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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:23 PM #1
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First Time Shooting Handgun in Many Years, Seeking Advice

It had been about fire years since I had shot a semi automatic pistol and wanted to get back into it.

I purchased a laser lyte practice pistol and LED target with the pistol being modeled after a glock 19 I think (link).

After reading a handgun shooting guide I got to the point with the trainer where I had a solid small grouping about 75% of the time I shot, with 40% of that 75% being dead center. If I was not dead center, I was to the lower left of the bulls eye which I read was my trigger pull (too much finger on trigger).

After getting to the point where I had my groupings tight consistently, I purchased a real pistol (Walther PPQ M2 9mm) and went to the range and proceeded to do terribly.

The first 4 mags (9rds per mag, they are 10's but for some reason will only fir 9) were all at the bottom of the paper with a lot not even hitting the paper.

I thought this might be me anticipating recoil and pushing down on the gun so I tried to just let the gun come back but then I was shooting high.

Long story short by the end of my time at the range (150 rounds) I was on paper about 70% of the time, always to the left, and all over the place (top, center, and bottom) with some bullseyes.

I am sort of lost and seeking any input to help me reproduce the accuracy I have with the practice gun with a real one.

Any advice would be welcomed.

Also, when aiming, am I supposed to cover where I want to hit with the front site dot or am I suppose to put the top of the front post right below where I want to hit?

From what I read online it seems to depend on the gun but I did not see anything in the owners manual stating how the sights were set up.

Thank you for your help.

Last edited by JustPlinking; December 23rd, 2018 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Grammer
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:37 PM #2
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Right handers shooting left is usually due to too tight grip with the strong hand. Your whole hand is following your trigger finger. I suggest tightening your grip with your weak hand and slightly loosening your strong hand so your hand isn't following your trigger finger. Push your right palm into the heal of the grip and hold back with your left hand.

I'm sure much more advice will follow. Please report back what helps.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:47 PM #3
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As for sight picture, you should center the front post in the rear sight notch and at the same elevation. You should see the top half of your target over the front sight.

Practice will improve your shooting skills over time. There are some good videos on drills you can do to help improve your skills.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:54 PM #4
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I have a PPQ and mine is set up (stock out of the box) for a center bullseye (impact exactly where dot on front post is).

I am certainly not what I would call very proficient, but I will give my own insight into what has helped me:
1. If you are hitting low off target then it is almost certainly you anticipating the recoil and flinching. Many people will say to use a ball and dummy drill to solve that issue but I found a drill that seems to me like it works even better: Put one round in the magazine, chamber the round, then remove the magazine from the gun. Fire the one round, then while still aiming at the target, pull the trigger one more time with the empty chamber and take careful note of the front site. Is it dipping? You want it to be absolutely stationary. Repeat as needed until you arent flinching.

2. If your rounds are hitting all over the place then typically you arent focusing on the front site. Put a scratch on the front site and focus on the scratch. My main problem is that I tend to string shots vertically, not side to side. That is from not shooting at the same time while breathing (respiratory cycle), slight flinching, and/or losing concentration and not aiming at the exact same point.

3. Probably the most improvement I have seen is while using a red dot. All of my aiming movement feels magnified and it showed me exactly what I was doing wrong even before I saw the impact of the round. I have switched back to iron sights and it does seem like the red dot improved my overall skill.

Hope that helps.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 03:57 PM #5
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OP, at the range, what distance was your target? Same target distance for the entire 150 round session?
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 04:51 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Duke View Post
OP, at the range, what distance was your target? Same target distance for the entire 150 round session?
25 Feet for all shots, same target (I had 5 copies of the same silhouette).

With my practice pistol, I shoot about 20 feet.

Also I am right handed and had not yet heard/read about gripping to tight, I will have lots to try the next time around.

If anyone else has tips, the more the merrier.

Thank you.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 07:00 PM #7
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You’re coming off sight picture during firing. I recommend firing a round followed by 3-5 drydires, and repeat.
If Calvert isn’t too far of a hike for you, you’re invited to come over for some instruction.
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 07:07 PM #8
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You’re coming off sight picture during firing. I recommend firing a round followed by 3-5 dryfires, and repeat.
If Calvert isn’t too far of a hike for you, you’re invited to come over for some instruction.
—Ken

Last edited by kbuddy; December 23rd, 2018 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Can’t spell
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 07:16 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustPlinking View Post
It had been about fire years since I had shot a semi automatic pistol and wanted to get back into it.

I purchased a laser lyte practice pistol and LED target with the pistol being modeled after a glock 19 I think (link).

After reading a handgun shooting guide I got to the point with the trainer where I had a solid small grouping about 75% of the time I shot, with 40% of that 75% being dead center. If I was not dead center, I was to the lower left of the bulls eye which I read was my trigger pull (too much finger on trigger).

After getting to the point where I had my groupings tight consistently, I purchased a real pistol (Walther PPQ M2 9mm) and went to the range and proceeded to do terribly.

The first 4 mags (9rds per mag, they are 10's but for some reason will only fir 9) were all at the bottom of the paper with a lot not even hitting the paper.

I thought this might be me anticipating recoil and pushing down on the gun so I tried to just let the gun come back but then I was shooting high.

Long story short by the end of my time at the range (150 rounds) I was on paper about 70% of the time, always to the left, and all over the place (top, center, and bottom) with some bullseyes.

I am sort of lost and seeking any input to help me reproduce the accuracy I have with the practice gun with a real one.

Any advice would be welcomed.

Also, when aiming, am I supposed to cover where I want to hit with the front site dot or am I suppose to put the top of the front post right below where I want to hit?

From what I read online it seems to depend on the gun but I did not see anything in the owners manual stating how the sights were set up.

Thank you for your help.
The main difference between the laser trainer and the real thing is recoil. If you are anticipating recoil, you will then be driving the muzzle down. I agree with the other poster, that over gripping with your firing hand will cause you to pull you muzzle to the left. Loosen that grip and tighten the grip on your support hand. With all that being said, knowing what you're doing wrong and knowing how to fix it, are two different things. Good Luck!
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Old December 23rd, 2018, 07:21 PM #10
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OP, where are you? I bet someone here is willing to meet and help you. I am if you're near St. Mary's county.

1. Have a good shooter fire a few rounds to make sure the sights are aligned.

2. Your grip most likely needs work. Grip high as you can without the slide hurting you. Stand forward, in an athletic stance. Arms tight but not locked at the elbow. Your wrists should feel chanted forward, and do try to keep them tight. Thumbs both forward, not crossed. Grip the hell out of the gun with your support hand, as strong as you can. Grip tight with your trigger hand too, but back off til you can pull the trigger back without the sights moving. Practice that in dry fire a bunch, then try the range again.
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