No matter the handgun you own, a proper handling technique is crucial for achieving maximum accuracy. Copying what you see in film is a surefire way to have poor accuracy, whether that's at the shooting range, or when protecting your family from an intruder.
So, how to hold a handgun for maximum accuracy?
If you want to give your aim a boost, follow these tips to level-up your control over your handgun and unlock precision shooting.
Use Two-handed Grip
The first step to shooting with maximum accuracy is to forget about all the times you've seen a one-handed-grip in films - it may "look" cool, but missing your target is not.
If you shoot with only one hand, you increase the likelihood of your arms shaking, which is liable to make you miss your target.
If you're looking to maximize for coolness, go ahead. But if you're here to learn how to use your handgun for maximum accuracy, you're going to need both hands on the gun.
You should hold a handgun with a two-handed grip - your dominant hand on the grip, with its index finger on the trigger, while your support hand rests over and underneath the dominant hand and grip/magazine. This is known as the “Modern Technique” and is routinely used by police officers because it helps maintain control.
The next instruction is to hold out your arms to avoid bending them too much.
If you bend your arms, you hold the gun closer to your body, which could lead to injury due to the recoil. Keeping your arms straight also decreases shaking, so you have an easier time aiming at your target.
Find the Right Grip Strength
If you think holding the gun with two hands is enough to be a dead-eye shooter, think again. You also need to consider your grip strength.
With the right grip strength, you can significantly improve accuracy. If you hold the gun too tightly, your hands naturally shake and tremble, which will disrupt your aim. You’ll also find your hand getting tired quickly.
As if that wasn't enough, a tight grip can also cause you to drop the weapon from recoil.
Of course, there are dangers in going to far in the other direction too. Holding a handgun with a loose grip causes the firearm to shift position, resulting in reduced accuracy.
The best approach is to try different grip strengths with your shooting hand, until you find the right balance that delivers consistent shooting results.
Place One Hand Under the Other
The correct hand position is essential for accuracy. For example, you shouldn’t interlock your hands since it won’t provide as much support. Instead, place your support hand under the dominant hand by cupping it underneath.
This approach provides more support and reduces hand shake. If you have both hands around the same part of the gun, you don’t have another point of contact. A supporting hand underneath gives your dominant hand the foundation to remain stable.
If you are unsure which hand to place around the handle, you traditionally hold it with your dominant hand. However, go with whichever grip feels the most comfortable and natural when firing.
Use Opposite Forces
Our next tip relates to the proper application of force. Some people push the handgun forward or pull it towards themselves. What you actually need is a combination of both push and pull when holding a handgun.
Start by pushing the gun forward with your dominant hand and pull it backward with your support hand. The opposite forces will limit wobbling and keep the gun straight.
As mentioned earlier, it's important that your supporting hand is underneath the other. Otherwise, the tension of your hands against each other will strain your upper arms.
Top of the Barrel Up, Bottom of the Handle Down
We've all experienced eye-rolling when watching a movie star holding a handgun. While they might look "cool," the shooting techniques used in action films are often improper and not something to be used as inspiration.
The correct firing orientation is to have the top of the barrel facing up and the bottom of the handle facing down.
Some people think they can shoot a pistol while holding it sideways means you lose the front sight, making it more difficult to aim. In addition, shooting sideways requires you to rotate your wrist, which creates a slight curve on your hand when you shoot.
Rotating your wrist uses more muscles in your arm. If you maintain the position for too long, your arm will start to get sore, and your accuracy will suffer.
Control Your Breathing
It’s all too easy to overlook breathing when shooting. If you want to fire a handgun for maximum accuracy, focus on remaining calm and controlling your breathing.
For example, the handgun will move with your breath if you are hyperventilating or breathing heavily. That can lead to your aim being slightly off. Try to slow your breathing to improve consistency.
Once you have control of your breathing, hold your breath while you aim and take the shot. Exhale after you shoot, so your breathing won’t impact your accuracy. By practicing this control, eventually it will become second nature every time you take a shot.
Pull the Trigger Slowly
You're almost ready to head to the firing range with your favorite gun case but before you go, we have one more important tip for you that relates directly to your trigger finger.
That's right, you can even mess up your aim if you don’t pull the trigger correctly. Pulling the trigger can cause your hand to shift slightly to the left or right.
Having your supporting hand underneath your dominant hand minimizes movement, but pulling the trigger too quickly can cause shifts. Instead, pull the trigger slowly and firmly to reduce movement.
Pulling the trigger slowly, instead of aggressively, helps keep the rest of your body still, ensuring you don’t mess up your shot. Of course, as you get used to shooting a gun, you’ll need to focus on how you pull the trigger while keeping your body still, but you’ll get used to it.
Final Thoughts on How to Hold a Handgun
As you can see, shooting looks easy but if you're aiming for maximum accuracy, you need to understand how your body, fingers, grip, and everything else can either help or harm your results.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Try and accommodate at least one new tip at a time, rather than everything at once. When you feel you've mastered it and can shoot without thinking about it, incorporate the next tip.
Proper handgun use is vital to avoid mistakes, keep yourself and others safe, and maximize your accuracy. After all, you never want to miss your target. With time and patience, you can get the aim you’re looking for when shooting.
Congratulations, now you know how to hold a handgun for maximum accuracy. See you at the shooting range!