Are you a newbie at the range? Are you looking for some tips to improve your aim and shooting skills? Make sure you ask your local range master for help, but here are some additional tips from a range master on simple (and not so simple) things you can do to improve your performance. Do you have any tips for other newbies that you’ve learned along the way? One tip that wasn’t mentioned but should have been – when you are finished shooting make sure that your gun is stored properly for transport back to your home or storage facility and then placed in a securely locked gun safe for keeping.
Handgun Shooting Tip #1 - Hand Placement
Why Place Your Hand As High Up As Possible On The Handle Of A Handgun?
The main reason for the high position of the hands on the gun is improved leverage. Placing your hands as high up on the gun as possible will give you more leverage to control muzzle flip. The higher up you get on the gun, the less the muzzle will flip upwards. It’s just physics. Getting your hands as high up on the back of the gun as you can with your strong hand will lessen the effect of recoil. Experiment for yourself at the range. Start with placing your strong hand in the highest possible position and fire off a few rounds. Then move you hand down a little and fire a few more. You should notice an increase in muzzle flip the farther down you go
Handgun Shooting Tip #2 – Dry Firing Your Gun
Is It Bad To Dry Fire Your Gun?
My range master recommends dry firing your guns as much as possible at home to improve aiming and trigger pull techniques. Most modern center fire guns are not damaged by dry firing (though some of the old guns may be). Dry firing is not recommended for guns that shoot rim fire ammunition as damage to the firing pin may occur. My range master tells me to practice dry firing while watching television. He said there are a lot of bad guys on TV that need to be shot.
Handgun Shooting Tip #4 - Gun Weight
Heavier Gun Means Less Recoil
It’s not the Recoil that makes you shoot bad, it’s the fear of the recoil. Learning to shoot with a powerful handgun can cause you problems that may take a long time to overcome. Fear of recoil and anticipation of recoil. For a long time I was somewhat hesitant to shoot a .45 semi-automatic pistol. I was afraid the recoil would be too much for me (I have a weakened right hand from minor nerve damage in my arm).
My first handgun was a .357 magnum revolver. Looking back, that was probably a mistake. It was a pretty lightweight gun and had a little kick (recoil) to it when I shot it. I shot .357 magnum, 38 special+p and 38 special caliber ammunition through it. Another mistake I made was shooting the powerful .357 magnum and 38 special+p ammunition. I should have learned using the weakest ammo that I could find. Learning this way gave me an apprehension and “fear” of the recoil, even though I knew that the physical recoil that I felt was no problem and I could handle it easily. Teaching my mind that the “big bang does not mean big pain” was difficult to do and took many hours and many rounds down range to overcome it.
Handgun Shooting Tip #8 - Adjusting Gun Sights
How Do You Adjust The Sights Of A Gun?
I asked my range master about adjusting the sights of my revolvers and pistols. He replied that he knows that I only point shoot (and don’t use the gun sights) so why bother? He then said “wait a minute” and walked away to retrieve an item from the front desk area. The item he retrieved was a laser bore sighter. It turned out to be a handy (and cheap) little laser device that you stick into the barrel of your empty gun for adjusting your sights. With the bore sighter putting a red dot on the target you simply adjust you sights accordingly. Since you are not shooting your gun there is not recoil expectation to through you off. The nice thing about this device is that you can adjust the sights of your gun at home and not waste valuable range time.
Handgun Shooting Tip #11 - Squeezing The Gun
How Hard Do You Squeeze Or Grip Your Hands When Shooting A Handgun?
You have to adjust your grip to what suits you best. When I first began shooting, the range master noticed that I was gripping my handgun such that my hand was turning white and was shaking slightly. He told me to grasp the gun firmly, but not to the point of shaking.
I think the best answer to this question is for each person to experiment with different grip strengths while shooting at the range. Start off by gripping the handgun very hard and see how well you shoot. By starting off “hard” you don’t have to worry about the gun flying out of your hands. Loosen your grip a little and fire off a few more rounds to see if that feels better or worse. Continue until you find the right grip for you.