How To Hold A Gun

Many Americans choose to have a gun in their home or carry one on their person for home protection or self-defense purposes. 

While a gun can be a useful tool for defending yourself and feeling safer in your home, you need to learn how to hold it properly if you want to protect yourself in a safe and efficient way.

How To Hold A Gun

In this article, I will be focusing on teaching you how to hold a handgun to maximize accuracy and ensure your safety at all times. 

How To Hold A Handgun

Holding a handgun safely and securely is a several-step process that includes taking safety measures and involves both of your hands as well as your eyes. Here are all the steps you need to take to properly hold a handgun: 

Treat The Gun As If It’s Loaded

Before you even pick up your handgun, remember to treat it as though it’s loaded, even if you know it’s not.

This is a very important habit to get into because treating a loaded gun as though it’s unloaded can lead to serious injuries or fatalities, so it’s always best to assume the opposite. 

When you take hold of the gun, keep it pointed down range and never point it at any other person, including yourself. 

Note: If you’re following this guide using a real gun to practice, make sure it’s in dry fire mode before you continue with the next steps. 

Start With Your Dominant Hand

You should always hold a gun with two hands for accuracy and stability, but to start with, you should position your dominant hand. 

Put your dominant hand high up on the handgun’s grip beneath the trigger guard. Make sure that your fingers are close together but don’t allow them to overlap. You will want your grip with your dominant hand to be firm, but not too tight. 

Your thumb and index finger on your dominant hand should be on either side of the frame and you should not place your index finger on the trigger until you have lined up your aim and are ready to fire, so leave the trigger untouched at this point. 

Include Your Non-Dominant Hand

Now it’s time to involve your non-dominant hand. Basically, this hand is there to improve stability and it should fill all the space on the gun’s grip that isn’t occupied by your dominant hand. 

Your non-dominant thumb should be next to your dominant thumb, but slightly further forward. The other fingers should naturally wrap around the base of your gun’s grip.

The pressure of your non-dominant hand’s grip should be fairly tight since, again, its purpose is stabilizing your grip. 

Assume A Grounded Position

I have talked a lot about how to position your hands while holding a handgun, but you also need to think about the positioning of the rest of your body. 

To assume a good gun-holding stance, start by placing your feet at the same width as your shoulders. Because you’re trying to be as stable as possible, it might be tempting to lock your knees, but it’s actually best to keep them very slightly flexed. 

Square up your shoulders and tilt your torso slightly so that you’re leaning forward a little. 

Bring your hands close to your body in front of your abdomen, holding the gun in what is called the ‘ready position’.

Remember, at this point, you’re not ready to fire because you haven’t taken aim, so keep your finger off the trigger. 

Look Through Your Dominant Eye

In order to take aim with your gun, you’ll have to identify which eye is your dominant eye. It’s worth noting that this won’t necessarily be the eye on the side of your dominant hand, so if you’re not sure which eye is dominant, now is the time to figure it out. 

Look at something in the distance with both eyes and hold out your index finger so that it’s level with the object. Then, close one eye.

If the thing you are looking at doesn’t seem to move, the eye that is currently open is your dominant one. If it does move, your closed eye is your dominant eye. 

When taking aim with your handgun, you should always look through your dominant eye to ensure accuracy. 

Extend Your Arms 

Still looking out from your dominant eye, extend your arms out of the ready position. Keep your shoulders squarely facing the target and extend your arms in a straight line in front of you. 

Your elbows should not be locked because this can be painful when you fire the gun. Instead, keep your elbows a little bit bent so that they don’t get the shock of the momentum when the gun fires. 

At this point, you have held your gun correctly from start to finish. The next step would be to line up the sight of your gun and fire. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Shouldn’t You Hold A Gun Sideways?

You might have seen it in the movies, but holding a gun sideways is not a safe or accurate way of shooting. This is because you sacrifice a lot of control when you hold the gun sideways as you can’t do a two-handed grip. 

How Far Should You Hold A Handgun From Your Body?

Initially, you should hold a handgun in front of your abdomen in the ready position. When you’re ready to take aim, you should extend your arms to hold the gun at arm’s length. 

What Is Tea-Cupping A Handgun?

Tea-cupping is a type of gun hold where you place your non-dominant hand under the gun’s handle so that you can hold the magazine. This keeps the gun steady while you aim but you will lose control on the recoil if you hold it this way.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for taking the time to learn how to hold a gun properly. Gun safety is so important, and these gun holding instructions will also help you to shoot more accurately.

Matthew Osborn

Matt is an entrepreneur who has created and successfully exited multiple companies and brands. Now, he dedicates his time to Legionary, where he produces content on guns, family, and freedom.

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