Common Shooting Mistakes That Can Get You Killed

Common Shooting Mistakes That Can Get You Killed

Shooting Mistakes That Can Get You Killed


Shooting is a skill that many people are interested in learning, whether for self-defense, hunting, or sport. However, it is not a skill to be taken lightly. Taking up a gun without proper training can put yourself and others at great risk. In this article, we will discuss some common shooting mistakes that can get you killed, and provide tips on how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Lack of Firearms Safety Knowledge

When it comes to firearms, safety should always be your number one priority. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of picking up a gun without fully understanding how it works and the potential dangers it presents. Here are some key firearms safety rules to always keep in mind:

Firearms Safety Rules:

  • Always treat every firearm as if it is loaded, even if you believe it is not.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Never point a firearm at anything you are not willing to destroy.
  • Be aware of your target and what is beyond it.
  • Store firearms unloaded and securely, with ammunition stored separately.

Mistake #2: Improper Grip and Stance

Having a proper grip and stance is crucial for accuracy and control when shooting. Many beginners tend to hold the gun incorrectly and stand in a way that compromises their stability. Here are some tips for achieving a proper grip and stance:


  • Hold the gun firmly with your dominant hand, wrapping your fingers around the grip.
  • Your non-dominant hand should support the gun from underneath, with the thumb pointed forward.
  • Make sure your grip is strong but not so tight that it affects your trigger control.


  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly and lean forward to maintain balance.
  • Distribute your weight evenly between both feet.

Mistake #3: Poor Trigger Control

Having good trigger control is essential for accurate shooting. Pulling the trigger too quickly or jerking it can lead to inaccurate shots. Here are some tips to improve your trigger control:

Trigger Control Tips:

  • Place the center of the pad of your index finger on the trigger.
  • Apply steady pressure straight back on the trigger, without disturbing your aim.
  • Avoid jerking or slapping the trigger.
  • Practice dry firing to improve your trigger control.

Mistake #4: Neglecting to Practice

Like any skill, shooting requires practice to maintain proficiency. Neglecting to practice regularly can lead to a decline in your shooting skills, making you more prone to mistakes. Here are some tips to help you maintain and improve your shooting skills:

Tips for Regular Practice:

  • Visit a shooting range regularly to get hands-on experience.
  • Participate in shooting competitions or join a shooting club for additional practice opportunities.
  • Set aside dedicated time each week for dry-fire practice at home.
  • Work on drills that focus on different aspects of shooting, such as accuracy, speed, and reloading.

Mistake #5: Failing to Identify the Target

One of the most critical mistakes you can make when shooting is failing to properly identify your target. Shooting at something you cannot positively identify can have disastrous consequences. Here are some tips to ensure you always know what you are shooting at:

Tips for Identifying the Target:

  • Never shoot at sounds or movements alone. Always visually identify your target.
  • Use binoculars or a scope to get a closer look if necessary.
  • Avoid shooting at targets in low light or shadowy conditions where identification may be difficult.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and know what is beyond your target.


Shooting is a skill that requires proper training and practice to ensure safety and accuracy. By avoiding common shooting mistakes like lacking firearms safety knowledge, having improper grip and stance, poor trigger control, neglecting to practice, and failing to identify the target, you can greatly reduce the risks associated with shooting. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when handling firearms.

My 2 Cents

Shooting can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby when approached with the right mindset and knowledge. Remember to always prioritize safety and never take shooting for granted. Taking the time to learn proper firearms safety rules, practicing regularly, and continuously improving your skills will not only make you a better shooter but also ensure the safety of yourself and those around you. So, grab your gun, practice responsibly, and enjoy the thrill of hitting your target with precision and confidence! Stay safe and happy shooting!