Of the three types of guns, the rifle, shotgun, or handgun, which do you think is the easiest to shoot accurately?
If you’re a complete novice in the world of firearms, it’s easy to think that a pistol would be simpler to shoot than a rifle or a shotgun. After all, the long guns are more intimidating and likely to have scary recoil. But in actual practice, knowing how to shoot a pistol that would hit the intended target is the most difficult to learn.
That’s because you have a more stable platform when shooting long-barreled weapons fired from the shoulder. You don’t have your shoulder to stabilize your aim, and you also have a shorter sight radius when firing a handgun.
Before shooting a pistol, you need to have a good foundation for your basics. That’s what we’ll cover in this blog post.
Table of Contents
The fundamentals of shooting always start with safety in mind. Always remember to check if the pistol is loaded, even when first buying a gun. Assume that it’s loaded at all times, even if there’s no magazine and with the slide pulled back.
Always have it pointed in a safe direction. Every time you handle a pistol, make sure that you point the barrel downwards.
The Handgun Grip
Forget about holding a pistol one-handed or akimbo style. For practical shooting, you need “all hands on deck,” which means using a two-handed grip. Even when using a low recoil and muzzle climb pistol such as the FK BRNO PSD (check it out), a two-hand style will give you the most accuracy.
Today’s most common grip style for handguns uses two hands with the dominant-hand thumb on top of the other thumb. Grip the pistol as high as possible for maximum stability. But be careful not to place the grip too high since the slide can bite the flesh of your hand when it comes back over during firing.
The Basic Stances
The two most popular stances are the Isosceles stance and the Weaver stance.
The Isosceles stance forms an isosceles triangle from a top-down view. The triangle’s base is the width of your body, the two equal sides are your arms (both fully extended), and the vertex is the handgun.
The Weaver stance looks like a boxer’s stance with the support-side foot forward and the primary-side foot at the rear. You’re facing the target at approximately a forty-five-degree angle. The strong arm is fully extended, while the support elbow is slightly bent down.
Try both stances and choose the one which feels most comfortable.
How to Shoot a Pistol for the First Time
After mastering the proper grip and stances, you’re ready to aim and fire the pistol. We recommend that you practice firing dry before shooting with live ammunition.
Aiming is all about aligning three points: the rear and front sights and the target. The rear sight typically has a notch so that you can see the front sight through it.
The best technique to pull the trigger is to apply increasing pressure while keeping the sights aligned until the pistol fires. Don’t jerk the trigger, or you’ll mess up the aiming causing you to miss.
Now that you know the fundamentals of how to shoot a pistol, the next step is practice, practice, practice. You can improve your shooting accuracy with handguns by practicing the basics.
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