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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have posted a few other threads around the forum, just like to say first thanks for everyone's advice.

my background:
new to handgun shooting, i have become fairly decent with my ruger p95 9mm i own and i would like to get as competent or better with my xdm45. i have read a lot and watched a lot of videos and figured i would ask here what is the best way to become comfortable and solid with my new xdm45.

some things i have noticed:
obviously grip and trigger pull is king! i always tend to shoot left and sometimes a bit high. i have noticed that when i am off, if i rotate my whole grip/wrist clockwise just a bit i stop shooting to the left. i am just amazed in these videos of guys shooting extremely quickly, accurately and watching their hands and wrist the gun barely moves. any pointers or suggestions?

most will probably want to respond with: just get out and shoot as much as you can which i am trying to do. the range is about 15 mins away. what is the minimum amount of rounds you would suggest i shoot every week?

also, i am trying to go shooting with the local gun dealer. he owns over 200 guns and seems extremely proficient and it would probably be a great way to learn.
 

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great Q's.... yes I shoot well for a new guy but it just feels like my gun is moving a little more than it should when fired.
 

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Find a reputable trainer in your area, and have a few sessions with him/her.

Just buying ammo and blasting on your own is a great way to ingraine bad habits.

ETA--dry firing your pistol is not a bad thing, however. Buy some snap caps and have at it.
 

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There are some inexpensive ways to improve your trigger finger action.

1) anytime you have a free moment, make your gun hand like it's holding a gun and "pull the trigger". Carefully watch the rest of your fingers and hand. You want them to not move --at all. Try different things like totally loose whole hand to totally hard gripping the whole hand. For me, I can only get the isolation of the trigger finger when the whole hand is loose. Nice thing - this is free and unless you go "pow! pow!" few people will guess that's what you're doing.
If you're caught, just tell them that you were working out electric field theory with the right hand rule. Google it up. Who knows, they might give you respect...

2) dry fire with a spent case balanced standing up on the front sight post. You should be able to fire the gun without spilling the case off. I can and it didn't take that long to get there. ONLY use the front post! It helps you to focus on the font sight -- which is good for accuracy.

3) buy a cheap "low profile laser sight" off ebay. They are as low as $19.99 including a battery and shipping. These are NOT high quality units, so don't get your hopes up. But, when used while dry firing, you can watch how much your gun bobbles around as you fire. The one I have is now filled with RTV to isolate, stabilize and waterproof the electronics and has been flawless for 1000+ rounds of .40. Not bad for $20!

4) buy snap caps and have someone randomly mix in 0-4 in each mag so you have no clue where they are or how many there are. Obviously, this is an at the range thing!!! Fire and when you hit that "dud", determine if you flinched or not. Works if you video your self or have a buddy watch you. Double your benefit and perform a mis-fire clearance drill and get back to shooting as if your life depended on it.

5) Take the gun apart and lightly polish the striker and sear where they interface. That will smooth up the trigger quite a lot. A small amount of gun grease (I use synthetic disc brake grease and feel any quality grease will work - other have differing opinions) to the bearing points and wear points on the sear and striker will make it feel smoother too. Small is barely visible by the way.

6) Install a quality trigger kit like the PRP ultimate or equivalent from Springer Precision. I think the PRP kit is much easier to install and with the polished striker and revised sear it's (my opinion) the best deal on the market currently in the DIY category. Different story if you have it done by a master gunsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@john_bud

thanks! that is more along the line i was looking for and you give some great tips. filming yourself is a great way! i found my issue by having a friend record me with my cell phone.

i can dry fire with the case balancing on the top of the site no problem. i will look into the laser and i was going to pick up some snap caps anyway. thanks!
 

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John Bud gave you some good pointers. A couple other tips:

1. When you shoot, make sure you have a good grip (plenty of examples on YouTube and this forum) and squeeze the grip of the weapon as hard as you can. Your hands should actually start to tremble from the muscle fatigue related to the grip. This will minimize the sympathetic movement of the three other fingers on your strong hand when you squeeze the trigger. Re-grip the weapon after each shot fired if you have to.

2. Lock your elbows to absorb the recoil.
 

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John Bud gave you some good pointers. A couple other tips:

1. When you shoot, make sure you have a good grip (plenty of examples on YouTube and this forum) and squeeze the grip of the weapon as hard as you can. Your hands should actually start to tremble from the muscle fatigue related to the grip. This will minimize the sympathetic movement of the three other fingers on your strong hand when you squeeze the trigger. Re-grip the weapon after each shot fired if you have to.

2. Lock your elbows to absorb the recoil.

Those methods may work for you, but others (myself included) do far better when I grip the gun just hard enough to keep it from falling out of my hand. Elbows just enough tension to be called "springy".

That's why it's always good to try different methods. The exact opposite of what you are doing may actually be better!
 

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Those methods may work for you, but others (myself included) do far better when I grip the gun just hard enough to keep it from falling out of my hand. Elbows just enough tension to be called "springy".

That's why it's always good to try different methods. The exact opposite of what you are doing may actually be better!
I'm suggesting this as a starting point to eliminate common errors. Once an individual has more experience with their weapon, a more relaxed stance - like you described - is generally better.
 

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Squeezing until you hand starts to tremble is not recommended. What experts say is squeeze as hard as possible without trembling. Pull the trigger straight back while not squeezing your other fingers. Practice good habits not bad ones.
Don't lock you elbows.
Grip with strong hand (right if you're right handed) hard but not overly hard, grip with your weak hand as hard as possible without starting to tremble.

Practice this. I call it air gun, you air guitar. Make like your holding your gun grip finger curved but not touch the palm, trigger finger extended as if it was in the trigger. Now pull the trigger (straight back) not at an angle. Make sure that when you do this your grip finger don't move or barely move. Practice this "air gun" and your groups will get better.
Shooting fast: Learn to track your front sights as they gun recoils. When the gun goes off, see the front sight lift and then move back down on target. Pull the trigger as soon as the sight is aligned to the target again. You must see the sights move up and down before you can shoot fast. Know that the sights were on target as you pulled the trigger and the gun went off (call your shots). You should have a very good idea as to where the bullet hit as soon as the gun goes off. Practice calling your shots. Fire a round into the target without looking at the target after shooting it, make a mental note of where the bullet hole should be, now look at the target. Is the bullet hole where you said it was going to be?
 

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I'm suggesting this as a starting point to eliminate common errors. Once an individual has more experience with their weapon, a more relaxed stance - like you described - is generally better.
This only re-enforces bad habits.
 

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Those methods may work for you, but others (myself included) do far better when I grip the gun just hard enough to keep it from falling out of my hand. Elbows just enough tension to be called "springy".

That's why it's always good to try different methods. The exact opposite of what you are doing may actually be better!
Very true ... I find the same holds true for me.

Just enough to keep from dropping the gun (I call it relaxed) ... Then again, perhaps our grip hand is stronger than some, due to years of shooting ;)

ETA:
Actually,
I think shooting strength is more in the wrist, anyway.
 

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The reason I recommend doing it until your hand starts to tremble is most new shooters I've worked with tend not to squeeze hard enough. As an instructor, I can't tell how hard they're squeezing unless I see their hands start to tremble. If I'm working on them 1:1, I'll usually tell them to squeeze until they start to tremble then back off just a bit.

I disagree that it creates or reinforces bad habits. It's breaking a "bad habit" - the sympathetic squeezing of the three non-trigger fingers on the strong hand. It's a temporary thing to demonstrate to the shooter what is causing them to miss.

Once they've demonstrated to themselves that they can hit what they're aiming at, we move on to a more relaxed grip and arm position.

FWIW, it takes 21 repetitions, on average, to form a habit. Most new shooters that I've worked with only have to do this drill 1-3 times to understand the mechanics of what's happening.
 

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Mudinyeri, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
yeah everything i have read and watched agrees with agalindo. never lock your elbows and keep a firm grip but not too tight (no white knuckles). i will try and watch the front site move up and down. i will admit, i have a bad habit of a long blink during recoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
shot extremely better today!!! i was surprised if i didn't hit the circle from various distances (10m - 25m).

felt a lot more comfortable and consistent. focusing on the front site was a big help for quick, accurate shooting and i actually found myself shooting more accurate by shooting somewhat quickly and just thinking a lot less.

gun felt great, no problems at all.

i still shoot 1-3 inches to the left pretty consistently ... will have to work on it.
 
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