As a gun enthusiast, you must look for ways to improve your gun handling skills and accuracy. While target shooting at your local shooting range is fun and competitive, it is essential to strive and improve your shooting skills and ability to hit the target to prepare for a situation where you may need to pull out your gun in defense. Missing the aim in a self-defense situation could well be the difference between life and death.
Whether you are a novice or experienced shooter, several ways can help you improve your shooting skills and perfect your aim. The following are six fundamentals to help you improve your firearm handling and shooting performance, and above all, become a safe and responsible gun owner.
Get Familiar With Your Gun
Familiarizing yourself with every detail of the firearm is central to becoming a safe gun owner and shooter. Not all guns are created equal. Each weapon has different mechanical characteristics. Accordingly, its method of carrying and handling will not be the same. Possessing a firearm is serious business. There is no second-guessing or forgetting here. You must thoroughly get acquainted with your gun and know the ins and outs of its mechanism.
Visit the range for some live-fire drills and spend time learning and mastering its controls and features until they become second nature. You can even get some snap caps and dry fire practice with your firearm to practice your draw stroke, trigger squeeze, and learn about its safety and decocking mechanisms. Double-check that your weapon does not contain any live ammunition before you attempt to dry fire it.
Get Your Stance Right
Your shooting stance is one of the most fundamental elements to ensure that you have a stable platform for operating a gun. Your standing position will have a massive impact on how consistently you can maintain the accuracy of your shots and fire follow-up shots without having to re-adjust yourself.
When you are out at the range, practice adopting a solid stance, which involves keeping your feet firmly grounded and about shoulder-width apart with your knees bent and your body leaning slightly forward. Extend your arms fully with your shoulders rounded forward a little as you shoot.
A good shooting stance will ensure that you can have a good follow-through and maintain your balance against the rearward thrust of the recoil.
Apply a Proper Grip
Holding the gun properly will help you better control recoil and muzzle rise and allow for maximum accuracy. While there is no way to eliminate recoil, a good grip will reduce the movement of the gun while helping to quickly get the sights back on the intended target without readjusting your grip or arm position. That will help in maximizing the speed and accuracy of each subsequent shot.
When shooting a semi-automatic handgun or revolver, hold the gun high on the grip with both hands but just below the slide. Place your index finger along the side of the frame.
Rest your thumb along the side of the slide, pointing towards the target. Do not ever put the trigger finger inside the trigger guard until you plan to shoot your target. Grip the gun firmly to manage recoil and achieve better stability and retention.
Pay Attention To Sights
One of the most basic tenets of marksmanship besides trigger control, grip, and stance is squaring up your sights and developing a consistent sight picture so the firearm aims and hits the intended target. A good red dot sight can make a world of difference to accuracy, precision, and target acquisition when firing a handgun. Reliable and bright, a quality red dot, as found at badassoptic.com, can give you an edge that you can not get with traditional iron sights. All you need to do is place the reticle on your target and shoot.
Red dot sights are unmagnified and require no alignment. That enables you to aim with both eyes open, which allows for a superior field of view and situational awareness in a home or self-defense situation. Red dots are also the perfect choice in low-light settings as they are LED illuminated.
Practice Trigger Squeeze
There is a thin line between squeezing the trigger and pulling it. Understanding the distinction can help dramatically improve your accuracy and shot placement.
Now that you have held the gun firmly with the front and rear sights aligned on the target, it is crucial not to rush the shot and pull the trigger hastily. Instead, squeeze it slowly without flinching or jerking. Pressing the trigger smoothly without quick, sudden movements of the wrist will ensure that your shot ends up where you want it to go.
As with anything, the more you practice and the more experience you gain, the better you will be at it. When owning a gun, you must strive for proficiency and not just be a decent shooter. Guns can be complex tools to master. Depending upon the caliber of your particular firearm, it may take some additional range time to become comfortable with your gun and manage the recoil and flinching.
Heading to the range consistently and training with your gun at different distances will help you become a better shooter over time and enhance your skills, abilities, and confidence with your chosen firearm.
There is no feeling more fun and rewarding than shooting a gun. However, knowing how to handle your gun the right way is a critical component of being a responsible gun owner and a safe and accurate shooter.
With safe gun handling and shooting techniques, you will not only be able to put together great groups at the range but prepare yourself to confidently tackle a situation where you must defend yourself and your loved ones.
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