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July, 17

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The Classroom

Welcome to the classroom students of Bullseye!

Here you will receive lessons on how to make yourself the best possible pistol shooter you can be.

Functional note:  To select another topic in the classroom, click on the pull-down menu located on the bottom of the page.

Fundamentals

Shooting Fundamentals

The fundamentals of shooting can involve many things. However, there are 4 basic components of a successful shot which are core fundamentals.

Stance
Grip
Aim
Trigger Control


Stance

Stance begins by finding the natural point of aim. This can be accomplished by first placing your feet shoulder length apart at a 45 degree angle to the target. Close your eyes and raise your shooting hand up until your arm feel comfortable in the aiming position. Open your eyes and look down your arm. This is your natural point of aim, remember it. adjust the aim by shifting your back foot until your arm is aiming towards the target. If you move from this position for whatever reason, perform the above steps to reaquire the correct aiming position. As you extend your arm during the aiming process you should have your free hand or thumb tucked into your belt or front pocket. Your wieght should shift slightly to the back foot. This is to maintain a proper center of gravity when the gun and arm are extended forward.

Grip

Pick up your pistol by grasping firmly with the free hand just forward of the trigger guard. Press the web of your shooting hand firmly into the highest portion of the grip and grasp the grip with the remaining fingers. Most of the pressure applied to the grip should be made with the middle and ring fingers. the thumb and pinky should not be used to grip. The barrel should form a straight line back into your forearm. Thsi will ensure that the recoil will be absorbed more into the shoulder rather than the wrist.

Aim

  • Iron Sights
  • Lift up the pistol (grip firmly!) and immediately focus on the front sight. Alight the top of the front and rear sights and maintain equal space between the front sight and the notch of the rear sight. Bring the pistol up into the target area and balance the front sight underneath the center of the target (black) area for what is called the 6-oclock hold. Some may prefer the center mass hold. The front sight should remain focused and clear. The black may appear somewhat blurry depending on your eyesight. Some optical accessories can help maintain clarity of both the front sight and target. This is where the front sight is balanced in the center of the black. Either method is acceptable provided that the pistol is properly sighted for the method you choose.
  • Red Dot Scope
  • Lift up the pistol (grip firmly!) and locate the dot in the scope. Bring the dot up into the center of the black and focus on the center of the black. Balance the dot in the center of the black. Some may prefer to focus on the dot. This is also an acceptable practice. Either method will work as long as you are consistent.

The sight alignment will move. Accept the movement unless it is moving more than you are comfortable with. If in slow fire, and the movement is not acceptable, set the gun down but maintain a loose grip. Wait several seconds and try the aim again.



Trigger Control

Trigger control is perhaps the most important aspect of shooting. No matter how good our stance, grip or aim is, a poor trigger control will result in errant shots. Since there are two types of triggers I will brake down the trigger control into these two categories:



  • Single stage trigger
  • The single stage trigger is a trigger which there is only one consistent amount of pressure to release the hammer. Some have crisp (no discernable trigger movement) and some have roll (noticable movement) when the pressure is applied. Once sight alignment has settled and movement of the sights are accptable you should begin a slow, deliberate straight back pull of the trigger until the hammer falls. Pressure on the trigger should not produce any additional movement of the sight picture. Ideally, the shot should be a surprise. To avoid flinching after a shot, a frim grip and follow through (holding the gun momentarily after shot fires) will help.
  • Two stage trigger
  • A two stage trigger has two discernable movements before the hammer will fall. The first stage is typically about 75% of the total weight required to get a shot to break. Some travel/roll is noticed before the trigger will reach the second stage. Once the second stage is reached, the shooter can hold until the optimum moment is available and movement of the sight picture is most acceptable before applying the remaining pressure. Only a slight movement/pressure of the trigger is required to get the second stage to cause the hammer to fall and shot to break.

A shooter must follow the same rules of trigger pull for both a single stage and two stage trigger. The sight picture must be acceptable, the arc of movement must be acceptable and the smooth, deliberate and staight rearward application of pressure on the trigger to cause the shot to break.



I believe that the application of these 4 basic fundamentals are common to success. Other factors can aid the successful shot such as breath control, visualization, shot plan and follow through are among these other factors and should be studied in depth after mastering these basic fundamentals first.



Bill Dutton.