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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, let me make sure I come clean to start this thread off with... I have said it before but I'll say it again... I'm proficient with handling my firearm including breaking it down and I'm proficient with putting rounds on the paper... but I am by no means a highly accurate shot as far as grouping is concerned (well, my grouping isn't too bad usually but it's always at the lower-left of the page)... so there you go... I've been reading some stuff online to get some tips on improving and I've been considering taking a marksmanship class to get some hands-on help... but I'm curious how much of it might be due to the fact that I'm shooting the short 3" barrel... in the Navy with the Barretta I shot much better than I have been with my XD SC...

So here are my "?"s:

1) At short ranges is it fair to blame a reasonable amount of my inaccuracy on the short barrel or is it mostly my fault?

2) To what degree of "tightness" should I be striving for (as in, not PERFECT but reasonably accurate)

3) Is consistently shooting in one general location off-of-center considered "ok" or "normal" or is it something I should really be trying to improve?

I'm not asking so much from wanting to become an expert shooter. My goal is to be as REASONABLY accurate as I can so that I can feel more comfortable taking shots should I ever have to as well as so I can know whether or not I should be embarrassed at the range! :lol2:
 

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Print up a couple of these on 8.5"x11" and take them to the range. Aim at the center (white space) and then when you have poked 5 or so holes, take a picture and upload it to the forum. (See attachment)

At Front Sight I used a 3" barrel and yes, it was harder to get tight groups. First of all your sights are closer together, so minimal movement doesn't show up much on the sight picture, but does on the paper. Accuracy is also a factor, but I wouldn't worry about it too much - unless you are shooting out to ~70 feet, you should be able to get all your holes on this paper no sweat.

Sub-compacts do have their disadvantages, but when you consider a deep/normal concealment sidearm, I think they are great.

bane said:
So here are my "?"s:

1) At short ranges is it fair to blame a reasonable amount of my inaccuracy on the short barrel or is it mostly my fault?

2) To what degree of "tightness" should I be striving for (as in, not PERFECT but reasonably accurate)

3) Is consistently shooting in one general location off-of-center considered "ok" or "normal" or is it something I should really be trying to improve?
1. Probably mostly your fault - at short ranges you should be able to hit small objects with any weapon (given a few shots).

2. Degree of tightness? At short ranges I would say a single, ragged hole. When you are put under stress your pattern will open up quite a bit and make many holes in your opponent (good thing, more places to bleed from). But if you are spread out in practice, you may lose a couple rounds outside the opponent when you are under stress (could hit someone/thing else which is bad).

3. I wouldn't want it to be OK, sure you are consistent... consistently missing what you are aiming at. I would look into the chart and see if you might not be slapping the trigger (my biggest problem) - anything you can do technique wise will help your form and proficiency and that's what target shooting is all about!

Good luck - and seriously, I want to see your target!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dave, thanks for the great response!

Actually, I shoot on that target almost every time I go (actually I think I got it from you a few months back). I pretty much ALWAYS hit somewhere between "Tightening Fingers" and "Jerking or Slapping Trigger"... not really sure how to correct those things as I've tried what SOUNDS obvious to no avail. Recently I read a good article titled "How to shoot a handgun accurately" by Massad Ayoob in which he suggests squeezing the gun with your whole hand as tightly as possible through the entire shot (with the exception of your trigger finger, obviously) which made me wonder if months back when I saw I was shooting the "Tightening Fingers" spot and tried to counter that with a looser grip if that didn't actually add to my problem. I haven't been to the range yet since reading his article to actually try that out though.

To answer your "?"s:

1) Yes, I get all my holes on the paper... due to the fact that I shoot so low/left, though, occasionally one of them will "slip" of that side but maybe 1 out of 10-20.

2) Define "small objects" and "close ranges"... though I send the target down about 3/4 of the way down the range at Doug's every time I shoot, I consider my shooting at the 20-30 feet point more representative... is THIS the range you are suggesting and what size of "small object" should I be able to consistently hit at that distance?

Thank you again... I appreciate your feedback and will look forward to more!
BTW, I will indeed post my target next time I shoot (probably next week)... but I have to say I'm preparing myself to be embarrassed... :oops:
 

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Bane,

1. IMO you can blame it on the 3" barrell. I have several 3" barrel guns and I can almost always put all bulletts on paper, but it is extremely difficult for me to get tight groups. Now when I use my 4 or 5" barrells, the groups improve. The longer the barrel the better my groups become. As the distance between front and rear sights increases it becomes easier to accurately be on target.

2. At 10 yards, on my 3" barrel guns, I want all bullets on paper (8 1/2 x 11). On my 4" barrels I want all bullets on section about 1/2 the size of the paper. On the 5" barrels I want them all in a fist sized area. Now this doesn't always happen but it seems to be about how I normally shoot. Even when I have shot from a bench with the gun resting on something on the bench, I still seems to shoot these kind of groups. My 3" barrels are all KelTecs and the horrible trigger doesn't help the situation. I shot a friends XD SC .40 and got a better group than I shoot with my XD's, but not much better.

3. IMO (yes my opinion only) if you are getting a decent group somewhere off center, adjust the sights! Even if you are doing something "wrong" as long as you are consistently doing that, then just adjust the sights. I have tried everything on the fancy recommendation targets and it hasn't seemed to help. When I shoot left or right, I simply adjust my sights. I have noticed that I can shoot dead on with my gun, and then other shooters will put their groups to one side of center or another. I have just decided that it could be my method of shooting "wrong" versus anothers method of shooting "wrong", versus the way I align the sights, combined with my stance, compared to someone else. I say shoot however is comfortable and then adjust sights to hit center.
As far as up and down, unless you can adjust your sights up and down which I don't think you can on the XDSC then just change your point of aim. Adjusting up and down is easy. In no time your groups will be on center.
As a side note, I had to move the sights left 3 times on my XD45 before it got me on center.

Hope this helps.

I have posted targets before and have felt nervous doing it. So here are a few targets.

This is the best group I have ever been able to get with my P3AT 3" barrel.


Here is a group with a worthless (in others eyes... not mine) HiPoint .40 S&W 4.5" barrel

Another HiPoint using bench rest


I will post some other targets later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PW: Great feedback, thanks! I hadn't thought of adjusting my sights, good idea!

As far as your targets... I can't view stuff hosted at alot of the mass-hosting sites... IF you have access to your own server, would you mind re-hosting them there so I can see them? Otherwise, maybe you can PM/email them to me???

Thanks!
 

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I can shoot my XD SC more accurately than any other pistol I've ever shot. I can't explain why - but even the first rounds through it were tighter than I ever could shoot with my 4" Beretta. Maybe a combination of weight and better sites.

Even though it is opposite of what's on the chart, I've seen this exact shot placement corrected by using less trigger finger. It isn't so much the trigger action that fixes the problem, but the shifting of the grip slightly clockwise (less trigger finger, thumbs more forward). Make sure you're pulling the trigger straight back. This fixed my problem (which was EXACTLY the same as yours) and I've seen at least 2 other people have this problem instantly fixed by doing this. Hope that helps.

You want to make sure it is indeed the sites before you try to move them - especially on the XD which has almost immovable sites.
 

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:agree:
I would work on correct grip and trigger finger before trying to move those "immovable" XD iron sights. Just my opinion though.
 

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GeneticsDave said:
:agree:
I would work on correct grip and trigger finger before trying to move those "immovable" XD iron sights. Just my opinion though.
Apollo and Dave make good points.

The sights are a pain to move...trust me I know...I did it 3 times.

However, I still think that if you are comfortable with your grip and have tried the tweaks to no avail, AND you are getting good groups, simply make minor adjustments on the sights. You don't really think the "hash" marks on the XD are right and that Springfield gets the sites in the right spot to begin with? Go look at your XD and you will see what I am talking about. The sights on mine weren't centered in the hash marks to begin with anyway.
 

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PW said:
The sights on mine weren't centered in the hash marks to begin with anyway.
Mine were way off. So far off that the left hash mark was hidden under the sight. And the gun shot WAY to the left. I knocked the sight over (and yes, it was hard) to where it's between the marks and now I shoot just a little to the left. I'm going to practice some more, but if it doesn't improve, I'll tap the sight over a little further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh wow... you guys were right on the money... my front sight looks pretty accurate but my rear sight is quite a bit to the left... so far that I can't see the left one!!! Obviously that would make my shooting off to the left... as far as "low" shooting I swear I was shooting MORE accurately before I tried "loosening" my grip thinking that's what "tightening fingers" meant... since I have read Massad's article, however, on shooting with a tight grip I will try that and see if that helps me bring my shots back "up".

Thank you for everyone's feedback. It's been very informative. So for now I definitely will adjust my sights since they are clearly off and after that I will practice my technique in line with Massad's points and see where I get... I'll post my results as soon as I get them.

So... how does one go about adjusting these sights??? Is there a set screw I need to loosen or do you just bang on them with a rubber mallet (and if so, do you need a vice, cuz I don't have one)????
 

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This was my first target from my XD45. I estimated the range at Doug's to be about 60 feet (20 yards).



If I do my part, I can make every shot within the black. In fact, if those shots had all been centered, they would all fit in the black. I post that just so you know that the XD is perfectly capable of excellent accuracy.
 

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bane said:
So... how does one go about adjusting these sights??? Is there a set screw I need to loosen or do you just bang on them with a rubber mallet (and if so, do you need a vice, cuz I don't have one)????
Hit them. Hard. Then realize that you didn't hit them hard enough, and hit them harder. Repeat until you're really afraid you're going to break something. Then notice that they still haven't moved and start really whaling on them.

I used a brass drift punch to try to avoid marring the finish on the steel. It didn't work, but it probably did avoid putting actual dents in the sight. You don't need a vice, but it does help a lot to have a friend to hold the gun steady. Lay the gun on a wooden or other soft surface so that doesn't damage anything, have the friend hold it steady, put your brass punch on the sight and hit it HARD (see process above).
 

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Have you shot using a support such as sandbags? Before you go to banging on your sights, hunker down with some sandbags and get real serious about taking the shakes out and squeeze off like you were going for a buck at 500 yards. What I am saying is, take out the human error as much as possible and see just where your sights are aligned. I would do this at 7 yards. This will also give you a good idea of what accuracy your piece is capable of. I think you will be surprised just how accurate it is. As soon as you learn this, you can quit wondering if its the guns fault and work on your form.

Question 1: Likely its your fault.

Question 2: At 7 yards, everything within a 2 inch circle is OK.

Question 3: If you consistently shoot off on windage, you may need to correct the sights. Shooting low could be the result of anticipating recoil and pushing forward just as the trigger breaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Everyone's feedback here is AWESOME! Thanks!

James: I really think I need to adjust my sights... the rear one is very obviously off... I hadn't ever looked at it before b/c I assumed they were set correct at the factory but now that I look at it, it's very clear that it was never sighted in. That being said, I totally think you are right about the low-shooting/anticipating... I think it's partly to blame for my correction attempt by loosening my grip. I'm going to tighten up on my grip and adjust those sights and see from there... sandbags might be the next idea after there... but my "?" is where one can go to shoot from sandbags... does Lee-Kay allow you to do that???
 

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bane said:
but my "?" is where one can go to shoot from sandbags... does Lee-Kay allow you to do that???
Most of the ranges I have been to have sang bags you can use. The Bountiful Lion's Club range has them down on the rifle range (you could take a few up to the pistol range). Or, you can stop by over a Wally World and pick a few up - they're not too expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
GeneticsDave said:
bane said:
but my "?" is where one can go to shoot from sandbags... does Lee-Kay allow you to do that???
Most of the ranges I have been to have sang bags you can use. The Bountiful Lion's Club range has them down on the rifle range (you could take a few up to the pistol range). Or, you can stop by over a Wally World and pick a few up - they're not too expensive.
... uhhh... and just tote them into Doug's... you don't think they'd find that odd??? I guess I could ask first, though.
 

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bane said:
... uhhh... and just tote them into Doug's... you don't think they'd find that odd??? I guess I could ask first, though.
Sure, they're just small bags (like 5-10 lbs), nobody should give you guff about it.
 

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I have never shot at any of the ranges in your area. Do they have tables at the shooting positions? A stool to sit on?
The range in Logan has tables, stools, and some little carpet covered boxes that are for rests. Not quite as good as sandbags, but you can hunker down and hold pretty steady with something like that. You really need to do this at least once to see how accurate the gun really is, and build your confidence in the gun. Good shooting.

Edit to add: Just be careful to never have the gun touching anything solid, like the table, when you shoot. It can damage the gun, or worse even pinch your hand or fingers.
 
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