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Pistol Shooting Techniques: Three Methods For One Hand Shooting



Feature | Pistol Shooting Techniques: Three Methods For One Hand Shooting | shooting a handgun

There are different shooting techniques a shooter can use depending on his or her preference or what he is accustomed to. It is always best to use a solid two-handed grip for it offers a better chance of success. However, in the event that we need to shoot using only one hand probably because the other hand has an injury or holding a flashlight, it would be an advantage if we have the necessary skills. Yes, it can be a bit difficult to shoot with one hand. However, with practice, you can get the hang of these pistol shooting fundamentals. Below are three techniques in shooting one-handed.

Shooting Techniques: The Art of One Hand Shooting

1. Straight-arm or Vertical Method

Straight-arm or Vertical Method | Pistol Shooting Techniques: Three Methods For One Hand Shooting | pistol shooting fundamentals
This shooting technique is the primary position in one hand shooting. You just draw the pistol with your dominant hand then push the pistol straight out with the weapon in vertical alignment with elbow and arm locked. Then pull the trigger smoothly. This type of position resembles natural shooting or point shooting where the shooter can feel more stability and the gun cycle is in a more predictable path.

2. Canted Method

Some shooters find it a bit bizarre using the canted technique but this method can make other people gain more luck than the vertical method. You have to draw the handgun then push the pistol straight out with arm and elbow locked. Cant the pistol 45 degrees then align it to your right eye if you're using your right hand to draw the pistol (align to left eye if you're a lefty). Then pull the trigger smoothly. Unorthodox as it may seem but with practice, you'll get used to it. Don't cant the gun like “gangsta style” because this way of shooting a handgun will not work well.

3. Bent Elbow Method

Bent Elbow Method  | Pistol Shooting Techniques: Three Methods For One Hand Shooting | shooting technique
This technique is another way of doing the bent elbow two-handed shooting method. First, draw the pistol and keep it vertical then bend your elbow upon drawing and keep your arm close to your body. Also, keep your elbow down and locked. Make sure the pistol is up to eye-level before pulling the trigger. With your elbow locked and down, this keeps the gun stable from recoil and you can use more bone than muscle to hold it.


Want to develop your one hand shooting skill? Watch this video by SageDynamics and learn the basics of how to shoot with one hand:

Shooting a pistol using only one hand can be quite difficult but if the situation needs you to continue firing, it is a strong leverage that you know how to do it. Regardless if it's your dominant hand or support hand, you need to hone your skills in shooting a pistol. Flexibility is one of the keys to success or getting out alive from a dangerous situation. While holding a handgun in one hand, you can open or close the door, push people out of harm's way, hold a flashlight, and deflect a blow using the other hand. It can also make it easier for you to run while shooting which can be a reasonable strategy in times of distress.

Do you know other one hand shooting techniques? We would like to hear from you. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below! 

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2017 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Mike

    August 22, 2022 at 5:59 AM

    Two handed is a must if you have Trimmers.

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  4. TJ

    October 29, 2017 at 9:29 AM

    Canted method is terrible especially if you want accuracy.

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