Issue 03 Preview – 5 Tips to better shooting Jonathon Perez 2 Comments, Join the Conversation Taran Butler's Pistol Basics Whether you just picked up your first pistol or are a ranked Grand Master shooter, it’s always a good idea to review the basics of handgun shooting. Pistol-shooting skills can perish if not kept up, and the gains made from practice and training can easily be lost. To receive a few pointers on how to properly fire a handgun, we took a trip to the shooting range with Grand Master and Multi-Gun champion, Taran Butler. Not only is Butler a multiple champion in competitive shooting, he also conducts classes on the skill in his spare time. We asked him to go over the basics of handgun shooting and how to avoid the common mistakes he sees in his students. 1 . Stance A proper shooting stance is important for getting off an accurate shot. As with golf and so many other sports, your stance is the foundation of your game; it sets up everything you’re about to do, so make sure you have a good one. A proper stance will allow your body to absorb recoil, and efficiently keep you set for the next shot. A bad one makes consistent shooting difficult shot, and could throw your body off balance in the process. Don't Do This Butler said he often sees his students do what he calls “fishing.” Beginning shooters often don’t pay attention to their foot placement or body posture. They might stand straight up, or are leaned back with their feet too closely together. With your center of gravity high and to the back, the recoil from the gun literally pushes you back on your heels and can throw you off balance. In that position, your shoulders don’t brace your arms, and under recoil, the arms fly up and end up looking like they’re battling a swordfish while deep-sea fishing. This might be great for catching fish, but it is hardly any good for accurate follow-up shots, never mind for looking like you know what you’re doing at the range. Do This Put your dukes up and get into a boxer’s fighting stance. Square yourself up to the target, hunch your back a little, and roll your shoulders in. Your feet should be a little more than shoulder’s width apart with your left foot (for a right-handed shooter) forward about six inches. With your knees slightly bent, your weight should be equally distributed on both feet. Your arms should be in front of you with your elbows slightly bent, as if you were about to defend yourself in a fistfight. This stance stabilizes your body for when pull the trigger, and you’ll have much better recoil control. Your arms will act as shock absorbers, and your rolled-in shoulders as a brace. Absorbing recoil from a firing gun is like getting punched: It’s best to absorb the punch the best you can so that you can immediately respond, in this case, with a quick, accurate follow-up shot. For the rest of this article, subscribe digitally here: RECOIL Issue 3 Explore RECOILweb:The Mojave Road: 'God-Forsaken' and Worth DrivingRECOILtv: Julie Golob Joins the Roster6 Range Bag EssentialsFirst Look at the Springfield Armory Hellion NEXT STEP: Download Your Free Target Pack from RECOILFor years, RECOIL magazine has treated its readers to a full-size (sometimes full color!) shooting target tucked into each big issue. Now we've compiled over 50 of our most popular targets into this one digital PDF download. From handgun drills to AR-15 practice, these 50+ targets have you covered. Print off as many as you like (ammo not included). Get your pack of 50 Print-at-Home targets when you subscribe to the RECOIL email newsletter. We'll send you weekly updates on guns, gear, industry news, and special offers from leading manufacturers - your guide to the firearms lifestyle.You want this. Trust Us.