Range report - Colt Defender .45

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The Missus and I walked down to our outdoor range on Sunday. It was a lovely (and for this winter, a rare) sunny day; a great day for shooting. She had her Sig 238 and I had my Colt Defender (.45ACP).

She is still getting a feel for the Sig. Her shots are consistently low and left, and spread out like random popcorn. She keeps standing about 24 feet from the target, but I think she should move closer until she is satisfied with the results, then slowly move back. What I should do is smooth and level the ground out with my tractor then pour a layer of gravel and add some distance markers. I don't think she likes the uneven ground closer to the target. Now that the snow is gone, I think that would be a good Saturday project.

I too am getting a feel for my Colt. Shot over 100 rounds. For fun I set up a metal spinner target at 25 yards and I'm kind of surprised that I hit it a couple times. The miss/hit ratio is about 6/1, but you gotta start somewhere.

On my close-range shooting (the whole purpose of getting the Colt for CCW), I'm feeling more confident. I realized about halfway through the range session that my grip wasn't as high or as firm as it could be, so I pushed my hand up and held it tight. The results were remarkable. I usually can hit 3 or 4 in the center out of my 7-round mag, but then I end up with a few fliers after that. But concentrating on my grip gave me some good results. Like this:

RangeReport_170319.jpg

This was slow shooting. Taking my time and aiming properly. I want to work on this a lot more. At some point, I'll try increasing my speed for a double-tap and see how accurate I can be rapid-shooting. For now, I'm fairly pleased with my progress.

Weather permitting, I want to do this at least once a week. It's fun, and therapeutic.
 
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Not to bad. ;)

The little Defender only has a 3'' barrel. And even with large sights that makes for a very short sight radius.


I somehow had it in my mind you were shooting at 7 yards? What distance was it?
 
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OP
sigmadog
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I was shooting the paper target at 8 Yards (24 ft).

That short barrel does add difficulty when aiming. That's why I'm so bad at hitting the 3" spinner from 25 yards. I'm honestly surprised I hit it at all. I have much better results when using my 4.25" Commander.
 
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P7M13

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Thanks for posting your results. I'm envious you can "walk down to the range."
Caveat Lector: these are my suggestions and opinion from experience. YMMV.
For your better half, if she's shooting right handed, in my experience, consistent low and left indicates two probabilities: she's anticipating the recoil and jerking her trigger finger, and the gun is too small in her hand, causing her to use too much force to grip & giving her an odd trigger pull.

Some things she might want to try:
  1. Practice her trigger work around the house with a snap-cap;
    1. All the rules of safety still apply.
      1. I hear there's a contraption for trigger training on a blue gun (or something like that), but I've never researched it. I'm a stubborn, cheap cur, and work on the real thing.
    2. Focus on using the tip of her finger on the trigger, rather than closer to the first knuckle.
    3. As muscle memory becomes ingrained, work on a smooth, fast motion.
    4. Work into it, trigger release, move finger to safe position above trigger guard.
    5. Not knowing the 938, I presume it's a SA. If it is SA/DA, have her do all the above in DA.
    6. Keep both eyes open while practicing. Why? It's training your brain. It's nice to see the big picture, but in my experience, this improves your sight acquisition speed as you become proficient. If you are fast with one eye, doing it with two can throw you off. If you are used to doing it with two eyes, shutting one makes no difference.
  2. increase the palm swell, which makes it easier to grip and she doesn't need to use as much force to hold the gun
    1. I know this defeats the purpose of a small carry arm like the 938, but you can gradually decrease the palm swell.
    2. You might try a Hogue slip-on or something like that.
    3. Have her work on hand strength with stress balls.
  3. When she's achieved what is to her a satisfactory level of proficiency, have her do all the above with her left hand.
Those are exercises I used to do when I was nutz about pistol shooting, ~16 years ago. The other exercises I did were to practice decocking (no point on a 1911 with a beaver tail and dead-man safety). I'd also take a 8lb dumb bell and lift it up slowly, with only one arm, like it was a pistol and take aim. I'd hold it there for a 15 count, relax. I'd alternate between arms RH/LH and to it 10x for each arm, twice daily. That made for very steady off-hand shooting. My then wife thought I was cuckoo - you're blessed in that you're both shooters.
 
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sigmadog
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Sounds like lots of good advice.

I purchased and just received a LaserLyte laser trainer that can fit into either the .380 or my .45. I've been dry-firing with that the last couple days around the house. It's fairly accurate and adjustable for windage and elevation to some extent. Though not perfect, it does allow for practice inside. I've found the dry-fire practice is helpful because I can concentrate on different aspects (my sighting, grip, off-hand, strong-hand, both hands, etc.) without having to put the dogs inside (they go nuts when we're out shooting), waiting for decent weather, or expending real ammo. We'll see if it helps me. I'm sure it will help her (if she can pry it from my fingers).

I like your dumb bell exercise. I'll have to give that a go.
 

Certaindeaf

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That sounds great.. and I think it's a good idea to smooth and gravel the range a bit (don't use pea gravel) too.. stuff like that makes life, and shooting, nicer and safer.
 

Pops1911

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Nice! You are coming right along with your new Defender. Congrats and keep up the good work. BTW- if your wife is like mine, let her find her own way. The less I say the better she shoots!
 
OP
sigmadog
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Nice! You are coming right along with your new Defender. Congrats and keep up the good work. BTW- if your wife is like mine, let her find her own way. The less I say the better she shoots!
I hear you. I usually stand back and wait. I figure since I'm still learning as well, I'm not coming from a position of absolute knowledge. When I do offer suggestions, I find myself thinking it through very carefully.
 

Howard1955

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The Missus and I walked down to our outdoor range on Sunday. It was a lovely (and for this winter, a rare) sunny day; a great day for shooting. She had her Sig 238 and I had my Colt Defender (.45ACP).

She is still getting a feel for the Sig. Her shots are consistently low and left, and spread out like random popcorn. She keeps standing about 24 feet from the target, but I think she should move closer until she is satisfied with the results, then slowly move back. What I should do is smooth and level the ground out with my tractor then pour a layer of gravel and add some distance markers. I don't think she likes the uneven ground closer to the target. Now that the snow is gone, I think that would be a good Saturday project.

I too am getting a feel for my Colt. Shot over 100 rounds. For fun I set up a metal spinner target at 25 yards and I'm kind of surprised that I hit it a couple times. The miss/hit ratio is about 6/1, but you gotta start somewhere.

On my close-range shooting (the whole purpose of getting the Colt for CCW), I'm feeling more confident. I realized about halfway through the range session that my grip wasn't as high or as firm as it could be, so I pushed my hand up and held it tight. The results were remarkable. I usually can hit 3 or 4 in the center out of my 7-round mag, but then I end up with a few fliers after that. But concentrating on my grip gave me some good results. Like this:

View attachment 351325

This was slow shooting. Taking my time and aiming properly. I want to work on this a lot more. At some point, I'll try increasing my speed for a double-tap and see how accurate I can be rapid-shooting. For now, I'm fairly pleased with my progress.

Weather permitting, I want to do this at least once a week. It's fun, and therapeutic.
Nice that you have a place to target practice. Sounds a bit like my situation. And the gravel is a great idea. It's really hard to find the spent brass down in the weeds.
 
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I too bought a defender (off this site) a month or so ago. Happy so far too.

If you have the opportunity, you might try some ball and dummy drills with your wife. Get some dummy rounds and load the mag for her with the dummy rounds mixed in. Watch her form as she hits a dummy round. It will be obvious if she is anticipating.

I have interrupted students during a regular string of fire, asked for their pistol, turned so they can't see, and set it up with an empty chamber. Their next round (empty chamber) will generally have quite the muzzle dip.

Ball and dummy drills also help them work on clearance drills as well as trigger control.
 

FortRock

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Not much to add really. My dirty old edc Defender and I have been to FrontSight twice. After probably thousands of rounds, it is still accurate, reliable, and easy to carry concealed. The wife shoots a 226. It digests anything, is very accurate, and has a sweet trigger. Practice is everything, but training speeds things up. I like FrontSight but there are closer options in Oregon. :D
 

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