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Pro’s Guide to Pistol Shooting Fundamentals

Aim small to miss small. Expert Rick Crawley guides you through the basics of pistol handling and explains how these essentials make you a better shooter in this brand new 5-part UF PRO video series.

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Episode 1: “Stance and Grip”

In the first part of this basic pistol shooting fundamentals series, Rick shows you the correct stance and posture to mitigate recoil. He also touches on proper grip technique when handling a firearm, then demonstrates his points with the aid of a drop-leg holster.

Episode 2: “Sight Picture and Alignment”

Rick draws a bead on the right way to develop your gross sight into a refined sight picture. His approach will help you minimize the potential for human error in the course of unholstering a pistol, taking aim, and squeezing off a round (or 10). 

Episode 3: “Trigger Control and Follow-Through”

Trigger control is something you need beginning the second you start to  present your weapon. You need it so that you can instantly break the trigger. Expert Rick takes you on a deep dive into correct trigger control and follow-through, clearly demonstrating how each affects the consistency of your shooting.

Episode 4: “Draw and Outside Presentation”

Rick asserts that consistency breeds precision. In this installment, he goes over unifying holster positions across every platform to aid natural behaviours. He also focuses on consistent grips when you take hold of a firearm, whether using your dominant or nondominant hand.

Episode 5: “Reloading and Identifying Common Malfunctions”

In this final part of our series on pistol marksmanship basics, instructor Rick spotlights emergency and tactical reloads. He then addresses the most common reasons that shells misfire, explaining how to safely extract duds from your handgun.

About Rick

Rick Crawley is the founder and CEO of Achilles Heel Tactical. He possesses over a decade of experience with military & LE units on multiple deployments in OIF and OEF operations. Rick is a former SWAT team member, a Marine Corps veteran and a certified firearms instructor.


What is a tactical reload?

A tactical reload is the process of replacing your current (although not necessarily empty) firearm magazine with a fresh magazine, in particular the one that is hardest to reach. Typically, the expended mag is stored in a pocket or dump pouch.

It’s the opposite of a speed reload. In a speed reload situation, you replace (but not also store) the fully empty magazine by retrieving a fresh one from the easiest-to-reach position.

The benefit of these two types of reload processes is that in each you keep your optimal sight alignment and picture, while retaining your dominant hand’s position on the trigger.

What is the 60-40 rule?

This rule refers to the grip power of your dominant and nondominant hand when holding a pistol. 

It’s a rule that’s hard to apply in practice, as the amount of pressure exerted by your hand is difficult to estimate. See for yourself how hard this is. Test it out on your buddy. Ask him to first squeeze your hand with 60 percent of the full amount of pressure he is capable of generating. Then have him repeat the squeeze, but this time at 40 percent of full pressure. What you’ll discover is that this is far from an exact science.


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