Target training

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Hi guys,

I just purchased my first handgun M&P shield 9mm. 1.0 and have started going to the range. For some reason I can't seem to hit my target. The aim looks perfect, when I pull that 10 pounds trigger I either hits too high or too low. Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm thinking it's the trigger or ammo not sure. Please give me some advise because I'm really bothered.
 
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It's very unlikely you have an equipment problem. 10lbs is heavy, but it's certainly possible to shoot decently with a 10lb trigger.

Last moment movement off target is the greatest cause of inaccuracy. Spend time working on a smooth trigger pull that has an unanticipated break. Luckily, dry firing the pistol is free and a great way to practice. Practice dry firing the gun with the sights lined up on target and pay special attention to any disturbance that occurs at the moment of trigger break. Recoil anticipation and jerking the trigger often cause such problems.
 

greencobra

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if this is your first handgun, how do you know it's the trigger or ammo? a good shooter with experience should be able put rounds on target with it dispite the 10 lb trigger.
 
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Yes my first. I'm new to shooting so I'm now learning. And I don't know I'm just asking if that could be a reason. Just need some advise since I'm new to this.
 

greencobra

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Yes my first. I'm new to shooting so I'm now learning. And I don't know I'm just asking if that could be a reason. Just need some advise since I'm new to this.
practice, practice, practice. if you still can't hit the target have a friend or someone at your club shoot it and see how they do with it. you want to spend 75+ dollars now and have the trigger worked on or replaced, hey, do it. I had my shield worked on, I could group it with a 10 lb pull but had it taken down to 6 lbs.

honestly, and not trying to bust your balls, a shield would not be my first handgun. it's a carry gun only, not a target pistol. I shoot mine at my range no more than 7 yards.

welcome to nes by the way! glad you're here.
 
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Wow. I'm shooting my shield at 25 yards. I don't want to change the trigger i like it as is for extra safety. But a friend of mine shot it and hit perfect that's why I thought I might be doing something wrong.
 

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Wow. I'm shooting my shield at 25 yards. I don't want to change the trigger i like it as is for extra safety. But a friend of mine shot it and hit perfect that's why I thought I might be doing something wrong.

25 yards is too far to start at.

Find a range with a pit so that you can start at about 5 yards. Set up a target with a dot on it and concentrate on that dot. "aim small, miss small". Work on the fundamentals. When you can reliably place a small group on/around that dot, step back a little further.

Fundamentals include your stance, your grip, your trigger pull and your sight alignment.

Find an experienced shooter or instructor in the area to teach you some of these. It's a lot easier to learn correctly, than it is to unlearn bad habits.
 
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There's lots written online about the fundamentals of pistol shooting (and shooting in general), and there can be tremendous variation depending on the type of shooting (say, Olympic bullseye vs action shooting), but the general elements are:

1) Stance: How you position your body in relation to the target.

2) Grip: How you hold the firearm.

3) Breath Control: How you steady your body by controlling your breathing

4) Sight Picture: How you acquire a sight picture.

5) Trigger pull. A lot can be said about this. A person can spend a lifetime improving their trigger skills.

6) Follow through: Finishing the shot and preparing for the next.


Do some reading about the elements of good shooting and focus on these elements as you practice. Individual elements you can often practice in isolation. Dry firing is a great way to practice trigger pull and train yourself to not anticipate recoil.

here's a link to the Army Marksmanship Unit guide broken into sections. It seems to focus on one handed shooting, but there is excellent information inside.

Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol
 
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25 yards is too far to start at.

Find a range with a pit so that you can start at about 5 yards. Set up a target with a dot on it and concentrate on that dot. "aim small, miss small". Work on the fundamentals. When you can reliably place a small group on/around that dot, step back a little further.

Fundamentals include your stance, your grip, your trigger pull and your sight alignment.

Find an experienced shooter or instructor in the area to teach you some of these. It's a lot easier to learn correctly, than it is to unlearn bad habits.
Got it. Thanks for the advise I'll def. Get my target closer for a start.
 
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There's lots written online about the fundamentals of pistol shooting (and shooting in general), and there can be tremendous variation depending on the type of shooting (say, Olympic bullseye vs action shooting), but the general elements are:

1) Stance: How you position your body in relation to the target.

2) Grip: How you hold the firearm.

3) Breath Control: How you steady your body by controlling your breathing

4) Sight Picture: How you acquire a sight picture.

5) Trigger pull. A lot can be said about this. A person can spend a lifetime improving their trigger skills.

6) Follow through: Finishing the shot and preparing for the next.


Do some reading about the elements of good shooting and focus on these elements as you practice. Individual elements you can often practice in isolation. Dry firing is a great way to practice trigger pull and train yourself to not anticipate recoil.

here's a link to the Army Marksmanship Unit guide broken into sections. It seems to focus on one handed shooting, but there is excellent information inside.

Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol
Thank you
 

cockpitbob

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My experience is for a new-to-handguns shooter, it takes a few hundred rounds just to keep them all on the paper and over 1,000 rounds to get good. I advise friends to also get a .22. By the time they've mastered handguns with a .22 it has paid for itself in ammo savings vs. learning from scratch paying for 9mm.

Oh, and training/lessons pay for themselves too. Remember, practice doesn't make perfect. It makes permanent. Practice the wrong technique and it will be locked in and be hard to in-do.
 

a73elkyss

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25 yards is too far to start at.

Find a range with a pit so that you can start at about 5 yards. Set up a target with a dot on it and concentrate on that dot. "aim small, miss small". Work on the fundamentals. When you can reliably place a small group on/around that dot, step back a little further.

Fundamentals include your stance, your grip, your trigger pull and your sight alignment.

Find an experienced shooter or instructor in the area to teach you some of these. It's a lot easier to learn correctly, than it is to unlearn bad habits.
I'm now a very firm believer in Allen-1 last two sentences. If you continue to practice the wrong procedure (grip, stance, trigger pull, etc.) all you will be doing is reinforcing bad habits within your brain. And correcting bad habits is so much harder than learning the proper way first time around. You can not really see yourself doing bad habits, but a decent instructor or a decent mentor will be able to watch and assist you. It will be money well spent.

For me, and I have an original Shield, I flinch. Not a lot, but clearly enough that with a small guns sight radius, my POI is low and left. Plus, for me, when I start getting my grip and trigger pull correct, I start to lean backwards just a little. Again, tough to see yourself, but another set of eyes will see it.

By the way, I've done the APEX, flat trigger, sights, etc. route. While it does make the gun better, it is really the proper fundamentals that let me hit the target, or kinda close to where I want to be.

As always, YMMV. It is all very doable.

If you ever want to try my Shield and compare it to your factory one, just PM me. Might save you some dollars.

Jay
 
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I'm now a very firm believer in Allen-1 last two sentences. If you continue to practice the wrong procedure (grip, stance, trigger pull, etc.) all you will be doing is reinforcing bad habits within your brain. And correcting bad habits is so much harder than learning the proper way first time around. You can not really see yourself doing bad habits, but a decent instructor or a decent mentor will be able to watch and assist you. It will be money well spent.

For me, and I have an original Shield, I flinch. Not a lot, but clearly enough that with a small guns sight radius, my POI is low and left. Plus, for me, when I start getting my grip and trigger pull correct, I start to lean backwards just a little. Again, tough to see yourself, but another set of eyes will see it.

By the way, I've done the APEX, flat trigger, sights, etc. route. While it does make the gun better, it is really the proper fundamentals that let me hit the target, or kinda close to where I want to be.

As always, YMMV. It is all very doable.

If you ever want to try my Shield and compare it to your factory one, just PM me. Might save you some dollars.

Jay
Thanks Jay.
 

HorizontalHunter

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There's lots written online about the fundamentals of pistol shooting (and shooting in general), and there can be tremendous variation depending on the type of shooting (say, Olympic bullseye vs action shooting), but the general elements are:

1) Stance: How you position your body in relation to the target.

2) Grip: How you hold the firearm.

3) Breath Control: How you steady your body by controlling your breathing

4) Sight Picture: How you acquire a sight picture.

5) Trigger pull. A lot can be said about this. A person can spend a lifetime improving their trigger skills.

6) Follow through: Finishing the shot and preparing for the next.


Do some reading about the elements of good shooting and focus on these elements as you practice. Individual elements you can often practice in isolation. Dry firing is a great way to practice trigger pull and train yourself to not anticipate recoil.

here's a link to the Army Marksmanship Unit guide broken into sections. It seems to focus on one handed shooting, but there is excellent information inside.

Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol
Get some snap caps and practice what Matt said on a point on your living room wall. You only have to pull the slide back an inch or so to reset the trigger in the shield.
Use the ball of your finger. Not the hook of the first joint.

Have a partner at the range load your magazines for you and slip in a snap cap once in a while to keep you honest and make sure that you don’t flinch.

Get an Apex drop in kit. The MA compliant trigger in M&P is horrid.
Mass triggers are a disgrace and an abomination. They are NOT a safety device. The best safety device is between your ears. Follow the safety rules and you will be fine.

A trigger job or an Apex kit makes a big difference. They cost about the same.

Bob
 
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I recommend using the wall drill. Clear the firearm out and then position yourself near a wall, with your muzzle a half inch off the wall, arms at full extension. Practice pressing the trigger straight to the rear while focusing on the front sight. If you see the front sight move at the moment the shit is breaking you have identified the issue. That trigger press may be more than you are accustomed to but it’s an easy fix.
 

AHM

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I just purchased my first handgun ... and have started going to the range. For some reason I can't seem to hit my target.
Many (But Not All) of the other guys you meet at your range will be glad to help out.
(Well, I'm assuming you're at a club; maybe there's less kibitzing at a commercial range).

Some folks may well even be very good coaches.

If you see some quick improvement
they probably taught you something good and correct.

(Some skills may take time to acquire; some may yield instant results -
you just don't know ahead of time what your first breakthrough will be).


I like this. Thanks.
Note that there are right-handed and left-handed versions of the Pistol Correction Chart.
If you're a lefty, don't drive yourself nuts with that RH chart.


I advise friends to also get a .22. By the time they've mastered handguns with a .22 it has paid for itself in ammo savings vs. learning from scratch paying for 9mm.
(That advice from notorious gun blogger Kim du Toit is why our first purchase was a (target) .22).
 

commodon

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Wow. I'm shooting my shield at 25 yards. I don't want to change the trigger i like it as is for extra safety. But a friend of mine shot it and hit perfect that's why I thought I might be doing something wrong.
Assuming you're a new shooter with little experience, 25 yards is much too far out.

I recommend you practice with the target at 9-12 feet, which is the distance most confrontations will occur within. If you can consistently put your rounds in a tight group on target, then you push the target out to 12-15 feet and repeat. When you're ready to push it out again, go to 15-18, etc. until you reach the length of what the range provides.

In addition, I would be sure to regularly work on trigger control, meaning only the tip (pad) of your finger goes on the trigger. Slowly pull the trigger back, reset and repeat. Practice dry-firing as much as possible.

Lastly, and again not knowing your experience, how you hold the weapon, your breathing and your stance is key. Good luck and keep practicing...
 

mac1911

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Sight picture and alignment and trigger control are all important but the best lesson I learned was: "learn how to jerk the trigger without moving the gun... it's that simple... it's just not easy to do"
View: https://youtu.be/li0rGtXh23I?t=121

I like this video by Rob Leatham. The whole video is helpfull.
this comes right along with "not thinking to much"
 
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