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Discussion Starter #1
So, went to the range today for the 11th time in my life, just to give you a sense of my experience level.

I have been struggling lately, applying every aspect of good target shooting I've been able to pick up, but still consistently shooting low and/or left. Of course, one picks up certain epiphanies along the way. Besides a good stance and grip, here are the things I have learned that are important to me:

1. Let the grip pinky finger float. Squeezing the pinky when firing causes low shots, of course.
2. Don't grip too tight with the support hand. This will also cause you to shoot low and/or left.
3. Pull the trigger straight back and let the trigger break surprise you. (Not really surprise you, but you know what I mean...)
4. Don't squeeze too hard with grip hand. Grip the gun hard enough to manage recoil but not so hard that the muzzle is shaking.

But what I found out today came simply from trial and error. The correct and accepted way to pull the trigger is straight back with the pad of the grip index finger. For me, this is wrong. I guess I have bigger hands and longer fingers than I thought because using the pad of my index finger was causing me to push the gun left.

5. I have big enough hands that I have to use the first joint when pulling the trigger. I've found that I have way more control and I don't push the muzzle left when I fire. I guess Massad Ayoob was on to something there.

Does anyone else have any secrets – tricks that help accuracy that you won't really find in a shooting article or book?

Here is my target from today. 40 rounds in the center mass and 10 in the head. A few low shots from rushing and jerking the trigger, but pretty decent otherwise. I wish I had the money to shoot much more...

Gun: Ruger SR1911
Ammo: Federal Champion 230 gr. FMJ
Distance: 7 yards



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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Hifever. I have about 400 rounds through her so far. It's been an excellent gun. I had one failure to feed in the first 150 rounds, and that was on a weird-shaped +P 185 gr. Corbon JHP (not DPX). The gun was also really dirty from shooting over 100 rounds of dirty range ammo beforehand. Not a hiccup since, with different types of rounds. The polished feed ramp and barrel throating is really nice on this gun. Trigger has broken in nicely – smooth pull and crisp break. Kicks my XD-9's trigger's a$$ all over the place. I officially shoot this way better than my XD-9. At first, I shot them about the same. After getting used to the 1911 grip, trigger and single-action, I have far surpassed the mushy, long trigger travel capabilities of a polymer striker-fire. Still love my XD-9, though. I have 1100 rounds through my SA with not a single malfunction.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
80 views and no shooting tips. Weak. I guess I should have titled the thread "SHOT MY FINGER OFF TODAY WITH MY BRAND NEW XDm .40!!!"
 

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That's pretty good shooting!
To get better you just need more range time or a rest.
 

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80 views and no shooting tips. Weak. I guess I should have titled the thread "SHOT MY FINGER OFF TODAY WITH MY BRAND NEW XDm .40!!!"
Well, I re-read the 4 tidbits you picked up, and to be honest, I think you nailed it! Something I saw mentioned lately was with regard to shooting stance. It has been said to put the non-dominant foot ahead of your dominant foot (i.e. - left foot forward for a right-hander). I'd always stood square to the target, feet shoulder width apart, but this new way has allowed me to lean into the stance better than squared, which generally ended up with me leaning back slightly to counteract the weight of the gun. I might not be explaining it correctly, but it has helped me.
Another tip that has helped me was to keep my arms extended fully, not slightly bent. It sends the recoil evenly back through my arms, which noticeably reduces the feeling of recoil. It felt like before, my elbows were trying to take the recoil, and it made "snap-back". Whereas after, the vector of force evenly transferred through my arms, with no obvious "collection spots" like the elbow.

And, as a warning, I might be totally bass-ackwards, but it helped me, figured I'd pass it along!
 

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Looks like you figured it out yourself, I would have guessed there was a flinch.I want a ruger 1911 to, but mamma says I gotta take her to Vegas for a week.shoot alot and make it all second nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks, dudes.

I'd say I am slightly above average right now. Not too hard to hit center target at 7 yards. When I can put some lead on center target at 25 yards, then I'll say I'm getting somewhere...
 

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80 views and no shooting tips. Weak. I guess I should have titled the thread "SHOT MY FINGER OFF TODAY WITH MY BRAND NEW XDm .40!!!"
one thing I like to do, not sure where or even when I learned it: push/pull - pushing forward with the strong hand, pulling back with the weak hand - of course gotta create a balance, and this is not an over exertion, just a nice balance. Let's the trigger finger float against the trigger without shifting. Works against a tendency to anticipate recoil which otherwise can cause a push over giving low shots. Man, this is hard to explain in text. Works really well on my six week old SR1911 :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, Croesius. I too could not decide for a while whether a squared stance or a staggered stance was better. I have concluded that, for me, a slightly staggered stance is the best.
 

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Well sorry no accuracy tips just conformation of what you already know. I have long finger and I find that depending on the length of pull I have to either shoot with my first joint or the pad inbetween the first and second joint or I shoot low and left. Though if I try shooting with my pad on a grip thats too big I shoot high and right. I never thought about what I was doing with my pinky so I learned something from you. On the subject of you shooting better with your .45 I have never been able to shoot a 9mm as well as I shoot .45's. Something about the way the guns recoil I guess. Not as good with My XDM .40 either though I am getting there. A good way to get some practice without spending the money at the range is to get some snap caps and do some dry fire practice. Concentrate on a good grip and trigger control. I practice takeing up the slack on my XDM in one fluid motion without releasing the striker. Then I try to fire it from there without the sights moving at all. I also try to draw and shoot from three differn't holsters. I used to do quick draw for a wild west show using an 1858 remington caplock, drawing a revolver and drawing a semi-auto are two completely differn't animals.
 

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Oh and I use a staggered stance, the modified horse stance to be exact. Learned it from karate and tai-kwon-do. I found that it works for pretty much everything. Atleast i think it's a staggered stance, anyway modified horse stance.
 

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Last friday at the range I went through 200 rounds of wwb out of my 40 XDMc. I pretty much started working on exactly what you were doing. Noticed a bunch of things I was doing incorrectly and started getting the feeling of the weapon better. Think 2-3 more trips to the range myself and I should be not shooting low anymore.

I use the push/pull method on my arms and it works out pretty well for me as I have pretty small arms. I was pulling the trigger slow and steady and bam! the bullet hit poi. But I started trying to rush my shots and started shooting low again. So I'm going to take it very slow next time and speed my trigger up gradually.

I'm only shooting a little low so I think if I had to draw and fire on someone I probably would be causing some nasty stomach lung damage.

I haven't tried any other ammo yet but I plan on buying a box of JHP to take with me to the range next time.
 

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It's hard to give tips that you can't read anywhere on the internet without actually seeing you shoot. Different things work for different shooters. A target from 7 yards with a 1911 isn't exactly the best indicator either. Don't think I'm being a dick, I'm just saying that something from farther out would give a better impression of the things you might be doing. A video of you shooting would also help. It sounds like you have a great start to some good shooting though. Practice the correct way and you'll likely figure it all out on your own anyways.

If I lived in your area, I'd have you shooting out the X at 25 yards in no time. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, dudes.

I'd say I am slightly above average right now. Not too hard to hit center target at 7 yards. When I can put some lead on center target at 25 yards, then I'll say I'm getting somewhere...
It's hard to give tips that you can't read anywhere on the internet without actually seeing you shoot. Different things work for different shooters. A target from 7 yards with a 1911 isn't exactly the best indicator either. Don't think I'm being a dick, I'm just saying that something from farther out would give a better impression of the things you might be doing. A video of you shooting would also help. It sounds like you have a great start to some good shooting though. Practice the correct way and you'll likely figure it all out on your own anyways.

If I lived in your area, I'd have you shooting out the X at 25 yards in no time. ;)
None taken, SnowBlazer, as you can see from my post above. I actually often misjudge my distances at the range. When I first started shooting I didn't know how close 7 yards really was. I was actually shooting somewhere in the 10-12 yard range. I actually shoot 7-10 yards pretty much the same. When I get beyond 10 yards it starts to get more difficult.
 

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shoot longer ranges, keep your eyes open, and learn to call your shots. Once you figure out where your shots are going without seeing the holes in the paper, you will learn more quickly what you are doing wrong when you make poor shots.

bone support
sight alignment
sight picture
trigger control
breathing

fundamentals.
 

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For me it was all a psychological game, I would think about too many things like how is my stance, my grip, am I squeezing the trigger right at the bottom of my exhale, where did my shot go....etc. and it felt like I got nowhere after the session. Now I just think of two things: sight picture and trigger squeeze and thats it, my last session was better than I expected since i also had rented a BG 38 and LCR prior to shooting my regulars. The heavy pull of their triggers helps with really concentrating on the trigger squeeze and I say thats what got me shooting the autos better.
 

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3. Pull the trigger straight back and let the trigger break surprise you.
I took this to heart. Every time I fire a shot, I jump and scream "OH SH!T!!!" It really helped my shooting.

Another tip that has helped me was to keep my arms extended fully, not slightly bent. It sends the recoil evenly back through my arms, which noticeably reduces the feeling of recoil. It felt like before, my elbows were trying to take the recoil, and it made "snap-back". Whereas after, the vector of force evenly transferred through my arms, with no obvious "collection spots" like the elbow.
I tend to bend my elbows out a little, it causes them to take the impact but the muzzle flip is a lot smaller. If I start with my arms straight and bend the elbow slightly down it causes the muzzle to flip up more than normal. If I keep the elbow completely straight I feel like my entire body shakes a little too much and it becomes too hard to keep a good sight picture for quick follow up shots.

I'm also a very new shooter though, so that's just how I feel. I'm definitely not an expert
 

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You're definitely combat accurate WW!

Unfortunately, you'll never get any more accurate with that Ruger, you should post it for sale here immediately for a low price and just get rid of it before everyone else has one and you're stuck with it! Hurry! :p

JK, that's a nice new pistol!!!!!!!:D I'd add really watching that front sight in your sight picture as you press back on the trigger - dry fires or live - against a white rather than black target center. Pay careful attention to the front sight's movement, and you'll notice exactly when you begin to move off target, and you can quickly determine where in your trigger press you're doing it. And your follow through, too, be aware of that.

I also tend to shoot primarily with a slightly staggered stance, better weight distribution, waist rotation for target transition, arms extended but not locked, allowing my arms and body to better manage flip and recoil. Not too staggered tho, that puts you off balance at too many angles. I don't worry much about presenting a wider profile against a paper target - and my 3/4 profile is about the same as my full-on! :rolleyes:

I agree with shooting a lil farther out, move to say 15-20 yards or so, and you'll have a better picture on paper of what you're doing and specific actions to take to adjust (that pie-chart target with the shooting tips on it comes to mind).

Try a smaller target. Aim small, hit small. A smaller target will force you to focus more to make the hit, and to be more aware of what you are doing.

Best secret tip trick of all is no secret and has been mentioned already . . . . .more rounds downrange - whooooo hoooot!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D

Have a great time!!!
 
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