Correcting handgun shooting problems

It’s not hard to shoot a handgun, but it isn’t easy to shoot a handgun well and consistently. I’ve spoken with numerous people that can get shots on paper, but not always where they wanted the shots to go. The nice thing is that, depending where those shots are landing, you use that to diagnose what the problem likely is.

The June 2009 Rangemaster newsletter has a helpful article on this very topic.

Another useful help is this “sportshooter.com” correctional target.  Aim for the center with each and every shot and see where your holes end up. Depending which section of the target the holes end up in you can use that as a tool to diagnose your problem. It is made for right-handed shooters (left-handers just flip it over). But I hacked up a version for the lefties! Choose accordingly.

Correction Target for Left-Handed Shooters

Correction Target for Right-Handed Shooters

Updated: Based upon a comment I received I went Googling for an answer. You can see the target (which, by the way, I didn’t create) lists that it’s based upon the US Army Marksmanship Unit Pistol Training Guide. You can find a copy of this guide at The Encyclopedia of Bullseye Pistol.

Updated 2: I realized that just saying “flip it over” wasn’t ideal. Sure you could if the paper you printed it on was thin enough but still, not ideal. So, I took a few minutes in GraphicConverter and made an inverted version just for you lefties!

Updated 3: While the above targets are nice because they tell you WHAT you are doing wrong, they don’t tell you HOW you can correct it. Click here for a brief article with some HOWTO’s for correcting the above problems.

Updated 4: Here’s perhaps a better (or at least more humorous, and arguably more accurate) chart. 🙂

35 thoughts on “Correcting handgun shooting problems

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  6. I am cross dominent, I shoot right handed and my left eye is dominent, can you suggest to me a way to get better scores or to correct this problem so that Ican get better scores???

    • There seems to be two things here: 1. that you’re not getting the scores you want, 2. that you think your cross-dominence is causing you to not get the scores you want.

      Are you sure it’s the cross-dominence that’s causing the low scores?

      In terms of dealing with cross-dominence, there’s no One True Way (that I’m aware of) to contend with it, at least for handgun shooting (rifles and shotguns are a different story). Some people deal with it by just using the other eye (i.e. shoot right, use right eye). Some people tilt their head to bring their left eye over to where the right eye was and thus in line with the gun sights (IMHO that’s not the best way to do it because it can strain your neck and puts your body off balance… but if it works for you, it works for you). Some people just shift the gun a bit; that is, just use the left eye and the handgun gets shifted slightly to the left so that now the sights line up with the left eye’s line of sight. You just have to experiment and find what works best for you.

      But is this the cause of your shooting problem? That’s difficult to diagnose over the Internet based upon the few words you’ve written to me. I’m not even sure what exactly your problem is or what the symptoms are (e.g. are you hitting all over the paper? are all shots going low-left?). So, I can’t really say without knowing more information.

      Of course, there’s no substitute for having a good teacher looking over your shoulder. You should consider looking for good instructors in your area. If you’re in the Central Texas area, give KR Training a try (disclosure: I take classes there as well as help out there, but only because I’ve come to respect owner and chief instructor, Karl Rehn, a great deal because he’s a solid guy, capable shooter, knows his stuff, and is a good teacher).

      Best I can say from here.

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