Shooting Fundamentals


Whether you’re an experienced shooter or you just bought your first firearm, you could always stand to hone your shooting fundamentals a little more.

Shooting Fundamentals | Follow These Tips and Shoot Like a Pro

1. Proper Sight Alignment

Proper Sight Alignment | Shooting Fundamentals

Proper Sight Alignment | Shooting Fundamentals

Using a proper sight alignment is critical to hitting what you’re actually aiming at. Your firearm’s sights are properly aligned when the front sight (red) is directly centered with the rear sight (green). The very tip of your front sight should also be parallel with the tops of the “leaves” of the rear sight. Without proper alignment, your shots will be off-target!

Last Stand Blue Design
Last Stand Red Design

2. Focus

Focusing on the front sight provides you with the most precise indication of where exactly the gun is pointing. You can also more readily discern whether your sights are improperly aligned. If you focus on the rear sight or the target, it’s much harder to figure out when you’re “lined up” incorrectly!

3. Trigger Control

Center the first pad of your index finger on the trigger and pull straight back. Using the very tip of your finger, the second pad or the “crease” between pads can cause you to pull shots left or right. Note that some instructors suggest using the second pad for guns with particularly heavy trigger pulls – only you can determine what works best for you!

4. Breath Control

Breath Control | Shooting Fundamentals

Breath Control | Shooting Fundamentals

Clip On Helmet Hat Light
Pistol or Handgun Case

This is one of the most important pistol shooting fundamentals you have to master. Hold your breath while pulling the trigger. As you are exhaling, let about half of the air out of your lungs, aim and pull the trigger. Holding your breath, or a respiratory pause, will help you with your hold control.

5. Hold Control

If you’re exercising proper breath control, this should be easy! As you pull the trigger, hold your entire body as still as possible. The most minor physical adjustment can affect the point of impact of your shots. Keeping as still as you can will help prevent that from occurring.

6. Follow Through

Follow Through | Shooting Fundamentals

Follow Through | Shooting Fundamentals

After you’ve fired a shot, keep your finger on the trigger while it’s pulled to the rear.

While maintaining a good sight picture, slowly let off pressure on the trigger while keeping your finger on it. Allow the trigger to reset (you will feel a “click” when the trigger resets) and start pulling the trigger again if you need to fire additional shots.

Don’t immediately release your finger and jerk the gun!

The infographic below will teach you the basics of shooting. Follow these tips and you’ll be shooting like a pro in no time.

Infographic | Shooting Fundamentals

Infographic | Shooting Fundamentals

No matter how natural a shooter you are, you still have a considerable advantage if you take the time to practice with shooting fundamentals. There are times when your shooting is a bit off the target. If you’re struggling to figure out what the problem is, just look into your basic shooting guide and get it fixed.

What do you think of these shooting fundamentals for your shooting guide? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Up Next: Tips for Shooting a Gun with Both Eyes Open

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.