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Top Tips for Pistol Shooting

Whether you are protecting your home, in the line of duty, or just practicing at the shooting range, you want your shots to be accurate every time.

Unfortunately, many of us do not have the time to practice as much as we would like.

So when you do have the opportunity to hit the shooting range, you want to make the most of your time!

To help you do that, we have compiled a helpful list of tips to enhance your pistol shooting.

It Is All In The Stance

Even some experienced shooters assume an incorrect stance. In fact, it is one of the techniques instructors find themselves correcting most often. It is important that you have a “power stance.” This is unlike the edgeways stance used by the duelist, skateboarder; the edgeways stance is not conducive to accurate shooting.

With one heel behind the other, the body does not have good lateral balance and tends to sway sideways. Your miss tends to go to your strong side. And, if your feet are squared off parallel, your body lacks good front to back balance, and the shots will tend to either be high or low—often low.

What you want is a fighter or boxer’s stance, a stance that in karate would be called a “front stance.” In this position, your lower body has a pyramidal base. For two-handed shooting, you want your feet about shoulder-width apart. Your strong or shooting side leg should be slightly back at about a 45-degree angle from the target. Your knees should be slightly bent with your weight distributed on the balls of your feet so that you are balanced both forward and back. Your shoulders should be curled forward over your waist like in an athletic ready stance.

This allows you to get behind the gun, stay on target and not get rocked back with each shot.

Have A Firm Grip

Crimson Trace Laser Grips Round Up
Have A Firm Grip

In short, you should hold the firearm with your shooting hand in a firm grip, like you would hold a hammer to drive a nail. Your support hand should have all four fingers high on the front of the grip, touching the bottom of the trigger guard, and wrapped around the three fingers of your shooting hand. It is your support hand that should tightly hold the grip. Your support hand helps manage recoil, which allows you to get off subsequent shots faster and more accurately. If you hold too tight with your shooting hand, your muscles will fatigue and eventually start to tremor.

Your trigger finger has one job to do: control the trigger. It cannot manipulate the trigger if the other three fingers and thumb are tightly closed. Too tight of a grip on your shooting hand is what may cause you to “milk” the gun – a term for when your index finger closes on the trigger and the other fingers follow. Your trigger finger cannot fine-tune the trigger if your grip is too tight.

The more consistent the grip, the better shot group you will see.

Aligning The Sights

Proper alignment at the target gives you the exact position of where the bullet will hit the target. Many shooters call this the “sight alignment.”

To create the perfect sight alignment, grasp the gun properly (as described in the previous section); visually align the front sight post and the rear sight notch: the top of the front and rear sights should be on the same level; and the gap of light between the vertical edge of the rear notch and the sides of the front sight should be equal. After you have aligned the sights with each other, place them on the target exactly where you want the bullet impact to be.

Now you are good to go!

Practice Pressing The Trigger

Trigger Jerk
Practice Pressing The Trigger

In order to keep the muzzle on target, you want a smooth, uninterrupted press. And you do not want to anticipate the shot; rather, you just want the exact moment of the shot to surprise you.

Practice by dry-firing or “clicking” the empty gun. The position of the sights when the gun clicks will indicate whether the shot would have hit the target or not. The more you perform these dry-fires, the more correct and natural a proper trigger press will be for you.

Follow these tips for more accurate, natural, and efficient shooting. And if you are looking for more in-depth instruction, consider firearms training.

For Alabama pistol training, check out Elite Arms Training in Lumberton, MS!

About Elite Arms Training:

Elite Arms Training provides firearms training to those who seek personalized attention and a comfortable atmosphere. We take a business-like approach to teaching you the skills and knowledge necessary to place your bullets where they need to be, whether it’s self-defense, competition, hunting or just looking to improve your ability at the target range.

For more information, visit:

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