If you’ve ever tried to teach anyone the fundamentals of a sport or musical instrument, for example, you’ve probably used the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” The same is true when it comes to shooting accuracy, and today we’re going to share with you three of the USCCA’s tips from one of our member reports that will help improve your shooting accuracy right away.
First, make sure you know proper grip form. Grip as high as you can on the handle of your gun, and place your strong hand – the one with your trigger finger – so that it is in contact with the entire back edge of the gun’s handle. If your gun has a “dovetail” on the back, the web of skin between your thumb and index finger should make contact with it. If you shoot with a one-handed grip, hold the gun so that it slants at a 45-degree angle inward. Hold the gun perfectly vertical for a two-handed grip. Grips should be firm, as if you were shaking someone’s hand.
Next, work on your trigger control. As we’ve shared before, “90% of your accuracy-killing movement is going to take place during the trigger press,” so it’s essential that you learn how to press the trigger correctly after achieving a proper grip. It all begins with knowing the stages of a trigger. Stage one is slack, and stage two is when the trigger stiffens up a bit during the press. After the second stage, any additional pressure on the trigger will cause the gun to fire. You can practice the trigger stages by “dry firing,” that is, practicing firing your gun while it’s empty. Ultimately, you want a smooth and consistent trigger press, achieved by all force pulled straight back at once.
Contrary to popular belief, dry firing most modern guns, especially pistols, won’t harm them but if you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution and ask a gun store owner that you trust. If know your gun is safe to dry fire, all you need to do is spend a little time each day going through the same motions you would go through during “live fire” practice, just without ammunition in your gun. Concentrate on your front sight during this time to help reduce “wobble” and be sure to practice following through, or continuing to pull the trigger for a second so that you realize you “fired a shot” while keeping your eyes on the target.
Practice these steps regularly, and within a short amount of time you’ll start seeing improvement. If you’re interested in reading more, become a member of the USCCA. In addition to exclusive access to member reports, you’ll also be able to access a number of online training resources and videos, among other benefits. Visit the USCCA website for more membership information.