Shooting technique question

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I'm not a gun guy really, although I grew up around guns. We're seeing more bears than we used to in the woods. Last year in Montana a bear stood up and checked us out rather than turning and trotting off like normal. I didn't feel threatened but my wife thinks we need to be more prepared.

So I picked up a Ruger Redhawk in 44 mag. Here's the question: From a dead rest it shoots fine. Otherwise it (or me) shoots to the left. The trigger pull seems quite stiff to me. Is this related? I hate to have to aim to the right all the time. Is there another way to compensate? Should I have the gun looked at? Thanks.
 
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99.89% chance it is your technique and not the gun....rarely, and I mean rarely, do we at the Academy have to adjust sights on handguns. But we do correct and fix ineffective techniques all the time.

I'd seek out a competent instructor, coach, or school - anyone who understands the situation and has the knowledge and skill to help you. Also remember when attacked by a bear you will be under substantially greater duress than you are now...and stress isn't very forgiving when one has ineffective techniques - it usually amplifies them.
 
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It may be that you have too little of your finger on the trigger, that can cause the gun to shoot left. My unpaid advise is to make sure you have your finger on the trigger so that it contacting at the first joint down from the tip of your finger. IIRC, this is the 'distal' joint. You can test this with dry firing. (insert all standard safety warnings here :s0155:)

Vince
 
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Thanks Vince, that could save me a lot of trial and error.

Sorry OFADAN, I didn't mean to be a butt. I'm not a gun enthusiast. I don't expect to ever have to use the gun on a bear. Its purpose is to not let fear ruin the trips to the backcountry for my wife. But if I'm going to carry it I can see that I ought to be fairly proficient with it. Thanks.
 
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I shoot a lot of 44 mag,i like to warm up with some light loads before shilouette shooting just to relax.
Try to find some 44 spec loads to shoot and see if you do not have a flinch with the more powerful rounds.
RK
 
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It sounds like you are saying if I want advise I should be willing to pay for it? Fair enough.
Oh no that is not what I meant at all...I meant seek out someone who is competent in teaching, training, working or coaching others in the use of a handgun...which includes those who would do this at no charge.

Quoting myself - "I'd seek out a competent instructor, coach, or school - anyone who understands the situation and has the knowledge and skill to help you." The "anyone" implies, well, anyone. There are plenty of competent people out here who will work with you and be tickled to do it if you asked - they'd do it for free! There are some really competent people who understand how to run a diagnostics assessement and provide you with counsel and would be tickled to do it gratis. Generally working with a person who is trying to fix trigger control requires someone to watch what you're doing, have the capacity to assess what it is you're doing incorrectly and how to correct it...and have the capacity to offer other alternatives if one technique isn't working for you.
 
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...it (or me) shoots to the left. The trigger pull seems quite stiff to me...
Welcome to NWF spinner.

You may want a trigger job to give it a smoother pull. A smoother pull should make it easier to shoot straight. It should make it easier for your wife to handle if need be.

I have a few questions that I hope will help:

Do you normally shoot one-handed or two-handed?
Right hand or left?
Right eye dominant or left?
Bladed stance or squared off to the target?
One eye closed or both eyes open?

If your shooting mostly .44 mag - try a diet of 5-to-1 .44 special to .44 mag. A softer load will lull you out of a possible anticipation flinch. The heavier load will come as a surprise that you won't anticipate.
 
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Thanks for the welcome, RainbowBob.

To answer your questions in order: I shoot two-handed, right hand, right eye dominant, bladed stance, one eye closed.

I can't shoot as well one-handed. As to trigger pull, maybe I just need to fire it enough that it becomes natural, but so far I'm constantly surprised as I'm pulling the trigger that it hasn't fired yet. It seems like it takes twice the force that would feel natural for me now.

There's one other little bit that may or may not be relevant. I'm 6'6" and have very large hands. The gun is a little too small for my hand but I don't really want to carry anything larger.

Thanks for the help.
 
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I am not nearly as tall as you and I find the factory grips to be on the small side. So if you are using the factory grips, there are some simple solutions. On of the best and easiest is the http://www.t-grips.com/ it runs $25 to $30, adds no bulk to the gun and adds an amazing amount of control.

For a little bit more money I would suggest the Jordan Trooper from http://www.herrett-stocks.com/jordontp.htm they will set you back about $100.00, but IMHO they are among the best revolver grips out there. FOR ME most grips, especially the rubber kind are far too thin. I know that many people prefer them, but I just don't get it.
 
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When you say "bladed" I am guessing you mean Weaver? Here are some photos showing various shooting stances. <broken link removed>

Although I would normally agree with Sun195 ('it's a poor craftsman that blames his tools' and all that. . . ) if the grips do not fit I think changing them at this point would be a good move.

Some other thoughts.

If you tend to have a backpack on when in the woods, be sure to try your normal stance with your outdoors gear on, Shoulder straps and pack frames can make the Weaver stance hard to get into. Also, for most people it takes a tremendous amount of training and repetition to overcome the biological urge to face danger head on. Given these two things, you might try the Isosceles stance to see how it works for you. I can't find it right now, but there is a video of a real fight that broke out at a martial arts tournament. Despite all the black belts involved, it was a school yard slap and whack fight.

Also, to improve your one handed shooting, try extending you arm to the point that you 'lock' your elbow and then rotate your gun "in" about 35 to 40 degrees. The exact amount varies from person to person, but you will fell you muscles tighten up. This should help with not only trigger control, but also recoil control.


Vince
 
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There's more to this than I thought. It's very interesting. I'm glad I came here.

It's more "Chapman" stance but with left elbow out rather than down. I guess that's bad. I do pull back with my left hand.

You think I should work on one-handed shooting? So far what seems clear to me is that I need to spend some time shooting, and probably with mostly .44 special rounds. I think I'm beginning to see why OFADAN suggested a coach.
 
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I did some carving on the factory rubber grips. If you look at where my fingers hit on the grips you can see that this is a MAJOR Improvement. Now I'm going to shoot a hundred rounds or so through it before I do anything else. See, I'm taking everyones advice (sort of). This is no big deal for you guys, I know, but this is extremely helpful for me. Unfortunately I won't be able to go shooting until Friday. Thanks!
 
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I'm having a little trouble finding ammo. I'm using Cor Bon 320 grain mags, Blazer 200 grain hollow point .44 specials, and I've picked up some 200 grain Ultramax that I haven't tried yet.
 

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