point of aim vs. point of impact

Discussion in 'M, C, L and S Series' started by revjen45, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. revjen45

    revjen45 Member

    I just shot my S9 for the first time. I was delighted with the functional reliability, but the point of impact was nowhere near where I aimed. Using 124 gr Hydra-Shok POI was about 6-8 in low and left at 50 ft. With 124 gr FMJ windage was almost on (still a bit left but the rightmost shots of the group were on for windage) and still 6-8" low. By raising the front sight to where about 1/2 of it protruded above the top of the rear sight elevation was close. My thoughts are to try 147 gr JHP loads and see where they shoot, heavier bullets normally shooting higher than lighter ones. (Any input as to effectiveness and functional reliability of non-subsonic 147 gr JHP loads vs 115 or 124 gr?) I can not understand why the Hydra-shoks were so different in windage from the same weight FMJ. I called Diamond to see if different height front or rear sights are available, to which the answer was no. They have the tritium night sights in stock, but there's no guarantee that the relation of the height of the sights will be any different from what I have now. I have an inquiry in to XS Sight Systems, but I don't know if their Express Sights are available for the Steyr series. If it were a Patridge sight picture I would just file down the front sight and drift it to the left for windage, but the trapezoidal system would require filing down the sides to restore the point once the elevation was established. I would appreciate any input to solving this problem. I like the gun and don't want to dump it, but if it doesn't shoot where I aim It's less useful than my Makarov which does and never malfunctions.
  2. FlaChef

    FlaChef Guest

    before DOING anything to the gun shoot it from the bench/rest/sandbags.

    the unusual grip and sights might take time to get used to. I sure would not monkey w/ the sights before bench testing the accuracy.

  3. RangerM9

    RangerM9 New Member

    silly questions...forgive me...


    1) how experienced a shooter are you?....experience with many guns?

    2) left or right handed?...and have you shot the S9 with the opposing hand?

    the reaosn i ask is that i almost always used to shoot low and left with my M9....and i think it is a problem with me rather than my gun....i just nee more practice with it.....

    please see this thread......


    Navy87Guy was good enough to attach a shooting diagnostic form...

    what you posted immediately made me think of the tightening fingers in the 8 o'clock position......this is assuming you are right handed.

    Is this your first DAO gun?....my guess is that, even though the steyr have really good triggers...your Mak is probably a more crisp trigger when cocked....may be your shooting, rather than the gun.....

    try shooting with the other hand.....if the point of aim/impact are not in the same orientation with the other hand...it is not the sights...it is you....

    and if it is the sights and you really can't find something better to replace the sights....and decide to dump the gun...let me know....i'd like to get and S9 at some point....

  4. revjen45

    revjen45 Member

    Thanks for the input. In reply, I am an experienced shooter with numerous different guns. In this particular range session I only shot right handed. Shooting from the bench gave the same low and left shot placement. I will have to make another trip and try some different grips ahd sight pidtures. FlaChef- you are correct that the Mak has a crisper trigger when cocked. My S9 has some rather rough travel before sear break. The M9 I dry fired in the store was smooth before the sear broke, so maybe I need to do a little fluff and buff on the engaging surfaces. I learned to shoot handguns with a S&W DA revolver, so I probably wrap my hand farther around the grip and engage the trigger with the 1st joint. Will try a straighter alignment with the forearm and squeeze the trigger where the fingerprint whorl is. I don't plan to forge ahead with brute force and ignorance in the absence of more info. Thanks again.
  5. madecov

    madecov Active Member

    The first time I shot my M40 I was shooting about 2" high at 7 yds.
    After about 3-5 shots I was able to get things dialed in and POA and POI matched.

    I find the gun to be accurate and fast to use.

    Still waiting to qualify with it for the department
  6. hihoslva

    hihoslva Guest

    I would assume that the error is with you, and not the gun.

    Not a criticism of you by any means - you sould like an experienced shooter.

    However, the tri/trap sights do take some getting used to. I shot many rounds off a bench to determine the true sight picture.

    The Steyr also has a very different trigger than many pistols, IMO. And this can lead to user error with the trigger finger/shooting hand, resulting in the left/right variances.

    My opinion is that your shots are low due to not being familiar with the sights, and the shots are left due to not being familiar with the trigger.

    Basically, the sights should be used just like notch/post sights. The tip of the triangle should align with the tops of the angled posts, and should be centered in the opening. The front sight should cover the target. Then a nice relaxed squeeze, and BANG. Your shot should go right where you were aiming.

    Poorly-aligned guns DO get through to consumers; we recently exchanged my wife's Firestorm because is shot waaaay low. However, it took several range trips, bench shooting, and other shooters firing the gun to make 100% sure it was the sights. It was. The replacement is dead-on.

    See what it takes to get your pistol accurate from a bench - and let other people shoot it. If the only way you (and other experienced shooters) can hit where you want is to have the sights all out-of-whack, it might be the gun. But I suspect things will smooth out for you as you become more familiar with the pistol.
  7. uncle_walty

    uncle_walty Member

    If the groupings are consistent and tight, then it is the gun and not the shooter. All 3 of my Steyrs shoot low for me. I wish I can get a taller rear sight. Unfortunately the Steyr does not have adjustment for elevation. So only option is to try different ammo or load your own to adjust POI or learn to hold over.

    Changing ones shooting style to adjust POI only works if you're only going to shoot one type of gun. Otherwise one may need to have different style for different guns which would be difficult and confussing. At least for me. I have enough problem trying to remember the different POI I have for the various guns and ammo combinations I use. I like adjustable sights for serious target shooting.
  8. FlaChef

    FlaChef Guest

    agreed, but I prefer fixed sights for a "combat" or carry gun such as a steyr.
    if you unholster and reholster any adjustable sight enough it needs readjusting.

    Not something i want to worry about in case of the madman w/ a kevlar vest shooting spree. Or even at an idpa match where most targets are 50 feet or less.

    also if you are not getting a proper sight picture (and the triangles are unique) you can have an excellent grouping.

    try different pictures from the bench, some claim better results covering the target (i did untill i shot from the bench and realized how much i anticipated). If your elevation only is off then you should be fine to adjust your picture and not worry about it affecting your other gun shooting, unless you have a lot of t/t sights 8O

    There are always three dot sigths availible however if you can't get used to it.
  9. revjen45

    revjen45 Member

    I returned to the range wth more time and mindful of the advice from the replies. As I became more accustomed to the sights and trigger the results improved. I kept track on each target of the grip , sight picture, and load. 124gr RNFMJ shot to point of aim when I used the ctr of the triangle at 50 and 65 ft. Shooting from a Weaver stance my groups weren't all that great, but were centered where I aimed with the new sight picture. Oddly enough, the 124gr HydraShoks shot to the left from the right hand, and to the right with the left hand, which did not occur with the 124 gr RNFMJ. I also took along a box of Win. 147gr JHP, which shot to the top of the ft sight at 50 and 65 ft. The group size was better with this load. Since I only had 1 box I didn't put more than 20 rds thru it so I could save enough to carry 3 full mags. There were no malfunctions with any of the ammo I used, and I switched from the 124gr HydraShok to the Win 147gr JHP for carry. Now that I know how to shoot where I aim and that the gun is reliable I am pleased with it, and just need to practice more, which will occur when I find another job and can afford to shoot more. Thanks for the feedback and best regards to all.
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm not sure I buy that argument. Just because the group is consistent, doesn't mean it's the gun. The shooter can be doing the same thing - incorrectly - on every shot. That can be corrected with proper grip and trigger control. I've also found with my M9 that my groups are very sensitive to how I line up my sight picture. That's particularly true for the "elevation" -- I can easily find myself shooting high if I place the tip of the front sight on the target just slightly out of place.

    I'm of the opinion (for what that's worth!) that the only way to accurately rule out the human factor is to bench test the weapon. Even having someone else shoot it isn't a guarantee that the problem was or was not shooter induced.

  11. uncle_walty

    uncle_walty Member

    Semantics. I just wish Steyr would offer different sight heights.

    I guess I wouldn't call someone's grip or trigger control "incorrect" if he is getting consistent and tight groups every time. I would just call it his own natural shooting style that works for him. The barrel/sight offset for "fixed" sighted guns are designed to provide coincident POA/POI for an average person at a particular distance. Variations such as grip style, grip, hand and arm strength, stance, etc can affect the recoil dynamics and the actual POI for that particular person (the gun is moving when the bullet exits the barrel). Everyone is different.

    I guess you can have an " incorrect" sight picture causing POI to not line up with POA but I don't think that is the case here. And my "correct" sight picture gives me low POI (after I'd drifted the sights to adjust for windage)

    Bench resting definitely can reduce the human factor (Ramsom rest would be ideal) in determining the accuracy or minimum group size of a particular pistol and ammo combination and will tell you the POI for the bench rest position. But other shooting position POI can vary from the bench rested POI depending on how and what was being rested in the bench rest position since the recoil dynamics between the gun, arm, hand, body may have changed.