View Full Version : Shooting Technique

Roland Thunder
September 16, 2011, 09:12 PM
I was at the range tonight and a fellow was trying to help me with my technique (he happens to be a pretty good shot). Using the Isosceles stance he told me I should extend my arms straight out in front of me and lock them. The night before, someone had told me just the opposite, extend your arms out in front of you but don't lock them. I have also been told that you should grip the gun as tight as you can (with your non shooting hand), other say not. Which is correct (both questions)

September 16, 2011, 09:19 PM
I suppose it will depend on who is teaching you.

Mas Ayoob, Marty Hayes, and Kathy Jackson (aka Pax) teach the locked-elbow method; also, elbows should be rotated as close to 6 o'clock (pointing at the ground) as you can get them. (I had trouble with that part.)

Mas teaches a "crush grip" with the primary hand, to damp down sympathetic flexing of the other fingers when the index finger pulls the trigger. That sympathetic flexing can yield results that some people might call a flinch; thing is, recoil has nothing to do with it. The hand wants to make a milking motion when the trigger is pulled.

I don't recall the support hand using a crush grip at the class, but it should be a firm grip.

They also taught that the feet should be a bit wider apart, and knees bent slightly more, for isosceles as compared to Chapman or Weaver.

September 16, 2011, 09:24 PM
For the grip part, I've found two techniques that work pretty well.
One is, gripping the pistol firmly in both hands, push forward with your gun hand, backward with your off hand. Not too rough, just be firm.
When that doesn't cut it I use my off hand to firmly grip my gun hand's wrist. When done right, it does a pretty good job of immobilizing my hand and gives me a steady grip.

Not saying these are the best ways to do it, but they work for me and it may work for you. Good luck!

September 16, 2011, 09:31 PM
Which one feels more natural and works better for you?

I got similar advice from different shooting coaches when we were qualifying with the M9. One coach told me to keep my arms strait and have a firm grip, another told me I could relax more and loosen my grip. What I ended up doing was keeping my arms strait without locking them out completely. I just relaxed better so that I didn't tire out my arms and shoulders keeping the pistol up. My grip was firm without crushing it. It allowed for good control and I didn't pull or push the gun when shooting, and I had plenty of control for follow up shots.

From what I remember, keeping your arms locked out more allows the body to absorb the recoil more but keeps you more stationary. Not a big deal if you're target shooting. If you're moving in that stance the gun will bounce as you step though.

Edit to elaborate on the pistol grip I used. A little difficult for me to explain without a photo, but here it is. I kept the slide in line with the bones in my forearm in my dominant hand and wrapped my fingers around it in a firm grip. The meat of the palm of my off hand met my dominant hand with my fingers wrapping around and underneath the trigger guard. Thumbs were kept clear of the slide to avoid accidentally pushing the gun while I gripped or releasing the slide release when the gun was empty. Firm grip without crushing it. Worked well for me. Practice will show what works for you.

September 16, 2011, 10:17 PM
People do use slightly different technique and you should experiment a bit to see what works for you. I like a firm grip but not a death grip. I find that throws me off.

Todd Jarrett has a couple of nice videos on YouTube that are very good:



September 16, 2011, 10:18 PM
there are 100 ways to skin a cat but only 1 will work for you.

it's the same way with handgun grips, stance, thumb placement and sight pictures.... when i start shooting i used to grap the gun my own way ( not a good grip) and my shots were all over the place, it just so happen i was applying pressure in the wrong areas. now, i feel very confortable with my handgun shooting skills but it toke many years of practice to get it right.

there is no right or wrong way to shoot, but it always best to find what work for you. for example, do you feel confortable with the grip? how good is the trigger? is it heavy or too light? does the gun recoil a lot? how much finger you put in the trigger?... both men were right start with your arms extended and fire a few shots, then unlock them and bend them a little and fire a few more shots, then see what group is better and what felt more confortable to you.

September 16, 2011, 11:30 PM
There is good form, not so good form and even poor form. Todd Jarrett uses what I would call a very good form.

My post #28 talks about the form Todd Jarrett uses.

There are several aspects to being accurate and consistent with a firearm. Grip, stance (well balanced), dominant eye focusing on the front sight, and the five fundamentals of pistol shooting- aiming ( sight alignment and sight picture), breath control, hold control, trigger control and follow through.

I suggest finding a NRA Certified Instructor or NRA Certified Training Counselor and work with them.

September 17, 2011, 12:56 AM
It's confusing as heck...

Which one is right? Well, as most have said - they are all right (for them).

You'll have to find the one that works for you. Keep in mind that the technique also stems to how and why folks shoot.

Meaning there is a difference if you are totally focused on marksmanship to those focused on self defense and action shooting, etc, etc, etc

To be totally "locked up" reduces your ability to react for action shooters... but if you are a bullseye shooter totally focused on marksmanship... it doesn't matter and even helps you support and maintain your stance.

So, what kind of shooter are you and what are your main goals. Take what feels good and mix it up until you find one that works for you.

Roland Thunder
September 17, 2011, 06:28 AM
I suggest finding a NRA Certified Instructor or NRA Certified Training Counselor and work with them.

I took a course taught by a certified NRA instructor. He knew how to teach handgun basics and safety but he didn't have a clue what to tell me to improve my shooting. He basically was just grasping at straws saying "you might try this" or "you might try that" but he really didn't know what I was doing wrong. All he did was take the NRA Certified Instructor course so he could teach the class. He was no more an expert than my grandma

September 17, 2011, 07:42 AM
Which one feels more natural and works better for you?

there is no right or wrong way to shoot, but it always best to find what work for you.
These two right here sum it up about the best.

The "Bruce Lee" method of life is really the best way to go. Learn as much as you can, about as many different disciplines as you can, and then take from each what works best for "you", and be happy.