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down and left

  1. Yeah, I'm a noob. Got my G19 in October. Have about 2500 rounds through it, all shooting outdoors.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I try to get out once a week. I use a 24"x36" vertical backboard with six 7" round targets, and a wood rail on top, where I put steel juice cans. That gives me something reactive to shoot from further back.<o:p></o:p>
    So the normal m.o. is to shoot 150 or 200 rounds from 7, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 and 50 yds. My groupings are about 1.5" at 7 yds, about 2.5" at 15 yds, 4.5" at 20 yds and 6" or so moving out to 30 yds. I can pop a juice can off the top rail about 2 in 5 shots at 40 yds, and was 2 in 5 today at 50 yds.<o:p></o:p>
    My shots are pretty well centered in the target at 7 and 10 yds. As I start moving back though, they fall down and left. I know this is me, not the gun.<o:p></o:p>
    The main thing controlling lateral position of the shots seems to be position of my index pad on the trigger. I generally center the pad on the trigger, with a little daylight on the outboard side of the frame. I generally need to put POA a little high to get into or above the bullseye beyond 15 yards.<o:p></o:p>
    Does anyone have any general comments on this?<o:p></o:p>
    I think the bore axis of the gun is pretty well centered on my strong arm. Also think my weak hand/strong hand relationship and stance are OK, considering level of experience.<o:p></o:p>
    I'm really wondering about the down/left thing, though. Want to get the groupings consistently centered in the targets as they continue to get smaller.<o:p></o:p>
    Thanks for any help. :)<o:p></o:p>
  2. Low left is poor trigger control along with a little recoil anticipation/flinch.
    Finger position on the trigger and grip have nothing to do with where a slow fire, single shot goes.
  3. If you are shooting 2.5" groups at 45 feet, I sincerely doubt you have a problem, and I doubt that if you did have a problem, that we'd be able to diagnose with the limited resources here ( not being there in person, etc).

  4. NMG, am I correct that "trigger control" is the ability to pull the trigger straight rearward, without inducing any lateral movement in the gun? If position of the index pad isn't a factor, what should I be focusing on? I remember someone posted about teaching students to visualize the trigger and front sight as being mechanically joined.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Yes, these are all slow fire single shots. The closest ones are maybe 2 seconds apart, and I'm generally not shooting more than 3 without returning to low ready. Trying to focus on basic 2-hand marksmanship right now.<o:p></o:p>
    I have definitely caught myself flinching a few times, so I know that is a problem. Odd thing is, the diagnostic target I have seems to associate flinching more with shots that go high, not low. The problems it shows at 7:00 and 8:00 are jerking/slapping trigger and tightening fingers. Not sure what latter means. I do try to focus on squeezing the trigger gradually from the index point.<o:p></o:p>
    Back to the issue of pad placement on the trigger, the diagnostic target shows too little and too much trigger finger as opposing issues at 9:00 and 3:00. I assumed that meant under and over-insertion of the finger into the trigger guard, and that was the main factor in terms of lateral movement.<o:p></o:p>
    ‘Drew, as far as there being a “problem”, I am just trying to improve marksmanship and develop good initial habits. I took a formal range class, but it was focused mainly on safety and CHL. Haven’t really gotten any marksmanship instruction yet, although it has certainly improved from reading GT posts and looking at YT videos. Based on some of the targets I see posted on GT, can see I have a long way to go.<o:p></o:p>
  5. The diagnostic targets are bull****.
    Slow fire it all comes down to sight alignment, trigger control and mental.
    Once you start working on consistent recoil management then grip comes into play.
    If your sight alignment is good (and if you are shooting good up close, then it probably is).
    Then it comes down to trigger press and/or mental issues (anticipation/flinch).
    It doesn't matter how you place your finger on the trigger as long as you press it without disturbing the correct sight picture. I've demonstrated this by shooting small groups while pressing the trigger with a ball point pen.
    My best guess without watching you shoot is that your sight alignment and trigger control probably aren't that bad if you're shooting paper plate sized groups out to 25 yards
    You're probably having a breakdown in the mental aspect of the shot.
    Utilize a "ball and dummy" drill to check for anticipation/flinch and really concentrate on your follow through after the shot.
    Fire the shot and keep your eye on the front sight until it returns to the target then take up the trigger slack and prepare for another shot. THEN lower the pistol to see how you did. I've seen people drop shots by being in such a hurry to see how well they did that they actually lower the gun an instant before they shoot.
  6. I would have to agree with this to about uh, 100%.

    I will repost here (soon as I find it), what I posted on another thread here on GT. Unfortunately, I am probably out of my league with NMGlocker, as my range only goes out to 50feet, but I've resorted to shooting post it notes at that distance to really tighten up my groups. :cool:

  7. Thanks NMG.

    'Drew, would like to see your repost, if you can find it.
  8. I'll agree w/ NM, you are breaking down in your fundamentals pat 15yds for some reason. Peeking after the shot, no follow through &/or using too much left hand. I see this all the time w/ newer shooter. As the target moves further out or you are required to shoot faster, you squeeze more w/ the support hand. This almost always results in a shot going lower left. Ease up on your support hand grip, even shoot w/ your support fingers open to reduce lateral tension on the gun.
  9. That's interesting. I have been making an effort to use a tighter grip with my weak (left) hand, and relax my strong hand. There has to be some method of generating that stabilizing force - two main options being grip tension and push/pull between the two hands. The push/pull approach seems to make me more shaky in terms of keeping the gun on target. Gripping tightly with the strong hand definitely interferes with trigger control. Gripping tightly with the weak hand seems to allow for a more neutral application of force to the trigger, without the push/pull shaking.
  10. The push/pull tension is just that, tension. The harder you squeeeze your support hand, the more it influences the shot. Your string hand grips, but not chokes the pistol. This allows a beter trigger control. Again, try using your support hand only in tension, your support hand fingers should be relaxed, your forearm/bicep pulling back providing tension.
  11. Grip has NOTHING to do with firing a single shot.
    It doesn't influence where the rounds go AT ALL.
    I've demonstrated this by holding the pistol upsidedown with just my thumb and index finger. That's about as horrible of a grip as you can simulate.
    Guess what, as long as I press the trigger without disturbing the sight picture the rounds go exactly where I want them to.
    Sight alignment and trigger control.
    That's it.
    Don't complicate things.
    Sight alignment... trigger control.

    On another note:
    The push/pull tension grip is horrible for managing recoil in a consistent manner.
    The straight-thumbs 60/40 clamshell grip is the best grip for consistent recoil management and trigger manipulation under rapid fire.
  12. ThAT is kind of what I am saying. To say grip doesn't influence the shot is just not true. Maybe we are talking semantics, but you say "clam shell", I can agree w/ that. It's why I said using too much tension w/ the supprt hand influences the shot, because it does, it moves the sights off target at the moment of trigger break. I see it all the time in students. One thing I have learned instructing, there are few absolutes, every shooter is diff. You have to work w/ their strengths & weakness. What works for some, does not work for others. What I can do others can't. Forcing them to work only one way will only slow their progress, JMO.:dunno:
  13. for a newbie you are off to a great start! Keep up the practice, your shots will tighten and your skills will improve. Keep up the good work.
  14. The support hand does NOT influence the shot.
    That is poor trigger control.
    I see anywhere from 25 to 100 shooters a month in classes.
    The root cause of misses is always trigger control or anticipation/flinch.
    Press the trigger without moving the sights and the pistol will shoot exactly where it's aimed. One handed, upside down, flat on a table, whatever. As long as you press the trigger without disturbing the sight picture you'll get your hit.
    You can either have your students thinking about 100 different nuances (which all come right back to the trigger press) or you can have them work on trigger press.
  15. Ok, since semantics seem to escape you, the support hand influences the trigger control if used improperly. This I have also seen. I don't teach 25-100 a month but have seen this many, many times in classes w/ new shooters having a death grip on their pistols. You are right, it is proper trigger control, but many things influence that. FWIW, I'ld like to see the flat in the table thing, not buying it beyond contact distance.:dunno: Seen barracade & cover positions influence POI from hard surface rebound regardless of how perfect your trigger control.
  16. Hold your strong hand like you are shooting a gun and move your index finger like you are pulling the trigger (With your hand empty). Most likely, this movement causes your other fingers to close a little as well. What that means is that as you pull the trigger on your gun the other fingers tighten up a little as well. Now, hold a gun and tighten your lower fingers. For me, that causes the sights to move down and left.

    Working on pulling the trigger without tightening the other fingers helped to center my groups.
  17. It just may be a lack of clarity, but this isn't so.

    Hold a suitably safe prop gun, get on target, and squeeze/loosen with the ring and pinky finger only. You'll see the muzzle move down and to the support side.

    We're closer here, and I agree completely with what's in your last sentence. The real question is, "Why do the sights move?" This isn't limited to jerking or unsmooth manipulation of the trigger finger. It can also be related to the shooter's tendency to flex all of his fingers at the same time, or to "wipe" with his support hand or other things.

    So in a nutshell: Yes, the things that the shooter does with his grip or his support hand can cause a miss.
  18. If you're flexing all your fingers and it throws off the shot... that's the inability to properly isolate the trigger finger... aka poor trigger control.
    Like I stated previously, you can either give your students 100 different things to work on or you can distill it into one single sentence.
    "Press the trigger without disturbing the sight alignment."
    Placing a single shot into the bullseye does not require any kind of grip on the pistol, much less a perfect grip.
    It does require sight alignment and trigger control.
  19. Different training philosophies, I guess. I prefer to tell the individual what the specific issue is, rather than go for a one-size fits all answer. To be clear, I don't tell everyone everything that can possibly go wrong with the shot; that's what's implied by "giving them 100 things to work on". If they don't need it, they don't need it. But if they do need to isolate their index finger, then telling them to shoot without disturbing the sights is both accurate and pretty near useless.

    Now, I can't do that without watching the individual delivery of the shot and sometimes touching him while he does it (if a trainer is wondering about this specific one, you place a finger lightly on the arm just above the wrist and see if you can feel movement in the pinky/ring tendons).
  20. We had a beautiful 50* high pressure day today, so I went back out to the pit. Warmed up with some juice can shots, and then moved into the ball/dummy drills per NMG's recommendation. Lol. In more than three decades of analyzing the physical and behavioral aspects of my sporting endeavors (obviously not shooting sports), don't think I have EVER seen the truth so nakedly unmasked. I flinch like a beaten dog. It is amazing.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    I had 200 live rounds and 3 of my dummies to play with. Started out by loading one dummy and 4 live rounds into each of 3 mags. I was alone, and it’s too easy to remember the sequence of rounds if you only load one mag. The flinching was so bad though, that I tried just loading the mags up with every other round a dummy. Even then I flinched. Then I tried dry firing the dummies a few times before progressing to the next live round, and that really helped. I’ve been dry firing at home, so am familiar with that. Was able to get some pretty darn good groupings out to 25 yards using this technique, and a few 60 yard juice can hits, so very happy with that.<o:p></o:p>
    It’s interesting how the diagnostic targets show flinching as elevating the shot. My flinching was down and a little left.<o:p></o:p>
    Re timbo and Sam’s posts, I am able to hold my hand out sans gun and actuate the trigger finger completely independently of the other three. When I hold the gun on target and squeeze the fingers of my strong hand with no support hand, the front sight moves down and left. When I do the same with the support hand in place, the front sight moves straight down.<o:p></o:p>
    Based on what I saw today, would say that my grip is pretty good. Trigger control needs some work. I definitely need to get rid of the flinching.<o:p></o:p>
    I guess the next step is to work on getting the follow-through to land the sights back on target post-recoil. What’s the best way to work on that? I was trying hard to stay focused on the front sight and the follow-through today, and it seemed to me that the gun wanted to come to rest high and right of the bullseye for follow-up shots. So at this point, I still have to reposition the gun slightly prior to each successive shot.<o:p></o:p>
    Thanks a lot for all the help it’s much appreciated.<o:p></o:p>
  21. Keep it up, for us newbies trigger control is a perishable skill.
  22. My point exactly. Telling a newb shooter to "isolate your trigger finger for perfect trigger control" & then he pushes his shots low left & you are not going to tell him why? Shooting is a lot like a golf swing, there is mor to it, sorry, JMO, than trigger rpess & align the sights. If it were that easy, no one would need instruction. It could be placed on a 3x5 card & post for all to see. Practical application hsows it is far more involved than simply press & sight alignment for most newb shooters. NM, so how does that teaching style reflect w/ your cadre of students? Are they newbs or experienced shooters learning to go faster or practical shooting skills? Yes it matters. Try that attitude w/ a romm full of newb shooters & get back to me.

  23. Sciolist,

    I am hard pressed to understand how you could be flinching so severely, and still grouping as well at those distances. Are you SURE you don't mean "feet", instead of "yards"?

    A 2.5" group at 15yards is a pretty hard feat if you're flinching like crazy. For MOST shooters, a 2.5" group at 45ft is very good shooting.

    A 2.5" group at 15 feet...well, at 15 ft (versus 15 yards) all of the rounds from slow fire should be making one hole with proper technique.

    I can barely see a 1/2 gallon juice jug at 50 yards.


  24. Yes, I know the difference between feet and yards. As an architect and climber of many years, let's just say I would not be here to post this, had I been confused on that count.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    As I said, we don't have indoor ranges here, we shoot outdoors. I set my target stand up, pace off 10/20/30/40/50/60 yard lines, and just drag my heel in the dirt. Your initial skeptical tone prompted me to take the rolotape and chalk out and check my pace. I paced off 100 yards in 10 yard increments, and was about 1 foot strong on each increment. So my 20 yard line is probably about 62 feet and my 60 yard line is around 186 feet.
    ‘Drew, I didn’t start this thread to boast, I started it to get some pointers, and to engage in what I think is an interesting discussion. Don’t really have an effective means of supplying evidence of my shooting… seems like that would be pointless anyway, without firsthand verification. Based on some of the targets I’ve seen posted on here, my shooting sucks anyway.
    Yes, I can definitely shoot small 2.5” groupings at 15 yards. My juice cans are the 46oz variety, like V8 comes in. They are about 4-3/16” x 7”. I just stick them up on the top rail of my target stand like this:


    At 30 yards I can pop 4 cans off the top pretty consistently with 4 rounds. At 50 yards I use only 2 cans, to avoid hitting one next to the one I’m aiming at. At that range, I sometimes hit the can on the first shot, more often in 5, and sometimes it takes more than 5 shots. Got a few at 60 yards yesterday, as stated. I think my best was a hit in 3 shots, and one of them took me 9 or 10.
    Maybe the missing piece of the puzzle is consistency. I am not claiming to be able to put 15 rounds in a 2.5” grouping at 15 yards. More like 3 or 4. The first shot might be nearly dead-nuts on, then the next two maybe within 2.5” or 3”, then I’ll zing one way out at maybe 6”, then start working back toward center. So there are plenty of flyers, especially when I get out past 20 yards. That’s why I like the cans for longer shots. You don’t really know where you’re hitting the can – just if you hit or miss.<o:p></o:p>

    Of course a 4” can appears smaller than my stock front sight at 60 yards. Have you not seen hickok45’s 230 yard video? That makes 60 yards look point-blank.<o:p></o:p>
  25. I had not realized that 'both eyes open' was the proper technique, so went out to experiment with that yesterday. I am right handed and right eye dominant. Did some dry firing/pointing at home first, to get the visual fixation down. This technique is a little spooky at first, but it generally centered my groupings up on the target, which was very exciting.

    Was also working on the flinching. I started off with D/B drills where I did not know the locations of the dummies. When I flinched, would dry fire that round a few times before moving on.

    In terms of actually correcting the flinching, loading mags up with 3 live/1 dummy/3 live/1 dummy, etc., and just working through that seems to help. You know when the dummy is coming, and can make a conscious effort not to flinch. The blind D/B's are a great diagnostic tool, but I don't think they do much on the remedial level.

    Will also try doubling up on the ears. Are there any other good ways to work on stopping the flinching? It seems to be intermittent with me... about half the time I don't do it, then sometimes I'll do it lightly, and every so often it's as though I'm trying to throw the gun in the dirt. Not really sure why that is.

    Some pics:

    Nice grouping from 15 yards:


    Target from 10 yard line:


    Target from 50 yard line:


    The distance photos are a little deceptive, but at least the proportional relationship is there. In the 50-yard photo, the 40 yard line (heel drag) can be seen in the foreground. The 20 yard line is near the wide juniper on the left.

  26. Where would I start? :)

    1. At 45ft, a 2.5" group is far better than decent, way better than average.

    2. There is no skepticism in my response, except to tell you that if you are shooting a 2.5" group at 45ft consistently, you are not flinching, because flinching is going to exaggerate your group at that distance in a bad, major, ugly way. It is virtually impossible for you to flinch at trigger break, with a "generic" handgun at that distance, and produce consistent 2.5" groups.

    3. I have seen Hickok45's videos, and if he was to respond to your post, he would say that you cannot possibly be flinching at 45ft @ trigger break, and produce a 2.5" group. :)

    Having said all that, I read your post above (sorry for the part I cut out!), and your post after that. You are shooting fine. The most effective way to improve your performance will be to work with a solid, aggressive shooting coach (someone who will push you when needed, in the right ways to better your performance).

    I did not think you were boasting, nor was I skeptical. I merely questioned you on the distance because from a 2 handed, or 1 handed unsupported shooting position, you cannot produce those (2.5" groups) results if flinching is happening. Draw on your background as an architect, and think of all the scenarios that cannot work from an engineering perspective.

    I will concur (re-reading your most recent post) that it's flinching that's causing the flyers. :supergrin: How do you minimize flinching? Flinching is an indication that you are not concentrating enough on your sight picture. Virtually 99.9% of your body's conscious concentration should be focused on the front sight. If you are flinching, there is some part of your brain telling another part of your brain the trigger is about to break. This should not be happening.

    See this post, in General Glocking.


  27. Thanks, 'Drew.

    I think the flinching is intermittent. That would explain why my initial shots are often the most accurate, and also explains the flyers.
  28. I was struggling with crappy trigger control. Then I tried this.... I picture a straight line from where my finger is on the trigger directly to the back of the grip. This way im directing the trigger towards something rather than just pulling it back. Kinda is becoming second nature and imagining that line also somehow seems to help with my flash sighting acquisition.

    I dunno, im a lil unorthodox and my mind works in wierd ways but all I know is my groupings are getting smaller and smaller the more I practice now. Hopefully it helps you or someone else struggling.
  29. From another thread discussing the same problem:

    Jeff Cooper, talking about the surprise break & front sight.

  30. I think NMGlocker is more on target.

    I've found it more productive to make it simple, sight allignment and sight picture, now press the trigger smoothly disturbing the sight picture as little as possible.

    The instructor takes onthe roll of looking at the groups and the shooting and spots errors. That which he spots he addresses.

    This process has worked rather well and getting students to print respectable groups. Quickly they can spot when they did something wrong. Often they say it felt different when the shot strays. I explore and explain why what happened manifested and get them back focused on the simple- proper sight picture, proper trigger control.
  31. One thing I've started doing when I dry fire, is to do a few repetitions observing my trigger technique from above. I sit in a chair in front of my work desk, which has about a 1" thick top. I adjust the height of the chair so that I can hold the gun at a sort of "low ready", without getting any additional support from my lap. Then I roll forward until the barrel of the gun is almost touching the edge of the desk. This gives a very precise visual index. Then it's easy to watch what's going on with the gun and my hands as I dry fire. Easy to see if any skew motion is being imparted by my trigger finger, experiment with relative pressure between hands, etc. Kind of a birds-eye view.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    After a few rep’s like that, with as close as possible to zero delta, I do some dry fires from my normal shooting position, with the target at 5-10 yards. The idea is to get the biomechanics dialed in, and then add the visual fixation part.<o:p></o:p>
  32. Psychology 101 and how it applies to teaching:
    Why do I have the student focus on proper sight alignment and proper trigger press and not go into diagnostic detail on what they're doing wrong?
    Because the human brain does not work in "negatives".
    If I tell you to picture a gorilla in your mind, what do you get a mental picture of?
    A gorilla.
    If I tell you, do NOT picture a gorilla in your mind, what do you get a mental picture of?
    A gorilla.
    It's the same thing with instructing.
    If I tell a student "Don't jerk the trigger." The mental picture the student gets is... jerking the trigger.
    The human brain is also geared to use visualization as a learning technique.
    Now, the student is visualizing (learning) to jerk the the trigger, because you the instructor were telling him to "NOT jerk the trigger", but the brain does not compute the "not".
    To be an effective instructor you need to know the psychology of learning, not just the mechanics of the subject.