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Failure to Perceive

1845 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jaake
I am suffering from failure to perceive. Need advise on how to proceed.

The images below are my rounds 250-300.
This is at 7 yards. :(

Guys at the range make the bullseye disappear at 7 yards. :mad:


I have gotten to the point where I can feel when I'm shooting a flyer and can kind of "predict" where it will land. My flyers have gone down by a lot (initially everything was a flyer hehe....)

I notice that when I aim at the bullseye, I just can't keep my hands perfectly steady. Is accurate shooting about timing my hand's sway right?

I am at the moment concerned with repeatability more than I am with accuracy... that is I would be much happier if all my shots hit at the same place, regardless of where that spot is, than if the shot pattern is more-centrally positioned.

I see people on the forum they're a 3/4 MOA shooters... so say I shoot 3.5 inch groups at 7 yards ... so my MOA would be 3.5*100/7 = 50 MOA? :eek:

I've noticed that some of the sway is body-related and not hand / grip ... when I dry-fire sitting down I am say 50% more steady. Is that extra sway a matter of body fitness, say core muscles? I've overheard... that some of it is breath control... when I don't breathe however, I don't notice any improvement in my body stability.

Based on this chart I'm bad allover.

Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol

Any tips?
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Your first sentence is a clue. I suspect you shift your focus back and forth from your front sight to the bullseye as your press your shot. That is a training problem I see with these type targets that "highlight" hits.

I suggest you dump the targets and use a plain piece of paper with a small dot in the middle. Use only one mag and take your time reloading the magazine so you have time to evaluate your previous shots and make the necessary corrections.

Are you at an indoor range or outdoor range? At my indoor range you can't hang 6" paper plates, 3X5 cards, 3" Post-it notes, or 2"X1.5" neon post-its. There is no bullseye on these, but I've found them to be very effective training devices.

I like this site for drills and targets that can be downloaded and printed at home... https://pistol-training.com/drills
You're on the right track when you mentioned the sway of the front sight. Yes it will move, no you cannot hold it perfectly steady. Front sight should be clear, rear sight should be slightly blurry. Trigger control is key. Don't try to make the gun go off when you get the perfect sight picture. You will pull the shots. Take up the slack in the trigger and press it to the rear. It should be a surprise when the gun goes off. As spin40 said, take your time on the range and do some of the drills. There is no rush. Practice good fundamentals and the hits will come.
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Most of.your shots are good for defensive pistol. Sorry to say but are you going to your range and observing other shooters accuracy or are you there to practice?

Just like golfing, If your not competing againest another, who cares how they do, your score is the main focus.
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Remember to breath while shooting. If one holds their breath while aiming it will only take a second or two before hypoxia starts to make one's aim sway.

Just something to think about. If you are holding your breath/not breathing normally, doing so will help improve your shooting/groupings.

PS: those shots seem good enough for SD purposes. At 7 yards they could be tighter but they are more than good enough to ruin a bad guy's day.
You may need to find an instructor who will be brutally honest about what is causing your difficulty. A focus on basics gives us real clues to shooting issues that we may believe we've already mastered. An honest appraisal of our skills by a qualified instructor will lead to better results.

Even after 50 years, I like to include a drill that helps me focus on one of the basic shooting skills each time I go to the range. It may be only one magazine worth of ammo, but it keeps my critiquing-self active and often points to action I need to take in the future.

Here is a nice review of basics that I've bookmarked to review before range day that helps me focus on what is important...


One hour with a qualified instructor may get you to your shooting goal faster and cheaper than spending more $$ on ammo doing it yourself.
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Are you right handed?
Do you have physical condition?
Assuming you are right hand and have no conditions (arthritis etc.).

From the two targets they do not show pulling shots low left. Which is good as this is a common problem.
The second photo looks better in my view with some groups a little high and again no favoring to the low left.

From your description you notice that you have alot of motion of the handgun.
Question what model are you shooting?
If it is light? It would be more difficult to steady if too light.

Review shooting styles.
Many use isocoles. Others use Weaver or modern style.

Get very familiar with the weight and balance of your chosen hand gun. Dry fire or just handling at home.

Use snap caps one empty mag no ammo around and practice manipulating the gun. This can be done at home.

As a starting point

Choose a style that foster clean trigger break.

Then at home again with empty handgun practice holding it and presenting it.

Also when aiming practice presenting getting sight alignment then make the dry fire shot. Do not hold too long because you will not hold as steady due to fatigue.

These are beginning methods and may not be your final style. By trying systematic approach you can get better results. By using the best result method once you get more consistent then you will have a better feel as to what you are doing and could then continue to improve.

Also as you mentioned that if sitting you are more steady. So consider practice sitting then focus on gun manipulation and control. Eliminate one set of error to concentrate on eliminating the others.

As a check at the beginning of informal dry fire practice present and aim at the same object from time to time and see if you notice trends.

Go to the range. However shoot "quality" instead of quantity.

A good somewhat heavy handgun to start with is a Ruger Mark III bull barrel 5 1/2 model.
Polymer guns maybe a little light but a PPQ should be ok plus trigger is good.

Once you tame the wandering gun then fine tune your style which may be iscoles.
For reference
I can use isccoles or weaver/modern style and prefer the modern style for 1911 and Weaver for revolvers.

If there are good instructors near by consider getting a training session too.

As a reference on the web I get alot of value from Ken Hackathorn and Larry Vickers Youtube videos.

Learning to shoot is a step by step process so do not get discouraged.
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I am not an instructor or expert, but have 10s of thousands of rounds down range and am still learning to better myself. What it appears is happening might be your taking your focus off your front sight at the last moment and focusing on your target. You are generally hitting the center of the target which means you are not pulling shots off target due to flinching or poor finger placement on the trigger. Your ficus should be on your front sight. The rear sight and bulls eye will still be in your view but the front sight is your main focal point.

I used to use post it notes at 5 yards. Fire 3 rounds focused only on the front sight and not checking the target between shots. Then check the target. I would do this until I’d get the 3 hole touching. Then move the target our further and repeat. Every range session started this way. Then I went to 5 or 6 post it’s randomly on a backer and rotated 3 shots on each to speed up my target acquisition and aiming.
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