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A brief history.

I have shot fireams before. Mostly a relatives .357 revolver. I purchased my own M&P40 full size early this spring.



Have been to the range several times with it to practice. I must be doing something wrong though because all of the results have been the same. Everything is down and to the left no matter what I do. I've only eye-balled the sites and they seem as centered as they can possibly get. I have had others look at it and they all agree the sites look good. I'm wondering if someone might have a suggestion as to what I am doing wrong. Attached is a pic I took of my last trip to the range. All of my previous range trips have produced similar results. Any suggestions?




Mark





 

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What distance is that?



Have you had someone else shoot it and if so, were they low/left too?



I'd say that you're either slapping at the trigger or squeezing your whole hand instead of just squeezing your trigger finger.
 

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m4arc said:
What distance is that?



Have you had someone else shoot it and if so, were they low/left too?



I'd say that you're either slapping at the trigger or squeezing your whole hand instead of just squeezing your trigger finger.


Being a newbie I didn't count off an exact distance. I put my target where all the other pistol shooting was taking place. Roughly, I'd say between 25 and 30 feet.



My wife shot it the same day but her results were off the chart, literally. So we don't want to go there.



I'm taking my time and using only my trigger finger. So the trigger slapping or hand squeezing doesn't sound like it.
 

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Nothing is wrong with your aim. Everything is wrong with your mechanics. Low left if a dead giveaway. Contributing factors may include jerking the trigger and/or squeezing too tightly with the strong hand. Work on the fundamentals of your grip and focus on a smooth trigger press. Use some snap caps in your mag along with live ammo to discover where you are going wrong. Don't get discouraged, keep practicing perfectly and you'll get better. Dry-fire as well.
 

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Lots of dry-firing is one of the best (and cheapest) methods to improve your fundamentals. And the fundamentals of shooting are EVERYTHING. If you don't have a good base, you will never be able to build any higher.



From my experience, you're slapping the trigger, squeezing with a death-grip on the shooting hand, and/or anticipating recoil with a flinch. As chooch stated, mix in snap caps with your live and dry firing routines to help identify just where your problem lies.



Also, make sure you're focusing on the front sight and nothing else. The target behind should seem blurry, so center your focused sight as best as you can with the blurry bullseye/silhouette/POA. Front sight. Front sight. Front sight.



As with a great many things, you must simply be dedicated and disciplined enough to keep working at it. You will improve with time.
 

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MarkinGA said:
[quote name='choochboost']Use some snap caps in your mag along with live ammo to discover where you are going wrong.


Pardon my ignorance but what are Snap Caps? :?



Thanks.



Mark[/quote]

Dummy rounds that you can load in with your live ammo to watch the front sight take a dive when it goes "click" instead of "boom". I prefer A-Zoom brand as I have had problems with others.
 

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Best advice I ever got was "you should be surprised everytime your gun fires".



Sounds stupid, but if you just slowly and smoothly pull the trigger without thinking about the gun firing/recoil you will start shooting the way you should be.



Your target looks just like mine when I was yanking my trigger and anticipating recoil.
 

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MarkinGA said:
Being a newbie I didn't count off an exact distance. I put my target where all the other pistol shooting was taking place. Roughly, I'd say between 25 and 30 feet.



My wife shot it the same day but her results were off the chart, literally. So we don't want to go there.



I'm taking my time and using only my trigger finger. So the trigger slapping or hand squeezing doesn't sound like it.


I'll bet you $5 it's milking the grip. aka squeezing with your other three fingers when you pull the trigger.



It's an increadibly common problem, and most people don't think they are doing it.
 

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raz-0 said:
I'll bet you $5 it's milking the grip. aka squeezing with your other three fingers when you pull the trigger.



It's an increadibly common problem, and most people don't think they are doing it.
That's was my problem with another semi-auto. I was shooting low and to the left. I tightened my grip with my three fingers and the groups moved to dead center. Another suggestion that I found helpful was to shoot from 3 yards until I corrected the problem. That way I could get smaller groups all on the target. It made it easier to see change as I worked on my grip.
 

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raz-0 said:
[quote name='MarkinGA']

Being a newbie I didn't count off an exact distance. I put my target where all the other pistol shooting was taking place. Roughly, I'd say between 25 and 30 feet.



My wife shot it the same day but her results were off the chart, literally. So we don't want to go there.



I'm taking my time and using only my trigger finger. So the trigger slapping or hand squeezing doesn't sound like it.


I'll bet you $5 it's milking the grip. aka squeezing with your other three fingers when you pull the trigger.



It's an increadibly common problem, and most people don't think they are doing it.[/quote]



That was & is my problem. How do stop squeezing the other fingers at the point of click/boom? Is it just practice?
 

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LockNLoad said:
[quote name='raz-0']



I'll bet you $5 it's milking the grip. aka squeezing with your other three fingers when you pull the trigger.



It's an increadibly common problem, and most people don't think they are doing it.


That was & is my problem. How do stop squeezing the other fingers at the point of click/boom? Is it just practice?[/quote]

Check out the Massad Ayoob article at: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob85.html
 

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LockNLoad said:
How do stop squeezing the other fingers at the point of click/boom? Is it just practice?
It's a psychological thing. When shooting, tell yourself that the only thing your strong hand is going to do is press the trigger, while your support hand holds the pistol. This will help you isolate the trigger press action with your trigger finger. It will probably result in a grip with 70% support hand and 30% strong hand. Snap caps will help you catch it when shooting, while dry fire at home will help a lot as well.
 

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choochboost said:
[quote name='LockNLoad']How do stop squeezing the other fingers at the point of click/boom? Is it just practice?
It's a psychological thing. When shooting, tell yourself that the only thing your strong hand is going to do is press the trigger, while your support hand holds the pistol. This will help you isolate the trigger press action with your trigger finger. It will probably result in a grip with 70% support hand and 30% strong hand. Snap caps will help you catch it when shooting, while dry fire at home will help a lot as well.[/quote]

I agree with CB on this... regarding the Ayoob article above, he mentions the "crush" grip. I think he's speaking strictly from a defensive-shooting-preparation mindset, because squeezing the grip to the point that hand tremors set in is not exactly a recipe for a smooth trigger pull
 

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LockNLoad said:
That was & is my problem. How do stop squeezing the other fingers at the point of click/boom? Is it just practice?


Don't try and gorilla the gun. It usually does not work. Mainly because when you hold it extra tight, you are telling the fingers you don't want to be squeezing to squeeze. So....





The correct answer is to increase the ammount of grip you have with your off hand. When people tell you your off hand should be doing 60% or more of the gripping, they are telling you the truth. Getting someone to do that is like hammering a nail into a 2x4 with a fish.



The best explanation of what you need to be doing that i can put into text is as follows:



Do some "air-gun" dry fire. hold your hands out like you were holding a gun and practice your trigger pull. For most folks, you will notice your pinkey and ring finger twitch as you make trigger pulling motions. This sympathetic movement screws your shots up if your offhand isn't doing it's job. For starters, one of the things your offhand should be doing is clamping down on your strong hand fingers enough so that they can't actually move, regardless of twitching. If you start dong this, you will likely stop milking the grip. It doesn't mean you are doing all you need with the ofhand to control recoil, but it should stop you milking the grip, and stabilize the gun enough so that the low grade sympathetic twitching you are getting won't be able to move the gun.



Now, if you have severe sympathetic twitching, you need to practice your fine motor control skills. Somethign really basic you cna do to learn finger isolation is to place your hand flat on a table or similar surface, and practice lifting one finger at a time without the others moving. If it is easy, lift the finger higher. Most people should be able to max out the range of motion they are capable of per finger without sypmathetic twitches in fairly short order.



Then you have the reverse. Which is hold your hand with the fingers pointing vertically and palm facing forward. Try to bend each finger at the middle nuckle 90 degrees without moving any other fingers. In short order, you should be able to do this with the index finger, thumb, and pinkey. You can develop the skill with the ring finger, but the middle finger is REALLY hard to get isolated. You don't really need to, because if you get the pinkey and ring finger working, the middle finger will follow their lead when shooting a gun.
 
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