Three Basic Shooting Principles to Master Before Gunfight

Three Basic Shooting Principles to Master Before Gunfight

Three Basic Shooting Principles You Need to Master Before Facing a Gunfight


Gunfights are unpredictable and dangerous encounters that nobody wants to face. However, in uncertain times, it’s important to be prepared for every possible scenario. Whether you’re a law enforcement officer or a prepper concerned about self-defense, mastering the basic shooting principles is crucial for your survival. In this article, we will explore three essential shooting principles that will help improve your accuracy and efficiency when facing a gunfight.

Principle 1: Stance and Grip


First and foremost, having a stable stance is the foundation for accurate shooting. A proper shooting stance allows you to absorb recoil and maintain control of your firearm. Follow these steps to achieve a solid shooting stance:

– Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
– Distribute your weight evenly on both feet.
– Slightly bend your knees to maintain stability.
– Stand at a slight forward lean with your upper body.


Having a firm grip on your firearm is essential for controlling recoil and maintaining accuracy. Here are some tips for achieving a proper grip:

– Use a high hold, with your hand as high as possible on the backstrap of the pistol.
– Your dominant hand should wrap around the grip with the web of your hand as high as possible to minimize muzzle flip.
– Your support hand should grip the firearm firmly, with the thumb resting on the opposite side of the grip.
– Apply pressure with both hands to create a “push-pull” effect, helping you control the recoil.

Principle 2: Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

Sight Alignment:

Proper sight alignment ensures that the front and rear sights are lined up correctly, allowing for accurate aiming. Follow these steps for achieving proper sight alignment:

– The front sight post should be centered within the rear sight notch.
– The top of the front sight should be level with the top of the rear sight.
– Maintain equal spacing on both sides of the front sight post within the rear sight notch.
– Focus your eyes on the front sight while keeping the target slightly blurred.

Sight Picture:

Once you have achieved proper sight alignment, you need to establish a sight picture, which involves aligning your sights with the target. Follow these steps for achieving a proper sight picture:

– While maintaining proper sight alignment, aim the top of the front sight post at the center of the target.
– Ensure that the alignment between the front and rear sights remains constant throughout the shooting process.
– Place the front sight post where you want the bullet to impact the target.
– While maintaining focus on the front sight, keep the target slightly blurred in your peripheral vision.

Principle 3: Trigger Control

Trigger Finger Placement:

Proper trigger finger placement is vital for maintaining control and accuracy while shooting. Follow these guidelines for correct trigger finger placement:

– Position your trigger finger on the trigger pad, not the trigger guard.
– The trigger finger should make contact with the trigger at the center of the pad.
– Avoid placing your finger too far in or out, as it can affect your trigger control.

Trigger Press:

Achieving a smooth trigger press is crucial for accuracy and minimizing muzzle movement. Here are some tips for mastering trigger control:

– Maintain a firm grip on the firearm while applying consistent pressure to the trigger.
– Avoid jerking the trigger or applying excessive force.
– Focus on pressing the trigger straight to the rear without disturbing the sight alignment.
– Gradually increase pressure until the trigger breaks and the shot is fired.


Mastering the basic shooting principles is essential for anyone facing a potential gunfight. By focusing on your stance and grip, sight alignment and sight picture, as well as trigger control, you can significantly improve your accuracy and efficiency in a high-stress situation. Remember, practice makes perfect. Regularly train in a safe and controlled environment to develop muscle memory and familiarity with your firearm.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to shooting, accuracy and control are paramount. By mastering the three basic shooting principles outlined above, you will enhance your ability to handle firearms effectively. However, it’s crucial to remember that shooting skills alone are not enough to ensure your survival in a gunfight. Situational awareness, decision-making, and understanding the legal implications of using lethal force are equally important. Remember to prioritize safety and always seek professional training to supplement your knowledge and skills. Stay prepared and stay safe!