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hoglaw

Trouble Getting A Good Pattern

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I bought my fiancee a Walther PK380 for her birthday. It's fun to shoot but for the life of me I cannot get it to shoot a decent group. I don't think it's user error as I have zero trouble shooting good groups with my M9 at the same time. I clean and maintain both pistols in the same way. I'm using pretty inexpensive brass FMJ rounds in both guns, though they're different manufacturers. I'm not sure what else is going on. Obviously the Baretta has a longer barrel which seems like it should help.

The sights on the PK380 are not adjustable. There is a lot of "play" in the sight though. As in, you could have what looks like a decent sight picture and be pretty far off from left to right. It tends to shoot low based on the sight picture I think it should have, but I can compensate by taking more of the site and really covering up what I'm trying ot hit. But it still strays left and right. Any thoughts?

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Sights that aren't adjustable just have to be used with "Kentucky windage". They are meant to shoot at the center of the front post which should be level with the top of the rear sight.

As far as groups go, that could be a lot of things. Some things that can affect a sight picture are light, weight and balance, the gun itself may bot be capable mechanically, and of course the trigger.

I always check out a new pistol or revolver at a bench with a rest if possible, but without at least a two handed hold. The idea is to eliminate the shooter as much as possible in order to establish capability. It's a good idea to candle smoke the sight to eliminate bad light.

After you determine what the gun is capable of you can start addressing how to achieve the same thing or ,close,free hand standing. The first thing is to determine how you want to shoot, target or what I call amateur combat. If you spend a lot of time target shooting with a gun meant for defense it can handicap someone who only shoots occasionally.

The best way to get into a stance for target shooting is to stand at about 45 degrees to the target. hold the gun arm extended, relax, close your eyes, and let it find the most comfortable spot. It will seem like there is a "notch" where you don't need to apply pressure to move the arm right or left. When you open your eyes shift your feet around so that the gun is now pointing at the target. You will eventually be able to align yourself very close without closing your eyes and able to shift into the right angle. At this point concentrate on the front post, center and squeeze when you're lined up hold when you aren't. Don't push the shot, take it when everything is aligned.

The 380 is no match for the 9MM for accuracy and the weight will handicap it against the Beretta. The PK's that I've seen were pretty tight mechanically and will probably do alright to 25 yards.

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I never liked the PK380, too much like the P22 which I never could hit the broad side of a barn with or make it go bang more than once without a jam. I have shot a friends that he bought when they first came out a few years ago and scattered them as well.

I never did figure out what the problem is with that Walther design, but I have not had any luck with them and my friends traded theirs off too. Get a Ruger LCP or LCR and you will have better results.

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Have you tried more than one type of ammo? Remington 'yellow box' or Winchester 'white box' are as cheap as I'll go anymore. I've tried various brands of that cheap commie hardball and they all sucked. It could be that it simply doesn't like what you're feeding it. And don't forget, your M9 has about twice the bbl and sight radius, and probably better trigger pull- kind of a big apple to compare to a bellygun orange.

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I had trouble with a LCP .380 that I had. Couldn't get consistent with it. I picked up an aftermarket lazer for it. Having the lazer on helped me with the sight picture on the small open sights. It also helped me with my trigger pull because it gave a reference for me to monitor at what point in my pull the barrel was wavering. I don't know about yours, but mine didn't have an external safety. In a way, the long heavy trigger pull/travel is the safety. I adjusted the way I was pulling the trigger for that gun. After using the lazer for some practice rounds, I was able to take it back off and maintain my accuracy because I learned what my sight picture should look like.

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Lots of guns on the market these days for CC that just aren't going to be very accurate. I'm actually OK with that because if you extend your arm until the barrel hits the target MOST guns with then hit the target. I was given a Tarus 380 for that kind of stuff.

Even I get pretty decent results with my Glock 17 and Kimber Pro Carry II.

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All of the 380's are essentially 7 yard guns for the most part. Although, practiced pistoleers have been able to get better accuracy out of them. As long as you can constantly have a 4 inch group at that range, you will be able to get the job done.

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Don't expect a PK380 to be as accurate as your M9. As stated, especially at more than 7-10 yards. Also keep in mind that each seperate design may need a different hold to get the best accuracy. Have you tried shooting the Walther from a solid rest?

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Thanks for all the good input guys. I didn't expect it to be as accurate as the M9. I'm not much of a gun buff, but I've been a naturally good marksman ever since I was a kid if I do say so myself. I only mentioned the Baretta patterns in an effort to show that this wasn't user-influenced. But just because I'm a decent shot doesn't mean this isn't user influenced I suppose. I haven't shot a lot of other small pistols to compare it to, just a 1911 .45, my M9, and a handfull of others.

The bench rest is a good idea, as is the laser. It has a laser rail. Yes, this gun was bought as a keep in the night-stand gun for my fiancee. The slide is very easy for her to operate, and the grip is very comfortable for her. She also has really short fingers and the gun fits her perfectly. I just wanted something reasonably reliable for her to have around and feel comfortable with. Last time out we shot paper first, then I inflated some small baloons and she shot at those from about 7 yards. She had no trouble popping them one after another with only a few misses, so I feel like she can fire this gun competently. I guess the M9 is just going to be a lot better at punching prettier holes in paper from longer distances.

I've never heard of the smoke light thing...I'll have to google that. I didn't get the one with the laser for her because I wanted her to not rely on it. But that's not a bad idea at all for teaching her (and me) the proper sight picture.

I hear you on the quality of ammo too. That .380 ammo is expensive if you don't shop regularly to pick up the cheap stuff. The green and yellow remington box of hollow points are the most expensive ones we've put through it so far (about $30 for a box of 50 after tax...too expensive for plinking in my opinion). Right now she's shooting some eastern block stuff that's more like $14 a box, and she keeps some better Hornady defense rounds in it when it's at the house.

It does have an external safety and the hammer can be cocked back for a very nice trigger pull (can't remember whether that's true da, dao, or what) just like my M9. Her technique is pretty good considering she has no better of a teacher than me, and she's super comfortable operating and shooting. I guess I just expected that most any firearm should shoot consistent groups from 20 feet if the user is shooting consistently. Apparently that isn't the case.

I'll try bench shooting with some higher quality ammunition and see if that addresses my concerns.

Thank you again to everyone who responded.

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