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Posted: 7/12/2008 2:50:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/16/2008 4:49:58 PM EST by Bendrt]
I'm relatively new to the firearms scene. Since there is nothing more dangerous than an idiot with a gun, I need to learn how to properly shoot and maintain my handgun, an older S&W Model 10 M&P revolver. I am aware that the NRA offers first-steps and basic pistol courses and I aim to sign up for one in the near future. Apart from that and "practice practice practice," what advice can you more experienced shooters give me about handgun shooting?

Thanks all.
Link Posted: 7/12/2008 8:35:05 PM EST
After you learn the fundamentals, dry fire is the next best thing. As I tell my students, dry fire can cure a lot of ills. You're practing the fundamentals without ammunition so you don't have the noise to deal with nor the feel of the gun recoiling in your hand. You can see what your sights are doing as you squeeze the trigger. If you are flinching, it can help you conquer that. It is by far the most cost effective form of practice.

To do it safely, you must take some precautions. First, put all the ammo in a different room. Second, use an exterior wall that is capable of containing a bullet if you goofed and didn't unload the weapon. Third, you want to visually and physically check the weapon to insure it is clear. That's right, touch every chamber on a revolver and insert a finger into the chamber and mag well on a semiauto. Fourth, use a light color wall as your backdrop. The contrast between the sights and the wall will allow you to see any movement of the sights immediately. Fifth, practice 2 or 3 times a week for 15-20 minutes at a time. Last, if your interrupted, stop. No sense in possibly accidentally loading the gun and forgetting causing you to accidentally shoot the wall, tv, etc,
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 7:05:51 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/13/2008 7:29:14 AM EST
That looks like an interesting place to go...thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 7/14/2008 12:05:21 PM EST
Good on you for wanting to get some quality instruction!
Link Posted: 7/16/2008 4:37:25 PM EST
I'm in the same boat as Bendrt, so more advice please!
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 5:59:24 AM EST
The key is getting to a quality training class. Apart from that, the basics of grip, sight picture and trigger press are pretty much what the experts do correctly every time. That, and practice.
Link Posted: 7/17/2008 1:56:20 PM EST
OK JD, lets start with the seven fundamentals: Grip, Stance, Sight Alignment, Sight Picture, Breathing, Trigger Control and Follow Through. Pick an area and lets start. Now even though I am a Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, this will NOT take the place of professional training. I can tell how things should be done but I can't see you do it to make corrections.
Link Posted: 7/18/2008 7:59:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/18/2008 8:00:52 PM EST by JD_Ruger_fan]
Someone actually recommended the Army Markmanship Unit, Pistol Markmanship Training Guide so I've been skimming through that. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read the entire thing at some point, but it's 90 some pages so it might take a while. I noticed some of the stuff is about diet, or competitions, so I imagine I can skip some of that stuff. I did make it through most of stance and breathing, but I do plan to re-read and look at some other sources. I am curious as to eye dominance, as I see that mentioned a lot, but haven't had time to read up on it. Also, once I get back to my home state, I obviously plan on taking a class as well.
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 7:10:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By JD_Ruger_fan:
Someone actually recommended the Army Markmanship Unit, Pistol Markmanship Training Guide so I've been skimming through that. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to read the entire thing at some point, but it's 90 some pages so it might take a while. I noticed some of the stuff is about diet, or competitions, so I imagine I can skip some of that stuff. I did make it through most of stance and breathing, but I do plan to re-read and look at some other sources. I am curious as to eye dominance, as I see that mentioned a lot, but haven't had time to read up on it. Also, once I get back to my home state, I obviously plan on taking a class as well.


No offense, but that stuff may be pretty dated. Your best bet is to take a serious class. you don't want to learn an outdated or "incorrect" method only to have to try and unlearn it later. Good luck!
Link Posted: 7/21/2008 4:55:18 PM EST
All right JD, we'll start with eye dominance. With the exception of a few, everyone has a dominant eye. It can swap from time to time depending on how tired you and the eye you normally use are plus other factors. The method I use to determine eye dominance in my students is to have them make a circle with their index finger and thumb. They then look through the circle at an object on the other side of the room. I have them close one eye. Then I have them swap eyes and look through the circle. Whichever eye they can see their chosen object with through the circle is their dominant eye. I also require my students to keep both eyes open while shooting. I was told by my opthamologist that closing one eye will make the open eye do twice the work and fatigue much faster. In addition, I have noticed a sympathetic lid closure of the shooting eye reducing the input for the shooter. Also, it allows the officers in my department to be conditioned for this, which will allow them to break tunnel vision faster if they are involved in a lethal force encounter and look for other threats.

JD, remember the AMU manual was written for competitve shooting with bullseye the primary sport. Ask your next question, I'll do my best to give you the information you need.

Marty
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