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Newb grouping questions

This is a discussion on Newb grouping questions within the MP Compact Pistols forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; OK so I now have two relatively expensive addictions; Jeeps and guns...three if you count my wife... So I am about 300 rounds into practice ...


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Old November 27th, 2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Newb grouping questions

OK so I now have two relatively expensive addictions; Jeeps and guns...three if you count my wife...

So I am about 300 rounds into practice range over last two weeks, which is also how long I have had my M&P 9C; my first gun.

Here are pics of the most recent target groups, as I believe they are called. They seem to be consistently in same range I was gonna post this thread in the Range Forum but it seemed like it had been awhile since the last post there.

I have read various thoughts on the web regards "grouping" and saw where my groups may be representative of someone anticipating recoil and that I am compensating for such by lowering the gun...any thoughts?

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Old November 27th, 2016, 08:12 PM   #2
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Vertical stringing is usually caused by poor trigger control, and/or not watching your sight picture close enough. But, keep in mind you haven't been shooting very long, you are still a beginner, practice practice practice! There are some people who have been shooting for years that can't shoot as well as you are right now.
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Old November 27th, 2016, 08:34 PM   #3
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Here's a little trivia for you, most shooters who only have a little bit of experience will string the shots vertically like your groups. Now look at those and think about gang bangers who tilt their guns on their sides, the stringing follows the pistol, and now, instead of the stringing going up and down like a human, it goes side to side, so many of their shots completely miss the person they are shooting at, and nail a lot of innocent bystanders!
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Old November 27th, 2016, 09:10 PM   #4
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Not bad and too soon to diagnose anything. Dry fire at home and watch the front sight. It'll show you what you're doing if you're attentive to it.

When I was learning I would balance a coin on the front sight and the hammer fall wasn't supposed to drop the coin. If it did my trigger press was at fault. Today a cheap laser unit will show you the same thing if you watch what the laser does on a wall. The trigger should break and the hammer fall and there should be minimal disturbance to the laser dot. It doesn't require an expensive laser to train with, but the balanced coin is less expensive. BTW, it's laid on it's side on a front sight that is horizontal. If you don't have that you can't use the coin for training. You might be able to use a spent piece of brass with the primer end up but I wouldn't think that would be as good as a coin balanced on the front sight.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 05:17 AM   #5
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Vertical stringing is usually caused by poor trigger control, and/or not watching your sight picture close enough. But, keep in mind you haven't been shooting very long, you are still a beginner, practice practice practice! There are some people who have been shooting for years that can't shoot as well as you are right now.
Thanks for the insights...FYI the target was only 12 feet away

I set it 12 feet away because I read somewhere that a competition marksman said this is how he practices, i.e. at close range trying to end up with just one hole in the bullseye after many rounds fired.

Also, as I understand it for a handgun the expected engagement distance is in the 12 to 15 foot range.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 05:19 AM   #6
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Not bad and too soon to diagnose anything. Dry fire at home and watch the front sight. It'll show you what you're doing if you're attentive to it.

When I was learning I would balance a coin on the front sight and the hammer fall wasn't supposed to drop the coin. If it did my trigger press was at fault. Today a cheap laser unit will show you the same thing if you watch what the laser does on a wall. The trigger should break and the hammer fall and there should be minimal disturbance to the laser dot. It doesn't require an expensive laser to train with, but the balanced coin is less expensive. BTW, it's laid on it's side on a front sight that is horizontal. If you don't have that you can't use the coin for training. You might be able to use a spent piece of brass with the primer end up but I wouldn't think that would be as good as a coin balanced on the front sight.
Have begun the "dropping a dime" exercise...50/50 so far...Thanks, I think it is a great exercise!
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Old November 28th, 2016, 05:44 AM   #7
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Keep going! There are many "keys" to successful handgunning but probably the biggest one is trigger control. It needs to be 100% every time. :-) OK, well there's no law that says it has to be 100%, but it has to be if you want to hit consistently. :-)

That's also one of the reasons that many of us strive to get the best trigger we possibly can. Within reason, for the selected use of the gun of course.
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Old November 28th, 2016, 09:32 AM   #8
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According to what I have read the vast majority of engagements are at less than 15 feet, so that is a perfectly valid distance to practice at.

I shot PPC competition for many years, the standard B27 target is designed so you can't see the scoring rings at any distance, we would start out at 7 yards, then 15 yards, 25 yards and finally at 50 yards. You could see the scoring rings at 7 yards, the common technique is to shoot out the X ring at 7 yards, and that hole gives you the aiming point at 15 yards. At 25 and 50 yards the sights would be regulated so you would aim at the head but the shots would impact the target in the 10 ring, a couple of feet below the aiming point!
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Old January 25th, 2017, 05:23 AM   #9
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You are flinching while pulling the trigger while anticipating recoil. Get some dummy rounds and have someone load your magazines for you. Then have them vidoe you from a safe distance (and safe position) and watch how much you flinch in anticipation. Usually it's an eye opener. Use your phone to video it
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Old January 25th, 2017, 12:05 PM   #10
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That exercise doesn't even require video. It's immediately obvious to the shooter. If he's flinching you're absolutely correct, that'll point it out.

Flinching is a nasty habit. I know; I had one when I first began handgunning decades ago. I had a buddy suggest that he load the cylinder in my handgun and it was quite obvious.

The cure is dry firing to concentrate on the basics and an understanding that the gun won't hurt any more than dry firing does. I like to start newbs with no recoil stuff for that very reason. My fav's are wax bullets powered by only a primer in a revolver. No recoil and very little noise. Then a .22 for a time, then bigger stuff.
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Old January 25th, 2017, 12:59 PM   #11
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Get some snapcaps and practice while watching the sight picture. If it moves a lot, squeeze slower. Proper grip is key too.
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Old January 25th, 2017, 07:49 PM   #12
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That exercise doesn't even require video. It's immediately obvious to the shooter. If he's flinching you're absolutely correct, that'll point it out.

Flinching is a nasty habit. I know; I had one when I first began handgunning decades ago. I had a buddy suggest that he load the cylinder in my handgun and it was quite obvious.

The cure is dry firing to concentrate on the basics and an understanding that the gun won't hurt any more than dry firing does. I like to start newbs with no recoil stuff for that very reason. My fav's are wax bullets powered by only a primer in a revolver. No recoil and very little noise. Then a .22 for a time, then bigger stuff.
ABSOLUTELY AGREE...!!!!
Nothing worse than ruining a brand new shooter shooting a full house 44 magnum. I`ve seen so many people not want to shoot anymore because some dumbass thought it would be cool to watch them freak out after shootin a 44mag. Mainly it was husbands/boyfriends that i saw do this to their wives/girlfriends.

I start new shooters out with a single shot .22 rifle, then slowly gravitate them to a very heavy .22 pistol, like a ruger heavy barrel target pistol. Anyone i helped learn & train to shoot years ago, STILL shoots to this day... and might i add, some of these people now have more guns than i do now. I still teach new shooter... youngest one is a little 10yr old girl... she`s pretty dang good now. She does not flinch, she is rock solid.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 03:00 AM   #13
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ABSOLUTELY AGREE...!!!!
Nothing worse than ruining a brand new shooter shooting a full house 44 magnum. I`ve seen so many people not want to shoot anymore because some dumbass thought it would be cool to watch them freak out after shootin a 44mag. Mainly it was husbands/boyfriends that i saw do this to their wives/girlfriends.

I start new shooters out with a single shot .22 rifle, then slowly gravitate them to a very heavy .22 pistol, like a ruger heavy barrel target pistol. Anyone i helped learn & train to shoot years ago, STILL shoots to this day... and might i add, some of these people now have more guns than i do now. I still teach new shooter... youngest one is a little 10yr old girl... she`s pretty dang good now. She does not flinch, she is rock solid.
Those jackholes that put large caliber firearms in the hands of noobs and post to YouTube really cast a poor light on the shooting community.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 04:40 AM   #14
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Those jackholes that put large caliber firearms in the hands of noobs and post to YouTube really cast a poor light on the shooting community.
In one instance a person was even charged in a death. This person loaded a heavy recoiling handgun with more than one round then gave it to someone to touch off. The first round went off, and a second one also did in mega muzzle flip putting one through the victims head.

I wish I had more specifics but I don't.
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Old January 26th, 2017, 07:00 AM   #15
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That is exactly why i use a single shot... one round, one shot, and i`m safely standing right next to the new shooter just in case there is a problem. The first thing i teach on my live fire range, is gun safety with handling an empty gun, first. Safety on, chamber open... ammo on a different table 20ft+ away, separate from the gun. We then go thru steps how to handle the gun, what to expect, from picking up the gun, loading the gun, bullet to the target, clearing the gun, back to its gun case, to safe storage.

I have seen with my own old eye`s, some dumbass loads a gun full of rounds, hands it to a newbie, makes for an excellent recipe for disaster. Many times, i have stopped stupid people from doing this if i`m close enough to stop it... mainly because i dont want to get shot, especially, if an when, the gun goes/gets out of control...!!!! Newbie`s CAN be very ignorant, and most the time, its not their fault, its the dumbass that handed them the gun and didnt use common sense. Stupid people shouldn`t be allowed to have, OR, handle firearms. Sorry folks, but you just can`t take the stupid out of stupid.

I am a H-U-G-E supporter of making people go thru many days of heavy classroom training, several days of gun range training, before they can even own or buy a firearm. You can`t make ALL your students perfect, but its worth the effort to try to help them ALL in the right direction, in safe handling of ANY firearm. At my own personal private home gun range, NOBODY, and i mean, NOBODY, gets a free pass... seasoned shooter or not.

Three #1 safety things are a must, in my opinion;
1) The gun is ALWAYS loaded, even if it isn`t... BE SAFE...!!!
2) Check the dam chamber in a safe direction.
3) NEVER hand a gun to someone who has NEVER handled a gun, without proper gun training.
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