How to Shoot a Pistol Accurately [Ultimate Guide]

Want to shoot better?

Learn how to shoot more accurately with your pistol/handgun through a review of fundamentals, easy to do exercises at home, proper range practice tips, and helpful gear.

We also cover everything in our video Beginner Handgun Course…perfect if you’re completely new or have no formal training.

Introduction

If you’re here, you probably realize that…shooting pistols is actually pretty hard!

In the beginning of my shooting experience, I had a lot of sympathy with the Stormtroopers missing everything too.  At least they had the excuse of a stressful situation!

Stormtrooper Miss
Yes, I know they shot blasters

Now I’m not some professional competitive shooter or instructor, but take that as a positive…I still remember how it felt when I couldn’t hit anything and the differences each tip/exercise made in my development.

It’s going to take you a while, but let’s get started in making you a more accurate pistol shot beginning with fundamentals.

Shooting Stance

Some of you might scoff at the idea of how you stand has anything to do with how you shoot.  But think of it as the foundation of everything.  If you have a wobbly base, chances are it doesn’t take much to mess up whatever is on top.  And loud explosions and recoil have a way of messing stuff up.

The main thing is to have a stable/comfortable stance that tilts you a little forward to manage recoil.  Don’t worry if you have ever done that newbie lean (back).  Now’s the time to fix it.

Shooting Leaning Stance
Shooting Leaning Stance

If you want to get more technical, there are the three main types of stances: Isosceles, Weaver, and Modifed Weaver (Chapman).  They are just variations on some foot placement and what arm is flexed a little more.  But just notice how stable the guy below is and the slight lean forward.  You can brush up on those bad boys here.

Isosceles Stance, PoliceOne
Isosceles Stance, PoliceOne

Handgun Grip

My first advice received about handgun grip was from the salesman at my local gun shop.  He asked me to grip his hand with the same strength I’m going to grip my future 1911.  I gave him a nice firm handshake while he proceeded to crush my hand.  A dick move, but a great lesson.

I’m now an advocate of gripping as hard as you can but not so much that you have tremors.  I’ve found that having a crushing grip on the gun reduces the movement of your non-trigger-fingers, which is a good thing.

And how you hold the gun also has a huge effect on your accuracy.  You want the web between your trigger finger and thumb to be as high as possible on the grip to contain the recoil of the slide moving back and forth.

Glock Slide
Glock Slide
High Handgun Grip
High Handgun Grip

And because there’s this piece of metal moving back and forth, you want your forearm in line with the gun to absorb more recoil.

Handgun Alignment, Bearing Arms
Handgun Alignment, Bearing Arms

Now that you’ve got your shooting hand grip correct, let’s take a look at the empty space for your other hand.

Handgun Grip Empty Left Side, Shannon Smith
Handgun Grip Empty Left Side, Shannon Smith

You want to fill it completely up with the other hand so you maximize grip.  I like to double-check by making sure there’s a 45 degree angle between my left hand and the handgun slide.

Handgun Grip Wrist Check, Shannon Smith
Handgun Grip Wrist Check, Shannon Smith

Thumb placement of your dominant hand is personal preference.  You’ll see both up in the air or pointed towards the target.  Experiment to see what you like or just go with what feels more natural.  The non-dominant thumb will run along the frame.

Handgun Grip, Thumb Up
Handgun Grip, Thumb Up
Handgun Grip, Thumb Forward
Handgun Grip, Thumb Forward

And although it might feel a little weird at first, I like to set my wrist at an angle when I punch out both my arms.  This keeps everything steady and helps prevent limp wristing.

Handgun Grip Set Wrist, Shannon Smith
Handgun Grip Set Wrist, Shannon Smith

Sight Picture

You’ve probably heard it before…focus on the front sight!  Well it really does help and in the beginning I was squinting hard with just one eye open and trying to focus on the target.

Front Sight Focus, cheaperthandirt.com
Front Sight Focus, cheaperthandirt.com

I’ve found it immensely helpful to keep both eyes open.  It will be very difficult at first depending on how long you’ve been shooting with one eye open.  But once you master it, it makes everything so much faster with less eye fatigue.  And now you get more situational awareness.  First thing is to figure out which eye is dominant.

If you’re like me, you’ll be seeing some double-vision because both eyes are open.  I’ve found moving your sights closer to your dominant eye (left to right, not closing the distance to your face) makes it a lot easier to figure out which image to use.

This might be just a little shift if you’re using Isosceles, or it might already be perfect with Weaver.  For me, since I’m left-eye dominant but right hand dominant, I like the Chapman stance since it puts the sights more in line with my left eye.

Trigger Pull

Might be the most important part of everything, and what dry-firing practice is all about below.  The best advice is to squeeze super slowly that you’re almost surprised when the shot breaks.  You’re not yanking on it since that will result in jerking the trigger and sending the shot off.

Dry Firing, Sootch00
Dry Firing, Sootch00

It will be hard since it’s your gun and you practice with it, so you know when it will break.

But the slower you pull the better your shot will be.  One of the reasons you might shoot someone else’s gun really well the first time is since you don’t know the trigger (and when all the loud noise and recoil will come).

How about where to place your trigger finger?  It’s personal preference (and something to do with your finger length too) but I would suggest somewhere between the top quarter of your finger tip to right before the first joint crease.

Keep in mind that the ideal pull would be completely straight back with nothing else moving except the first two joints of your trigger finger.  So take a look at your gun and fingers to see what looks/feels the best.

I find that I shoot better when I’m closer to the first joint.  This length gives me good leverage and isolates the third section of my trigger finger (closest to hand) so only the first two joints are moving.

Less is more here!

High Handgun Grip
Glock Finger Placement (Closer to First Joint)

Breathing

One thing I always forget to do when I’m shooting.  Holding in your breath messes you up after a while and so I just try to breath naturally.  You’re pistol shooting, not sniping 1000 yards, so you don’t have to plan your breaths (and heartbeats).

Trigger Reset

An easy mistake to do is to immediately lift your finger off the trigger after each shot and look at the target.

The hole will always be there so take your time.  Whenever you lift your finger off quickly, you’re likely shooting too fast and jerking the trigger, or introducing excess movement to the gun.  You’re also making it harder for yourself the next shot since you’ll have to pull the first part of the trigger again (the slack).

Proper trigger reset is holding the trigger all the way at the end until after the shot breaks (#3 Below) , and releasing it only until the point it resets (you’ll feel the click, #4).  And then if you’re firing again, to start at the reset point and not all the way at the beginning of the trigger pull (#1).

Trigger Reset
Trigger Reset

Dry-Firing Practice

What is Dry Firing?

Dry firing is pulling the trigger on a cocked gun and allowing the hammer/striker to drop on an empty chamber or dummy round.  It’s probably the most effective way of improving pistol accuracy.  And you can do it at home!

Is Dry Firing Safe for My Gun?

If your handgun/pistol shoots centerfire rounds (9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, etc) instead of rimfire rounds (such as .22 LR), then you can dry fire all you want since the firing pin is not actually hitting anything.  Rimfire firing pins hit the mouth of the chamber when there’s no cartridge so you should practice with snap caps that take the hit.

11
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Why Dry Firing?

The main point of dry fire practice is to develop muscle memory so you consistently produce a great trigger pull and don’t flinch when it’s time for real shooting.  And if you’ve developed some bad habits along the way, it does a great job of rewiring you back over time.

At least for me, I find that after a good amount of time (a week or two) of dry firing a few minutes a day, I become “one” with my trigger and grip.  My grip just feels right, and I can sense all the little nuances in the trigger pull.  And when I focus on the front sight and pull the trigger, the front sight stays super steady.

The One
The One

It takes a lot of practice (and perfect practice) to reach that point.  And it’s a diminishing skill that needs to be kept up to date too.  Even just a few days of not practicing I can feel some differences the next time I dry fire or shoot.

Best Way to Dry Fire

First, always make sure your gun is unloaded and follow the 4 Rules of Safety.

  • Guns are always loaded (treat them as such and don’t have live ammo in the room)
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you don’t want to destroy (point it in a safe direction)
  • Keep your fingers off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
  • Be aware of your target and what is beyond

I always check if my gun is empty every time I pick it up, even if it’s between strings of dry firing.  It just gets you into a good habit.

I also like to set up targets or at least small things that are safe to “shoot” at such as a light switch or doorknob.

I focus on the front sight (both eyes!) and remember to squeeze so slowly that I’m surprised when the gun clicks.  I sometimes actually say “squeeze” out loud to make sure I do it.  Once you can do it slowly, you can speed it up a little as long as the front sight still doesn’t move.

One great way in the beginning to make sure the sight doesn’t move is to physically place a small coin on top of the front sight during your exercise.  If it doesn’t fall off, you’re probably doing a great job.

Coin on Front Sight Dry Firing
Coin on Front Sight Dry Firing

Finally, remember to practice both full trigger pulls (with the slack) and trigger reset pulls.  To do a trigger reset pull, leave your trigger finger depressed at the end of the first shot, and rack your slide with your non-dominant hand.  For some guns you don’t have to rack it all the way back, sometimes just a half-inch or so is enough.  Get back into your two-handed grip, let the trigger reset (listen for the click), and shoot.

Trigger Reset Dry Fire
Trigger Reset Dry Fire, Trigger Time

For the longest time I only practiced full trigger pulls and got great at those, but when I had followup shots I started jerking the trigger.  You’ll likely be firing both ways so be prepared for anything!

Range Practice

Too much range practice in the beginning is sometimes detrimental, since you haven’t built up the muscle memory of dry firing, and instead you build up a flinch reaction.

Don’t worry if that’s you already…with some quality dry firing at home you can overcome it.

Angeles Shooting Range Stations
Angeles Shooting Range Stations

I like to always have some dry firing sessions at home in between range days.  And when I get to the range, I always dry fire a couple shots before loading up real ammo.

I start off at short distances since there might be a lot of effects that come into play at 25 yards (wind, ammo, etc) but it’s all me at 3-5 yards.

Sometimes if it’s a new gun or if I’m doing really poorly, I’ll start shooting with a supported position first to get some confidence and set a baseline accuracy.  You can do this by sitting down and placing your elbows on the bench, or leaning into the counter.

I also found this graphic to be immensely helpful in diagnosing my shooting errors.  Just have a target, shoot a couple shots at it, and see where they land in relation to the chart.  If you’re a lefty, you will have to mirror image the findings.  And if there’s no overt grouping (your shots are all over the place), it’s likely your grip is not consistent.

Shooting Diagnostic
Shooting Diagnostic

I usually start off pretty strong and as I get more comfortable I forget some of my lessons, such as remembering to squeeze.  That’s when I start telling myself “squeeze” every shot again.

Lastly, there’s a great drill to run once in a while if you have a buddy help you load a magazine with both live ammo and snap caps.

You need a buddy since they can mix up the order without you knowing.  The point is to see if you have a natural flinch during shooting which will show up when you reach the snap caps and they do not go bang.  It’s a great visual moment to see how you actually deal with the recoil.

It’s one thing to be dry firing and shoot perfectly, but another once real recoil is entered into the equation.  My own natural flinch was a pretty pronounced pull down and to the left.

And for more live training drills, check out Pistol Training‘s huge list of possibilities such as the Bill Drill.

Shooting Gear

Here are some shooting gear and accessories that I’ve found to help me become a better pistol shot.

Snap CapsEssential if you’re shooting rimfire such as .22LR, but also great for other calibers if you want to work on reloads in the future, or do the drill I just mentioned above.

11
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Laserlyte: Awesome tool to visually see where your shots are hitting.  It’s a device that fits into your handgun as a dummy round but shoots a laser when the firing pin hits it.  Pair it with randomized targets that detect the lasers to work on target transitions and future competitive shooting moves.

Also a great tool for getting non-shooters interested in going with you to the range!  Kind of expensive but think of all the ammo you’ll be saving.

Find our complete roundup of the best Laser Cartridges and Targets.

Editor's Choice (Laser Cartridge)
90
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Laserlyte 9mm with Reaction Tyme Targets
Laserlyte 9mm with Reaction Tyme Targets

Shoot N’ C: Sticker targets you can put on paper targets at the range which show a splash of color whenever you hit it.  Makes it much easier to figure out where you’re shooting when the target is farther out.

13
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Hand Strengtheners: I thought it was dumb to get these, but the harder a grip you can get on your gun, the more you can manage recoil.  Consider me a believer.  Just get ready for literally every single person that sees them to try it out.

13
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Talon Grips: Essentially sandpaper/rubber stickers that are cut for your specific gun.  Drastically increases the amount of grip on your gun.  Or you can be really obsessed about grip like me and just stipple your polymer gun.

18
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Dry Fire Training Cards: Simple idea but great for both beginners and advanced shooters.  It gets boring sometimes to raise your gun and shoot at a target.  Maybe it’s a little better with laser targets or a timer.  But now you have a couple dozen variations to choose from.

17
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

I’ve started training with my set so I’ll report back to see if I make it higher in the competition standings.

Dry Fire Training Cards
Dry Fire Training Cards

MantisX: Now we’re going hi-tech!  This training module attaches to your front rail and gives feedback to your phone through Bluetooth.

The MantisX mounts up easily to any weapon with a rail though if you mount to top or a side (rifle for instance) you must select that in the settings
MantisX on our Glock 17

I’ve had my hands on one for a few months and it’s definitely much better than simply looking at if your front sight moved when dry-firing.  Instead of simply feeling like you messed up…it tells you where it moved, how much it moved, and how to correct it.

High-Tech Dry-Firing
149
at MantisX

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Full review HERE.  I’d say if you’re really serious about upping your shooting game…try it out.  Work with both dry and live fire.  Plus it’s fun to compete with your friends.

Conclusion

And that’s it…now you’ll be able to work on your fundamentals, dry-firing, and range shooting to become a more accurate pistol shooter.  Remember, you won’t become a pro in a few days.  The guy next to you at the range nailing all the steel targets probably has dozens of hours of dry firing and thousands of rounds under his belt.

If you’re looking for some handgun training…check out our Gun Noob to Gun Slinger program.  All the important stuff to get you competent in 2 hours.

56 Leave a Reply

  • JOHNNY JOYNER

    in my younger days I could shoot a rile dead center at 100yards. I could shoo a s&w model 686 357 pretty good to. but in 1995 I was hit from the rear by and oil company truck. now my nerves aren't as good as they used to be. I have ruger vaquero. s&w model 60. I love to shoot still. I am getting older now and things are a bit different than it used to be. I love handguns. you have some great advice. I guess I developed my way of shooting years ago. I was county boy who hunted or food. love to hear more about shooting. johnny joyner

    5 days ago
  • Elliot M Morris

    Found this sight just looking for answers on gun terms in articles I was reading and signed up for emails and have learned so much in two days. Appreciate the knowledge and openess to share with others. Buying a 9mm tomorrow and so looking forward to learning how to handle it correctly. Thanks, Mike

    1 week ago
    • David, PPT Editor

      Real glad we could help out! Have fun and stay safe with your new pistol!

      1 week ago
  • Mitchell Loebel

    Hello Eric ... New shooter here. Interesting/good article above. Do you have anything similar for shotgun shooting ... Mossberg, 00 buckshot?

    1 month ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi Mitchell, thanks! We don't have one as in-depth for shotguns...but it's something we're going to add to our editorial calendar.

      1 month ago
  • Neil Carpenter

    The other day, a raccoon came after my dog, then me. I fired an DX .40 three times, and all three times the shots went center, low, about 6 o clock. I went to the loods and repeated what happened, and I got exactly the same result. All 3 shots in less than a second, and all 3 pieces of brass landed in a bout a foot circle. Two hits were about 14" apart, and I was running while shooting.. Any suggestions?

    1 month ago
    • Sammy D

      Don’t run and shoot silly you’re not a SEAL and raccoons aren’t the taliban lol.

      1 week ago
  • crackerboy

    Re: Dominant Eye. The easiest way to determine dominant eye is to point at something, both eyes open, with your finger. Then close one eye. If you're still pointing at the target, that's your dominant eye; if not, it's the other one.

    4 months ago
    • Mark

      It’s better to use a two-hand pointing method to rule out hand dominance interference and muscle memory bias.

      4 weeks ago
  • Bill shadrick

    Training with frank Garcia, 3 time world champ at universal shooting academy. Have shot 50,000 rounds in five months. That’s how you learn to become an elite shooter. Learn right from the best in the beginning.

    7 months ago
  • Tango

    The bonus target signup link above ain’t working. Thanks

    7 months ago
  • Gary Schoo

    This is a very interesting article. Sometimes you forget to do everything right. Good stance grip trigger pull. My Problems are some vision issues. I love to shoot don't have enough range time. Thank you

    7 months ago
  • Adith

    Another thing I would like to add about the grip is that your off hand is more important than your strong hand. I know it seems counter intuitive but it makes sense when you look at it scientifically. When you grip a gun, you are holding it exclusively with friction. When you tighten your strong hand you are increasing the friction of your strong hand on your gun. When you tighten your weak hand, you are increasing the friction of your weak hand on your strong hand, but also pressing your strong hand against the gun more increasing that too. So tightening your weak hand is actually twice as effective! As for letting the gun surprise you, that 100% the best advice you can give someone as its the #1 way I see new people screw up pistol shooting. The best metric to learn that, however, is to watch for a muzzle flash. If you see one, then the gun went off without you ready, so no flinch. If you dont see one, then you knew it was coming and reacted by closing your eyes and flinching.

    9 months ago
  • RCJohns

    Love your articles. Being new with guns since February I have been doing a lot of dry practicing between live fire and it has made me a much better shooter. I also use the MantisX and have seen my average go from 87% to consistently shooting in the high 94% to low 95%. I'm known as rcjohns322 and my wife who shoots better than I do is shooter361. What are you known by? Keep up the great articles and thank you for taking the time to do it .

    10 months ago
    • RCJohns

      BTW Eric, we shoot with ASPDryfire and Glock shooters

      10 months ago
  • Linda

    Awesome articles Eric! A guy at the range I go to recommended you to me , so glad he did !! I look forward to reading your info

    11 months ago
  • John

    Been carrying for two years, S&W 45 3.3" barrel. Shooting 1.5" groups of 6 from 5 yards out to 10 yards what can I do to tighten my groups? Self trained,, round is 230 grain FMJ... modified gun with a Apex flat trigger and tactical trigger enhancement.

    11 months ago
    • Jim

      If you can shoot 1.5" groups at center mass when under pressure, do not worry, they are plenty tight.

      10 months ago
  • George

    I’m a beginner and I’m learning so much from your articles. Thank you for caring enough to take the time

    1 year ago
  • Mike d

    Thanks eric!! I always learn or recall things when I read your articles. A few gun magazines need to hire you and give us all a fresh perspective as opposed to the same writers giving us the same deal i read in their mags back in the 70s.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome Mike...and you're too kind!

      1 year ago
  • Monte Walsh

    Great job as always! I recommend your site in each class now. You’re really doing a good service with your programs.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Thanks so much, Monte!

      1 year ago
  • Jack Danner

    Thank you Eric! I discovered you a couple of months ago. Unfortunately like many I spend more time on the internet reading about shooting, watching videos fondling and cleaning my firearms etc. than actually shooting guns, There is a lot of material out there some great but some ridiculously bad. Your articles are always on topics that interest me and knowledgeable and well written. I’m 64 and have been shooting since I earned my marksmanship merit badge in Boy Scouts, Remington .22 nylon 66 I believe. Thanks again; I enjoy your work.

    1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      So glad I could help, Jack!

      1 year ago
  • Frances Towne

    Thank you for this great refresher. It has been many, many, years since I last shot a weapon. But the times are ripe for gearing up.

    1 year ago
  • Sabbotage

    Great job. Excellent reading. Not the usual boring articles about guns.

    1 year ago
  • Alex d

    I just shot my xds 9mm for the first time today, I put 100 rounds down range in about an hour or so at 50 yards and I got the paper about 20 times and hit the target about 3 or 4 times. I tried really hard to focus but I tended to land on the paper the first few shots, but the more I focused on trying to hit I didn't even know where my bullet was landing. I could hear it hitting the back plate which is good, but I'm clueless where to start. The first shot was nuts so much adrenaline lol, I knew it would be loud but I didn't expect the concussion wave. I learned quickly to not keep my head in the both. Thanks for the tips I'm studying hard to understand and get better.

    1 year ago
    • Jim

      Alex, DO NOT put so much into holding on the bull without moving. Anytime your sight moves close the bull squeeze your trigger. You have that split second from the time your brain says squeeze, till you squeeze, and the bullet leaves the barrel you may just be dead on. If you squeeze when on the bull, till you finish and the bullet leaves the barrel you are no longer on the bull.

      10 months ago
    • Chase P

      Alex D you need a spotter. How can you get better if you have no idea where you are shooting? Buy a cheap spotting scope or binoculars, and have a friend spot for you. Also, as this great article says take your time. 100 rounds down range in 1 hour does not sound like a lot, but if your adrenaline was kicking in, and maybe some frustration then I am not surprised the first shots were the best. Anything that gets you worked up and your "blood pumping" is going to make it hard to be accurate. Have you ever hunted before? If so, think about a big 10 pointer walking out of the woods 75 yards off and your in the stand. The it is right after sundown (before the 30 minute mark), and you have very little light. If that does not get your adrenaline kicking in nothing will. In that scieno and at the range it best to try and calm yourself before taking another shot. Remember adrenaline is not your friend when it comes to shooting. Plus were you shooting quick burst or spacing out the shots pretty evenly? As the temperature of the barrel raises it will start to expand once p which results in lose of accuracy. That is why many refiles and and some pistols have a bull barrel. Lastly, you stated the more you try to focus the worse you got. This is one of my greatest weakness. I tend to over think things. Believe it or not you can overthink shooting just like so many other things. Next time you shot think about how you will take the shot. before taking it. This will put your mind at ease before taking the shot The more you practice the more the shot becomes second nature.. Lastly, I have been known to hold the gun pointed down range with the safety on to see if I am puling the trigger. This allows me to see if the gun is pulling left, right, up, or down. This is a great article and I hope I helped some Alex D

      1 year ago
  • MisterCrabby

    Nicely done.

    1 year ago
  • k kruter

    Thank You!

    1 year ago
  • John Grayman

    Did someone say, ‘If your handgun/pistol shoots centerfire rounds (9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, etc) instead of rimfire rounds (such as .22 LR), then you can dry fire all you want since the firing pin is not actually hitting anything.’ Ahh, ... no you cannot! In fact Glock, Inc./GmbH is now telling customers not to dry-fire their Glocks without using snap caps. As for the particular comment about ‘not actually hitting anything’? Every time a Glock is dry-fired the front of the striker slams into the back of the breech face. (Which, probably, explains the reason for all of those lovely pictures showing Glock slides with punched-out breech faces that have been circulating around the internet for many years, now.) I’ll, also, offer two personal observations about proper grip and stance: (Yes, for the past 25 years I’ve been a multi-certified Firearms Instructor; so I think it’s safe for me to speak up on this topic.) Yes, the isosceles stance tends to be highly intuitive; and it does aid many shooters to hit COM at fairly close range (say at and inside 8 to 10 yards); but, at the same time, the shooter should be wearing a vest because, in particular, an isosceles stance demands a shooter to use frontal protection. Because a pistol shooter can’t really ‘roll (and lock) his wrists’, or take the (accuracy destroying) tension off the tendons in the upper part of his forearms by relaxing his elbows, the isosceles is not an ideal stance to use on farther targets (say at and beyond 12 to 15 yards). It’s, probably, gone unnoticed by the world-at-large; but, the last time I checked neither: Leatham, Enos, or Middlebrooks were using any of the aforementioned (and admittedly) popular: Isosceles, Weaver, and Modified Weaver (or Chapman) stances. All three of these stances are, now widely considered to be, ‘yesterday’s news’; and, quite frankly, I have to agree. The best (repetitive) pistol shooting I have ever done in my entire life occurred while I was using the ‘Reverse Chapman’ grip and stance. It’s more natural for the body to assume; there’s less stress on the body’s skeletal structure—especially in the forearms and wrists— and, with a proper ‘rolled over’ grip controllability over the pistol and accuracy go way up! I’ve watched videos of Leatham teaching this stance/grip; and D.R. Middlebrooks markets these techniques as part of his ‘Fist-Fire’ pistol combat course. (Which I happen to think is one of the best combat pistol courses available to both government agencies, and everyday law-abiding civilians to be found anywhere in the world, today.) One huge advantage to using the ‘Reverse Chapman/Fist-Fire’ grip and stance is that pistol shots will quickly stop impacting the target at the dreaded 6 to 9 o’clock position. (3 to 6 o’clock for a left-handed shooter). Neither is it necessary for an active competitor who's firing many hundreds of rounds during a course-of-fire to exhaust himself by having to maintain a crushing ‘death grip’ on his pistol. Years ago, now, I remember D.R. Middlebrooks commenting about how he would have had to end his national and worldwide championship shooting career years earlier than he did, if he had not discovered the practical value and virtues of using a ‘Reverse Chapman’ stance and grip. (Which he, of course, modified to suit himself and continue his award winning career.) As for myself? The ‘Fist-Fire’ stance and grip is all I use, today; and, even at my present (considerable) age, by doing this I’ve managed to attract a lot of favorable comments and attention from other pistoleros who have to know how to ‘run’ a pistol for a living. Anyone who’s interested can get a couple of videos on this technique from the Tactical Shooting Academy in Surry, VA. NOTE: I've always found Hogue HandAll 'Tactical Grip Sleeves' to be way superior to Talon grips—Which I've often worn out in less than 4 or 5 weeks; but not the Hogue HandAll sleeve. The Hogue grip sleeves can last through a good 8 to 10 months of heavy daily use!

    1 year ago
  • Jack Casey

    Outstanding article. Very well written and to great depth!

    1 year ago
  • MASON

    Great web site excellent self help tips! Thanks for the great targets.

    1 year ago
  • Rick

    Thanks for this great info. I shoot a variety of handguns so will try these tips out to improve my shooting

    1 year ago
  • Scott

    Great tips! I’m going to work on them. Thank you.

    1 year ago
  • Alan Heffernan

    I,m L-Handed and have had a [email protected] Shield 9mm for awhile, now I traded the 9mm Shield for the [email protected] Shield 45ACP. .Here,s my basic proBlem. 95% of the time, I usually hit off to the R-side of the target. Got any idea,s what the basic cause is I,m doing wrong ?? Please send me a few pointers to my E-mail. No matter what 45 load grain I shoot the problem still exist. I just purchased and mounted the new style ESSIGHT with the larger white dot on front bead. Tks. guy,s.

    1 year ago
    • Eddy

      I am a south paw also, with a Shield 9mm. Try this grip modification: imagine a two-foot stick in each hand, held vertical and parallel. Now tilt the top of both sticks towards each other about an inch. Replicate this force in your grip. It helped me pull my shots from the right back to center.

      1 year ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Alan, you might want to try one of the laser trainers in the article, or have a more accurate buddy shoot to make sure it's not you. Otherwise it could be the sights.

      1 year ago
  • Steve

    Thanks Eric. I appreciate the tips. I shot expert in the army with several firearms ... 35 years ago. Now I am trying to get back some gunsense and help my wife. This is a good article to share with us newbies.

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome Steve!

      1 year ago
  • TDR

    Thanks for something free that is really worthwhile. I am sure that I have read every one of these tips, but not in such a concise and all together format. Thank you very much for taking the time. I will print a hard copy and put it in my range bag for reference. Also thanks for the free targets. My range gets $1.50 each and I am a member. TDR

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hi TDR, glad we could help out with this article and the targets!

      2 years ago
  • R Borden

    Love your articles. Thanks for the clear, concise and practical information. It helps a newbie like me immensely.

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      You're so welcome!

      2 years ago
  • Darkman

    Great article. I've been shooting for 50 years and never hurts to read through a good article that helps to reinforce good shooting habits. You're never to old to learn and yes old dogs can learn new tricks.

    2 years ago
  • Leigh allen

    good stuff the only opposed is the shooter placement wheel to diagnose grip check sob tactical with jhon shriek McVeigh he has a video on YouTube about this

    2 years ago
  • Deb

    Great article, thank you! I've now read it thru 3 times practicing as I go. So very helpful, but as a newbie I got a bit confused at handgun grip as my new gun is a revolver. I need a lot more practice but love your help in learning more about guns. Thanks again! I'm hooked!

    2 years ago
  • Bruce K

    Great article. As an accomplished shooter I am always open to refresher articles and training--just what I needed.

    2 years ago
  • Orlando

    Great article! Im a new shooter and have learned a lot through some practice, articles and videos. on the Shooting Placement Diagnosis image i saw a section that there is no follow-through. can you illustrate/explain is "follow-through' and how to correcty do it?... thanks and god bless

    2 years ago
  • Satur

    Appreciate very much, i've learned more. Thank you. BTW, I prefer articles about glock, glock 19 gen 4 in particular or accessories, or more tips on how to become better.

    2 years ago
  • Derrick Harrison

    sweet

    2 years ago
  • Stan Haye

    Very good informative article for me as a beginner shooter at age 82. Where can I get a hard copy of this?

    2 years ago
    • Eric Hung

      Hey Stan, awesome to hear! You can probably copy paste and print it out.

      2 years ago
  • Steve Craig

    Great article, Eric! Lots of very good information.

    2 years ago
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