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FBI’s Guide To Pistol Mastery

This video is the first of a three-part video series on the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship. This video pertains to an FBI standard service revolver. However, the information in these handgun training videos is helpful for any handgun.  The entire video will instruct the viewer on the following:

  • Shooting stance
  • Gripping Your Weapon, 
  • Trigger Control, 
  • Sight Alignment
  • Safely Load and Unload Pistol
  • How To safely un-cock your pistol

Video #1

Part one of this series goes over the proper handgun shooting stance and handgun grip.

Field Interrogation Stance

     This shooting stance is both natural and comfortable and has several strengths. First of all, as this is a natural stance, it is very comfortable. An when you are comfortable, your up body will be less likely to move. And less movement equals more control.

    With the field interrogation stance, you directly face your target, and your feet are shoulder width. Your dominant foot is slightly back from your body. The shooter’s arms and head need to form a triangle. And when your arm is raised to shoot your weapon, the handgun’s sites directly align with your eyes. When doing this movement, you need to remember to keep your head still and not move your head. Instead, move the weapon and remember not to lock your elbows. Your arms need to be kept in a natural/comfortable position.


One-Handed GripA proper grip is essential for shooting correctly. It will allow you to smoothly and repeatedly pull a trigger without you having to worry about having to re-do your grip every time you take a shot. Additionally, with a proper grip, a gun’s recoil is minimized.  For a proper grip, you need to put your hand on the backstrap (backstrap is the rear, metal part of your gun) of your pistol. This r significantly reduced recoil, and your shooting finger being correctly placed on the trigger. You need to place the first joint of your trigger finger onto the trigger.

Video #2-The Dominant Shooting Eye

Every person has a dominant eye that is used for aiming. You can determine which one of your eyes is the dominant one if you roll a piece of paper to obtain a tube and then look through it. The dominant eye will be the one you use. The gun will fire in a straight line that starts from the shooter’s dominant eye and goes to the target in your front sight. You have to move the gun to align your sights correctly. You will know that the aligning is good when the front sight is right in the middle of the rear sight, and the top of the rear notch is level with your front sight’s top.

When the target is added, you will get the sight picture, and you will only be able to concentrate on three different things, one at a time: front sight, target, and reach the notch. Ignore the slight wobble and concentrate on the front sight. You cannot avoid it, but it doesn’t even influence your aim too much. Focus on the sight picture. The sight picture and the trigger control are the two decisive factors that can make you the best marksman. You need to hold your sights aligned and apply pressure steady and smoothly for obtaining the proper trigger control.

If you follow the steps above, the gunshot will seem natural. You will feel that the gunshot was like a surprise and not that you made the decision to shoot. You shouldn’t try to manipulate the trigger because you can end up with the sights being out of alignment. Instead of pulling the trigger sideways, you should pull it straight back. When you perform the shooting, the gun must be held for a fraction of a second in the position in which you focus on the front sight to make sure the shot is precise.

It is essential to load and safely unload the gun. The muzzle (the end of the barrel that shoots the projectile, also known as the mouth of the weapon) has a crucial role in precision. You must point it downrange while you insert two ammo rounds into the cylinder. Do not try to pick up a dropped round. Instead, take another round from the pouch and load like you did the first time. If not all the rounds were shot, take the gun and drop the live rounds into your hand. Then, unload the empty cases by holding the gun at arms-length.

You can uncock the gun with your weak hand while you keep the gun in your strong hand. The little finger or the index finger of the weak hand will have to be placed between the frame and the gun’s hammer (below the nose of the hammer). Press back just a little and then start to pull the trigger. The hammer will start to move forward, and you need to take your finger off the trigger guard. Use the thumb of the hand that holds the weapon for easing the hammer down.

Now, the weapon has been uncocked safely. If the hammer remains in the half-cocked position (it can happen sometimes), it must be pulled back until a pop sound is heard. The hammer has to be eased down with your thumb again, slightly. Two last tips: always point the gun in a safe direction and never grab the face of the cylinder with your fingers when you uncock the gun.

Video #3  Shooting Drills-Master The Pistol

With this video, you will learn how to load a revolver, drills to help reinforce fundamentals correctly, and physical exercises to help you become a better shooter.

It’s important to realize that the cylinder rotates counterclockwise when you pull the trigger of a Smith & Wesson service revolver. This means that when you pull the trigger, the round to the right of the hammer will rotate up into the firing position. Why is this important? In combat situations, knowing that a live round is in the next chamber is vital. It might even ensure your survival.

   You are also learning how revolvers fire can mean the difference between life and death. For example, in most revolvers, the cylinder will turn clockwise when the trigger is pulled. This results in that when you pull the trigger, the bullet to the hammer’s right rotates up to the firing position. This knowledge is necessary as it allows you to know if a bullet is in the next chamber.

The indexing drill helps you learn and recognize when the bullet is in the next chamber; with this drill, you to load a couple of bullets in the first empty chambers of the revolver. You should close the weapon’s cylinder so that the chamber right under the hammer is empty.

Mental and Physical Aspects of Shooting

   Shooting is a mental game. To be an excellent shooter, you need to develop steady nerves and the ability to concentrate.

Also, to be a skilled marksman, you need to be in good physical shape. This means a grip, endurance, upper arm strength, finger stamina, and endurance affect how well you shoot. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to be a good marksman. Nevertheless, you do need the ability to handle your weapon in a controlled manner. Here are a few exercises that anyone can do:

  1. Grip Strength: Squeeze a tennis ball. With this exercise, you need to time yourself and squeeze the ball for more extended periods.
  2. Wrist Curls: You can do this by either purchasing weights or using everyday objects. For example, you can try curling a gym bag. Moreover, you can curl the object for upper arm strength while holding your arm straight out.

Finger Strength-You will find that your trigger finger will feel strained when you spend a significant time on the gun range. The only solution for this is to either shoot more or buy a trigger trainer device.