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Improving your Handgun Accuracy

By tracyclocks

In All Articles
Mar 18th, 2015

Handgun accuracy can often be tough to master. The shooting stance is completely different than that of any other firearm and the recoil makes getting repeat shots closely grouped together quite difficult.

Now lets take a look at your handgun to start with. Is it the right fit for you? Does it fit properly in your grip or is it too small or a bit large? Are you looking for small caliber (meaning less recoil, but less accuracy over longer distances) or larger caliber (more recoil and much better accuracy over long distances)? What’s the barrel length and overall gun weight?

All of these questions are important to answer in finding the right handgun for the right person and correct purpose. If you simply want to be able to protect your family and property from intruders with something that will be able to do more than just scare them off, then a 9mm or .380 ACP will do just fine. If you’re looking for some strong stopping power to protect yourself out in the wild then a .357 would be a much better choice, alternatively if you’re just looking to have some fun with target practice a .22 would be preferable since it is much easier to shoot with no recoil and the ammo is much cheaper. Secondly, you should stick to one brand of ammo in order to be consistent with your shot.

For the first thing with improving your handgun accuracy it is important to look at the handguns characteristics. Lets examine the 9mm Walther PPQ for example, the overall weight is 1.5 pounds and the trigger pull 5.6 pounds. The trigger pull is often overlooked as a cause of accuracy problems. Think about it, your finger must pull almost four times the weight of the gun itself in order to fire, that means that the inexperienced shooter is going pull back and up as they pull the trigger, not to mention the common flinch which also messes with your accuracy. Different handguns have different trigger pull weights for the first shot and subsequent shots if it is semi or fully automatic, so those must be accounted for as well.

A simple way to hone the skill of the trigger pull is to practice dry firing. I do not mean shooting blanks, just practicing with the trigger mechanism clicking back and forth. Depending on the handgun you may or may not have to cock it about a ¼ of the way to reset the trigger. You will want to use snap caps to prevent damage to the firing pin when dry firing. Practice in a safe space with your ammo far away out of reach, maintain normal gun safety and don’t aim at anything your not willing to destroy. Make sure your clip and chamber are empty before dry firing.

Just work on your shooting posture and stance, maintaining a steady hand and slowly pressing the trigger back until it clicks. Get acquainted with what it feels like to your finger, how long and how far back you have to press. Learn to anticipate the click and maintain a steady hand all the way through the process. Later, when you live practice your shot will be much more consistent and the movement much smoother. With smaller calibers bullets recoil isn’t much of an issue, but make sure to not completely lock your elbows because that will affect your accuracy with subsequent shots.

Another method to practice with live firing is to try different target distances, if you can hit a target with consistent grouping at 50 yards or more, you will have no problem doing it at much closer distances. When aiming try moving your head slightly to your shooting side in order to get a straight line down your sight, alternatively try keeping your sights centered between the eyes to see what works better for you.

A common problem that inexperienced shooters face is unintentionally focusing on the target rather than the sight of the handgun. Unconsciously the brain corrects the line of sight directly to the target, and the hand is often moved down slightly to eliminate obstructions, thus moving your shot lower. This problem is often incorrectly attributed to breath control.

Practice is the best way to improve your accuracy. Don’t just fly through your shots one after another. Take it slow and be very intentional on each shot. Assess what went right, but also why your shot was off target. They say it takes 2000 rounds to master a weapon so, just keep working at it.

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