How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

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How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 3:36 pm

Been reading and dry-firing.  The book "The Perfect Pistol Shot" suggests using the support hand partly below the gun, so it takes up the weight, and the shooting had behaves more like shooting from a rest.  Top left target started out good, 25 yards, Model 52, but the next five rounds went to a totally different location, top left.  Yuck.  On a whim, I thought my problem is not gripping the gun exactly the same each time.  So, top right and both bottom targets were only five rounds, so my hand would stay in the same place.  Better.  (Middle target was 25 rounds, just enjoying shooting the gun, trying to hold the gun the same way each time.

My question is, are there any tips on how to get your hands in exactly the same position?  I'm already feeding the gun from my left hand into my right hand.  I am 99% sure my trigger finger is in the identical spot.  I wonder how well I'm dealing with the curved back of the M-52, and whether I'm applying the identical amount of pressure every time. I expect the only cure is lots of dry firing.

As I see it, not much value in changing the sights any more, until my hands can do a better job of repeating my hold.
(This is easier on the Model 41 and also on my Salyer...  The Model 52 is so durn sensitive!!)

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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by spursnguns on 7/6/2018, 3:45 pm

Hello mikemyers,

Are you using the same magazine for each of these targets?  Different magazines will shoot different size groups at different locations.

I could be wrong but it looks to me more trigger control that anything else.  Especially when I groups shifting left and right but keeping the elevation relatively constant.

Jim
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 3:50 pm

It's all one magazine.

Hmm, what you wrote makes sense.  If my hand is in a different position, even slightly, that will change my trigger finger.  I am pressing with the first joint on the finger, so that is supposedly constant.  Because of the hump in the backstop, it's more complicated than with my other guns.

Maybe I'll go back to loading only one round at at time, and keep at that until the position stabilizes.  Thanks.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by spursnguns on 7/6/2018, 4:21 pm

mikemyers wrote:Maybe I'll go back to loading only one round at at time, and keep at that until the position stabilizes.  Thanks.

I sure wouldn't do that.  Others will chime in but I think you need to just eliminate the variables, i. e. dry fire and work on your hand strength.  I'm guessing you are an older gentleman, perhaps play with a little/constant thumb pressure.  Let's see what others say.

Jim
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 4:45 pm

I'm not too sure about "gentleman", but I'm 74, for better or worse.  Hand strength is only a result of lots and lots of holding drills.  But for that, I used to have trouble just holding the gun up for a full minute.  Now I can do it with a 1.5 pound weight on each wrist.

My thought was that if I'm having trouble repeating my hold, if I load one round at a time, I'll be re-adjusting my hold five times more often.  I've got a pattern of what to do, in what order, to wrap my hands around the gun.  I'm also practicing one handed, but I'm not strong enough yet to keep the gun reasonably aimed, meaning the sights in proper alignment.  With both hands, this is easier.  

Since putting pressure on the "hump" on the backstop causes the gun to tilt, I'm trying to apply most of my pressure higher up.  My other guns don't have that hump.  As I see it, the web between my right thumb and my other fingers is what is tight up against the gun in the back, and my right hand fingers (other than trigger finger) are applying force from the front.  

On re-considering, you are probably right, my trigger finger is probably pushing the gun one way or another, at least a little.  I pretend like I'm pulling the trigger straight back into my face, and that's what I concentrate on the most now with dry fire....
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Wobbley on 7/6/2018, 5:03 pm

Try two shot drills at a timed fire pace.  Load 2, shoot 2, reload magazine, repeat.  Do this to develop a technique in getting your pistol into your hand the same.  Develop a feeling for grip tension.  At 25 yards all shots should be a big blob in the 10 ring.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 6:04 pm

Will do.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by dronning on 7/6/2018, 6:59 pm

Mike, Shooting 2 handed does add some complexity in determining shot variations because you are introducing a whole extra set of muscles/forces.  Normally I would also guess trigger because of horizontal movement but with 2 hands it could be the 2 hands pressure?
- Dave
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 7:25 pm

What I'm trying to accomplish is using my left hand to support the weight of the gun and my right hand/arm, giving a "rest" to shoot from, using my right hand.   I'm sure you're correct, as neither hand/arm is "frozen" in position, but together they are far more stable than just using my right arm.

I did hold out my right hand as if to shoot the gun one handed, but my arm looked as steady as if there was a strong wind moving it all over.  I'll shoot that way anyway next time at least for one target, so you can all laugh at the results.   :-). 

By the way, all I need to do to feel good about this, is to go back through time looking at all my old targets.  They get copied to my computer, and to a Pendaflex folder for each gun.  I shot better when I was younger, but that was mostly with a S&W Model 28 revolver.  I should bring it with me again some time.   ......nothing but dry fire for this coming week, as I'm visiting relatives.  I will ask my brother to make a short video of me shooting the Salyer, from the side, so I can see what I might still be doing wrong.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by LenV on 7/6/2018, 8:00 pm

When you give up trying to hold it "identically" every time this won't work either.

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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 8:04 pm

Len, I must be slow.  Trying to figure out what you mean??

The best I can figure, is that if your body from the feet up isn't the same, holding the gun identically isn't enough.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Magload on 7/6/2018, 8:10 pm

Mike if you are going to shoot two handed use a proper two handed grip.  If using the support hand worked well then the action gunners would be using that method.  I like shooting two handed and may never get this one handed thing to work.  I am not getting any younger but my shooting two handed has really improved just by what I have learned trying one handed.  Don
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Magload on 7/6/2018, 8:12 pm

LenV wrote:When you give up trying to hold it "identically" every time this won't work either.

Not to change the subject, sorry Mike, can I press my H1 shades on with that vice?
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Jack H on 7/6/2018, 8:20 pm

Magload wrote:
LenV wrote:When you give up trying to hold it "identically" every time this won't work either.

Not to change the subject, sorry Mike, can I press my H1 shades on with that vice?


This is Len's test rest for his magnum.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by LenV on 7/6/2018, 8:30 pm

mikemyers wrote:Len, I must be slow.  Trying to figure out what you mean??

The best I can figure, is that if your body from the feet up isn't the same, holding the gun identically isn't enough.
Actually Mike I was trying to say that it is impossible to hold it identically every time. The best you can do with lots of practice and repetition is to hold it mostly the same every time. Even with a giant vice you would not be able to hold it "identically" every time. Think one grain of grit in the jaws. 


Magload: Nope, this offset hinge type of vice is notorious for uneven pressure on the top and bottom of the jaw. But there is a sweet spot that is just perfect Very Happy
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 8:34 pm

Magload wrote:Mike if you are going to shoot two handed use a proper two handed grip.  If using the support hand worked well then the action gunners would be using that method.  I like shooting two handed and may never get this one handed thing to work.  I am not getting any younger but my shooting two handed has really improved just by what I have learned trying one handed.  Don
I disagree.  This is the book:  https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Pistol-Shot-Albert-League/dp/1610045718



It has nothing to do with action shooting, and everything to do with making a "perfect" shot.  None of it contradicts what I'm reading in this forum, it's very similar, but for two handed shooting.  

Trust me - buy the book, and start reading.  I guarantee you will like it, and he provides ways and reasons to test everything he says.  That's what I tried to do today, one shot at a time, each one perfect.  However, "perfect practice" makes perfect, and I have a ways to go.  On the other hand, I just looked up my targets from this same gun, same ammunition, same everything, but before people in this forum helped me so, so much.  In 2016 my targets looked far worse than my targets now - and back then, I was only shooting at 15 yards!
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/6/2018, 8:49 pm

LenV wrote:Actually Mike I was trying to say that it is impossible to hold it identically every time. The best you can do with lots of practice and repetition is to hold it mostly the same every time. Even with a giant vice you would not be able to hold it "identically" every time. Think one grain of grit in the jaws. 

Len, I know what you mean, and I agree.  "Identical" is almost impossible, just like one could never cut a piece of metal exactly two inches long.  Still, knowing that "identical" is impossible, I think I could get a lot better at it than I am now.  

If the goal is five overlapping shots within the 10-ring, and to do this on demand, not just a "lucky" shot, I'm not sure if anyone other than a "professional shooter" could do that.  I've never seen it done, other than on videos, and who knows ow many attempts it took.  If people here could do that, on demand, every time, they would get a perfect score in a match, and that has never been done.  


You already told me I think too much.  But that's what happened today.  I shot a group of five rounds that I was happy with, and then messed it up on the following five rounds - but that got me to thinking why that happened, so I shot several targets of five rounds.  They were the best I've done.  So in my "over thinking mind", I need to be more repeatable, thus this thread.  

My feet should go to the same place every time.
I should feed the gun with my left hand into my right hand.
I should fiddle with my right hand until it is gripping the gun as close as possible to what I sort of decided on.
My left hand now goes under the gun, to take up the weight, and I literally relax my right hand/arm, so the left is dealing with the load.
The easy part is putting my trigger finger in what I think is the same place.
A potential problem, is how I apply pressure to the trigger.  I probably need to be more consistent.  

In dry firing, I will spend more time picking up the gun and taking one or two shots, then repeat, paying attention to what the sights tell me when the gun goes 'click'.  I guess I have a lot more work to do.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Jack H on 7/6/2018, 11:14 pm

mikemyers wrote:............................
Some suggestions:
My feet should go to the same place every time.
I should feed the gun with my left hand into my right hand.   This is number 1
I should fiddle with my right hand until it is gripping the gun as close as possible to what I sort of decided on.     Number 2.  But not as decided.  It is absolute that the grip and hold lines the sights with your eye
My left hand now goes under the gun, to take up the weight, and I literally relax my right hand/arm, don't relax    so the left is dealing with the load.   Try a push forward with your right and oppose back with the left using a conventional 2 hand grip.
The easy part is putting my trigger finger in what I think is the same place.   Just pull straight back to not mess the sight alignment.  Doesn't matter so much where the finger sits.  There is a good spot, but other things are more important.  Eye alignment, stability, comfort, endurance, not thinking about it once "natural" is found.
A potential problem, is how I apply pressure to the trigger.  I probably need to be more consistent.  

In dry firing, I will spend more time picking up the gun and taking one or two shots, then repeat, paying attention to what the sights tell me when the gun goes 'click'.  I guess I have a lot more work to do.

Line up with the target after you line the gun up to your eye.  Move feet as needed.  Even shot to shot if you detect something in the alignment.  Better yet adjust to "indicators" if seen before the shot.  Put the gun down, adjust.
Do your pushups, or Military presses.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by dronning on 7/7/2018, 3:58 am

mikemyers wrote:1) My feet should go to the same place every time. 

2) My left hand now goes under the gun, to take up the weight, and I literally relax my right hand/arm, so the left is dealing with the load.
1) Do you test your stance by closing your eyes and raising the gun to see if you are pointing at the target without having to move your arms/wrists.  Adjust feet accordingly, your stance may actually need to change during a range session depending on muscle fatigue.

2) I am NOT a fan of the 2 handed teacup hold which it sounds like you are using.  The main reason is if there was a catastrophic failure the 1911 and many other pistols are designed to blow out the magazine, that would be through your lower hand.  

There is tons of information about the 2 handed grip for action shooting and the advantages of the grip pictured.  IMHO You will ultimately find the faster you move to one hand the more control you will have because it eliminates having to keep all those additional muscles steady.  Keep up the work on using one hand.  I'd say from what you are writing that 2 handed results are only better than your one handed result because you believe it is easier.  Remember you shouldn't need to hold that gun up for more than 20 seconds at a time (timed fire).
 
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/7/2018, 7:18 am

dronning wrote:
mikemyers wrote:1) My feet should go to the same place every time. 

2) My left hand now goes under the gun, to take up the weight, and I literally relax my right hand/arm, so the left is dealing with the load.
1) Do you test your stance by closing your eyes and raising the gun to see if you are pointing at the target without having to move your arms/wrists.  Adjust feet accordingly, your stance may actually need to change during a range session depending on muscle fatigue.

2) I am NOT a fan of the 2 handed teacup hold which it sounds like you are using.  The main reason is if there was a catastrophic failure the 1911 and many other pistols are designed to blow out the magazine, that would be through your lower hand.  

There is tons of information about the 2 handed grip for action shooting and the advantages of the grip pictured.  IMHO You will ultimately find the faster you move to one hand the more control you will have because it eliminates having to keep all those additional muscles steady.  Keep up the work on using one hand.  I'd say from what you are writing that 2 handed results are only better than your one handed result because you believe it is easier.  Remember you shouldn't need to hold that gun up for more than 20 seconds at a time (timed fire).
 
Yes, I constantly test my stance while dry-firing, closing my eyes, and finding an orientation where my body naturally wants to stand.  If I found my view had shifted while my eyes were closed, I adjust with my feet.  I am not yet very good at keeping the same height while my eyes are closed; I'm better, but the gun often changes to aim too high or too low.  I never do this at the range.  I figure I should do all the learning at home, and when I get to the range, I should mostly just do what I've learned.  Another tidbit of information from Keith Sanderson, whose advice I follow religiously.

I am in no way using a "teacup hold".  Maybe I will take a snapshot of how it's described in the book.  My fingers look exactly like the photo you posted, but the very bottom part of my left hand is under the bottom of the gun, so it can support the weight.  To Mr. League, that is very important, along with keeping your thumbs off the gun.

Regarding two-hand results, vs. one hand results, with two hands my gun is infinitely more steady than years ago.  Even the red dot sight stays more or less where it should.  My one-hand results feel like what I think I got years ago, using two hands - the red dot won't stay anywhere close to being on target, and sight alignment is horrible.  For you to test what I'm trying to say, hold up your gun one handed, but use your support hand.  Try to hold things steady.  I suspect you will see what I see.  I agree - lots of perfect practice one handed, but you might just as easily ask me to do 20 push-ups.  Maybe (probably) I should have started this in the 1980's, but the only competitor I knew back then was doing silhouette shooting.  I haven't given up, but what's the point of shooting one handed until I can dry fire one handed?  I enjoy shooting.  I enjoy reloading.  It's all fun, and a challenge.  ......next time at the range, I will shoot at least one target, every trip, using one hand.  It might be pathetic, but it will be less pathetic than it would have been a year ago.  (....and yes, it does feel more natural, and my one hand feels more comfortable holding the gun, and if I build up the right muscles, maybe it will all be worthwhile....)
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From "The Perfect Pistol Shot" by Albert H. League III

Post by mikemyers on 7/7/2018, 7:25 am

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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Wobbley on 7/7/2018, 8:20 am

I think some of the issue here is the propped arm technique. 

First there is no “perfect shot”, not in hand held handguns at least.  Any slight differences in stance, grip and even eye position will cause a variance otherwise not accounted for until the trigger is pulled.  

You must keep the muscles in the arm and shoulder tensed as if you were trying to hold it without the propping arm.  The muscles gripping the pistol are part of a whole system.
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by chopper on 7/7/2018, 8:32 am

Mike you should show the rest of the steps so others can see what the author is trying to explain. I shoot 1 handed, but it might help some others that are having a hard time with 2 handed.
 Stan

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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by Magload on 7/7/2018, 9:08 am

dronning wrote:
mikemyers wrote:1) My feet should go to the same place every time. 

2) My left hand now goes under the gun, to take up the weight, and I literally relax my right hand/arm, so the left is dealing with the load.
1) Do you test your stance by closing your eyes and raising the gun to see if you are pointing at the target without having to move your arms/wrists.  Adjust feet accordingly, your stance may actually need to change during a range session depending on muscle fatigue.

2) I am NOT a fan of the 2 handed teacup hold which it sounds like you are using.  The main reason is if there was a catastrophic failure the 1911 and many other pistols are designed to blow out the magazine, that would be through your lower hand.  

There is tons of information about the 2 handed grip for action shooting and the advantages of the grip pictured.  IMHO You will ultimately find the faster you move to one hand the more control you will have because it eliminates having to keep all those additional muscles steady.  Keep up the work on using one hand.  I'd say from what you are writing that 2 handed results are only better than your one handed result because you believe it is easier.  Remember you shouldn't need to hold that gun up for more than 20 seconds at a time (timed fire).
 
Mike the tea cup was the method used many years ago and i don't know when your book was written but I expect back then.  Like every think else improvements have been made.  The method worked back then and there fore still would work know.  IT IS JUST NOT SAFE.   I had a 1911 in 45 blow the bottom right off the mag with all the hot gasses coming out the bottom of the grip.  I am glad they did come out the bottom as the grips held.  I still has a lot of power burns on my support hand but if it had been under the grip it would not have been petty.  I also had a bloody face and seen the sparks and what ever coming out the ejection port.  I will never know what caused this most everyone looking at the brass think it was a out of battery.  I have some good pictures of this I can provide of the case that failed, the next round in the mag with melted lead, and my bloody face.  I left a good blood trail to the bathroom.  Don
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Re: How to hold a Model 52 identically every time

Post by mikemyers on 7/7/2018, 4:00 pm

chopper wrote:Mike you should show the rest of the steps so others can see what the author is trying to explain. I shoot 1 handed, but it might help some others that are having a hard time with 2 handed.
 Stan
Hmm, I have been writing back and forth with the author of the book for a while now.  I can ask  him how much of this I can copy here, without doing anything wrong.  I don't think copying one page is bad, but copying a lot more doesn't seem right.  

The book isn't expensive, and what comes before and after this part is just as good/useful as what I posted.  It is the only book that travels to/from India with me, and I keep going back to for reference.  I think "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury" is the best shooting book I have yet bought, but it's a classic now, and hard to find....   and expensive.

Anyone who is interested in this should buy League's book - he has ways of illustrating, and proving, what he writes.  It's not enough for Bullseye, as it's written for two-hand shooting, but it is still helpful, even for Bullseye.  In my opinion.  


It's not possible to just show "the rest of the steps", as that's what the whole book is about, every aspect of shooting getting its own chapter.
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