This is a section sample from the upcoming book, Fundamentals of Rifle and Pistol Marksmanship for Hunting and Self-Defense

by Colorado Pete

Defensive Pistol Shooting Basics

by Colorado Pete

“An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.”
“You are no more armed because you own a gun, than you are a musician because you own a piano”
– Jeff Cooper

This section is not about handguns, or holsters, or concealed carry. There are many such good books and I encourage you investigate them. This section is about how to shoot a pistol with consistent accuracy, and with sufficient recoil control and learned physical and mental reflexes to allow the development of high speed application of that accuracy.

The method of properly using a large-caliber pistol for the purpose of self-defense underwent a major advance in the latter half of the twentieth century. Led by former Marine Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper and a group of his friends comprising civilian recreational shooters, law enforcement officers, and hunters, this effort used open, freestyle competition to develop and compare ideas, equipment, and techniques against scenarios based on personal combat experiences and other actual instances of shootouts. By the closing of that century, techniques to allow great advances in fast and accurate shooting had been devised, along with an understanding of how both the pistol and the human mind are best used in defensive situations. What has since been named the Modern Technique was born: equal parts marksmanship, gunhandling, and mindset. The following section deals with these concepts, geared to the beginner. While there is no substitute for training under the tutelage of a qualified coach, it is my intent to provide sufficient material here to enable a beginner to learn, understand, and practice the Modern Technique correctly and with some capacity for self-analysis where a proper coach is unavailable.

In order to survive and prevail in a stressful and potentially deadly situation, we need to have our minds working along the proper lines that such a situation dictates. In order to shoot a pistol accurately, the two basic techniques required are properly aiming the gun so that the bullet will go where we desire, and properly pressing the trigger to release the shot without having the pressing disturb the aiming. So, first we will discuss proper mindset in the next chapter, then look at the function of aiming, then that of trigger management. Once these all-important fundamentals are covered, the following chapters will cover proper grip and stance, the draw, the reload, malfunction clearances, gaining speed in hits, subconscious trigger reflex, transitions between multiple targets, shooting moving targets, shooting while moving, and training.