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Welcome to The Centerfire Firearms Training Academy's

Basic Handgun Course Section 5 Page : Basic Shooting Techniques


OK!  Did you skip forward to start with this section? - Shame- Shame on you, get back to Section 1 and go thru it all.  If you are one of the few who didn't jump the gun ( no pun intended) , never mind please continue.


You've finally gone thru all the ground work to get yourself to this point, you are now ready to learn the basic techniques for proper handgun use.

Please bear in mind that no text book or You Tube Video will make up for actual hands on Training.

There are five essentials to learn in order to properly and accurately shoot a handgun:

  • Position

  • Grip

  • Breath Control

  • Sight Alignment

  • Trigger Squeeze

  • Follow Through

Position: Proper alignment of your body and handgun with the target.

Grip:  Keep the handgun pointed in a safe direction and shake hands with the grip of the handgun, fitting the "V' formed by the thumb and index finger of the shooting hand as high as possible on the backstrap ( back of the grip). Remember to keep your finger off the trigger (start getting in the habit now to keep your trigger finger along the frame just above the trigger/ trigger guard. Next you will use your weak hand to grip finish your grip. I won't take the time to explain this part - Our instructors will explain and demonstrate the grip to each student and make adjustments as you shoot.

Breath Control: Breath control is required to minimize body movement which in turn reduces handgun movement. For target shooting it is recommended that you take a breath between shots - let out enough air to be comfortable and then shoot. Now for self-defense or tactical situations you will later need to learn to control your breathing while performing tactical movement and shooting. Ninja Stuff, Cool! That comes in later classes.

Sight Alignment: Proper sight alignment is the relationship of the front and rear sights. ToNote that the front sight is level with the back sight - there is an equal amount of space on each side of the front blade in relations to the back sight - the "X" of the target is slightly covered by the front sight. properly align the two sights the top of the front sight is even with the top of the rear sight - the front sight must be centered in the notch of the rear sight (see illustration). Proper sight alignment is key to accurate shooting. Any misalignment of the front sight with the rear sight will cause inaccuracies of your shot placement. Our instructors will work with you during the range time to further discuss and demonstrate proper sight alignment. You will aim with your dominant eye when shooting a handgun. Just because you are right handed it does not mean that you are right eyed dominant. Our instructors will show you a easy test to determine your dominant eye.

Trigger Squeeze: Trigger squeeze is exactly that, you squeeze the trigger back in order to shoot the handgun - you do not pull or jerk the trigger back. The trigger must be squeezed straight back in a smooth continuous motion.

Follow Through: Continuing to apply all of the shooting fundamentals throughout the delivery of the shot. 

Trigger Squeeze and Sight Alignment are considered to be the two most important factors in accurate shooting The other four fundamentals all combine to assist in achieving proper sight alignment and trigger squeeze. All the fundamentals must be properly performed every time in order to shoot the pistol accurately.


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