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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 1/7/2006 5:07:37 PM EST
Hey guys, great forum, I have been reading for a while and finally bought my first handgun. I went with a sig 229 in 9mm. I have put about 300 rounds so far through it and I seem to be shooting a little high and to the left. I was hoping you guys may have some ideas of what I am doing wrong. I have read as much as I could find on proper grip, stance, trigger pull, etc... but didn't find a whole lot on aiming. I've heard some say to put the target on top of the front sights and others say put the front sight right on the target. Tried both and not much difference. The sig has the white dots, I read somewhere in a previous post to black the dots out. Haven't tried this yet. At 25 yards I am hitting about 4 inches higher and 3 inches to the left. Could this have something to do with my trigger pull, grip, etc... Thanks for the help
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:05:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2006 6:06:16 PM EST by azhammer]
Excellent choice of firearm first off. Obviously practice, practice, practice. Also, get some snap caps and then dry fire the hell out of that thing Youll be amazed at your improvement after paying close attention to your reaction when youre firing under controlled conditions.

Youll find out soon enough that with a sig, as long as you do your part, that they are some of the most accurate guns out of the box if not the most accurate.

-Have fun, be safe, and practice.........OH! AND WELCOME!
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 6:22:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:08:56 AM EST by glock23carry]
Get a certified instructor and work with them for a while.

When you've gotten better, take a pistol class from a good instruction group. There are plenty in NC and the good traveling companies go there too.


Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:15:30 PM EST
How good do you want to get?

Get a class from an EXPERIENCED instructor, in person.

An NRA certified instructor would be good, probably can find one at a shooting range/club

If you want to get better, find a guy/gal who is a successful bullseye, PPC, IDPA, or IPSC competitor and see if you can hire them.

Since you're an East Coast guy, check


Also check the club finder option at www.uspsa.org

Link Posted: 1/7/2006 9:24:14 PM EST
1st mistake, not buying a glock
2nd mistake not buying a 1911

try and keep the trigger to a pull motion and not a jerking motion
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:43:31 AM EST
Thanks guys for your help. I found a local range that has some basic handgun courses with a certifed instructor. Ill give it a shot. Until then I'll keep practicing. Thanks again
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 6:53:04 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 6:54:40 AM EST by Shipwreck]
A lot of guns w/ a traditional hammer on it have a longer trigger pull. It's easy to move the gun while pulling the trigger.

Also, get some snap caps - they do make a difference. I have shot for over 10 years, but I have been flinching badly lately - it's been making me shoot low and to the left. I got some snap caps for my new 1911, and man, it has made a difference on my past 2 trips to the range.

When I very first started shooting, I couldn't hit crap either. All it took for me, however, was to ask the range master at the range for a little advice. He corrected my stance and gave me a few tips, and what a difference that made. 2 minutes of advice - I haven't had any other training since.

Also, I attached a picture below that can help you figure out what U are doing wrong.

Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:08:14 AM EST
shipwreck, based on the target pic you posted I would fall into the range of pushing (anticipating recoil) or no follow through or too little trigger finger. Witout someone watching me to know what I am doing how can I tell what Im doing or what can I try to reduce pushing or not enough trigger finger.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 8:53:03 AM EST

Originally Posted By JDT:
shipwreck, based on the target pic you posted I would fall into the range of pushing (anticipating recoil) or no follow through or too little trigger finger. Witout someone watching me to know what I am doing how can I tell what Im doing or what can I try to reduce pushing or not enough trigger finger.

That is where drying firing helps. When you dry fire, pay attention to how the muzzle moves as you pull the trigger. As you add more finger the muzzle movement should stop to the point were you start pulling it to the right.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 12:42:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By JDT:
shipwreck, based on the target pic you posted I would fall into the range of pushing (anticipating recoil) or no follow through or too little trigger finger. Witout someone watching me to know what I am doing how can I tell what Im doing or what can I try to reduce pushing or not enough trigger finger.

You really need to work with an instructor. You need to have stance, grip, breathing, sight alignment explained and verified. With that said in the meantime, slide your trigger finger slightly to the right. Put the Front sight at the six o'clock position. Focus on the front sight not all three. Every shot should suprise you. Take your time, slow fire. Also, maybe try shooting at
a closer distance until your more comfortable.
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 3:03:54 PM EST
Consistent high lefts can be a sign of being recoil shy. Try practicing from a bench and concentrate on just sqeezing the trigger. Practice, practice , practice. Dry fire can help a lot with trigger control. You may even want to look into a similar gun in a 22 cal. Have fun! 300 rounds is your first baby steps in a long and happy journey!
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 4:54:44 PM EST
Well guys I went and shot about a 100 rounds today to try the things you had suggested. I did get closer to the target, probably 20 yards. Seems as now I am shooting more left now than high left like I was. One thing I noticed was it seemed as though I was pulling to the left with my left hand trying to aid in the recoil. I shot a good bit better when I would loosen the grip of my left or support hand and almost push to the right a little. Sounds confusing don't know how to explain it. I couldn't get in a habit of just relaxing my left hand instead I would want to pull back right before I pulled the trigger which was actually causing me to pull to the left. Dry firing I do fine., I can hold the front site on target pull the trigger and the gun barely moves, if it moves any it moves to the right. Once I got back from the range I dry fired a couple times squeesing the grip and pulling back like I would when I actually shot it. This did make the gun move to the left. So I just have to figure out how to pull the trigger as relaxed as I do when I am dry firing. Here is a link to a pic of some targets I shot at today. the one on the left was the last target I shot at, I don't know what happened towards the end I started shooting down. Maybe this will help you guys out. Thanks again for all the great help. http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f95/jdt1234/87760b0b.jpg
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 5:21:27 PM EST
Not to bad..........Really try and focus on bringing the trigger straight back, keep that grip tight but focus hard on what that trigger finger is doing independantly of everything else. Make it a real zen moment
Link Posted: 1/8/2006 5:56:32 PM EST
Hard as it may be, I suggest you don't do any more live fire until you get some training.

All you're doing right now is ingraining bad habits and/or trying to improve them w/o knowing exactly what you're doing = mixed results.

Get the training, then practice what you're taught in the training = much improved results.

Link Posted: 1/9/2006 10:28:09 AM EST

Originally Posted By SFF:
Hard as it may be, I suggest you don't do any more live fire until you get some training.

All you're doing right now is ingraining bad habits and/or trying to improve them w/o knowing exactly what you're doing = mixed results.

Get the training, then practice what you're taught in the training = much improved results.

I have a 228 in 9mm

For a while I shot HORRIBLE groups. Mine were worse than yours, to the left and high.. Fliers all over the place. Then I spent about 2 weeks off with the Bruce Gray Dry Firing packet... some simple visualiztion techniques to help you put your dryfiring techique a little closer in your head to your live firing technique...

I concentrate on keeping the front sight perfectly still through about 10 EXTRA slow DA pulls...

Then I get a good grip on it while sitting down... Aim it as though I was shooting a target and the go through those same 10 Extra Slow DA pulls while visualizing the target with my eyes closed... shooting and hitting the mark dead on all the while being sure to shut out all distractions.

Then I go through 10 more with my eyes open without adjusting my grip to see if I was still keeping the sight still... Wash/Rinse/Repeat

After doing this every night for about 4 days and then taking a break I was shooting much tighter groups on my next range trip...

I've also been told that I should resist the urge to go out and shoot 500 rounds in a session....

By about 200 you start getting a little numb and tired and you aren't really building the precise muscle memory you want to keep and each shot gets a little more sloppy YMMV but I found this to be true in my case.

Next range trip I'm going to shoot the slowfire pistol target at 10 feet until I can put all 13 rounds into the Inner 2 rings. then move to 20ft.

then move it back to 10 and go for all X shots... then move it to 20...

It'll probably take me years to get past the first step but I'm in no hurry.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 4:38:25 PM EST
Thanks for the extra advice, I'll try the exercises, I would say that I would hold off on shooting until I get some training, but that may be difficult, 1st handgun and so much fun to shoot. I know you guys know what I mean. Hopefully I will get some training pretty quick wouldn't mind getting my conceal carry permit while Im at it. Do most of you guys grip the gun finger over finger with two hands or do you lay your fingers perpindicular to your fingers gripping the gun and then cross your thumbs. Seems like first day I shot the gun I tried that way and I was a lot better shot. Then did a little reading on proper grip, changed it, and started shooting left. Is there a right or wrong way.
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 8:39:26 PM EST
Its like golfing
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:07:30 AM EST
Congratulations on the new pistol. It's good you are out getting familiar with it. Don't worry about bad habits right now. Keep going out to the range and get to know your pistol. I wouldn't worry about ingraining bad habits unless you've been shooting bad for a long time. Here is a link to get you started with grip and stance.
Pistol tips

Rob Leatham's little series here is a good way to get started. It'll show you proper grip technique,stance, trigger pull, and give you a few drills to try.

Don't confuse this with professional training, it's just so you can get familiarized enough with your pistol so that you will be able to get more out of some real training. There is no substitute for real training. Some guy giving you two minutes of advice at the range is not the same thing no matter how good the advice was. Don't worry about round count either. Most pistol classes shoot into the thousands of rounds, and it is NOT a waste of ammo. There has been some poor advice on this thread.

There have been good bits of advice so far about getting a beginner class. The NRA instructor can usually get you up and running well enough to attend a basic combative pistol course(if you continue to practice). There are other instructors that offer entry level courses as well. I would research instructors in your area and make it a priority to attend some formal training. There is a saying that having a gun doesn't make you a gunfighter anymore than having a piano makes you Motzart.

I don't know what you plan on doing with your pistol specifically so I won't reccomend any specific training. Different people own firearms for different reasons. No matter what your reason for owning a gun it is your responsibility to learn how to operate in a safe manner.

Good luck and I hope you have a lot more fun shooting. There's always more to learn. It seems like the more training I go to, the more there is that I don't know. Until you've tried it you'll never know what you're missing.

Take care and be safe,
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 5:50:30 AM EST
I've been a firearms instructor for my department for about six years and I've taught alot of new shooters with similar problems..

The anticipation of recoil issue is best solved by doing some DRY fire practice. UNLOAD your gun and pickout an aiming point.. slowly pull through the trigger stroke in double action maintaining crisp focus on your front sight. Repeat this exercise in double action for a few minutes...

Now do the same steps in single action (hammer cocked) for a few minutes...

Now load up a magazine with ten orange plastic training rounds ( brownells sells them super cheap) and one live 9mm round.... mix the round in so you don't know where it is in the mag or have a buddy load your mag for you...

Charge the weapon and de-cock it using the provided lever (trigger finger straight along frame)

Take aim on the center of the target you are using, check your sight alignment and sight picture (equal amount of light on either side of the front sight and everything level accross the top)

Check your grip... 40% pressure with your gun hand, 60% pressure with your right... (if your right handed your left forefinger should be on top of your right middle finger...left middle on top of right ring etc... thumb position can vary by hand size.. I shoot with my left thumb against the frame approx where the vertical part of the trigger guard intersects the frame with my right thumb locked down on top of left... Dynamic tension. (push with right hand/ pull w/ left elbos unlocked)

Stance is like any other fighting position... several different theroies here but to keep it simple.. feet shoulder width apart, knees unlocked, 50/50 weight side to side... I place my left foot 3-4 inches forward with a little more weight on front foot, not as big a deal with handgun but will help if you move on to shotgun or rifle ..but thats me...

your eye can focus on a dozen things at once.. but only at one distance.. you have three things to focus on at three diferent distances... (back sight, front sight, and target) try and focus on each of these once and see how the other two are visible but blurry... Now, focus on the front sight.. this is where you must be to shoot 1 yard to 100 yards with a handgun (yes you can do 100 yrds with any stock Sig and be 10 for 10 on a bowling pin sized target)

Maintain that front sight focus while centered on your target and slowly pull through the double action pull... "click" likely and orange cartridge... you should have had no movement of the gun...

Tap (the bottom of the mag) Rack the slide (to expel the dummy round and replace it with the next round in the mag) and find your sights... Decock the gun with provided lever... Take your time and repeat all the steps... Eventually you will hear a loud bang... IF you did everything right the hole should be right through the center of the target (keep it about 10 yards to start)...

I know this doesn't sound like a bunch of fun but continue this.. adding more live cartridges to the mix as you improve... I still throw a dummy round or two in the mix to stay sharp and practice weapon malfunction drills...

Trigger control (slowly adding pressure on the trigger finger only while moving directly to the rear) and Front sight focus (not focusing on the target) are the big two..!!

Practice often but keep yoour sessions to 100 rounds or so... (Don't want to practice bad habits) You'd be better suited to spread 500 rounds over 8 practice sessions than burn 500 in one trip to the range... Remember to take your time and go slow... shooting quickly will come on it's own...

Seek out certified QUALITY instruction from a reliable source...

Be safe... and practice, practice, practice.... Good Luck....

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:54:59 AM EST
+1 to more dry-firing practice.

One option would be practice with a milder recoiling handgun - .22lr, airsoft, pellet, etc.

Another option would be dry-firing practice with one of those "Laser Blaster" type products that shoots a quick beam of light when the hammer strikes. If you see a line on your target you're not steady enough.

Can you rent guns at your local range? (ie. rent a semi-auto in .22lr if you don't want to buy one)

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:56:06 PM EST
Hey guys, went to the range this afternoon and tried out everyones tips. Worked on my trigger pull, and my grip. Seemed like I shot a little better today I think still far from perfect, don't know exactly what helped, probably a little of everything. I tried to make sure I was pulling straight back on the trigger and shot one shot at a time for the most part. Concentrated on the front sight instead of the target. I don't think I gripped the gun as hard today, relaxed a little more. Even dry fired between a clip or two. Here is some pics of todays targets the one on the left is the first target of the day, the one on the right is the last target of the day, shot about 130 rounds. Everyones help is great, nice to have a forum like this.http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f95/jdt1234/0019e30e.jpg
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:01:07 PM EST
pull the trigger do not squeeze it fire slowly and at the center of the target fire 1 wait a few seconds untill you have the shot you need and fire again
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