The 5 Fundamentals

This week we will review fundamentals of shooting. First, I would like to say that although this will be more angled toward handguns, the fundamentals are almost identical for rifle. Additionally, the emphasis you put on which fundamental can change depending on which situation you find yourself in.

1. Grip- is how you hold the gun. You want to take the webbing of your dominate hand and grip as high as possible on the frame of the gun. Your non-dominate hand will lock in place by placing your fingers underneath trigger guard. Then wrap your palm back to contact and squeeze the other side of the grip. Both thumbs will be lined up parallel to the barrel, and your dominate thumb will be over your non-dominate. The objective of this grip is to have 360 Degrees of flesh on the frame.

2. Stance- is how you stand when shooting. There are 3 major and strongly held viewpoints, Weaver, Isosceles, and Modified Weaver. AFA prefers the Modified Weaver, but we can, and depending on the students needs, teach the other two stances. The best way I can describe this stance is to compare it to a boxing stance, or one where you are about to throw a punch. Knees should be slightly bent and the weight of your body should rest over the balls of your feet, and elbows should be extended about 80-90%.

3. Sight Picture- is what you see while you shoot. AFA teaches two methods depending on the situation and the student. For beginners we must build a strong foundation and a basic understanding of marksmanship. So, line up rear and front sights so there is “equal light, equal height” and your focus remains on the front sight. As a student advances we may begin to teach “point shooting.” We never loose sight picture, but the sight picture should change slightly in certain defensive or competitive situations.

4. Trigger Pull- is the most critical and often misunderstood fundamental. A competent shooter will be able to self-correct shot placement. They do this by seeing shots hit low left/right, depending on their dominance, and realize quickly that they are slapping the trigger or anticipating the recoil of the gun and trying to push down on the gun while pulling the trigger. A little tip we like to give is that the projectile leaves the barrel of the gun before the gun begins to rise and recoil. Do not fall into the mental trap of anticipating recoil, just let the gun recoil and fall back on target. One last note, we find the many shooters preform better when they use the pad of their finger on the trigger as opposed to the first knuckle joint or the tip. Additionally, understanding the reset of your trigger will help dramatically improve your ability…Dry Fire!

5. Follow Through- is requiring sight picture, maintaining proper grip, proper stance, and a proper reset of trigger after each shot. Follow Through is the glue that holds all the fundamentals together. Too often we see new shooters shift focus off the fundamentals as soon as the gun goes bang and now they have to re-establish all the fundamentals again, which costs time and drains you of consistency.

If you are interested in learning and applying these 5 fundamentals in a more in-depth way, schedule a private lesson here


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