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I just took my new XD 9 out to the range yesterday. I went through about 100 rounds. I have a very limited experience with handguns at the moment, which is why I got an XD!

For some reason, I'm having a harder time shooting accurately at 18 yards. I have a few questions for everyone.

Does the gun need to be "broken" in to shoot accurately? (I was only using 9MM FMJ at the range)

Could it be that I just need more experience with the new firearm?

Does accuracy change that much with different types of ammo?
 

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I just took my new XD 9 out to the range yesterday. I went through about 100 rounds. I have a very limited experience with handguns at the moment, which is why I got an XD!

Congrats! I bought my first handgun in May (an XD-9 Service), so I can very much relate to what you're experiencing. Fun, isn't it?

For some reason, I'm having a harder time shooting accurately at 18 yards. I have a few questions for everyone.

Does the gun need to be "broken" in to shoot accurately? (I was only using 9MM FMJ at the range)

No. The trigger will smooth out as you shoot more (say, 500 rounds or so), but you can accelerate this process by doing dry-fire drills.

Could it be that I just need more experience with the new firearm?

Quite possible. If this is your first one, you're quite possibly jerking the trigger, having trouble with sight target, maybe have grip issues, there's a host of things that might be needing improvement. 18 yards is not an easy distance. As others suggested for me, start at 7 yards and when you can nail that consistently and well, then move out to 15 yards or further.


Does accuracy change that much with different types of ammo?

Not that much. There have been some lots which inexplicably seem to shoot worse, but not horribly so. Since you're new (we all were at one time!), I'd focus more on trigger control and sight picture and breathing to start. Stance and grip also. And work at the shorter distance to gain good control.

If there's any way you can get a lesson from a certified instructor, try to do it. He/she will correct your grip and stance as necessary, watch your technique, etc. etc. If you can, you want to avoid developing bad habits that will take 4 times as long to break as it did to develop them.

Congrats again, and enjoy!
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The gun doesn't need some breaking in, but you probably do. Weather you are an experienced shooter or not, any time you try a new platform there is some of a learning curve usually. Stick with it, the XDs are plenty accurate if you do your job.
 

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I just took my new XD 9 out to the range yesterday. I went through about 100 rounds. I have a very limited experience with handguns at the moment, which is why I got an XD!

For some reason, I'm having a harder time shooting accurately at 18 yards. I have a few questions for everyone.

Does the gun need to be "broken" in to shoot accurately? (I was only using 9MM FMJ at the range)

To shoot accurately no but it will stabilize as the rough edges wear in, this usually happens after about 500 rounds.

Could it be that I just need more experience with the new firearm?

Shooting hand guns is a lot harder than it looks in the movies. You will need to develop the proper skills needed to shoot accurately. The more you practice the better you will get. The are some good books and videos that teach the correct mechanics needed to become a good shooter. Proper grip and trigger squeeze are probably the 2 most important things you need to learn.

Does accuracy change that much with different types of ammo?

The ammunition very significant impact of the accuracy of your gun. I would suggest that you bench rest your gun and try different factory ammo. The bullet weight, type, powder type and charge all greatly impact the flight of the bullet. Your gun will have bullets that it shoots well and others that it will not shoot as well. Finding out this information is part of the fun of shooting and is the primary reason people get into reloading. Reloading is cheaper but it's more about developing the perfect load combination for you and your gun.
Now that you have the gun enjoy learning how to get the most out of it and becoming a better shooter.
 

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I bought a GLOCK 21 .45 ACP about 5 or 6 years ago. At first I loved it. Yeah, I got me a GLOCK .45. Big and scarey with them GLOCK night sights and all. Problem was I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside with that thing. I tried for months to improve. I might shoot better some days then right back in the toilet the next. I almost sold it. I even took it to a gun show with me one time with a price tag on it. Then I read some answers to a post much like yours. I found out what I was experiencing was not unusual. When you change or get a new gun you have to learn how to shoot it. After some adjustments I was on target. I'm so glad I didn't get rid of my G21! I have found that the XD's are a little easier to shoot but the same principles apply. Start with some dry fire. Clear the gun. Make sure no ammo is anywhere near you when doing this. Simply cock the gun and aim at something (safe direction please!) as you slowly pull the trigger. The trick is to pull the trigger without the sights moving off the target or wiggling/shaking/pulling or otherwise moving. I always shot low and left with my GLOCK. I was pushing the muzzle to the left and then down as I pulled the trigger. I found out this was very common for first time GLOCK owners. Happy shooting!
 
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