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  • Writer's pictureMikey


Updated: Mar 10, 2021

Whether you’re training for self-defense, competing at a match, on the silhouette range or plinking with a .22 pistol, six fundamentals of handgun training apply.

Fundamentals are the core of developing repeatable and reliable marksmanship.

These are the six fundamentals of basic pistol marksmanship:

1. Stance: The stance as it applies to the handgun is nothing more than the position of feet and body relative to the target. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the most critical and often overlooked aspects of pistol shooting.

When it comes to a shooting stance, you have three options:

1. Isosceles

2. Weaver

3. Fighting

2. Grip: Pick the pistol up, and you are gripping it, right? Not so fast. There are several do’s and don’ts when establishing the proper firing grip. Two of the main aspects of building a proper grip are placement and tension.  

3. Sight alignment: To shoot a handgun with any accuracy, the pistol’s sights need to be in alignment. Sight alignment is nothing more than the front sight post centered within the rear sight notch, with equal daylight on both sides of the front sight post, and the top of the front sight level with the top of the rear sight.

4. Trigger control: The smooth release of any firearm's trigger mechanism is a critical factor in the delivery of an accurate shot. On its face, it’s an effortless act, but within that simple act is a complex series of events that have to occur.

5. Breathing: Good breathing techniques are essential in all types of shooting, from the slow fire match in bullseye to speed shooting steel targets, which typically is over in less than two or three seconds.

6. Mindset: Shooting is both a physical and a mental game. The ratio of physical versus psychological depends on the level of expertise of the individual shooter. Once an experience is gained, stress should be introduced into training.

If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us. Also, all of Range University's pistol courses begin with a reinforcement of fundamentals. Check out our courses.

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Jul 22, 2020

I’ve been able to hone 5 of the six basics but the one that still gets me is trigger control and recognizing the reset. I’m by no means the greatest pistol shooter but constant work and practice keeps me sharp and I’m always trying to improve my skill set. No matter how good someone is there is always room for improvement.

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