How to Improve Your Accuracy With a Handgun

When it comes to shooting handguns, very few people naturally have good aim. Unlike rifles and long guns, which are easier to scope in, handguns require significantly more skill to perfect. If you want tight groupings at the shooting range, it’s going to take practice. 


Why Are Handguns So Difficult to Accurately Use?


You might be wondering why handguns are so much more difficult to shoot than larger guns. Ultimately, it comes down to two major reasons:

  • Less to hold. Naturally, handguns are much smaller than larger guns. This gives the user less surface area to hold onto. Plus, because of the shorter sighting radius, it’s more difficult to properly align the front and rear sights. This creates a greater chance of missing the target.

  • Trigger issues. As we’ll discuss further in a moment, how you pull the trigger is one of the most important components of accurate shooting. When using a rifle, you’re able to use your shoulder and other parts of your arm to steady the gun on the target prior to pulling the trigger. With a handgun, you don’t have anything to provide additional support. Once you pull the trigger, there’s a chance that it could affect the movement of the gun and alter the shot.


These are the fundamental issues that make handguns difficult to shoot. If you can overcome these issues, you’ll find it much easier to improve your accuracy. 


4 Pointers for Better Accuracy


As you seek to improve your accuracy, you may find the following pointers helpful. Focus on one component at a time and gradually begin to add new techniques as you master the previous ones. Choose the right firearm and then implement these tips.

  • Begin With Your Stance


While there are more important aspects, it’s always a good idea to start with your stance. Because if your stance is way off, it’s going to make it really hard to accurately shoot your firearm.


The most common mistake is having one heel behind the other. This prevents proper lateral balance and causes you to move sideways. Likewise, having your feet squared prevents good front-to-back balance. You want to maintain a stance much like a boxer would in a relaxed fighting position. Your left leg goes slightly to the rear, while your pelvis is supported at a 45-degree angle.

  • Perfect Your Grip


Avoid gripping your firearm too hard. You want a soft grip with just enough tension to hold it steady. It’s very unlikely that you’ll drop the gun. The tension of pushing/pulling between both hands will always hold your gun in place.

  • Look Through the Sight Correctly


Always focus on the front sight when aiming. You don’t need to squint to align the front and rear sights. You just want to focus on the top of the front sight and the top of the rear sight. Keep both eyes open and go for it. It’ll take lots of practice and tweaks, but you’ll eventually get a feel for how the sight should look.

  • Control the Trigger


Now comes the most important part: trigger control. If you can control your trigger movement, you’ll never struggle with accuracy ever again.


As a general rule of thumb, the more you move the trigger during firing, the more likely it is that you’ll miss the intended target. The key is to master the three stages of the trigger press:

  • The Slop: The distance the trigger moves to the rear before encountering resistance
  • The Slack: The distance the trigger travels under tension before firing
  • The Shot: The trigger’s finishing move.


When firing multiple rounds, avoid letting the trigger fully return to its resting position. This removes some of the slop and limits the amount of trigger movement required for the next shot. The best way to practice this is by running dry rounds through your pistol.


Improve Your Handgun Accuracy

When it’s all said and done, practice makes perfect. You can read about techniques, watch YouTube videos, and even shoot dry rounds through your gun. But until you actually load it up and shoot it on the range, you won’t be able to truly put these tips into action. Practice, practice, and practice some more. That’s how you become accurate!

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