Bad Day at the Range

Went to the range today, first time in about a month. And well, let me just say, I Sucked. I was lucky to put it on the paper.
The target below is pretty much how thing went.
That’s 7 rounds in 10 seconds at 10 yards, aiming at dead center of target. The bottom seven are from a Kimber EVO SP (3.16 Barrel Length) using Winchester 115 grain FMJ. (ignore the top left hole that was with a different gun (Springfield 911 .380), I had a single round left and didn’t want to bring it home). I kept getting these pairs of hits scattered around the paper. Trust me when I say, I’m better than that, on most days, but today, that’s what I got. Kinda frustrating really. Any ideas about what I was doing to get pairs, off target, and scattered like that. Oh and the low shots? No f*$&^#g idea about that either.


For me, when I am consistently low, I am usually either overgripping, ie too firm in my grip, or pulling the trigger instead of squeezing the trigger. Either that or I took off my glasses and just can’t tell I’m missing. :grin:
And all of these HAVE happened.


Mike, is that evo a double action only? Looks allot like a pocket nine.

Can’t explain the pairs or the scattered pairs.


Yes Craig it is a double action only. I’ve heard it referred to as both a compact and a “sub” compact. It’s my EDC.


Just saying it looks allot like my Colt pocket nine. It’s DAO and I tend to shoot a bit low with mine. But the scattered pairs are wired.


@Mike164 … I think you can find the answer within your post:

1. Went to the range today, first time in about a month

2. Trust me when I say, I’m better than that, on most days

Do not judge yourself based on single range visit, especially after whole month.

How many times have you heard this?:
“Shooting is a perishable skill that must be continuously renewed through practice and training”

A 2021-12-29 16-09-45



A bad day at the range is better than any good day at work!




You can definitely get rusty not shooting for a month. Looking at the target you may have rushed due to the excitement of being at the range or you may have just jerked the trigger. Let me tell you something you ain’t the only one who has bad range days. I’ve been there and done that. Could’ve been your grip, your breathing technique. I was frustrated when that happened to me. Don’t feel bad brother you’ll get it back.


Hey, that looks better than lucky. I get that it’s not what you expect of yourself, but isn’t that 5" x 1-1/2"? I don’t know many bad guys smaller than that at 10 yards. :innocent:

Or is that actually three x one inch groups? I shoot a pattern like that once in a while, and my hypothesis has been a consequence of visual acuity issues causing difficulty in forming a consistent precise sight picture.

I find what I think is a quick, solid, and consistent sight alignment — which I prove by hitting small groups. But not for long runs, and not even necessarily even with consecutive shots. I think I end up not holding consistently to the same place on the target with a small aiming point. On this target, I would expect to be more consistent if only the four dashes were available — and was not trying to line up the diamond. Even shooting to a sheet of blank paper, I would expect these three sub-groups to make a centered 2" or 3" group — without changing anything except the target.

That they are all low is something I see after a layoff — especially if I am trying to shoot at my normal cadence. I attribute this one to the sight alignment being a little unbalanced. In this case, dropping the ball a little too far into the notch or still being in motion when the shot lets off. I sometimes do that, but more often I don’t settle it all the way down and end up about that much high instead. I can usually fix that by slowing down to verify the sights, and then picking my speed up.

Usually I try to start practice cold on a silhouette at what feels like the right speed for the distance — that gives me confidence that I haven’t gone far adrift from my skill level. And then return to finding my weaknesses for improvement. There are other elements than grip and trigger involved in consistent shooting, — vision changes (or inherent vision limitations) will take you to some of them.
Explore solutions. :+1:


Usually when I shoot poorly, it is either grip and or trigger press. I would do some dry practice, making sure your stance and all are good, then go back to the range.


We’ve all had our bad shooting days. It happens. When that happens, I just break out the laser gear & practice at home. I’ll figure it out pretty quick. It’s usually grip related


Possibly you may have hastily pressed the trigger just slightly before aligning your sights trying to beat the time, maybe.


I agree with most here that it should be the trigger press that should be addressed.

But, @Mike164 that grouping is still well within the “stop the threat” target range. Well done.
Remember that balance of speed and precision. You say that was in 10 seconds, to tighten it, just for your marksmanship sake, slow it back down and work your way quicker.


It would appear as though your 5 o’clock cluster is from squeezing the gun while pulling the trigger; the 6 o’clock group seems to be from flinching.

That’s a free observation from an old has-been.

Hope it helps.


OK, I think I get it. Concentrate on trigger pressure and grip magnitude. I’m going to the range with a couple of my kids next week, I’ll see how it goes.


How do you prepare your trigger before each shot?
Do you just press it without any “prep” movement, or do you “prepping” and taking a shot from “the wall” each time? What about “reset”, are you using it?
I’m asking, because it might be a simplest explanation for you inconsistent shots.


First shot I prep, after that I use the reset, as much as practical. On this 10 second drill I use the reset, on 3 second drills I don’t think I do.


It seems to me like you are prepping your trigger correctly so try adjusting your grip.


And don’t rush yourself.
If the holes are spread out in 10 seconds, try repeat the drill in 20.
If all is good, shorten the time. You will eventually get good hits in 10 and less.


Two words … “Trigger Reset”.

And this is assuming that the stance and grip is proper and consistent. Without actually being there to watch the shooter, I would take a WAG and say anticipation of recoil and a sprinkling of too much trigger finger.

Stay safe out there.