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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, i just given my first handgun. It's a smith and wesson M&P .45 auto. I love it...untill i shot it.
I have a pretty good shot considering I have just started shooting, but when I fired this, I was all over the place. I set the target 20feet away (pretty easy distance). I would get a "decent" grouping (not great, and it seemed like I'd be aiming in the same place, but after firing, it would be 3-4inches away from the previous), then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there would be one 8-10 inches away from the group. I cannot imagine the sight being way off like that. I though maybe it was me, so my buddy let me fire a shot off his springfield 1911 .45 and I was right on. (literally, a bullseye). I then had my buddy fire off a few rounds with my gun, and he was all over the place too.

I'm just wondering if someone could give some tips. Is there something wrong with it? Do I need to get it cleaned even though is brand-spankin-new? I was going to add some preservative to is or some gun oil, but the guys at the gun shop said it would be fine without it and that I could just go ahead and start shooting. Please, any advice would be very welcome. Like I said, im new to this so I dont know much about guns. Thanks everyone.
Kazokazo50
 

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Premium Member
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15,424 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

If you ask for help around here, you can usually get some decent advice. In fact you'll get all kinds of advice, most of which is decent. It's up to you to figure out which to follow.

From what you're describing, the only thing that needs to happen is for the new shooter to get some training, some practice (many many rounds + dryfire excercises) and (especially) some coaching from an experienced shooter who likes to coach new shooters.

Shooting isn't a skill that comes without hard work and practice. There are no shortcuts, no "cheats". Plan on spending time, effort, money, and be willing to listen. Shooters love to share their sport; most of them you just have to ask.

KYPD,

~Rick
a/k/a "The Gunrunner"
a/k/a "The Gun Whisperer"

accepting Visa and Mastercard,
NewMexiCharge and BanChicanoCard
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
gunrnr said:
Welcome to the forum.

If you ask for help around here, you can usually get some decent advice. In fact you'll get all kinds of advice, most of which is decent. It's up to you to figure out which to follow.

From what you're describing, the only thing that needs to happen is for the new shooter to get some training, some practice (many many rounds + dryfire excercises) and (especially) some coaching from an experienced shooter who likes to coach new shooters.

Shooting isn't a skill that comes without hard work and practice. There are no shortcuts, no "cheats". Plan on spending time, effort, money, and be willing to listen. Shooters love to share their sport; most of them you just have to ask.

KYPD,

~Rick
a/k/a "The Gunrunner"
a/k/a "The Gun Whisperer"

accepting Visa and Mastercard,
NewMexiCharge and BanChicanoCard

Cool. Thank you for your response. I definently love to listen and would love coaching...I guess I need to get some at the range. maybe take some classes or something. I'm just happy you did not come out and say, "Your gun sucks, you got cheated." :D But, if its just practice that you think I need, then p[ractice I will get. thanks a lot. :)

Kazokazo50
 

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Pro Gun Advocate
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10,940 Posts
The one thing that jumped out at me in your post, kazokazo50, is your question on the need to clean a new gun.

I'd say that almost all of us clean a new gun when we first get it.

The most important reason is to become familiar with it--how to take it down, how to work the action, etc. It also helps to make certain that there is nothing obviously mechanically wrong with it before pulling the trigger (critical if you bought a used gun).

While we all understand the anticipation of getting it to the range (especially with your first gun), the fact that this IS your first gun makes this very important.

It might be a good idea for you to take it down and reassemble it several times in the comfort of your home until you can do it with ease (kinda like your own basic training), before you have a need to do so elsewhere.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i own and love the weapon you are talking about.if new it needs to be cleaned. they put "goop" on it at the factory for shipping.the reason it wont group for you or your buddy could be a simple matter of a grip size change. the gun needs to index (or fit) in your hand correctly so that when you point it it is actually aimed at the target. if your groups were high and right your over torqueing your grip,low and left means something else.your m&p should have come w/3 grip sizes most people shoot the medium one but try them all out and see if that makes any difference for you. and by all means get some training and practice,practice,practice.
 

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Old School.
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After a good cleaning try shooting at 10 feet not yards. When you start grouping well move the target back another 5 feet. Keep this up till you get out to about 40 feet. You will be considered a very good shooter if you can shoot out the bullseye at forty feet. Just take your time and enjoy what your doing. Remember if it's not fun you'll give up on it and we don't want that. Lessons from a good shooter are a big help. You have a fine pistol that should give you many years of service. Good luck. :-B-:
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hell fire Baldy, I have a hard enough time seeing the bulseye at 40'. Shooting it out? Nah. If I do a 2" group I feel proud.
Good enough to take down a BG. :-B-:
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
WOW. Some really great advice. Thanks a lot everyone. I really appriciate it. :) I'm taking every and all advice that was given. Thanks a ton! :)

Kazokazo50
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Relatively new shooter here as well. I started firing at WAY too far a range for a beginner.

I guess the old axiom, "learn to walk before you run" applies to marksmanship as well... :D

Start at a closer range for target shooting, and move out as your groupings get better.

Like all things in life, we only get better by doing it more often!

This came in handy for me:

http://www.is-lan.com/challenge/images/Pistol-Correction.pdf

Have fun shooting,

Bflobill
 

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Drunk Supernova
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6,002 Posts
None of this is hard and fast, but it is good reference for new shooters.



Make sure you are focusing on the front site tip and not the target (for now, once you get the fundamentals down you can work on defensive shooting).

If your site alignment is good and you are still off target check your grip, if your grip is screwed up you are not going to have proper site alignment. If your grip is good, see the below.


You can print this off, make sure you zoom when printing (that way you can use it as a target). Take her to the range and be mindful of what you are doing during each shot. See if it mates up with what is on the cards.

Additionally. What kind of stance are you using, and how big are you? The .45 is a haus, most people need some pretty aggressive stances to keep her under control.
 

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Pro Gun Advocate
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10,940 Posts
One thing I had to watch myself for early on was pulling the trigger straight back with the PAD of my finger.

It's real easy to grab the gun like a hammer, and pull the trigger with the first joint of the finger. That's what will put your round at the 5 o'clock position ("Tightening Grip While Pulling Trigger" spot on CDP's target).

Other than that, have fun (but you didn't need ME totell you that). ;)
 

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Right Wing Zealot
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1,228 Posts
I though maybe it was me, so my buddy let me fire a shot off his springfield 1911 .45 and I was right on. (literally, a bullseye). I then had my buddy fire off a few rounds with my gun, and he was all over the place too.
kazokazo50, let me be the first to state that you should trade your gun for a Springfield Armory 1911 like your friend has. I say that only because I am very partial to them...there is nothing wrong with S&W and the advice provided already should clear up your inconsistency. Good luck and keep us posted on how you do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey fella,
Give yourself a break. You said its your first, so I would suggest you give yourself time to, #1 get to know the gun. All of them shoot a little different, even those of the same make and model. As suggested by others, try different ammos, shooting positions, etc. Please don't make it hard on yourself. It will come when its time. Just practice and enjoy. None of us are born being a fine shot. I have a son and a brother who fired "EXPERT" in the Marine Corp., and are in reality two of the best shooters I know. But neither of them developed this overnight. Neither will you...in my humble opinoin. So ease up on yourself. Take care.
 

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Excellent advice given - take heed, develop and enjoy!
Several things MUST be done with EVERY new gun: a good thorough cleaning of the packing grease and oil, then relube according to instructions (that's right you should read the owner's manual FIRST) and finallybreak-in - some guns need only a few dozen rounds and some need a few hundred - you may have to shoot 200 to 300 rounds of jacketed bullets to smooth out the machine marks left in the bore and for all the reciprocating parts to "fit" together properly. I've been shooting handguns (and rifles) for almost 50 years - and am a fairly good shot - but I find that a NEW gun will, invariably, make me feel depressed until the barrel has been "honed" and the action has been settled - semi-autos and revolvers. Used guns, if they pass my pre-purchase inspection - usually don't require the break-in, unless they have not been broken-in properly. Practice, as said before, at short ranges until your gun is broken-in and you've become a bit more accomplished, then move the range out in short increments, this won't happen in a day or two, more like a couple weeks to months - you'll enjoy shooting and your gun a lot more. Practicing with .22 lr firearms makes it a lot easier on you to develop proper shooting skills, it's also a lot cheaper. Jumping right into the fray with a fairly stoutly recoiling gun like a .45 ACP or full house .357 Magnums helps develop bad habits: flinching, anticipating the recoil, yanking the trigger, closing your eyes, not following through - all of which will impact your marksmanship. Training by a qualified and interested mentor or instructor will help you develop the proper skill sets as well as break you of bad habits you may develop on your own. Good luck
 

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I know that this thread is kinda old by now but I'm quite surprised that no one has commented on the gun shop telling you that it wasn't necessary to clean before first use. I'm sure that the owner's manual is very clear to cleaning being the first step in ownership of a gun. I bought a new G26 yesterday and will not get it to the range until tonight but I've field stripped and cleaned it three times so far. I know it's a little late but hopefully you also have cleaned your new handgun many times by now - especially after each time that you've shot it. Hope that you're enjoying your new gun more by now.

-r-
 

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Harley Dude
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RevDerb said:
I know that this thread is kinda old by now but I'm quite surprised that no one has commented on the gun shop telling you that it wasn't necessary to clean before first use. I'm sure that the owner's manual is very clear to cleaning being the first step in ownership of a gun. I bought a new G26 yesterday and will not get it to the range until tonight but I've field stripped and cleaned it three times so far. I know it's a little late but hopefully you also have cleaned your new handgun many times by now - especially after each time that you've shot it. Hope that you're enjoying your new gun more by now.

-r-

Certain pistols come with a type of breakin grease on the slide and you are supposed to fire a few boxes of ammo through the gun first before cleaning. This will allow the parts to seat correctly.

Follow the owners manual instructions to see if this is discussed, prior to cleaning the firearm. But do a serious visual inspection to see if the firearm is full of dirt, lint, etc to insure safe operation.

Like assembling an engine, you put assembly lube on all the bearing surfaces as you put it back together. The fresh oil from the engine crankcase will eventually displace that assembly lube, but it will do its job and protect the surfaces and allow things to seat properly. So the break in lube may be a warranty issue to consider.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
youve' gotten some good advice from evevyone. Concider it all. I would like to add ,try some different brands and types of ammunition, some guns shoot well with a certain type, but not with others.
 
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