How To Shoot A Firearm


If you are new to firearms or planning on taking your first trip to the shooting range, it can be a daunting task. You may be thinking: Do I need to buy my own firearm? What do all the different parts of a gun mean? What is that weird powder called and why are people strapping their guns together? How many targets can I shoot at once? Fear not! This article will answer these questions and much more. We will cover the basics of shooting a gun and giving you the confidence to go out there and experience your first shooting trip for yourself.


A firearm is a portable weapon that uses an explosive propellant to fire a projectile (bullet) at high speed through a controlled, confined explosion. The projectiles are typically bullets, but they can also be shot or arrows. The first firearms were black powder muskets, developed in the 1500s. Early muskets were muzzle-loading weapons that were loaded with gunpowder and bullets separately; as the trigger was pulled, a spark ignited the gunpowder which then burned down through a barrel (the barrel of the gun), pushing out bullet along with it.

In this article we will explore how to shoot a firearm for people new to guns or those who have never fired one before. We’ll discuss what you need to know about handling and shooting guns safely in order for you to make an informed decision about whether or not shooting guns is something you want to do regularly or just casually once in awhile.

The Essentials

The essentials are the things you need to know in order to shoot a firearm. They are not just the basics, but also things that make shooting a gun more effective and better for you as a shooter. The essentials include:

  • Safety rules
  • The fundamentals of aiming and firing
  • Shooting positions (standing, kneeling, prone)
  • Zeroing your sights or scope


You need to grip the firearm firmly, but not too tightly. You should be able to feel your muscles flexing when you hold it in your hands, and the pressure in your palms should be consistent. If you’re not sure if you’re gripping the firearm correctly, ask someone experienced with firearms to watch while you shoot.

A good way to practice is to take on-line courses that teach firearm safety and handling techniques through video lessons and simulations of real situations. When practicing shooting a gun yourself or with another person, always remember: “Safety first!” Use ear protection so that loud noises don’t damage your hearing; this is especially important for those new to using firearms or who have never shot before.


The stance is the easiest part of shooting a gun to master. All you need to do is stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees bent at about a 90 degree angle. Your shoulders should be relaxed, slightly turned inwards, and slightly turned outwards (not forward).

Sight Alignment

Sight alignment is the process of making sure your sights are aligned with your target. This means that you should be able to see the front sight, rear sight, and target all in one line. If your eyes are not lined up properly with the gun, then you won’t be able to make an accurate shot.

How to Align Your Sights:

To align your sights, hold the gun out at eye level and look through the barrel of your firearm. Line up both sights over the target so that they form one straight line between them and you can see them clearly without any shadows or blurriness from shaking hands or bad lighting conditions (such as when there is too much sun shining on them). It helps if someone else stands behind you so that they can guide those pesky fingers into position! Once aligned, practice taking a few shots at varying distances until hitting targets becomes easier than aiming randomly around at nothing in particular (which was our first strategy).

Trigger Control

Trigger control is the most important aspect of shooting a gun. In fact, it’s so important that there are entire books written on the subject, such as The Art of Trigger Control by Scott Skelton or Trigger Finger Treatment: A Guide to Shooting Excellence by Rob Pincus.

When people think about trigger control in relation to shooting a firearm, they often think about how hard or softly you squeeze your finger when pulling the trigger. This is only part of what makes up good trigger control though—there’s more involved than just squeezing hard or soft!

In order for a proper shot to be taken, you need to master four different aspects of trigger control:

  • How much pressure should be applied?
  • How fast should I pull? Or can I take my time? Or should I really push through the recoil and pick up speed? What if I only want one shot at this target; do I keep pulling until all rounds have been fired out of my magazine (holding open bolt), or do i stop after firing each round (pressing disconnector)? And finally… Should i pull straight back or from side-to-side like with an AK47 or SKS rifle?
  • Can i hold steady while my sight picture steadies itself after being knocked off target by recoil… Or does my barrel move too much for me not being able-bodied enough and strong enough – like me who has weak wrists due to old injuries sustained during childhood sports activities such as tennis tennis tennis tennis tennis tennis tennis tennis tennis…..


When you’re shooting a firearm, it is important that you breathe normally and steadily. If you hold your breath while firing a gun, it can cause the barrel of your weapon to move up or down slightly. This will lead to inaccurate shots. The best way to ensure that you are breathing naturally when shooting is by exhaling with every shot.

It is also helpful to take a deep breath in before pulling the trigger on your pistol or rifle as this will relax all of your muscles, including those controlling breathing, which will help maintain focus during recoil and make follow-up shots easier as well.

Follow Through

Follow through is the last part of pulling off a shot, and it’s an important part of shooting that many new shooters overlook.

  • Make sure your finger is out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to fire. You don’t want to accidentally fire a shot before you intend to, after all!
  • Keep your head down when shooting, even if there’s no target in front of you. Remember: if there isn’t anything there for the bullet to hit, why risk hurting yourself?
  • After firing each shot, follow through by keeping your eyes on the target until it hits its mark or disappears into thin air (whichever comes first). This will help ensure that your aim was true! If nothing happens after firing a gun except for some smoke coming out from where bullets usually come out…you’ve done something wrong! Check with someone familiar with these things for help getting back on track

No matter what style of gun you have, the basics apply no matter what type of firearm you use.

Regardless of the style of gun you have, the basics apply no matter what type of firearm you use.

  • The grip: The way you hold your gun will depend on the type of firearm you are shooting. For example, if it has a magazine release button like an AR-15 or M4 rifle, you will want to make sure that your support hand is holding onto this button so that it does not accidentally fall out and cause misfires in a high stress situation. However, if there are no buttons or levers then both hands should be firmly gripping around the barrel with thumbs pointing up (not towards each other).
  • Stance: Your stance should depend on how steady and comfortable you feel shooting from different positions. For example: If using an AR-15 with a collapsible stock (the stock folds under), there is no need for any fancy stances since most people are familiar with military style combat positions where they rest their cheek against their shoulder while aiming downrange at targets which increase accuracy through muscle memory training over time.


Now you should be able to go back to the range and shoot a firearm! I hope this guide was useful, it was my first time writing anything about shooting a gun so let me know if you have any feedback. Don’t hesitate to reach out or ask me any questions! Thanks for reading 🙂

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