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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fellas. I finally got my dream gun. After nearly four years of waiting, I went out and I purchased this little beauty.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/image ... LLarge.jpg

1911 GI .45. Now, I have a question. How do I aim the darn thing? I have put 75-rounds through it, and have only landed maybe 15 okay hits on a shoe-box at about 20-feet. I feel like I'm holding the gun in the same spot every time (I have a black circle on the box that I aim for) but the bullets either are digging trenches in the ground in front or I send them into the bales of hay I'm using for a back-stop.

I've notice two problems. One, I tend to flinch. I caught myself about to pull the trigger with my eyes closed and my head sunk down. If I concentrate very hard, I can keep myself from doing it (I can even see the shell come out of the gun before my eyes close) but in concentrating I end up squeezing the gun a tad harder than I need to. I need to relax myself. Suggestions?

Secondly, two years of shotgunning have caused me to become very adapted to pulling the trigger, not squeezing it. That coupled with the all-too-tight grip leaves me jerking the gun on many shots that I don't land. I have considered taking my .22 rifle for some target practice for a bit, THEN using my pistol afterward. If I can put my rifle down and pick up my pistol right away, I think my hands will be used to a smoother operation and I won't jerk as much.

I don't need the pistol for defense or anything, I bought it just to have it. But it would be nice after spending that kind of money I could use the stupid thing skillfully. On top of that, from a safety standpoint, I want to become highly skilled on it before I allow anyone else to shoot it. And at $10 for 50 rounds I simply cannot afford to put all my lead into the dirt.

Any and all suggestions welcome!
 

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I have a few questions…
1. What is your size?
2. Are you using a one or two hand stance?
3. Are you keeping both eyes open?
4. Do you have any eye dominance issues?
Once I know the answers perhaps I can help you shoot a little better. :wink:
 

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The first time I shot a pistol I wasn't that accurate because I was using the same stance as I used for shotguns and rifles. Try shooting with your feet shoulder width apart and even with each other. You should also practice dry firing a lot to get rid of the flinch problem. JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rev. said:
1. What is your size?
6', 165lbs, all muscle :wink:

Rev. said:
2. Are you using a one or two hand stance?
Two. I grip with my right and cup my left.

Rev. said:
3. Are you keeping both eyes open?
4. Do you have any eye dominance issues?
Depends. I am left eye dominant, right handed. I tried keeping both eyes open and shooting across my chest, didn't work. Yesterday I shot with my left eye closed and did much better. I'm pretty good with my rifle and shotguns doing the same, and that seemed to help.

Never thought about my foot stance. Can't exactly tell you how I stand, other than that I face the target completely. But I have no idea where my feet are.
 

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FLINCHING? You gave away your problem right there. It may be your "dream" gun but you started with too large a caliber. You need to shoot a 22 for a while to break the flinch habit you seem to have. Try a revolver and dont load all the holes. try shooting it double action ,then see if your shuting your eyes or dropping your head ot jerking your hand.
I have been shooting hand guns for almost 60 years and I can say for sure that a 45 caliber is not a starting gun.
 

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I developed a flinching habit with my .357 (my avatar) that I am working to overcome. It greatly affects my accuracy and I bet you have the same issue. I haven't met anyone who flinches badly and is still accurate. The nice thing about a .357 is that I can go down to light .38 loads until I break the habit. Try to find some light .45s if they are available without loading your own.
 

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Try turning slightly to the right so when you aim at the target your left arm is bent a little at the elbow. And of course your right foot will be behind the left in respect to the target.
This stance will hopefully give you a more firm control of the gun.
As far as flinching, this is going to be about 90% of the problem. In my opinion the best way to overcome it is to hold the gun on target and concentrate on slowly pulling the trigger. In essence, be on target with a firm grip on the gun and let it surprise you when it fires. Flinching is mainly anticipating recoil, no anticipation, no flinch. It will take practice but you will get there.
The stance I suggested is mainly what I use, and it works for me.
I ask your size because the .45 you have has a little muzzle flip, however I don’t think that should be your problem.
I hope some of this helps, and keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
claybird said:
You need to shoot a 22 for a while to break the flinch habit you seem to have. Try a revolver and dont load all the holes. try shooting it double action ,then see if your shuting your eyes or dropping your head ot jerking your hand.
I have been shooting hand guns for almost 60 years and I can say for sure that a 45 caliber is not a starting gun.
I'm sure it's not. Unfortunately I blew all my money on my .45. So a .22 of any kind is inapplicable. But as I said above, I am able to keep from flenching if I concentrate. Now if I can just learn to ease down on the trigger instead of pull, I'll be okay. I'm also going to do a lot of practice on trigger control with my .22 rifle (which I tend to shoot like a shotgun) then grab my .45.

Yes, Rev, the first time I shot it the muzzle flip suprised me. I shot a .45 with a 5" inch barrel and it wasn't too bad, but then when I brought home my 4" it really suprised me. But I'm able to handle it my now.
 

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Aimless, I looked at the picture of your milspec commander-sized pistol. One aspect of the the milspecs that is changed in most 1911 following the Kimber model (by that I mean the addition of those items that were previously changed/added by pistolsmiths) is the aluminum adjustable trigger and the beaver tail grip safety.

These modifications enable the shooter to take a higher grip w/o getting bit by the hammer spur and enable the shooter to place the pad of the fingertip on the trigger, rather than the first joint of the finger, where a man with average to larger-than-average sized hands may find their finger rests. That alone, coupled with a tight grip, can cause the shooter to "flex" the pistol to the left when pulling the trigger.

You might think about changing out the trigger if you think what I've described might be contributing to your problem. Different grips might help too.

Someday, after saving your pocket change for awhile, you might want to consider shipping that milspec off to a place like Cylinder and Slide and having Bill Laughridge work some pistol magic on that thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks TMats. While I don't ever use the safety (I keep the gun unloaded w/o the clip and in a holster until I'm on the line ready to shoot) it would be nice to have the beaver tail safety. Easier to turn on and off. Adjustable trigger would be nice too. I've been cursed with my grandfather's long, skinny fingers and it definately is harder to control a light squeeze. Grips I don't think are a problem.

Fortuneately, I live on 80 acres of farm land, and there are no houses for over a mile in the direction I'm shooting, and the land slopes up several feet. So it is perfectly safe to go out and shoot on my own land whenever I feel like it. Just need to practice a lot more.

As for dry fireing, I did some of that to day. I think it was a really good thing to do. Need to practice more to help my trigger control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Rev. said:
Try turning slightly to the right so when you aim at the target your left arm is bent a little at the elbow. And of course your right foot will be behind the left in respect to the target.
This stance will hopefully give you a more firm control of the gun.
I've seen Army training videos where they use this stance. But when I use this stance, which eye do I need to look through?
 

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When you are right handed you should use your right eye.
 

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Thanks TMats. While I don't ever use the safety (I keep the gun unloaded w/o the clip and in a holster until I'm on the line ready to shoot) it would be nice to have the beaver tail safety. Easier to turn on and off.


The grip safety does not turn on or off, I think you meant the extended thumb safety. I have the same pistol and except for thr trigger it fits well. Maybe a longer trigger(requires fitting)might help and a Beaver tail grip safety could also help. I think a lot of dry firing would better serve you. Learn to use the safety all the time even if unloaded. Form good habits early.
 

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John's right, Aimless, you are apparently confusing the grip safety with the thumb safety. John is also right about always using the thumb safety as well; during that dry firing practice the safety should come off as the muzzle comes up on target and then back on as the pistol is is lowered to low-ready position. Practice this until the action of safety off/safety on becomes second nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I understand what you are saying about the thumb safety, making sure its always on "safe" but you can't put the gun on "safe" if it is uncocked. I never carry it cocked or loaded. I know what you mean about forming good habits, but the gun simply won't allow it. If I could use the safety, I would.
 

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I've got an old friend who used to say, "If it ain't loaded, you might as well carry a hammer." :wink:

BTW, I understand that the thumb safety cannot be applied until the pistol is in condition 1; what we are saying is that even if you do not carry a pistol for SD, you must still learn and practice the rules of safe gun handling on the range. Ultimately, at some time...if you are going to fire this pistol...there has to be one in the pipe and the hammer has to be cocked. At that time, the safety must be on until the muzzle comes up on target and it should be back on as soon as the muzzle comes off target.

Respectfully, T
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Don't worry, I'm all for using the safety. I use it on my shotguns and my rifle. I shoot at my house. I leave the gun holstered. I step to the line, put the gun on target, drop in the clip, charge it, and shoot until empty. Then I drop the clip, make sure the chamber is clear, put the slide back forward, lower the hammer, then take the gun off target. It has not happened yet, but if any time I need to take the gun off target, the safety will go on. That is great advise. I just don't want you guys to think I am opposed to using it . . . :wink: Anywho, I think before the big game tomorrow, I'm gonna go do some more target shooting with it. Thanks for the advise, T, and wish me luck.
 
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