We all know that the majority of Cops aren’t “gun guys,” (or gals, as it were) but even among those of us who are shooters, the tendency toward training usually is almost exclusively relegated to live fire. This is understandable; getting quick, accurate hits is essential to survival in an armed confrontation. The unfortunate reality, however, is that guns are machines, and like all machines, they fail eventually. Such failure can also occur due to “operator” error as well, especially with regard to autopistols.

streetsmarts1.gifMany malfunctions can be prevented before shots are ever fired. Proper shooting form is paramount. With autopistols, the kinetic energy of the fired rounds overcomes and compresses the recoil spring and cycles the weapon, ejecting the spent casing and chambering the next fresh round. A solid platform is required for this process, and bleeding off too much of this energy through a mushy grip and/or stance will cause a malfunction. Whether you prefer an Isosceles or Weaver‑type stance, shifting the weight to the balls of the feet and implementing the stance in the proper manner are important. Key to establishing the proper grip is maximizing contact with the pistol. This is achieved by positioning the firing hand high on the backstrap and getting as much of the support hand on the grip as possible with no “air” between the hands and the gun. Squeezing almost hard enough that the hands begin to shake is an appropriate amount of tension for the grip. Lastly, the wrist must be locked at all times during firing.

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