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   By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
 
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How To Aim A HandGun

Learning how to to aim a handgun is one of the most basic skills needed for shooting and is an essential part of gun safety. 

 

  
  


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Aiming a Handgun

  1. When aiming, focus your dominant eye on the front sight of your gun. The target and the rear sight should be a little bit blurry because your eye cannot focus on all three simultaneously. Caution - One of the most common problems among shooters is the failure to focus on the front sight.

  2. Position the front sight in the notch of the rear sight. The top of the front sight should be level with the top of the rear sight and there should be an equal amount of space on either side.

  3. If the front sight has a bead on it, adjust your sight picture such that the bead is over the center of your target.

 

Shooting Guns With Both Eyes Open

Most shooters squint or close one eye when aiming. It allows them to focus on the front sight better. For defensive shooting it is recommended that you learn to aim and shoot with both eyes open. That way you don't restrict your field of vision and you can see more bad guys. See Gun Aiming Accessories and Gun Sights.

 

What Is Your Dominant Eye?

When you look at an object your dominant eye is the one that looks directly at it. Your other eye (or non-dominant eye) looks at the object at a very slight angle which provides depth perception.

 

Test for Determining Your Dominant Eye

  1. Make an "O" with your forefinger and thumb.

  2. Pick an object on a wall about 20 feet away.

  3. With both eyes open and your arm fully extended, visually position the object in the center of the "O" of your fingers.

  4. Close your left eye. If the object remains in the center of the "O", you are right-eye dominant. If the object moves out of the "O" then you are left-eye dominant.

 

What is a Sight Picture?

When you aim your gun you see a snapshot or pattern of the orientation of your sights with the target. This is your sight picture. A correct sight picture is where your sights are properly aimed on the target and you will hit the bulls eye (unless you flinch, move or have poor trigger pull).

  

How Can I Steady My Aim?

With regard to gun sights and targets this movement is called wobble area. Everyone has it and it varies from day to day. It is impossible for anyone to hold a gun perfectly steady. There are things that you can do to minimize wobble area like eating before shooting, avoiding caffeine before shooting, avoid strenuous exercise immediately before shooting , try to calm yourself before shooting and practice breath control during shooting. When aiming, these wobble areas will vary in size and the target will "float" in and out of the correct sight picture. With practice, timing and proper trigger control you will be able to anticipate a wobble and squeeze the trigger at the proper moment. 

 

 

The Complete Illustrated Manual of Handgun Skills  

 

Feedback Comments

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How To Relax When Shooting Guns

February 15, 2012
This page had extremely useful information, however, I am still interested in knowing tactics to relax you before qualifying in a shooting firearms exam.
Sstephanie

Response - Stephanie,
Sorry, I don't have any good tips for that. Good luck though.
Tanner

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MIKE COVIELLO is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.