Compact vs full size accuracy

Compact vs full size accuracy

This is a discussion on Compact vs full size accuracy within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So here's the deal- I purchased a S&W M&P FS in 40. Love the gun and can shoot the gun well. However the full size ...

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    Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    Question Compact vs full size accuracy

    So here's the deal- I purchased a S&W M&P FS in 40. Love the gun and can shoot the gun well. However the full size frame did not work well for concealed carry. Recently I bought the M&Pc in 40. It carries like a dream compared to the full size. Now comes the problem, I can't shoot it worth a flip! The gun is mechanically sound and the sights appear to be set correctly. When in the hand, it has the grip angle of the FS but the grip feels different than the FS. Do you have any tips for improving accuracy with the compact?


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    JMB
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    Quote Originally Posted by halem1 View Post
    So here's the deal- I purchased a S&W M&P FS in 40. Love the gun and can shoot the gun well. However the full size frame did not work well for concealed carry. Recently I bought the M&Pc in 40. It carries like a dream compared to the full size. Now comes the problem, I can't shoot it worth a flip! The gun is mechanically sound and the sights appear to be set correctly. When in the hand, it has the grip angle of the FS but the grip feels different than the FS. Do you have any tips for improving accuracy with the compact?
    Yeah...essentially this: put the full size away for a while, go back to basic fundamentals and practice them relentlessly. Typically, the shorter sight radius makes it a bit harder to shoot accurately...but it can be done.

    Also, with the stubby grip, how much hand can you get on it?

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    too little info. was it extreme spread? if so, you might be stuck with it. if it was vertical spread only you can try different bullet weight. at close ranges it's counter-intuitive too. a heavier bullet will recoil more, and be in the barrel longer, so it comes out of the gun at a higher angle, and it hits higher. up close only. conversely, a lighter bullet will hit lower, up close. maybe it was your grip, can you get a little "pinky grabber" clip extension floor plate thing for that gun?

    i'd try shooting every brand an weight of ammo i could get my hands on and see if the gun responds well to any of them.
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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMB View Post
    Yeah...essentially this: put the full size away for a while, go back to basic fundamentals and practice them relentlessly. Typically, the shorter sight radius makes it a bit harder to shoot accurately...but it can be done.

    Also, with the stubby grip, how much hand can you get on it?
    great point. i find i have to "lean in" more with little/snappy guns.

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    Senior Member Array AmmoFan01's Avatar
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    Try target practicing with it close to the target, probably three yards would be a decent start. Fire a few rounds, when you feel comfortable then back up about three more yards and keep repeating this process.

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    Generally speaking, people have more trouble shooting compacts because of the reduced grip, and short sight radius.

    A short sight radius will magnify any errors in your aiming. The first time I shot my J-frame, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it, but after hundreds of rounds, I am now much more proficient with it.

    Focus on your fundamentals, sight picture/alignment, trigger squeeze, hold control, breath control, and follow through.

    Also, make sure you don't develop a flinching habit, which is fairly easy to diagnose, but also fairly common with a light gun in a heavy caliber, which creates more recoil.
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    You just need to work with it. Work on you grip/hold.
    Clearly all things being equal a full size will shoot better Than a compact.
    But with a little work you will hit what you need to hit with your compact at reasonable range
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    Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMB View Post
    Yeah...essentially this: put the full size away for a while, go back to basic fundamentals and practice them relentlessly. Typically, the shorter sight radius makes it a bit harder to shoot accurately...but it can be done.

    Also, with the stubby grip, how much hand can you get on it?
    I'm able to get most of my trigger hand on it. There is no pinky dangling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by halem1 View Post
    I'm able to get most of my trigger hand on it. There is no pinky dangling.

    Check out Talon Grips. They helped a good bit with my S&W Shield.

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    Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas! It is frustrating when you don't shoot well with one gun as you do with another in the same family. Finger extensions may help. Will see if they are available for that model. Sounds like the age old adage of practice, practice, practice and when you are done practice some more is the key remedy. Thanks again!

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    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye .45 View Post
    Generally speaking, people have more trouble shooting compacts because of the reduced grip, and short sight radius.

    A short sight radius will magnify any errors in your aiming. The first time I shot my J-frame, I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it, but after hundreds of rounds, I am now much more proficient with it.

    Focus on your fundamentals, sight picture/alignment, trigger squeeze, hold control, breath control, and follow through.

    Also, make sure you don't develop a flinching habit, which is fairly easy to diagnose, but also fairly common with a light gun in a heavy caliber, which creates more recoil.
    curious, do you point/instinctive shoot? if so, when?

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    I can shoot a subcompact almost as accurately as a fullsize out to about 10 yards if I try hard, but to get that accuracy at that distance I have to shoot slower with the tiny gun. The shorter barrel, sight radius, and grip of the little guy means more attention to sight picture, trigger control, and recoil, thus taking the longer time to line up and to resight for follow up.

    I also see a noticeable difference between shooting the subcompact with the flat bottom mags and the ones with the Pearce pinky extension on them. I can only get about half of my pinky on the grip with the flat bottom mags, and that small difference will noticeably spread my groups from the ones with the extension.

    As others have stated, practicing fundamentals is the key, I think. Don't treat it the same. Treat it like completely starting over, and learn the gun for itself rather than for its similarities to its big brother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraySkies View Post
    I can shoot a subcompact almost as accurately as a fullsize out to about 10 yards if I try hard, but to get that accuracy at that distance I have to shoot slower with the tiny gun. The shorter barrel, sight radius, and grip of the little guy means more attention to sight picture, trigger control, and recoil, thus taking the longer time to line up and to resight for follow up.

    I also see a noticeable difference between shooting the subcompact with the flat bottom mags and the ones with the Pearce pinky extension on them. I can only get about half of my pinky on the grip with the flat bottom mags, and that small difference will noticeably spread my groups from the ones with the extension.

    As others have stated, practicing fundamentals is the key, I think. Don't treat it the same. Treat it like completely starting over, and learn the gun for itself rather than for its similarities to its big brother.
    Treating them as though they were different weapons is a great point. Dry firing exercises would probably be of value also, no?
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    You just have to get used to a different gun. Practice is all that is needed.
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    For me it is the grip. Yes, a longer barrel makes it much easier to shoot accurately from long distances, but if the grip doesn't fit my hand right I simply cannot shoot the gun. For instance, My Glock 26 is a great gun and shoots like a dream IF and ONLY IF I have the Pearce mag extenders. Without those I cannot shoot it at all. Same thing with j frames: My model 60 .357 grip fits my hands. But Gramps has a j frame bodyguard .38 special and I absolutely cannot shoot that gun.

    That's just me. We have to know what works for each of us and what doesn't.

    If the grip fits and it's a new gun I start really slow and concentrate on the basics, like I did when I was learning to shoot, and when I get the accuracy I work on speed. And that is the advice given by a few other people here.
    Rock and Glock likes this.
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