Pistol shooting is a fun and practical skill to develop. Like any skill, it takes time and effort to improve. There are multiple aspects of shooting well that you should know and train in order to build a stronger skillset over time.
Some key aspects of pistol shooting include:
1. Stance & Position
Stance and position go hand in hand and describe how you position your body relative to your target. Many different elements are involved in this, from your feet up to your head. You’ll want to consider how much you’re bending your knees, your angle relative to the target, your arm position, and other factors. Different types of shooting have different ideal positions.
A proper firing grip is more involved than simply holding the pistol how you would naturally. In fact, most people’s “natural” way of holding a gun is completely ineffective for shooting. Having consistent tension in your grip helps minimize the effects of recoil while shooting. You’ll also need to consider finger placement. Of course, keep your trigger finger out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to fire. This is important for both safety and technique.
3. Sight Alignment
Your pistol’s sights need to be in alignment in order for you to shoot accurately. What this means is that the front sight post should be centered within the rear sight notch, as well as being even at the top. You need to maintain this alignment while firing.
4. Trigger Control
As you pull the trigger to fire, you should apply steady building pressure. Trigger control and sight alignment work together because in order to maintain sight alignment while shooting, you need to have good trigger control. Grip is also important for trigger pull technique, as a strong grip prevents you from jerking the gun while firing.
Breathing properly while shooting sharpens your vision, keeps you calm, and helps you focus. It also helps minimize the amount you move the pistol while aiming and firing. Relaxing and breathing slowly and consistently can help improve your shooting technique.
The Mental Aspect Of Shooting
Once you’ve worked on the physical skills that go into shooting, the mental aspect begins to play a larger role. Having the discipline to train regularly and improve your skills can take you from okay to great. Routine is important for this, as is the ability to analyze your past performance.
It’s also essential to be honest about your goals and expectations. If your main motivation for learning how to shoot well is to protect yourself if the worst-case scenario ever occurs, your training regimen will be different from someone aiming to become a professional marksman or from a hunter. These goals may also overlap, which will influence where you should focus your attention.
Professional training can help you get objective feedback on your shooting and hone your skills. The Hub offers a variety of one-on-one and class-based training at our Arizona gun stores.