Shooting fun!

Now everyone will get to see what I bad shot I am with the Beretta…

I woke up this morning wanting to go shooting, which was made worse by doing some dry fire practice and watching Magpul’s Dynamic Handgun video. I didn’t have much ammo to really practice with (107 rounds), but I decided something is better than nothing. I asked a non-shooting friend of mine to go (more on this later tonight!), however, he initially accepted, but later declined, so it was just me.

I took the Beretta, 3 15 round mags (1 factory Beretta, 1 USGI Checkmate, 1 USGI Airtronic), 107 rounds of 9mm (50 rounds Winchester 9mm NATO, 57 rounds USA Ammo Remanufactured 9mm), my rig from DPS1, and headed out.

I brought some  homemade targets and some regular targets as well. Initially, I was just going to shoot to shoot, but decided to make it something of a training session. Every mag I shot was a full 15 round mag, practiced drawing, search and assess, etc.

So I set up my initial batch of targets, and decided to try what KR had said in the comments of another post:

Go shoot a group where every shot is in DA mode and compare the results to the SA-shot group. Get a timer and do 10 one-shot drills starting with the gun coming to the target from ready in DA mode and in SA mode and report the results.

So, thats what I did. I had 2 kinds of ammo, so I tested it with both, all from 7 yards. The USA Ammo in single action, the 9mm NATO in single action, the USA Ammo in double action, then the 9mm NATO in double action. Once I completed that, I did the latter half of the ‘Hsoi Drill’ (slow groups at 25 yards). I didn’t do it to start with, since I didn’t have the ammo for it, but I certainly finished with it. And honestly, I kinda suprised myself at how accurate I was out to 25 yards. I’m not going to win any prizes, but I got some pretty good hits IMO.

Here are the targets from today. They are in the order I shot them.

Arrangement will be what I was doing, then the picture of the target. For reference for the red ring on my homemade paper targets, they are roughly 2.75″ in diameter. In comparison to the big targets, it would fall in the middle between the 9 ring and the 10 ring.

USA Ammo Remanufactured 9mm, all single action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, all single action, 7 yards

USA Ammo 9mm, all double action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, all double action, 7 yards

Winchester 9mm NATO, DA/SA, 7 yards

Mix USA Ammo and Winchester 9mm NATO, DA/SA, ~25 yards

Not too shabby overall, consider I was out there in pants, a longsleeve shirt, and no hat, meaning, I was sweating like a stuck pig. When I was shooting SA, I’d try to do double taps, but I’d have to stop, readjust the grip on the Beretta, and shoot again. Also, for the last half of the targets, I was getting really hot. Like, I could hear my heart beat when I had the ear plugs in. I had sweat pouring off of my face, my eyebrows, and my hands were just drenched in sweat. I’d wipe them off, but only after shooting a couple times would they get sweaty again.

At least, I think I figured out why my accuracy isn’t the best in the world with it. First off, I didn’t have enough finger on the trigger. Once I adjusted that, they started to come more towards the center, which is evident as I got used to it. The other problem, which was certainly made worse by how sweaty I was, is I keep jerking the trigger. Once I had my hands clean, had my finger on the trigger properly, and did a slow steady press to the rear, the results became much better, as proven on the first big target. I did that starting with the Beretta in the holster. I drew, and started to shoot.

To give you an idea why I like to make my homemade targets the way I do, here you go:

The red ring is in the middle of my sternum to give you a point of reference. It looks kinda weird, since I was holding the target with one hand and using my other to point the camera at me and take a picture, but you get the jist of it. Not exactly hi-tech, but it worse. Anyway, as you can tell, that is the target from the 9mm NATO DA only pulls. I did have 3 clip the very edge of the target, but those are all still going to have an effect on whatever/whoever I’m shooting at.

Things to work on:

  1. Slow down, smooth trigger press to the rear.
  2. Make sure to clean my hands for the best grip.
  3. Do a complete Hsoi drill at every range session.
  4. Do more dry fire practice to help perfect the trigger pull.

The 9mm NATO was freakin’ sweet. You could certainly feel that +P, but yet it was still managable enough to do quick follow up shots. It certainly is a screaming little round. I am going to pick up another box or two for SHTF purposes, especially at $14 a box.

All of the new springs worked great, especially the new D spring. It really changed the DA pull, both in how it felt and the pressure it took to pull it. I still need to put about another 100 rounds through it to make sure it’ll function 100% of the time, before commit to it 100%.

2 Responses to “Shooting fun!”

  1. Pro Grip from Brownells. Great product. Basically alcohol and chalk. Dries your hands on hot sweaty range days.

    At some point you will want to get a shooting timer. Without a timer (or a timer app on the iPhone or other smartphone) you can’t measure speed, just power and accuracy, so you are only getting 2/3ds of the data.

    On the SA vs DA targets, a few questions: did each shot start with the gun at ready, moving to the target and firing for each shot, or did you just shoot a group with the gun starting at full extension indexed on the target? How much time per shot (relative)? Were the SA drills faster?

    Looks like if you give yourself enough time, you can shoot the DA trigger just fine. The next thing to start working on is mastering the transition from DA to SA from shot 1 to shots 2, 3 and beyond.

    Next time you get to the range, try running a 2 shot drill – start with the gun holstered or at ready, draw and fire 2 or 3 shots, 1st shot DA, 2nd, 3rd shots SA. Looking good.


    • I’ve got a Blackberry, but no one makes a shot timer for it. I’ll more than likely just have to break down and buy one.

      For the SA v DA, I started with the gun at the compressed ready, close to the chest. I would drive out, line up the shot, then shoot. Each DA shot probably took .75 seconds, whereas each SA shot was roughly .40 seconds. Thats extending to full extention, acquiring the sights, then pulling the trigger. If you took out the time I had to do to decock for the DA shots, the SA drill was much faster.

      And see, thats one of the problems I am having with my SA accuracy. I’m jerking it too much because of the DA pull thing. I think if I can get the transition down, I’ll be much better off with SA.

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