Editor's Note: Chris Andersen of Norman is a competitor on the 3-Gun Nation Pro Series and a certified grand master pistol shooter by the United States Practical Shooting Association.
Andersen offers the following tips for recreational and competitive pistol shooters.
Solid fundamentals are the most important aspect of pistol shooting. A handgun is one of the most difficult guns to master so it is very important to start with a good foundation.
GRIP: Your objective in gripping the gun is to gain mechanical advantage. Start with your hands as high on the pistol grip as possible to mitigate recoil. Mount the gun with the web of your strong hand (firing hand) as high as possible on the back-strap of the pistol, fingers wrapping around the grip of the gun with your thumb held high to make room for your support hand.
Index your support hand from under the pistol with your index finger touching the bottom of the trigger guard. Wrap you fingers around your strong hand and lay the palm of your support hand into the gap created by raising the thumb on your strong hand, (this should set your support hand at a 45 degree angle). Now index both thumbs forward, overlapped pointed toward your target.
STANCE: Keep your hips and shoulders square to the target. You should be in an athletic position, knees bent, weight centered on your feet or slightly forward to mitigate recoil. Think of a wrestler or football player preparing to lunge forward. This stance is not only effective for recoil control, but it is equally important if you need to react or move quickly in a competitive or defensive situation.
SIGHT ALIGNMENT AND FOCUS: You should have crystal clear focus on your front sight with everything else slightly blurred. Think of looking at a skyscraper off in the distance. Your front sight tells you where your shot is going to go so focus and alignment are critical.
In competition, we are constantly looking for a sight picture that is just “good enough” to accomplish the shot. That can mean just pointing the gun at a target three yards in front of us or getting a perfect sight picture to hit a 10-inch plate at 50 yards.
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