Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Owning a gun is one thing, but knowing how to wield it is something else entirely. If you don’t know how to properly use your firearm in a self-defensive situation, not only do your chances of survival go down, but your chances of accidentally harming yourself or somebody else go up.
Fortunately, this can all be cured by just a little bit of regular practice on the shooting range where you can train with your defensive shooting skills and grow comfortable with your weapon of choice. The tips you are about to learn in this article apply regardless of what type of firearm you’re using.
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Here are the top ten defensive shooting tips that could save your life:
1. Buy Enough Ammo
What good is a gun without ammo? It could serve you well as a club, but that’s about it. Therefore, the first defensive shooting tip is to actually buy enough ammo to practice your defensive shooting in the first place.
Since ammo is a little costly, you can get around this by making it a habit to buy just one or two boxes a week. Your stockpile will grow steadily as a result.
2. Get A Proper Firing Grip
To hold a handgun correctly, you need to have both hands wrapped firmly around the grip of the gun with both of your thumbs forward. The fingers of your weak hand should be wrapped around the fingers of your firing hand. Hold the gun at eye level so you can peer down the sights.
3. Line Up Your Sights
Line up your front sight to your rear sight. You want the front sight to be aimed directly at the target. Your eye should then be focused directly on the front sight. Your rear sight and your environment beyond the front sight should therefore be a little blurry.
4. Keep Both Eyes Open
A natural thing to do is to shut your non-dominant eye when peering down the sights of a firearm. This is a big mistake for two reasons: it causes extreme fatigue in your eyelids, and it shuts out half of your field of vision (so you may not be able to see an enemy approaching).
Remedy this by keeping your front eye wide open and your second eye squinted but still open.
5. Keep Your Finger Indexed
One of the core rules of gun safety is to never place your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Keep your trigger finger indexed, meaning it’s resting on the frame of the handgun above the trigger guard.
6. Control Your Firing
Spraying and praying with guns is fun in video games, but it’s a horrible shooting technique in real life. It makes the gun uncontrollable, decreases the chance of you hitting your target, and increases your chance of accidentally hitting someone else who you don’t want to.
Rather, control your firing so that each individual shot is deliberate. If you want to practice double taps, that’s fine, but you should never fire any rounds that you didn’t intend to or that were out of your control. Avoid flinching as well (where you jerk the gun when it doesn’t fire).
To practice not flinching, load some live rounds and dummy rounds into your magazine, but don’t know the order they are in. When the primer hits a dummy round and you flinch, you’ll need to correct that.
7. Reload Without Looking
Looking at your gun while fumbling around with a reload is a terrible thing to do. It removes your focus from the environment and it shows that you’re not a properly trained shooter. Therefore, put lots of practice into swapping out magazines and racking the slide to re-chamber the weapon.
Keep your eyes focused on the environment around you as you eject the spent magazine, draw a fresh new one, insert it into the weapon, and rack the slide. Draw the gun in closer to you when you reload as well before re-assuming a natural and proper firing stance.
8. Know How To Shoot One-Handed
While you should try to get a two-handed grip if possible, some defensive scenarios may require you to only shoot one-handed if you need to act quickly. Therefore, you should practice shooting one handed as well.
When shooting one handed, keep your firing arm stretched out, while your non-firing hand should be clenched into a first and held to your torso. This way you know where your non-firing hand is and you don’t risk it being out in your field of fire.
9. Learn How To Clear Jams
It doesn’t matter if you purchase the most reliable pistol on the planet; experiencing a jam is a very real possibility. Just as you must practice reloading, so you must practice clearing jams as well so you can get back into the fight.
Standard procedure with a jam is to firmly tap the magazine (most jams are caused by a not-fully inserted magazine) and then rack the slide to eject the failed round. If this fails, eject the existing magazine and load in a new one and rack it again. If this also fails to clear the weapon, you have a bigger problem on your hands.
10. Practice a Lot
The old saying goes that practice makes perfect, and practicing firing your weapon on the shooting range is not going to cut it. Make it a rule that you’ll practice on the shooting range a minimum of once per month, with a minimum of two hundred and fifty rounds fired each time.
Between owning two guns and not knowing how to use either of them or owning one gun and being a master at it, the second option is certainly more preferable if you’re serious about defending your life.
Take the tips you have learned in this article seriously and apply them during your real-life shooting range time.
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Rick Palmer says
If l may add an11th tip- Mind set . If you think you are willing to use a firearm to defend yourself, family , or even a stranger . Truly evaluate your mindset. Hesitatation will get you or someone else killed or badly injured.
In example , if you have the thought of “thou shalt not kill” , know that the true interpretation is ” thou shalt not murder “. Hugh difference . Be prepared to take a life to save a life if ever the need should arrive . This does not mean by any other circumstances that you become aggressive at the drop of a hat . Use agression when truly called for , otherwise use grace towards others .
Oh dear, poor Jesus would have kept his mouth shut if he could have seen America today. He was without doubt a pacifist. He would not recognise any of you gun toting yanks as Christians following a bible that has little to do with his word.
The world looks in at the U.S. and we shake our heads at the most messed-up country. I have American freinds here who are deeply apologetic for the U.S. being THE MOST aggressive destabalising influence in the world. This I see is reflected in your gun mania. No other country has this sickness – get a grip guys!
The only positive is, from a noncombative Prepper p.o.v (and I know there’s many in your country) is MAD ie: mutually assured destruction.
In SHTF while preppers of reason (who practice evasion, camouflage etc) hunker down all the gun toters will murder each other and the meek will indeed inherit the earth.
Also we implore you to vote away that man/child Trump. He alone is making the world a more dangerous place.
Obviously, you are not up on the Bible. Matthew 10:34-36 teaches, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
Ask those in Australia who have given up their guns only to be unable to protect themselves from the totalitarians ruling them now. I’ll bet they would show regret.
It’s interesting that you bash America but don’t look to your own country for its bad policies. Matthew 7:5 “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
And as for Trump, he didn’t start any wars, America became energy independent and an energy exporter and minorities were treated better than under Democrat rule, but Biden is another creature entirely. He is responsible for what is happening in Ukraine just as much as Putin. The world is a much more dangerous place now with weak Biden in charge. May God help us all.
You are not just a pacifist but also an idiot. A firearm is just another tool. A firearm has the advantage to keep the proper distance in an engagement that could cause harm to you or your loved ones. If you are a true prepper having the mindset of camo and evasion is o.k. if you don’t mind losing everything you have worked to prepare for. When it comes down to it, i will shoot only when out of all viable options, but make no mistake i will kill to protect me or my loved ones. By the way you sound like a Brit or Aussie. Just remember it was us CRAZY Americans who came to save you from the Germans and Japanese. So Suck it.
N Duncan Adam says
The article is to help those who may well have purchased a weapon having learnt by experience that once law and order fails you become your own first responder.
It is not wise to take advice from anyone from a country that has given up the freedom of speech after having had their weapons confiscated
They now have people in jail for saying thing on social media and upsetting people on the internet.
They are a defeated people who have no right to give advice on any subject having had 3 or 4 civil wars held the largest empire in world history and lost everything
The writer has no knowledge of real life and will probably be one of the first to steal and murder to take anything they can to survive
Having spent 25 years in the British Army I am not guessing.
When preparing for shtf with a weapon, some things must be considered. There must be mental preparation for firing a round into someones body. After the round has entered a persons body and they are laying there bleeding, do you call emergency services? Do you call law enforcement? If you have terminated that persons life, how will the body be disposed of? The mental preparation is just as important as the physical. People have a tendency to not think beyond the firing of their weapon.