How should I practice shooting?

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nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
What are some different ways I should practice firing my GP100? I am not looking to win any competitions or anything. I just want to be comfortable with this gun so if, God forbid, i ever need it, I am competent with it.
 

Ruber

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
432
Location
San Diego, CA
Hey, nice choice and welcome to the forum. The 4" stainless GP has been a sidekick of mine for many years. Sheriff Jim Wilson has had a couple articles in Shooting Times on different drills, I can't remember them all, but you might be able to find them on line. He covers things like how to practice from the hip, sitting, etc.

One thing I do at the range is set the gun down in front of me on the bench facing forward (don't make the ROs nervous) and practice picking it up and bringing it to target and firing double action in a safe and controlled fashion one shot at a time. The point is not to rush it or see how fast you can do it, but just try to be consistent. I'll do this with both eyes open and really try to practice pointing rather than aiming. Your first target may not look the best, but after a while you'll become really comfortable with how the GP handles. I have become real comfortable with this type of off hand shooting out to 25 yards which is well beyond the distance of needing a quick DA.

Just one thing I do to get competent with it, but there should be lot's of good advice here.

ps. I still load up bunches of wadcutters and shoot them SA just 'cause it's fun! :D
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
7,931
Location
Ohio , U.S.A.
like 'ruber' says , welcome to the Forum....any and all forms and types of shooting will help.....we do like he said above ourselves...also over time use BOTH hands, left or right as well as the two together....
when the new shooters or young folks are out, we like to put out balloons, different sizes and different colors...and at different distances...... call the shot...........
yes, different types of ammo are a must, get to really know just what that gun, and YOU can do......practice,practice, practice...........

oops, almost forgot , and NEVER forget....safety first.....

eye and ear protection, as well as a "defined backstop"........... :wink:
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Texas
Howdy,

Probably the one thing that I feel has helped me improve my shooting the most, is the use of snap caps randomly placed in the cylinder.

It allows me to catch any flinch I might begin developing. It also let's me see exactly what happens when the hammer drops. Is my trigger control pulling/pushing the sights one way or the other? follow through on the trigger? I rarely shoot a full cylinder of ammo at a time. Usually 3 snap caps and 3 live rounds.

by no means am I a crack shot, but I have seen improvement in my shooting. Which makes it awfully nice and keeps me motivated.

~c.r.
 

Rex Driver

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
60
Location
Colonial Heights, Va.
c.r.":33pprc67 said:
Howdy,

Probably the one thing that I feel has helped me improve my shooting the most, is the use of snap caps randomly placed in the cylinder.

It allows me to catch any flinch I might begin developing. It also let's me see exactly what happens when the hammer drops. Is my trigger control pulling/pushing the sights one way or the other? follow through on the trigger? I rarely shoot a full cylinder of ammo at a time. Usually 3 snap caps and 3 live rounds.

by no means am I a crack shot, but I have seen improvement in my shooting. Which makes it awfully nice and keeps me motivated.

~c.r.

c.r. it is funny that you mention the snap caps because it made me remember back in the late 70s when going to the police range for either practice of qualification we had an old gun smith who used this trick with rookie and below average shooters to make them see their flinch, only, he used rounds that he had made up with spent primers in them.

To get back to the original poster, it is also a good idea to go to a local range and if you are having some problems with hitting your target I am sure there would be somebody there to help you with trigger pull, amount of finger to be placed on trigger and breath control. Start out with shorter distance and when you feel comfortable, move to longer ranges.

Most of all, welcome to the group and to the wonderful world of Rugers and shooting, as has already been said, safety is first and always wear good eye and ear protection.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,626
Location
+4020
Sounds like you are mainly interested in self-defense with your GP. Here's what I'd do: Put up a sheet of plain white typing paper (8x10") chest-high at 5 to 7 yards, and work on hitting that EVERY TIME, double action, and then work on increasing your speed.

If you're interested in hunting, plinking, target shooting, etc., you'll need to extend your range, but you can also shoot single action.
 

nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
Thanks everyone,

Right now i am just shooting at cans and such about 10-20 yds away. There is plenty of room on our property to shoot as much as i want and safely. At this point i am shooting with a two handed grip and both eyes open. I havent practiced much with the double action mode but will start to soon. I just wanted to get used to handling the gun in single action mode first and then move up from there. When I practice the double action trigger pull while dry firing (acting as if the gun is loaded of course) I do notice the muzzle pulls one direction. So i know i need to work on my grip and finger placement on the trigger. Are wadcutters just target ammo? I have heard some people say they are not safe with revolvers (because of the gap between the cylinder and barrel or something like that). Sorry for the long post :)
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
Location
florida
Wadcutters are just target ammo, usually very low-powered and easy to shoot with little recoil.
I suggest shooting at 7 yds or so for a while. Once you improve to 2" groups, then can go to longer yardage in addition. It may be some time before you need 25 yds offhand, and usually there is not much threat at this distance.
Of course, if you wish to someday hunt with a handgun, the practice at longer yardage and different positions, i.e. offhand, sitting, will become very important.
sonnytoo
 

nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
I will keep practicing shooting offhand (ive been reading a lot about proper stance and such online). So far ive spent 20x more time reading than shooting, haha, but I am really aiming to improve myself not just shoot randomly. I actually have never shot off a bench. I figure I wont have a bench and 300yds when I need my gun (whichever one). I just want something to keep with me on the tractor or when we are cutting firewood in the winter. I just ordered a speedloader and will practice with that too. Sorry again if im rambling, I just have a million things running through my mind and just as many questions.
 

MagnumM56

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 6, 2009
Messages
87
Location
Republic of the Rio Grande-TX
My shooting has deteriorated with age. I was - and want to be again- a daily shooter. To get rid of the flich with the magnums I would load three into the cyl. spin it and then spin it so I would not know whether it was live or dry-then I could figure whether I had a flinch affecting my accuracy. To compensate for the strong eye / weak eye difference I would adjust the stance by placing my feet even firing off 6 or 2 seeing whether I was shooting right or left of the 10 ring and pull my foot back to compensate for the eyesight disparity affecting the point of impact. For self defense-And I hope to the Lord I never find myself in the "Gravest Extreme" no less than 21 feet between me and the agressor-even that is too close for comfort-but then again-I am no expert and have just hung around too many police officers(my clients). In my town full of drug cartels-I am cautious-one such cartel shooting(in the U.S[and this was on the history or discovery channel]) was at a restaurant four blocks from where I live. The place I live in is a hell hole-and totally inhospitable -so I keep my distance and my eyes open-practice(which I need more of) makes perfect
 

Jimbo357mag

Hawkeye
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
10,196
Location
So. Florida
Welcome nnero, I will offer a few tips that seemed to help me a few years ago. I usually started a session with a few 357 mags to get a feel for how much power the gun had but then would go to 38 specials to practice shooting technique. Because it is hard to concentrate on more than one thing at a time I developed a routine which included checking what I consider the four basics steps to good shooting. 1) a good stance. 2) a good grip on the gun. 3) proper sight picture. 4) a smooth and steady trigger pull in both single and double-action. It really doesn't matter how good you shoot at first but that the gun feels more familiar to you each time you shoot it.

If you plan on using the gun for self-defense consider classes or read and practice different shooting techniques like one handed or double-tap etc. :D

...Jimbo
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,742
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
As a firearm instructor may I offer a little more info.
I see a lot of shooters who were never taught proper gripping, sight picture, or stances etc. They develop bafd habits that are harder to break later on. (I know,, I used to be that way.) Find a good instructor,,, or a shooting club where DA revolvers are used & spend some time with them. You will get a lot of valuable info there.
As for wadcutters,, no problems with them at all in revolvers. They were used for many, many years as THE competition ammo. Just remember that shooting 38's in a 357 will need a bit of extra cleaning in the chamber area.
PS; no problems with any of your questions here.
 

nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
I will definitely look into some of the clubs in the area and keep on reading articles on the internet. I have made sure to take extra time cleaning the chambers.
 

scare

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
7
I too am a new shooter, took a self defense course and was amazed at how incompetent I was about hitting near the target area (at close range). My instructor told me I was "anticipating" the shot and jerking the trigger (my shots always went low and to the left).

This forum was a tremendous help. I've improved a great deal (scored a 2" cluster at 7 yards recently) by doing the following:

1. Dry firing -- lots of it. Usually I start my range time by dry firing.
2. Loading two rounds and spinning the cylinder. Keeps you guessing and helps you understand what happens when you jerk the trigger.
3. Relaxing and getting the shot off quicker. I practice bringing the gun up, aquiring the target and shooting in a smooth motion.

I practice a lot and the small improvements keep me motivated. Besides that, it's just so much fun!

Be safe!
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
6,626
Location
+4020
nnero93":2ya6ivo3 said:
I just want something to keep with me on the tractor or when we are cutting firewood in the winter.
Sounds like you are interested in more than just self-defense against two-legged predators of the urban variety. Snakes? Bears? Wolves? Feral dogs? Rabid critters of various kinds?

In that case, in addition to the drill I recommended earlier, you'll also want to spend some time on some precision work. Shoot at something like a beer can, single action, at 10-15-20-25 yards. My impression is that in the case of an animal (especially if you're on a tractor), you'll have a bit more time than with a human attacker, but it will be a more precise target.
 

nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
We just have a lot of coyotes in the area. They havent bothered any of the cows yet but you never know and a revolver is a lot easier to carry than my 30-30. There are some bears but I have heard of no trouble with them and there are actually some mountain lions as well. I just worried about the coyotes more than anything
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,742
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I'm glad to hear you haven't had any coyote problems,,,,yet,,,!!! I do nuisance wildlife work,, and they do give some ranchers a fit. Especially during calving. That GP will handle yotes quite well, and you are gonna need good shooting skills & a bit of proper practice to help you take care of any problems that arise. Good luck,,, and if you need any help,,, don't hesitate to ask!
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
Start off very close and use shoot 'n see targets so you get instant feedback. Try to resist the urge to plink pop cans, dirt clads, etc as they don't show you where your misses are, only the hits. Misses tell you much more than hits, stick to paper/targets until you are confident.

I started my wife off at 5yds with 4" paper plates, using a .22LR pistol. When all 10 rounds were on the plate, I moved her back 5 more yards. This does 2 things; first, it inspires confidence and gets new shooters excited about shooting ('cause missing ain't no fun). Second, you can catch bad habits quicker, and correct them immediately.
 

nnero93

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
66
Location
New York
I just bought a bunch of those targets. My buddy is coming over later this week so I will get everything set up like that. Thanks for all the responses.
 
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