Monday, November 22, 2010

PPC is hard

I shot a semiauto PPC match for the first time in a while this past weekend, and I really want to make it a point to shoot this competition any Sunday there's not a USPSA match.  After reading Brian Enos' book, I'm really convinced that if I ever want to be a Master shooter, I have to shoot accurately - one ragged hole at fifty feet.  I am not there yet.

In the first match I scored 432 out of 600, then 436 in the second - not good at all.  What really killed me was shooting lefty (my weak hand) from behind the barricade.  This is a problem I've been having shooting my 1911, but not revolvers.  With the semiauto, I need to put the front sight along the left edge of the paper for the bullet to even hit the paper.  Most of them end up being misses, some low and centered, some low and right.

I've asked some good shooters for advice on this one. One guy who has the same problem has been compensating by aiming at the target's right shoulder.  He's shot this way for years and scores high 500s in PPC.  He thinks that astigmatism is at least partly to blame, and there's not much that can be done other that to trust your new sight picture when shooting cross-dominant.  At least one other knowledgeable instructor agrees.  

I don't buy it though, and here's why.  Whether I'm shooting strong hand or weak hand, I'm aiming and seeing the same sight picture with my right (dominant) eye.  I squeeze the trigger, and when the shot breaks, the gun doesn't care which hand is holding it, so the bullet should impact the same place.  So there's something else causing the bullet to hit right of the target, and it can't be that my defective football shaped eyes see differently when shooting lefty - it just doesn't make sense.

So there are a few things that could be happening.  Most likely, I'm flinching without even realizing it.  I'm yanking the trigger at the last instant, or blinking and losing my sight picture right before the shot.  I am convinced this is the cause, so I'm dedicating at least 100 rounds a week to practicing left handed.  It's also possible that the gun is recoiling differently as the bullet is traveling down the bore.  Everyone's weak hand is, well, weaker than their strong hand, and I think it may be worth firming up my grip and seeing how that affects my groups.  But still, my trigger control has to be the dominant factor here.

If anyone has advice on this issue, I'd love to hear it.  I can't go through life with five or six misses on the third string of PPC! 

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