If you’re a new shooter, shooting a pistol/handgun/revolver or whatever sort of weapon can be overwhelming, mainly due to the recoil of the weapon. The two biggest mistake made by gun rookies are looking at the target instead of the front sight, when the weapon is drawn out. Another mistake is that a new shooter will most likely jerk the trigger, thereby developing a bad flinch-mainly caused by the recoil of the gun.

dbackThe bad flinch in return would cause the shot to stray away from the target itself. Hence why, the key points on acquiring an accurate shot are mainly the side alignment and trigger control. Master both these aspects and you will most likely hit bullseye with every shot you take!

Basic Fundamentals for Good Pistol Shooting


No matter how amazing your shooting skills are, the right stance will ensure that you have a stable shooting platform, therefore contributing to consistent as well as accurate shots. You can say that the stance is basically the foundation of the shooting platform.

Ever heard of the popular ‘Isosceles’ stance? For this type of stance, the shoulder and hip are both parallel to the target meanwhile both hands are extended out. These shoulder, hip and hand stance and orientation contributes to the name of the stance, ‘Isosceles’ because it resembles an isosceles triangle from a top-down look.

The Weaver stance on the other hand is another shooting technique, suitable for handguns. The plus point of this type of stance is that it manages recoil fairly well. For this stance, you have to blade your body, placing your foot on the firing side back while turning the support side aimed towards your target. With arms extended, you are entitled for a stable push-pull grip.

Therefore, proper stance is very important for excellent stability when firing the shot. That being said, both of your feet should be planted firmly on the ground. Your knees should be approximately shoulder width apart and one leg slightly back from the other to manage recoil a lot better. If you’re practicing sitting however, to test your skills for example, the shoulder holster makes it rather easy to draw the weapon when you’re sitting.


There are ample as well as varieties of accessories available in the market so you are able to customize your grip, in order to provide perfect fit for your hands, when holding the firearm. In terms of hand orientation, firstly you need to get high on the tang with your dominant hand. Have your finger pointing towards the target and the rest of your hand placed comfortably on the grip.

The weaker hand (less dominant) is then used to wrap around the dominant hand comfortably, therefore locking the gun in place for excellent grip and to manage the recoil, when the pistol is fired.

Sight Picture

The sight picture refers to the picture of the target you’re aiming at. For proper aim and shooting at your target, you need to firstly focus on the target so you can roughly position your weapon. When you bring your weapon up, you will notice that the rear sights will come into a blurry focus.

Therefore, you should focus completely on your front sight post before taking a shot.  An important tip is to make sure that the top of the front sight is properly and evenly aligned with the top of the rear sight. Once that is checked off your pre-shooting list, all you have to do is aim at the center of your target and voila, fire the shot.

Trigger Control

The main theory behind the trigger press is that you need pull the trigger straight back as smoothly as possible. I know it’s easier said than done, hence why you need to learn the right technique and apply the knowledge you know in the field during practice.

The smooth trigger pull will prevent bad flinching. For your information, flinching leads to the dropping of your muzzle and pulling of the weapon to the side. Having said that, your finger placement is the factor that mainly contributes in great trigger control. You shouldn’t place too much or too little of your finger on the trigger.

Putting the right amount of finger placement will ensure that the shot directly travel to the target. What happens if you put too little or too much finger? Well, your gun will swerve to either the left or right direction upon taking a shot, thereby causing your shot to stray from the target. Hence why, practice is essential so that you discover the right finger placement (vary according to the individual) when pulling your trigger.


Another extra tip! It’s better to bend or squat to retrieve your weapon because it would be rather slow to draw while standing so check out this ankle concealed carry to draw your weapon more efficiently. Once you have mastered all these fundamentals of shooting, you can improve the accuracy of your shot over time. Not only that, keep in mind that the two key points that influences the precision of your shot is the trigger control and side alignment. With all these techniques put into proper practice, you’ll surely become a great shooter.

Author bio: Meet John, an average man that enjoys everything outdoors. Check out his experiences and tips over at his blog!