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Old 05-28-2018, 04:25 AM
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Put 400 rounds thru my .40 2.0 compact, and my .40 2.0 five inch pistol. At about 12 yards, I'm shooting 3 to 5 inches left...about 3 in the five incer, and 5 in the compact. Why yes, I'm glad you asked...after frustration at the range, I come home and notice the rear sights on both pistols are placed too far left...I haven't checked my 9mm 2.0 rear sights yet, but am assuming they will be off too. I had the same thing on a Glock 19 about 8 months ago. And it peeves me because I went thru so much ammo kicking myself with frustration. I grabbed my Glock 23 today, and was 3 bulls eyes and within an inch on the rest of 12 rounds fired from it. I have spent about an hour researching why I'm shooting low. I've read Smith zeros their pistols for 25 yards, thus shooting low at closer ranges. I don't know if this is true, but I found a good bit of ppl reporting they are shooting the M&P pistols low, while shooting their XD's and Glocks with no problems. So before I can go out with the pistols again I must first move my rear sights...and thank you for asking, no I don't have a rear sight pusher...but luckily I know a couple places near me that can do it for me. I will try shooting out to 25 yards next time to see where the point of impact is at that range. Good grief I'm mad at myself for not checking the sights on my pistol before I even started shooting them. I've been shooting for like 30 years, and I've never had a pistol with the sights not centered...now I have 3 in less than a year...4 if the 9mm 2.0 compact has the same issue. Call me crazy, but quality control these days seems to be utilizing cheap labor. So I've got my shooting left thing figured out. The shooting low I'm still working on. Love these pistols tho, just frustrated I didn't have the confidence in my shooting ability to check the rear sight alignment immediately in the field upon consistently shooting left. But I typically will pull a little left sometimes if I'm not focusing well...I feel like I've wasted 400 rounds of ammo. Never again will I ever buy a pistol without scrutinizing the sights prior to shooting it for the first time. Shame on me for not checking them. Upon the end of the shooting session today I seemed to be figuring out where to hold for the north and south bullet placement...but gees. Perhaps I'll inform Smith over the poor placement of the rear sights, and offer to work on their rear sight assembly line ha ! I guess at the end of the day, I'm glad the rear sights are off center. That's easier to fix than a shooter's error problem.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:09 AM
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While a grossly misaligned sight could be a sign of hasty assembly, I've never assumed factory sight placement to be spot on. For me, final sight adjustment is just part of the break in process. After a few hundred rounds, parts settle in and my familiarity builds. That's the time to give the sight a few taps to get it right where I want it. Generally, an inch or two of adjustment at 10 yards takes little more than a pencil line width of adjustment. It's not much.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:46 AM
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Thanks MN2944. I believe you are absolutely correct. I have found needing sight alignment on rifles before, but the pistol thing really caught me off guard. I don't know why it took me by surprise so much. I'm wondering if I have just been lucky regarding my pistol sights in the past, and have been spoiled. But the sights on the compact are too far off not to be noticed by quality control. On the five inch pistol, it's not as noticeable, but indeed not centered by enough to notice when shooting. When I found this on a Glock a few months back, they too were off center enough to easily catch. And at the end of the day, my frustration is placed upon my own shoulders even more than on the manufacturer. I should *******g know better ! I examined everything quite well, and didn't notice the sights ! I have to chalk this up to shooter error even more than the manufacturer's. And I mean this whole heartedly - Shame on ME ! I've shot these pistols like three times already. Not a whole lot, more of function checking really, seeing where the brass was being ejected and more worried about reliability. I did notice I was missing the rocks and steel more than I thought I should, but thought it was just me. I had been shooting at whatever I deemed a target at ranges of mostly around 30 yards out in the desert. You know, just funnin' around...one handed and some quicker type shooting. My focus was mainly on erratic ejection on the five inch pistol. To all those concerned regarding THAT issue, I quickly replaced the loaded chamber indicator (LCI) out to the NO profile LCI by Apex. My casings now all eject strongly and in the same place. Smith's loaded chamber indicator touches the back of the bullet casing on the five inch model, which most definitely effected the pistol's ejection pattern. Not enough to really be concerned about, but I was getting occasional brass back to the face. I highly recommend Apex's NO profile LCI. I do however wonder if that voids my warranty. Either way, that remedied my ejection concern. I'll adjust the sights now, and should be ready to rock with the pistols. I think I'll solve my shooting low problem by the next outing too. Rocks and steel plates are fun to shoot at, but paper is the best way to improve accuracy IMHO.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:58 AM
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I've had a fair number of guns, particularly S&W fixed-sight revolvers, whose sights were off. I generally couldn't do much about it, either. I finally wised up and started buying fixed-sight revolvers used from my LGS, who allowed me to test-fire before buying.

I am no longer surprised when guns shoot to POA, but I am CERTAINLY not surprised when they don't.
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Old 05-28-2018, 12:45 PM
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I think my mid-sized M&P was a little off from the factory (down and left), but my Shield 45 was perfect out of the box. I had others shoot my mid-size and they had no problem, so I suspected it could be my eyes. I had the sights adjusted slightly. I also switched to using my left hand when shooting the mid-size M&P — this eliminated the low-left and made a huge difference in accuracy. Nowadays I always try to practice both left and right hand shooting, and I think this has helped me a lot.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:21 PM
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My 9mm Shield was shooting to the right when I got it. So the front sight had to be moved to the right(manual says don't touch rear sight). They must have installed the sight with a hydraulic press. A high $$ sight pusher wouldn't budge it. Finally after Kroil-heat- a steel flat punch and a hammer it moved. Now it shots to POA.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:22 PM
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I've heard some report they could move their rear sight easily, and others have had a hard time moving them. I don't even have a vice, so a gunsmith will be relegated this task. I'm still in wonder about the shooting low for now. I read a post where someone raised their rear sights. I love the M&P pistols. I will do what it takes. For the moment, the Glock 23 will remain in my hoster for my EDC, but I'm anxious to get this whole sight picture thing taken care of so I can start carrying the M&P. But I am certainly on that journey.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:43 PM
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First thing I do with a new pistol or revolver is shoot off a sandbag or rest to check the sight alignment. Had to make a few sight adjustments over fifty years.

My Shield 9mm was shooting 2” to the left at 7 yards when I got it. Had a gunsmith put in an APEX Carry/Duty kit and had him adjust the sights while he was at it.

Just got a fixed sight revolver and it shoots 2 1/2” to the left at 7 yards (first time ever had one do that).Back to the factory it goes! Have to agree, don’t make them like they used too.

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Old 05-28-2018, 10:58 PM
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I'll throw in a plug for buying a good sight pusher, for lots of reasons. Making adjustments, and replacing sights.

Using a hammer and a punch is just not a good way to make adjustments or to remove/install sights!

MGW (Maryland Gun Works) used to make a sight pusher just for M&Ps that cost around $125 and was excellent. Now they sell a more expensive Universal one for just under $300, and a compact Universal one that will work on most guns for $190. (I don't know if it works with M&P's, but presume it does). NCStar (Chinese) makes an inexpensive one that is by no means as good but, for those on a budget, is workable.

So if the OP needs to adjust the sights, then my recommendation is to get a good sight pusher and the job is easy.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:03 AM
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Funny you bring up simply buying a sight pusher S&W Rover. I just popped on the computer to take as look at them. Thought I'd check on this thread before I started googling for sight pushers. I'm also glad you gave me the name of Maryland Gun Works. I had to take a double look, as I've made purchases from a place called Midwest Gun Works before - also called MGW in my parts lol. I think you're correct too, a sight pusher would be better than a mallet for sure. I have plans of night sights on more than one pistol, and the sight pusher may pay for itself in the long run. Not to mention, it's always good to be able to do as much of your own work as you can. Truth is though, I don't even know what a sight pusher looks like lol. I'll be stepping into new territory, but this is hardly rocket science. Thanks everyone for chiming in with advice and past experiences. I appreciate all the input. : )
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
My 9mm Shield was shooting to the right when I got it. So the front sight had to be moved to the right(manual says don't touch rear sight). They must have installed the sight with a hydraulic press. A high $$ sight pusher wouldn't budge it. Finally after Kroil-heat- a steel flat punch and a hammer it moved. Now it shots to POA.
I have a Shield .45. Sights were off on it. Adjusted the front sight using a brass punch, and a medium heavy (16 oz.) ball peen Hammer. I have a good heavy weight 5" bench vice which is quite sturdy so moving the very tight dove-tailed front sight was no problem!
I take the Shield .45 to the local indoor range almost weekly and generally shoot between 60-80 rds. Gun is one year old and I have shot over 1,700 rds through it! I do pretty good at 10 yds. but still not good enough to meet the "Rastoff Challenge", but I am immproving. These tired old eyes and limbs make it challenge just to shoot the .45 Shield. (What a sweet piece)!
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:52 AM
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Did you let somebody else shoot it?
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:07 AM
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Did you let somebody else shoot it?
Most Definitely. R.O. and also several learned range members. POA & POI are the same at 10 yrds. if I do my part.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:46 AM
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Wow, 3"-5" off at that close of range, would probably put you completely off the target at 25 yds.! As I have aged, I see the sights a little differently. I do seem to shoot plastic pistols to the left if I use a less than very firm grip, too. If you actually see that the sights are noticeably to left of center, it seems like the factory goofed.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:14 AM
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I was referring to the OP, but I think it's good advice for anyone, especially if you have the same issue with several pistols. Kinda like your third divorce. At some point, you have to entertain the idea that it might be you . . .

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Most Definitely. R.O. and also several learned range members. POA & POI are the same at 10 yrds. if I do my part.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:42 AM
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Oh the sights were definitely off...way off to the left on my .40 compact, and not as much on the five inch pistol. I took the compact to my gun smith. He chuckled at how far off they were. I bought a sight pusher from a local gun store, and moved the sights on the five inch pistol myself last night. I checked my other 2.0 - the 9mm compact, and those sights were fine. I figured I'd go ahead and buy the sight pusher because at some point I'm going to want to clean the plunger area...The sights were noticeably off. It's a huge shame on me for not noticing before shooting for accuracy. I shot about a two to three inch group with my G23 that same day. The real reason for my shooting session was to make sure my Gen 4 G23 would shoot reliably with a light attached. After confirming it did, and I was shooting so far off with the M&P's, most of the rounds went to shooting those two pistols. What I will say is shooter error I believe, is my shooting low. I normally shoot like once every six weeks or so, but will be back out again this weekend sending rounds down range. My Glock shoots with a six oclock hold, and I like that sight picture. I was covering the target with my M&P's, and still shooting low. I seemed to be doing better regarding north and south point of aim as I expended my ammo. But the shooting low stumped me. I thought I was holding correctly. But I'm not going to be bold enough to say it's the pistols. I will shoot more this weekend and report back. I'm certain my east to west point of impact will be fine. Now it's the hold and working on the point of impact north and south. Like many right handed shooters, if I'm not careful, I will shoot slightly to the left of bulls eye sometimes. I also have longer type fingers, and the trigger break is a little firther back than is comfortable for me on the M&P's. But Apex triggers are on the list of to gets to improve that trigger reach for me. New to shooting the M&P pistols, trigger reach, sights off to the left...go easy on me guys lol. I'm trying over here lol. I read where Smith and Wesson zeros their 2.0's at 25 yards, and it's normal to shoot low at 7 yards. I really don't know if that is true - I just read it and can't remember where among all the googling I did. I was shooting at about 12 yards though - 12 paces out mostly. I'm not going to worry about it or over think it from one accuracy outing. I will shoot again this weekend and will most likely figure the proper sight placement easily I'm assuming. As far as my shooting skills go, I wouldn't be able to hang with competition shooters, but I'm not a bad shot either. My current phone is like five years old, and no longer will send pics to my computer. My office is supplying me a work phone I hope to acquire this week. They won't mind me using it to photograph my targets either - My boss is an AOK guy and likes shooting too. If possible, I'll post pics of my resulting targets. Any input on how low, if any I should see shot placement on paper at twelve yards would be appreciated. I'm going with the assumption I should be covering the bulls eye with the front sight dot. Thanks everyone !

EDIT: Forgot to answer the question - No I didn't have anyone else shoot the pistols. I was shooting solo. If one of my friends is free to go shooting this weekend, I'll have someone else shoot it too. That's definitely a good measuring stick when looking for shooter error. : )

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Old 05-30-2018, 02:33 PM
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If your pistol is zero'd at 25 yards, your impact will be less than .25" low at 7 yards. You will have to find another reason for shooting low.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:02 PM
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I agree with you MichiganScott. I don't know the math on it, but I don't think I should be shooting as low as I was. I must at this moment, blame it on myself. It's funny how I don't shoot low with any other pistols, but I am the first to admit, the overwhelming most likely cause is shooter error. I've seen a few others post regarding shooting the M&P low. I am guessing I'm just not holding sight picture properly. Imagine my concern though. I keep shooting low, yet I'm grouping very well with the Glock 23. I'm assuming I'm just use to the Glock, but I also have an FNS long slide. That pistol has the so called "combat sights". Sometimes on my first few rounds firing that pistol I'll shoot it low, but it just takes a few rounds to get it where I want. So while I'm betting it's shooter error, I'm hoping it's not a pistol that just isn't well suited for me. The only thing uncomfortable about the pistol is where the trigger breaks at. That being said, I can adjust to anything I like to think. I just got to do a couple of dry fires with my buddies M&P that he just put the Apex in - and OMG I love that trigger reach. Assuming I do better shooting the M&P's this weekend, I'll soon be installing the Apex triggers on mine. While it may help my accuracy a little bit, nothing as drastic as to how low I was shooting. I don't hate the stock trigger, but the reach on the Apex feels much more natural of a fit to me. I'll bench rest shoot it this weekend too. I'll figure it out. But I am not saying any aftermarket trigger is going to fix what's wrong with my aim. That is something I just have to practice through. I'll repost this weekend after shooting. I hope you all stay tuned to this thread for it. Wish me luck !
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:06 PM
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It's amazing how many new guns have sights off from the factory. It's even more amazing how many people can adjust them at home while not shooting.
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Old 05-31-2018, 12:48 AM
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I have them as dead center as I can tell by looking at them. I don't have calipers to measure them, but if they are not perfect, I don't think I'll be able to notice. They are centered. I know it's a good idea to do the final adjustments in the field while shooting. Gun smiths put sights on and center them without shooting. They are probably using calipers to measure too though. I'm new to this forum, and regardless of that, I always try to remain polite. All I can tell you is I know how to shoot. This pistol IS shooting low. Is it me ? Honestly, I think I'll have to order a lower front sight and or higher rear sights. I've been shooting for 30 years. I'm not an idiot. I've never....EVER...shot this low before. I've never had to order special sights. I'm hoping if I indeed need they are sold with night sights...or affordable enough to have tritium put in. I normally shoot steel targets. I like shooting steel. I don't have to change out targets, and I can have fun playing run n gun in the desert. I shoot one handed, shoot while breathing heavy, and will admit - I need more practice shooting left handed. But I can shoot good enough to feel alarmed when I shoot this low. It is not unjustified. I've never had any accuracy problems with any pistols - or rifles I've ever shot before. This is new to me, which is why I'm here on this forum - looking for others who may have experienced what I have with the M&P series. I'm finding all kind of stuff on google, ppl just like me, shooting the M&P low. I've read threads where everyone called them simply a bad shot to paraphrase. Then they respond as I am - saying come on man - I know how to shoot. It seems Dawson Precision has been the answer on a few occasions. I just want to make sure it's not a new platform and I'm indeed not issue. I can't go out and buy precision sights or sell the gun without bench rest shooting and making doubly sure it's not me. Nothing wrong with doing your own gunsmithing. I personally believe you should know how to assemble and disassemble your weapons. I could tell you gun smith stories...marks on the gun, poor workmanship, losing the old parts...if you want something done right old saying ya know. Even if I find my pistol shoots fine and it was me, I may still look into trying to move the point of impact to the 6 o'clock hold. If I didn't simply like the M&P line so much I'd just stick with my Glocks and FNS. I'm really trying to make these pistols work for me. And for the record, I own a couple of 9mm's - and yes I can shoot them a little faster - just like anyone, but I'm one of those die hard sinning .40 caliber fans. I feel pretty well protected with the plus p gold dots and HST's in 9mm - but I do still prefer the .40. I've tried hard to jump on the 9mm band wagon - I just have a comfort zone with the .40, and I like it.
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Old 05-31-2018, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
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It's amazing how many new guns have sights off from the factory. It's even more amazing how many people can adjust them at home while not shooting.
Two out of three of the M&P pistols I recently bought had the rear sights noticeably off. The compact was way off - should have never left the factory like that. My 9, which I haven't shot but once, has centered sights. My buddies .40 compact also had his sights noticeably off center too. So yeah, it is actually amazing how many pistols come out of the plant with off centered sights isn't it. I see silver contributor under your name. Is this how you got so many posts in...trolling ? Tell me in what way your post helps me. I also see you live in California. Strike two. Go find another thread and stay away from my posts. You don't impress me. Your two cents is not welcome. Go play important forum member with some other new guy.
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Old 05-31-2018, 08:22 AM
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As far as shooting low is concerned some of the problem could be that you are used to Glocks w/ a much different grip angle. The Glock grip angles back much more at the bottom of the grip so, if you hold the M&P the same as the Glock, the M&P barrel will be pointing lower. Of course you move it upward when aligning the sights, but during recoil the gun will move differently in your hand than the Glock does.
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:58 AM
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While a grossly misaligned sight could be a sign of hasty assembly, I've never assumed factory sight placement to be spot on. For me, final sight adjustment is just part of the break in process. After a few hundred rounds, parts settle in and my familiarity builds. That's the time to give the sight a few taps to get it right where I want it. Generally, an inch or two of adjustment at 10 yards takes little more than a pencil line width of adjustment. It's not much.
The shorter the sight radius (barrel) the more the same adjustment changes POA.
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:41 AM
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CBStuard, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. I am wondering if it's my grip too - such a big difference between the Glock and Smith grips. And MN2944 teaches me a tremendous lesson too. How dare I assume a pistol is perfectly sighted in from the box. I've just been lucky over the years I believe. Assuming a firearm is sighted in correctly from the factory could possibly get an award for world record stupid ahahaha. I've had to make some adjustments to rifles before, but that always struck me as normal because the range distances are so much greater. Yes, as much as I can't fathom it being me, the odds are in the shooter error camp for sure.
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Old 06-01-2018, 12:12 PM
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I see silver contributor under your name. Is this how you got so many posts in...trolling ? Tell me in what way your post helps me. I also see you live in California. Strike two.
Interesting. Because I live in CA you hate me? I made no comment about you and yet you seem to be taking it personally. I'm sorry for that. No, I don't troll threads. My comment was simply on something I've noticed a lot.

Many have answered your question, but let me add some things that have not been mentioned:

The sights don't need to be in the exact center of the gun. There are many factors determining where the bullet will go. Because the barrel is not fixed to the slide, the sights are not going to be perfectly aligned just because they are in the center. Sure, if they are aligned with the side of the slide, they're probably off. Putting them in the middle of the slide isn't bad, but it won't ensure the bullets go to the middle of the target.

Did you shoot from a rest? The answer to this question is usually no. If you didn't, and we already know you didn't have anyone else shoot the gun, you can't be sure it's the gun. Shooting from a rest greatly reduces any error from the shooter. There are three sources of error when shooting a gun; the gun, the ammo and the shooter. People don't like to hear this, but the biggest source of error is the shooter. So, shooting from a rest helps determine if it's the shooter or the gun/ammo.

If it were the ammo, the groups would likely be all over the place rather than just to the left.

The most common complaint with any handgun, is shooting low and to the left. The most common cause is a right hand shooter pushing the gun to the left as they shoot. The most commonly heard response to shooting low left is, "My sights are off." This is not a comment on your character, it's simple statement of fact.

The most common response to, "It may be you and not the gun" is, "I've got lots of guns and shoot all of them perfectly." That may be true, but all guns are different. Like it or not, the M&P line has bad to mediocre triggers from the factory. They have a ton of over-travel. This over-travel will exacerbate any shooter induced error. In other words, if you're shooting your Glock 1/2" to the left at 10 yards, you'll likely shoot an M&P 2" or 3" left at 10 yards. This is due to the nature of the trigger.
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Old 06-01-2018, 01:42 PM
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Canyon Man, I have a new Sig P 365. I noticed when shooting at the range that my pistol was grouping to the left. This is only noticeable at distances of 15 yds. and out. Today, I decided to drift the rear sight to the right with my sight pusher tool. I noticed that the sight came slightly left of center from the factory.

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Old 06-01-2018, 02:34 PM
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Use a heavier bullet weight to raise your point of impact....perhaps a 147..
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:44 PM
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Anybody want to hear good news?

Two weeks ago I bought a S&W TRR8 Performance Revolver.
After the first 8 shots I wanted to holler "nobody touch them darn sights".
At 7 yards, I had a 3/4" group, all 8 in the bull. Now, that's something I just don't do often. Let alone with a brand new gun.

I told my friends they can shoot it, but first I pat them down for screwdrivers.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:59 PM
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Whenever I get a new gun I will always center the sights on the slide the best I can before I even bother putting rounds down range.

I do recognize, like Rastoff said, that it doesnt guarantee that the sights are correctly aligned to this particular gun, but its the only concretely measureable place I have to start from, and I don't trust that some factory dude or dudette is going to take the same amount of time I will in order to make sure the sights are dead on before it gets boxed up and shipped out.

Once I get to actually shooting and "learning the gun", then I will adjust sights, hold, grip, trigger press, etc if necessary. I have found that the vast majority of semi-autos I have owned, regardless of manufacturer, are pretty much dead on with the sights centered on the slide. I'm not shooting bullseye with them, and I'm by no means some expert competition shooter, but I expect to be able to regularly knock a 12oz water bottle off the target stand at 10 yards if the sights are aligned and I do my part with the trigger press.

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Old 06-01-2018, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jnichols2 View Post
Anybody want to hear good news?

Two weeks ago I bought a S&W TRR8 Performance Revolver.
After the first 8 shots I wanted to holler "nobody touch them darn sights".
At 7 yards, I had a 3/4" group, all 8 in the bull. Now, that's something I just don't do often. Let alone with a brand new gun.

I told my friends they can shoot it, but first I pat them down for screwdrivers.
At 7 yards there is very little to go by. At 15 yards, on out, is where I really see where my sights are. Glad you are happy!
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:14 AM
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Interesting. Because I live in CA you hate me? I made no comment about you and yet you seem to be taking it personally. I'm sorry for that. No, I don't troll threads. My comment was simply on something I've noticed a lot.

Many have answered your question, but let me add some things that have not been mentioned:

The sights don't need to be in the exact center of the gun. There are many factors determining where the bullet will go. Because the barrel is not fixed to the slide, the sights are not going to be perfectly aligned just because they are in the center. Sure, if they are aligned with the side of the slide, they're probably off. Putting them in the middle of the slide isn't bad, but it won't ensure the bullets go to the middle of the target.

Did you shoot from a rest? The answer to this question is usually no. If you didn't, and we already know you didn't have anyone else shoot the gun, you can't be sure it's the gun. Shooting from a rest greatly reduces any error from the shooter. There are three sources of error when shooting a gun; the gun, the ammo and the shooter. People don't like to hear this, but the biggest source of error is the shooter. So, shooting from a rest helps determine if it's the shooter or the gun/ammo.

If it were the ammo, the groups would likely be all over the place rather than just to the left.

The most common complaint with any handgun, is shooting low and to the left. The most common cause is a right hand shooter pushing the gun to the left as they shoot. The most commonly heard response to shooting low left is, "My sights are off." This is not a comment on your character, it's simple statement of fact.

The most common response to, "It may be you and not the gun" is, "I've got lots of guns and shoot all of them perfectly." That may be true, but all guns are different. Like it or not, the M&P line has bad to mediocre triggers from the factory. They have a ton of over-travel. This over-travel will exacerbate any shooter induced error. In other words, if you're shooting your Glock 1/2" to the left at 10 yards, you'll likely shoot an M&P 2" or 3" left at 10 yards. This is due to the nature of the trigger.
Thanks for coming back with some constructive advice Rastoff, and a cool head. I agree with everything you've written here. And no, I haven't bench rested with it yet. It's frustrating I guess, because I'm usually the one telling everyone else it's most likely not the gun, it's the shooter. Lol, I think I have convinced myself it just can't be me. You are absolutely right about the fact that just because I'm shooting my other pistols well doesn't mean it's still not the shooter. I must remain in the spectrum of sanity and realize the odds of it being the pistol are pretty close to astronomical. You can sense my frustration I'm sure. I'm going to an indoor range tomorrow. I have a pretty ideal sized range bag I can use to bench rest off of using a decent sized towel I believe. I also know a couple of the guys at the range well enough to have them shoot the pistol too if need be. I know one shoots competition, not sure of the other one, but I know he has an M&P in his holster. Seems like a good plan of action. If I may confess to everyone, I have literally lost sleep over this whole shooting low thing. I feel like a teenager who can't get a date or something lol. How has this eaten at me so hard ? My apologies for the California remark. I'm certain there must be some good ones. I'm originally from Texas, and have lived in Las Vegas for about 20 years now. I don't smoke dope, drink, gamble, and don't like tattoos on my women. I am still in culture shock out here. The story how I got here and why I'm still here is another post for another day lol. I sincerely appreciate your, and everyone's input on this thread. I am stumped and overwhelmed at how awful I shot last weekend...like a stupid little kid lol. I'm anxious to post back again tomorrow, I hope by 2:00 pm Pacific time - but it may take me til like 8:00 pm. That pesky Saturday to do list. Thank heaven tomorrow is Saturday. I need my sanity back on this whole shot placement thing. I feel pressure, like I'm the starting pitcher in game 7, but can't wait for the big game to begin.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:16 AM
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Over the years, I have found that a handgun sighted in for one person, may not be sighted in for another. There are a few reasons for this. For example, the eyes may see the sights differently or the way the shooter holds and the resistance to recoil may come into play. I also have found that sighting in from a bench rest, may not be the same when fired from a standing position. Lastly, if I'm shooting good groups, say 3" at 25 yards, and my shots aren't close to point of aim, I probably need a sight adjustment.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:59 AM
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Canyon Man, I have a new Sig P 365. I noticed when shooting at the range that my pistol was grouping to the left. This is only noticeable at distances of 15 yds. and out. Today, I decided to drift the rear sight to the left with my sight pusher tool. I noticed that the sight came slightly left of center from the factory.
I'm not picking on BE MIke -- I could have chosen any number of similar posts that illustrate part of the problem.

The problem is -- folks are quick to blame the pistol, often refuse to blame themselves, and -- many folks don't understand how sights work in the first place. If BE MIke's pistol was shooting a bit left, he just made it worse by drifting his rear sight left. He doesn't understand how the sights work. Drifting the FRONT sight left would move his groups right -- and moving the REAR sight RIGHT would move his groups right.

But the fact of the matter is -- the sights may be fine as-is, and it may be the shooter causing the problem. Yes, I know -- "I've shot for years, blah, blah, blah..." Well, I don't doubt it, but now you are shooting a new and different gun. Very slight differences in grip configuration, barrel length, trigger type and weight, etc., etc. can drastically alter where the interface of your hand and gun, combined with your own visual acuity, causes your groups to fall.

If you have a new gun that consistently shoots low-left, or whatever -- the first thing to do is not adjusting the sights, not benchresting the gun, not getting someone else to shoot it. No, the FIRST thing to do is try some carefully-observed diagnostic dry firing. Watch to see what direction your sights move when you break the shot. I will bet that front sight moves in the direction your shots are going. If so, what you need to do first in order to correct the problem is -- correct your technique.

Now, correcting your hold/trigger pull may not cure the problem 100 per cent -- you may still not be quite on the mark. THAT'S when sight adjustment comes in to the picture.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:34 AM
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I'm not picking on BE MIke -- I could have chosen any number of similar posts that illustrate part of the problem.

The problem is -- folks are quick to blame the pistol, often refuse to blame themselves, and -- many folks don't understand how sights work in the first place. If BE MIke's pistol was shooting a bit left, he just made it worse by drifting his rear sight left. He doesn't understand how the sights work. Drifting the FRONT sight left would move his groups right -- and moving the REAR sight RIGHT would move his groups right.

But the fact of the matter is -- the sights may be fine as-is, and it may be the shooter causing the problem. Yes, I know -- "I've shot for years, blah, blah, blah..." Well, I don't doubt it, but now you are shooting a new and different gun. Very slight differences in grip configuration, barrel length, trigger type and weight, etc., etc. can drastically alter where the interface of your hand and gun, combined with your own visual acuity, causes your groups to fall.

If you have a new gun that consistently shoots low-left, or whatever -- the first thing to do is not adjusting the sights, not benchresting the gun, not getting someone else to shoot it. No, the FIRST thing to do is try some carefully-observed diagnostic dry firing. Watch to see what direction your sights move when you break the shot. I will bet that front sight moves in the direction your shots are going. If so, what you need to do first in order to correct the problem is -- correct your technique.

Now, correcting your hold/trigger pull may not cure the problem 100 per cent -- you may still not be quite on the mark. THAT'S when sight adjustment comes in to the picture.
Thanks for pointing out that I misstated how I adjusted the sights. Of course, I meant to say to adjust the point of impact to the right, I drifted the rear sight right. When I noticed that my group was left at the range and I came home and noticed that the rear sight was left in the dovetail, I deduced that maybe the rear sight needed adjusting to the right. Apparently, you probably would have taken a different course of action. Interesting how making a flub when typing can generate such a long response!
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:34 AM
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Really appreciating the ongoing input in this thread. Sorry I'm just getting back to get this post up. Well, it's time for me to eat crow. I WAS WRONG AND EVERYONE ELSE WAS IN THIS THREAD WAS RIGHT !!! There, I admit it lol. Let me elaborate. I took a friend along, about equal in shooting ability as myself. First I shot the five inch pistol 2.0. I shot 6 rounds per group. At 7 yards I centered the front dot at the top of the bulls eye - all 6 shots hit the bottom of the bulls eye. I repeated that group almost identical 3 times. I moved to about 12 yards out, and shot about a 3 inch group. They placed at 2 to 3 inches low, with only about an inch and a half variance in left to right. I moved out to 22 yards - (the range marks every five yards, but the place you shoot from is 2 yards from the first line starting the marks) I shot 5 and 6 inch groups at 22 yards. I had a couple of 4 inch groups - but was pretty consistent at 5 or 6. I did this about 12 times. (No I'm not proud of this grouping at all) However, my left and right shots placed within 3 to 4 inches each time. I'd guess 60 percent were a little left, and 40 percent a little right. I call this shooter error, and believe my sights are pretty spot on for left to right. However, I was still shooting low. So I shot the compact 2.0 (both in .40 cal)My shot placement with the compact were actually better. About the same in left to right as the five inch pistol, but I wasn't shooting it low. At all ranges I was shooting a consistent circle of a couple a little high, a couple left and right, and a couple low. All shots missing the bulls eye I attribute 100 percent to my shooting ability. Not satisfied with my performance on the five inch pistol, I returned to shooting that particular pistol. I bench rested the pistol on top my range bag. Not the best bench rest, but I was steadier for sure. This is where the truth came out. At 17 yards, I shot a three inch group, and then a two and a half inch group, again - 6 rounds per group. My left to right placement was within an inch. My up and down went from about an inch high to two inches low. I switched targets between those two groups. I went through 20 targets and 280 rounds today. Bench resting took a lot of the shooter error out of the equation. I had my friend shoot a couple of groups out of the pistol too. He shot a little low also, but not as much as myself. He had also never shot the pistol before. I'm 54 years old, and his vision is better than mine, but my glasses have an up to date prescription, so I'm not sure if vision is playing a role in this or not. I shot about an equal number of 165 and 180 grain bullets today. I couldn't tell a difference in where they were placing. They probably impact a little differently, but the shooter error part kept me from being able to tell. I walk away from today's shooting session pretty confident with the compact, and a little unsure about the five inch pistol. I do however believe the shooting low is 90 percent shooter error - and probably 100 percent. I just can't understand why I shoot the five inch pistol low and not the compact. I have been shooting the Glock 23 and 19 for a while, and possibly I'm more use to a compact grip ? I just don't know. It just seems bass ackwards to shoot a compact better than a full sized pistol. The last box of 50 rounds I rapid fired from the five inch pistol for fun - and boy was it. I shot at about 12 yards out. The target had already been used for a couple of groupings shots, but I believe I stayed in the ten ring for most of them, pulling the trigger as fast as I could - the five inch pistol fell back into place easy with minimal muzzle flip. God help me, I love shooting like that lol. It creates a love affair between pistol and shooter. I was pleased with the bench rest groupings - and yes I know it's not the greatest group ever recorded lol, but I'm convinced this pistol is just going to take more practice from me - the shooter. I can't swear the 5 inch pistol doesn't shoot a tad low, but certainly not as low as I had feared. I have never been so happy to eat crow and find error in my ability rather than a faulty pistol. I'm comfortable with the compact as my carry pistol. The 5 incher will take a little more work to feel good about it being the "main go to war pistol" so to speak. But I love that pistol. More rounds down range should be the answer for me. I'm happy with the left and right point of impact now - but I certainly have my work cut out for me on the shooting low aspect of it...but I feel confident it's me - not the pistol - which is bound to be fixable. Thank you all for your input. My level of frustration was off the charts. I still have a little, but am much more at ease after the bench rest groups I pulled out today. I will not complain of any sticks and stones ya'll may choose to cast upon me...I believe I have it coming lol.
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Old 06-03-2018, 01:39 AM
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Apology accepted.

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I just can't understand why I shoot the five inch pistol low and not the compact.
Are you using magazines with the pinky extension or the short ones? In other words, with the compact gun, is your pinky on or off the grip?
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:19 AM
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I'm not using the extended magazine. It's the 2.0 compact. My pinky finger goes about 1/8 inch off the bottom of the magazine on the compact. But I'm still able to comfortably put it around the grip. So there is a grip difference in the area of the bottom of the pistol. That may be where the crucial difference is. Also, I had the occasion today where I hadn't chambered a round, believing there was a chambered, pulled the trigger, and had the infamous flinch - and the front of the pistol/barrel moved downward a bit. A telling sign of overcompensating for expected recoil.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:17 AM
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I have a LOT of handguns, and it's very common for me to shoot a new gun low and right. I'm left handed, so for most folks that would be low and left.

This usually self corrects quickly as I get used to the gun, so I leave the sights alone untill I'm SURE they are off.

How many threads have I seen where "the gun" shoots low and left? Then later, it's the shooter.

One of our human frailities is the inability to admit to our other human frailities.
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Old 06-03-2018, 03:11 PM
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I hear ya Jnichols2. I've read many of threads claiming it was the gun too. I really didn't want to be "that" guy claiming his sights were off either - but I was so convinced they were - and they indeed were from left to right, but the shooting low was my main focus - figuring out to move the rear sights was a no brainer just by looking at them...How dare I think I was above improper grip or whatever I'm doing wrong. I kind of feel some shame over all this - I've been humbled. Those bench rest groups really put me in my place. I'm going to go out again today and try another 100 rounds or so. I'm not sure this is a good idea, but I'm going to try shooting with my front sight dot centered just above the two rear dot sights. I'm not sure shooting with an incorrect sight picture is the smart way to solve the problem - but I'm thinking this whole fiasco may work out to my advantage. S&W uses the combat sight hold picture-cover the target - but I actually prefer the 6 o'clock hold. Looking thru the sight picture last night, I found I could still see most of my target if the front dot covered it instead of having the front, and rear sight blades obscuring it. It also seems like the bullet impact might be where I want it with that aim/sight picture too. I'm really not sure this is a good idea, but I think I'll give it a whirl. Common sense says to learn to shoot the pistol properly with the sight picture intended to be used with the pistol. Shooting from the bench rest really opened my eyes as to how poorly I was controlling my muzzle. But proving it was indeed me - the shooter - as the problem by bench resting, my frustration level has gone way down. It's not a fluke bad barrel or something like that. I can go out today and shoot and enjoy the pistol more. Knowing the problem is half the battle - I can now shoot it and get a ton of enjoyment correcting the problem, and doing what I like to do. I also realized yesterday I much prefer shooting outdoors over an official range. Sure it's air conditioned, but I have some pretty nice scenery where I go, and just like being able to drink a cold water, sit and rest between mags if I want - just generally enjoy being outside. The indoor range is alright. I think I've just grown accustomed to my routine outdoors. Pulling a switch to bring my target back to me at a range is easy, but zero exercise lol. I think I'll be shooting paper targets instead of steel for a while too out there. Looking forward to the sunset and tan later today. : )
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Canyon Man View Post
I'm not using the extended magazine. It's the 2.0 compact. My pinky finger goes about 1/8 inch off the bottom of the magazine on the compact.
There's your difference between the 5" and the Compact.

Try this the next time your at the range. With the 5" gun, extend the pinky of your shooting hand like you would if you were drinking "high tea" in Brittan. It sounds weird, but this has helped many shooters with the issue of shooting low.

When gripping a pistol only the middle and ring finger are used to hold the grip tightly against the base of the palm. The pinky and thumb should be relaxed. Of course the only thing that should move is the trigger (index) finger. If the pinky is squeezed with the shot, the group will almost always be low.

This is why I never say "squeeze" the trigger. The trigger should be pressed straight back. The only movement should be the trigger finger. When we say "squeeze", we tend to squeeze the whole hand and that tends to move the muzzle down ever so slightly.

Try the pinky thing. It will look and feel funny at first, but I bet it works. This is why the Compact is less of an issue, because the pinky isn't part of the equation.
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  #41  
Old 06-04-2018, 03:12 AM
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Thanks Rastoff. The pinky extended makes a lot of sense. I think you're spot on ! I did some just before sunset shooting today. I'm about 20 minutes from open desert.

Only shot 200 rounds, about 150 of them thru the 5 inch pistol. My groups are growing more circular in pattern, and I even shot some rounds a couple inches high. Never been so happy to shoot high lol. Most of my low shots were only about two inches, but I still pulled some about 4 inches low. I focused a lot on my grip today. I only shot from 12 yards out the whole time - tape measured it out today.

I felt like the key had to be in my grip after bench rest shooting a couple groups yesterday. I'll bet the pinky being extended isolates the problem to confirm where the downward pull is coming from. I tried holding the front sight dot above the two rear sight dots, but that just wasn't consistently easy to place that hold. I gave that thought process up within 10 or 15 rounds - it sounded logical at the time - not !

I'm going to try to shoot every weekend for another month or so to build some consistency in shooting technique and muscle memory. I feel confident extending the pinky out is going to tell the tale. I don't think I would have thought of that without you. I didn't today. My average groupings today were about four inches. I know that's not great, but I'm pretty happy about that. But four or five groupings went out to like 6 inches. I shot about 25 six shot groups though. I know these aren't great groups, and certainly not consistent. But at least they aren't all consistently low.

I'm beginning to feel more combat effective with the pistol. It's a huge leap from a week ago. It's taking more rounds down range than I expected. It's not a natural point and shoot quickly pistol for me yet, but it's certainly coming along.

Last edited by Canyon Man; 06-04-2018 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post
There's your difference between the 5" and the Compact.

Try this the next time your at the range. With the 5" gun, extend the pinky of your shooting hand like you would if you were drinking "high tea" in Brittan. It sounds weird, but this has helped many shooters with the issue of shooting low.

When gripping a pistol only the middle and ring finger are used to hold the grip tightly against the base of the palm. The pinky and thumb should be relaxed. Of course the only thing that should move is the trigger (index) finger. If the pinky is squeezed with the shot, the group will almost always be low.

This is why I never say "squeeze" the trigger. The trigger should be pressed straight back. The only movement should be the trigger finger. When we say "squeeze", we tend to squeeze the whole hand and that tends to move the muzzle down ever so slightly.

Try the pinky thing. It will look and feel funny at first, but I bet it works. This is why the Compact is less of an issue, because the pinky isn't part of the equation.
I don't think I would add this technique to a training regimen. IMHO, there is no substitute for learning the fundamentals of marksmanship. Unfortunately, many novices today seem to start out without any understanding of what the fundamentals are before shooting a handgun. Only after a lot of shooting, doing the wrong things, do they finally try to sort things out. By that time, they have ingrained a lot of bad habits and advancement is much more difficult, because they have to unlearn all those bad habits. Many novices start out shooting as fast as they can at very close range and if they hit the full size target once in a while, they are happy. Learning to shoot a handgun well requires proper guidance and substantial effort. One must learn to crawl, then walk, and finally run.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:03 PM
angryelf22 angryelf22 is offline
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Originally Posted by BE Mike View Post
I don't think I would add this technique to a training regimen. IMHO, there is no substitute for learning the fundamentals of marksmanship. Unfortunately, many novices today seem to start out without any understanding of what the fundamentals are before shooting a handgun. Only after a lot of shooting, doing the wrong things, do they finally try to sort things out. By that time, they have ingrained a lot of bad habits and advancement is much more difficult, because they have to unlearn all those bad habits. Many novices start out shooting as fast as they can at very close range and if they hit the full size target once in a while, they are happy. Learning to shoot a handgun well requires proper guidance and substantial effort. One must learn to crawl, then walk, and finally run.
I dont think he is advocating it as a training regimen, meaning the end goal is to shoot with your pinky sticking out. Its a technique to over-emphasize how the grip should feel in your hand, and to take one piece out of the equation as you try and troubleshoot the issue. If it works, then you learn how the grip should feel and when you place your pinky back down on the grip in a fundamentally sound position, you will be even more aware of what it is doing (or not doing) when you shoot.

I do the same thing with my shooting hand thumb...sometimes I feel like I pinch the pistol with my thumb too much, and this affects how the front sight moves vertically after breaking the shot (more side to side movement than tracking straight up and down). I stick the thumb way out away from the slide to over-emphasize NOT pinching the thumb, and then I gradually let my thumb fall back to where it normally sits as I find my front sight start to track correctly.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by angryelf22 View Post
I dont think he is advocating it as a training regimen, meaning the end goal is to shoot with your pinky sticking out. Its a technique to over-emphasize how the grip should feel in your hand, and to take one piece out of the equation as you try and troubleshoot the issue. If it works, then you learn how the grip should feel and when you place your pinky back down on the grip in a fundamentally sound position, you will be even more aware of what it is doing (or not doing) when you shoot.

I do the same thing with my shooting hand thumb...sometimes I feel like I pinch the pistol with my thumb too much, and this affects how the front sight moves vertically after breaking the shot (more side to side movement than tracking straight up and down). I stick the thumb way out away from the slide to over-emphasize NOT pinching the thumb, and then I gradually let my thumb fall back to where it normally sits as I find my front sight start to track correctly.
IMHO, grip is way down on the list of learning how to accurately shoot a handgun.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:53 PM
angryelf22 angryelf22 is offline
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IMHO, grip is way down on the list of learning how to accurately shoot a handgun.
agree to disagree I guess. I actually think it should be the first thing on the list.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:53 AM
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I feel certain Rastoff meant to extend the pinky just to see how the pistol shoots, not to make that a permanent shooting style. I think the basics of lining up the sights, knowing the correct sight picture to hold for the pistol, and knowing the basics of how to grip and hold the pistol are the basic essentials. And of course, perhaps the hardest part of shooting accurately, is getting the trigger to break without movement of the muzzle.

I've been shooting mostly Glock 23 and some 19 mostly for the last year I'd say, a little FNS too. The change in grip angles between the Glock and S&W is what I'd call a drastic difference. The sight picture different too. I'll be putting in the Apex trigger in the 2.0's within a couple of months too, as the trigger breaks a little further back than I like with my long fingers. I believe that's going to really make the pistol feel more natural of a hold for me. Love the way the Smith feels in hand and the Apex should seal the deal - knew that when I bought the 2.0's though. It seems it's just taking some time to get use to the 2.0 pistol.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:22 AM
CBStuard CBStuard is online now
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You might try modifying the grip some also. You mentioned that the trigger is a bit on the close side for you. How about trying the other larger size grip panels?
How about a rubber grip sleeve from Hogue or Pachmayr? The full length ones would increase the overall size of the grip but would also move your hand back from the trigger a bit. You could also cut them down, or get the short version, and install on the bottom of the grip which might partially mimic the grip angle of the Glock.
I came at this after buying a Beretta M9A3 a year ago. It has a straight back to the grip much like a 1911 so is different from the other 92s we have been shooting where the back of the grip swells some especially toward the bottom. I immediately was shooting 2-3 inches low at 30 feet. Fortunately the gun comes w/ a wrap around rubber grip which was specifically designed to mimic the standard 92 grip shape. I installed it and my shots quickly went to being on target. I could have learned to shoot the straight grip but there isn't any point to that.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:19 AM
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Flintlock1 Flintlock1 is offline
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If I get a handgun, and it does NOT shoot to the left (may be low as well), I'm pleasantly surprised. Been at it for over 40 years and I long ago figured out it's me - mostly. Now, I'm not saying i am an expert, or that I shoot enough or anything like that. But I am saying that I tap the front sight a smidge on almost every pistol I have ever owned. The exceptions have been two Series 70 Colt 1911,s which were used so I surmise that may have already been done, and my 1927 Colt Hammerless .380 - which is no tack driver, but they're all in the middle. Also, my 1984 S&W Model 60.

Both my Shield 9 and the 2.0C impact a bit low and left. I tapped the front on the Shield and now it's perfect. Haven't touched the 2.0C yet, but I will. The latter is less susceptible to me because of the better trigger and longer barrel.

NOTE: 90% of my shooting/training time at the range is spent at less than 7 yards, right down to point blank, double tap or quick fire. So, a couple inches at 12 to 25 yds is not a huge matter to me. For that I pull out the S&W model 17 and have fun.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:33 AM
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agree to disagree I guess. I actually think it should be the first thing on the list.
I think trigger control!
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:44 AM
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I hear where you're coming from CBStuard. I've got the second to the largest grip panel on it now. I've considered going to the largest panel, and may give indeed give that one a try. My first choice at the moment for summer concealed carry on the compact is a rubber wrap around grip. I really like the 2.0 rough grip texture, but it just won't work for concealed carry without an under shirt. I had put the rubber grips on a Beretta 96A1 and a Sig 226 in the past, and loved them. Gosh love how the recoil is absorbed with them on too. I don't really want to sand down the grip texture. I have my Gen 4 23 set up with the medium sized OEM beaver tail cut in half and installed over the sandpaper talon grips. That makes a pretty perfect sized grip and trigger pull for me.

The single action trigger pull on DA/SA pistols have always struck me as a bit short too, but you just learn to live with some things. Finding a perfect length of pull has always been a challenge for me. Like most, I can shoot a 1911 pretty well. I don't own one any more, but I shoot my friends very well. The Apex mimics the 1911 trigger pull a little bit with a pretty small amount of over travel on the trigger.
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