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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After much debate and a few eyebrow raising incidents in my neighborhood, my boyfriend and I decided to purchase some weapons for our protection. He purchased a shotgun (Remington 870), and I purchased a semi automatic pistol (Ruger KSR9).
I do have a military background, so I have much weapon discipline and safety training. I passed the California Handgun Safety Test with no problems, so I am knowledgeable of the laws and safety precautions necessary to own a pistol. However, I have never owned or fired a pistol. I chose the Ruger for several reasons; it fit well in my hand, the magazine was not difficult to release, the action was not difficult to slide, and honestly I thought it looked really nice.
I am making this post to get some guidance on shooting this weapon. I still have 10 days before I can pick it up from the store so there is plenty of time for me to get to know the Rugers and ways of firing such a weapon. Any guidance and information is greatly appreciated! :mrgreen:

Premium Member
106 Posts
Sorry, don't know how I missed this; but, on the premise that it's better to be late than to never offer a reply, here we go: (This is from an answer I made elsewhere to a brand new pistol shooter.)

Hello! (I can’t imagine what it must be like to be THAT new around here!) ;)

OK, let’s address your first question: Apparently you’ve seen one of the pistol shooting mistakes, ‘pie charts’. Let me break it down for ya. Yes, shooting to the left with a pistol can, indeed, mean that you haven’t got enough finger on the trigger; HOWEVER, what isn’t often stated is that a combat pistol is NOT fired in the same way that a target pistol is; AND, all of the pie charts have originated with target shooters.

Consequently, pie charts are, at best, a good starting point for analyzing what’s wrong with your shooting style; but, after you become familiar with them, you’re still going to have to know more. Without being able to stand next to you while you’re shooting, I’m going to have to take my best guess. First, kudos on stating that you are right handed - That’s great information to know when trying to figure out a question like yours. Second, I would, also, like to have known what kind of pistol you are having trouble with?

Anyway, I think you’re doing something of a, ‘lemon squeeze’ on the frame while you’re pulling the trigger. Apparently you’re, also, smart enough to have already figured this out; and you’ve adjusted your grip to force the muzzle to pull more to the right as the shot breaks. (How am I doing?) ;) Now a brief word about how your finger should be placed on a combat semi-auto’s trigger: If you’ve been reading Ayoob you know to place the trigger’s face, more or less, into the trigger finger’s distal joint; and this is what you appear to be doing. The problem is that not all semiautomatic pistol triggers should be placed into this joint!

The pistol, your hand size, and the length of your fingers all come into play; e.g.: I fire a G-21 by placing the pad in front of my trigger finger’s distal joint squarely upon the trigger’s face; and I fire a G-19 by using a classic, ‘Ayoob grip and trigger technique’. I know from experience that there is no way I can successfully fire a G-19 in the same way that I do the much larger frame G-21.

The other day I was, ‘blowing the faces’ off hostage-taker targets with my G-21. Other people on the line were impressed. I, however, was laughing to myself over how much harder it would have been for me to do the same thing with my G-19. (I’m NOT saying that I couldn’t do it; but, I know I would have had to concentrate a lot more on shooting straight while using the smaller pistol.)

Whatever else you do with your pistol remember not to lemon squeeze it while you’re applying pressure to the trigger - OK. (Very common with a Glock!) Make sure to apply most of your grip pressure to only the front and the back of the frame. (There’s some side pressure from your thumbs; but, it ain’t a heck of a lot; and you’re going to have to teach yourself, ‘How’ to direct it carefully.) Once you’ve got your grip properly applied to the frame, it’s time to work on the correct way to pull the trigger. There are methods; and there are methods! (Here it would help me to know what pistol you are using; and I’d, also, like to know something about your hand size?

Again, I’m going to take my best guess: From what you’ve posted I suspect your hand size is a little small for your gun. ‘Why’ do I think this? Because you appear to be gripping the pistol’s frame by pressing it up against the base of your thumb - That’s why! To correct this misalignment, back your finger off the trigger; and slide the pistol’s backstrap more toward the center of your palm. Ideally, you want the pistol’s backstrap to run up and down along the, ‘heel’ of your hand. (That’s just to the inside of the, ‘meaty part’ of your lower thumb.)

Is this an important adjustment for you to make? Yes, it is - very important! The reason, ‘Why’ is because the entire pistol is actually controlled off the backstrap, itself. Every pistol backstrap has what I will call a control point or, ‘magic spot’ on it. The more carefully and precisely a pistol shooter controls this, ‘one spot’ the better he’s going to shoot. Your job is to learn how to correctly, ‘marry’ this control point into the other two requirements for straight pistol shooting: Trigger pull, and watching your front sight.

I’ll give you a couple of, ‘for instances’: On a large frame G-21 I hold the pistol straight up and down, and pull the trigger straight back and, maybe, a little downward. On a G-19 - which I’ve recently been teaching myself to shoot from a more controllable, ‘one eighth homie’ grip (That’s half a, ‘quarter homie’.) - I tend to pull the trigger toward the outside of my right hand. The reason I do this is because a, ‘homie grip’ allows a pistol shooter to take a lot of pressure off the forearm muscles and tendons by slightly canting the front sight towards the body’s vertical inside line. Once you do this you’ve, also, got to readjust your trigger pull to prevent (You guessed it!) low left bullet impacts.

Here’s a little exercise I want you to do: With an EMPTY PISTOL, grip the frame from front-to-back in the previously described manner. Now, find that, ‘magic spot’ I’ve mentioned and begin to teach yourself how to control it. Take aim and apply pressure to the pistol’s backstrap. If you’re doing things right you should be able to slightly raise the front sight as you apply pressure to the backstrap; and the front sight should lower when your hand pressure is released - NOW, you’ve learned to identify your pistol’s primary control point. (I have repeatedly worn out entire packs of snap caps while ingraining this technique into my proprioceptive reflexes.)

You are, also, going to have to learn how to correctly pull a pistol trigger. I suspect your problem is that you are actually, ‘pulling’ the trigger. When I teach someone to shoot a rifle I’ll tell him to breathe properly and, ‘pull the trigger’; however, while teaching someone to shoot a pistol I always use the words, ‘press’ or (on rapid fire) ‘tap’ the trigger. For now, I’m going to leave pistol trigger pressing and tapping here. What’s been said, so far, should be enough to get you started.

Finally, a word about watching your pistol’s front sight: All great combat pistol shooting involves teaching yourself how to watch THE VERY TOP of the pistol’s front sight. Whenever I fire quickly I, quite literally, don’t have the time to, ‘nest’ the front sight or to obtain what we, all, recognize as a, ‘perfect sight picture’. (You can’t - nobody can - because that front sight is just bouncing too fast!) Learn how to take a slightly lower, ‘hold’ on the target and, then, fire off the very top of the front sight.

If you’re a postal target shooter, ……. man, I think I’ve just screwed you up, royally! (But, you’re not; are you!) PM me if you want to talk more about this; and, welcome to the board.
I am, both, the author of the above information as well as a certified firearms instructor. Now, for your further consideration:

Right-Handed, 'Pie Charts' Of Pistol Shooting Mistakes -
http://img74.imageshack.us/img74/3232/r ... llmtw9.jpg
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/2018 ... schart.jpg

(If you're left-handed simply reverse the charts.)

Ideal Pistol Sight Pictures -
http://img241.imageshack.us/img241/1518 ... cusqc6.gif
http://img71.imageshack.us/img71/6821/c ... ighym7.jpg

Hope this helps you out!
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