Pistol Shooting Tips and Techniques
Continuing where we left off with rifle shooting tips and techniques, I wanted to pass along these range safety tips we received. There’s nothing like a good day at the range, but when you’re out there, be sure to always keep a few things in mind:
When on the range remember: Safety is always top priority.
Firearm and pistol proficiency is based the principle that every movement on the range, every dry fire, and every shot is taken with a specific purpose in mind.
Muscle memory is a powerful tool, and proper repetition of all drills and shooting exercises leads to solid muscle memory. While it can be fun to go to the range and blast a hundred rounds or more such ‘spray-and-pray’ range sessions will not build proficiency but rather will lead to the development of bad habits.
Shooting is merely applied physics (gravity, friction, forces, and angles). Learn how to analyze your shots and to compensate during practice sessions. As a generality, your semi-automatic pistol was designed as a defensive weapon intended for close quarter combat. A 4.25 inch barrel will never shoot as accurately as a pistol designed for competitive target shooting using match grade ammunition. So be realistic in your expectations.
Modern semi-automatic pistols have very good mechanical accuracy. That is, most can fire 4 or 5 shots within a 4 or 5 inch diameter circle at 25 yards when shot from a bench or in a pistol vise using standard good quality ammunition. The five shot average is often on the bulls eye. Practical accuracy is the result of mechanical accuracy combined with human skill, and is mostly dependent on the proficiency of the marksman and the quality of ammunition.
Grip, stance, sight picture and trigger pull are the four fundamentals of proficiency. Breathing, arc-of-movement and follow through fine tune your accuracy. Understand how each influences your accuracy and strive for consistency.
Every shooter is different so find what works best for you. When you go on-line there are all manner of different opinions on every topic so keep an open mind to different techniques. Set realistic goals for improvement. “I want to put 8 out of 10 in the 8 inch ring at 20 yards”. When a goal is met, set a new one (9/10, 6 inch ring or add distance).
While good shooting is based on muscle memory, that skill erodes over the winter due to lack of practice so always go back to basics the first few times out in the spring.
Twenty-five rounds spent in quality focused practice is much better than 100 spent blasting with no purpose....and is easier on the wallet.
Slow is smooth; Smooth is fast.......Don’t rush. Build a solid foundation.
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