How Should You Hold A Handgun For Maximum Accuracy?

If you are interested in guns and shooting, you might know that handling any firearm is not as easy as they show in movies and shows. You need a lot of practice and knowledge about the physics of guns working. This same theory goes for handling a handgun for home defense too.

Now you might have often wondered about how should you hold a handgun for maximum accuracy? In this article, we will be discussing just that.

What Is Accuracy?

Before we get to the main part, we need to make some concepts clear. The first thing to understand is what exactly accuracy is in handgun terms means. In simple words, accuracy means to be precise.

In handgun terms, you have to shoot a target from different ranges, repeatedly, without losing the main area. To put it simply, imagine your target is in front of you. You have locked in your aim; now you have to move to different directions and still keep your aim intact. If each bullet hits different points in the target, you have to work on your accuracy.

Controlling The Trigger

The next thing to keep in mind is the trigger of the handgun. If you have ever handled a pistol, you might know this that the trigger pull is four to five times heavier than the actual weight of the gun. This would disturb your alignment. 

Therefore, before pulling the trigger, you have to calculate the amount of pressure you put on the trigger, that would help you to dislocate from your position, the least. 

The Physics

To handle a gun properly, you must understand the working. Once you grab the physics of recoil in a gun, it will be easier for you to calculate the amount of pressure to apply on the trigger. In the end, it will help you to handle the gun better.

You must be aware of Newton’s Third Law “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. The recoil in the gun follows this law. As we all know, the gunpowder in the gun helps to fire the bullet. When ignited, the gunpowder turns into a gas and forces the bullet through the barrel. 

This gas pushes the bullet at a great force. The moment, the bullet comes out of the gun with a huge speed, even the gas releases. This gas was at extremely high pressure. As the pressure is relieved and the gas leaves, an equal amount of force is sent back towards the gun; due to the “opposite reaction”.

After you understand this logic, it will be easier for you to apply pressure on the trigger. After a bit of practice, you need not even have to think twice before pulling the trigger. 

How To Get Maximum Accuracy?

Now, as we have some understanding of the terms related to the shooting, we should answer the main question. While shooting, you will be bound to think about how to hold a handgun for maximum accuracy.

1. Find A Position

The first thing to do is to find yourself a suitable range; this means you have to decide on the range. This is based on your practice. If you are just starting to build your accuracy, we would recommend you to start with a close range.

Once you have positioned yourself, you have to aim at the target. Always use the handgun’s sight radius. Make sure your posture is straight, do not lean or bend as that will dislocate you from your position once you fire the gun. Your arms should be stretched out without any bending in the elbow area. 

2. Use Both Hands

One of the most important things to keep in mind is to use both of your hands. Often people get influence by what they see in movies and try to use one hand. You have to understand that the actors there are using a prop, which is just a replica of the real gun. Handguns aren’t that easy to handle. 

You have to place both your hands and make sure to position them in such a way that all the grip’s part is covered. Also, you have to make sure that you are not putting your hands in an uncomfortable position. Your fingers and thumbs should rest as comfortably as possible. 

3. Use Arms And Shoulder

Your whole body plays a significant role in achieving accuracy while shooting; every part of your body has some role to play. Another part that is as important as your hand is your shoulder. 

At this point, you could be wondering when firing a handgun, how far you should hold it from your own body? Make sure that the gun is at an arm’s distance from your body. Your arms should be fully outstretched and stiff while aiming at your target.

While shooting, you have to be mindful that your arms are in coordination with your vision. This will help you to handle the gun better. Make sure to line up your arm in a straight line with your chest. 

However, do not freeze your shoulders. You have to keep them straight. No matter what, do not lean your shoulders when you are shooting. The recoil will disrupt your position if you do so.

4. Aligning Your Sight

This is one of the most important points to keep in mind if you want a high level of accuracy. You might have noticed that there are two sights in the handgun. There is a rear sight and a front sight. This might lead to a slight confusion as to which one would help you to get the maximum accuracy.

You have to align your gun by having a vision of the front sight which should be between the rear sight. This will ensure that you have a clear vision of your target. Another thing to notice is if you have a good amount of light.

Once you find that your front vision aligns with the center of the rear notch, there are high chances that your aim will have the maximum accuracy.

5. Set Your Target

This step is something that would come automatically to you without thinking. As you are aligning your sight, you would automatically aim for your target. 

Setting up and aiming for your target is, of course, the main part of getting exact precision. If you can aim at your target with precision, your accuracy will be precise too.

The first thing people usually do is to targe the bullseye. You will find a small circle around the bullseye. Make sure to make that your target. Align your sight in a way that the mouth of the gun and the ring are in a straight line.

To make it simpler, imagine there is a large blue circle, within which there is a black square. Your main target is the black square, however, you have to keep the large blue circle as your overall target.

6. Keep Breathing

All these processes can be quite overwhelming. In the beginning, you might feel quite tensed too. It has been noticed that people hold their breath unconsciously before shooting. This s something you have to overcome. 

More importantly, breathing also helps in your accuracy of shooting. As you know that breathing helps in the blood flow in your body. This, in turn, will help you to concentrate better too.  

Another thing that you need to practice is to time your breath with your aims. As you inhale and exhale your chest rises and falls. This also affects the position of your hands. Hence there is a chance of your aim being shifted even for a few millimeters. Hence, it is advised to always try to shoot as you exhale.

7. Fire!

Now you are all set to fire your shot. Keep all the previous steps in mind and make sure to follow them properly. 

After you have shot, you have to reset the trigger by simply holding it with your finger. This will cause almost no movement in your posture; hence the accuracy would remain intact.

However, there are chances that you might move from your posture unwillingly after firing for the first few times. You might not even get the maximum accuracy in those first shots. However, it is all a matter of practice. The more you will practice, the better you will get at shooting your targets with pinpoint precision.

Tips To Remember

Here are a few tips that you might find useful before you start using the gun, or even reach the shooting range.

  • First, be confident. Confidence can give you a boost in anything in life. If you are confident in shooting, your posture will be intact too. You can stand straight and stiff. This would increase your chances of getting maximum accuracy.
  • Always keep your gears ready. We are not only talking about your gun. Before going out for shooting, make sure you research about the shooting range, the bullseye target you will be using, the range you will be using, etc. Before heading out of your house, make sure that your gun case or range backpack is all set and you have everything required.
  • We have discussed this a little while ago. Before shooting a gun, you must have a clear idea of how the guns works. You need to know about the recoil. Knowing about these will give you a clearer idea of how to work on your aim and targets. Also, keep in mind the pulling of the trigger is way heavier than that of the gun. So keep your mind prepared before you start to shoot.  


While shooting a handgun, there are some things you should keep ready in case anything happens. If you are in a gun range, these things will be followed. However, one should make themselves aware of their safety.

  • Always make sure you have a first-aid kit handy or nearby.
  • For better positioning of your arm, you can take a shot from different ranges (at least 2) on multiple locations. 
  • Make sure that your hand is wrapped tightly on the grip. If you are holding it loosely, there are high chances that your wrist might get badly damaged.

Be Responsible

We hope this has been able to answer your question: how should you hold a gun for maximum accuracy?

Being a beginner, you might not get it exactly right at the very first shot. So, make sure that you don’t give up easily! Keep practicing and try to learn from your mistakes. Shooting a gun is a difficult task, which looks very easy to an audience. 

Shooting is almost like a sport. You have to increase your strength and stay fit. Handling a handgun is not quite an easy task. People usually go for a handgun at first for the small size.

 Though the gun is of small size, it is quite heavy. As we know, the trigger pulling takes 4-5 times more the strength to hold the gun; then, it becomes evident how much strength you need to have.  

In these situations, we understand that owning a gun is a safe method; however, having a gun is a huge responsibility. Before, you opt for a shooting range, make sure it is a legal one. You can get some good shooting related magazines or subscribe to newsletters. Those will help you a lot regarding the legalities of handling a firearm.

Before getting a gun license, make sure you are getting that from a verified place. It’s always better to inquire about legal places from local police officers as they will have a better idea. Also, just because you have a gun or you can use a gun, make sure to keep your conscience clear. 

Guns are good for defending yourself. Keep that in mind. Your morale should be clear about it. Just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you have to use it.