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  • Women with Weapons

Fundamentals of Marksmanship

Are you new to shooting? If you are looking to improve your skill set, you need to memorize the 7 fundamentals of marksmanship. We are going to break them down here, but don't be surprised if you're asked about them some time in the near future.

The Stance - Stance refers to the position of the feet and body to the target. Typically you

want an "aggressive stance". Feet are shoulder width apart with one foot slightly back, not even with the other foot and knees slightly bent, but not locked straight. Ladies will lean slightly forward from the hips to help offset the recoil of your gun.

The Grip - When it comes to grip, the most important thing to remember is that you want to grip with enough strength to prevent the pistol from moving during the shot but relaxed enough so that your hand doesn’t shake from the pressure. Using your strong hand, grip the gun high on the backstrap, with trigger finger extended straight above the trigger guard on the frame. The other 4 fingers are wrapped under the trigger guard around the grip of the gun. Your strong hand thumb should be up and not down on the grip. (see video for specifics) With your support hand, wrap around the strong hand with the thumb lined up in front of the shooting hand thumb and pointing forward or down range. The forward point of both thumbs assist in quickly lining up the sights on multiple targets.

**Make sure your grip on does not interfere with the slide action, or you will certainly learn a painful lesson in correct hand placement.

Sight Alignment - Sight alignment refers to the process of lining up the rear and front sights on the gun. For a well-aimed shot, the shooter must pay attention to the rear sight and how it lines up with the front sight, with most of the focus on the front sight post. You are looking to have equal light between the rear and front sights, and equal height meaning the rear and front sights line up.

Sight Picture - Once you have achieved sight alignment, look for a sight picture. The sight picture is the image seen when the front sight align with the target. The front sight should cover the bullseye when done properly. Your focus is on the front sight so the target should be a little blurry.

Breathing - Don't hold your breath, it’s good to keep a calm, regular breath throughout your preparation, aim, and fire. Regular breathing oxygenates the blood, which sharpens vision, relaxes muscles and nerves and prevents sudden jerk movements. The optimal moment to pull the trigger is when your breathing cycle reaches a natural pause, like at the end of an exhale.

Trigger Control -Trigger control involves pressing the trigger to complete the shot without manipulating your sight alignment. The ideal trigger control position allows for independent movement of the index finger with trigger contact on the finger’s pad as shown below. You want a smooth steady trigger press, pulling the trigger back at the same speed. We can offer some great dry fire drills to help you will your trigger control.

Perfect placement Too shallow Too deep

Follow Through - Once you’ve discharged the gun, you want to be sure to follow through after each shot. Which means your re-acquire the sight and ask yourself these three questions: 1) Did I hit my target? 2) Was my shot affective? 3) Do I need to shoot again? You have plenty of time to holster your handgun, so be sure there are no other threats before you holster your gun.

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