Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Besides practice, practice, practice....

    What can I do to improve my shooting? The majority of my shots are low and to the left. I am right handed and shooting a S&W 686+ w/ 38 sp 130 grn FMJ. Going to the range is beginning to remind me of my golf game. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Allentown, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Very hard to diagnose sight unseen, but - first of all, benchrest your revolver with the ammo you usually use (point of impact can vary with different loads) and see if it's you or the sights. If it's the sights, low left sometimes means that your trigger pull is affecting your hold. in other words, your index finger is pushing the revolver down and left when you pull the trigger. You have to make sure you're squeezing directly to the rear and not to the side.
    Hope that helps-

  3. #3
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    Milford, Pennsylvania
    (Pike County)
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Dry fire. If you are shooting double action, I would guess you are squeezing with your fingertips as you break the shot, or jerking the trigger. Dry firing will show you exactly what you are doing.

    See here for group analysis guidelines:

    http://www.targetshooting.ca/docs/grp-analysis.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by GratefulJack View Post
    What can I do to improve my shooting? The majority of my shots are low and to the left. I am right handed and shooting a S&W 686+ w/ 38 sp 130 grn FMJ. Going to the range is beginning to remind me of my golf game. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  4. #4
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Dry fire with snap caps while holding a sight picture. But the best thing to do is take some classes. Refine what you know and build upon it. Once you get the basics down then you can start shooting some Combat courses and start another level of practice, practice and pratice. There is always going to be some thing else to learn that requires practice. Just like golf you get good by practice and being driven.
    Last edited by Neko456; October 22nd, 2010 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #5
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    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    (Lancaster County)
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    I like to use snap caps, randomly loaded, to clearly show if a flinch (anticipating the shot) is happening. I really think that the use of snap caps makes you a better shooter.

    Also, besides practice practice practice, I'd recommend getting some entry level training. Even the NRA FIRST steps course. It may reveal to you that you are not using the proper grip, breath control, or triger squeeze for accurate shooting.

    Good luck, and WELCOME to the forum!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    the best answer is to get some face-to-face instruction from a quality instructor. there is no substitute for that. even very good shooters do that. it is extremely hard to diagnose your own shooting problems. it is also very hard to diagnose shooting problems over the internet.

    you could be anticipating recoil. you could be jerking the trigger. you could be milking the grip. etc. etc. very hard to know without watching you shoot.

    as mentioned above, dry fire is a a very valuable practice tool. but you have to practice doing the right thing. practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. so, if you practice bad technique, you will only ingrain that bad technique and make it harder to learn to shoot well later. bad practice is actually counter-productive.

    in the meantime, though, google for "todd jarret shooting video" or something like that. he has a few videos out on the web that explain proper grip, etc. very well.

    in general, make sure you have a good grip (see the jarret videos). make sure you are focusing your eyes on the front sight and maintaining sight alignment all the way through the shot. make sure you press the trigger straight back...do not pull it--do not squeeze it--press it, and only it, straight back...and strive for a surprise break.

    at first it should take you a good full second to press the trigger. just apply every so slightly increasing pressure until it breaks...so you do not know when it is going to break. get a good grip. place the pad of your trigger finger (not the tip and not the first knuckle, but in between) on the trigger. take up the slack in the trigger...and then slowly apply ever increasing pressure until it suddenly (and surprisingly) breaks--keeping your focus on the front sight and keeping the sights aligned the whole time.

    keep doing this over and over again. eventually, you can speed up the time frame (increasing the pressure more quickly), but you still want a surprise break.

    also, make sure you follow through. keeps your eye on the front sight all the way through the trigger press. if doing live fire, strive to actually see the sight lift up and come back down. and hold the trigger back through that process (at least at first). don't release it until the sight comes back down on target (you can start to release it as the sight is coming back down later, but at first, just keep it back). then, when you do release the trigger, only release it to the reset point. do not allow your finger to come off the trigger between shots.

    you can teach yourself to shoot well. it is certainly possible. but it is not easy. it is very difficult to self-diagnose shooting issues. imho, it is worth the time and money to seek out some quality instruction.
    Last edited by LittleRedToyota; October 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 PM.
    F*S=k

  7. #7
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    Upper Macungie, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    here is a target to print out, might be of some help.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Answer:
    Training, training, training


    Practice is only beneficial when practicing correct and sound fundamentals. Practice can be detrimental when practice consists of repeating incorrect techniques and methods.

    We train to learn the time proven correct, efficient and techniques and handling that produce the best results downrange. We then practice those skills to refine our ability to repeat them and maintain them.

    Videos are great place to start, but without hands-on the video can not show you what you are doing wrong, even though you think you are doing what the video has instructed. Plus they are limited in only offering generic content, ie: not custom taylored to each students needs and obstacles at getting to where the video is trying to take you. So to say.

    I would recommend live instruction and then obtain videos to help your practice routine.
    _________________________________________

    danbus wrote: ...Like I said before, I open carry because you don't, I fight for all my rights because
    you won't, I will not sit with my thumb up my bum and complain, because you will.
    Remember Meleanie

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Wow! Thanks everyone. I have been lurking around here for a few weeks and I'm sure all of the advice is going to valuable. I went to the range with a friend a few times and the emphasis was centered on safety and range etiquette more than anything. I am eager to start flying on my own. (maybe too eager). I think Pa hit it on the head: Training. Like my golf swing, practicing the same mistakes only make it worse. Again, THANKS!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Landisville, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Besides practice, practice, practice....

    Another question for you folks - aside from the things you've already mentioned.....

    I shoot right handed w/ left eye dominant with glasses/bifocals (near sighted).

    It's very hard for me to focus on the front site with my glasses on. I can easily focus on the front site (and line up rears) with my glasses off (really really blurry target at longer distances).

    Obviously, I need to practice closer range shots with my glasses on specifically for home defense. But for regular target shooting -
    Do people get special prescription glasses to get the sites in focus at an arms reach and still have somewhat recognizable target?

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