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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just signed up last night to take an Ohio CCW course next Sunday with my PT 709. I've already read the Ohio CC laws pdf online however, as I'm new to pistol shooting and a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to shooting what can I expect in regards to the shooting portion of the course? I can easily hit a paper plate at 7 yards just can't hold the tightest group, should I be concerned? I'm going to the range the Friday before to make sure everything is where it needs to be and hopefully build my confidence a little. Thanks everyone!
 

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I can't speak for all the courses, but in mine we practiced and trained for a while, then did the qualifying. Five shots on the paper plate did the job. We then finished the range session with some further self defense type training. Good luck!!
 

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Most of these state courses, they want to know if you operate the gun safely, within handling guidelines. They do not expect marksman type shooting. In KY 11 out of 20 center mass of a B27 target is required, at 21 feet. You can shoot up to 50 rds, but the qual is only 20 rds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank everyone, I'm fairly new to pistol shooting so I'm sure my inaccuracy is due to not being completely familiar however, with a few hundred rounds I plan to correct those issues. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Mine was mostly an evaluation of safe firearm handling with some shot placement mixed in. Smaller target at about 7 yards, gotta be able to hit at least 50% of the shots fired, but there is no official scoring. Basically, they leave it up to the shooter to better themselves, the instructors just want to see you can properly handle and use your firearm. I used my PT92 and did fine. The Mrs will also use my PT92 but her carry gun will be her PT709. She just has a little more accuaracy with the 92 and it's easier for here to rack the slide (still recovering from shoulder surgery).
 

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You should expect to be shooting at normal self defense ranges - and that tends to be between 3 and 7 yards. I wouldn't worry about passing if you can hit the paper more or less towards the middle.

My best advice for new shooters is this - the number one problem I see out of new shooters is anticipating the recoil. You get to a point where you know the trigger is about to break, and as it breaks they throw the muzzle downward in anticipation of the recoil. It's really hard to catch yourself doing it, because the recoil masks the anticipation. Get yourself a few snap caps, and take a friend with you and have them load your magazines. Don't watch them load them, and have them throw a couple snap caps in randomly. Then watch what happens when you land on the duds. If the muzzle takes a big downward dip, you'll know you're anticipating. And catching yourself doing it is 90% of the battle. You have to let the pistol go off in your hand without anything moving except your trigger finger.
 

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Up here we normally qualify with 50 rounds on a cardboard silhouette from 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15 yards both strong and weak hand and if you can keep 70% of them on the target you are good to go. Personally I shoot for 80 % plus COM. While the instructors like to see a high percentage of shots COM they also know that not all people are target shooter and realize that most of them will need additional practice.

The main factor is safe gun handling! The first time I qualified up here I had a deputy sheriff working with me and after I finished he commented about my habit of swinging the cylinder open and holding the gun with two fingers in the cylinder opening. He wondered where I learned that from. I admitted that I had learned it from shooting with several LEO's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dbeardslee- I have noticed the pulling down anticipating the firing of the gun, buying snap caps ASAP to help with this problem.

Everyone else- Thanks for the info, I know my way around safely handling guns as I have been around guns my entire life- both my father and grandfather are gunsmiths and firearm enthusiasts. I completed the hunters safety course when I was 10 and spent 4 years in 4H shooting sports safety is of upmost concern and very well should be it's beneficial to take a course stressing this either way. My concern is with the shooting portion but from what most of you are saying I shouldn't worry so much about this.

Thanks everyone for the knowledge and suggestions!!
 

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You've got all the right advice so far. There is no "qualify" requirement in Ohio. The range portion is up to the instructor and will vary a great deal. Have fun and learn as much as you can!
 

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I have noticed the pulling down anticipating the firing of the gun, buying snap caps ASAP to help with this problem.
When you get the snap caps, there's something else that's absolutely a requirement if you want to shoot well - dry firing. I'm sure everybody's heard that you should pull a trigger using the pad of your trigger finger, and depending on the trigger, that may or may not be true. And it's harder than hell to figure out where the sweet spot is on the trigger under recoil. Dry firing allows you to try different pull techniques while observing their affect on sight alignment. Basically you want to find the technique that allows you to pull the trigger and have the firing pin go forward without the sights ever moving off the target. Unlike firing live rounds, you'll know instantly if you did it right.

When I say technique, what I mean is a little more trigger finger, a little less. You can pull using the muscle that works the tip of your finger, or you can keep the first joint straight and pull with the next muscle up (if that makes any sense to you.) Sometimes pulling with the crook of your finger works best. On some pistols your non-firing hand may have to be adjusted. I've found with some pistols that they demand the firing hand thumb be straight forward or it gets in the way of the last bit of trigger pull.

The idea is to find the technique that works the best on a particular pistol for your hand. I've dry fired at least three or four days a week for the last thirty years or so. And you can literally do it while you're watching tv. The idea is to pick a target, align the sights on the target, and pull without the sights ever budging all the way until the firing pin is forward. This is important because there's a slight delay from the time you pull the trigger until the round actually exits the barrel, and where the sights are pointed at that instant is what matters. Once you find the technique that allows you to do that - practice and practice and practice. It takes a minimum of twenty-five repetitions of a given movement for you to develop muscle memory, so twenty-five repetitions of the 'correct' technique is kind of a bare minimum.

One of the big differences between shooting a rifle and shooting a pistol is that pistols tend to be way pickier about the way you tickle the trigger. They have a short sight radius and that amplifies the effect of any movement of the weapon. Plus they're small and easily moved, which adds to the challenge. They're way fun, though.
 

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To the OPs questions (and more).
I took my Ohio course 1 month ago.

Hint Hint ! ! !
Call your local sherriff's office NOW!!!! Before lunch! Today!
My local office only accepts by appointment. The earliest was excactly 1 month later. (tomorrow for mine)
Nearby counties also required appointments. Late July for one and late August for another.
They don't ask if you passed.

As to the requirements:
Written test by the instructor. It only covered the parts of a gun. SA/DA - barrel - trigger. Not one questions about self defense situations or legal issues. (strange I thought)
Shooting is purely safe handling. Not if the rounds stayed in the rings. Some ladies with revolvers were lucky to stay on the paper.
 
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