Handgun Aiming Skills for Beginners

Handgun Aiming Skills for Beginners


Aiming Basics

The sights on the gun are designed to help you to train your vision on a specific point while aiming the gun in the right general direction. However, using the sights is not the only factor that plays into where the bullet will actually land. The gun and ammo that you use along with your posture, how you control the weapon as you pull the trigger, distance and wind all play a role. The proper use of the sights is also important. The best rule of thumb is to make sure that the top portion of the front sight is flush against the back and perfectly centered within the bracket. You also want to look through the eye on the same side as your shooting hand in order to maintain optimal alignment.


Maintaining Control

One of the biggest reasons that people miss their targets is that either their balance is off or they don’t have full control over the weapon as it recoils once the trigger is pulled. One of the easiest ways to make sure the gun is straight and level is to practice with a penny. Place the penny or other small coin in front of the sight near the end of an unloaded gun. Practice holding the gun steady before, during and after you pull the trigger. If the coin falls off, you know that you are moving the gun too much. This simple exercise will help you to get a feel for the best way to position your arms and use your non-shooting hand to balance the gun as well.



Anticipating Recoil

Everyone deals with recoil in their own way, and mastering tricks on how to overcome our natural tendency to flinch takes some practice. If you anticipate the recoil too quickly just before you pull the trigger, chances are that you will miss the mark by a wide margin. If you recoil just before the hammer hits the projectile, it will be off target by a smaller margin. The trick is to find the sweet-spot of recoil control that occurs in the split second after the hammer hits the casing of the projectile. You want to keep the gun level until the bullet passes through the barrel and heads out towards the target.


Taking a stance where your non-shooting leg is bent at the knee while your shooting leg is situated slightly behind you will help to improve your ability to remain balanced. You also want to keep your arms extended and rigid while your wrists react to the recoil after you pull the trigger. While the degree in which you follow this general posture will change based on your comfort and level of experience, this will help you tremendously in the beginning as you learn how to position yourself while aiming and shooting.


Finally, make sure to take lots of practice shots with an unloaded gun or a training weapon that has a laser target system. This will help you to avoid wasting ammunition while also working on fundamentals without putting anyone’s life in danger. Just remember to be patient and give yourself time to get the hang of things before moving on to more complex shooting techniques.



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