Finally....I have my first gun!

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groover000

Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby groover000 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:11 am

Hello All.
Well I finally picked up my first gun a couple of days ago. I went with the Springfield XD in .45. I got the 4 inch as suggested here (thank you). I haven't been able to shoot it yet because of the usual life getting in the way (work, three kids under 4 years, etc.), but I did go out today and buy eye and ear protection and a box of 100 rounds of ammo. I will be trying it out tomorrow at the indoor range. Just wanted to thank everyone here (and especially Kim whom unfortunately I wasn't able to thank before his retirement). I have been reading about guns for a couple of years now, but never had the extra money to jump in. Thanks again and I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

John

crebralfix

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby crebralfix » Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:41 am

The XD 45 is a really nice gun. People complain about the trigger, but I found it easy to use since the weight was smooth throughout the pull. Enjoy it!

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Aglifter
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Aglifter » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:11 am

Great Gun! I've been using my 5" for years as a truck/contest gun, and have been thinking about getting one of the 4" ones for carry... Trying to fight the urge, though... (I have a carry gun "box" as well as a holster box...)
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Combat Controller » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:54 am

Good deal! I am glad you picked the XD, it is a very fine gun, and very forgiving. You will enjoy it.
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Greg » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:00 am

Awesome! We're all cheering for you. I know I am - I bought my first gun this year, too.

Just remember, all you need to get good at this shooting thing is a little instruction and *alot* of practice. (That's what I tell myself.) To that end, there's nothing that spells "lots of cheap practice" like a .22 - and as a plus they're FUN.

I think that XD needs a buddy. :)
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby oilcrash » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:57 pm

Rockin!

Now of course I missed the first post mentioning the purpose behind the purchase, but as Greg mentioned, practice is key. And of course the key to that practice is slow smooth motion. From draw and presentation through trigger control on to recovery.

Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Catbird » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:40 pm

Congratulations! Please post a range report when you get a chance to shoot it. I might want to get one myself someday.

For all the new gun owners out there, now is a good time to read and heed Frank J's Gun Safety Tips, especially #2:
No matter how excited you are about buying your first gun, never run around yelling, "I have a gun", " I have a gun!".
"If at first you don't succeed, that's one data point." XKCD

The Quiet Man

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby The Quiet Man » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:58 pm

Yeah for you! An XD45 is a fine first gun. Easy to shoot and take care of. I also have a 4" XD45 and am very happy with it. Watch for spare hi-cap mags and pick up a few (while you still can!)

Remember to write back and tell about your impressions after your first range visit.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby AndytheAxe » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:42 pm

Congrats! You'll find once you have one you'll want more. Maybe not soon but it'll happen. HAVE FUN with it! :)
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Jered » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:03 am

And never pistol whip someone with it. It could mar the finish.

;)

And buy a .22 to go with it.
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groover000

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby groover000 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:25 am

First range trip was yesterday afternoon. Took a box of 100 Winchester White Box. Okay, I don't want to sound like an idiot, but how does this thing aim? Put the target out and went through three magazines without even hitting it. I kept bringing it in close until I hit it, which was about ten feet away. The only way I could hit the target was if I aimed high from what I wanted to hit. I thought something must be wrong with the gun. Bear in mind that this was the first time I have fired a .45.

I ended up firing about 50 rounds and left feeling completely humiliated. I went to see the gunsmith who put something in the barrel that had a laser on it. He said it was aiming fine, but he did say that the XD aims a bit differently. He said when all three dot were aligned, the point of impact would be covered. I thought that the three dots were supposed to be directly under what I was aiming at. Could someone shed some light on this subject for me please?

Other than that though I like the way the gun felt. As I said this was my first time shooting a .45. The only other handgun that I have shot was a few magazines from a Glock 19 about 6 years ago. The recoil on the first shot was more than I expected, but I am sure I will get used to it. The gun seems put together really well and everything seems nice and tight. Now, if I can get the whole aim thing down I should be good to go. Hopefully someone here who has an XD can fill me in.

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Catbird » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:29 am

The dots are there just to help you line things up. You want the top edge of the front sight post to bisect the point of aim. (The bottom half of whatever you're aiming at should be below the front sight post). The front sight post should be centered on the target left to right. It should also be centered between the rear sight posts. The top edges of the front and rear sight posts should be aligned with each other. >>>PICTURE<<<

You might be flinching or jerking the trigger when firing. Ask a range staffer to help you out.
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Erik » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:35 pm

I agree with Catbird. (Except maybe for bullseye shooting, when a lot of shooters set their sights to shoot "ball", that is to aim under the black center of a target, showing the "ball" above the sights)

However, when I went to a range in the US this summer, the guns I shot was all set to hit where the frontsight covered it. That is, center of the gray front sight in the picture in Catbirds comment.
The instructor told me that's the way they were supposed to be aimed, and I didn't question it, I just went with it. I'm not sure if that was just how that range sighted their guns though, but it sounds like what the gunsmith told you.
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Fivetoes » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:12 pm

Keep working on it Groover. For starters I suggest you work on consistancy. Don't worry about where you are hitting but work on how big a group you are making. Once you get that down then you will find it easier to hit where you want to. Just get a big ass piece of cardboard and put a mark in the middle to aim at. Work with different ammo, it is not all the same. Work on holding your gun with a firm grip but not like you are strangling it. Consistancy of hold it the key.
If you can find an experienced shooter at the range chances are he will give you all the help you ask for.
Good luck, you will get better.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Erik » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:26 pm

+1 on that too.
One thing that I feel helped me the first times was that the instructor made a circle, about 8inches in diameter, and told me to place the shots inside it. He said it was easier for a beginner to do that than to try and hit an "X". If it seems too easy for the student, he simply moves the target further out. Too hard, and he moves it closer. I think it helped me, made it easier to concentrate on the basics and get some consistency.
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Aglifter » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:36 pm

A -- get a dummy barrel, if you can find one for an XD -- I'm pretty sure I have a link to a dummy barrel for an XD 45 (you don't need a dummy barrel, but IMO, they're a good idea for dry fire practice/esp. for practicing a draw, and they're reasonable.)

B. While dry firing, focus on your front sight. Concentrate on only moving your trigger finger straight back, and not moving the rest of the muscles in your hand -- essentially, you're concentrating on keeping the sights in position while pressing the trigger.
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, & our sacred Honor

A gentleman unarmed is undressed.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Combat Controller » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:07 pm

You may have developed a bit of a flinch, no worries, it happens to us all at some point. It is a bit more overwhelming at first than one would suspect. The key is to hold tight and steady while you pull back the trigger and concentrate hard. This way you will be a bit surprised when it goes off, which is good, as you don't nosedive the gun anticipating recoil. This is where I beat the dead horse about shooting a .22 auto pistol. this will allow you to troubleshoot your grip and show where your groups are. Your experience sounds like you are anticipating and that causes the barrel to nosedive just prior to ignition. Hence you have to aim high. This is caused by a sudden tightening of the grip, so try and hold it steady the whole time. Combine it with the 6 o'clock low hold of the XD and you will be hitting at the bottom of your target.

Are you right handed? If so, are you right eye dominant? I am left and it has bedeviled me for years. I always shoot to the left of my target and low. Sucks.

How did you do with the Glock all those years ago? Don't worry about feeling humiliated, it is just a sign you need more practice. We all suck at stuff the first few times we try it, that's the nature of the beast. Heck, I have friend who loves shooting and he can't hit the broadside of a barn. This does not stop him from going though! :o He is a terrible shot and will not take the obvious steps to correct it. You on the other hand are willing to learn, so no one will mock you for asking for help (if they do they are dicks and should be avoided). Listen, watch and repeat what you have be instructed and you should be there in no time flat.

Hope this helps. You could also see if one of our members is in your area and will take you out shooting. We are a nice bunch here, I am sure you are near somebody....
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Ben Rumson » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:10 pm

I need to cover the bullseye with my XD40.

As others have said, it sounds like your flinching. See if the range has a snap cap and load it in the middle of the magazine somewhere. If your flinching, it will show when the snap cap is chambered , doesn't fire and your body jerks even though the gun didn't go off.

A friend of mine was way off target, he went and got an instructor to try the gun. The gun worked fine for the instructor. When the instructor loaded a magazine for my friend, he only racked the slide part way making my friend think a bullet was chambered. Well, friend pulled the trigger, flinched and the gun never went off. It was only then that he realized how bad he was fliunching.

Just be carefull when you cycle the snap cap out of the chamber. Treat it like a dead round/clearing exercise. Might want to do it with an instructor by your side. Most good ranges will spend a few minutes with you without charging for it.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Darrell » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:59 pm

My first pistol was a .45, I should've got a .22 first. Develop good habits with the .22, then move up to the larger caliber.
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sam

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby sam » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:06 am

1. Sight alignment (said above)
2. Sight picture (see Catbird's link)
3. Trigger press (described above)
4. Follow through - get your sights back on target after the shot. You should have one more sight picture than trigger presses.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Dub_James » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:32 am

Congrats! Next stop, CCW! (If you can where you are)
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groover000

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby groover000 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:00 am

Thanks everyone for the great responses. After the first couple of magazines of not hitting anything, I started to figure it was my fault, but I asked the gunsmith there just to make sure. If I had to guess I would say that I am flinching in anticipation of the shot. There are some good ideas here that I will try when I make my second visit to the range. CombatController: when I shot the Glock, from what I remember there were no problems and the bullet went where I told it to go.

I had read that it would be a good idea to start with a .22, but limited funds dictated that I spend the money on something that would be good for home defense, as well as learning to shoot. No option was perfect, but I figure it will come together sooner or later.

By the way, I live in Las Vegas if anyone on here is in the area. I will let you all know how it goes after the next range visit.

Thanks again.

John

sam

Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby sam » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:12 am

groover000 wrote:By the way, I live in Las Vegas if anyone on here is in the area. I will let you all know how it goes after the next range visit.

Thanks again.

John


You live in Vegas? Get thee to Frontsight.

Seriously. You are right there. Search eBay for "Front Sight certificate." One person for a four day class, or two for a two day class.

Can't beat it for the money. You won't regret it. Trust me. I've been there many times. Want to go back, when I can afford it.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Combat Controller » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:13 am

Don't blame you for your choice at all. Makes sense after all. Now you know the problem, you can fix it and away we go!
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Catbird » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:19 am

I empathize with your desire for your first firearm to be home defense capable. I didn't get my first .22 pistol until earlier this year. In spite of what everyone says, I didn't really understand how much fun it could be until I experienced it myself. The best part is not having the nagging feeling that you are tossing a quarter, (or half dollar), into a lake every time you pull the trigger!

Xavier at Xavier Thoughts has a lot of good information on getting started in shooting. He also has a link to an article on eye dominance.

If you want to investigate the possibility of mis-adjusted sights, shoot from a rest. A pistol rest can be as simple as a sand bag or as fancy as one of these, or these.
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Dedicated_Dad » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:03 pm

The best advice I have seen is the "snap cap" -- I've done this to friends who swore my pistol was "off" - proved they were flinching. You should be able to buy them for a buck or 2.

The best thing is to have someone else load the mags for you, and slip one in at random. You'll see your flinch in a great big hurry.

As has been said, don't let it get you down. Happens to everyone. When you overcome it you'll feel a million times better!!

DD

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Ben Rumson
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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Ben Rumson » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:40 am

groover000 wrote:I had read that it would be a good idea to start with a .22, but limited funds dictated that I spend the money on something that would be good for home defense, as well as learning to shoot. No option was perfect, but I figure it will come together sooner or later.

John


I stated out with a XD40.. I spent a huge amount of money learning pistol control. I added up the cost of ammo and range time and was very surprised and pissed as to how much I spent over time..

Try this.. Based on your previous trip to the range, figure out how many rounds of ammo your going to need to shoot before becoming proficient.. For the sake of argument with myself, I'll guess you'll estimate over a thousand rounds. Take the cost of a single box 50 rounds and multiply it by twenty. I'm guessing your over $300.00. Now add the range time. You may be over $400.00. You can buy a new .22lr Browning Buckmark for $300.00. A box of 550 rounds of target .22lr will cost about $15.00. (500 rounds of .45ACP=$150.00) (500 rounds of .22lr=$15.00) Bite the bullet and buy a .22lr. Welcome to the sport and have fun keeping a balance in your checking account. I know I can't. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Evyl Robot » Thu Dec 11, 2008 3:23 am

My first gun was a .44 Magnum. Somehow, it surprised me when I developed the flinch. It has been a lot of work to overcome it, but I've become a fairly good shot since then. I agree with the suggestion to get a .22, but keep throwing the big bores downrange as well. Don't give up, by any means! Dryfire practice is a great idea as is the surprise snap cap. You may also try shooting some other guns with some serious recoil! When you come back to the XD45, it will feel like a pussycat.

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby 1911Man » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:03 pm

Groover,

You're still pretty new to this shooting thing. The secret is not to get discouraged and quit. Keep up the practice. It will come with time.

I have been shooting for years and I still flinch when I know that the .300 Win mag is going to pound my shoulder when I pull the trigger. I practice dry-firing with a snap cap whenever I can get a chance.

I'm not so bad with a pistol. I sometimes rush my pistol shots though and that's when I get flyers. (A flyer is a hit outside the circle of your shot grouping.)
My ideas are mine. You go out and get your own!

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Re: Finally....I have my first gun!

Postby Kommander » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:41 pm

Purchase some snap caps or dummy rounds. Then randomly load them into your mags. This will do two things. First it will help you practice malfunction drills so you know what to do when there is no bang and second it will make your flinch very obvious when you drop the hammer on a dummy.


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