New gun at the range

Discussion in 'Training' started by RVdriver, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    OK so I purchase a new pistol and I take it to the range for the first time. Naturally it feels different in my hand since it is a different size, or whatever.

    My question is what is the best way to determine with a new gun if the sights are set properly from the factory or if they need to be adjusted?

    How can I tell if it is a sight problem or the way i am holding/shooting the pistol?

    What distance should I be shooting the pistol for the first time to determine accuracy?
     
  2. Gloc9mm

    Gloc9mm Well-Known Member

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    That's a very tough question! Unless you can lock it down or use some sort of internal Laser Sight there could be many different answers to your question. Personally I have found that most Weapons I have tried over many Yrs. were pretty much right on out of the Box. Any slight variation I just blamed on myself, and corrected it just by aiming slightly off 1 way or another. But I'm not a Competitive Target Shooter, I mainly Carry what I purchase and all I have tried would have ended up Center Mass even if no correction was made.

    Sorry, but I wouldn't even attempt to give you any other answer here.
     

  3. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    Thank you. I agree and that is pretty much what I did, which was adjust my aim point. I did try bracing my arm against the side of the lane divide, but I'm not sure that is the best way to do things with a new/different pistol that you are just not familiar with yet. I am sure that there are some people here that have shot several different guns, of all sizes, that may be able to give their own perspective on what they do when they purchase a new gun to insure that the sights are set correctly or that they are handling the gun correctly during the shooting process.
     
  4. Gloc9mm

    Gloc9mm Well-Known Member

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    Sure, as I said there are many answers to your question. I just mentioned the way I go about doing things when playing around with either friends or new Guns I have purchased etc. I also agree bracing your Arm isn't the best way to do things, especially if you are going to Carry it. You never want to depend on any stance other than just free standing.

    Are you new to Guns, or just talking about your newest?
     
  5. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    Actually I have several pistols. My main gun is a Sig 226 9mm that I love to shoot on a regular basis and the weapon that I carry beside me in our motor home when we travel. I recently purchased a Kahr CW9 for concealed carry, which is a lot smaller and obviously feels different in my hand. It seems to consistently shoot a little to the left, compared to my Sig. I have now put about 400 rounds through the Kahr and have learned to adjust my aim, but I'm not sure if it is the sights or my own mishandling of the weapon. I was thinking that there is something that an experienced shooter does when he gets a new or different gun and he takes it to the range for the first time. I hate to adjust the sights for a problem that could be corrected by proper shooting techniques. I also hoped to get a little insight as to what an experienced shooter does with any new to him weapon.

    I do go to the range every week or so and usually go through several hundred rounds each session. That in no way means that what I am doing is correct when it comes to a new weapon.
     
  6. Gloc9mm

    Gloc9mm Well-Known Member

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    Oh OK, I just didn't know how to try to explain it if you were new to Guns, so I tried to keep it basic. I have Carried for over 30 Yrs and I now see you know all I do as far as self correction goes and the many things that can effect different Weapons. I wouldn't have said anything but I just felt by Posting under "Training" that maybe you were new to Guns in gen.

    I always tend to blame myself personally! I have never picked up a Gun that was any more than just very slightly off, and I have no special technique.

    Nevermind! lol
     
  7. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    I understand. Maybe the correct answer is that an experienced shooter just accepts what he is doing differently with a different weapon and he just goes ahead and adjusts the sights, rather than to correct/change the way he handles the weapon, or he corrects by using a different aiming point. I guess what I am saying is that MAYBE the way the sights are set at the factory is NOT the same as the way the sights would be set for a specific shooter.
     
  8. Gloc9mm

    Gloc9mm Well-Known Member

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    I am sure that each individule is slightly different as far as what they see when they look down each weapon. My biggest problem is I am Right Handed but Left Eye Dominant. You may know what I mean, but many people don't. It does not always mean it's your clearest Eye, but if you understand it, most people that are Left Eye dom. are also Left Handed. That's probably why I always blame myself and just correct it by Aiming slightly off. I also don't pay too much attention to being perfect on a Target at the Range. I just want a close Grouping Center Mass or Head, If I can do that I am happy. I don't particularly love Target Shooting, I'd rather go out into the Woods and plink around. I just bought a Ruger LCR to Carry if I need a small Gun, but it's the 1st Gun I have bought in a long time and it has Fixed Sights. But with a 2" Barrel you can't be too perfect anyway! lol I have had a 1911 forever, and a G-19 now for many Yrs, and I mainly Carry the G-19. The only Rifle I own is an AR which I love, but it's expensive to shoot, especially F/A! But that's another story, for some reason I shoot a Rifle Lefty! I don't know why, I guess I just picked up my 1st BB Gun Lefty and just got used to it. I can't even hit a Target Right Handed! So for me to have formed any type of Technique has been quite hard. I just know that if I ever needed to use a Gun, I'd probably (Hopefully!) hit what I'm looking at. After so many Yrs shooting I feel you just react to the situation. I hope so anyway, luckilly I have never had to take it out.
     
  9. JustBen

    JustBen Well-Known Member

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    gloc9mm:

    My eldest Son is right handed but left eye dominant. He shoots a lot of trap and does it left handed. He also shoots hand guns, but uses his right hand and left eye. In an isoceles stance, it is not hard to use either eye. Since in a stressful combat situation you will most likely square up to the threat, a strong hand, dominant eye isoceles stance is what you should use for practice. Just my personal preference.
     
  10. JustBen

    JustBen Well-Known Member

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    RVDriver:



    Most gun sights from the factory are right on. Since you have purchased a smaller frame gun which from what I remember has a pretty hard trigger pull, that is probably why you are shooting left. Those two things can make you shoot low and left.



    Personally I want to be able to shoot accurately, fast and while under stress. You might want to consider a trigger job to get it down in pressure and remove the over travel. I would never recommend going below 4 pounds though.



    After you fire the gun, wait until you see a hole in the target before you release the trigger. If you are releasing the trigger the instant it goes bang, you could be moving the gun before the bullet is out of the barrel.



    Dry fire practice with a laser to see if you are pulling the gun off target when squeezing the trigger. You can just use a cheap laser pointer strapped to the side of your barrel.



    Also make sure you are using the pad of your finger and do not have your finger to far into the trigger (up to the first joint is way to far).



    Best of luck.
     
  11. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    Thanks for the reply and a lot of what you says makes sense. The next time at the range I'll try to adjust the way i hold the gun and see what that does for my accuracy. I do put my trigger finger on the trigger right at the first joint. This is what feels natural to me with the small gun and my large hands. I'll see if I can fire the gun better with just the pad of my finger on the trigger.

    What distance to you feel is the best to start with a new gun? I have been starting at 25' but maybe that is too far for my initial attempt.

    The CW does have about the same trigger pull as the double action of my Sig 226. Of course the CW is DAO so it remain the same through the entire clip.

    To get back to basics.......are you saying that with any new gun, you assume that the sights are correct and that any shots off target are caused by operator error that needs to be corrected rather than adjusting the factory sights? Thanks again
     
  12. JustBen

    JustBen Well-Known Member

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    Most decent guns come with sights that are close or right on. I have had a few that needed a tweak, but the only way to tell is to use a large sandbag and a very experienced shooter at an indoor range. I would start with the assumption that the sights are correct from the factory.



    If you go to www.tdiohio.com and click on "media" there are some good videos of how to grip your gun etc... Tactical Defense Institute is a great place to learn self defense with a hand gun.



    Most combat situations are going to be around 12 feet or less, so speed of deployment plus accuracy is important. You can work on that once you have good control and accuracy.



    Start at 10 feet with a slow trigger pull such that when it goes bang you were not even really moving your finger. Follow through so that you still have the trigger all the way back with the sights and target lined up in clear view after the shot. Move the target back 10 feet at a time all the way out to at least 50 feet. If you are truly lining up the sights and not jerking the gun during trigger press, you should be able to shoot in a 3 or 4 inch group at 50 feet. Not so easy to learn though. May take thousands of rounds and years of practice.



    Also when gripping your gun, make sure the majority of the pressure holding the gun is with your off hand and your wrist is locked all the way down. Off hand thumb should be against the frame the same distance towards the muzzle as your trigger finger. They should match when looking downward on the slide. Strong hand should be relaxed but firm for a smooth trigger press. Both arms locked out straight, isoceles stance with shoulders and head forward.



    Have some fun too.
     
  13. RVdriver

    RVdriver Member

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    Thanks for the thorough description on what I need to do. I'll probably hit the range on Wednesday and give your suggestions a try. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain things in a way I can understand. Can't wait to get to the range and run through a few hundred rounds.
     
  14. JustBen

    JustBen Well-Known Member

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    You bet my friend. Best of luck to you and don't forget to check out the videos on www.tdiohio.com it is great stuff.
     
  15. Gloc9mm

    Gloc9mm Well-Known Member

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    Ben, Thank's for your reply. When I practice Combat shooting I never aim though. I basically just point and shoot, and normally have a tight grouping center mass. In my opinion I just feel that if God forbid I ever need to, there will be no time to aim, so I practice not aiming. I don't know if I'm wrong or right, but hope to never find out.
     
  16. JustBen

    JustBen Well-Known Member

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    Just as long as your eyes are open when you are "point shooting" I think you will be fine - LOL. I have seen some exhibition shooters point shoot. Don't know how they do it, but it sure is impressive.