How long does it take for you to shoot accurately?

This is one of the big questions among new shooters and veterans of gun enthusiasts. Besides from just shooting your gun more to get better, there are many school of thoughts on the subject. Here are some conversations that have a myriad of advices from poor to sound constructive approaches.
Just a note, though the question is at the best very general, the answers will differ on the type of person that shoots guns. Some are competitive shooters, some plinkers and some are into close quarter shooting.

Excerpt from 1911 Forum and Reddit:
CantReachKLR:

  • Dime balancing on the front sight and dry fire.
  • Find the front sight, focus on the front sight and don’t lose it. Blurry target/in-focus front sight.
  • Don’t lock your elbows or shoulders(stretch towards gun). Creates tension(shake), doesn’t absorb recoil and wears you out faster.
  • Have a 10lb weight? Hold it up in front of your face one handed during a commercial while sitting on the couch and alternate hands.
  • Make your grip/trigger finger stronger.

Oberoni: Seriously, go work on your grip strength. Your group sizes will go down.

wuyeah: Not everyone is a natural born good shooter right!? Maybe you are and really talented. To most it takes lots ammo, lots practice to be able to shoot accurately and consistently.

How long/ how many rounds does it take for you to shoot accurately with a hand pistol on a fixed target in 10 yards? That means you have figured out how to fix most of your bad habits, take a shot that where you want to be?

What pistol did you use for your initial practice?

Sock: I took a year and shot a handgun every day (even if it was only ten rounds of .22). Unbelievable how much you can improve with that little effort. 686, xd9, ruger mk ii. Whatever I felt like that day.

Sgt.Y: Some people it takes one box of ammo, others a lifetime, it depends on your mindset, physical ability, and your vision. In the Army they put you through a regimine of six weeks to get you up to snuff. I saw plenty of guys who could barely hit the broad side of the barn with over twenty years in.

My best suggestion is do dry firing at home, unload and clear, aim at a set point in your room like the center of the clock face. If you have a 1911 it can be dry fired all day, but if not see your owners manual. Make sure you have a proper grip on your weapon, and proper triggering. When triggering you press the trigger not squeeze and use the tip of your finger not between the first and second knuckle. Sight in your target and press the trigger, be wary of the aim through the triggerinng. Repeat several times and take note any continued problems. You will need to learn to move the end of your finger and not pull the tendon through your arm.

Some factors are while you have your arm extended how stable you can keep your arm, how you react to the gun firing, do you flinch or do you blink, how focused are you through the shot. How much movement travels through your aim through triggering.

A steady stable repeatable control may take time and persistance.

Flyinrock1: It depends on a lot of elements. The first is good instruction in the basics. Then it takes deliberate participation of the shooter followed by a good shooting coach to show the way for your personal requirements.
I’ve been a shooting instructor/coach for 60 years and have trained some national and international champions and thousands of new shooters.
As in any human endeavor, there will be some better than others. There are those who will prevail in spite of personal deficiencies but have determination to succeed.
I have seen the same as a flight instructor with one student becoming a “Top Gun” instructor, and another now with the “Blue Angels”. Others went on to successful careers in aviation.
The level of expertise you wish to reach, and your motivation are just part of the equation. Good coaching/instruction, good equipment, motivation are all part of it.

boatdoc: depends what you mean by accurate. I see some shooters who think hitting paper @10 feet =accurate

for me, it took a while. I was a bit slow in picking up the basics. I could hit paper and stay close to the center @21 feet from the first month of shooting(never shot before the nra safety class)Read “the perfect pistol shot” it helped and still does. When I go wrong, it corrects me.

I now shoot 2″ groups(.9mm and 45 aco) @ 21-30 feet(depending on how my eyes feel) and I consider that accurate. I will never be a 25 yard handgun shooter.

I am happy where I am and if I want a challenge, I move the target out to 45′

girl_shoots_pistolcombat_auto: 10 yard accuracy shouldn’t take a lot of months to master for a new shooter. What will facilitate this is to read about shooting accurately (I rec this book “Pistol Shooters Treasury” (when I was starting out some “old-timer” on the 1911 forum recommended it to me, great book). Watch some shooting fundamentals video’s (so many choices, I like the stuff Travis Healy puts out, just my opinion). Practice, practice, practice including dry-fire at home…A word about the main tool, the gun. I started with a Beretta PX4, and it was fine at 10 yards, not so great at 25 yards with it. When I got my first 1911 +4 months later, 25 yards became much more doable. The gun (can) matter…Now I shoot mostly WC 1911’s and they have facilitated my shooting out to 50 yards. That said, with enough practice and dedication one can become proficient with almost any gun. Just some guns help you get their faster than others.

Bottom line, for 10 yards with a little dedication you should get there consistently (from “new shooter” status ) in a month (say going to the range 1X/week) – just to use a rough time-frame (possibly sooner). 25 yards might take longer. If you go to a standard indoor range you will find usually not many shooters are shooting their pistol at 25 yards. It does take some practice to be proficient at 25 yards, but 10 yards should be a fairly quick learning.

hal copple: I have shot a lot in the past 50 years, all sorts of weapons, and shoot pistols just about every day. My learning curve is pretty flat now, my improvement is very incremental. But once a shooter gets what he or she considers acceptably good with the basics, you have to challenge yourself to continue to improve. For instance, our gun club has a weekly evening IDPA indoor practice, and most of the shooters just go for as few points down as possible. A few days ago I shot all my targets strong hand, and went for head shots, and then did a stage weak hand. I did quite well.

If a shooter doesn’t try what they are weakest at, they will never improve on those skills.

roaniecowpony: I shot my first rifle at 6 and my first pistol, a Ruger Mk1, at 12 years of age. By the time I shot that pistol, I had some level of trigger control from shooting my trusty single shot 22 and it took me only a few rounds to hit targets.

My wife recently took some self defense pistol classes with me. She had very little shooting experience in the past 40 years, but had shot some muzzleloader rifle in her 20s. She took to those Sig P239 and P226 40 S&W pistols quickly. She shot about 1000 rounds in these classes, then cleaned my clock on a dueling tree, once our instructor switched our guns, giving her my old Gold Cup and me the Sig.

Exceptions aside, I start new shooters on a 22. I have a friend that bought a Sig 226 .40, just like mine and is having difficulty shooting it. He has poor trigger control and is flinching badly. I moved him to my 22 pistol and he started shooting much better within a half dozen magazines. I put him back with the .40 and he fired several good shots before he deteriorated to missing low/right by 10″ @ 7 yes. Back to the 22. Same cycle. Clearly, shooting a 22 can be a great tool to improve a shooter having difficulty. Hell, anyone can benefit and have fun with a 22.

CantReachKLR:

  • Dime balancing on the front sight and dry fire.
  • Find the front sight, focus on the front sight and don’t lose it. Blurry target/in-focus front sight.
  • Don’t lock your elbows or shoulders(stretch towards gun). Creates tension(shake), doesn’t absorb recoil and wears you out faster.
  • Have a 10lb weight? Hold it up in front of your face one handed during a commercial while sitting on the couch and alternate hands.
  • Make your grip/trigger finger stronger.

Oberoni: Seriously, go work on your grip strength. Your group sizes will go down.

And what about you?, what do you do to get your accuracy better?

Source: 1911Forum


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