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Top 10 Shooting Tips Straight from the Pros

Chris Baker

See how these top 10 shooting tips from the pros could help fine tune your skills in handling your firearm.

In this day and age, it is imperative that all gun owners be trained and confident on how to use their firearms. With the plethora of good and bad shooting tips that you will find today, we found it of utmost importance to put together the top 10 shooting tips from the pros that are sure to improve your skills.

1. High level defensive training - Melody Lauer

"...Many entry-level classes billed as defensive pistol classes are little more than glorified safety courses. They go over the rules of safe gun handling, introduce a shooter to firing his or her first shots from a bench, reloading an empty gun, and perhaps some malfunction clearing.  They do not, however, challenge a shooter to think or run their firearm in a defensive manner."

"Higher level defensive pistol classes challenge students to run their pistols in manners that could commonly be seen in defensive situations. Skills like drawing from the holster, rapid sight acquisition, target identification, rapid emergency reloads, and malfunction clearing are emphasized. Varied levels of controlled stress are also introduced."

2. Every 10th of a second counts - Bryce Towsley

"Being important. Why? Because every second counts"

"While probably not technically for accuracy, the first shot drill helps me in competition and to build skills with my carry gun. It's one I do almost every time I go to the range."

"Being fast in getting the gun out of the holster and making hit is important.  Why?  For competition every tenth of a second counts.  Matches are often one or lost with less than a second. Plus being able to do this quickly and accurately provides a psychological benefit and instills confidence.   For self-defense  it's a little more obvious.  The idea is to shoot the bad guy before he shoots you."

3. Speeding up with measurable short term goals - Chris Baker

4. Trigger reset - Richard Nance

"While the focus of this article has been on one-shot accuracy, it's important to consider that trigger control also deals with "resetting" the trigger from shot to shot. Resetting the trigger refers to the technique of releasing the trigger only as far as necessary for the handgun to be fired again. With most pistols there is both an audible "click" and a very slight forward thrust of the trigger against your finger as it resets."

"The obvious advantage to controlling trigger reset is that it affords the shooter a shorter length of pull, which minimizes the time you need to maintain proper aim, and it reduces the distance your index finger travels when activating the trigger."

5. Use targets to their full potential - Melody Lauer

"All of the zones, dots, squares, colors and numbers on a target can be used to work different drills and skills. Small boxes and silhouettes in the corners can be used to work accuracy or simulate targets at greater distances. Multiple numbers, colors or shapes can be used for target identification. Targeting zones on humanoid targets assist in training defensive areas."

"That being said, sometimes the best targets are 3?--5 index cards, paper plates, or blank 8.5?--11? pieces of paper and a marker.  You don't necessarily have to have a specific target designed by some top-shooter in the industry to do some serious work at the range."

6. Dry fire drill for accuracy - Adam Painchaud from Sig Sauer Academy

7. Walk in-walk out drill - John McPhee

"This focuses on speed, accuracy and your ability to control your shots. The hardest part of shooting is controlling your subconscious mind to pick the right speed/accuracy for the distance and level of complexity of the shot. This drill is changing tempo and multiple shots which will test your grip. It's enough shots per yard line to see if your stance solid or needs improvement. Goal is to shoot as fast as possible. The better technique and fundamentals you have the easier this will become."

"It's 40 rounds total and or 400 points total. I use golf scores and count only the amount of points dropped. Usually anything less than a perfect score and you need improvement. Practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect."

It's five rounds per yard line. Target is a standard B8 bullseye target.

  • Start at 3 yards/meters and shoot 5 rounds.
  • 2 steps back and shoot at 5 yards/meters.
  • 2 more steps back and shoot at 7 yards/meters.
  • Then 3 steps back and shoot at 10 yards/meters.
  • Shoot one more string of 5 rounds at 10 yards/meters.
  • 3 steps up to 7. 2 steps to 5 then 2 steps to 3. Remember 5 rounds per yard line.

"There is no such thing as good enough to save yours or your families lives." - John McPhee

8. The Bill drill for speed and accuracy training - Gun Time with Brandon

9. Purse carry is the worst carry - Melody Lauer

Melody Lauer has produced multiple articles on the topic of carrying your firearm inside of a purse. Ladies, listen up. Here are some quotes from her first article on the topic titled, "Purse Carry is the Worst Carry".

"The amount of control and attention I needed to give my bag exasperated me. I couldn't put it in the cart next to my child at the store or leave it in the booth to go get ketchup or napkins at a restaurant. I needed to have it strapped to my body at all times, and it got heavy and in the way."

"It just didn't jive with what I have been learning about maintaining control of my firearm AT ALL TIMES"

"I could not possibly... keep that bag 100% inaccessible to my child."

Despite the safety flaws with this type of carry, Melody reported to have an average draw to fire time of 4.71 seconds. From what they have studied the purse carry proved to be a fairly slow technique and not worth the safety risk.

Read the full articles here.

10. Take time and try multiple holsters - Robert Jordan

"As a plainclothes federal agent, I have been carrying a concealed weapon almost everyday of my life for over 15 years. I have taught concealed carry tactics to both novice shooters and experts alike. I have plastic storage bins full of holsters I have bought. A carry pistol needs to be properly concealed, secure and quickly accessible. This almost always means using a holster. Carrying a gun without any of these requirements invites embarrassment and tragedy. Like firearms, I recommend trying out lots of different holsters before you decide which one will work best for you. "

"Leather or molded plastic are usually your two best choices for holsters."

Were these tips you hadn't necessarily considered before? Will you start incorporating some of this advice in your current shooting routines?


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Top 10 Shooting Tips Straight from the Pros