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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Wow, I bought my first gun (everything else I inherited). S&W 9mm Shield. Due to work scheduling and holidays, I have not been able to go fire it. Finally did today. I have fired my step-father's Winchester Model 12 pump, his S&W 44 Special revolver ( which is why I got the Shield, the 44 is to much for home and self defense) and my 22 rifles.

Nice range, friendly and helpful, supplied the duct tape (you will understand in a moment). One of the range rules was to always have both thumbs on the same side of a semi automatic when firing. Never read anything about that one. Went through the film, paperwork all completed and headed out to my lane.

Loaded Blazer 115 gr in the 7 rd magazine and 8 124 gr in the 8 rd.

Fire! Damn!

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Slide bit me as I held it with my left hand around the grip with my left thumb behind the slide. Fellow shooter had some duct tape to tape it up. Not bleeding to badly. He said it was a good thing I wasn't shooting a 45 or it would have been a lot worse.
Lesson learned, won't ever do that again!

For the shot groups.
1st 15 feet - 115 gr at the chest. All to the left. 1 in the orange.
2nd 15 feet 124 gr at the stomach all to the left. 1 in the orange.
3rd 15 feet Federal HP LE 115 gr at the head All left, 1 in orange.
4th 25 feet Speer Critical Defense 124 gr at the upper right target. 2 low, 1 in the orange.
5th 25 feet Blazer 115 gr at upper right target None in orange.
6th 25 feet 115 gr Blazer at triangle on the right. 2 in the orange.
7th 115 gr Blazer at the triangle at the lower left. Getting a little tired. 1 in the orange.

After second round, tried to aim more to the right and work on sight position more.
ROTC Rifle Firing range word came back, "Don't hold your breath too long or you will start swaying and will be shooting 'the next time it swings by" so I would lower my gun and take a deep breath.

Almost one hour. $15 for range time and $2 for target.

My take: Need to work on sighting position. Long way to go but on the road.
 

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BYDT. One learns quickly.
 

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Nice first trip. Sorry about your thumb.

Suggest you maintain your sight picture on target (no compensation) and work instead on your trigger control.

As an exercise, load the magazine and insert it in the pistol. Rack the slide. Remove the magazine. Fire the shot holding the trigger to the rear. The slide will cycle, then ease the trigger to its reset point. Press the trigger on the empty chamber. You will immediately see if you are forcing or pulling the muzzle. Repeat the process for the entire mag.

Trigger control is 90% of repeatable performance. Good luck.
 

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Should'a gon Glock. Mine never bite :danceban:

Just kidding. Congratulations on the purchase and on having the wisdom to practice (and work out the bugs before crunch time).
 

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Not necessarily a newbie mistake. Though one should learn from it, my cousin (who has owned guns longer than I've been alive) gets his thumb bit just about every time he fires his Desert Eagle (.50 AE). Watched him do it when we sighted it in and then again when he shot his first hog on our hunting trip this year. For some reason he grips that gun and that gun only improperly and no matter how many times he gets bit, he still does it the next time he takes it shooting.

You'll catch on pretty quick if you don't like pain. Practice holding your Shield properly at home (unloaded of course) and soon enough you should hold it properly by muscle memory.
 
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Yep, that slide flies back at 100 mph and if your thumb is in the improper location, ouch!! Could have been worse, I've seen guys need stitches.
 

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Glad that was the worse of it Sportymonk I've seen and experienced worse. I remember many years ago shooting a friends 9mm and having the web of my hand too high on the grip. The slide cut a nice "V" right in the web between my thumb and first finger. Hurt like crazy but felt dumb for letting it happen. Haven't made that mistake since.:embarassed:
 

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No harm no foul learned some stuff

At least you did not learn about the fun of cylinder gap .....

And if you really want pain try to take apart a BG380 with big hands and then have the slide close on your thumb ..Oh that was fun
 
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I shaved the back of my right hand thumb knuckle on my first outing. I also had to change my grip on our LC9s Pro since the front of the trigger guard was grabbing my left thumb nail on recoil. I now keep both thumbs below the trigger guard.
 

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No major harm , no foul . Been packin 1911's since I was 17/18 . I was 60 or so when I got the web of my strong hand hammer bit in a quick point and shoot with a new Rock Island 1911 style . It was wearing a new beavertail the next time we went out to play . Paint me as a slow learner as this has happened many times in my years . M1 thumb was another hard learned lesson .
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks to all for sharing your experiences. As this was my first time firing a semi automatic (only fired shotguns, 22 rifles, and that 44 revolver once), I didn't have high expectations, I simply wanted to see how it went and where I needed to go. Learned a lot from the experience and from y'all. May frame that piece of duct tape!!
Won't be as surprised by the noise and kick. Shot both 115 and 124 gr and FMJ and HP of different brands. Will focus on one brand and load next time. Will work on trigger finger.
Many thanks and a tip of the shooting cap.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
Nice first trip. Sorry about your thumb.

Suggest you maintain your sight picture on target (no compensation) and work instead on your trigger control.

As an exercise, load the magazine and insert it in the pistol. Rack the slide. Remove the magazine. Fire the shot holding the trigger to the rear. The slide will cycle, then ease the trigger to its reset point. Press the trigger on the empty chamber. You will immediately see if you are forcing or pulling the muzzle. Repeat the process for the entire mag.

Trigger control is 90% of repeatable performance. Good luck.
Thanks for the help. Will definitely try it next outing.
 

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I'll be the fly in the ointment here. I understand the safety and stability of the two handed thumbs forward grip, I use it myself; and I understand the range's safety issues. Yet outside of some obvious and common sense precautions and scenarios, I'm not sure I would like the idea of the range telling me how to grip my weapon if I'm otherwise safely shooting and handling my firearm . So it sounds like, keeping within the rule, you cannot shoot your pistol one handed at that range. Maybe you can find someplace else to practice that aspect of training.
 

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Most of us who have been shooting for some time have OUCH stories to tell and some of them not newbie at all. Two months ago I was careless with a new gun that is slightly larger than my .380 Glock 42. I slammed a magazine in and had not been careful to keep my pinkie finger well out of the way when holding the grip. I have NEVER had a blood blister that bad, that painful or that deep! It took well over a month to heal from the inside out and a couple more weeks for the scab which had been the blood blister to finally finish peeling off.

Th worst thing about that mistake is that you do not have to slam the magazine into that particular gun! Glad your booboo was not any worse!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'll be the fly in the ointment here. I understand the safety and stability of the two handed thumbs forward grip, I use it myself; and I understand the range's safety issues. Yet outside of some obvious and common sense precautions and scenarios, I'm not sure I would like the idea of the range telling me how to grip my weapon if I'm otherwise safely shooting and handling my firearm . So it sounds like, keeping within the rule, you cannot shoot your pistol one handed at that range. Maybe you can find someplace else to practice that aspect of training.
On their safety test it said, "When gripping a semi-automatic pistol with both hands, you should always keep both thumbs on the same side of the gun to keep clear of the movements of the slide." So one can shoot one handed but IF they shoot with a two handed grip, keep both thumbs on the same side. ( Or you will end up with duct tape on your thumb like Sportymonk (aka Lee)
 

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Ok,I see, thanks for clearing that up. Certainly crossing the thumbs like some folks might do shooting a heavy magnum revolver does not work with semi auto! I guess to be on the safe side they do have to point that to some new shooters. I'm glad you have a nice safety conscious range with friendly staff that you can feel comfortable with and really get the most out of your shooting time.
 
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