A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shootin' Low

I tend to send a lot of lead down range from seven to ten yards. I rationalize shooting at this distance, and practicing from the concealed holster on the move, because I shoot for self defense. Click to enlargeBeyond that range, I tell myself it would be difficult to defend an argument of self defense. Unless my attacker had a rifle. Inside that range, I would be forced to defend, even against a knife.

Targets look better at short ranges. As the bullseye becomes more distant, holes in the cardboard spread out, and the shooter's deficiencies become more apparent. One thing I have never done shooting at 25 yards is blame the gun for my failings. Hell, I know shooting a pistol across a quarter of a football field and making cloverleaf groups is difficult. I'm proud to say that most of my guns can do it, but I can't. Oh, I occasionally get lucky, but I can not consistently group tight at 25 yards. With practice and sharp eyes, I might get there, but it isn't my goal any more. Fast hits from concealment at bad breath distance are.

Todd G has penned a piece concerning shooters blaming the gun. If you find that your handgun shoots 6-12 inches low at 21 feet, 10 inches low at 25 feet, or two feet low at at 25 yards, especially with factory fixed sights, take a hard look in the mirror. It ain't the gun.

Todd also provided some links to drills to help.
The Wall Drill
The Ball & Dummy Drill
The 3X5 Card Drill

Dry fire practice with a penny balanced on the front sight will help as well.

Click to enlarge



Blogger tom said...

As far as magnifying error, I've found a dime works even better than a penny for me.

Happy Shooting from the other side of that river,


11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a quarter is harder. your links are dead?

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Robb Allen said...

Todd Jarrett teaches to aim three quarters high because the vast majority of the time, if you're going to miss, you're going to miss low. So notch it up ever so slightly and if you miss, you'll be on, and if you're aim is perfect, you'll still be on (just a bit higher).

It's done wonders for me.

6:59 AM  
Blogger The Duck said...

I recently was trying to hit steel at 75 yds, & everything was going to the right, , I looked at pistol, & front sight was off center about a quarter of inch, didn't notice it really at 7 yards

9:14 AM  
Blogger Pawpaw said...

Exactly right. The handgun bullet doesn't drop as much as some think and if you're shooting low at 25 yards, it's you, not the gun or ammo. A quick look at the ballistics tables shows that the Remington 148 grain wadcutter in .38 special has a midrange trajectory of 2.4 inches at 50 yards and the Remington Express .45 ACP, 230 grain ball has a midrange trajectory of 1.6 inches at 50 yards.

10:31 AM  
Blogger MCSA said...

This is interesting - I shoot a fair bit of PPC (24 shots at 25 yards) and I've found that Brian Enos' book helps a lot by describing the mental aspects of firing a the long shot:

For shorter ranges, gross indexing and use of sights without a good "follow through" allow people to slide by, but this doesn't work so well at 25 yards or 50 yards.

When I practice 25 yard shots, I focus exclusively on the front sight and try to see how it recoils. I know from the initial line-up that I'll be indexed right, but after that, I don't care about the target anymore. I just try to make sure that I see that front sight crystal clear throughout the entire shot process - I look a lot for muzzle flash with the realization that if I'm seeing flash, I'll have made the shot without closing my eyes.

Of course this assumes that you haven't jerked the trigger, etc...

Regardless, Enos' book is pretty awesome about that - its not solely for gamers...

11:15 AM  
Blogger J said...

I need the pratice with a DA revolver. Can I safely and without harm, dry fire my dads old S&W K-22?

1:01 PM  
Blogger P said...

RE J's ? and the K-22, when you are done shooting, gather up some empty .22 hulls, magic marker them black so they show up as used, and then reload the gun with empty hulls, that cushions the Firing Pin.

Re the shooting low, I have been spending a lot of time at the 50yard range, shooting there. I find that after two or three days of shooting at distance, the 7 yard target is as big as a billboard, and all my shots are x's. When you can double tap at fifty yards, and hit the Q target, its blind simple to hit close up.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Billy Budd said...

The timing of this post is ironic. I took a good buddy shooting last weekend. I sold him a NIB Springfield 1911. He shot consistently low with it. I took it away and it shot fine. I told him it was grip, stance or sighting, not the pistol. We have work to do.

7:34 PM  
Blogger montanabob said...

Trigger control. Trigger control. Trigger control. Take the gun away from them--wheel guns work best for this--then only put 2-3 rounds in it. Hand it back and have them shoot it. It'll go off, they won't notice the trigger jerk. Empty chamber, big time jerk and they finally get it what is going on. It is called a trigger squeeze, not a tigger jerk/pull/jump/stomp/mash.

12:11 AM  

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