A little while back, we had a Ruger MK III review where we outlined some of the issues faced when getting your first pistol and the marksmanship behind it.
There are many aids and drills you can do to correct issues you may have with accuracy; so to start things off we are including a link and reference target to help understand WHAT went wrong during that last shot or string of shots (groupings) which will help identify the issue and help resolve it. Image and references include Pistol-Training.com.
Take a look at the image:
This is a clear case of tightening and/or jerking the trigger. What that means is, every time I pulled the trigger, I was tightening my grip, a natural flinch in the mind to prepare for a recoil jolt. It also is an indicator of not having consistent trigger control ie: letting all slack out of the trigger between shots and not utilizing the reset of the trigger for a shorter pull, and greater accuracy. Simple adjustments like holding the trigger ALL the way to the rear after you break a shot and then SLOWLY letting off the trigger will unveil to you, the reset. When the mechanism inside the trigger assembly “Clicks” back into place before the trigger has fully come pack to it’s starting position, this is the spot in which you want to HOLD FAST. From this point, you can fire again and you can do it with a MUCH shorter pull length (travel) as well as with less resistance. Yes, I know the target is upside down in the picture I can assure you this is how it was hung, but for the sake of argument, lets, turn it around.
Let’s now pretend THIS is how the target was hung. This is a sign of Heeling or recoil anticipation. This is different than flinching in the sense that the follow up shots are not broken up with enough time for re-aquisition and the heel of your hand is pushing forward DURING the shot as opposed to flinching BEFORE the shot. Most common (in my experience) during multiple shots and rapid fire. Keep in mind, that if you are training yourself for self defense, this is very much an acceptable grouping FOR STARTERS. If the palm of your hand covers 75% more of the holes or more, it is consistent. But if you want to thread a needle, you need to identify where the problem in your mechanics are and practice, practice and practice some more until you, your brain and your hardware all work together.
Train for what you intend to use your pistol for, but bear in mind, every time you pull the trigger it affects the way you pull the trigger with EVERY other gun you own. So if you train for say, bullseye pistol, simply the way the scoring is done will drive you to increase your accuracy through grip, trigger control, breathing, etc. This will affect the accuracy of your shots with a larger caliber more and more creating tighter groups and better accuracy. And for those out there saying that a .22lr has infinitely less kick than say… a 1911 with .45ACP, you are correct. However, bear in mind we are talking about your brain and muscle memory. Your brain will react differently to a .45 than it will to a .22. But the more you practice on the aspects you CAN control, like trigger control, flinching, heeling, etc… the more the lines in your brain blur from the caliber and recoil simply because the habits and muscle memory are there. All the vets I have seen shoot and talk to can put .45 rounds through the same hole at over 75 feet. They are not superhuman, they are trained, and you can achieve the same results. All you need is practice and a guide to check the errors.
Do a search on the internet for bullseye pistol and you will find a wealth of articles and help to achieving greater accuracy and knowledge of yourself and your weapon. With enough practice and patience, you can achieve a zen like state of mindset while shooting, just rest assured, it isn’t happening tomorrow. When you are “self taught” like most of us here at FourGuysGuns are, every bit of knowledge you can attain and properly use can be helpful, just remember that videos and reading are never replacements for DOING. So get yourself out there and jerk that pistol!