How to Shoot a Pistol Accurately

Guns present a bit of a paradox. On one hand, they have a simple mechanical design that makes their operation easy to master, as are the basic fundamentals of shooting and gun safety. On the other hand, learning to shoot one accurately is hard! This is especially true of handguns. As the first world champion of combat pistol shooting famously said, “Shooting well is simple. It just isn’t easy”.       

Learning To Shoot A Handgun Well

Too many gun owners think that because it’s easy to learn how a pistol functions and they’ve fired a box of ammo at the range, they’re good to go. But learning to shoot well and safely, especially if you’re going to use your gun for concealed carry and possibly have to use it in a self-defense situation, requires more effort. One excellent option is to take a firearm training course. They are offered almost everywhere for cheap or free. If you have an experienced friend or relative, ask them to take you shooting and give you some tips. Another option to gain proficiency is to practice by making trips to the range on a regular basis. 

Practice can be detrimental if you’re doing it the wrong way and reinforcing bad habits. To avoid that, you need to know some basics of proper shooting.

The Fundamentals Of Accurate Shooting

Develop a good shooting stance. There are three main accepted shooting stances, the Weaver, the Modified Weaver (also called the Chapman), and the Isosceles. You can research these if you want to find out more. But the important thing is to have a stable, comfortable stance, with your feet about shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent while leaning forward slightly against the recoil.

Have a good grip. Although there’s some debate about this among gun handlers, the accepted wisdom is that you should have a tight grip, which keeps the non-trigger fingers from moving and pulling you off target when you pull the trigger. Hold the pistol in line with your forearm to absorb the recoil. Wrap your shooting or dominant hand with your other hand at about a 45-degree angle from the barrel. Some people hold the thumb of their dominant hand straight up, others hold it parallel to the barrel. Try both to see what works best for you.

Sight picture. Keep both eyes open when you aim, which might take a little practice, and focus your attention on the front sight while keeping it level with the top of the rear sight and both aligned with the target.

Trigger pull. Jerking back on the trigger will throw your aim off at the worst moment. Instead practice a smooth, slow pull until the gun fires. Experiment a little, but it’s generally best to keep the trigger between the tip of your finger and the first joint.

Keep these fundamentals in mind and practice them at the range until they become second nature.  To learn more, explore the Concealed Coalition website regularly for tips on good shooting, the latest news on gun control and gun rights, and the best products on the market for your concealed carry purposes. 

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