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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the range today for about the 4th time since getting my LCR .38spl. I have to say I'm getting a bit frustrated at not being able to hit the targets very well. Last week I did OK, getting most of the shots within the circle but hardly any bullseyes. This week I did worse then ever. The shots were all over the place. I've been using the silhouette targets and the type with four 6" targets. I'm think I'm only shooting from 15 yards. Ironically, in my frustration one week I unloaded all five shots into the head on the silhouette target as fast as I could and hit four out of 5 right in the center. Is that the solution when using a gun like this? It doesn't seem it should be.

I've been trying different ammo, using mostly both target loads and SD loads. This time I used some Hornady 158 gr XTP standard pressure. Those were the worst I tried so far for recoil. The Hornady 110 gr FTX +p's were better, but I still couldn't hit crap. However, I don't think the ammo is really the whole problem, I know part of it is me.

Having to shoot in a claustrophobic, smokey, dirty atmosphere where everybody around me seems to be shooting bigger, louder and faster guns and occasionally getting pelted in the head with some guys casings from next door certainly doesn't help any. But if I can't shoot well at 15 yards under those uncomfortable conditions how much worse would I do in a real life or death situation?

It looks like I will have to get a CT laser for the LCR or get a different gun, but I don't like the idea of having to absolutely rely on one of those in order to hit anything. I'd be happy if I could just get all the shots within the circles at all, never mind about 2" groups.

Any advice from anyone using these types of guns on how I can shoot better?
 

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Hi Chris

Sorry to hear about your frustration, but keep shooting. Don't give up.

Are you new to shooting pistols? if so, there is a great deal to learn. If you can take a basic instruction class on pistol shooting that will be worth every penny. Plenty of help online, too, such as How to shoot a handgun accurately and so on.

The LCR is designed for SD and CCW work all the way, but that same light weight and compact size does not make for fancy range work. Nothing wrong, at all, with moving p to 7 yards, either, instead of shooting at 15 yards. A lot of SD practice is done at 7 yards, as that is probably a more typical range for a SD situation. Some of our LEOs actually practice at 3 yards for a part of their training. Move out to 15 yards when you're happy with your shooting at 7 yards.
 

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CARSON-WEST - 2016
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15 yards or 15 feet? 15 yards is a lot of distance for a self defense pocket pistol. If you're able to hit 5 in the head at 15 yards, then I'd say you're doing pretty well. I do most of my CCW pistol shooting at about 20'. I can be extremely accurate at 20', but the groups stretch out quite a bit at 30'. Now, give me a 1911 or a full sized Beretta and I'll drill the bullseye at 30'.
 

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Ausmerican.
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If your just getting started, I would have chosen something smaller (i.e. .22lr) and then worked up to a bigger calibre.
Failing that, is there anyone around, family or friend, who could mentor you.
Three years ago I got back into shooting after a break of 35+ years. I was lucky to have our club's captain take me under his wing and the help was immeasureable.
Other than that, it is just paractice, practice, practice.
But you have to be practicing the good habits, not the bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
15 yards or 15 feet? 15 yards is a lot of distance for a self defense pocket pistol. If you're able to hit 5 in the head at 15 yards, then I'd say you're doing pretty well.
Sorry, I meant 15 feet, maybe 20. I guess I can't think straight as well as shoot straight either.
 

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Yes, 15 yards with a handgun like that may be a bit much, although it may be OK for training. I would recommend training at about 25 feet. In the real world there is probably no legal way to shoot a perp at any greater distance. I habitually practice at 30 feet/10 yards with pistols and revolvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If your just getting started, I would have chosen something smaller (i.e. .22lr) and then worked up to a bigger calibre.
I thought of that, but it didn't seem to make sense to me. I want to get to know how the gun I'm actually going to be using in SD will handle, which will be totally different from a .22.

This whole .22 thing just seems to me a way for the gun manufacturers to sell more guns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Are you new to shooting pistols?
Yes.

If you can take a basic instruction class on pistol shooting that will be worth every penny.
I'm form SE Wisconsin. Do you know of any good classes to take around here? If I'm going to make the investment I want to do it right.
Plenty of help online, too, such as How to shoot a handgun accurately and so on.
I've checked out some sites, but I think I need hands on training. It's like trying to learn Karate form a book, only so much you can do. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who owns guns and shoots other then my stepdad and my mother (who recently got an LCR too) but they're out in Las Vegas, so I'm on my own for now.

Nothing wrong, at all, with moving p to 7 yards, either, instead of shooting at 15 yards. A lot of SD practice is done at 7 yards, as that is probably a more typical range for a SD situation. Some of our LEOs actually practice at 3 yards for a part of their training. Move out to 15 yards when you're happy with your shooting at 7 yards.
The actual distance I was shooting was more like 15 feet, maybe 20 at most. I screwed up when I said 15 yards.

Thanks for everything, North Country Gal.
 

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CARSON-WEST - 2016
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Sorry, I meant 15 feet, maybe 20. I guess I can't think straight as well as shoot straight either.
Revolvers can be tricky. The best thing for you to probably do is spend some dry fire time at home. Stand 10' away from a light switch, line your sights up on the switch, and practice pulling the trigger until you can make it 'click' with the sights staying on the switch. Then, back up another 5' and try again. I've learned a lot of triggers doing this. It helps that I have 'lighted' light switches, but the practice is the same regardless. Sounds like you just need practice. You wouldn't expect to pick up a saxophone and play a song without learning the basics of the instrument and starting to practice. You wouldn't expect to be able to buy a chisel set and carve furniture on your 4th try. Spend some time dry firing at home until you learn the mechanics of the LCR. You'll save a lot of ammo and have a much more enjoyable range experience. :cool:

Disclaimer: check for empty, don't shoot your light switch. ;)

Edit: Oh, and the .22 thing IS just an excuse for me to buy new guns. :) Seriously though, they do make for good fundamentals practice, and a whole lot cheaper to shoot, which means you can afford to shoot more, which means you get more needed practice.
 

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When I put a CT Laser grip on my wife's .38spl LCR it made the gun very accurate BUT it caused a lot of pain in the palm of your hand do to the recoil and not having the original cushioned Hogue grips. It took all the fun out of practicing at the range. +P ammo was brutal. Just a heads up.
 

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Ruger Tinkerer
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Chris, It sounds like you shoot at the same indoor range I use! It's not conducive to good concentration when you get pelted with empties and are feeling the shock waves from the guy's hand cannon next door.

I have the same LCR you do and I will admit I struggle with it too. I've had mine for a couple of months now. Definitely move to 7 yards. I start at the 5 yard mark where I shoot and then go to 7. I have yet to be really happy with my groups beyond 5 yards but I am doing better. It's frustrating since I do so much better with my other handguns. I remind myself that it is a personal defense firearm suitable for close range and keep practicing. And I always start with my LCR and then reward myself by shooting other guns that I shoot more accurately. It soothes my bruised ego!

The LCR is one gun that I have found the "surprise break" in squeezing the trigger really helps. When I am conciously pulling the trigger and forcing the break I do worse. I don't know if that helps or even makes sense. (I suspect North Country Gal knows a lot more than she's saying here - try to pick her brain. Or search her user name and read some of her posts - there's good advice to be found...)

Wave
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
When I put a CT Laser grip on my wife's .38spl LCR it made the gun very accurate BUT it caused a lot of pain in the palm of your hand do to the recoil and not having the original cushioned Hogue grips. It took all the fun out of practicing at the range.
I thought of that too, and your right. But I guess if I was in a life or death situation I might not care about or feel the pain then, I'd just want to hit what I was aiming at. Plus, it looks like the CT grips are more concealable then the stock Hogue's.

+P ammo was brutal. Just a heads up.
I tried the Hornady Critical Defense .38spl standard pressure and they pretty much had the same recoil as the Winchester target ammo I was shooting, although with much more muzzle flash and power residue. I didn't do so bad with those, so I think this is the round I would like to carry. I just bought some Cor-Bon 125gr +p's and will try those out next time. The standard Hornady 158 gr XTP's were terrible.
 

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Ausmerican.
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I thought of that, but it didn't seem to make sense to me. I want to get to know how the gun I'm actually going to be using in SD will handle, which will be totally different from a .22.

This whole .22 thing just seems to me a way for the gun manufacturers to sell more guns.
Always best to learn the basics on something smaller, I think you'll find that most of us did that.
And the .22 is cheaper while you are learning.
It is then easier to adapt to the larger calibre.
Just my thoughts.
 

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Chris, I'm sure a big city like Milwaukee and so on would have instruction courses. You might try contacting the folks that offer training for concealed carry permits. A lot of those folks also teach shooting or would know someone who teaches it, at least. Most gun shops also have contacts for instructors.

Not trying to sell more guns for the manufacturers, but just about everyone who achieves a high degree of proficiency with a handgun has used a 22 pistol, somewhere along the way, to get there. Make no mistake, it does take a LOT of shooting to become good with a pistol, but, then, that's one of the reasons so many of us enjoy shooting pistol. Borrow or rent a 22 pistol to give it a try. You might feel a whole lot better about the way you shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Revolvers can be tricky. The best thing for you to probably do is spend some dry fire time at home. Stand 10' away from a light switch, line your sights up on the switch, and practice pulling the trigger until you can make it 'click' with the sights staying on the switch. Then, back up another 5' and try again. I've learned a lot of triggers doing this. It helps that I have 'lighted' light switches, but the practice is the same regardless. Sounds like you just need practice. You wouldn't expect to pick up a saxophone and play a song without learning the basics of the instrument and starting to practice. You wouldn't expect to be able to buy a chisel set and carve furniture on your 4th try. Spend some time dry firing at home until you learn the mechanics of the LCR. You'll save a lot of ammo and have a much more enjoyable range experience. :cool:

Disclaimer: check for empty, don't shoot your light switch. ;)
Thanks, I have spent a great deal of time dry firing and staging the trigger, to the extent that I can do it in my sleep. But staging the trigger doesn't seem to help my accuracy when firing with live ammo. Sometimes it hits and sometimes it don't. As I said before the best grouping I ever did was when I fired it as fast as I could out of frustration!
 

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Hi Chris

Sorry to hear about your frustration, but keep shooting. Don't give up.

Are you new to shooting pistols? if so, there is a great deal to learn. If you can take a basic instruction class on pistol shooting that will be worth every penny. Plenty of help online, too, such as How to shoot a handgun accurately and so on.

The LCR is designed for SD and CCW work all the way, but that same light weight and compact size does not make for fancy range work. Nothing wrong, at all, with moving p to 7 yards, either, instead of shooting at 15 yards. A lot of SD practice is done at 7 yards, as that is probably a more typical range for a SD situation. Some of our LEOs actually practice at 3 yards for a part of their training. Move out to 15 yards when you're happy with your shooting at 7 yards.
Excellent advise, those little 38's are sometimes hard to get use to, and the recoil with a light gun is tough on your hands. When I practice at the range my target is only 10 to 20 FEET, I figure that is the distance I will need the gun. Dont get hung up on blasting out the red bulls eye either, get those shots in the rings and you will hit your BG target if it ever comes to that.

Do a lot of dry fire practice at home to get use to the trigger.
 

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One quick suggestion. Instead of the Crimson Trace type devices, look at the XS Big Dot if the money is available. I installed one on my Ruger KLCR .357mag in less than 30mins. and it made a world of difference in my accuracy, both up close and at distances. I love to shoot my Ruger KLCR now, more than the other pistol I have. Just "split" or "slice" the XS Big Dot with the original rear sights in "half", and cover the POI with the BD and it hits spot on. Again, just a suggestion. Good luck.
 

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Thanks, I have spent a great deal of time dry firing and staging the trigger, to the extent that I can do it in my sleep. But staging the trigger doesn't seem to help my accuracy when firing with live ammo. Sometimes it hits and sometimes it don't. As I said before the best grouping I ever did was when I fired it as fast as I could out of frustration!
This may be the problem. It is possible that you are staging the trigger and anticipating the shot breaking, and then your flinch is throwing your shot off in random directions. Instead of that, try just a steady, slow pull, increasing the pressure on the trigger, until it goes bang. Don't try to anticipate it, just let it happen.

To see if you have a flinching problem, load up your cylinder with a couple of empty cases in random spots. Shoot normally and when you hit one of the dead rounds, you will see if you flinch or not. You will probably push the gun down right as the trigger breaks, but you will be able to notice it because you don't have the gun fire to mask the flinch.

You probably did so good on your rapid fire because you were not flinching, just shooting.

I also would recommend a 22 for practice. You can shoot a ton more because it is so inexpensive. It will get you the practice you need, and a low recoil setting to work on reducing your flinch. Keep at it, you will get there!
 

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Lot's of good advice.

On the psychological side, it is much better to shoot at 3 yards and build your confidence with the immediate reward of hits with grouping than it is to keep floundering at 15+ yards. Don't worry about what people will think of you shooting that close, just do it and reward yourself by hitting your target.

Choose one sight picture, aim at one spot and shoot shoot shoot until you get a group somewhere. Do NOT start compensating until you have a group. If you're never grouping, compensating is useless. So aim at the middle and if you hit 5 inches low, fine, shoot at the middle again and again. If your shots group well, then adjust your sight picture or your sights... but not before you can shoot groups.
 

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My LCR-357 seems set for 12 yards, at least with the 130 gr FMJ .38s I've used. I started out like you, about 6-8 inch groups at my 12 yards. I've worked it down to 4-5 inch. I stage the trigger, rotating the cylinder in line, then correcting sights before releasing the hammer. The LCRs are great for this, as they have a longer "flat spot" in the action than most DA revolvers.

I also have the .22 LCR, and it helps. There is still enough "snap" to the recoil for it to be good training for my .38s at a lot less cost. Only problem is that the .22's sights seem set at six yards. I haven't decided yet to file down the front to get right on 12 yards, or to keep compensating with a higher sight picture.

My carry ammo is 125 gr Hornady XTP. The light bullets will give you less recoil, as you've already found out, which gives you quicker recovery in a SD situation.
 
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