Firearm Fundamentals: Tips and Advice

Drop some wisdom on firearms. It can be anything — second amendment insights, laws, technique, gun maintenence, competition info — whatever.

Or share the advice that helped YOU the most when you were learning to shoot.

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When they were teaching us to shoot in boot camp, they had a few people who met this criteria… They told them they had to shoot with their dominant eye, which resulted in being accurate to hit human-sized targets at 500 yards with a 4x scope.

Also, that you should aim (no pun intended) to fire during the exhale if the goal is long-distance accuracy.

That, and like a million other tips, but specific to long-distance shooting (not greater than 500 yards).

*I had also been shooting since I was like 8 at home, but there’s a significant difference when shooting at circular targets vs umm… human-shaped targets :sweat_smile:

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Your whole post is full of great information! So as a a cross-eye dominant shooter, what should I do with a shotgun? Does it go under the shoulder of my dominant eye?

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I guess it depends a lot on what you’re shooting and what you’re shooting with. Ultimately if your goal is accuracy, regardless of firearm type, I’d say your shooting eye and shoulder should be the same. Once you grow accustomed to shooting with that side, trying to shoot with the other will feel like writing with a non-dominant hand.

Of course, if accuracy isn’t the ultimate goal, you could just do whatever feels right (legally).

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What I have found is that the grip is everything, and a pistol has to fit your hand. To make it worse, what “feels good” in your hand at the gun store counter, isn’t necessarily what you would shoot best. I have found that grips that feel a little too big make a solid grip easier, and provide good finger placement on the trigger throughout trigger pull.

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From a post I made on the tactical Life thread:

Thought for the day:

If you recently purchased a handgun for self defense and family protection, you need to realize defensive shooting is a martial art. Like any martial art it takes consist practice to achieve an elementary base. Please don’t fall into the ego trap I see so many untrained do: “I have agun now, its loaded, I can handle anything”.

Some good advise from Mr. Webb:

1. Once you’ve learned the basics of shooting with your dominant eye, start practicing with both eyes open (for situational awareness).

2. Take a combat pistol course from a qualified instructor. Yes, it’s more expensive than most, but you don’t buy parachutes at Bob’s Discount Chutes the same way you should not expect to get great training at the firearms version of Rex Kwan Do, as seen in the classic movie Napoleon Dynamite. “Grab my wrist. No, the other wrist!”

3. Visualize your top 3 likely scenarios (home intruder, carjacking, etc.) and practice them in your head over and over. When I say imagine it, I mean think of the stress involved and really place yourself in that terribly stressful scenario.

4. Then practice drawing your weapon and dry firing these scenarios (with a clear and safe weapon). Visualize and dry fire 10x a day for 60 days to build a foundation of muscle memory.

5. As in business, there’s always ongoing education. I’d take at least 3-4 courses a year to keep building on your foundation for at least 4 years.

Two excellent websites for archived information:


This is me. I switched to shooting left handed when i was a teen and instantly approved all my shooting. I can make a 1.5" group at 100yds with open sights on most weapons now.
I also have to shoot with one eye only (left). If i try to shoot with with both eyes open and left handed I see double barrels. Not with pistols yet, they are a bit tougher.

This is what I do. Last time I went trap shooting I hit 49/50. Much easier to fire left handed when left eye dominant.

I have no rifles (at this point), but have 3 revolvers and 2 semi-automatic pistols.

For home defense I purchased a Taurus Judge (3” cylinder) which I keep in the top drawer next to my bed which has defender loads. I chose the Judge because in the heat of a crisis I want to minimize the possibility that I will miss the intruder with the first shot.


Have you patterned it at home defense distances with your ammo of choice?

Are you using shotgun shells? If I remember correctly it can shoot colt 45s and 410 shells, right?

3” .410 shotgun shells
Defender shells with 5 discs and 18 BB’s (if I remember correctly)

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Excellent advice. For me it’s the opposite. I’ve taken multiple classes, joined a women’s group lead by a professional instructor, worked one-on-one with a few different instructors, and I practice at the range weekly. But my comfort level isn’t there yet. I can’t imagine feeling like I could handle anything.

In a couple weeks, I’ll take a conceal carry class, but probably not carry for a long time to come. My confidence has gone up tremendously (at the range) but carrying outside of it still seems weird to me.

Oh good to know! Thank you for sharing this!

I love ALL this advice! Thank you so much; I’ll definitely be revisiting this thread.

I never would’ve thought that! As a tall gal, (5’10") my hands aren’t too petite so getting a good grip hasn’t been a problem yet. But I don’t have enough of a reference point since I kinda just started. I’ll have to keep this in mind though, thank you!

That’s a solid reason. And now I want one too. haha

This is really good advice. Thank you!

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I did shoot the Judge with my defender ammo to get a feel of the gun. But I shot it at about 15 yards. The pattern covered the large targets that the range sold.

I did shoot my 9mm at 5 yards to check my relative accuracy at home distance.

MCRD ? I coached at Edson Range. Open sights era