Fast, Accurate, and Consistent Pistol Shooting: It’s All about the Fundamentals
By: Colton Cerino, Ohio Outdoor Journal Field Writer
Many shooters want “advanced” firearms training. Whether it is to shave seconds off of their stage times or to provide peace of mind for a defensive situation, pistol shooters want the secret to shooting fast, accurate, and consistent. What they don’t realize is that it’s all about the fundamentals of grip, sights, and trigger pull. Whether you have been shooting for years or have never touched a gun, all of our firearms training classes start with these three basics.
Grip: I use the High Thumbs Forward grip. Your strong should be high on the back strap with a front to rear pressure. Notice all of the space available for you non-dominant hand to have contact with the gun.
My support hand is at a 45 degree angle and high up on the gun. I run my thumb parallel to the slide. The non-dominant hand has a side to side pressure.This grip puts the most meat on the gun. It is a good way to manage recoil, and it helps me reacquire the sights quickly after each shot.
Sights: Proper sight alignment means leveling the front and rear sights with equal light spacing on each side. You should not be lining up dots! I know that when I cover my target and see this sight picture I am going to hit what I am aiming at.
Trigger Pull: Slapping the trigger is the most common mistake. I take the slack out of the trigger, come to the pressure wall, and apply steady pressure until the gun goes off. All triggers should be fired this way unless you have a single stage trigger which would have no slack. To practice proper trigger pull, with an unloaded gun, you should line up your sights on a white wall, squeeze the trigger and watch for deviation of the sight alignment & sight picture. The goal is to have a steady sight picture all the way through the trigger press into the follow through.
I know that none of this sounds exciting, but without mastering these basics, everything else falls apart. Contrarily, when you have a good grasp of these fundamentals, you can fine tune your skills while having a steady base to fall back on. I recently assisted with an event that had attendees who had never touched a gun in their life. Because these people really paid attention to the fundamentals when I was instructing them, their targets ended up having some really tight groups. Some of the others who already had previous shooting experience chose not to listen to my advice, and not surprisingly, they had targets that looked like a shotgun blast. If you focus on nothing else, these three basic fundamentals will give you training to fall back on and make your shots when they count. So, are you going to continue with what you are doing now or are you willing to return to the basics?