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Looking for help in shooting handguns

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by padd54, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. padd54

    padd54 Central Oregon/Cascades Active Member

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    I am looking for someone to help me become a better shooter with my handguns. I would like it to be one-on-one in Central Oregon.

    Please give me some ideas.

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Maybe when it warms up a little a few of us in CO can get together for a shoot/meetup you could attend. I have some great spots near Sunriver/Vandervert road area to shoot. Then maybe beers and burgers at Vic's bubblegum in Wickiup Junction afterwards.
  3. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Try this chart, it helped me. Reverse image it your a lefty.
  4. bluesurf

    bluesurf Portland Active Member

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    jbett98, that is a great idea. I will use that! Thanks!
  5. bluesurf

    bluesurf Portland Active Member

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    7SFCW4, GB3, Glock Jock and 4 others like this.
  6. teflon97239

    teflon97239 Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Aside from the standard things we all do with our front sights, posture, breathing, slow squeeze, bifocals, etc., I've found a couple really good ways to be more consistent with wheel guns and semis.

    No one likes to believe they flinch, but there's a subconscious tendency inside most shooters to do it, certainly with hand cannons and surprisingly with little popguns, too. Try this. Have a shooting buddy load your favorite revolver while you're not looking then hand it to you. If they include one or more spent rounds (so you're not dropping the firing pin on an empty hole) any hint of a flinch will be obvious and immediate when you hear "CLICK." Inches! Big macho dudes might be embarrased, but the goal is to improve, yes? Repeat and repeat. You'll be a better pistol shooter in less than a box of shells. Run this drill often and your accuracy will improve drastically.

    Concentrate and hang onto your trigger AFTER the discharge. Keep it depressed. Breathe and reacquire your sight picture. Once you're ready to shoot again, slowly ease off the trigger until you feel it reset. This takes place on most pistols before the trigger is all the way forward again, so don't let it go that far. Start your next squeeze from there, eliminating all the extra travel. Even a tiny fraction of an inch in your hand can translate into a big, frustrating miss just a few yards away. Some pistols and custom trigger kits allow you to adjust the reset. Nice. Anyway, if your finger comes off the trigger after each shot, or recoil is moving the pistol around in your hand, you're adding the variable of having to get a new grip every time. Accuracy suffers.

    .22 is cheap for practice, and both skill-sets will transfer their way into your Dirty Harry special.

    I'm hardly an expert, but these two drills really tightened me up, and I helped more than a few friends get into the black when they tried the same things.

    I think everyone can agree that consisency with whatever you do is very important. Good luck!
    GB3, bluesurf, Sgt Nambu and 3 others like this.
  7. padd54

    padd54 Central Oregon/Cascades Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input. I would be intersted in a meet up when the weather breaks, keep me in mind.

    What distance do most of you shoot?
  8. chariot13

    chariot13 Near Eugene/Springfield Well-Known Member

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    Always consider it might be your handgun. Especially with the handguns that have fixed sights. A little kentucky windage is needed on them sometimes. Or a gentle hammer tap or two to correct works sometimes also.
  9. Sheldon

    Sheldon California Member

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    The human body does not generally like the loud bang, muzzle flash, and the recoil of the weapon. If you can eliminate as much of those three components as possibe you will be able to flinch less and that should translate to shooting better. As your body acclimates to those three components you will shoot better, but sometimes in the beginning it is a bit overwhelming to the senses.

    Good ear protection to reduce the muzzle blast is helpful if you're sensitive to that. In indoor ranges I would aways double up using ear plugs under ear muffs.

    Bringing the target in closer helped me a lot too. It made any error in sight alignment less obvious so the groups were smaller than if the target were farther out. This helps in a couple of ways. One, it boosts one confidence in a smaller grouping, but more importantly it allowed me to see immediately where the shot went and that mde it easier for me to realize when I flinched or pulled a shot when the sight was off or see the connection of where the shot goes if I feel my grip break form. Also change the targets out often.....if you don't know where a shot went then you aren't going to learn anything from that shot. As you start to get better take the target out further. As you go further out it helps to have a spotting scope to keep track of where each shot goes. All too often I see new shooters ashamed to set a target in close when everyone else is setting up at 25 yards (and mostly shooting badly). If you have a shotgun pattern going, you're too far out for your skill level. Don't be afraid to crawl before you walk.....you'll be running in time enough.

    Reduced loads will help a lot if you are recoil sensitive. I reload so that is an easy thing for me, but a .22 rimfire is an excellent choice here as well....and easier if you don't reload.
    GB3 and (deleted member) like this.
  10. Navman

    Navman Canby Oregon Active Member

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  11. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    It is a natural tendency for you to flinch when breaking the shot. You have to teach yourself not to flinch. What I do is I always start my shooting
    practice with a 22 pistol. Then going to the heavier kicking center fire pistol. Then go back to the 22 when you start flinching. It is teaching your self
    mind over flinch. I would recommend the Ruger 22 with the 5.5 inch barrel.
    GB3 and (deleted member) like this.
  12. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    I second the .22 idea.. cheap to shoot and low recoil can help you sort out your center fire issues. Try to buy as close as you can to your carry gun. Maybe even a .22 conversion kit for your current pistol

    We shoot defensive handguns from 25 yards to point blank belly range (stressfire), concentrating on 5 yards or less and speed and rapidity of accurate fire. We don't handgun hunt so for us close range is where it's at

    I would recommend Mag Pul's series of training DVDs for the many tactical concepts and problems they present
    Riot and (deleted member) like this.
  13. mhasson30

    mhasson30 OR Active Member

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  14. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    There should be plenty of instructors within day-trip range of you. Try the phonebook or ask some gun stores. I know I do instruction like you're talking about occasionally, but I'm in Yakima.

    PM me if you're interested in travelling that far, but I would think OFS or FAS might be closer.
  15. TapRackNGo

    TapRackNGo PNW Well-Known Member

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    Contact Shawn Jewell with React Training, he's on that side of the mountain. Good dude, humble and knows his stuff.
  16. jim97701

    jim97701 Bend Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great time, let me know when :thumbup:
  17. GB3

    GB3 Vancouver, WA New Member

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  18. revjen45

    revjen45 Snohomish County Well-Known Member

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    Defensive shooting usually occurs @ pretty short range, =< 20 ft. A paper plate works well as a target for this application. Work on shooting well before you go to fast. At longer range (25 yd or so) concentrate on sight alignment and trigger break. This is not necessarily defence-oriented, but ability to hit @ that range can be useful and it's fun. Once you have some degree of competence you might want to consider professional instruction. I can recommend Firearms Academy of Seattle from personal experience.
  19. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to do the same and I think most of my problem is anticipating recoil.
    I'm buyig a 22lr to help with just getting use to shooting.
    Practice is another big thing. You need to shoot alot. I haven't shot a lot the last few years and it shows.

    Also leaning in a little has helped me. With rifle and pistol. A friend suggested it who is a leo.
    Making sure your balance is good and breathing right.
  20. firepower

    firepower Dundee, OR Member

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    It seems you have gotten a lot of really good feed back.

    What I can give comes from a few years of firearms training with the Sheriff's Office.

    To be accurate you mainly need a good sight picture - with combat sights, equal light on both sides and level across the top. But the biggest key is trigger control. Many firearms have different trigger feels to them with double action only, single/double action and single only. With this it really just takes getting used to.
    What helps tremendously for anticipating or jerking the trigger is using dummy rounds for a semi auto or with a revolver using spent casings. This will also throw in the training for malfunction training which is a great thing to know if you will be relying on your weapon for protection.

    Another important aspect is your shooting stance, I noticed above about leaning into or forward when you shoot, this is important along with shooting with your body square to the target and both arms extended outwards to make an isoselece triangle shape. Think of the stance as a ready stance when playing sports. Feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and weight on balls of feet.

    Another aspect is your grip on the gun. You want to grip as high up as you can. Then the way I was taught was to hold on with your strong hand and then take your support hand and wrap the grip with it trying to place as much of your palm touching the grip.

    The last thing I would like to leave you with is about target shooting.
    There is precision shooting which is slow and precise. This is excellent for honing skills and also learning to use sights and making longer distance shots.
    Then there is the quicker shooting that you may call point shooting. This is mainly used from up close and personal or basically touching the target all the way back to about 15 feet. The ting to remember when doing this is like the other person mentioned snout the pie plate or paper plate, this would be considered quite adequate for a close quater shootout.

    Hope this helps