How Should You Hold a Handgun for Maximum Accuracy

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December 14, 2021 / Comments (1)


How should you hold a handgun for maximum accuracy? These tips and tricks help you get started and ensure you get consistent, accurate shots with every press of the trigger.

RELATED: Top 10 Best Performing Pistols for 2021

How Should You Hold a Handgun for Maximum Accuracy | 9 Tips and Tricks to Get Started

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1. Grip with Two Hands

Holding your handgun with the proper grip is essential so your shots stay on target. Use two hands and apply a firm, even pressure from front to back.

Make sure to grip in a way that your recoil direction remains on a straight line to ensure better accuracy. This technique applies whether you’re using a semi-automatic or a revolver handgun.

A steady object like a tree trunk makes for a stable base when you’re on the hunt. For a better aim, pad a jacket or a floppy hat on top of the rest.

2. Ease Your Grip

Relax and don’t squeeze on the trigger or on your grip too hard. Just maintain a proper stance and the push-pull tension will lock your handgun in place.

Don’t grip too loosely either. There should still be no space between your hand and your gun, otherwise, there will be a lot more room for recoil.

3. Align Your Sights

Because of the much shorter distance between your front and rear sights when using a handgun, maintaining the proper sight alignment becomes more paramount. Pistols typically have a blade front sight and a notch rear sight that you can align easily.

You have proper sight alignment when the top of your front sight is centered on the rear sight’s notch on the vertical axis, and the top of your front sight is horizontally aligned with the top of the rear sight. If your front sight is too high, too low, or skewed in either direction, your hit will be off-target.

4. Know Where to Aim

When in the range, this is fairly straightforward – shooting ranges have a sight picture where you aim your front sight on top of your desired target. When on the hunt, hold your sight alignment over a vital area of your target to ensure a clean kill and minimize suffering towards the animal.

When on the range, align your bull’s eye on top of your front sight.

For better accuracy, you can use a scope instead. They may take a while to get used to, but once you get the proper alignment, they’re much more accurate than relying on your front and rear sights.

5. Follow the Proper Finger Placement

When shooting a handgun, it’s important to use proper finger positioning so you can operate the gun safely.

  • Make sure to fire your handgun at arm’s length. The recoil can have enough force to bruise yourself when you hold the gun too close to you.
  • Unlike when shooting a rifle, you should be putting pressure on the trigger using the first finger joint (not the tip).
  • Never touch the front part of the trigger. The flash powder can get hot and cause burns.

6. Keep Yourself Safe

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Handling a handgun means taking many basic safety precautions. Regardless of your environment, always keep the following in mind.

  • When not using your gun, always make sure it’s on your holster and that the holster has a safety strap.
  • If you’re hunting, only draw out your gun when you see your target and keep your fingers away from the gun’s trigger until it’s time to shoot.
  • Always use ear protection like earmuffs or earplugs when in the shooting range. Guns are loud and can damage your hearing if you're not careful.

RELATED: 5 Best Handgun for Beginners

7. Maintain the Proper Stance

You can have all the shooting skills in the world, but without a stable base in your body to work with, your shots will be inconsistent, at best. There are multiple stances that can work for you depending on your individual body type and shooting style:

  • Fighting Stance: Put yourself square at your target with your knees slightly bent and your arms slightly relaxed. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your shooting foot slightly forward.
  • Isosceles Stance: Just like the fighting stance, you should be square at your target except your feet are aligned. Extend your arms forward and make them form a triangle.
  • Weaver Stance: In this stance, plant the foot on your firing side behind the support foot, and keep the firing arm extended and the support arm slightly bent.

Whatever stance you choose to shoot with, it's important to engage your core muscles and maintain the proper form when doing so. This establishes a solid core that's necessary for maximum accuracy.

8. Practice with Dry Firing Drills

Many shooters get surprised at the force the recoil has and tense themselves up in anticipation. Dry firing, or practicing shooting without any live ammo, allows you to build that muscle memory and enables you to relax when recoil happens.

Still, treat a dry firing session as if you’re firing a loaded gun, and take all safety precautions you would normally do.

9. Don’t Forget to Breathe

Make sure to keep breathing while you shoot. Holding your breath for too long can mess up your body and lead to inaccurate shots.

When shooting with a handgun, there's no need to plan your breaths – just breathe as you would naturally. Inhale when getting ready to aim, and exhale as soon as you fire the shot.

Here's an infographic guide that you can use. Feel free to download, save and share it with your loved ones:
How Should You Hold a Handgun

We hope these tips and tricks answer the question “How should you hold a handgun for maximum accuracy?” and allow you to keep shooting clean, accurate, and safe shots with your handguns and pistols.

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What are your go-to strategies for accurate handgun shots? Share your tips in the comments section below!

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