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Durkin Tactical Franklin Armory
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Posted: 8/23/2017 11:06:46 PM EDT
i'm impressed by a lot of shooters on here that are getting ragged holes at good distances.  Is it just practice practice practice?

I try to go out about once a month.  Maybe once every couple of months.  Usually about 150-200 rounds per session.  Typically don't shoot for bullseye, but try to be consistent with center mass hits.

Here's a typical target that I did today.  

Headshot and center mass fired from an M&P 9c w/ Apex Duty kit with Trijicon HD sights.  36 shots total.  The 2 strays above the head is actually from when I folded the target in half to raise the pelvic section higher so I don't tear up the range's flooring. Center mass is 12rds of Federal HST 147 and 12rd of Federal Champion 115gr. Headshot is 12rds of Federal Champ.  Target was at about 18' with a steady pace of about 1 shot under a second.  I did open up with speed on 2nd magazine at center mass in a "self defense" style firing.  Not sure wtf is up with the 2 flyers there.

The hip hits are from a M&P 9 Gen1 w/ Apex target trigger kit with Dawson red fiber up front and OEM rear.  Ammo is a mix of Magtech 115 and Fed Champ 115gr. The left hip was fired with a steady pace.  I noticed a vertical stringing which I thought was odd.  The right was fired with a faster pace.  Same distance of about 17-18'.

Link Posted: 8/23/2017 11:38:15 PM EDT
Not much to complain about there, given your equipment and practice frequency.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 12:39:40 AM EDT
Trigger control is the hardest element to master.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:13:01 AM EDT
Dry fire practice and shoot more often.  I have been out of shooting for a bit due to an elbow injury I am trying to get to heal before I start getting back to serious shooting.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 9:18:16 AM EDT
Target not too shabby. Dry fire if you can't make the range more consistently will help. To improve you can eventually get better both in accuracy and speed but initally have to choose which you want to focus on.
Also a 200 round session is probably too much - at the end you will start to fatigue and make sloppy shots. I emphasize 50 rounds of solid focused practice every week is far superior to one 200 round session a month.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 10:14:15 AM EDT
I like to find a target in my house that my sights barely cover.  That way, when I dryfire, I can easily see movement.

I think dryfiring helped me 10X more than actually shooting.  Dryfiring helps overcome any flinch or anticipation you may have.
Link Posted: 8/24/2017 1:59:37 PM EDT
I don't see any problem here. You are shooting more than fine for you intended purpose; defensive shooting. Shooting tiny groups is a totally different thing. When I practice defensive shooting and I'm moving around a bit, I do NOT shoot tiny groups. Can I shoot small groups standing still while shooting rapidly? Yes, but only because I do it all the time. I shoot once or twice a week. Which is about 300 to 500 rounds a week depending on the week. But shooting is part of my business. I have to test my products.

How do you get good at anything? I don't care what it is. Practice, practice, practice, and more practice. Sure there is some innate skill involved, but as long as you are somewhat coordinated, there is no reason you can't learn to shoot well with practice.

One other thing I noticed. I'm a terrible bowler. But sometimes a little tip or word of advice goes a long way. A guy who knew how to bowl well saw me bowling. He came up to me and gave me one tip, one simple pointer. I did what he said and my score has been better ever since. I don't bowl (practice) enough to become a good bowler. But that tip helped me out and improved my game. A good shooter may be able to watch you shoot and see a little thing you could do better, and that tip with practice could make a huge difference. But with enough practice, you would probably figure out that tip for yourself.
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 8:25:05 AM EDT
That isn't that bad, especially with that ammo. I've found that federal 115gr to be very inaccurate and unconsistent in most of my guns.
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 8:32:05 AM EDT
Some of the groups you see on here are absolute bullshit, too.

When it comes to accuracy, good enough is just that.

What are you shooting for?  Hunting?

2-3 MOA will handle 95% of your hunting needs.  People were killing all kinds of animals with muzzle loaders with no sights on them.

A good coach will take you a long way.  Join a LD shooting club and you'll probably get very good very quickly.  I find most shooters are eager to share tips. Sometimes they are good shooters.  Sometimes they are good tips.
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 1:55:49 PM EDT
You shoot better than a lot of people already.  

It's all a matter of how fast you were shooting.  If you were shooting 1/2 second split times like that, or heck even 1 second, I wouldn't be complaining.  If you were shooting slow fire and trying to be as accurate as possible, there is probably room for improvement but you're hitting where you need to be so.....    

Anyways.....  I'm no accuracy expert so maybe I shouldn't even comment.  It's always good to want to shoot better and more accurate.  You just have to figure out what exactly that means.  To me there is always a tension between speed and small groups.  Like someone said, are you hunting?  Sometimes you have time when hunting.  Not all the time.  Is it for self defense?  Might not have much time at all and jacked up on adrenaline.  Different kind of deal.  Although seeing deer gets the old blood flowing too.  LOL.
Link Posted: 8/28/2017 10:15:07 PM EDT
If those groups were shot with any type of speed then that's good shooting for how little you shoot. Even if it was at less than 10yds.
   Like others have said dry fire makes a huge difference!!! But like they say perfect practice makes perfect.  Ben stoeger has a dry fire book online that breaks it down really well. Even better would be to take a class from a reputable trainer.  
  Anyway I like the"tip" idea the other guy mentioned. So here's one that really improved my shooting.  It was at a Ben stoeger class. He said try this and it worked great!!! Providing u have a proper grip position already. Squeeze with your strong hand with a very firm grip. Weak hand squeeze with a crush grip! Which means as hard as u can squeeze without getting fatigued.
   I tried it and it has improved my speed shooting and my group shooting!
   Even when dry firing u have to use the exact same grip strength etc so that when u go to the range u aren't used to a different grip than u practiced with.
    I shoot competition and  also teach a little.  I usually shoot a few times a week and "try" to dryfire every night even if it's only 3-5 minutes.
  But like someone else mentioned 50 rds a week would be much better than 200 rds once a month.
  Another tip. Get one of those grip strength  things u squeeze with one hand. While your driving to work use it and alternate hands. it will help u grip that gun better.
Link Posted: 8/29/2017 10:53:10 PM EDT
Yeah, that's good pistol shooting. I find it much easier to get pretty good on the rifle than the pistol. One of my mistakes is I never take the same pistol to the range twice in a row. I have to spend more time there so I can shoot more of my pistols and also concentrate on the most likely carry guns. Some pistols will shoot for me and others are like scatterguns - I have been weeding those out lately. I have two 1911s that are my best performers; a Taurus PT1911 and a Colt Government Model, MK IV/Series '70 (the original one, not the current one). I typically shoot those at 15 yards and the smaller carry guns at maybe 7 yds.
Anyway, stance, grip, trigger technique and ammo are all important along with frequent practice. Most would recommend starting out at a close range (you have done that) and moving farther from the target in stages as you master the previous distance.
Link Posted: 9/7/2017 9:53:08 PM EDT
An interesting observation today. I got my Ruger back from Ruger, and installed a Vortex Venom on top of it.  First red dot for a handgun.  So I hold the pistol out in formation and look at the dot.  Btw, it's a bright sunburst to my eyes, but usable.

Anyways, holding the pistol as still as possible, I can see the dot shaking like Michael J. Fox.  Granted, we're not talking about 12" movement, but maybe a 2-3" wobble at about 12'.

I guess I have shakey hands?  To me, the pistol seems to be steady though, but obviously not in a vise.
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 3:15:12 PM EDT
One of the problems with dots is they tend to magnify the natural movement we all have / not just you.
When red dots first stared coming into use at precision bullseye competition in the early 1980's ( yes I was already shooting at that time!) the magnification of wiggle was a common complaint that is still hard to overcome. Back then dots were big heavy unreliable with limited battery life- much has changed in that regard but the wiggle you see looking through a red dot will always be there no matter who you are
Link Posted: 9/8/2017 11:18:17 PM EDT
It helps me to aim at one tiny point on the target. You know how when you buy stick on targets they often come with those little circles to cover up hits on the target? I like to stick those little circles to the paper and shoot at them. I get better groups that way than shooting at a 2 or 3 inch circle.

Sometimes I shoot a white area of the paper and then aim at the bullet hole.
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