How to aim a pistol – tips for beginners

If you have not had a chance to hold a pistol in your hands and shoot it, then in this article you will learn about the correct grip and aiming technique. Theoretically, aiming with a pistol is pretty easy, but you still need some practice to develop the skill of safe handling of weapons, confident hold and aiming at the target. So go to the shooting range, and first read and remember what you need to do to get into the target.

Basic Pistol Shooting Technique

What do you need?

  • Pistol
  • Target

Grab (hold) gun

Hold the gun in your dominant hand. Your dominant hand should cover the pistol grip so that your thumb rests on the inside of the barrel.

  • Your middle finger, ring finger, and little finger should cover the outer and front part of the handle.
  • The index finger should lie outside the trigger guard.
  • This way of holding the gun will give you the maximum amount of leverage needed to reduce the oscillation of the weapon in your hand during recoil.

Put your non-dominant hand on the other side of the grip. It will support the other hand, and be an additional lever when firing.

  • Place your hand as high as possible on the grip.
  • All four fingers should be under the trigger guard, and the index finger should firmly rest on its bottom.
  • The thumb should point forward and touch the other thumb.

Rack for pistol shooting

Take a position when shooting. Stand with your feet firmly on the ground and point the gun at the target. Your legs should be shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent.

  • This position will allow you to move easily, while providing your body with stability.
  • Raise the gun in front of you. Your arms should be stretched forward and slightly bent at the elbows. The gun should not be near your face.
  • Tilt the body forward slightly, imagine that you are “drilling” the wall with a drill. So you can maintain balance, despite the return when shooting.

Aiming technique when shooting

Take aim. Follow the further instructions to properly aim at the target.

When shooting, both eyes are open (this is recommended, but not necessary). At the same time you need to aim with your dominant eye. They will see the target much better.

  • For most people, the dominant eye is on the same side as the dominant hand, but there are exceptions.
  • To determine which is your dominant eye, join your thumb and index fingers together in the form of a ring. Then extend your hand and look through the ring at some distant object.
  • Start gradually bringing the ring to your face, keeping both eyes open, but do not look at it. As a result, you will lead the hand to your dominant eye.

While aiming, the front sight and the rear sight of the gun must be in the same line. The gun has a rear sight and a front sight. When you aim, the front sight must be exactly in the center between the two edges of the rear sight of the rear sight.

  • The front sight consists of one part, and the rear sight has two parts with a slot.
  • Between the front sight and the edges of the slot of the rear sight should be the same distance.
  • The upper part of the front sight should also be flush with the edges of the rear sight.

Take aim. When you aim with a pistol, you will need to look at the rear sight, the front sight, and the target. Of course, it is physically impossible to look at all three subjects at once. Therefore, try to focus mainly on the front sight and rear sight. It is recommended to focus on the front sight (closer to the muzzle of the gun).

  • The target should look a bit blurry. You should be able to see it, but it should be in the background and less clear than the sight and sight.
  • More specifically, you should concentrate on the front sight. It will help you determine the relative position of the gun to your goal.

Select a place on the target. The target has three places to aim. No place is preferable to another, so you have to decide for yourself which one will be the most convenient for aiming.

  • You can aim directly at the center of the target. To do this, you need to respectively bring the upper part of the front sight at the center. The line of the upper part of the front sight should also coincide with the horizontal line of the center of the target.
  • You can aim directly under the bull’s eye (this method of aiming is called 6:00 o’clock). In actual shooting, aim so that the top of the front sight slightly goes behind the bottom of the black field of the bullseye.
  • Or you can aim even slightly below the bullseye (sub 6 aim). In actual shooting, the front sight should be directed approximately to the middle of the white part of the target field below the bullseye.

Concentrate. You will need patience and concentration. If you do not aim carefully, then you will surely miss.

  • Before shooting, make sure that the front sight is correctly installed in the slot of the rear sight.
  • Take your time and be calm. If you worry and try to pull the trigger hard, you may lose the target and miss.

Pull the trigger and shoot. Do it confidently, evenly, and do not tighten.

  • Pull the trigger evenly. Press only on the front of the trigger.
  • First, pull the trigger until you begin to feel resistance.
  • Then keep pulling the trigger until you shoot. Try not to expect it, as this often leads to a slip.

Safety when shooting

  • Be sure to keep your index finger on the bracket before you shoot.
  • Guide the gun in a safe direction. You should always point the gun away from people, so as not to injure anyone or cause damage to someone else’s property. If you are in a dash, then hold the gun, pointing it downward.
  • Consider your gun loaded, even if it is not. This is necessary to prevent a possible tragedy.
  • You must clearly see where your target is, as well as all the space around it and beyond. It is important to ensure that all precautions are taken and that no one gets into the line of fire. The target must be located so as not to pose a danger to anyone or anything close to it. If you are going to shoot on private property, then make sure that there are no homes or businesses nearby.

According to the rules and regulations International Confederation of Practical Shooting (MKPS), or in English International Practical Shooting Confederation (IPSS) since its inception, three “golden” basic safety rules for firing have been established, also called the ARROW CODE:

1. My weapon is always loaded!

In any case, in any case, with any weapon we turn like with a charged (remember how much you heard about the gun that hung on the wall for several years and then suddenly fired?)

2. I will direct the weapon only where I am going to shoot!

A pistol is always in a holster on a belt, a carbine or a rifle – with the barrel up in the hands or in the weapon stand, and only when performing an exercise at the command of the judge does the weapon go towards the targets. The same applies to handling weapons outside the competition, for example, at home, in the shooting range and at the shooting range (remember how many times have you heard about hunting accidents?)

3. My finger will fall on the trigger only when I see the target in the sights!

Literally means that the finger always lies outside the trigger, on the frame of the pistol, on top of the trigger bracket, besides the moment of aiming and / or shooting at the target (again, recall the cases of shooting yourself in the foot by the owners of pistols, and about how accidentally fired at cleaning gun)

Skilled shooters will also name another rule:

4. I will always check what is in front of and behind the targets.

And they will be right, it must be done in competitions, and in training at shooting ranges, in hunting and in any cases of shooting. An accidental person, a stray colleague, a mushroom picker in the forest, an animal on a shooting range – so at least you will avoid unpleasant circumstances.

You can read more about safe shooting, as well as the history of IPSC and the development of this wonderful sport in our article. Practical shooting.

Typical errors when aiming

Mistakes happen with improper aiming. They occur if the front sight is incorrectly installed in the slot of the rear sight. How well you aim can be determined by the bullet hits the target.

  • If the bullet lay below the center of the target, then when aiming, the upper part of the front sight was below the upper edges of the slot of the rear sight.
  • If the bullet hit above the center of the target, then the upper part of the front sight was located above the upper edges of the slot of the rear sight.
  • If the bullet went to the right of the center, then the front sight was closer to the right side of the slot of the rear sight.
  • If the bullet went to the left of the center of the target, then the front sight was located closer to the left side of the slot of the rear sight.

Parallel offset. Such an error occurs when the front sight and the rear sight are installed correctly, but your hand is thrown up at the recoil.

  • Everything will depend on where the return directs your hand – up or down. Accordingly, try to aim slightly above the center of the target or slightly below.

Errors when holding a gun. Parallel displacement is not the only error that can occur when shooting. Bullet holes in the target may also indicate other errors.

  • If the bullet hits the target closer to your dominant side, then you are likely to squeeze the gun too much with your thumb or push the trigger too hard. Accordingly, if the bullet went to the other side of the center of the target, then you put too little pressure on the trigger.
  • If you’re right-handed, and the bullet hit the lower right corner (or vice versa, if you’re left-handed), then you probably squeeze your gun too hard when you pull the trigger. If you hit the lower left corner, then you are likely to strongly pull the descent.
  • If you are right handed, and the bullet hit the upper right corner (or vice versa, if you are left handed), then you expect recoil when fired. If the bullet hit the upper left corner, then you also expect a return or not “follow the shot”.

Now you know (in theory) how to stand upright, hold a gun and aim at it from a target. It remains only to consolidate this knowledge with practice. Therefore – boldly in the shooting gallery!

And remember that MOST IMPORTANT – SAFETY!

Source – WikiHow, edited by LastDay.Club


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