​Be Like Jack Bauer: The
 Complete Guide To Handgun Mastery

​​​Out of all the weapons in the world, none are quite so easy to take with you as a handgun. These little machines can be placed inside a desk, a car, a purse, or even a pocket.

​Handguns are useful because of their easy portability and incredible danger at close range. If you doubt a handgun's capacity to save your life, a quick Youtube search of "robber gets shot" will yield some results.

​The problem with handguns is that they can be notoriously difficult to shoot. Handgun accuracy is difficult to attain and seems impossible to master.

​That's what this guide is for.

​We've neatly divided this guide into two categories: Information and Accuracy. If you are interested in learning about handguns, their strengths and weaknesses, the best ones for you, and so on, feel free to read the entire post.

​If you just want to learn some incredible tips to improve your accuracy, click here and you'll go to the accuracy section.

​So with no further ado...

​​​​Handgun Explained

​​Handguns are also called pistols. Handguns are portable firearms that can be easily carried and are a weapon of choice for concealed carriers or law enforcement due to their small frame.

​Handguns usually trade portability for accuracy. Due to their short length, handguns can be notoriously difficult to shoot accurately.

​While some handguns can pack a serious punch, many handguns lose more power at a distance and are more likely to shoot a lighter round than a rifle.

​Strengths​: Pistols are easily concealed and can be devastating at close range. They make for excellent guns to carry on your person, in your car, at work, or in your night stand. Pistols are an easy-access and simple to use weapon.

​Weaknesses​: Due to their relatively light bodies and small frames,​​​ most pistols will be more inaccurate than a rifle. Many pistol rounds have a tendency to become significantly less accurate and less powerful at long range.​​​​​​​

​Should I Get A Pistol, Rifle, Or Shotgun?

​The question of pistol vs rifle vs shotty should be asked by anyone who has ever had any concern about their safety.

​The short answer is: it depends on your situation.

​Personally, I prefer a long barrelled gun for home-defense. We'll cover shotguns in a later post, but shotguns tend to be the best weapon if your guy is inside your home due to a shotty's massive damage potential and pellet spread.

​Outside of home defense (like while at work, in my car, or going about my day), rifles are a little too on-the-nose to carry around. Pistols work great.

​It's easy to toss a pistol in the console of your car or under a seat just in case you find yourself in a bad situation. If your intent is to be packing at work, I definitely recommend getting a pistol.

​If for some reason you've gotta shoot someone who is 50+ yards away, go rifle.

​​What Kind Of Pistol Is Best For Me?

​There are almost as many types of pistols as there are annoying types of social media.

Some are heavy hitters and are about as subtle as a flying aircraft carrier (looking at you, .44 magnum).

Others are lightweight, have little recoil, and ​fit perfectly into the palm of your hand (think 9 mm, .38, .380, .22). Some of these can even be so small as where you can hold the entire pistol in your palm. The ladies in my family prefer these kinds, and we'll talk about them in depth in a minute.

Finally, there are pistols that are truly bred for combat. They usually combine heavy-hitting into a smaller body. Pistols that shoot a .45 round fall into this category and are my preferred weapons, though they're usually a bit too big for concealed carry.

To best discuss what kind of pistol is best for you, I'm going to discuss several objectives a person may have for owning a pistol. Find which objective you fit best into and that will most likely have your preferred firearm.

Of course, there's no reason to own just one pistol with just one purpose. I own several and love them all equally, just like my kids.

  • ​​Concealed Carry:​ ​​Most of the time for most concealed carriers, small is the name of the game. Most guns that fire a 9mm round, a .38 round, a .380 round, or a .22 round will be small enough to fit in your waistline, purse, or secret holster without giving anything away. My personal preference is a 9mm firing pistol, as these are usually small, have large magazines, and employ dynamic stopping power at close range.
  • ​Vehicle Carry​: We can get a little fancy with anything that you intend to keep in your car. Since your dash or console probably has a bit of space, I like to go bigger than my concealed carry weapon. A larger pistol (and round) like a .45 are excellent for these types of scenarios. .45 rounds are big enough to pack serious stopping power and most pistols that shoot .45 can have a good sized magazine while staying compact.
  • ​​​Home Defense​: ​​This is where we get to have a lot of fun. Personally I prefer a .45 shooting gun like my Ruger P90DC due to its large magazine, high penetration, and the recoil pattern. .45 rounds have a tendency to kick backwards instead of up, making it easier to stay on target between shots. Of course, many use a 9mm or even a massive .44 magnum for home defense. Pick a gun you love, are comfortable with, and tha​t you trust won't jam up on you in the middle of a fight.
  • ​Show Your Friends How Puny Their Guns Are​:​​​ ​​Go for a .44 magnum. These are also called hand cannons and they live up to their name. I literally shot through trees with my old .44. It's massive, has a lot of kick, and only fires six rounds before needing a reload, so I don't prefer it for much else and don't own one anymore... But for showing off your inner cowboy, giving your friends busted eardrums, or reaching escape velocity, this is your weapon.

Mastering Accuracy

Pistol accuracy is notoriously difficult to attain. In my personal opinion, it is much easier to be accurate with a long-barreled gun than it is to be accurate with a handgun.

In this section, we will break down all the key elements of handgun accuracy. I am happy to report that after practicing many of these methods, my handgun accuracy has improved significantly.

This section will be broken into several subsections, each discussing a separate part of accuracy. We will discuss aiming down the sights, grip, stance, and best practices.

​Aiming Down Sights: ​Aiming down the sights and sight alignment are the core building block of all firearm mastery. When all else goes to crap, point the dot and pull the trigger.

With pistols, you'll need to make sure that your front and back sights are aligned. Keep your focus on the front sight. The front sight will be where your bullet ends up going.

Here are a few videos talking about best practices for using sights on a handgun. The second video gets into sight adjustment as time goes on, but the beginning few minutes are perfect for learning to get your target in your sights.

​​Grip​: ​Your grip is an extremely important element while shooting and helps a lot with maintaining target.

​While hand placement is easier shown than explained, we recommend a push/pull grip. Push the gun forward with the hand holding the gun and pull it backwards with the covering hand.

This technique, as well as hand placement and other tips, are included in videos below. Do be aware that the second video poses an alternate technique to the push/pull grip. Either works. Find what's best for you.

​Stance​: ​​As anyone who is learning to shoot a pistol will tell you, there are several different types of stance. The most popular two are the weaver and the isosceles (like the triangle) stance.

Either stance is fine and usually falls to personal preference. I always use the isosceles stance. For what it's worth, a friend of mine trained special forces in handgun shooting and he always taught the isosceles stance.

Each stance is discussed and shown below.

​Best Practices: One of the best ways to maintain target while shooting is to simply master the techniques above.

Of course, practice goes a long way.

Here are a couple videos that go over some great tips. These should help you to master your pistol skills and become the next Jack Bauer.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our complete handgun guide! We ​just wanted to take a minute to thank you for being our incredible reader. Tell us in the comments below: ​​​What's your favorite pistol? Any particular stance, grip, or other practices you use?

Stay safe out there. God bless.

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