View Full Version : Pistol technique guide?

March 19, 2012, 08:16 AM
Im going to to take a defensive pistol class with an instructor I met this weekend at a range. Its a four hr one shot deal and goes over everything from form to multiple target engagement. Is there a great read on proper basics for auto pistols? Id like to get a basic knowledge of form, grip, stance, draw, follow through, exc. Any info is appreciated!

March 19, 2012, 08:42 AM
see if he has a prerequisite course, it sound like you have minimum experience with shooting???

The best course is good practice 9couple of months) with the firearm you are going to use.

You maybe more frustrated with the course trying to recall what you are learning.

Sorry, to be a wet towel but reading your question, it comes across and barely minimum with good shooting skills.

March 19, 2012, 09:13 AM
Listen to your instructor and then master the fundamentals of marksmanship in subsequent practice sessions. It's critical to develop a good foundation before moving on to fast and fancy shooting. Make sure he gets you sorted out on the various stances, grip, trigger pull, breathing, sight allignment, sight picture, calling the shot and follow through.

Speed comes with practice and experience. It's easy to overload one's skill level with exuberance or ego, so apply those basic steps of marksmanship for each and every shot until they are instinctive.

As this is a defensive shooting course, make sure he fills you in on the legal aspects of deadly force and the laws pertaining to it in your state.

March 19, 2012, 10:11 AM
Put a few hundred rounds through the pistol you'll be using while concentrating on getting comfortable with its trigger, mag swaps, clearing malfunctions, etc. Work a bit on fundamentals; he'll likely give you significant corrections on them, but a few hundred rounds' worth of bad habits won't be deeply ingrained yet.

At the session, pay attention to things you can't do for yourself: things like which drills he teaches you (and ask him why), what he tells you that you need to work on/correct, and so forth. At the end of the session, be sure to ask him what you work on going forward; he'll likely be able to give you a few more drills and some pointers for ongoing practice.

Lastly, recognize that learning to shoot is a long long process. I've been firing handguns for 8 years or so, and I wouldn't consider myself good.

March 19, 2012, 12:04 PM
I suppose I should have stated previous experience. I'm comfortable with my pistol, its a m9. I can put all shots within a two inch circle at 10yards doing what iv mimicked from watching three gun nation :rolleyes:. I was simply seeking the proper techniques so I can have better understanding while paying the bucks for training.

March 19, 2012, 12:57 PM
As a firearms instructor, I've taken courses with every major federal and local agency in the NYC area, as well as with the SIG and S&W academies. There are so many helpful, common sense tidbits that my teachers passed on to me, yet, I don't know of a single printed source where they may be found.

Best thing to do is open yourself to a variety of training sources. I think the best source of combat related skills is with LE firearms instructors. If I started listing everything that might help you win a SD encounter, I'd be here writing the rest of the month and the thread police would ban me from any further writing.

March 19, 2012, 03:27 PM
For the shooting part, this:

Frank Ettin
March 19, 2012, 06:38 PM
IMHO this (http://www.corneredcat.com/) is one of the best resources readily available. While it's directed primarily to women, it's good for everyone. The proprietor of the website, Kathy Jackson, is a moderator here (her screen name is pax).

March 19, 2012, 07:03 PM
Order Magpul's "Art of the Dynamic Handgun" DVD as it's top notch. It will also give you a good idea of what goes on in a training class and will allow you to assess your equipment and possibly make any changes to it so you get the most benefit from the class. Enjoy and have a good time!

March 20, 2012, 08:26 AM
Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals, Brian Enos

Or http://www.brianenos.com/store/books.html, he has a number of excellent books available. I would consider him my go-to author for pistolcraft. Refinement and Repetition (Steve Anderson) is an outstanding workbook to guide and track your development.

Surgical Speed Shooting: How To Achieve High-Speed Marksmanship In A Gunfight, Andy Stafford

T.A.P.S. Tactical Application of Practical Shooting: Recognize the void in your tactical training, Patrick McNamara

Tactical Pistol Shooting: Your Guide to Tactics & Techniques that Work, Eric Lawrence

The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, Massad Ayoob

The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry, Massad Ayoob

Stressfire, Vol. 1 (Gunfighting for Police: Advanced Tactics and Techniques), Massad Ayoob

I can also personally recommend Rob Pincus as an excellent instructor, although there are dozens of them out there. James Yeager, Clint Smith, etc. Pincus posts on here and you can enjoy his videos on Personal Defense Network.

The Magpul stuff is okay, but highly dramatized and not for everybody. Some of the techniques they employ (like shooting over the hood of a car, or using an A-pillar for cover) just don't stand up to real-world muster.

Hope it helps. Go slow, be safe, do it right. Speed comes with time.

March 21, 2012, 01:38 AM
I can put all shots within a two inch circle at 10yards

Taking the poster at his word, and I think we should, I'd say he knows how to shoot (probably better than lots of us here, including myself) but as he said, he wants to maximize the the benefit he can get out of this class.

I would ask the instructor if he had any material that the instructor thought would be useful.

In a single four hour course I think you have to concentrate on doing it the way the instructor tells you to do it. Lots of the suggestions here are great but might not be helpful in the class. Saying that 'in thus and such a book I read it would be better to do it this way' would probably be counter productive.

In other words take what the instructor has to offer and then later on 'evaluate' it to see what you think is good and useful.

Oh yeah, and try to have some fun too.

March 21, 2012, 03:49 PM
Well Dale, I have to agree with you. Ill have to go in open minded I guess. Thanks for the advice you all pitched in. Hopefully its a good time and productive.

March 22, 2012, 01:12 AM
Given that you can shoot well by placing shots on a stagnet target at 10 yards once you add movement... things all change.

So if this instructor is going to "expand" your experience... an open mind is all you need.

Now when you do add shooting and moving... do know that it's like relearning how to shoot while your body is in motion. Also the idea of shooting at multiple targets and the "proper" sequence of engagement are mostly foreign to regular range shooters as most only shoot at one target in front of them.

You have a good base. You'll pick it up quick that there is much to learn.

Once you do take this "class" I would recommend looking up IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association www.idpa.com) and check out a local club near you. They have a range finder on their website that is close to you.

To most regular range shooters...
Multiple targets
Magazine changes

Are all foreign as most ranges won't let you practice or learn how to do these skills... but are fundamental for self defense.

So what you can do is have all your gear ready. Bring a bottle of water and a snack. Prep for the weather or not (indoor) and hit the range a few times to hone your basic marksmanship. Stock up on ammo and take in the experience.

March 22, 2012, 09:45 AM
I'm goig to ask this here since everyone seems to really know what they are talking about.

I've got a good knowlege of firearms. shotguns, rifles, hand guns. I'm a decent shot with a pistol (3 inch groups at 7-10yards). I'm really pretty good on the basics of pistol, like grip, trigger pull, deployment, but I would love to take a class on revolvers.

And by all means, if there is a class that also involves pistols along with revolver that is fine. I'm of the mind that no matter how much you know, another class will never hurt. There's always so little tip that you can learn.

So does anyone know of a revolver based class? Combat, self defense, basics, night shooting, anything? Preferably something in Florida or at least the south east if possible.

March 22, 2012, 10:42 AM
These guys are in Live Oak, have a store and training center:


Two more than you can look up on the web are:
Universal Firearms Academy, in Frostproof (just north of Sebring).

Southern Exposure, a little northwest of Lakeland (south of Orlando).

March 27, 2012, 03:03 AM

one of the other posters recommended that as well -- it's a well written and very clearly illustrated book that came out a few years ago.

March 27, 2012, 02:44 PM
I would talk to the instructor about what hardware is recommended or acceptable for the class. The biggest disappointments I see when we run a class are pistols that won't run, holsters that don't release or the user can't run, ammo (cheap reloads) that misfires.

If you are good on that kind of stuff just pay attention and take notes. Have fun. We can usually even get the newbies up to speed if they don't have to fight hardware.

Carne Frio
March 29, 2012, 11:22 AM
How about pointers from a champion ?


March 29, 2012, 10:02 PM
For a new or entry level gun owner, I'd join the NRA, www.nra.org .
I'd also see these popular sources; www.gunvideo.com www.paladin-press.com www.policehq.com www.deltaforce.com .
Some of the top US pistol instructors for armed professionals & private citizens include Clint Smith, Massad Ayoob; www.Massadayoobgroup.com , Duane Dieter, Jeff Gonzales, Larry Vickers(a former Spec Ops/US Army trooper), Chuck McCann. "Chuck Taylor" is a well known gun writer & instructor but I take issue with a few of his remarks/lessons. Taylor wrote for years that the 1911a1 .45acp with the standard factory 230gr FMJ was "best" for armed carry-defense. :(
The NRA offers many good classes & training sources.
For details about gun laws & travel see; www.gunlawguide.com or www.handgunlaw.us .