Lessons from my first day with S&W M&P 9c and instructor
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Thread: Lessons from my first day with S&W M&P 9c and instructor

  1. #1

    Lessons from my first day with S&W M&P 9c and instructor

    Hey guys,

    I got my M&P in February but just now got around to the range with an instructor of 20+ years. Gotta say it was fun and informative. I've shot several handguns since November, including the Army-issue Beretta 9mm and (lucky me) an officer's Luger from WWII. One friend is a collector who believes in shooting his collection and it was might fine.

    Anyway, I thought this would be a good place to state what we practiced and learned and see if there are other tips for my next trip without him.

    We used 6" paper plates with 1" dot circles for center targets in them and put 6 on a backing and put it out at 7yds.

    My first clip was horrible! I was down 9"+ and pulling left. He immediately noticed I was flinching right before the pin fired. It's a rather long pull with having a trigger safety and I was just waiting for the POP! and recoil.

    My second clip brought my arms closer together for more framing and crouching more and I did better. Pretty soon, I changed my sight picture to put the barrel over the dot and was on-target, but also realized that was a crutch so I asked for more help.

    He took the gun and cleared a mag and said he realized why I was struggling. With it being a compact and a polymer body, he was even wiggling, but much more closely grouped. "Practice," was the cure.

    Next, we tried to narrow problem areas with varying stances and modifications to my grip. For me, going from what he called the Weaver stance to squared away immediately improved grouping and aim. The further toward the barrel and wrapped my left index (or more) finger in front of the trigger guard, the steadier my aim.
    Lessons from my first day with S&W M&P 9c and instructor-grouping.jpg

    I went through 150 rounds in my hour lane rental, 100 more than I've shot with any other trip using other peoples' guns, so is this pretty much the method for future visits or should I stick with what I did last and put more rounds downrange until that works at 7yds?
    Current status: getting personal instruction from a friend before CCL - still no holster, biometric vaults in-home, or full-size mag
    Gun: S&W M&P 9c

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  3. #2
    Unload your gun and remove all ammunition from the area. Put an EMPTY mag in the gun and rack the slide. You are going to need to practice slowly pulling the trigger until all the take up slack is gone (some people call that "travel". You will know when the slack is gone by the increase in resistance. NOW, slowly finish pulling the trigger and hold it depressed for a couple seconds. Repeat the procedure and dry fire until you KNOW where the trigger reset is and can find it quickly. Once you have that down, your range time will be more productive. You will get to the point that you don't let the trigger travel any further after firing than it needs to for reset.

    Even though I am an instructor, I just spent the whole weekend with instructors that chewed my butt about doing this drill more often with my M&P9 full size (the smaller the gun, the less forgiving on the picky things). It improves your trigger control, speed and accuracy.

  4. #3
    That is fantastic in that I was doing that yesterday while everyone else was at the pool. I was aiming at where the vertical strings on the blinds crossed with a louver and noticed that my shake was significantly lower. I'd imagine some shake will return as soon as I have a loaded weapon for a period of time, but I'm thrilled that I wasn't wasting my time.

    Many thanks. I'm a sponge looking for anything for comfort and short-range accuracy. Going to try to bring 100-150rds to the farm in a few weeks and plink soup cans and stuff.
    Current status: getting personal instruction from a friend before CCL - still no holster, biometric vaults in-home, or full-size mag
    Gun: S&W M&P 9c

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    3,832
    A drill I like to show people doesn't involve any ammo and will improve your shots at the range. Take a dime or a penny and steady it on the front sight. Get a good sight alignment and squeeze the trigger. If you are squeezing the trigger correctly, the dime or penny should stay put and not fall off. Do this at home with an unloaded gun and aim at various object around the house, just make sure you can hold the gun parallel to the floor or else the coin falls off.

    Some sights are weirdly shaped and an empty casing works just as well.

    Trigger control is just one factor of good shooting, but without it, your shooting will not be great. Other factors to work on: grip, sight alignment, stance, and for some breathing control (this to a lesser degree with a handgun)
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  6. #5
    I'll try that now. Thanks, Wolf.
    Current status: getting personal instruction from a friend before CCL - still no holster, biometric vaults in-home, or full-size mag
    Gun: S&W M&P 9c

  7. #6
    it's more revealing (at the range of course) if you have a friend turn his back and either load or not load the gun, and then hand it to you.. It's easy to not flinch when you KNOW that the gun is empty! :-) You can also spin the cylinder of a revolver between "shots",( sometimes taking minutes to "find" all the loaded chambers)! You can also get some reloader to make up some dummy rds, no powder or primer, mix them with a hatful of live rds, and load you mags with your eyes shut. Then see if your front sight "twitches" when you press the trigger.

  8. #7
    get a laserlyte accessory, and a used airsoft copy of your gun, preferably a gas-powered, full-metal, blowback type, with an adjustable "hop-up", for sub -$100 on Craigslist or Ebay, Very important to py with a debit card and try before you buy!

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