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Pistol Fundamentals


Pistol Fundamentals

Before handling any type of firearm please remember the following:

Rules of Safe Gun Handling

RULE 1:  Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
·        ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY UNDERSTAND THE STATUS OF YOUR FIREARM SYSTEM AT ALL TIMES!

RULE 2:  Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
·        NEVER “INTENTIONALLY” COVER ANYTHING WITH THE MUZZLE OF YOUR FIREARM THAT YOU DO NOT WISH TO DESTROY!

RULE 3:  Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.
·        YOUR FINGER SHOULD BE OFF THE TRIGGER AND THE WEAPON ON SAFE UNTIL YOU HAVE A SIGHT PICTURE AND YOU WANT THE HAMMER TO FALL!

RULE 4:  Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
·        Identify youR target.  Know what is behind it, in front of it, and what’s flanking it!

 




 

5 – Part Draw: Pistol 

1. Step One GRIP:

a. The first step in the draw is to acquire a proper firing grip and bring the support hand to the abdomen.  If your holster is equipped with a retention device, it should be released during this phase.  This step is crucial as the firing grip that is acquired will be used throughout the rest of the draw.  If it is wrong, there is no way to fix it.  The placement of the support hand is important as well.  By physically touching the body, the hand is "indexed" and it is impossible to cover the support hand with the muzzle of the gun as it is drawn.

b. When a firing grip is gained, it is important to grip the weapon as high as possible on the back strap up against the tang of the firearm.  By making sure that the web of the hand is compressed by the tang of the grip, a proper firing grip is assured.  This high grip is crucial for controlling the recoil of the weapon and allowing quick but accurate follow up shots.

2. Step Two LIFT TO CLEAR:

a. In step two of the draw, the pistol is raised from the holster.  The pistol should be raised to the point that it will completely clear the holster.  How far this is will depend on your holster design.  

b. In addition, as the firing hand rises, the support hand should also shift up the center chest area.  

3. Step Three ROCK (ROTATE) 

a. In step three of the draw, the pistol is rotated or rocked allowing the muzzle to extend forward.  With a level muzzle, the pistol can be fired to deal with any extremely close threats.  The pistol should be indexed toward the target so that the muzzle covers any threat immediately in front of the shooter.  

b. Additionally, the pistol is canted slightly to allow the slide to operate should the pistol be fired from this position.  Finally, the butt of the firearm should contact the side of the body near the last rib.  This serves to help the body index the firearm toward the threat.  

4. Step Four – TWO HANDS (PUSH) 

a. In step four of the draw, the handgun moves forward and the hands merge in front of the body.  This creates the final firing grip that will be used to fire the firearm.  

b. It should be noted that the firearm could be fired to engage close proximity threats.  For this reason, it is important that the firing grip be achieved a slight distance from the body to allow the slide to function.  

5. Step Five – LOCKED OUT 

a. In step five of the draw, the arms are pushed forward fully extended, and locked.   

b. In addition, the weapon is raised so that the weapon's sights come to rest in the line of sight of the shooter.  YOU MUST BRING THE GUN TO YOUR EYE do not cant your head to move it in line with the sights.  

c. These motions result in the final firing position.  The slack has been removed from the trigger and the non-dominant eye is closed.  Focus has been shifted to the front sight (if firing sighted fire) and if pressure were applied to the trigger, the firearm would fire.



Shooting Drills – Practice Makes Perfect
(presented in the order of progression)

1. Dry Firing Practice: With an EMPTY firearms, you can use dummy rounds (snap caps), to practice new techniques or for warm-up exercises.

2. Ball-and-Dummy Drill: This technique of loading a dummy round into the chamber or within a loaded magazine will see if you are performing proper fundamentals. If you anticipate the blast or recoil, you’ll pull the firearm and interrupt sight placement.

3. Slow-aimed Fire: Fundamental marksmanship practice to utilize all the fundamentals and have the bullet go where desired by the shooter.

4. Presentation Position Four to Five Drill: This drill is essential to learn to break the shot at the point of full extension and hit your desired target. This drill must be mastered to progress in speed or accuracy with whatever type of automatic pistol you use.

5. Controlled Pairs: The practice of attaining two well-aimed and well-placed shots from the holster to build confidence or practice shots of distance and/or small targets.

6. Double Taps: Practicing to attain the rapid succession of shots and maintain your desired accuracy. Emphasize proper focus on the sights and minimal movement of the trigger (trigger reset).

7. Drawing From the Holster: The proper five-step draw sequence is one of the foundations for further progress. This technique must be learned correctly and remain consistent for further progress.

8. Rhythm Drill: This drill is to practice trigger control and recoil management and leads to speeding up on multiple targets by smoothing out a cadence of shots. They must be a set of shots at a steady rhythm, depending on the designated target or targets. 

Dummy Round Drill

Teaches: flinch control and follow through during live fire.

Requires: best with shooting partner, can be done alone.

Principle: If the hammer falls on an empty chamber during slow-fire shooting, your gun shouldn't budge--sights should stay aligned and on target, eye still clearly focused on the front sight. If the gun does dip (or jump), you're anticipating the recoil.

Procedure: Have someone else load a magazine for you, mixing live rounds with snap caps, or for a revolver, leave one or more chambers empty. When you fire the gun, concentrate on keeping the gun steady, sights on target, no matter what happens. When the snap cap comes up you'll be able to check your flinch. If you're doing well, the gun won't budge. If you're not doing well, keep up with the drill until you are. Keep your sights aligned and on target while you release the trigger just enough to reengage the sear (proper follow through).

You can do this yourself by loading several magazines and mixing them up, or loading a magazine with your eyes closed, or rotating the cylinder with your eyes shut before closing it.

Variations: if you have a laser or optical sight, it's even more difficult to keep the dot perfectly on the target when the snap cap comes up, and easier to diagnose the direction your flinch is taking you.

Also known as: cap-and-ball drill, ball-and-dummy drill.


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