First time shooting Ruger LCP

Discussion in 'Non-XD Handguns' started by phmann, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. phmann

    phmann XDTalk 100 Member

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    First of all, I'm either a horrible shot with my xd40, or a great shot with the LCP; With both guns I was achieving 6 inch groupings at 10 yards. Is that bad for a service size pistol?? The LCP is an amazingly accurate gun!

    I shot 95 grain FMJ rounds.

    It was painful to shoot. After three magazines (18 rounds), the webbing of my hand hurt and so did my trigger finger. The lightness and slimness of the gun puts a pounding on your hand. The trigger knocks your finger hard during the recoil as well.

    I shot it with the Ruger extension and the Pierce extension; didn't notice much of a difference as far as accuracy or comfort.

    I had one failure to extract in the first magazine. That was it.

    Overall I am impressed! My 10 foot gut-buster turns out to be a 10 yard Center Mass weapon. It was not fun to shoot because of the recoil distributed over such a small area: painful.

    The LCP serves my needs; a practical, ultra concealable, lightweight, accurate, self defense weapon.

     
  2. eb_311

    eb_311 XDTalk 1K Member

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    That's good to know. I just bought one and haven't fired it yet. I polished the barrel and feed ramp already though because I heard it makes it more reliable.
     
  3. Mad Pick

    Mad Pick XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    It sounds like you're a good shot with your LCP. I have one too, and I agree -- it ain't fun to shoot! It'll never be the gun you take to the range for fun, but of course it's a great weapon for carrying.
     
  4. treehugger49

    treehugger49 XDTalk 1K Member

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    ^^^^^ I agree. And Crimson Trace lasergrips make a nice accessory for the LCP if you find yourself in close-quarters defense mode unable to extend to your normal grip/sight picture.
     
  5. malveaux

    malveaux XDTalk 100 Member

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  6. mdc

    mdc XDTalk Newbie

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    While searching the forum for xdm springs--I find it in an LCP discussion.

    Thanks for the link--I tried to go to wolf directly and got there--but they did not list xdm stuff--usung yours I got there and ordered some springs!!
     
  7. mdc

    mdc XDTalk Newbie

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    Oh, yeah--I have one of those,too. I did not experience any real problems with my LCP and it was far more comfortable to shoot than my NAA Guardian .380--That one you want to wrap your index finger in a bandaid before you pull the trigger!:cool:
     
  8. lutheranpriest

    lutheranpriest XDTalk 1K Member

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    I've got an LCP and just sold my XD to get an HK USP 45. With your XD and your LCP I'd bet you'll notice an improvement in your accuracy if you maintain a deathgrip on the pistol. (Same goes for any semi-auto pistol) I've practiced time and time again the push-pull method, pushing foward with your strong hand while pulling back with your weak hand. I noticed a substantial improvement in my accuracy, and I shoot pretty damn well with my LCP.

    As an exercise, next time you're shooting, practice taking aim first, then watch your trigger finger as you pull the trigger. I've seen many experienced shooters flinch or jerk their finger when squeezing the trigger. You could try this with snap caps, but it isn't as much fun. :D Besides, if you're practicing with live ammo, you'll have more realistic practice. As the old saying goes, with any quality firearm, you do your part, the gun will do its part.
     
  9. scooter123

    scooter123 XDTalk 1K Member

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    This illustrates the problem that I have with these "pocket" pistols. IMO the 380 is a "head shot" caliber because that is what it will take for a rapid stop. This means that a 6 inch grouping at 30 feet is not acceptable, because you need a well centered head shot to insure penetration and not have the round glance off the skull. So, if your going to carry one of these guns as a primary SD weapon, you really do need to put in enough practice to maintain a 4 inch, or better, proficiency level. Even if you are left bleeding after every practice session.

    If your carrying it as a BUG, this level of accuracy isn't as necessary. Most of the time when you resort to a BUG, your going to be in contact range or close to contact range. So, you don't really need to be able to shoot it that well. However I would still recommend enough practice to maintain a decent level of proficiency.

    Some may think this critique is a bit harsh. Just remember that any gun you rely on to defend your life MUST be a weapon that you shoot well enough to do that. With the lighter calibers shot placement is more important than it is with a larger caliber. So, if your going to rely on a light caliber, you really do need to make sure you shoot it very well. I'm not being harsh, just honest and telling you that you need to shoot that LCP better than you are now.

    As for your shooting with your XD-40, there is room for improvement there also. In slow fire you should be doing your best to get your grouping at 30 feet below 3 inches.

    Tips follow.
     
  10. scooter123

    scooter123 XDTalk 1K Member

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    Tips for better shooting.

    Don't squeeze the XD-40 hard with your strong hand, relax your grip so that your hold is steady without any shake. If you feel you need a firmer grip on the gun, squeeze your strong hand with your support hand. You'll find when you do this that it's almost instinctive to go into a "push/pull" action between your support and strong hand with the strong hand pushing.

    Trigger stroke One. This is critical for good shooting. Start out by pulling the trigger in a very slow and steady motion. As your doing this, watch your sights for movement while your are pulling the trigger. If you see movement in your sights during the trigger stroke, adjust the position of your finger on the trigger until you see the minimum movement of your sights during the trigger pull. For most shooters the best placement of the finger on the trigger is having a point midway between the center of the Distal Pad and Distal Crease centered on the trigger. However, people do vary so experiment with how you position your finger on the trigger and use what works best for you.

    Trigger Stroke Two. The ideal motion for pulling a trigger is in one smooth continuous motion without any "hitches" or jerks. Start out by pulling the trigger as slowly as you possibly can in one smooth motion. Don't try and anticipate when the gun will fire, let it come as a complete surprise. Just hold the gun on target and let it fire on it's own. When you do this, you will start to see your groupings really tighten up. To the point where you may find yourself saying "did I do that?". Yeah, you did do that and it really is that easy. Once you have mastered the "slow motion" trigger pull, then you can start to speed it up. However, build your speed up slowly in increments. BTW, you should expect that speeding up your trigger stroke to take many sessions at the range. The key is to ramp up to full speed in small increments so that you build into a very smooth full speed trigger stroke. Also, pay attention to what you are doing with your trigger finger and if you find yourself starting to jerk it, slow down to the point where you stay smooth.

    Sighting. Once you've developed a good slow motion trigger pull it's time to check the sighting on your pistol. For this you will want to use a 180 grain range load because that is the bullet weight that your XD-40 is sighted for. Consult your owners manual for the sight picture on your XD-40 so that you are aware of the proper sight picture. Using that sight picture, aim you gun dead center on the target while supporting the heel of your strong hand on the shooting bench. Fire 5 rounds at the center of the target in slow fire using your slow motion trigger stroke and hold the gun as steady as possible. If the gun shoots left or right, it means that you probably need to "drift" your rear sight a bit. To move the group right, you drift the rear sight to the right, to go left, drift the rear sight to the left. If it's only a tiny bit off, leave it alone and just correct your point of aim a touch. If your find the gun is shooting high, that is a grip issue. Specifically, it indicates that you need to firm up your grip. If it shoots low, it indicates that you're holding the gun too firmly. Yes, grip can influence elevation. These guns exhibit muzzle some muzzle flip while the bullet is transiting the barrel. The sighting from the factory is tuned for the amount of bore transit recoil exhibited by the average experienced shooter. Many new shooters put a death grip on their guns and shoot low as a consequence. What you want to do is discover the proper level of grip on the gun that yields hits to the sights. If you have been over-gripping your gun, you will be a bit surprised at how relaxed that grip is. Point is, Bench Shooting to the sights serves two purposes, one being that you find if your sights need correction, the second being that you learn how hard you need to hold your pistol. Finally, it provides a bit of a boost to the ego, something we all need from time to time.

    Grip. For a 2 hand hold I am a proponent of the Combat Grip. Check Brian Eno's web sight for pictures of this grip. Basically, take the gun in your strong hand and point that thumb straight forward. Now bring your support hand up so that the index finger is under the trigger guard and wrap it around your strong hand with the heel of the support hand tucked into the gap between the fingers of the strong hand and the heel of the strong hand. Now take your strong hand thumb and place it on the heal of the support hand thumb. At this point, both of your thumbs should be pointing forward with the support hand thumb almost resting on the takedown lever. One thing you do NOT want to do is put your support hand index finger on the front of the trigger guard. Yeah, I know, trigger guards today are hooked and serrated for doing this, however it's been proven time and again that the finger on the front of the trigger guard will "steer" the gun during bore transit recoil and cause poor groupings. As for older grip styles such as the "teacup hold" or "wrist support hold" they work fairly well for slow fire but don't permit as much control during recoil and impede rapid fire.

    PS; a lot of this will also apply to shooting your LCP. However the grip on the LCP is so small that it's goind to require that you experiment with it and find what works for you. It may be that the best hold for that gun is a "teacup" hold or you may find it easier to shoot with just one hand. All I can do is recomend that you experiment and find what works for you. BTW, I cannot shoot light weight guns, I tried a S&W 442 once and just 15 rounds with that was enough to cause my mild tunnel carpal to flare up and cripple my right hand for a full week. So, don't ask me for any tips on that featherweight because I'll start carrying a hammer before I'll ever shoot one of those again.
     
  11. Billsimswill

    Billsimswill XDTalk 500 Member

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    Hey Scooter 123 I do think you are a bit harsh and also wrong. I think if I shot you six or seven times in the chest or upper torso area with some 380 defensive ammo that you will come to a fairly rapid stop. In fact I will bet on it !
     
  12. scooter123

    scooter123 XDTalk 1K Member

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    Tips for rapid fire shooting.

    Once you have mastered slow fire with a full speed trigger stroke, it's time to start speeding things up. If you're shooting at a range with firing rate rules, talk to them about allowing you to start working on speed drills. If you've been putting in a lot of practice, by this time they will know your skills and that they can trust you. Once that happens most ranges will allow rapid fire for known shooters at times when the range is empty or nearly empty. However, if the range starts to fill up, they will probably ask you to slow down so you don't influence the newly arrived shooters. What you want to do is comply and work on slow fire drills. Most of us never do enough weak hand only shooting and it's a good time to practice this skill.

    Sighting for rapid fire. All the gun rags currently recomend that you watch your front sight. I will tell you right now that they are WRONG. What you want to do is pick One Single Point on your target and focus on that point. Bring the gun up until the sights interpose on an imaginary line between that point and your eye. After a shot, bring the gun back to that imaginary line and stroke the trigger as soon as the sights are aligned. The reason why the gun rags are wrong is pretty simple. When you watch the front sight, and focus on the front sight, your eye will follow that sight during recoil. So, you will have to re-acquire your target point and doing this takes time. If you follow that bouncing sight, you will be wasting valuable time. In addition, focusing on just one point on the target will keep you "on point" and you will actually group tighter by focusing on the target. Now, this doesn't mean that you don't pay attention to the sights, it just means that you use your Peripheral Vision for this task, not your Primary Vision. BTW, I should also tell you that I am so far sighted that it's impossible for me to focus on the front sight at any indoor range. So, I can tell you that it's not at all difficult to sight using fuzzy dots, I've been doing it for years.

    Now for building up speed. This takes time and practice. It's also helpful to have a shot timer so you can track what you are doing. However, shot timers do NOT work well at a busy indoor range, shooters in the other lanes can cause false triggers on the timer despite an adjustable sensitivity setting. The problem is that any gun that sounds as loud at your shooting position will trigger the timer no matter how you adjust the sensitivity.

    Step one is to start at an intermediate distance (20 to 30 feet) and to shoot at a 1 second interval. At first your groupings will open up but in time they will tighten up as you learn. You also want to practice using 5 shot strings at first and shoot each string into a new area on the target. This will allow you to keep track of every single hit. Once you start shooting groups in the 3 to 4 inch range, it's time to step up your speed. One thing that is helpful for setting a firing rate is to use a stop watch and time yourself saying a specific word. Basically the old "one steamboat" trick. For a 1 second interval, say "one steamboat" in your head, for a 7/10 second interval, cut it down to "steamboat", the word "steam" should get you down around 1/2 second. Keep repeating that "key" phrase in your head and pull the trigger at the end of that "key". Once you hit the 1/2 second interval, your doing quite well for derensive purposes. However, if you want to succeed in competition, you'll need to up your pacing. For that you'll really need to purchase a shot timer because in competition tenths matter. Just remember, pick a pacing and shoot at that pace until you hit your goal for group size. Then step up the pacing to the next level and work the group size down.

    Finally, there is what I call "Transition" shooting. Basically this is when you shift your point of aim. Start out with the Failure Drill, a double tap to COM and one to the head. This is an area where I am a bit weak. For me, re-focusing on a new target point takes too much time. IMO it's a skill that can only be obtained with a lot of practice. For that, the best way to get in good practice is to start shooting in competitions such as IDPA. Just remember the key to all of this is built on a foundation of a good trigger stroke, a steady grip, and building slowly.
     
  13. phmann

    phmann XDTalk 100 Member

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    Do some research on .380 auto ballistics. It is impressive, passes easily 10+ inches of ballistics gellatin, and opens up enough to meet civilian self defense criteria.

    In some tests, it outperformed .40 SW (the box o truth): the larger calibers kept having jacket seperation and some broke apart in the first 3 inches of gellatin equivalent.

    I shot a steel railed chair and put holes right through the steel with the .380.

    I'm not worried about stopping power.
     
  14. Mercmar

    Mercmar XDTalk 5K Member

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    Not harsh, just a little naive and condescending. :cool:
     
  15. lutheranpriest

    lutheranpriest XDTalk 1K Member

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    Amen Brotha!

    I think Scooter copied and pasted from some Wikipedia article.

    This summer, while I was irritated at the heat while setting up the trellis for my grapes, I took a few shots off-hand with ball ammo in my LCP. I had used a section of 4x4 lumber to use as for sledging the 4' deep support brackets into the ground. I landed every shot at about 15', some grazing shots, but the ones that hit fully penetrated the 4x4. No slugs to extract from the wood, just holes. :mrgreen:

     

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