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So the wife and I are both new to shooting, but she's struggling a lot with getting consistent results. Most of my shots stay fairly grouped though not dead on center, but she is all over the place. She'll occasionally get a few shots grouped, but for the most part they are spread out randomly across the target.

The only thing that I've noticed is she's either flinching quite a bit and/or anticipating recoil.

Not only is she having this problem while shooting her XDM 9mm but also our Ruger SR22


Any thoughts/suggestions??
 

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Yeah, dry fire with snap caps and then at the range load a mag for her and randomly place dummy rounds in the mag. This will help her see that she's flinching.
 

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try dry-fire practice.
Some folks place a coin on the top of the barrel, if possible, to practice keeping the pistol steady through the trigger pull. If you are getting a good group but off POA, you may want to use a sandbag or similar rest to see if the sights are properly adjusted.


handgun_shooting_symptom_chart.jpeg
 
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Snap caps are your friend.

I don't like to dry fire any gun without snap caps, and dry firing any .22 or other rim-fire is an absolute no-no as the firing pin will strike the outer edge of the chamber and either mushroom or break the firing pin as well as erode the outer edge of the chamber.

Snap cap dry firing allow you to see the movement of the barrel at the critical break of the trigger when it releases the firing pin.

This also allows you to smooth the trigger action through repetitive interaction of the trigger sear.

The way you hold a handgun also determines the stability of the handgun when you fire it.

There are many good videos on youtube on properly holding a handgun. Here is a good one to get you started.

 

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Is she using her dominant eye to sight in the target? Is she focusing on the front sight, making it clear while the rear sight and target are a little out of focus? These two things helped out my wife the most. She went from one eye to the other, back and forth, trying to find what works best. When she started using the dominant one, she was more consistent. To find your dominant eye, put both arms out in front of you and touch your thumbs and index fingers together so it forms a triangle shape. Focus with both eyes open at a distance several feet away. Close one eye, and then open it and close the other eye. The eye that keeps the picture the same is your dominant eye while the other eye will see the picture jump to the side a little and that is the one you want closed. I taught her the focus trick and that too helped.
 

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Is it as simple as she's not used to holding a 20oz item at arms length? The muscles have to get used to having weight out that far for many seconds and then being strong enough to being steady at it.
I'm not suggesting she's a weakling because it goes the same for us guys. Try holding that can of spagetti sauce out front for 120 seconds a couple of times a day. It's cheaper than bullets.
 

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Could be a lot of things but it sounds like whatever she's doing, she's not doing it consistently. To be able to hit anyplace close to where you want with a handgun, you've gotta do the same things, the same way every time. That means the same grip, the same sight alignment and the same trigger press.

For the grip, I suggest that you take the gun and make sure it's unloaded. Lay it on a table and have your wife pick the butt of the gun up by putting the web of her hand as high on the backstrap as she can but keeping her fingers straight while leaving the muzzle on the table. Before she wraps her fingers around the grip, have her look down her arm and make sure the sights are aligned with the top bone of her forearm and her eye. Then, with the muzzle still on the table, wrap her fingers around the grip and adjust it again. Finally, have her put her finger inside the trigger guard- but not on the trigger. It will probably take a slight adjustment to get the gun lined up again after she does that, too. If she uses that grip every time, the gun's going to be sitting straight in her hand.
 

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Make sure she is NOT "one eyeing" it and practice, practice, practice :)
 

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Howdy,

Post a vid of your wife shooting and we can tell you what she's doing wrong.

Or you can post a pic of how she's gripping the pistol.

Your grip and stance is very important when it comes to shooting.

Paul
 

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The dry firing with snap caps advice is solid. When you did get back to live shooting targets, put that target about 2 yards away from her and try to punch that X out in a slow and steady wins the race fashion. The most important aspects of shooting straight are stance (women have a tendency to lean back rather than forward and into ), sight picture (front sight), grip (firm wrap around no gaps or wiggle and lock those wrists), and trigger control (smooth motion with only the one finger). Make sure she is doing those items properly. Also do not be offended if she just isn't listening to you properly and taking in what she needs to. Not all of us are good teachers and can properly convey what needs to be for any number of reasons. If she continues to have problems with her shooting, you may need to get a certified instructor for her.
 

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Couple things I've learned the hard way.

1: Only use the pad of the trigger finger, if you let your finger drop down so the trigger is resting in the crook of the first knuckle it's very easy to move off target as your firearm pulls to the side as the finger comes back, rather than the finger sliding along the trigger surface.

2: Dryfire only gets you so far. I got to the point where I would be rock solid during dry fire but still push, anticipating recoil, while shooting live. Easiest way to tell that is either snap caps or intentionally short load the magazine and watch the muzzle when she tries to pull the trigger. I would dip the muzzle a good 1/4" until I got used to shooting pistol. Only remedy I found for that was firing really slow and let the trigger break kind of surprise me. A few times of practicing like that and voila! no more pushing/flinching.

A couple shooting classes definitely wouldn't hurt either, and if they're anything like the ones I took will be time well spent and enjoyed.

HTH
 

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all great advice. could also be her grip. some good vids on u/tube she might want to take a look at. you are lucky to have a woman who will try, she's a keeper. :thumb:
 

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Lots of good advice. Dry fire to work on trigger technique, snap caps randomly loaded in mag at the range to find the flinch.
Basics, basics, basics, grip, stance, sight alignment, trigger control, follow through, reset, repeat...

Work on arm/ upper body strength and get professional training.

Also try ear plugs AND ear muffs, some people are very sound sensitive.
 

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Get an airgun/bb gun then research proper grip. Im working with my wife on her grip right now also. Sounds like she might be nervous. Are you doing this in front of a lot of people?
 

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Get an airgun/bb gun then research proper grip. Im working with my wife on her grip right now also. Sounds like she might be nervous. Are you doing this in front of a lot of people?
I was coming back to post bb gun but you beat me to it.
 
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