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challenging problem shooting handgun, help appreciated


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I have a very good friend, he's taken formal instruction classes, he's been shooting for many years now. he's very safe and has a modern and consistent 2 hand grip, his stance is isosceles i don't think he's slapping the trigger, if so it's very slight?  i know he's prepping the trigger and identifying the reset as we've been taught. he wears glasses but has no significant visual or neurological challenges per se.

 

his overall group size of 10 rounds fired off-hand standing at 12 yards, shooting several high quality pistols,  routinely seem to run around 3.5 inches in width .

 

the problem that he's struggling with is that when he shoots it's almost like he ends up with 2 different groups on a single target from a single 10 round magazine load.....many of the shots will go to a single, rather consistent, point of aim.... and every couple of shots a single shot will end up an inch down and left of the major group.....after 10 rounds it looks like there are 2 distinct groups on the same target. 

 

the total composite group size is not particularly bad....a few of the shots will routinely find the same hole.

 

I've closely watched him shoot for many years now, i don't observe a notable flinch or change in grip or any notable movement of the pistol. It's almost as though his sight picture has changed and then changes back all within the same 10 round magazine.

 

i hope this makes sense.

 

have other's seen this type of problem? any ideas on how to address it. thank you

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Hard to say. Could be 2-20 things going on. What gun? Ammo? Sight? Condition of the gun? Is it possible he is trading dominant eye to weak eye?

 

I would bench rest at 10 yards, you take 10 shots then let him shoot 10. 

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Posted (edited)

thanks

 

the pistol he shoots best is a 9mm Mastershop Sig x5 (or 6, i can't recall). it shoots great, i've shot it many times, very nice small groups. i've seen him do the same thing with 1911s and several other pistols as well even a .22lr pistol. I'm quite confident it's not the platform. they're for the most part  all standard adjustable sights. i think he's planning of purchasing a red dot sight in the coming months.

Edited by wanttolearn
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35 minutes ago, wanttolearn said:

thanks

 

the pistol he shoots best is a 9mm Mastershop Sig x5 (or 6, i can't recall). it shoots great, i've shot it many times, very nice small groups. i've seen him do the same thing with 1911s and several other pistols as well even a .22lr pistol. I'm quite confident it's not the platform. they're for the most part  all standard adjustable sights. i think he's planning of purchasing a red dot sight in the coming months.

 

Sounds like you both can shoot. Hope you figure it out. Ammo maybe? 

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I’m not an expert by any means but it sounds to me as if his focus is switching to the target (looking at the group) rather than the sights. If the issue is happening with various guns then equipment/ammo can be ruled out.

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Also not an expert or a doctor, but it sounds like a vision thing to me.

 

I guessing he has determined his dominant eye.  Perhaps do the dominant eye test ten times to see if it remains the same or flips on occasion.

 

You might also try covering his weak eye while he shoots.

 

In my case my dominant eye is my weaker eye, so the non-dominant eye tries to dominate.

 

One other test might be to have him shoot a group using his weak hand on the trigger.  We tend to concentrate more when using the weak hand.

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Shots going low and left for a right handed shooter is a sign that he is milking the gun with his firing hand, causing shots to be pushed in that direction. Try telling him to relax his firing hand a bit, and squeeze harder with his support hand to compensate.

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If it was anything but "low left" for a right-handed shooter I would be puzzled. As it is, it's almost certainly that he gets the "good group" when he pays attention to the trigger pull and he gets the "low left" when he gets sloppy or tries to rush before his grip is refined enough that he can execute the "fast pull" without disturbing the sights. 

 

Here is a quick test. Have a timer, line up the sights and on buzzer just have him pull the trigger as fast as he can. It should be just the reaction time, no longer than 0.2s. See where the group is - if he has the correct grip, the group will be centered; if not, it will be low-left. If it's need low-left, you know what the problem is. If not, I would be really surprised...

 

There are running joke about low-left groups: Aim high right. Or, adjust the sights to compensate for low-left. (Obviously, these are jokes, do NOT do any of it.) 

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Target panic. 

 

He's anticipating/rushing the shot and likely increasing grip strength with his hand as he pulls the trigger which is what results in low left shots with a right handed shooter. 

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^^^^

Do this multiply times as it sounds like he's not doing it every time.  I use a revolver and load only some chambers, then spin the cylinder and close it with out looking.  Really shows up with a 6" revolver.

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24 minutes ago, Tunachaser said:

^^^^

Do this multiply times as it sounds like he's not doing it every time.  I use a revolver and load only some chambers, then spin the cylinder and close it with out looking.  Really shows up with a 6" revolver.

 

That works.  What works better for me, and I think would help the original poster, is to teach yourself to see the sight lift during recoil.

 

Once you do, you always see it when you disturb the sight prior to recoil and you can call your shots. 

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  • 3 months later...

     The problem is that the right handed shooter is pushing the shots down and to the left in anticipation of the recoil. 

A left handed shooter will push the shots low right. 

     The solution to the problem is the surprise trigger break. 

The surprise break denies the brain the information as to exactly when the shot will release.  So, all of the

autonomic nervous system responses (push, flinch, freeze, tensing, closing eyes, etc.) occur after the bullet has

exited the muzzle.  So, they don't affect the initial velocity vector of the bullet. 

     You achieve the surprise break by not intentionally firing the shot.  Rather, you line up the sights, take the slack

out of the trigger, and smoothly increase pressure on the trigger.  Eventually, the pistol will fire.  But, because you

have not intentionally fired the pistol, you will defeat all autonomic nervous system responses to the recoil and report. 

     Here is one of many techniques for achieving the surprise break.  You now how much pressure is required to 

fire the pistol because you have fired it many times before.  Line up the sights, take the slack out of the trigger, and

apply 1//8th pressure on the trigger, smoothly increase to 2/8ths pressure, gradually increase to 3/8ths pressure,

gently increase to 4/8ths pressure, etc.  I guarantee the pistol will fire before you get to 8/8ths pressure.  And

because you never intended to fire the pistol, you will get a surprise trigger break.  And like magic the bullet will

hit where you intended every time, on demand.  Any sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be magic

to the ignorant.  And the human is God's masterpiece of creation, technology far in advance of anything we understand. 

     I know that any training technique for achieving the surprise break is long and complicated.  But, once the shooter

achieves the epiphany, technique will compress in time and become very fast.  And with practice, the surprise break

can be executed instantly. 

     Some good shooters execute the surprise break without knowing what they are doing.  So, they are good shooters,

but bad instructors, because they cannot explain what they are doing. 

I hope this helps your friend.  Let me know if you need further explanation. 

Cheers,

Jon

Jon_Low@yahoo.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/8/2021 at 8:55 AM, Blackstone45 said:

Shots going low and left for a right handed shooter is a sign that he is milking the gun with his firing hand, causing shots to be pushed in that direction. Try telling him to relax his firing hand a bit, and squeeze harder with his support hand to compensate.

This concept and the TGO Aiming Is Useless video should take care of it.  Lots of dry fire too.

 

Stuff about prepping the trigger and the surprise break don't apply to action shooting.  The break is never a surprise because you're pressing and releasing the trigger with pure intention.  You can slap the heck out of the trigger as long as you know how to keep the gun still during trigger action.

Edited by GunBugBit
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On 7/16/2021 at 2:36 PM, wanttolearn said:

it's tough to change......i think we both strongly internalized prepping the trigger, surprise break...bullseye shooting fundamentals. appreciate the help

I think you both should try to get away from prepping the trigger.  

 

If you have time to do it you're going way too slowly plus it's a good way to end up sending one when you didn't mean to.

 

Personally prepping the trigger always made me anticipate and send shots low.

 

What did you mean by identifying the reset?  Are you guys pinning the trigger back through recoil then letting it out to reset?  If so that's also something you should get away from.  If you're gonna release only to reset do so during recoil.  Some of my pistols have a pretty indistinct reset so I don't even try to find it.  Just release all the way out and pull again.

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1 hour ago, SGT_Schultz said:

I think you both should try to get away from prepping the trigger.  

 

If you have time to do it you're going way too slowly plus it's a good way to end up sending one when you didn't mean to.

If you prep the trigger while going fast, sooner or later you will have a ND. Virtually guaranteed. Been there, done that, stopped doing it. It might just look like a bad shot to someone watching but you will know it's a ND. Then you have to "unlearn" the trigger prep.

 

IIRC, in his book Brian describes getting his gun horizontal and on target in the last 8" or so of his draw stroke. He then transitions his finger to trigger. Safety Rule #3.

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  • 3 weeks later...

thank you...i understand

 

to answer your questions (my friend and myself both took classes from the same instructor so i refer to us in the plural).....after removing the pistol from the holster, having brought it up to eye level and pointing at the target....only then do we begin to prep the trigger as we are extending our arms.

 

after discharge/firing the cartridge and as long as we're on a target we do then steadily release tension on the trigger till feeling the reset point. perhaps our pistols have a more distinct reset point?

 

i very appreciate the help and information

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3 hours ago, wanttolearn said:

thank you...i understand

 

to answer your questions (my friend and myself both took classes from the same instructor so i refer to us in the plural).....after removing the pistol from the holster, having brought it up to eye level and pointing at the target....only then do we begin to prep the trigger as we are extending our arms.

 

after discharge/firing the cartridge and as long as we're on a target we do then steadily release tension on the trigger till feeling the reset point. perhaps our pistols have a more distinct reset point?

 

i very appreciate the help and information

Can you disclose how heavy your trigger is?  I believe that makes the difference whether you need to prep the trigger as oppose to slap it only when ready to shoot, which is depending on a light trigger condition.  If the trigger is 5lb and above, you may not be able to get away from prepping trigger or risking of losing too much time.  The same can be said about DA in hammer gun according to some. 

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