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How to Shoot a Handgun: 12 steps - wikiHow

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How to Shoot a Handgun


Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, shooting with precision is no easy task. To get started on the right foot, here are the fundamentals of shooting a handgun.

Steps

Read the instruction manual. This applies whether youre using your gun for the first time or simply haven't used it in a while.

Find a suitable target. This means aiming at a safe target in a controlled environment such as a firing range. Never shoot randomly.

Protect your ears and eyes with proper safety gear.

Protect your ears and eyes with proper safety gear.

Earmuffs or earplugs will protect against the noise of the gunshots. Safety goggles will protect the eyes from flying shells, hot gasses, and lead particulates as they're ejected from the weapon.

Carefully pick up your gun, keeping your finger outside the trigger guard. Whenever you handle it, make sure the barrel is pointed downrange, which should be clear of people. Never point it at anyone even as a joke; pointing a gun at someone is a crime in some states.

Insert the magazine (for a semi-automatic) or rounds (for a revolver). If the pistol is a semi-automatic, load the chamber by pulling back the slide and releasing it.

Hold your weapon in the firing-ready position.

Hold your weapon in the firing-ready position.

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How to Shoot a Handgun: 12 steps - wikiHow

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Open your dominant hand to expose the webbing between your index finger and thumb. Taking the pistol (which should still point downrange) in your other hand, insert the grip (handle) of the pistol into the web of your dominant hand. With your thumb on one side of the grip, keep your middle, ring, and pinky fingers curled securely around the other side just below the trigger guard. Keep your trigger (index) finger safely outside the trigger guard but ready to move into position. Wrap your non-dominant hand around the other side of the frame, aligning your two thumbs to point toward downrange. Make sure both thumbs clear the slide or hammer. Remember, this mechanism pops sharply backwards when the gun is fired, easily injuring a wayward thumb! Hold the gun very firmly, leaving no air spaces between your hands and the grip.

Stand in the proper firing stance. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with the foot opposite your dominant hand about a step past the other foot. Blade your body and stand with a slight lean forward. Make sure youre firmly balanced. The elbow of your dominant arm should be almost completely straight.

Align the front sight with the rear sight. Unless youre already trained well, its best to aim by looking through your dominant eye and closing the other one. (If using both eyes, determine which image is dominant.) Now make sure that: the top of the front sight is level with the top of the rear sight the rear sight appears evenly centered within the notch of the front sight

Aim for center mass. Bring your weapon to bear on the target, maintaining your focus on the front sight. You should see the sharply focused front sight touching the bottom of the blurry, unfocused bullseye.

Aim for center mass.

10

Slowly squeeze the trigger. Jerking the trigger will throw off your aim. It is best to time firing with your breathing. Take a breath, exhale half of breath, and then squeeze the trigger. Once you begin pulling the trigger, keep pulling it at a constant rate until the gun goes off. Be forewarned that the shot will probably startle you.

11

Practice firing several rounds. Do not rush; make sure to re-take aim because the recoil will offset your alignment.

12

Unload your weapon and re-verify that it is unloaded. Open the action of the pistol and properly store it. Then go wash your hands and face; gunpowder residue can be toxic.

Video

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Tips
Take your time between rounds. It is better to get a few accurate hits than to get many bad shots. You are at the range to get better, not turn money into noise. Know the four rules of firearm safety: 1. Assume that all firearms are always loaded. (Treat them as such.) 2. Never point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy. 3. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. 4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it. As you grasp the weapon (see above), make sure your fingers are pulling straight back, not at angles. Improve your stance by closing your eyes! That's right, while pointing downrange, close your eyes and take what you feel to be the ideal, comfortable stance. Now open your eyes-- naturally you will be aiming off target. Instead of moving your arm and shoulder to aim at the target, MOVE ONLY YOUR FEET. You have just gotten into a stance for your natural point of aim-- the most comfortable for your body. Focus on the front site as you slowly squeeze the trigger. Your target and rear sight should then appear blurry. Every sport has "follow-through" and sports shooting is no exception. As you pull the trigger (at a consistent speed), after the gun goes off continue to pull the trigger until it stops, then release and prepare for the next shot. This follow-through action improves accuracy and reduces shot-to-shot variation, just as follow-through does for a golfer or a tennis player. It is important to practice regularly and consistently. "Dry fire" (unloaded weapon, triple-checked, ammunition in another room, aiming at a basement wall or backstop) can be an excellent practice technique. Snap caps (or dummy rounds) should be used when dry-firing a weapon to prevent damage. These are widely available but most are only good for a limited number of uses. Clean your gun after you are finished shooting. Never pack it away unless it is completely cleaned both inside and out. It's very common at the range for people not properly trained to inadvertently point their gun to the side when they go to "rack the slide." Racking the slide is when you pull the slide back either to eject a round, clear a stovepipe jam, or to just lock the slide back to show the gun is unloaded. This is because a lot of people have a hard time pulling back the slide with just their thumb and forefinger, especially if the weapon has a strong spring or your hands are a little Give this sweaty.

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If you need to use the palm of your hand (or your whole hand) to pull back the slide, you should turn your body sideways to the weapon, while keeping it pointed downrange. It may help to think of your gun as having a magnet that keeps it always pointed at the target. Many accidental discharges happen when the weapon is being loaded or unloaded.

Warnings
You may need a license to carry a handgun with you, either in the car, or on your person. Take lessons on the proper care and use and rules of shooting from a reputable Target Range School. You can apply for a license from them if you need one. You will also learn the rules of shooting an intruder so that you yourself will not be arrested for killing someone. Don't learn all you know about shooting from a website. Get a responsible instructor. The [www.nra.org National Rifle Association] is one source for instructional and safety information. One hour of instruction makes a world of difference in your accuracy-- and you'll learn how to practice to get better and better, instead of shooting hundreds of rounds with no improvement. Most ammunition contains lead cores, a toxic heavy metal. Make sure to use bullets coated with copper to eliminate airborne lead when shooting. Always wash your hands after disassembling your handgun just to be safe. Proper safety is extremely important. You will find that the most experienced gun owners are very particular about gun safety. They know that gun handling habits that are 99% safe are a recipe for disaster. Treat all weapons as if they are loaded. Never point a weapon at someone, whether you believe it is loaded or not. Besides being unsafe, this is a crime in many states. Always keep your gun pointed downrange if you're at the shooting range. Never point a loaded weapon at someone unless you intend to shoot them; again, this is also a crime in many states. Remember to keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you intend to shoot. This prevents accidents. When servicing your weapon be sure that it is unloaded. Always remember to clean and lock up your gun after use. Store the gun and ammunition in separate locations. Store your weapon somewhere that a child is unlikely to find it. Secure it in a lock box or with a gun lock. Wear your "eyes" and "ears." Even though your favorite movie stars may not use them, theyre also not shooting REAL guns

Things You'll Need


Gun Safety goggles Earplugs or earmuffs Shooting range Ammunition License to carry a weapon

Related wikiHows
How to Handle a Firearm Safely

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How to Shoot a Handgun: 12 steps - wikiHow

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How to Reload a Pistol and Clear Malfunctions How to Become a Marksman (Snipe) With a Pistol How to Combat Ready (Tactically Prepare) Yourself With a Pistol How to Maintain a Pistol (Handgun) How to Disarm a Criminal with a Handgun How to Shoot a Shotgun How to Aim and Fire a Rifle

Sources and Citations


http://www.nra.org/ http://www.lewrockwell.com/reese/reese289.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_States

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