Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, but what if you're practicing your marksmanship and still missing the target? A handgun is an incredibly useful tool, but it's your responsibility to make sure that you can hit your mark when it matters. All too often, gun owners attempt to perfect their aim with incorrect form, which can lead to more problems down the road.
Take a look at these key tips to improving your form:
When it comes to shooting a handgun, there are three widely accepted shooting stances. We'll go through the proper form for each of them here, so that you can pick and practice the one that suits your shooting style.
The isosceles stance is a tried and true shooting stance that is characterized by standing square to the target with your feet approximately shoulder width apart. As with the other shooting stances, you'll want your knees to be slightly flexed and the upper-half of your body to be leaning slightly towards the target. Your arms should be fully extended without locking your elbows.
Unlike the isosceles stance, the weaver is characterized by dropping your firing-side foot back in your stance to create greater forward/backward stability. In this position, your firing-side arm is fully extended, with your support arm bent at the elbow and your legs are slightly bent at the knee.
The fighting stance, sometimes called a modified weaver, is a shooting position where you drop your firing-side leg back slightly from a square position, approximately at the instep of the support foot. Once again, you'll bend your knees slightly and lean into your shots. Firing from this position eliminates the stability issues associated with the isosceles stance while still allowing you to stand relatively square to your target.
Your grip is without a doubt the most important part of your shooting form when it comes to controlling recoil and muzzle flip, but it's amazing how few shooters take the time to perfect this crucial element. In order to ensure your shots land on target, shooters need to hold their pistol as high as possible without touching or interfering with the slide. By doing this, you limit barrel rotation and make landing follow-up shots on target that much easier.
Next, you'll want to place the thumb of your supporting hand on the frame of your pistol, parallel to the slide but, once again, avoiding any actual contact with it. From here, you'll wrap your supporting fingers around those of your firing hand and apply slight pressure. This will help to avoid flinching or pushing your sights off target as you pull the trigger. You'll also want to make sure that the thumb of your firing hand does not interfere with the slide lock, as this would prevent the slide from locking open after emptying the magazine.
All too often, shooters tuck the trigger into the first knuckle of their trigger finger when shooting or only use the very tip of their finger. These methods will result in pushing or pulling your shots as you pull the trigger, which will prevent them from landing on target. The trick to a successful trigger pull is to place the trigger between the pad of your pointer finger and its first knuckle. This will help you to pull the trigger straight back, without drawing your shots off target.
The single greatest way to improve your accuracy is to put in some time at the range. Next time you head out to shred some targets, keep these tips in mind, and really focus on your form as you take your shot. By being intentional about each element of your shooting form, you can build good habits that build into great marksmanship.