How to Fire a Gun Safely: Shooting Tips for Beginners

Anyone who follows basketball knows the acronym BEEF. It stands for:

  • Balance yourself.
  • Eyes forward.
  • Elbow straight.
  • Follow through.

It’s said you will hit every free throw when using the proper technique, BEEF. Well, similarly, the same concept applies to shooting a gun. Discharging a firearm is simple in concept, but it requires more than just pulling the trigger. Let’s review the basics for the beginners:

  • Hold the gun firmly.
  • Align the sights on your target.
  • Place the center of the first pad of your trigger finger on the trigger
  • Press smoothly, creating pressure on the trigger.
  • Take a breath.
  • Fire the gun.


If you flinch when you fire, the round will land somewhere other than where you intended. This is why I recommend you take a breath. Aim and squeeze slowly. Now let’s get into a more intermediate method of shooting:

Your Shooting Stance:

Granted, this is determined by your body’s condition and the surroundings where you’re shooting. The most comfortable way to shoot is with your weight balanced between both feet, standing more on your heels than the balls of your feet. This is the perfect stance if you’re standing upright because it requires fewer muscles. However, if you’re wanting to shoot quickly, this isn’t going to be the optimal position.

Your Arm Position:

Extend your arms fully, if possible, but don’t necessarily lock your arms. Relax your shoulders. You don’t want to scrunch your shoulders up. This will increase your risk of injury during recoil.

Your Body Position:

Lean your torso forward just slightly at the weight. Do not bend at the waist. Keep your shoulders ahead of your hips.


Counteract the forward kick of the gun by positioning your weight against the force. The gun should NEVER push you backwards and off your balance. If this happens, move your body position forward.


You need to hold the gun tightly. In my experience, new shooters mess this up more than anything else. You need to grip the gun much tighter than you think you should because that gun is going to kick. Lock your wrists. This will give the gun a feeling like it was firmly mounted in a vise. I also recommend keeping 2 hands on the gun.

Implementing these steps will give you what’s called an Upper Triangle (proper arms, shoulders and hand technique).

In summation:

  • Stand comfortably, but firmly.
  • Grip the gun tightly.
  • Lock your joints.
  • Hold the gun steady.

For more tips, visit my friends over at Springfield Armory. I recommend his blog to anyone wanting detailed tips on shooting techniques.