I’ve been practicing with my pistol at the range every week and I still can’t hit the center of the target. What am I doing wrong?
That can be a frustrating experience. If you can, hire an experienced instructor for an hour to work with you. You may be surprised how quickly they can identify the issue or habit, show you the correction, and have you shredding the bull’s-eye. If that isn’t an option, try starting with your target at eight feet. Relax, get a comfortable and strong stance, get your sight picture, focus on the front sight so that you don’t really see the target clearly, you see your sight covering the target. Slowly pull the trigger straight back until the gun fires. That should always be a surprise. Hold the trigger back for a fraction of a second as you are reacquiring your sight picture, then ease the trigger out just until you feel it reset, it is like a click that you can feel. Then you know your gun is ready to fire again. Try this for several shots before taking your finger off the trigger and lowering the pistol to see what you did. You will probably be surprised at how well you did. One of the most common issues for new shooters is to take their finger off the trigger between shots and to want to look up after each shot to see where it went. Both of these can cause you to have trouble with your aim. Once you have practiced this and are getting a good grouping, ease that target out in small, maybe 4 foot increments, until you can accurately shoot at 25 feet. My teacher taught me to always start close, move out, and then back in. It helps me to feel good about what I’m shooting and the farther out you go the more you can see if there is an issue such as consistently high, low, to the left, etc. A good instructor can diagnose your target and tell you what you are doing to make that happen. Plus, you will know that if you can hit the target at 25 feet, you have much better odds at closer range.