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Basics of Shooting Techniques

Using correct shooting techniques will help you improve your accuracy.

Four fundamentals for an accurate handgun shot:

  1. Aim carefully, aligning your sights.
  2. Take a deep breath, and then exhale.
  3. Squeeze the trigger slowly.
  4. Follow through.

Your hand position on the grip of a handgun is vital to hitting the target. Although the grip configurations of the revolver and the semi-automatic pistol are different, the gripping procedure is the same.

  • For a right-handed shooter, the right hand is the “strong” hand and the left hand is the “weak” hand. For a left-handed shooter, the strong and weak hands are reversed.
  • Hold the handgun high on the grip so that the recoil is directed back to the hand and arm in a straight line. This allows better repeat shots and more accurate shooting.
    • With a semi-automatic, the rear extension of the frame limits how high your hand can be placed.
    • With a revolver, your hand might be able to hold onto the gun quite high.

To grip a handgun properly:

  • Grasp the gun under the frame and trigger guard with your weak hand. Do not cock the gun, and do not touch the trigger.
  • Open your strong hand so that your thumb and index finger form a “V.”
  • Place the “V” as high on the frame as possible so that the grip of the gun rests firmly in the palm of your strong hand.
  • Curl your fingers around the gun’s grip with your index finger extended along the side of the gun and off the trigger.

Safety Tip

On both revolvers and semi-automatics, make sure you place the part of your hand between your thumb and index finger in an area on the gun’s grip where your hand will not be pinched or cut by the hammer during recoil.

Use a two-handed hold whenever possible, applying pressure from front to rear with your strong hand and from side to side with your weak hand.

  • The two-handed hold is typically more stable than a one-handed hold.
  • To use a two-handed hold:
    • Follow the previous steps to grip the gun with your strong hand.
    • Wrap your weak hand around your fingers on the strong hand.
    • Place your thumb on your weak hand over or beside your thumb on your strong hand so that it is roughly parallel to the barrel of the handgun.
  • To improve your steadiness and accuracy, push forward with your strong hand and pull with your weak hand.
  • When using a two-handed grip with a semi-automatic, NEVER cross the thumb of your weak hand behind the slide and hammer. Doing so may result in painful injury when the slide is pushed back by recoil.

On both revolvers and semi-automatics, make sure you place the part of your hand between your thumb and index finger in an area on the gun’s grip where your hand will not be pinched or cut by the hammer during recoil.

Safety Tip

The slide and hammer of a semi-automatic gun can deliver a bruising blow when held too close to the body. All handguns should be fired at arm’s length.

Original article by NHSC