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Posted: 10/15/2004 1:59:09 PM EST
Perhaps the title should be, "I can't hit squat with a handgun" instead of blaming it on the H&K but you get the point ...

OK, I've had this handgun for around 3 months now and I've shot the hell out of it. It's really been my first handgun although I had limited exposure in the past shooting with a handgun. So, yeah, I'm kinda "new" to it I guess you could say. My problem is that I can't get consistent with it. You'd think after 3 months of shooting this damn thing, I'd start to see some consistency. The only consistency I see is that I consistently SUCK. I have made IMPROVEMENT with it, but I'm nowhere near where I want to be. Let me explain a scenario I'm currently working with.

At this gun club I'm a member of, they have a range where they have a series of three plates placed @25yrds. The first plate is about 1.5ft in diameter, the second plate is 1ft in diameter, and the third plate is .5ft in diameter. There are days when I can go out there and shooting the 1.5ft plate and hit fairly consistently and there are days where I couldn't hit it to save my life. Today was one of those days. I know everyone has "off" days but again, I get the feeling I'm doing something wrong. I'm fairly certain I have the sight picture down correctly but my most common problem seems to be that I jerk to the left or the right when the shot is fired. It's possible I'm pulling the shot because I am anticipating the recoil but I really never think of the recoil when I'm shooting. I guess it's still possible. I have some questions.

1) What part does arm strength play in proficiency with a handgun
2) How firm should the grip on the handgun be
3) I want to be to the point where I can hit all three plates with at least 8/10 shots. Is this a reasonable expectation
4) I am of the opinion that while excellent shooting ability can come naturally for people, it shouldn't be the only limiting factor in someone that's determined to become good. In otherwords, practice and good technique should take someone a long way in marksmanship. Is this a reasonable belief?

Well, how about it ... any suggestions? How many of you really sucked when you first started shooting a pistol and how much improvement have you made over time? How many of you never improve despite the amount of time you put in at the range? Help and constructive critisism appreciated. Thanks.
Link Posted: 10/15/2004 2:15:17 PM EST
From an accuracy standpoint, the two things that matter the most are trigger control and sight alignment...period. The US Army Marksmanship Manual says it all..."Align the sights on the target...cause the hammer to fall in such a manner as to not disturb the sights" . What we see is that sight alignment is easy for most intelligent shooters...it is the trigger control that is difficult. When you miss a shot do you say to yourself "Damn, my sights were not aligned correctly"? or "Damn...my trigger control sucked"? The bullet WILL go wherever the MUZZLE was pointed at the exact instant the bullet leaves the barrel...and all too often that is low and left for a right-handed shooter, because they jerked the trigger. Work diligently on your trigger control...dummy rounds interspersed with live ones, dryfire practice, etc. and come back and give us another report in a few weeks. I'm betting the report will be much better! My old instructor used to say "Ya got ta have guts in the head"! So true...it is all about mental strength...not physical...and focus...REALLY focus...on that front sight WHILE you squeeze that trigger! Other things such as trigger reset and followthrough are also important, but FIRST is trigger control!
Link Posted: 10/16/2004 5:51:20 AM EST
Ikor, thanks for the tips. I'll do exactly that. One or two other questions ... Where can 9mm dummy rounds be purchased? Secondly, will dry fire hurt the H&K USPC? I seldom after a shot wonder about the sight picture but I do wonder about the trigger control aspect. I have a tendency to want to "will" the shot to hit the target harder so I do pull the trigger rather roughly.

I'll let you know here in a bit how I'm doing and thanks again for taking the time to read the post and provide some tips.
Link Posted: 10/16/2004 6:56:02 AM EST
I had a P99 that I loved, but consequently couldnt hit a barn from inside. I tried and tried and tried to get it to work for a year and finally bought a 1911 and ha such a good response I bought another 1911. A good single action trigger can make the difference in everything. I couldnt make the P99 work at all but a buddy could make it sing all day. At 25 feet now with a 1911 I can make 1 ragged hole. Back burner the HK and get something with a good single action trigger, like a 1911 or a quality revolver. I personally think that 1911s triggers are the bees knees. They really helped me improve my shot game. That and I started working out my forarms and biceps more. I just bought a Glock 22, gonna see if I can work that one decently.

Link Posted: 10/16/2004 7:00:25 AM EST

Originally Posted By fatk1d:
Ikor, thanks for the tips. I'll do exactly that. One or two other questions ... Where can 9mm dummy rounds be purchased? Secondly, will dry fire hurt the H&K USPC? I seldom after a shot wonder about the sight picture but I do wonder about the trigger control aspect. I have a tendency to want to "will" the shot to hit the target harder so I do pull the trigger rather roughly.

I'll let you know here in a bit how I'm doing and thanks again for taking the time to read the post and provide some tips.



You can by dummy snap caps at just about any good gun store worth it salt. Dry fire wont hurt the pistol but he was saying have some one else load your mags and mix in a dummy round and see when you drop the hammer on it if you are jerking the pistol to the side. You can use spent brass too. Dry firing wont hurt a modern pistol.

When you shoot you should be applying gentle pressure to the trigger. The trigger should break and be a surprise to you. Thats how you get some awesome groups.
Link Posted: 10/16/2004 7:00:42 AM EST
I feel your pain man, I can't hit the broad side of a barn with my H&K USP9c. I practiced and practiced and practiced but never got any better. I tried a Glock and BAM, instanstly better! Va_dinger was with me at the range the first time I shot my G19 and he commented, "I've never seen you shoot a handgun so well". I guess Glocks are better suited for me. On the positive side, my wife loves the USP9c and seems to be very accurate with it so it's hers now.

I love the USP9c but man, I can't shoot it well enough to depend on it.
Link Posted: 10/16/2004 11:56:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/16/2004 11:57:44 PM EST by Alien]
Try getting better sights if that's the problem or maybe the Match Trigger upgrade for HK pistols if you would like to keep it. I hear they are in the $100 price range (do it yourself install though), though they come stock with the top of the line USPs (Tactical, Expert, Match, Elite). You could send it off to HK or an HK armorer to have it installed for a fee if you wish. My Tactical has a very crisp trigger and I don't move the sights at all when I pull back in single action. Double action takes a little effort, but can be done too. I am hoping I can take it out tomorrow and shoot it for the first time.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 6:33:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By M4arc:
I feel your pain man, I can't hit the broad side of a barn with my H&K USP9c. I practiced and practiced and practiced but never got any better. I tried a Glock and BAM, instanstly better! Va_dinger was with me at the range the first time I shot my G19 and he commented, "I've never seen you shoot a handgun so well". I guess Glocks are better suited for me. On the positive side, my wife loves the USP9c and seems to be very accurate with it so it's hers now.

I love the USP9c but man, I can't shoot it well enough to depend on it.



You don't know how happy I was to hear this. My wife shoots with me sometimes and she can kick some serious ass with the H&K USP9c. So we were out shooting when I threw the first post up in this thread and she's sitting there dinging the targets with almost every shot. I step up and I get maybe 25% of the shots she made. Several things were going through my mind yesterday ...

Is it the pistol? No, because she shoots it just fine ...

Is it hand/arm strength? No, because I am very much stronger than her and she shoots it just fine ...

Does the thing just need a good cleaning? No, because she's shooting it just fine and I cleaned the thing before we left.

That's why I went through all of these things in my head and came to the conclusion that it must somehow be my technique. I've thought about a 1911 as one responder said earlier. I've also thought about a Glock and a Sig P226. But, like you, I like the look of the H&K and I'd hate to ditch it.

I'm looking at a Smith and Wesson 1911 stainless. That's one sharp firearm. Problem of course is cost. Again, I don't want to ditch the H&K ... I'm in the process of saving for one but it'll be probably this coming March before I'm ready for the purchase. I had intended to get one regardless of the problems I was having with this weapon but I'm willing to try a Glock too. I can rent them at one of the ranges here (rent the 1911 too for that matter) so I think I'll give them a shot as well.

I'm headed back out to the range today (Lord willing) with the intent to concentrate on trigger pull. I'll let you know if fare any better.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:09:25 AM EST
How about getting an inexpensive 22LR, like a Ruger Mk1, and practice like crazy. 22LR ammo is really cheap down at your local Wall-Mart.
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