SIG Talk banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

Registered
Joined
1,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a problem I'm having primarily with my P239, not with the P226 which I've fired only 6 magazines through and found to be very accurate, nor with my P229 which even my 1911-loving friend has called "deadly accurate!" when we were out shooting together- so it's got to be something to do with the way I'm handling the P239, is my thought.

Today I shot for the very first time on a proper silhouette target, 51 rounds of 147 grain Hornady XTP. While I consistently hit in the 9 and 10 rings with just a few in the 8 and 2 hits in the 7ring, the VAST majority of my shots went low and left of the mark.





According to the correcting chart I have seen, this means I am gripping too tight; yet I swear that my aim remained on the X every time I squeezed the trigger and the pistol was not jerking. How can I correct this tendency? (For all those who are about to suggest "Hogue rubber grips"- been there, done that. I just don't like the way they feel. I currently have checkered G10s installed, which did improve my felt recoil over the factory grips and also helped me improve my accuracy- it's just that I still feel I can do better.)
 

Registered
Joined
110 Posts
According to the correcting chart I have seen, this means I am gripping too tight; yet I swear that my aim remained on the X every time I squeezed the trigger and the pistol was not jerking. How can I correct this tendency?
I am dealing with similar issues with my SP2022. It's definitely over gripping (for me), and I have been slowly solving my problems by relaxing my right hand grip on shot, and making a conscious effort to pull my thumbs off of the left side of the pistol. Once I am shooting "thumbs off," my shots are much more consistent and on target.

Simple, but not easy (for me). It has been working, though.
 

Registered
Joined
1,432 Posts
Have you had anyone else shoot the gun? It would be interesting to at least rule out incorrect sight alignment.
Could it be your grip is changing to adjust to a shorter grip length? That may be happening without you changing the grip strength, but could affect your aim. Also, is your off hand in the same position as it would be with your 226?
 

Registered
Joined
1,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I am dealing with similar issues with my SP2022. It's definitely over gripping (for me), and I have been slowly solving my problems by relaxing my right hand grip on shot, and making a conscious effort to pull my thumbs off of the left side of the pistol. Once I am shooting "thumbs off," my shots are much more consistent and on target.
.
Well, that explains a great deal. I apparently never knew what "over gripping" WAS. I assumed it was a matter of squeezing too tight with my fingers, so I tried to relax them and let my right thumb do MORE of the work. I just tried dry firing both ways at a mark on my wall very close to me, and I can see the way the front sight drifts to the left when my thumb grips the gun, but stays on target when it doesn't. Now I am more eager than ever to get back out and shoot again. Today's trip corrected my "pushing" problem- next time will work on my grip- then it's off on vacation. Thanks!

FamilyGuy- my last trip to the eye doc I was told that my vision is 25/20- i.e. I can see at 25' what average eyes see at 20'; but I also have astigmatism, so I have worn glasses for 15 years. Go figure.
 

Registered
Joined
1,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, now, bearone, I just looked at the chart again, and that's what I thought I was doing- but as a consequence of trying to relax my fingers, I was tightening my thumb. Which led to the problem 9mil mentioned and which I am going to try to correct. How exactly do I maintain a good grip without overtightening? is my question. I will accept any advice!
 

Registered
Joined
110 Posts
I was tipped off to my issues from the book, "[ame="http://www.amazon.com/dp/1610045718"]The Perfect Pistol Shot[/ame]," where the author was emphatic that a tight grip was not only not necessary but detrimental to accurate shooting. After reading SO much here about tight, firm grips to avoid limp wristing, I was making sure that with every shot I was focused on holding the grip tightly. Obviously, I was over-gripping as described in that book.

I feared issues with FTE or FTF with a softer right-handed grip, but it was not the case at all. By using the left hand as firm support, then using the right hand to aim and pull the trigger (and intentionally keeping both thumbs off of the gun), I was able to get all of my shots inside a 3" circle from 25' with very few bottom-left fliers. Previously, I would shoot every successive shot in a single mag (after an initial bullseye shot) lower-left than the previous shot.

I'm still not where I want to be, but at least I know it's ALL my technique and that I can improve it by focusing on a few simple things for each shot.

I'm no experienced marksman, and not saying that what worked for me will work for anyone else, but that book helped me a lot. It most certainly erased a lot of frustration I was feeling with the SP2022.



doug
 

Registered
Joined
48 Posts
I have a similar shot pattern , only with the 40 S&W ,

the 9mm , .22 I am able to print a nice picture ..

maybe grip the pistol a little too tight is what is going on.

will try and offer feed back next week

trap shoot and rifle is on today's menue...
 

Registered
Joined
56 Posts
I highly recommend the book The Perfect Pistol Shot, by Albert H. League III.

I had started treating my guns like my bow. Letting it "sit" in the web of my hand, thumbs off, very light grip (no grip on my bow, but guns require some grip). His book affirmed I made the right decision.

I believe grip has little to do with "limp wristing." I think it's an matter of having a solid strong-side-arm. That is the foundation against which the slide acts.

If you pull back against the web of your hand, and your arm and wrist remain solid, it doesn't matter if you're making a tight fist or a have no fist at all. You can "lock" your arm/wrist without any fist whatsoever.

I'm by no means an expert. But after shooting guns for a while, I started loosening up my grip because I knew with my bow I had NO grip. And I could consistently hit tiny targets at distance with an arrow that I was missing with a bullet :)

The book also taught me to do just the opposite of archery and focus on the sight and not the target. Had to retrain my brain. Now... if I could just shoot a gun with back tension so I didn't anticipate the shot! Oh well, now I have to master the trigger pull/press.
 

Registered
Joined
937 Posts
I have over-gripped or "milked the grip."
For me,the solution was to get my grip fundamentals and breathing down and relax.
I can run most any full-size to compact with the same grip. Subcompacts sometimes take a grip adjustment.
My experience -- given normal hand and upper body strength -- is the gun just needs to be guided to the spot to do its job. I'd call my grip firm but not a death grip.
Had a .45 ACP out the other day and was squeezing too tight. It showed in the sights and in groups. Then I shot it just like I shoot my 9s. Good results.
If you have a good friend who's very knowledgeable on technique or is a good instructor, it's a good idea to get some range time with him or her.
One of my training counselors and I shoot every now and then. He doesn't say much unless I ask. So I ask. "Did you see anything that wasn't as it should be."
Lately, few problems.
Now, if I could find a rifle coach with some time!
 

Registered
Joined
1,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
YOU GUYS are my coaches!!!
Other than some time at Fort Benning (of the "This is your M-9 pistol, you will clean it, you will aim it, you will fire it, you will clean it again" variety) I have no formal training on any handgun, so I'm basically re-learning as I go (it's been about 5 years since I shot anything at all except a 12-gauge).
I have the same problem as MGF apparently, I need to relearn my grip with the subcompact (and now that I know what I was doing wrong, I will apply the same lesson to my full-size and compact as well, and I expect to improve there too- the problem just wasn't as pronounced because I wasn't using the death-grip). I really appreciate the advice and encouragement from MGF and everyone else, on this thread and on the others I've posted.

So if I haven't said it yet-

THANKS EVERYBODY!
 

Registered
Joined
32 Posts
I shot my glock g19 low and to the left, and still do when I've been off it for a while.

some gun and people combinations are just like that.

I learned to hold my guns tight as I can but not out of control ludicrous tight and use the same force if you are using a support hand.

If you are holding it tight as can be when you pull the trigger (trigger finger should not be tight) your grip shouldn't be able to get any tighter to throw your aim off.

And in a stressful sd situation you'll most likely be holding it really tight, one less thing to worry about in a sd situation.

learned it from magpul's "art of the dynamic handgun" or something close to that as the title.

before, that I used the "don't over grip method"
 

Registered
Joined
14 Posts
take a look at these:
This is an awesome chart! Bear in mind that the chart can be different if you shoot lefty.
Also, I am considering a response trigger (RT) instead of the stock trigger. Doing this may be a benefit to you too.
But keep in mind that the trigger pull probably won't be as long, so keeping a round chambered will need to be evaluated.
 

Registered
Joined
190 Posts
Just think of gripping the gun with pressure only front to back, with your fingers pushing the front of the grip backwards into the web of the hand. So basically you are not gripping it like a baseball bat or a screw driver handle or an axe handle. Gripping so hard as to squeeze it hard forces the gun to move left. Add the pressure of a wrong trigger pull such as too much trigger into the guard will also add to the push of the gun. Take a deck of cards and hold the deck in your hand without wrapping your fingers around the deck. This will kinda give you the feel. Harder to explain in words but you get the idea.
 

Registered
Joined
19 Posts
The primary reason for shooting low/left for RIGHT handers is that the shooter is "milking" the pistol instead of just "squeezing" the trigger. Sort of like squeezing a cow teat or crushing a lemon. As the shooter pulls the trigger, they are increasing their entire grip on the gun and that pushes the muzzle down and to the left (opposite for left handers). Try using the left forefinger against the left side of the frame area in front of the trigger. That often counters the movement. But, dry firing at a mirror will develop a better technique.
 

Registered
Joined
227 Posts
Gripping tightly is OK. Increasing grip while pressing the trigger (through sympathetic movement of your ring and little finger) is not ok. That's why the "old school" "target" grips that S&W and Colt put on their revolvers were bigger at the bottom than the top. They caused the shooter to hyper-extend the little finger so it didn't have as much influence in gripping the gun. Try gripping with your middle and ring fingers and and maintain a constant pressure during the trigger press. (don't milk the grip) Shawn
 

Registered
Joined
1 Posts
I have this trouble when I try to speed up my shooting. (I take it you are right handed? I also assume you've watched the front sight closely in dry firing and can keep it from moving.) In my case it's caused by anticipating the recoil, which is up and to the right, by dipping down and to the left. It is a type of flinch which is accompanied by a blinking of the eyes just before the shot breaks (and this might explain why you think you were on target, since last you looked, you were!), and a failure to get a surprise break - involuntary slapping the trigger at the last moment. I cope with this tendency by distracting my mind, such as thinking, "front sight, front sight, ..." while squeezing the trigger. Even when trying to shoot fast, I use some mental distraction. There is a very good test you can use: watch for the muzzle flash. If you do not see it, it is almost certainly a result of anticipation, and you will not know where the shot went if you don't see the sights silhouetted against the flash. Or, if your gun does not produce a noticeable flash, watch for the moment when the sights lift off the target. If you can call the shot consistently in this way you will likely not see the shots stringing down to the left, and will be able to correct other problems as well. Any kind of anticipation, failure to get a surprise break, slapping the trigger, is generally accompanied by blinking. In fact, I often tell new shooters at the range there is really only one secret to good shooting: keep your eyes open.
 

Registered
Joined
1,806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
PROBLEM SOLVED! (mostly)

After not making it out to shoot all last month, I finally got out yesterday. I had the factory grips back on the P239, because I found the checkered G10s to be just a little too aggressive and rough on my hand as well as snagging on my clothes when I carry, so I thought that might affect my accuracy- not a bit. I followed the advice I got on this thread and others, made a conscious effort to keep my thumbs off and my pinky away, and put the first 2 mags almost dead center from 25 feet. It was only when I tried a little rapid fire with the third mag that I started drifting again, but even then (as you can see) it was nothing like as bad as I once was. Even in rapid fire, only 2 fliers went as far as the 9 ring (1 of those holes was from my first mag)- and given how I was doing before I kind of hesitate to call them "fliers"!


(These were 357 SIG, Hornady 147 grain XTP rounds, the same as I've shot all along.)

Then it was time to put up a new target, back up 2 more paces, and get out the P226, which I had only shot once before, on a memorable day this spring (see my "Day At The Range" thread http://sigtalk.com/sig-sauer-pistols/11271-day-range-photo-heavy.html if you want to see how that went (awesome)).

From 30 feet and with 7 pre-loaded mags, it was time to go to work. I had a grab bag of ammo; 1 12-round mag of 180-grain Federal FMJ (the last of the box), 3 mags of American Eagle 155gr FMJ, and 3 new 13-round Mec-Gars filled with Federal 155gr Hi-Shok JHP (if you've never heard of it, that's their low-budget alternative to HydraShok). I was particularly eager to shoot these, as this is my #2 carry loadout when & if I can't get Speer 155 Gold Dot- but I started off with FMJs, saving the best for last.

3 main impressions that I took away;
1) 180gr Federals kick like a freaking mule.
2) American Eagle is the smokiest, dirtiest ammunition I have ever fired. I **** you not, I had soot marks up to my elbow. I expected to see wadding coming out of the barrel.
3) If you can keep your off-hand index finger on the 'hook' on the trigger guard of a .40cal P226 during recoil, you are more of a man than me. I just got used to putting my finger back in place after each shot, rather than trying to keep it there and seeing if the skin would actually get torn off. :eek:

But the important thing is, I was able to apply the lessons I learned from my P239 to its larger cousin. Thumbs off, don't milk the grip. Out of 87 rounds fired, I spot 1 in the 7 ring, 2 in the 8, about 20 in the 9 with 2 or 3 on the line. And 2 nice, ragged holes in the 'X', plus a freaking HUGE jagged hole in the 10 ring. Admittedly, they are still a little bit to the left; but once again, not too much, and not nearly as much as when I started out on the "accuracy quest".



These were aimed shots, about 1 1/2 seconds between each, from the Weaver stance. At closer range- the range where I'm most likely to be forced to use my weapons- it could only get more impressive. I'm never going to be one to put 10 rounds in one ragged hole at 20 yards, but I am satisfied with my accuracy. At this point, I believe my grip is good and it's more a matter of sight alignment, which is a project for another week; some day I'll get myself a rest to lean on so I can really concentrate on the sights alone.
That target won't hurt anybody ever again. Thanks to all for your advice and encouragement, and stay safe!
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top