How to shoot a gun properly: Theory and practice of shooting

Do you know how to shoot a gun the proper way?

The pistol is probably the most popular type of firearm, its image is actively used in popular culture. Many men in our country managed to get acquainted with firearms while serving in the army. But even there, not everyone had the opportunity to shoot with a pistol. And this must be done correctly and accurately.

Step by step on how to shoot a gun:

Always keep the muzzle in a safe direction.

This rule is the most basic. The bottom line is very simple, because if the muzzle of the gun looks in a safe direction, then even an involuntary release of the trigger will not result in anything bad. The safety of a direction is determined by the absence of people first, then animals and inanimate objects.

This rule also includes the carrying of firearms, during which it is necessary to check that the muzzle and the angle of impact are in a direction that is safe for others. Make sure that even if you trip over an object or fall, the firearm will not go into action.

The firearm is always loaded.

If you are sure that the weapon is unloaded, since you have already checked it three times, then you still need to treat the firearm as if it were loaded. For example, never point the muzzle of even a fully discharged gun at people.

Keep your fingers away from the trigger.

This method will prevent any accidental trigger pull. The pistol has a special place above the trigger where you can position your finger. In the case of long-range weapons, you will have a lot of safe space for your hands.

Never rely on the mechanical safety of a firearm. Although the human factor is the main cause of all problems, you should also pay attention to the minimum possibility of a defect in the mechanical device of the pistol.

Some types of firearms do not have manual safety features at all. In this case, the safety mechanisms are located in the trigger or hammer of the bolt. These types of weapons are especially dangerous in the hands of inexperienced users, but practice and unquestioning implementation of all security measures can help avoid any trouble.

Once you have taken up a shooting position on the range, do not put your finger on the trigger until you have the muzzle on the target. While you’ll naturally want to keep your finger on the trigger, don’t do this before the pistol is pointing at a designated target.

Make sure the target and everything in the shooting area are safe.

It is very important. Once you have taken your starting position for shooting, you need to be soberly aware of the position of your target and everything that is behind it or in close proximity, as a bullet can pierce through the target, ricochet, and hit someone or something.

If there are other shooters around you, then be sure that you will fire in a position parallel to other participants. Thus, the probability of accidental killing is reduced. In addition, this approach reduces the risk of hitting a nearby person with a poisonous gas cloud emanating from the muzzle of a pistol when firing. Larger caliber weapons are capable of causing headaches and discomfort due to gas emissions alone.

You should always unload a firearm when handing it over to another person or when you finish using it.

If you pass the weapon to someone else, then you should first completely unload it. Check the magazine and barrel of the drum for the absence of loaded cartridges. If someone else is handing you a gun, you should also check it for ammo before you intend to shoot.

A great way to communicate to yourself and everyone around you that the gun is unloaded is to lock the ramrod, that is, to jerk the bolt or cylinder open. Thus, the gun will not fire even when the trigger is pulled.

Read the instructions for using this type of weapon, which will acquaint you with the safest approaches to its use.

If you are transporting a weapon from home to a shooting center, be sure to unload your weapon, as it is illegal to transport a loaded weapon even to a shooting range or workshop.

Use the correct ammo.

The use of cartridges of a different caliber can not only damage or destroy the weapon itself but also cause serious injury or death. Each weapon supports a certain type of cartridge and its number. If you load too many bullets, then you will create a dangerous situation for yourself and others, not to mention the destruction of the gun.

In order to avoid misfires, it is advisable to visually check the ammunition for the absence of external defects before inserting cartridges into the chambers. Check that the case bottoms are not damaged or deformed and that the cartridges do not have any other dents or defects. New factory-produced ammunition must also pass a similar test. Never use cartridges that do not match the specifications on the barrels, and always use cartridges that are less than or equal to the length indicated on the weapon.

It is best to use factory ammo. Since these cartridges have been repeatedly tested for various kinds of problems and defects. In general, the more expensive the cartridges, the better quality they will be, although this is not always justified in practice.

Also, attention should be paid to the quality and quantity of gunpowder used. You should not fill the cartridges with gunpowder yourself without first consulting with an expert, since the amount of gunpowder in the cartridge directly affects the safety and quality of shooting.

Mastering the skills of shooting a pistol entails a lot of expenses associated with the purchase of cartridges and various kinds of devices. At a minimum, in order to learn how to shoot confidently and accurately enough, you will need to shoot several hundred rounds, which will cost you about the same price as you bought your firearm.

7Always wear ear and eye protection.

There is no need for ear protection when using small caliber rifles, although it is recommended. Although the rumble from such rifles will not cause acute pain in the ears, it can dull your hearing over time. When using anything larger than a 22mm long rifle cartridge, be sure to wear ear protection. Ringing in the ears means that your auditory organ is undergoing an exceptionally heavy load, and you may have already caused a serious injury to your ears.

Never forget eye protection. Even if you are absolutely sure that there are no problems with the weapon, small problems can arise from overheating of the weapon during firing or due to factory defects. Another nuisance is likely to occur when shooting from small caliber pistols or if there is a very short barrel (less than 8 cm). The unburnt powder can escape or bounce in your direction directly from a freshly fired bullet.

If you pulled the trigger and didn’t watch after that shot, then be very careful.

When pulling the trigger is not accompanied by a subsequent shot, then first think about the presence of a cartridge in the chamber. If you are absolutely sure that you forgot to load the pistol with a cartridge, then correct the problem by observing the precautions.

But if you know that the gun was unequivocally loaded, then continue to keep the muzzle in the direction of the target. Try pulling the trigger once or twice (if your pistol has a double-action). If nothing happens again, then carefully remove the magazine (if possible) and remove the cartridge from the chamber.

Place the defective cartridge in a safe place away from people, valuables, and other ammunition. If you are not sure, then call someone for help.

The problem is usually a primer sleeve failure and is most common in weapons that are manually loaded rather than factory loaded how to shoot a gun.

Before using and loading the weapon, make sure that neither the barrel nor the chamber is obstructed.

Any interference stuck in the muzzle can cause significant damage to your weapon. A clog in the chamber can prevent a cartridge from loading properly or prevent it from being chambered at all. Also, there may be problems with the extraction and ejection of shells when firing. Interference in the mechanism may prevent the striker from striking the cartridge or prevent it from returning to its original position for the next strike.

Keep your firearm in usable condition.

Maintenance is one of the main issues when storing your own weapons. The older the gun, the more difficult it is to care for it. As a rule, it is necessary to clean the weapon after each use. Some gun makers recommend wearing eye protection even when the pistol is not completely disassembled, as there is a risk of eye injury due to a bouncing mechanism or gas flash.

It is necessary, at a minimum, to bring the gun to a state of incomplete disassembly after its use. Next, you should carefully clean the muzzle with a special brush, since the remains of coal and gunpowder could decently pollute this part of the gun how to shoot a gun.

Resort to the use of a special solvent for more thorough cleaning of the weapon. Then wipe the cleaned parts with a dry cloth to remove solvent residue from the surface of the gun. Every moving part must be lubricated with gun oil (except for the firing pin of a semi-automatic pistol, as this part can get stuck in soot and coal).

Thoroughly go over the outer part of the muzzle with oil and along with the casing bolt. You should not use too much oil, as too much oil can accumulate dust, coal, and gunpowder, so wipe the gun with a dry cloth to remove excess oil.

It will be much more difficult to dismantle long-barreled weapons. If you do not have time for this, then simply clean the bolt mechanism and chamber with a brush and solution without much analysis of parts. Wipe as many surfaces as possible with a dry and clean cloth.

Use muzzle thinner to thoroughly clean this part. Lubricate the trigger mechanism (follow the factory instructions), the bolt body, and the bolt itself with gun oil. Tug the frame a few times to allow the oil to soak into the mechanism. Wipe off excess oil with a dry cloth how to shoot a gun.

If you are not going to use a firearm for a long period of time, then you should clean it very well, including absolutely all the details. There are products on the market designed to keep firearms for years and even decades, but it’s best to avoid using them if you’re only going to be away from shooting for a few years.

It is best to simply clean the weapon with high quality and generously lubricate it with weapon oil (you can overdo it). Every 6-8 months, the weapon should be taken out of the pantry and lubricated again. With a good cleaning and proper oil application, your gun will be in good condition for many years.

Proper modification of a firearm.

It is not recommended to modify your weapon (in order to maintain the warranty and performance of the weapon). But if you really want to change something, then contact the official manufacturer. Never try to make any modifications yourself, as even a small mistake can cause major damage to the weapon.

A little about the safety and fire characteristics of firearms.

It is extremely important to learn how to handle weapons safely. Learn how to correctly remove the magazine, unload and check the chamber, activate the safety, remove jamming, inspect the muzzle, disassemble and reassemble the weapon.

It is important to know the firing characteristics of the weapon used. If you are unfamiliar with certain aspects of firearms, such as the force of recoil or rumble when fired, then talk to an expert about this. Always follow all precautions, or ask a professional to help you if you feel unsure.

Never shoot at hard or flat surfaces (including water).

Although some objects can be a tempting target, such as most metal objects, hard or flat surfaces, you should avoid the temptation to shoot, as the bullet can ricochet in an unexpected direction and injure or even kill someone how to shoot a gun.

Small bullets with low velocity are very well known for their ability to ricochet. Due to their low weight and low speed, this kind of bullet can bounce off trees, rocks, and even dirt.

The good news about ricochets is that (usually) bullets (even lightweight ones) don’t tend to bounce in the direction of the shooter (unlike a ball) due to their incredible velocities. Thus, the place of the shooter is the safest in relation to the possible rebound.

There are also exceptions to this rule. For example, hard surface bullets (not lead) have different flight dynamics; a rubber tip on a bullet can allow it to bounce straight back, and hard objects placed at an angle can send the bullet back at the shooter.

Never leave a loaded weapon unattended.

If you have a loaded weapon, never take your eyes off it, whether at home or at a shooting center. If you suspect that someone might break into and take your weapons, then take them apart and store them in different places under lock and key. Also, store ammunition in a separate, secure area.

Always follow established laws regarding firearms. Remember about children and take all precautions in this regard.

Never approach a weapon while intoxicated.

Even a small drop of alcohol or a drug can cloud your mind and judgment in the most simple situations, which is absolutely incompatible with the use of firearms. Never, under any circumstances, use a firearm while intoxicated how to shoot a gun.


  • Learn to turn on the safety of your weapon.
  • Never carry a loaded weapon while climbing a fence, climbing a tree, or climbing a rock. Hunters who need to climb a tree in an ambush first unload their gun, tie a cable to it, climb the tree, and then pull the gun to me. First, unload your weapon, even if you urgently need to get down from the tree to get to the killed prey.
  • Do not leave firearms unattended in your home or car. For self-defense, carry a gas pistol or one that supports the use of rubber bullets. Carry the pistol in a special holster, never keep the weapon in your pants or in your pocket.
  • Remember that even if you are attacked on the street and you kill one of the bandits with a firearm, you are not guaranteed a pardon on the basis of self-defense.


  • Always carefully read the instructions for the use of a particular type of weapon.
  • NEVER look down the muzzle of a firearm. The first time may be the last.
  • Always wash your hands well after using a weapon. Oil, gas residues, gunpowder or cleaning solutions can be very harmful if ingested or in the eyes.
  • Always obey the law!
  • A firearm is a very dangerous item that can cause serious injury or kill a person. Never try to master the art of shooting on your own, always seek the help of an instructor or a documented professional in this matter.

Where can I learn how to shoot a pistol

The accuracy of shooting from a pistol depends on many qualities of the future shooter: you need to have a sense of balance, know the technique and spend many hours in practice. But even if you are an experienced hunter, this does not mean that you will be just as successful in the shooting range. Shooting from a pistol is a separate knowledge, skills and abilities how to shoot a gun.

In USA, you can get acquainted with firearms and get basic pistol shooting skills in specialized shooting clubs and shooting galleries. They are located, as a rule, on former industrial territories, which have been converted into firing lines and related infrastructure facilities.

As a rule, four shooters are allowed per firing line (from 10 to 20 meters). The model range of pistols includes the most popular types, but there are also rare specimens, such as the Wild West revolver. Each club should give you ear protection and goggles.

The main difference between a club with firearms is the paperwork and the passage of a medical examination, including testing for alcohol content. Only sober people are allowed in the shooting gallery, so refrain from drinking any alcohol at least 24 hours before visiting the club.

After registration, you will be met by an instructor who will conduct an introductory briefing, then the training course for handling weapons and shooting from various models of pistols begins directly. In the club, for example, 100 cartridges are issued for one lesson, which can be spent on shooting from several models in 45 minutes. In a pneumatic shooting range, for example, 80 shots from five weapon models can be fired in one hour how to shoot a gun.

During the shooting session, the instructor will correct the technique, help you shoot more accurately and hold the gun more confidently.

How to handle a gun in a shooting range

When handling any type of weapon, whether it is an air gun or a firearm, a number of rules must be strictly observed:

  • The pistol must always be held only in the direction of the target, do not lower the barrel down and do not lift it up. Moreover, do not point the weapon in the direction of a person.
  • Do not keep your finger on the trigger until you actually start shooting.
  • Listen carefully to the instructor about the type and features of the weapon that is in your hands.
  • Arriving at any shooting club or shooting range, you will need to strictly follow the instructions of the instructor.

The weapon should not be taken out of the firing line and directed in any other direction from the target. Before the start of the briefing, you will receive special protective headphones and goggles that you will need to wear. In addition to them, the shooter’s equipment includes a holster, pouches and a belt.

Pistol shooting stand

Before proceeding directly to shooting, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules of the rack how to shoot a gun.

Pistol grip

After you have mastered the correct stance of the shooter, you need to work out the grip of the weapon. It is from him that the accuracy of your shooting will depend in the future.


Having mastered the correct stance and grip of the pistol, the shooter goes directly to the firing line. Here, before a successful shot and a successful hit on the target, it is necessary to master the technique of aiming how to shoot a gun.

After that, there is direct shooting at various types of targets, as a rule, from various models of pistols. Before you fire your pistol, you will need to take a deep breath and hold your breath. After that, press the trigger. Do it slowly – in one smooth and controlled movement of your finger.

Each gun requires a different trigger pull force, so the amount of pull on the trigger is different for each model. Before you start shooting, it makes sense to shoot “dry” from it, that is, when the gun is not loaded, pull the trigger. This will help to find out at what force the shot occurs.

The first experience of firing a combat pistol may not always be successful. This is due to the difficulties in mastering a new type of activity in such a short period of time. Also, you have not yet formed muscle memory to perform all the actions that experienced shooters have worked out to automatism. Therefore, for the first training session, you can choose a shooting range with pneumatic weapons. Models of weapons are identical to firearms, and some shooting galleries provide the service of firing from a chilled weapon.

Cooled weapons are models of combat models of weapons that are designed to fire blanks. It is technically impossible to use live ammunition in such a weapon.

If you decide that shooting is for you, then you should know about the existence of tactical or practical shooting. This is one of the types of shooting sports, the exercises in which copy the combat situation as much as possible. The goal of practical shooting is to score more points. Here skills to fire in various rooms and in various territories are honed. In this form, you can get skills in practicing tactical tasks, as well as shooting from various positions and various kinds of shelters, and increase the speed of reaction.

Practical shooting allows you to:

  • Learn how to handle weapons safely;
  • Learn to hit targets of varying complexity at various distances;
  • Learn how to shoot at high speed, but with the necessary accuracy of hits;
  • Learn how to fire in different situations.
  1. Hold the gun firmly in two hands, pointing the barrel in a safe direction.
  2. Place your dominant hand on the pistol grip, while your non-dominant hand is on the fore-end.
  3. Place your dominant eye behind the sights.
  4. Pull the gun up to your shoulder.
  5. Squeeze the trigger gently but firmly.
  6. Follow through with the gun after each shot.
  7. Keep your finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
  8. Remember to keep your finger off the trigger and the gun pointed in a safe direction when reloading.
  9. Practice your sight alignment and trigger control.
  10. Dry fire your gun in a safe environment.
  11. Place your shots accurately on the target.
  12. Practice shooting from various positions.
  13. Always wear hearing and eye protection when shooting.
  14. Maintain a safe distance from the muzzle of the gun.
  15. Familiarize yourself with the firearm’s safety features.
  16. Know the laws concerning the use of firearms in your area.
  17. Clean and maintain your gun regularly.
  18. Store your firearms safely and securely.

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