Firearms

Handguns

  • The term “handgun” refers to any small firearm intended for use with one hand only.
  • Currently, the two most important types of handguns are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols.
  • The key distinction between the two is that the former contains a cylindrical magazine (the firearm compartment from which cartridges, or bullets, are fed into the barrel) with multiple chambers that enable the shooter to fire repeated shots without pausing to reload.
  • An automatic (self-loading) pistol feeds cartridges into the barrel from a detachable magazine that is inserted through the bottom of the butt (the gun’s handle).
  • This type of pistol utilizes some of the recoil force from each cartridge firing to feed the next cartridge into its single chamber.
  • Revolvers and Semi-Automatics differ widely in design and production
  • Both will be discussed in more detail.
  • Read more: http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Revolver.html#ixzz6zrYIRqLi

REVOLVER HANDGUN

NOTE: This illustration shows the primary characteristics exhibited in the Revolver category.

A revolver contains four main subsystems:

  1. Frame Group
  2. Cylinder, Extractor, and Crane Group
  3. Barrel and Sight Group
  4. Trigger Group

FRAME GROUP

  • The Frame Group consists of the mainframe, the trigger guard, and the handgrip.
  • Its purpose is to provide a strong frame to contain the powerful force of the cartridge discharge, position the shooter’s hand correctly, and ensure that the trigger functions precisely.
  • Designs vary slightly due to manufacturers’ patents, but the operation is basically the same.
  • All modern revolvers utilize a frame design incorporating a solid top strap that connects the top of the grip area to the barrel mounting area, reinforcing the frame’s structural integrity.

THE CYLINDER, EXTRACTOR, AND CRANE GROUP

  • The Cylinder, Extractor, and Crane Group consists of the cylinder itself, the shaft upon which it rotates, the extractor, the extractor shaft, a return spring, and the crane.
  • The cylinder commonly contains six chambers for six cartridges of the correct caliber arranged in a circle.
  • The rim, or outer edge of the cartridge base, rests upon a semicircular ledge formed by the extractor, which contains six small depressions in the center.
  • The outside of the cylinder has six corresponding locking grooves.
  • The cylinder rotates on the cylinder pin, which locks into the frame on one end and the crane on the other end.
  • While the inside of the frame supports the base of the cartridge, the forcing cone on the barrel helps the bullet accurately jump the gap between the cylinder face and the barrel.

BARREL AND SIGHT GROUP

  • The Barrel and Sight Group is very important to the accuracy of the weapon.
  • Threaded onto the frame, the barrel receives the bullet from the chamber upon firing.
  • Inside, the barrel is rifled, or inscribed with a series of grooves that impart a stabilizing spin to bullets as they leave the gun.
  • The sights consist of a Rear Sight with its groove or notch and a Front Sight which is typically shaped like a blade or post.
  • The notch and the top of the blade, which can be adjusted, are aligned to help shooters aim.
  • Most high quality revolvers feature sights purchased from companies whose specialty is fine mechanisms.
  • Optical sights, low-and no-light sights, and lasers are also available.

TRIGGER GROUP

Single Action – the hammer must be manually drawn back (cocked) before each shot (not suitable for security duties.)

  • The Trigger Group is best explained by describing the firing sequence, initiated when the shooter pulls back on the hammer spur.
  • This action compresses, or cocks, the hammer spring and pushes the timing hand connecting the hammer to the trigger group into an extractor depression, rotating the cylinder to align that chamber and the barrel.
  • The trigger mechanism latch engages the locking grooves, stopping further rotation and securing the cylinder for firing.
  • At the end of the travel, the hammer is latched by the trigger sear and held ready for firing.
  • When the trigger is fully depressed, the hammer unlatches from the trigger sear and is propelled forward by the hammer spring.
  • This energy is transmitted to the firing pin, which strikes the primer of the cartridge, firing the weapon.
  • This sequence of firing is called single action.

Double Action – can be fired by cocking the hammer first then pulling the trigger or simply by pulling the trigger.

  • With the advent of the double-action design, a connection bar was used to allow the trigger to rotate the cylinder, cock the hammer, and complete the firing in one motion.
  • This design promoted an increase in the rate of firepower and simplified the draw and fire situation.
  • Most modern revolvers are of the double-action design.=
  • After firing, the shooter releases the trigger.
  • The trigger spring then returns the trigger to the forward position and forces the hand and latch to retract within the frame in preparation for the next shot.

Loading and Unloading a Revolver

  • Once the cartridges have been fired, the cylinder latch on the side of the frame is pressed, disengaging the cylinder pin from the frame.
  • This allows the entire assembly to swing out of the frame on the crane for reloading.
  • The extractor shaft is pressed, lifting the cartridge cases out of their chambers, after which the cylinder spring returns the extractor to the cylinder.
  • Live cartridges are again loaded and the cylinder is then simply pushed back into the frame, where the cylinder pin spring latches it back into place.

 

SEMI-AUTO PISTOLS

SEMI-AUTO HANDGUN NOMENCLATURE

  • A semi-automatic pistol is a type of pistol that is semiautomatic, meaning it uses the energy of the fired cartridge to cycle the action of the firearm and advance the next available cartridge into position for firing.
  • One cartridge is fired each time the trigger of a semi-automatic pistol is pulled; the pistol’s “disconnector” ensures this behavior.

Semi-Auto Nomenclature

  • Grip – Made of polymer designed to allow the shooter to easily grip & control the weapon.
  • Back Strap – Portion of the grip that the placed in the palm of the shooting hand.
  • Frame/Receiver – Holds the internal parts, as well as the slide assembly, & provides a way to grip the pistol.
  • Trigger – Activates the pistol’s operation
  • Slide Lock – Device that locks the slide in the open position
  • Trigger Guard -Part of the frame that provides the trigger.
  • Thumb Rest – Place for the thumb to rest while gripping the pistol.
  • Slide Stop/Release – Device that locks the slide in the open position.
  • Accessory Rail – Provides space for lighting & sighting devices.
  • Front Sight – Located on the front of the slide; used to bring the firearm into alignment for accuracy.
  • Rear Sight – The device(s) on top of a barrel that allows the gun to be aimed.
  • Safety (if equipped) – A mechanism or device on an action to prevent firing of the gun and may be manually operated or is a design feature intended to automatically prevent inadvertent firings.
  • Magazine – 5 parts
  1. Follower
  2. Spring
  3. Magazine insert
  4. Floor plate
  5. Magazine tube

Recoil Guide – Directs the recoil spring.

Recoil spring – Pushes the slide forward.

Disassembly latch -Allows the weapon to be broken down for maintenance and cleaning.

Magazine release – Releases the magazine from the magazine well.

De-cocking Lever (if equipped) – allows the hammer to be dropped on a live cartridge without risk of discharging it, usually by blocking the hammer or retracting or covering the firing pin before releasing the sear.

Barrel – The metal tube through which a projectile or shot charge is fired

Muzzle – The end of the barrel through which the projectile (bullet) exits

Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol

A single-action (SA) semi-automatic pistol must be cocked by first operating the slide or bolt, or, if a round is already chambered, by cocking the hammer manually.

Double Action Semi-Auto Pistol

  • Standard modern semi-automatic pistols are usually double-action (DA), also sometimes known as double-action/single-action (DA/SA).
  • A double-action revolver will have a trigger that both cocks the hammer and releases it in one pull and this will occur for every shot unless the hammer is pulled back manually before the shot.
  • Any semi-auto that states it is DAO means that every trigger pull will be double action.

SINGLE ACTION

  • The hammer must be cocked for the first shot.
  • The action will cock the hammer for the following shots (1911 style)

DOUBLE ACTION ONLY

  • The first shot can be fired by depressing the trigger.
  • All shots are fired from an un-cocked position by depressing (pulling) the trigger (Glock, Springfield XO)
  • This self cocks the hammer and each subsequent shot will then be in the single-action mode (Beretta, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson)

DOUBLE ACTION/SINGLE ACTION

  • Double Action/Single action means that the hammer can be manually cocked or the trigger can simply be pulled to fire the first shot.
  • The hammer will cock the trigger for the following shots.

HANDGUN MAINTENANCE/CLEANING

Make sure the weapon is unloaded

When cleaning your gun, you are primarily doing two things.

  1. You are removing any built-up residue and rust (more about rust shortly)
  2. You are lubricating and preventing rust build-up on your firearm.

Before you start, you should probably use some sort of mat.

  • There are ones made specifically for the oily nature of firearms maintenance.
  • Once your firearm is disassembled, you will see the dark residue from firing.
  • Use your wipes, with cleaning solvent applied, to go over the easily accessible areas.
  • For hard-to-reach parts of the gun, you can use something like Q-tips to get in and remove the residue.
  • It is worth noting that while cleaning your firearms, you can use this time and your wipes for your optics to keep them pristine.
  • You then need to apply oil throughout the gun.
  • You don’t want to completely soak the gun in oil.
  • Use enough to leave a shine.
  • You can apply your gun oil to a wipe and use the wipe to apply it to the parts of your gun.
  • They sell wipes with lubricant on them, but they aren’t necessary.

Cleaning the Barrel

  • When cleaning the barrel, you should use some wipes and wrap it around the bristle.
  • Make sure your bore brush is the exact size for your caliber.
  • Otherwise, it either won’t fit or won’t create enough friction to actually clean it.
  • Run it down the barrel to collect the debris.
  • You can peer down the barrel (preferably from the loading chamber, be sure to practice proper gun safety) and view whether the debris is still there.
  • If it is not perfectly smooth all the way through, or if you see black residue, continue running wipes through.
  • Once it is clean, you can run the bare bristles down the barrel.
  • The bristles will help to remove rust and clean it thoroughly.

HANDGUN MAINTENANCE

In order to ensure that firearms function effectively during critical, life-threatening situations, it is essential that those authorized to carry firearms understand what is required to maintain those firearms and can perform routine maintenance to ensure the safety of the security officer, innocent citizens, and even suspects.

  • Powder Solvent
  • Gun Oil
  • Bore Brushes
  • Bore Patches
  • Bristle Brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Cleaning Rod
  • Cloth Rag

 

Rust on Your Firearm

  • If your firearms are beginning to rust, don’t panic.
  • It can usually be removed with ease.
  • You may be able to wipe them down with a cloth and oil to remove them.
  • If not, you can use steel wool.
  • Do not use just any steel wool though, as if it is too rough you will be removing the finish of the gun.
  • 4 ought wool steel is generally recommended.
  • Apply some oil to the rusted areas and go over them with the steel wool.

Take the Time to Properly Clean Your Firearm

  • It will take some time, but maintaining your firearms is necessary.
  • If you neglect your firearms, you will find them rusty and in a state of disarray.
  • Cleaning and lubricating firearms make them work smoothly and without the risk of malfunctioning.

INSPECTION OF FIREARMS BY INSTRUCTOR

All firearms should be inspected for function and safety by the Armorer/Firearms Instructor annually.

RANGE RULES

ALL GUNS ARE LOADED GUNS!!

SHOOTERS WILL ALWAYS STRICTLY FOLLOW THE FOUR FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY

  • RULE ONE: ALL FIREARMS ARE LOADED. EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT, THEY ARE TREATED AS IF THEY ARE. BEFORE HANDLING A FIREARM, PERSONALLY CHECK AND CLEAR VISUALLY AND BY FEEL.

IF THE FIREARM LEAVES YOUR SIGHT YOU MUST RE-CLEAR BEFORE HANDLING AGAIN.

  • RULE TWO: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF OF THE TRIGGER – RESTING ON FRAME OR SLIDE; DO NOT TOUCH THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET AND YOU INTEND TO FIRE.
  • RULE THREE: NEVER ALLOW THE MUZZLE OF YOUR FIREARM TO “SWEEP” OR “COVER” ANYTHING YOU DO NOT WANT TO DESTROY.
  • RULE FOUR: BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET AND WHAT IS BEYOND. WHERE WILL MISSES OR OVER PENETRATIONS GO? AT NIGHT, USE A LIGHT AND IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET.

FIREARMS SAFETY – ON DUTY HANDGUN SAFETY

  1. Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
  2. Always point the firearm in a safe direction.
  3. Never point the firearm at anyone or anything that you are not willing to destroy.
  4. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  5. Leave the weapon holstered unless there is a valid reason to remove it from the holster.
  6. Do not fire warning shots.
  7. Be sure of your target and what is beyond the target.

GUN SAFETY RULES APPLY EVEN TO GUNS LOADED WITH BLANKS.

  1. How the weapon works
  2. If it is loaded
  3. Where it is pointed
  4. What is the target
  5. Where is the target
  6. What is the path of the bullet
  7. Where the bullet will stop

ADDITIONAL TIPS

GENERALLY, WHEN HANDING A FIREARM TO ANOTHER, THE FIREARM SHOULD BE UNLOADED AND THE ACTION SHOULD BE OPEN.
  • Weapons should always be test fired after any adjustments or repairs.
  • Keep the weapon clean, and be careful not to expose the ammunition to excessive oil or solvent.
  • Ensure that ammunition carried on duty should be factory loaded, and describe the possible effects of using very old, corroded, or dented cartridges, cartridges that contain a primer that has previously failed to fire, or cartridges that contain a loose projectile.

IN ALL OF THE DESCRIBED, FAILURE TO FUNCTION DURING A CRITICAL INCIDENT MAY OCCUR.

  • Regarding dented or corroded cartridges, not only may the cartridge fail to fire, but the cartridge may become lodged in the cylinder or chamber preventing a functioning cartridge to be available.
  • Regarding a cartridge with a loose projectile, powder may no longer be sufficient to expel the bullet from the barrel creating the possibility of injury or death should the user attempt to fire the next round.

FIREARMS SAFETY – HANDGUN SAFETY AT WORK AND HOME

  1. NEVER leave a gun where a child can reach it (TPC 46.13)
  2. Keep weapons and ammunition stored separately and out of sight
  3. Never assume a small child cannot fire a weapon
  4. Establish firm rules that only adult family members can handle firearms
  5. Secure all weapons in a locked drawer, cabinet or safe and/or use trigger locks on all weapons
  6. Never handle a firearm while intoxicated

ALL GUNS ARE LOADED

SAFE STORAGE

USE A HOME DEFENSE GUN ONLY AS A LAST RESORT.

  • Even a person trained in gun usage can mistakenly shoot a family member or neighbor who was thought to be an intruder
  • Friends and/relatives may visit with small children, do not put them at risk.

FIREARMS SAFETY DEVICES

  • Trigger locks – devices that fit in the trigger guard to prevent the trigger from being pulled and are secured by a key lock or code lock to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Treat every gun as if it were loaded
  • Always point the weapon in a safe direction
  • When you hand a weapon to another person, check to insure it is unloaded and the action is open

YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE

  1. How the weapon works
  2. If it is loaded
  3. Where it is pointed
  4. What the target is
  5. Where the target is
  6. Where the bullet will go
  7. Where the bullet will stop

FIREARMS SAFETY

  • Always test fire your weapon after any repairs
  • Keep the weapon clean, but do not expose the ammunition to oils or solvents
  • Never carry reloads or “cheap” ammunition on duty. Use factory-loaded ammo for duty carry.

RANGE SAFETY

  • ALL Firearms Are Loaded!!!!!
  • DO NOT BRING A LOADED FIREARM TO THE RANGE!
  • Remember to check, recheck and then check again to determine if a firearm is loaded.
  • Never point a gun at something you are not willing to destroy
  • Listen to the Range Master’s Instructions
  • Firearms Training should be enjoyable, but there will be NO HORSE-PLAY!
  • Un-holstered firearms shall have the magazine removed and/or the action open
  • Holstered firearms may or may not be loaded, depending on the course of fire.

RANGE SAFETY

  • Listen to the Range Master’s Instructions
  • Do NOT assume or anticipate commands
  • Load only when instructed to do so
  • No firearms will be handled on or off the line except on command of the Range Master or under the supervision of an instructor
  • Know what your target is and what is around and beyond your target
  • Make sure you shoot on the correct target
  • Make sure you have the correct ammunition
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until on target and ready to fire.
  • Make sure you use proper eye an ear protection.

EVEN IF THE FIREARM IS EQUIPPED WITH A MECHANICAL SAFETY, YOUR TRIGGER FINGER IS THE FINAL AND BEST SAFETY.

  • Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until on target.
  • Eye and ear protection are mandatory
  • Over the head/muff type protection is required to avoid damage to the Mastoid Bone
  • NEVER cross or go forward of the firing line until the line is declared “SAFE”.
  • Leave magazines, speed-loaders, ammunition and brass on the ground until instructed to retrieve them.

IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION OR PROBLEM, RAISE YOUR HAND AND WAIT FOR A LINE OFFICER, DO NOT STEP OFF THE LINE WITH A FIREARM

  • If you have a stoppage or malfunction while shooting and know how to safely clear it, do so. If you are unsure how to clear the problem, raise your hand.
  • Listen to instructions, shoot good, have fun and BE SAFE!!!!!

REMEMBER: FIREARM SAFETY IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

TERMS/DEFINITIONS

Indexing

Indexing is defined as keeping the finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire the weapon.

Administrative Load/Unload/Reload

The “Administrative Load/Reload” refers to common sight on the police range.

  • It is loading the pistol while the pistol is still in the holster.
  • It involves reaching back behind your holster and inserting/removing/swapping out magazines while your pistol is still holstered.

THERE ARE THREE BASIC STANCES UTILIZED WHEN STANDING TO FIRE A PISTOL:

  1. Isosceles
  2. Weaver
  3. Modified Weaver

Isosceles Stance

  • The shooter faces the target squarely, the feet are set shoulder-width (or slightly wider) apart.
  • The toes face the target and are aligned. The knees are flexed at an angle that varies somewhat and the shooter leans forward from the waist towards the target.
  • The shooter’s arms are extended and form an isosceles triangle, hence the name.

Pros: The positives include the fact that it feels like a comfortable and natural position to most shooters. In addition, body positioning seems to have a positive effect on accuracy.

Cons: The predominant problem with the Isosceles Stance is that while it has side-to-side stability, it lacks front-to-rear balance due to the positioning of the feet.

Weaver Stance

The Weaver Stance has become very popular and replaced the Isosceles is the standard taught to most new shooters.

  • The shooter blades his body, placing the foot on the firing side back and turning the support side towards the target.
  • The shooter’s strong, or firing side, the arm is extended and the support arm’s elbow is bent.
  • This allows the shooter to employ a very stable push-pull grip.
  • The shooter pushes with his firing arm and pulls with the support arm to stabilize the weapon.

Pros:

The biggest plus is the push-pull grip which is effective in controlling recoil and weapon control in general.

Cons:

  • A major problem with the stance for the security community is that by blading the body, an officer is exposing an area of his torso that isn’t completely covered with body armor.
  • A right-handed shooter exposes his left armpit, which is an entryway to the heart.
  • In fact, many officers have been fatally shot in this area in spite of body armor.
  • Another problem with the Weaver is that movement while attempting to maintain the bladed position is awkward and problematic.
  • Additionally, post-shooting studies have shown that the majority of Weaver shooters reverted to a form of the Isosceles Stance during actual shootings.

Modified Weaver Stance/Fighting Stance

The last stance has a variety of names.

Some instructors refer to it as a Modified Isosceles or Modified Weaver.

Others call it a Fighting StanceBoxer Stance, or Tactical Stance. For our purposes, we will refer to it as the Modified Weaver Stance.

  • The Modified Weaver Stance was developed in the military in the special forces community.
  • It made its way into law enforcement training and became popular because it allows officers to defend themselves with their hands, baton, or firearm all from the same platform.
  • It’s also a great advanced technique for civilian shooters.
  • In the Fighting Stance, the shooter is square to the target. His feet are shoulder-width or slightly wider and the firing side foot is slightly behind the support side foot.
  • A good landmark is for the toe of the shooting foot to be at the instep of the support foot.
  • This offsetting of the feet eliminates the forward-rear balance issue of the Isosceles Stance.
  • The knees are flexed to absorb recoil and to act as shock absorbers when moving in any direction.
  • The shooter leans slightly forward and extends the arms straight out, bringing the sights to the eyes.
  • The head is kept level to maintain balance, especially when moving.

Pros: Any weapon can be fired effectively from it this stance, although a case can be made for the traditional shotgun stance due to the recoil.

Cons: With the fighting stance, there really isn’t a downside. By modifying the Weaver and Isosceles stances, it eliminates the common drawbacks of the other two stances.

REGARDLESS OF STANCE, DISTRIBUTION OF WEIGHT SHOULD BE EVEN AND ON THE BALLS OF THE FEET WITH KNEES AND HIPS SLIGHTLY BENT.

SHOOTING STANCE – ISOSCELES POSITION

  • Face the target straight on, feet shoulder width apart.
  • The body is slightly crouched, with body arms pushed forward to lock the elbows at eye level.

SHOOTING STANCE – WEAVER POSITION

  • Face target with feet spread about shoulder width apart
  • Angle the strong side of the body (holster side) approximately 45 degrees away from the target
  • Balance your weight on both feet with legs straight but not locked
  • The shooting arm is thrust forward. The support arm elbow is pointed down at a 90 degree angle
  • Keep the body straight – head up
  • Must be comfortable in your stance

SHOOTING STANCE – MODIFIED WEAVER

  • Lower body is turned at an angle from the target
  • Upper body is turned to face the target, with the arms pushed forward

REVOLVER GRIP

 

Semi-Auto Pistol Grip

 

  • Place the gun in the hand so a straight line is made with the guns barrel and the forearm
  • The “V” or web of the hand should be positioned high on the back strap
  • The fingers wrap around the front of the grip with the thumb laid along with the grip, in line with the barrel.
  • The trigger finger is positioned straight alongside the trigger guard until ready to fire.

NOTE: KEEP THE FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL READY TO FIRE THE WEAPON!!! INDEX!!!

  • Wrap the fingers of the support hand around the gripping fingers, below the trigger guard.
  • On a revolver, the support hand thumb is placed over the shooting hand behind the weapon’s hammer.
  • On a semi-auto the support thumb will be over or alongside the gripping thumb.

NOTE: WHEN SHOOTING A SEMI-AUTO PISTOL, DO NOT PLACE THE SUPPORT THUMB OVER THE TOP OF THE GRIPPING HAND -THE SLIDE WILL CYCLE BACK AND INJURE THE THUMB!!!!

  • On a semi-auto the support thumb will be over or alongside the gripping thumb.

NOTE: WHEN SHOOTING A SEMI-AUTO PISTOL, DO NOT PLACE THE SUPPORT THUMB OVER THE TOP OF THE GRIPPING HAND -THE SLIDE WILL CYCLE BACK AND INJURE THE THUMB!!!!

PROPER SIGHT PICTURE

Proper sight picture is proper sight alignment while aimed at the target you intend to shoot.

PROPER SIGHT ALIGNMENT

Proper sight alignment is the relationship between the front sight and the rear sight as seen when looking through the rear sight: level across the top with equal amounts of light on each side of the front sight.

  • Sight alignment occurs when the shooter assumes a proper grip on the pistol and aims downrange.
  • As the shooter’s eye lines up with the rear sight aperture, the front sight post will become visible in the notch.

Proper sight alignment is achieved when the shooter aligns the front sight post within the rear sight aperture, having equal space (or light) on either side of the post, and the top of the front sight post even with the ‘shoulders’ of the rear aperture. Right before the shooter fires, the shooter will focus exclusively on the front sight post.

TRIGGER DISCIPLINE, PULL, & CONTROL

Three most important things about triggers:

  1. Trigger Discipline
  2. Trigger Control
  3. Trigger Pull

Trigger Discipline

Good trigger discipline can eliminate a large portion of those “I accidentally shot myself in the leg” stories you read about.

  • It all boils down to one thing…keeping your finger off that little curved thingy until your ready to put a hole in something.
  • This needs to be something beyond a conscious effort.
  • This needs to be practiced and driven home until it becomes a natural reflex no matter what gun you pick up, even if it’s one of those arcade games.
  • You want to do it so often that it is permanently committed to muscle memory.
  • The easiest way and this is the way taught by the military, police, NRA, and more is to keep your finger extended and resting up on the slide or cylinder.
  • By keeping your index finger there, you are making it near impossible to accidentally manipulate the trigger.

Trigger Pull & Follow Through

The trick is to cause as little movement to the gun as possible when you are pressing the trigger.

  • Use the middle of the first index finger pad
  • Remove the initial slack or “pre-travel” in the trigger
  • Slowly squeeze the trigger towards the back of the gun
  • “Follow through” by not immediately letting go of the trigger
  • “Reset” the trigger by easing it forward just enough to hear a click
  • Slowly squeeze for the next shot

Trigger Pull

Every time you pull the trigger, there are 4 distinct points:

  1. The Initial Slack – this is a no man’s land of movement between where the trigger rests normally and where it breaks.
  2. The Trigger Break – this is where the gun actually fires.
  3. The Stop – After the gun has fired, this is where the trigger stops moving. Most times the stop and the break are the same point. Some guns it’s not.
  4. The Reset – This is the point where, upon releasing the trigger, the gun is ready to fire again.

During the course of those four points, there about three and a half things that can go wrong with a trigger pull that will negatively affect your accuracy.

One of the best ways to work on a good pull is with Dry Fire Practice.

THE PAD OF THE INDEX FINGER IS PLACED ON THE TRIGGER AND PRESSED TO THE REAR UNTIL THE HAMMER FALLS.

  • The pad stays in contact with the trigger, and gently begins to allow the trigger to return forward.
  • When firing a semi-automatic pistol, during the forward return the trigger will reset, usually noted by the feel of the reset and audible “click”.

WHEN THE RESET OCCURS, THE TRIGGER CAN BE DEPRESSED AGAIN WITHOUT THE TRIGGER HAVING TO MOVE ALL THE WAY FORWARD OR EVER HAVING THE INDEX FINGER LOSE CONTACT WITH THE TRIGGER.

Using the sear reset allows more accurate shots because there is less movement of the trigger finger creating the possibility for less disturbance of the sight alignment and sight picture.

The key movement is a “press”, not a “pull”.

  • A “PULL” GENERALLY REFERS TO APPLYING GREATER FORCE THAN NECESSARY RESULTING IN TOO MUCH PRESSURE TO THE TRIGGER, WHEREAS A “PRESS” IS CONTROLLED AND STEADY.
  • THE TRIGGER FINGER MAINTAINS CONTACT WITH THE TRIGGER AT ALL TIME DURING THIS CYCLE!!!

COMBAT STANCE

  • Combat shooting is normally done with both eyes open.
  • Shooters must focus on the front sight.
  • Sear reset: as the trigger of a semi-automatic pistol moves, forward, the sear resets prior to returning completely to the front.
  • The sear reset can be felt with the trigger finger.
  • The trigger can be pressed again to fire the pistol without allowing the trigger to move all the way forward.
  • Using the sear reset allows more accurate shots because there is less movement of the trigger finger and less disturbance to sight alignment and sight picture.

PROPER BREATHING

What has been labeled “stress” or “combat” breathing is ideal for those in a shooting situation.

  • Controlled breathing allows for greater accuracy.
  • If making a precision shot, take a breath, let half of it out and hold while making the shot.

Most combat situations don’t allow for controlled breathing, so students should be encouraged to practice combat breathing techniques as often as possible.

CANTING THE PISTOL

When held in the support hand, the pistol can be deliberately canted to align the front sight with the dominant eye.

Canting the firearms slightly will ensure the slide cycles properly, especially if multiple rounds are needed.

FOUR STEPS TO DRAWING

STEP ONE

A THREAT IS PERCEIVED AND YOU DECIDE YOU ARE GOING TO DRAW AND SHOOT
  1. You orient your stance towards the threat and begin your draw sequence
  2. Your firing hand moves to form its grip on the pistol grip; this is the only chance to get a proper grip.
  3. Extend the trigger finger straight and then grip the pistol with the three lower fingers.
  4. The non-firing hand (reaction hand) comes to centerline and is open to receive the pistol
  5. Weapon hand moves to grip the pistol
  6. Proper grip is critical

STEP TWO

KEEP IN MIND YOU CAN START FIRING FROM POSITION
  1. Your weapon has its proper grip and you draw the pistol from the holster.
  2. Immediately point the pistol towards the threat.

STEP THREE

  1. Move the weapon to centerline of the body to meet the non-firing hand
  2. Keep trigger finger indexed until your on target.

STEP FOUR

  1. This position is considered full presentation
  2. Your most accurate shooting will be done from this position

DRAWING AND FIRING THE WEAPON

DO NOT PLACE THE FINGER INSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD UNTIL THE WEAPON IS IN THE FIRING POSITION AND YOU ARE READY TO FIRE.

  • Index your trigger finger when your pistol is not on target.
  • Draw the weapon from the holster and bring it to eye level
  • As the shooting hand brings the weapon up to eye level, the support hand is brought up to meet the shooting hand.
  • Wrap the support hand around the shooting hand to acquire a two-hand hold
  • The shooting arm should be straight (a slight bend is acceptable) with the support giving a slight pull to the rear
  • With the weapon at eye level, acquire a proper sight picture on the target and press the trigger until the gun fires.

WEAK HAND SHOOTING (SUPPORT HAND)

In case of harm to the students weapon side, the shooter should be accustomed to drawing, aiming, and firing the weapon with the support hand.

  • Weak hand shooting is important because the shooting hand/arm might be put out of action.
  • Practice with the weak hand. Becoming accustomed to the grip and trigger pull of the gun is an officer safety issue.

HOLSTERING THE WEAPON

  1. Make sure the trigger finger is not inside the trigger guard
  2. Reverse the 4 step Draw when holstering
  3. Practice holstering without looking at the holster
  4. Insure the revolver hammer is not in a cocked position
  5. On a semi-auto pistol, insure the hammer is not cocked (unless the weapon is made to be carried cocked (1911 style)

LOADING AND UNLOADING HANDGUNS

Loading and Unloading Revolvers and Semi Auto Pistols

SEMI-AUTO MALFUNCTION/STOPPAGES

FAILURE TO FEED

  1. Magazine not seated properly
  2. Bad ammunition
  3. Damaged magazine
  4. Dirty weapon
  5. No round in chamber
  6. Bad round in chamber
  7. Slide out of battery
  8. Damaged firing pin or hammer spring

FAILURE TO FIRE

  1. No round in chamber
  2. Bad round in chamber
  3. Slide out of battery
  4. Damaged firing pin or hammer spring

FAILURE TO EXTRACT

  1. Material under extractor
  2. Bad ammunition – damaged cartridge rim
  3. Broken extractor

FAILURE TO EJECT

  1. Shooter has limp/weak wrist
  2. Arms not locked
  3. Bad ammunition
  4. Broken extractor
  5. Weapon not properly lubricated or dirty

CLEARING STOPPAGES

IN THE EVENT OF A MALFUNCTION, THE FOLLOWING WILL ASSIST THE SHOOTER TO RESTORE THE WEAPON
TYPE 1 STOPPAGE TAP-RACK-ASSESS
TYPE 2 STOPPAGE RIP-RACK-RELOAD
TYPE 3 STOPPAGE RELEASE-GRASP-DRIVE-RELOAD

TYPE ONE – STOPPAGE DRILL

  1. Tap – Tap the base of the magazine to insure it is seated properly.
  2. Rack – Pull the slide back and release in the same manner as loading the weapon.
  3. Assess -Assess the threat to ascertain if it is still viable.

If the threat is still viable engage; if the threat is no longer viable disengage from the threat.

TYPE TWO – STOPPAGE DRILL

  1. Rip – Rip the magazine out of the weapon
  2. Rack – Rack the slide two times
  3. Reload – Insert a fresh magazine in weapon, chamber a round

TYPE THREE -STOPPAGE DRILL (SLIDE STUCK FORWARD)

  1. Release magazine
  2. Grasp slide over ejection port with support hand
  3. Drive through the grip with web of shooting hand to force slide to  move
  4. Reload

PRESENTATION

  • Proper stance
  • Proper grip
  • Trigger jerk
  • Heel jerk
  • Sight alignment
  • Canting clear