No one wants to be in a gunfight, but any responsible gun owner should be prepared for the possibility and know how to use their weapon to its greatest extent. Today, we’ll break down five essential gunfighting techniques that all gun owners should know in case they ever need to defend themselves or their loved ones.
How to Improve Your Gunfighting Skills
1. Work on Trigger Control
This first technique is not unique to gunfights but is instead useful for any type of shooting, including hunting and target practice.
Being able to pull your trigger smoothly and cleanly, without jerking the barrel away from your target, is absolutely necessary if you want to hit that target or win a gunfight.
To this end, you should spend plenty of time “dry-firing” any pistol you expect to use in a gunfight at some point (say, for a concealed carry self-defense pistol).
This will allow you to feel the trigger pull and how much force it requires. Then, you should spend plenty of time at the range getting your trigger pull down pat.
2. Practice Aiming for Center of Mass
Movies and video games have cemented the idea that headshots are ideal in the public consciousness. But in real life, you should never be aiming for the head in a fight for your life.
While a headshot is indeed lethal in 99.9% of cases, it’s also an order of magnitude harder to do, particularly in a defensive situation.
Instead, police and military personnel everywhere will recommend that you aim for your target’s center of mass or the chest/torso area.
The reason for this is that it’s much easier to hit a target that large. Furthermore, putting one or two shots in someone's chest is practically guaranteed to take them down and end the gunfight.
Remember, a real-life gunfight isn't about looking cool. It’s about winning and preventing your attacker from injuring you.
3. Keep a Solid Body Stance
As you practice your accuracy and general shooting technique, one of the things you’ll need to focus on is your body stance.
It doesn’t have much to do with your feet but instead focuses on how you hold your weight and the position of your general body.
Your upper body should be mostly leaning forward to help offset the recoil from your weapon.
Furthermore, you’ll need to practice different grip and arm positions for different scenarios or weapon types.
Keeping a good body stance will minimize your profile, making you harder to hit, and help you stay more accurate while you take your shots.
This gunfighting technique is a cornerstone foundation for all your performance. It’s not fancy or flashy, but it is necessary.
4. Draw Correctly
The beginning of a gunfight often determines who wins it, which includes your draw.
Unlike flashy Hollywood draws, you should practice the gunfighting technique of drawing your weapon quickly but smoothly, without any flare or style.
An ideal draw will have your weapon exit the holster and have the barrel point toward your enemy’s center mass in less than a second.
This means, yes, spending more time at the gun range (have you noticed a trend yet? Practice matters!).
It also means picking up a holster that works for your needs.
Some holsters are better for safety and may include a strap or belt. Others don’t include those safety features and are better for quickdraws.
5. Master Reloading
One last gunfighting technique focuses on reloading. We’ll keep it simple; ignore where your empty magazine falls and focus on “speed loading” your weapon.
Additionally, practice feeling your way to your extra magazine so you can grab and feed it into your weapon without looking.
In a gunfight, you may not be able to spare the seconds necessary to find the magazine with your eyes.
These gunfighting techniques are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of strategies and tips you can find to survive and win a gunfight.
Remember that practice, above all, will determine whether these strategies are actually worthwhile and whether you can put them to good use.
What are the steps you're taking to improve your gunfighting skills? Please share them with us in the comments section!