooting Better." If you open this in Youtube, you should find the other 12 episodes in the playlist.





    This is Lena Miculek demonstrating a 50 round practice session.
     
  7. WrongHanded
    • Contributing Member

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,040
    I'm a lefty too. Sounds like it could be trigger control, or you're flinching.

    First thing I think you should do is dry fire practice. If you don't know what that is, just ask. Do this to learn your trigger and make sure you're pulling it consistently and correctly. The sights shouldn't move when the trigger breaks.

    After you know your trigger pull is good, try it at the range with live fire. If your first few shots are good, and then you start hitting low right, you're flinching. That can be cured too, but it's a little more complicated. There's and excellent thread on here about just that thing.

    So dry fire first, then figure out if you're flinching.
     
    Olon, murf, Obturation and 1 other person like this.
  8. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2020
    Messages:
    540
    One thing that may well help is home practice. Get a CO2 air gun that is close to what you shoot now. They make a bunch of them. You can then practice at home. Be careful many, and I do mean many places now classify air guns as firearms, so be sure where you live does not before doing this in the back yard. You can easily set up to do it in the house if needed though. The time will help almost all. Not to mention it's cheap fun while you practice. :D
     
    MrBitey, Ernie Bass and MedWheeler like this.
  9. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,700
    Location:
    Georgia
    Dry fire practice can help immensely. I wouldn't do it for a real long period of time all at once though. If you spend 10 minutes a night on it you may be pleasantly surprised the next time you go to the range.
     
  10. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,656
    Location:
    Northern illinois
    I think so too.

    @MrBitey , your user name & photo strike fear in me. I've lived with a biting cat and it's not cool.

    I'm not an instructor, trainer or expert but I can shoot more accurately than any of the people I shoot with, take that for what it's worth...
    #1 is trigger control. Everything else can be completely wrong but with good trigger control you will shoot better than most folks. Here are some observations from my perspective:
    -Your stance is meaningless , some people shoot sitting down- everyone is different and as long as you're comfortable and recoil isn't making you stagger around like the town drunk , you're fine.
    -one eye open VS both eyes open, also meaningless , it helps with your perifreial vision and helps you see more than just your target . many of us (me included) never learned to shoot that way, I still try now and then but it's no good for my accuracy and just feels wrong. I don't care what armchair warrior has an opinion on it, flat out just isn't for me.
    -breathing , important but this will directly effect trigger control. You must breathe but don't be trying to hold your breath for 30 seconds to try to get a good group, find a rhythm and use it.
    -sight picture, also somewhat important but the catch here us that everyone will take their own sight picture (how you line up the sights). I can grab a gun from a shooter that uses their sights with dead on precision and end up off center, a tight group but off center. Just because I use a different point of aim. Don't seek the group in the center of the target, don't adjust your aim to try to get the impacts to the center . make the tightest group you can, no one cares where on the paper the group is - sights can be adjusted later, just line everything up the exact same way each time.

    TRIGGER CONTROL- the most important thing . don't jerk the trigger, don't squeeze the trigger , don't anticipate recoil, don't flinch. PRESS the trigger, let it surprise you (kind of) , continue to press past the break, keep the trigger pressed until you see your impact (or longer if you like) . don't think that you can just line up the sights and pull Willy nilly, it doesn't work like that, dry fire can help you see your muzzle waggle around but it's no substitute for the real deal fire and smoke. Some folks get shaken by the sound or flash, this is the path to a flinch (which it sounds like you have starting) . open your strong hand and relax your fingers, move only your trigger finger and watch your other fingers move too, that's a problem- work on it. Everything can be done perfectly but as soon as you move your hand wrong it's ALL out the window. Learn trigger control and you'll shoot better than 90% of people. The rest gets you the other 10%.
    Good luck
     
  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    13,994
    Location:
    Georgia
    Dry fire practice is your friend. You can get 100,000 trigger pulls in at no cost in your own home. Since there is no recoil you can see if the sights are moving before the firing pin drops. You'll be a lot better when you get to the range and start sending bullets down range.
     
  12. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,728
    Location:
    Illinois
    Slow down when you are shooting try and make every shot count What i like to do is when you go to your range if you buy the the big Silhouette targets Turn them around so the white is facing you and put a small dot on it Something about the size of a 1/2 dollar and just shoot at that Aim small miss small Do the same thing when you dry fire to put a small. on the wall and just focus on that
     
  13. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks everyone! Looks like lots of great advice here, and lots to think about and work on. The drills in the Lucky Gunner videos also look great, but probably something to try once I get the basics down.

    She's actually sweet most of the time, but does attack at random at least a couple of times each week. I'll look for a less aggressive photo. :)
     
    drband and Obturation like this.
  14. murf

    murf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,915
    Location:
    arizona
    keep your wrists locked all the way through the shot, especially through recoil. limp-wristing causes all kind of problems (like shooting low right).

    luck,

    murf
     
    MrBitey likes this.
  15. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    1,414
    Location:
    Memphis

    I watched this series and try to apply the lessons.
     
    grammontS likes this.
  16. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,656
    Location:
    Northern illinois
    :cool: I ain't afraid of no cat... - don't tell her I said that, please.

    Thanks, but I'm still not scared of any cat so carry on...:what:

    Hopefully you can get to the range a few times before the course you plan on taking. As long as you're good in safety fundamentals the rest will fall into place with practice . accurate handgun shooting is a skill that will fade in times when you aren't practicing . experienced shooters who have taken time off need some practice to get back in the groove. Learning it for the first time can be a big job but well worth it.
     
    MrBitey likes this.
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    4,851
    MrBitey, murf and Obturation like this.
  18. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    4,120
    Location:
    Colorado
    There a literally a million videos on you tube to teach you how to shoot. The problem is videos can't watch you shoot and make on the spot corrections. As others have said, you need to take some professional training form someone who can watch you shoot and can evaluate what (if anything) you're doing wrong.
     
    MrBitey and Corpral_Agarn like this.
  19. film495

    film495 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    983
    dry fire practice, and practice with a practice target pistol - say shooting at tin cans .. by practice target pistol I mean a .22 you'll quickly adjust how you shoot and follow through, since you'll get real time immediate information about hit or miss …
     
    MrBitey likes this.
  20. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,398
    Location:
    Central MN
    Try a drill I perform for your precision shooting. It was taught to me by an old time bullseye shooter, and is the procedure I use to dial in my handgun shooting for aimed shots at longer ranges in hunting arms and increased range with my carry 9mm. 10 dry fires. Call your "shots," i.e. high, low, center, left, right, wherever it felt to you as the trigger broke. Follow this by 5 shots, single loaded (this is to force you to slow down and concentrate). Call each shot, and confirm actual impact point. Follow another 10 dry fires. Repeat until your calls are matching the live shots. If you're consistently "off call," in the same direction, adjust your sights accordingly.

    Others can probably speak with more authority on "tactical" shooting. I've always been fortunate in being naturally good at "shooting fast." I believe, but cannot empirically prove, that my time on small targets far away makes big close targets seem easy. Try shooting billiards on a "snooker" table, then go to a standard Valley table and you'll see the concept in action.
     
    MrBitey and entropy like this.
  21. caz223

    caz223 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,742
    Location:
    SW Michigan

    It's not the most popular, but it's literally the best video I've ever seen on hitting the target

    Say what you want about Rob. He's not wrong...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
    MrBitey and Ernie Bass like this.
  22. Ernie Bass

    Ernie Bass member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,134
    Location:
    No Town N.C.
    Love that video. I have been doing those techniques for years and was so happy to see the video come out to help others. I also train heavily with BB and Pellet pistols. They are so under rated. They can really hone your point and shoot skills. Much more fun than dry firing. During the last ammo shortage I shot the Air Pistols almost daily. Came back and shot better than I ever had in my life. I also love the 22.cals. My favorite is the LCR22. Just bought the LCP22. Point and shoot these guns IMO and learn to do it well and you are light years ahead.
    There is a ammo shortage going on. Ammo is expensive as hell. Yet, I am getting trigger time every day for peanuts. And having a lot of fun. Get Air Gun, learn point and shoot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
    Meeks36 and MrBitey like this.
  23. MrBitey

    MrBitey Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    NC
    Thanks for all the suggestions! I've been back to the range twice this week and I'm making progress.

    Several folks recommended .22 or air guns, so my first visit back I rented a Mark IV. I shot much better with that pistol than with my P320 (and it was also a lot of fun!). I went back the next day and had an hour of private instruction. For precision shooting, the instructor recommended I slow down and make every shot count, as @LUCKYDAWG13 suggested above. The instructor also noticed I was gripping too hard with the fingers of my dominant hand, to the point where the barrel was shaking a bit. I think I've been gripping mostly with my fingers (like squeezing a lemon). When I thought more about creating pressure between opposing palms I'm more stable. It probably helps keep my wrists locked as well.

    We did a bunch of drills shooting faster, with different aim points, magazine changes, etc., which was new to me. Completely different from the precision shooting, but when I went back to slow, deliberate shooting towards the end of the lesson I did much better. I have to say I enjoy the fast shooting drills!

    Lots to think about. I'll do some dry fire practice this week and try to get back to the range next week.
     
    Mike J and murf like this.
  24. rkittine

    rkittine Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2020
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    New York
    What type shooting are you trying to improve? I think there may be different roads to travel depending on your are looking at getting better at say Tactical Shooting as Compared to Bullseye etc.

    Bob
     
    MrBitey likes this.
  25. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,700
    Location:
    Georgia
    Mr. Bitey there was something I forgot to put in my earlier post. The reason I suggested only doing dry fire for 10 minutes or so at a time is if one does it for too long at a time & they start to get tired it is easy to get sloppy. Once can actually ingrain bad habits if they are not careful.
     
    MrBitey likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice