How to Shoot A Pistol Accurately – Step by Step Guide

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November 14, 2019 737 view(s)

How to Shoot A Pistol Accurately – Step by Step Guide

Regardless of what Hollywood has, you believe, shooting a pistol accurately requires practice, balance, and technique. Even though you have some experience in shooting using long guns, firing a pistol with precision needs a different skill set. Continue reading for the basics of handgun safety and accuracy.


The first major step to shooting accurately is learning how to hold the pistol. To hold it correctly, see the steps below:

i. Check If the Pistol Is Loaded

Always remember to check if the pistol is loaded. Every time you pick up a handgun, it is necessary to check whether it is loaded. Even when you purchase it, check whether it is loaded. Failure to check it can lead to severe destruction of property, injury to individuals, and at times death!

For a pistol, take out the magazine and pull back the slide and check the chamber to ensure there is no cartridge in the firing compartment.

In case there is, eject it by racking the slide. Retain the slide in the back as you practice holding the pistol to ensure it is unloaded and to get accustomed to keeping your thumb away from the slide's action.

ii. Hold the Pistol with the Barrel Pointing Downwards

Cautiously pick up the pistol, with your finger off the trigger guard, stretched straight and flat on the guard's side. Every time you handle it, ensure the barrel is pointed downwards, especially when people are surrounding you. When you are out in the open, always keep the pistol pointing downwards. If you fire a bullet by mistake may inure someone.

iii. Hold the Pistol on Firing-ready Position

Open your domineering hand and leave a space between your thumb and index finger. Take your pistol with the other hand, place the handle of your pistol into the space between your thumb and index finger in your domineering hand. With your thumb beside the grip, keep the other three fingers except for the index finger, curled firmly around the opposite side, beneath the trigger guard.

Your grip is supposed to be firm and not tight. If you grip the pistol until its shaking, you will not manage to fire accurately.

iv. Stabilize the Pistol Using the Non-dominant Hand

Your non-dominant hand is supposed to be held beneath the pistol, which offers support for the gun's weight. Position your index finger beneath the trigger guard or in front of it, whichever position you feel more comfortable.

v. Ensure All Fingers Are Off the Slide

Some older pistol versions tend to “bite” the web between your thumb and index finger. This can be extremely painful and dangerous since it is risky to drop a loaded and cocked handgun with its safety off.

vi. Stand in the Firing Position

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the foot opposite the dominant arm approximately one step past the other foot. With your knees slightly bent, lean forward a little bit, and ensure you are well balanced. Your dominant hand's elbow should be positioned at a relatively obtuse angle.

The dominant hand should be in line with the pistol and pointed at the target. Do not aim the pistol sideways or with a bent arm. This is very dangerous and unsteady.


The second step is learning how to aim the pistol for precision. Herein see the steps to follow:

i. Position the Front Sight Parallel to the Rear Sight

Make sure the upper part of the front sight is even with the upper part of the rear sight. Moreover, ensure the rear sight appears placed at par within the front sight's notch. This ensures that the pistol is even and guarantees you an excellent “sight picture” when aiming.

People usually aim using their dominant eye while closing the other. For situations where depth perception is essential, practice aiming using both eyes. It is necessary to ignore the image from your non-dominant eye and at the same time viewing the depth.

ii. Cultivate Your Sight Image

When people are shooting, the most common slip-up is where to focus. After leveling the pistol and ensuring it is aimed correctly, you will require to focus on your target, or shooting accurately will be impossible.

iii. Position the Pistol on Your Target

You are supposed to see the focused front sight touching the lower part of the blurry, unclear bulls-eye. Then position your finger on the trigger.

iv. Load Your Pistol

Once you are ready to fire and you have practiced balancing and aiming the pistol and cultivating an excellent sight image, load it. Have the safety on when loading and take it out when you are on your firing position and point it at the target.


he third and final step to learning how to shoot accurately is firing the pistol. See below:

i. Calm Your Body

Before you fire the pistol, you must take a deep breath then hold it. To make sure you see your aim point rightly, pull the trigger when the target is clear.

ii. Pull the Trigger

Once you are ready to fire, slowly pull the trigger in a controlled manner. People usually fire inaccurate shots because they attempt to expect to recoil. It may sound counter-intuitive, although for the most precise shot, allow the recoil to "surprise you."

iii. See It Through

As you pull the trigger, your pistol will fire but do not suddenly release the trigger or relax your stance, or hands. Remain still. Pull the trigger after taking a deep breath.

iv. Practice Firing A Few Times

Take some time between rounds. It is better to have several accurate shots than many bad ones.

v. Unload the Pistol

With the pistol in firing position, push the safety back in position, while pointing the handgun downwards as you unload it. Release the magazine and rack its slide to remove any shells in the compartment.


Whether you are a weekend shooter, or you carry your pistol for safety, knowing how to shoot accurately is essential. With this step by step guide, you will learn how to shoot accurately using a pistol. Shooting accurately is pretty tricky but not impossible. Also, keep your guns in a safe place. There are lots of best gun safe under 500 in the market. You should use it because ultimately safety first.

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