Firearms Guide: How to Shoot a Pistol for Beginners


Around 1 in 4 American adults live with a gun in the house, while 30% say they own one. The high ownership rates correlate with the increasing gun violence rates across the country.

Is it criminal to own one?

No, since its dangers come from misuse and lack of proper knowledge. With the correct knowledge and shooting techniques, we can lessen the risks of accidents. One source of information is the many events and workshops being held every year.

With this in mind, if you have limited time, it’s the 2A events you need to go to this year. These gatherings can be a great opportunity to watch demonstrations, learn about and understand how different guns operate, have discussions with like-minded enthusiasts, and browse the multitude of stalls.  

As a beginner, knowing how to shoot a gun is crucial. Keep reading our firearms guide below for some safety and shooting tips. For a more comprehensive firearms guide for beginners, visit the Primary Arms website and similar websites that discuss Options for Optics

Keep Your Grip Firm

A proper grip helps you control recoil and improve accuracy. When learning how to shoot, your grip should be high and tight.

It should be tight as in there’s no space between your fingers and the gun. A loose grip leaves room for the pistol to move when it recoils. Still, avoid squeezing hard.

The web of your hand goes as high as possible without touching the slide. The thumb is on the other side. Meanwhile, the middle, ring, and pinky fingers sit securely below the trigger guard.

As for your other hand, it should be underneath the gun to provide support.

Assume the Correct Stance

Shooting accuracy relies on a stable stance. Your body should have good lateral balance. Doing so means getting good sight alignment, recoil management, and trigger control.

There are three main shooting stances. All have their advantages and disadvantages, but you might find one more comfortable than the others.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with different styles to find the best one for you. Practice with an expert to ensure you have the proper stance.

Learn Proper Trigger Pull

Did you know there’s a definite way to pull the trigger? Even when you have the proper stance, grip, and aim, your shot can still veer sideways.

The usual firearms guide recommends using the center of your fingertip pad and the first knuckle joint. The proper placement of your finger depends on the size of your hands. Refer to a professional to find the correct technique for you.

Practice Dry Firing

Dry firing is shooting without live ammo. What does this practice accomplish?

This type of shooting practice helps deal with recoil better. You build muscle memory, allowing you to become more used to shooting and its effects on your body.

Observe Gun Safety Techniques

When handling the gun, always point it down when you’re not aiming. Never point it anywhere else but the target.

Make sure you have an appropriate backdrop. Are there risks of damaging others’ property or harming people? Move somewhere else.

You should also know how to load a magazine and store the gun. Learn more about gun safety tips from organizations.

Learn More with a Firearms Guide

Shooting a pistol isn’t something you can treat carelessly. It can put your safety and others at risk if you don’t know how to handle a gun. There are many events and workshops being held every year.

Still, it can be a rewarding experience if you do it right. Our firearms guide above should cover the basics.

Are you looking for more helpful tips? To learn more, check out our other posts today.


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