January 24th, 2018

SHOT Show 2018 — New and/or Notable Handguns

SHOT Show Pistols Revolvers Handguns

There are literally thousands of handguns on display at SHOT Show, most of which you can hold, cycle, and test the trigger pull. Among the hordes of handguns, we found some very eye-catching examples, such as the very serious-looking Walther PPQ M2 Q4 TAC above. It comes standard with Red Dot sights and threaded muzzle for suppressor. Also shown (in negative) is a Smith & Wesson Performance Center S&W500 Revolver with a 10.5″ barrel. Below are some other interesting handguns we saw at SHOT Show 2017.

Lone Wolf Modified Glock 17 Signature Series

Glock 17 Lone Wolf Distributors TiN Gold Slide Bling

Why in Heaven’s name would anyone pay $1400.00 for a Glock? Well Lone Wolf Distributors thinks someone will fork over that princely sum for a Glock fully pimped out with a Titanim Nitride (TiN) gold-tone slide, Red dot sights, plus suppressor-friendly tall sights. Oh, it’s also fitted out with a TiN Gold PVD adjustable trigger. But underneath all that bling it’s still a Glock. What do you think? Glorious or Gaudy? It is certainly eye-catching. As they say, the “Bling’s the Thing”.

Smith & Wesson Performance Center Tuned, Unfluted 686

Smith and Wesson Performance Center 686 Unfluted Cylinder Release

For 2018, the Smith & Wesson Performance Center is rolling out a pair of specially upgraded 7-shot model 686 revolver. Offered in two barrel lengths, these special wheelguns feature the Performance Center® Speed Release Thumbpiece, which speeds cylinder release for fast reloads. These special comp guns boasts a PC-tuned action, vented/ribbed barrel, chromed trigger, and chromed, teardrop hammer (nice). The distinctive, unfluted cylinder is relieved for moon clips which can also speed up loading.

Smith Wesson 586 PC revolver

Walther PPQ M2 Q4 TAC 9mm

Our top photo shows the new PPQ M2 Q4 TAC, which is “race ready” right out of the box. Based the popular Walther PPQ, this TAC model adds a mount and threaded muzzle, plus some other features. “The Q5 Match has been very popular and we have had a lot of interest in a 4″ more tactical version. We are excited to combine a suppressor-ready and optics-ready pistol into a best-of-both worlds platform,” said Luke Thorkildsen, Walther VP of marketing. The 9mm Q4 TAC comes with two recoil springs. One for normal shooting and one for use with suppressors. The optics-ready slide features an LPA sight system with a fiber optic in the front and competition iron sight at the rear. The rear optics mounting system fits many popular red dots including Doctor, Leupold, and Trijicon. Trigger pull weight is a moderate 5.6 lbs. but the reset is ultra-short — just 0.1″. Priced at $799 MSRP, the Q4 TAC is backed by Walther’s lifetime warranty.

SIG Sauer P365 9mm Carry Pistol

Sig Sauer 9mm P365 Carry Pistol

SIG Sauer has just released an impressive new compact pistol, the SIG P365. This boasts excellent build quality and reliability in a slim package. It offers 10+1 round capacity in a gun that’s just 5.8″ overall and 1.1″ wide. Guns America got an early production model and their reviewer was impressed: “I have to applaud SIG. I was amazed by how much I liked shooting the P365. With its capacity advantage, small size, and good controls, it’s possible that the P365 will be the next go-to everyday carry handgun solution.” The gun comes with Tritium night sights and a good trigger. Each P365 also comes with an extra 12-round extended mag. With a $599.00 MSRP, expect street price around $500.00.

A SIG representative said SIG’s goal was to create a compact gun that shoots well — like a larger pistol: “We wanted to come up with a pistol that served the purpose — that gave people the capacity they have always wanted in this size gun, but something they could shoot. We’re busting paradigms, this is a game-changer.”

Taurus Raging Hunter .44 Mag and Model 692 Multi-Caliber

Taurus Raging Hunter 8.375

The new Raging Hunter from Taurus is an impressive beast. This six-shot .44 magnum has some interesting features. That red strip on the grip is extra padding to deal with the heavy recoil. Up front the dark gray slab is actually an aluminum barrel sleeve with Picatinny rail on top. This saves weight and provides a distinctive two-tone look. The actual 8.375″ barrel, which is ported, sits inside the sleeve.

Taurus Raging Hunter 8.375

Taurus also has another interesting long-barreled revolver. Shipping with TWO cylinders, the new Taurus Model 692 shoots .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and 9x19mm cartridges through the same barrel. That’s possible because 9x19mm bullet diameter is 0.355″. The nominal bullet diameter for .357 Magnum is 0.357″ or 9.1 mm, so you can see the diameters are very close. The 692 wheelgun ships with TWO cylinders — one for .38/.357, and a second for 9mm with moon clips. We like the ability to shoot inexpensive 9mm Luger ammo. Now you can take your favorite 9mm semi-auto pistol AND a wheelgun to the range and feed them both with the same box of ammo. Cool.

Kimber Full-Size and Compact 1911s

Kimber Aegis Elit Custom 1911 9mm .45 ACP

Kimber Aegis Elit Custom 1911 9mm .45 ACPKimber is releasing a host of new pistols for 2018. There are 23 new semi-auto pistols plus three new wheelguns. Most of the new Kimbers are 1911 varient. Our favorite new full-size Kimber is the Aegis Elite Custom OI, offered in both .45 ACP and 9x19mm. Shown above, the Aegis Elite has all the bells and whistles: custom G10 grips, bobbed backstrap, and stylized slide cuts front and rear. The $1395.00 MSRP includes a 6-MOA Vortex Venom 6 MOA Red Dot sight plus back-up iron sights.

Kimber also has an impressive compact-size 1911-style pistol in 9mm Luger. The Micro 9 Covert (at right) features gray camo LaserGrips plus a distincive Carry Melt treatment (softening the hard corners), plus a bobbed backstrap. Nice option for someone wanting a 1911-style pistol for concealed carry.

Ruger LCP II with Viridian Laser

LCP II .380 ACP Laser

Small, thin, and light — that’s what you want an everyday, pocket carry gun to be. The new Ruger LCP II with Viridian Red Laser is just 5.17″ long and 3.71″ tall, with a 3/4″-wide slide. That’s thin. Weight is 11.8 ounces. The compact size and low mass is the main reason to carry this .380 ACP rather than a more powerful 9mm pistol. This new version also features an integral, factory-installed Viridian E-Series red (635-650 nm) laser. Mounted on the trigger guard, the laser features ambidextrous push-button activation. Like other LCP II models, this pocket pistol features textured grip frame, easy-to-rack slide, bladed trigger safety, and low-profile snag-free sights. This latest LCP II with Viridian E-Series red laser has a $439.00 MSRP, including a handy pocket holster.

Beretta — The APX Family Grows in 2018

Beretta APX Pistol SHOT Show Red Dot plate

Beretta will greatly expand its line of polymer-framed APX pistols in 2018. And Beretta has models with a Red Dot optic mounting plate on the slide top. Interface adaptors will be supplied for Burris Fast Fire, C-More, DeltaPoint PRO, and RMR Red Dot sights. MSRP for the Red Dot-capable Full Size APX is $725. Expect street price around $685. The new tan model APX should be popular. Seen above, this features a Cerakote FDE (Flat Dark Earth) slide.

Parting Shot: S&W Double Trouble — Two Super-Sized Revolvers

At the Smith & Wesson booth last year, one visitor showed off two mega-sized S&W Performance Center hunting revolvers. These jumbo S&W500™ wheelguns, chambered for the mighty 500 S&W Magnum cartridge, feature massive 10.5″ barrels plus muzzle brakes. Overall length is 18″. Size counts right?

S&W 500 hunting revolver pistol shot show

MORE PISTOLS » Want to see more new handguns? GunsHolsterandGear.com showcases two dozen new pistols in its 2018 SHOT Show Preview.

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January 21st, 2018

Handgun Marksmanship — Diagnosing Pistol Accuracy Problems

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

Over the past year, this was one of the TOP TEN most-read Daily Bulletin articles. We are reprising it today for readers who may have missed it the first time around…

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right. Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

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December 31st, 2017

Ruger Offers Ten Training Videos for New Shooters

Ruger New Shooter Academy handgun pistol training

Ruger is working to get new people involved in shooting sports through a new 10-part video series. Ruger’s American New Shooter Academy focuses on firearms safety and handgun skills training. There are ten, 5-9 minute episodes, all available now on GetZone.com and YouTube.

Watch Episode One of New Shooter Academy:

In the New Shooter Academy series, Firearms trainer Daniel Shaw starts from “square one” with four participants with little-to-no handgun firearms experience. Shaw works with the students to build good fundamentals and follow recommended safety procedures. “Recruiting new shooters and making sure they are properly trained is critical to the future success of shooting sports” said Jeff Siegel, CEO of Media Lodge, the company that produces the videos for Ruger.

CLICK HERE to watch Ruger’s American New Shooter Academy Series (All Episodes)

During their training sessions, participants used the Ruger American Pistol compact model chambered in 9mm Luger, with a manual safety. Additional products for the series were provided by CrossBreed Holsters®, TMG Target Systems, and Hornady.

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December 30th, 2017

Self-Defense Pistol Options for Women — Ladies Tell the Story

Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women

Women are arming themselves — millions of females now have carry permits. What factors should women consider when choosing a handgun for self-defense? What are good choices for a lady’s defensive handgun, suitable for concealed carry? Is a self-loading pistol better than a revolver?

We thought it was best for to hear the ladies’ own perspectives on these questions. After all they are the ones who will be carrying the firearm in a purse or on their person. In this article we include three videos focusing on handgun options for females. The videos cover six key factors: function, size, weight, ergonomics, reliability, and concealability.

Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women

Classic Swiss Precision — the Sig P239
The single-stack Sig P239 is an ultra-reliable, compact pistol with a grip suitable for smaller female hands. Weighing 25 oz. in 9mm, it is slightly heavier than polymer-framed handguns, but that may be a good thing. During my handgun training days, this Editor found most women shot the Sig P239 better than Glocks, with more control over recoil. This is a hammer-fired pistol with decocker but no separate safety. There are many other good handgun options for concealed carry — some smaller, thinner and lighter, but the Sig P239 provides a good benchmark for reliability and accuracy. Shown is the .40 S&W model. We prefer the 9mm Luger version. Photo Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.

Choosing a Self-Defense Handgun — Ladies Explain the Options


Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women



Self Defense Pistol Options Female Lady Ladies concealed carry permit CCW women


Not Just a Guy Thing — 23% of Gun Owners are Women

Women & Guns magazineHere’s an interesting statistic — according to an NSSF survey, the percentage of gun owners who are female has increased dramatically since 2005. Back in 2005, just 13% of U.S. gun owners were women. By 2012 that number had risen to 23% — a huge increase in less than a decade.

The vast majority of first-time female gun buyers acquire a handgun for defensive purposes. However, the statistics also show that many new female gun owners are also getting involved in sport shooting and/or competitive shooting.

In the video below, NRA News host Cam Edwards interviews Celia Bigelow, who has written about the rise of gun ownership among ladies on the Townhall.com website.

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December 11th, 2017

.45 ACP Quick Guide — Reloading and 1911 Field Stripping

Do you shoot a .45 ACP? We love this short, fat cartridge because it is inherently accurate, it makes big, easy-to-see holes in paper, and because it it works so well in the classic 1911 series of pistols. It is hard to beat a good, tuned model 1911 when it comes to trigger pull/reset and natural pointing ability.

Once you get the hang of it, 1911-type pistols are also easy to field strip for cleaning. Here is a video showing how to disassemble and reassemble your model 1911:

Model 1911 Field Stripping and Reassembly

.45 ACP Ammunition Loading Guide

If you “roll your own” .45 ACP cartridges, there are many good powder choices. Our favorites are Vihtavuori N320, AA No. 5, and Hodgdon TiteGroup, but there are many other good choices. You’ll find these three recommended powders (plus seven others) in this .45 ACP Reloading Guide from Nosler:

Nosler .45 ACP 45 reloading guide 185 grain bullet

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November 15th, 2017

Pistol Fundamentals Explained — Infographic and Video

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment
Photo courtesy St. Bernard Indoor Shooting Center.

Do you enjoy shooting pistols for sport, or perhaps you carry a handgun for self-defense? If you’re like most of us, you might benefit from a “refresher course” on the fundamentals of handgun shooting. The NRA has created a useful Infographic that covers important basics of handgun marksmanship — key things such as Sight Alignment and Trigger Control. Here are the first two (2) lessons. Click the link below to see all SIX (6) training topics: Sight Alignment, Sight Focus, Trigger Control, Breath Control, Hold Control, and Follow-Through.

CLICK HERE for FULL INFOGRAPHIC with SIX LESSONS

pistol fundamentals NRA marksmanship sight alignment

VIEW ALL Six Handgun Fundamentals

Video Shows Sight Alignment, Grip, Stance, Trigger Control and More
In this USAMU video, SGT Shane Coley talks about the basics of sight alignment and trigger control. But then SGT Coley talks about other important control factors such as grip, arm position, and body stance. For rapid-fire shooting, you need to have a good arm and body positioning to control recoil and get back on target quickly. This video is a valuable complement to the NRA Infographic because it demonstrates all the important pistol fundamentals during live fire, at the range.

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November 6th, 2017

Bargain Finder 111: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. RCBS — Buy Green Get Green Rebate Program

RCBS Buy Green Rebate Program Sale Discount Deal

RCBS just kicked off its best rebate program of the year. The Holiday 2017 Buy Green Get Green promo is simple — buy ANY RCBS product over $49.99 and you qualify. There’s no restricted list of “qualifying” products. The more you spend, the more you get back — up to $175.00 total. If you are considering purchasing a single-stage press, electronic powder dispenser, progressive press, or a full reloading kit, save big with this promotion. It is good for purchases made through the end of the year, December 31, 2017. Download REBATE Form HERE.

2. Brownells — Remington RP9, $199.99 with $100 Rem Rebate

Remington Pistol Rebate RP9 9mm $199.00 $189.00 super deal

This may be the best pistol deal of the year. Right now Brownells.com is selling the Remington RM9 for just $299.99. NOTE: This item shows out of stock, but you can back-order the Rem RM9 and still get this price. But there’s more! You can get another $100.00 off with Remington’s Pre-Black Friday Rebate Program for pistol purchases made now through November 18, 2017. So you can get this brand new 9x19mm full-size, polymer-framed pistol for just $199.99. Plus if you use Brownell’s Coupon Code “H7L” at check-out, you’ll save another $20.00 and get free shipping. That lowers your actual cost for the RP9 pistol to $179.99, or $189.99 including Brownells $10 FFL processing fee. A new pistol for $189.99 is a heck of a deal. GET Remington Rebate Form.

3. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII LR MOA Scope, $973.06

Sightron 10-50x60mm optics
Match photo courtesy Varide Cicognati, Sightron dealer in Italy.

At the recent IBS 600-yard Nationals, 4 of the Top 10 shooters (including the 2nd-place finisher) used Sightron 10-50X scopes. Though reasonably priced, this 10-50x60mm optic is definitely good enough to win long-range benchrest and F-Class matches. If you’re looking for a high-magnification, variable-power target scope (with 1/8 MOA clicks), the Sightron 10-50x60mm is a smart choice. There is nothing else at the $1000.00 price point that can touch it. The new Nightforce 15-55x52mm Competition Scope is a great product, but it costs $2352.00, more than TWICE the price of the Sightron 10-50x60mm. The money you save (vs. 15-55X NF) could pay for four barrels or a custom action. On a value-for-money basis, then, the Sightron 10-50x60mm makes sense for competitors on a budget. NOTE: Other Sightron 10-50x60mm scopes with FCH, Mil-Dot, or Target Dot reticles run $1000-$1030 on Amazon.

4. Amazon — MTM AC4C Ammo Crate with 4 Ammo Boxes

MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

Here’s a very cool product from MTM at a great price. The versatile MTM AC4C Ammo Carrier features four, lockable polymer ammo cans in a fitted, four-slot 23.5” x 11.3” x 7.5” carry crate. This makes it easy to haul four full ammo cans. Actual purchasers have raved: “Moments after I received this storage box set I ordered another. Very well built and great design. Awesome and a steal at the price.” Right now this is on sale at Amazon for just $29.99 with free prime shipping. The system includes four lockable, O-Ring 11.3″ x 7.2″ x 5″ ammo cans (AC30T) for multi-caliber ammo storage. The crate even includes tie-down points for transport in a cart or ATV. NOTE: Earlier this summer this MTM AC4C system sold for $39.99. The current $29.99 price represents a 25% savings! See price chart below.


MTM Ammo Carrier Crate Box

5. Natchez — Lowest Prices Ever on Swarovski Z3 Scopes

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Swarovski Scope Optics Z3 discount

Swarovski makes superb optics. The riflescope glass is exceptionally clear and sharp, and the controls have a refined feel. No question, Swarovski makes a premium product. And right now you can get Swaro scopes at exceptionally low prices. These are some of the best deals we’ve ever seen on Swarovski Z3 riflescopes. Jason Gebhart, Swarovski Regional Sales Director said, “The Z3 is a proven product… this Z3 Seasonal Savings Event gives people an excellent opportunity to purchase the finest optics in the world and become part of our family at an incredible price.”

6. Bud’s Gun Shop — Ruger LCP .380 ACP, Just $169.00

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Ruger LCP .380 ACP Carry Pistol Handgun

The Ruger LCP is the #1-selling pistol in the USA according to Gun Broker. And now you can get this compact carry piece for just $169.00 at Bud’s Gun Shop. Great deal. The Ruger LCP is light (9.6 ounces) and compact (5.16″ OAL), so you’re more likely to carry it regularly. The .380 ACP cartridge is not as powerful as a 9x19mm or 40 S&W to be sure, but when your life is on the line, a small gun is certainly better than no gun. For those looking for a light-weight, easy-to-conceal handgun, this little Ruger is a solid choice. Owner reviews have been positive and the $169.00 price (with free shipping) is hard to beat. That’s for payment via money orders, checks, or echecks; credit card price is $174.07.

7. American Eagle Pistol Ammo, 25% OFF Manufacturer Rebate

Federal Premium American Eagle handgun pistol ammo ammunition sale rebate 25% off

Rebate Extended to December 31, 2017!

Here’s a great Rebate offer from Federal Premium Ammunition. Now through December 31st, 2017, you can get 25% OFF the cost of Federal American Eagle brass-cased pistol ammo. We’ve used this ammo in .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP and we can say it’s good stuff — very reliable and cleaner that some other less-expensive brands. Midsouth Shooters Supply has qualifying American Eagle Ammo in a variety of calibers: .25 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm Luger, .38 SPL, .357 SIG, .357 Magnum, 40 S&W, .44 Rem Magnum, .45 ACP. Midsouth’s American Eagle Ammo starts at $11.99 for 50 rounds of 9mm Luger. The 25% OFF Super Savings Rebate reduces the price to just $8.99 per 50-ct box. CLICK HERE for Rebate Form.

8. CDNN — 51-Piece Driver Set (Flat-Head, Phillips, Hex, Torx)

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week Outers Screwdriver 51-piece set torx phillips allen driver

This Outers-brand, 51-piece set contains all the drivers you could ever need: Flat-head, Phillips, Hex (Allen), and Torx. Priced under ten bucks, this driver set offers great value for the money. Even if you already own high-quality Allen and Torx wrenches, you can buy this as a spare set for your gun room. And this also makes a great holiday “stocking stuffer” for gun guys. These drivers work great for installing scope rings or bases, or everyday use around the home.

• Molded Driver with Magnetic Tip
• 15 Flat Head Bits
• 10 Hex Bits (inch)
• 9 Hex Bits (metric)
• 4 Phillips Bits
• 9 Torx Bits
• 2 Extra Long Phillips Bits
• 1 Hex to Square Adapter

9. Amazon — 630 1″-Diameter Target Spots, $9.65 Delivered

Amazon target dots discount free shipping sight-in target

We use 1″-diameter Target Spots for sight-in and practice at 100-300 yards. These bright red/orange self-adhesive dots are easy to see. At 100 yards the high-contrast black diamond centers provide precise aiming points. We found this 10-pack of target spots on Amazon at a rock-bottom price. You get 630 total stick-on dots for just $9.65 with FREE Shipping. You can also get 360 Birchwood Casey 1″ dots from Midsouth for just $3.15, but shipping is extra. If you’re already ordering something from Midsouth, you may want to add the dots to your order.

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October 17th, 2017

Walther Creed — Quality 9mm Handgun under $300.00

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Walther Creed CT9

Last week a close friend called and said he was looking for a good, affordable pistol for personal defense — not for daily carry, but for something to keep in the car and sometimes carry on wilderness trips. He said a local gun shop was steering him to a Glock 19 for around $570.00. I told him: “How’d you like to get a better handgun for less than half that?” I explained that, compared to a Glock, the Walther Creed has better ergonomics, better controls, better trigger pull, and better standard sights. Plus it is safer to field strip, and also has a much better warranty. And right now you can get this gun for under $300. In fact, CDNN Sports has it on sale for $269.99. That’s a steal.

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Canik RP9 Kahr S&W M&P Walther Creed CT9

The Walther Creed offers excellent ergonomics, good accuracy, and well-designed controls at a killer price — $269.99 at CDNN Sports. This gun, designed to be a value-leader, emulates Walther’s more expensive PPQ model (MSRP $649.00) at a much lower price. The Creed’s frame size and shape is the same as the PPQ, but the Creed lacks interchangeable backstraps. Slide and trigger are very similar. The Creed features a snag-free bobbed hammer. Trigger pull is 6.5 pounds. That’s a little heavier than we’d prefer, but not bad for a defense gun. Testers have praised the new Creed, saying that, despite the bargain price, it “sacrifices little to nothing in… ergonomics, accuracy, and reliability.”

Testers Praise the Walther Creed
Cheaper Than Dirt (CTD), a major online vendor, recently conducted an extensive field test of the Walther Creed, shooting a variety of 9x19mm ammo. CTD’s tester came away very impressed:

“After testing, it is now my perspective that this might be the best value in a home defense/full-sized handgun [for] a first-time buyer… if price is a primary consideration. The Creed delivers top-quality customer expect from Walther. For under $400 the Creed is arguably one of the best gun values on the market. It delivers superb quality and features well above many standard firearms lines with proven Walther reliability and accuracy. The Creed was a significant makeover from the legacy PPX improving look and ergonomics while preserving all the great aspects of the original design.”

Five Budget 9mm sale bargain full-size 9x19mm pistol Walther Creed CT9

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September 23rd, 2017

Laser Sights — Not Just for Night-Time

Training with laser sights crimson trace

Are laser sights really useful on a handgun? Yes, and not just in low-light situations. That said, most folks who own laser-equipped handguns do not train effectively with the laser. For many gun-owners, the laser is just a toy, a gimmick that is used a few times and then ignored. Those gun-owners miss out on some of the most important advantages of a laser sights. Go to Training with Laser Sights Page.

Crimson Trace has produced a series of training videos that may change your mind about lasers. If you shoot a handgun you should watch these videos. They show how laser sights can help diagnose and correct common handgun-shooting errors (such as flinching and anticipating the shot). The videos also show how to improve sight alignment and get your sights on target quickly. Watch the video and you’ll see how the laser can improve your aiming and your trigger control.

Training with Laser Sights, Full 12-minute Video
(Covers Muzzle Awareness, Aiming, Trigger Control)

This video show how training with laser sights can: 1) improve muzzle direction awareness; 2) aid with sight alignment; 3) speed up target acquisition; and 4) improve trigger control. The video also demonstrates the obvious advantage of acquiring and maintaining sight picture in low light conditions. Numerous firearms experts are featured in the video while they are shooting and training at Arizona’s Gunsight Academy.

Training With Lasers — Trigger Control
Training with laser sights helps diagnose and improve trigger control errors by showcasing the importance of “surprise break” and follow-through. Lasers quickly diagnose errors such as recoil anticipation, jerking the trigger, and breaking the wrist.

Muzzle Awareness — All-Important for Safe Shooting
Training with laser sights improves a shooter’s muzzle awareness. A daylight-visible laser shows the gun operator where his or her muzzle is pointing at all times. This helps teach proper safety practices.

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September 19th, 2017

New $4 Million Texas Shooting Range Offers Virtual Reality

Killeen Texas Shooting Range Virtual Reality
Story based on report by Ammoland.com, under Creative Commons License: Attribution.

While California politicians are doing everything possible to strip citizens of their gun rights, things are different in Texas. Very different. Shooting is big business in Texas. Witness the latest shooting facility being built in the Lone Star Star: “The Gun Range”. Under construction now in Killeen, Texas, this 15,000-square foot facility will have 16 indoor shooting lanes. It will even have a “Virtual Reality” room where you can shoot bad guys. The total cost for this state-of-the art shooting range? A cool four million dollars ($4,000,000).

Construction is already underway on “The Gun Range”, set to open in the Spring of 2018. The new facility will feature four 50-yard general purpose lanes plus twelve 25-yard pistol lanes, all equipped with advanced Target Retrievers. A new high-tech feature at the range will be a virtual reality projector that uses a real gun to shoot the “bad guys”, but without shooting real projectiles.

Killeen Texas Shooting Range Virtual Reality

Other features include a full snack bar, and TV Lounge. The Gun Range will offer online reservations for gun safety courses, range sessions, and appointments for large parties.

“This… will also be a great place for date nights too,” said The Gun Range owner Paul Doyle.

COMMENT: Only in Texas would they think of going shooting on “Date Night”. We love it.

The new $4 million Killeen Gun Range will be located at 2401 South Fort Hood in Killeen, home of the Fort Hood Army base. Fort Hood is the most populous army base in the world — roughly 88,000 active duty personnel live in the immediate area. When complete, “The Gun Range” will be the most modern shooting range to serve army personnel and the local population. Killeen currently has another 10-lane, 15,000 sq.ft. facility, the Mountain Creek Range, on the south side of town.

Texans Love Their Shooting Sports

There were some interesting comments on Ammoland.com about this project and the shooting sports in Texas:

“Funny how California is doing everything it can to deprive people of their Constitutional civil rights. But in Texas everyone I know has at least one shooting range on their place, every municipality has a shooting range, and commercial shooting ranges are making money hand over fist.” — Wild Bill

“In Texas, if you have 10 acres or more, the county is not allowed to prohibit your shooting on your land by state law. Ft. Hood used to have a sportsman’s range on Ft. Hood, but anti-gun commanders added onerous regulations that drove many people away, then finally closed the range. That was a real disservice to soldiers.” — D. Baker

Permalink Handguns, News 1 Comment »
August 22nd, 2017

Handguns 101: Shoot with Both Eyes Open

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video
Photo courtesy DougKoenig.com and Leupold.

One eye or two? That’s the question that confounds some pistol shooters, particularly during slow fire. When shooting one-handed, some bullseye pistol shooters use a piece of tape or paper on one lens of their shooting glasses to obscure their non-dominant eye. That way they can get a more precise sight picture. However, when shooting two-handed, it’s almost always better to shoot with both eyes open. And if you are doing a “move and shoot” session/match, you’ll surely want to have both eyes open.

Champion pistol shooter Doug Koenig says he always shoots handguns with both eyes open: “To me it’s very simple — I wouldn’t drive my car with one eye closed. I wouldn’t walk around the house with one eye closed. To me, it’s all about your vision, your depth perception.” Doug adds that you definitely need both eyes open to transition quickly from target to target.

With both eyes open you’ll have better depth perception and peripheral vision. You will also be able to transition from target to target more quickly. In a timed, multi-target stage, you’ll want to move your head/eyes to the next target right after you break a shot. You’ll find that you will then reflexively move the handgun on to the new target when you swing your vision on to it. Don’t linger on the target you just shot — move to the next.

Doug Koenig Pistol shooting training video

Here are two other helpful videos from Doug Koenig and the NSSF:

Sight Alignment and Sight Picture

Trigger Press and Trigger Control

Doug Koenig’s List of Championships:
10-time World Champion
18-time Bianchi Cup winner
2016 NRA World Shooting Champion
More than 70 National Championships
6-time World Action Pistol Championship Winner
3-time World Speed Shooting Champion/Steel Challenge

Watch Doug Koenig’s Championship Season TV show on the Pursuit Channel: Wednesday 5:30 pm (Eastern); Friday 9:00 pm (Eastern); Saturday 1:30 am (Eastern) West Coast prime-time.

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July 28th, 2017

America’s Favorite Pistols Revealed by GunGenius.com

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

Looking to acquire a handgun for personal protection of home and family? There are countless options on the market. Your buying decision may be simplified by seeing what other consumers have chosen, as revealed by nationwide sales trends. You can now check firearms sales figures using “Gun Genius”, a new data-crunching service of Gunbroker.com. On GunGenius.com you can select any type of firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun)* and see the top sellers for that category.

Here are the five (5) top-selling NEW semi-auto handguns for June 2017:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

And here are the five (5) top-selling USED semi-auto handguns for June 2017:

Best selling gun genius firearms pistol Sig P320 gunbroker

*Chose semi-auto pistols, revolvers, semi-auto rifles, bolt-action rifles, lever-action rifles, single-shot rifles, semi-auto shotguns, pump shotguns, and more. You can also filter for guns trending up or trending down in recent sales records. Drill down to see detailed product specifications and current prices.

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July 13th, 2017

National Pistol Championships and Handgun Marksmanship Tips

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry
Camp Perry photos courtesy NRA Blog.

This has been pistol week at Camp Perry, site of the NRA National Trophy Pistol Championships. The handgun events started with the NRA Revolver matches and Prelim Pistol Agg on Monday, July 10. This was followed with .22 LR individual and team matches on Tuesday, and the CF Championship and Team Match on Wednesday. The pistol competitions conclude today, July 13th, with the NRA individual .45 Championship, .45 Team Match, and Pistol Awards Ceremony.

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry

NRA Pistol National Championships Camp Perry

NRA National Bullesye pistol championship camp perry ohio OH

Precision (Bullseye) Pistol Championship (Camp Perry, OH — July 9-13, 2017)
Webpage: CLICK HERE for National Pistol Championships INFO
Program: 2017 NRA Pistol Championship Program (PDF)

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Pistol Marksmanship with Brian “Gunny” Zins

The nation’s top bullseye pistol shooters were at Camp Perry this week. If you’ve every wondered what it takes to win a pistol match using the classic, one-handed hold, here are some tips from one of the best ever, Brian “Gunny” Zins, 12-Time NRA National Pistol Champion.

Brian has authored an excellent guide to bullseye pistol shooting. Brian’s Clinic on the Fundamentals recently appeared in The Official Journal of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association. The CMP scanned the story so you can read it online. CLICK HERE to read full article.

national pistol trophy match 2016 Brian Zins CMP Camp Perry

Top Tips from Brian Zins:

Trigger Movement: If trigger control is ever interrupted in slow fire the shot needs to be aborted and the shot started over.

Relationship between Sight Alignment and Trigger Control: Often when the fundamentals are explained these two are explained as two different acts. Well, truth be told it’s really kind of hard to accomplish one without the other. They have a symbiotic relationship. In order to truly settle the movement in the dot or sights you need a smooth, steady trigger squeeze.

Trigger Finger Placement: Where should the trigger make contact on the finger? The trigger should be centered in the first crease of the trigger finger. Remember this is an article on Bullseye shooting. If this were an article on free pistol or air pistol it would be different.

Proper Grip: A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the gun’s sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your or move your wrists around to do that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position [with sights aligned] after each and every shot. The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting position… is with a holster. Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body[.] Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun.

It took decades of competition to acquire all those patches — that’s dedication to the sport.
Camp Perry 2017 Pistol Championship NRA

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June 15th, 2017

Free Instructional Videos for Concealed Carry Handgun Owners

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

Panteo Productions, producers of firearms training videos, has just released a new series of FREE instructional videos for handgun owners. Co-sponsored by Ruger and Federal, the Handgun 101 video series covers handgun and ammunition nomenclature, handgun functions, basic shooting skills, and the key considerations for concealed carry. The three-part series includes: Intro to Handguns, A Concealed Carry Permit, and Intro to Concealed Carry. Part 1 includes multiple chapters with a ton of information. Combined with Part 2 (20 min) and Part 3 (33 min), this series delivers over two hours of helpful content.

These free videos are available streaming online from the Panteao website, on the Panteao mobile apps for Android and Apple devices, as well as on television from the Panteao Make Ready channel on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Click the links below to watch each of the three episodes.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In part one of Handgun 101, Intro to Handguns, instructor Kyle Harth reviews the firearm safety rules, handgun function (and terminology) for both revolvers and semi-auto pistols. In addition, Harth reviews handgun sizes, ammunition, how to grip a handgun properly, safely storing a handgun, proper training, shooting sports and carrying a handgun. This video is intended to be a handgun owner’s first step in familiarizing himself with handgun operation.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In Part 1 of Handgun 101, A Concealed Carry Permit, instructors Kyle Harth and Massad Ayoob carrying a handgun for self-defense, and the important issues associated with defensive gun use. This video reviews concealed carry, traveling from state to state, prohibited carry locations, the use of deadly force, protection of persons and property, and interaction with law enforcement. If you are considering obtaining a concealed carry permit or live in a state where you can carry open or concealed without a permit, this video is for you.

Panteo Handgun video concealed carry pistol free

In Part 3 of Handgun 101, Intro to Concealed Carry, instructor Kyle Harth reviews handgun selection, caliber and ammo choices, methods of carry, belts and mag pouches, clothing considerations, and the importance of training. Remember that the Handgun 101 series is not where your education process ends. Take courses from reputable firearms instructors with understanding of self-defense legal matters. Equally important, go to the range and practice!

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May 31st, 2017

U.S. Steel Nationals Featured on Shooting USA

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff
Jessie Duff won her 8th Ladies Class Title at the 2017 U.S. Steel Nationals in Daytona, Florida.

It’s drag racing with guns! Draw your gun then shoot five steel targets as fast as humanly possible. The U.S. Steel Nationals is the fastest action pistol sport on the planet. Splits are blazing fast — in the top tier of shooters, standings are settled by hundredths of a second. The Steel Nationals has recently has also expanded to include rimfire firearms, and that’s lowered the cost of competing. In this week’s episode of Shooting USA, John Scoutten and Tony Pignato have the highlights of the final round of the 2016 U.S. Steel Nationals, held in Daytona, Florida.

Watch Full Episode of Shooting USA

Air Times by Time Zone
Eastern Time: Tuesday 3:00 PM; Wednesday 9:30PM, 1:00 AM
Central Time: Tuesday 2:00 PM; Wednesday 8:30 PM, Midnight
Mountain Time: Tuesday 1:00 PM; Wednesday 7:30 PM, 11:00 PM
Pacific Time: Tuesday Noon; Wednesday 6:30 PM, 10:00 PM

The show airs tonight on the Outdoor Channel on cable TV. If your cable service doesn’t include the Outdoor Channel, you can watch the entire episode on your computer or mobile device right here. Just click the above video to start the 47-minute show.

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff

Pro Shooter Experience in Las Vegas
Along with the U.S. Steel Nationals Coverage, this week’s episode features the Pro Shooter Experience (PSE) in Las Vegas (starting at 32:22 in video above). Participants enjoy three days of training with three world Champions: Max Michel, JJ Racaza, and Travis Tomasie.

Shooting USA Steel Nationals Florida Max Michel Jessie Duff

Max explains: “The whole premise was to get three world champion shooters together [who are] great ambassadors of the game, and really give back…” Max and Travis are both former USAMU shooters with multiple championship wins. JJ is one of the fastest pistoleros on the planet. The PSE features 1-on-1 training sessions, shooting competitions, speed drills, and some very impressive shooting by the pros.

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May 12th, 2017

Handgun 101: Diagnosing Accuracy Problems with Pistols

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

When shooting pistols do your shots normally land smack dab in the middle of the target? If not, you may have some technique problems that are causing your shots to move off center. Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng has produced a good video for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that helps handgunners diagnose accuracy issues. By shooting 3-shot groups and looking at the pattern and location of the shots, you can see what you’re doing wrong (or right). Here are some examples. Note, this process works best for shooters whose shots fall typically in one target zone. If your shots are all over the target, your form is inconsistent and problems will be harder to diagnose.

1. Low Left — Jerking Trigger: Here we see three (3) shots at the 7 O’clock position. This shows that the shooter is jerking the trigger, meaning that the shooter is pulling the trigger too quickly and therefore forcing the barrel to drop when breaking the shot. This is a very common problem, particularly with novices who are reacting to the noise/recoil of the pistol.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

2. 9 O’Clock — Too Little Trigger Finger: If we see three (3) shots at the 9 O’clock position, what this can be indicative of too little trigger finger on the trigger. And therefore with every shot, the shots are getting pushed to the left. Try moving your trigger finger on to the pad of your index finger. Also try dry firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

3. High Left — Anticipating Recoil: In this next example, we see three shots around the 11 O’clock position. What could be happening here is that the shooter is anticipating the recoil, and is actually lifting the gun up when he shoots. We recommend slowing down, working on your breathing, and, again, do dry-firing drills.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

4. 3 O’Clock — Too Much Trigger Finger: Finally, if you see three (3) shots at the 3 O’clock position, this can indicate that there is too much trigger finger on the trigger. Therefore when the shot breaks the shooter is pulling each shot to the right. Note: Each of these descriptions is for a RIGHT-handed shooter. If you are a left-handed shooter you’ll want to reverse those descriptions.

NSSF Chris Cheng Pistol Accuracy Handgun Shooting Skills

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February 17th, 2017

Amazing Benchrest Pistol — Ten Shots in 0.289 MOA

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

TEN Shots in 0.303″ (0.289 MOA) at 100 Yards
How does Dan’s XP-100 pistol shoot? Look at that target showing TEN shots at 100 yards, with eight (8) shots in the main cluster at the top. The ten-shot group measures .303″ (0.289 MOA), as calculated with OnTarget Software. Not bad for a handgun! What do you think, can your best-shooting rifle match the 10-shot accuracy of this XP-100 pistol?

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

Report by Boyd Allen
This pistol belongs to Dan Lutke, a Bay Area benchrest shooter who publishes the results for the Visalia matches to the competitors and the NBRSA. He has been an enthusiastic competitor for an number of years, at various ranges, notably Visalia and Sacramento. The action is a Remington XP-100, to which a Kelbly 2 oz. trigger has been fitted. On top is an old Japanese-made Tasco 36X scope (these were actually pretty darn good). The Hart barrel (a cast-off from Dan’s Unlimited rail gun) was shortened and re-chambered for the 6x45mm, a wildcat made by necking-up the .223 Remington parent case. The custom stock/chassis was CNC-machined by Joe Updike from 6061 Billet Aluminum to fit the XP-100 action and mount a target-style AR grip with bottom hand rest. The gun was bedded and assembled by Mel Iwatsubu. In his XP-100 pistol, Dan shoots 65gr custom boat-tails with Benchmark powder.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest

This diagram shows the most common 6x45mm wildcat, which is a necked-up version of the .223 Remington parent cartridge. NOTE: The dimensions for Dan Lutke’s benchrest version of this cartridge may be slightly different.

XP100 target pistol 6x45 6x45mm benchrest
ACAD drawing by Peter Gnanapragasam CC by SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Title Added.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
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February 2nd, 2017

Concealment Furniture from TacticalWalls.com

concealment table tactical walls RFID card

TacticalWalls.com, producers of home security/concealment products, has introduced a new line of furniture with hidden gun storage. Tactical Walls’ new Coffee Table, End Table, and Night Stand provide “hidden in plain sight” solutions for defensive firearms. These tables all feature a clandestine metal gun compartment that can be instantly accessed via RFID card.

At first glance, the TacticalWalls tables appear to be nothing more than quality wood furniture pieces. (Each unit is made from hardwood and crafted in Shenandoah, Virginia.) But what’s special are the remote-activated hidden gun bays. By swiping a pre-programmed RFID card supplied with each unit, the hidden compartment underneath the table-top is unlocked, giving instant access to your handgun, shotgun, or rifle.

concealment table tactical walls RFID card

These products are nicely crafted, and RFID access is a smart use of modern technology. However, the TacticalWall tables are pretty expensive. The Coffee Table (49″L x 24″W x 19″H) costs $795.00! That will buy a pretty big gun safe. The two smaller units, the Night Table (above left, 23″L x 23″W x 31″H) and End Table (above right, 23″L x 23″W x 25″H) each cost $495.00. For that kind of money you have a variety of gun storage choices. Still, this could be a nice “instant access” bedroom option. You could keep your pistol right at your bedside, close at hand, but still completely secure.

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January 11th, 2017

Shotgun vs. Pistol for Home Defense

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch
Shotgun Photo from Superior Security Concepts.

Shotgun vs. Handgun — which is better for home defense? That’s a question that inspires strong opinions on both sides. We think the best answer may be “both”. There are some situations where a pistol is most handy, while there are other situations where the power (and lethality) of the shotgun clearly wins out. Some would argue that the shotgun offers an “intimidation” factor that may better resolve a threat without a shot being fired.

The NSSF, in cooperation with Thunder Ranch Training Center, has created an interesting video that examines the Shotgun vs. Handgun debate. As the Cheaper Than Dirt Blog notes: “The primary argument against the shotgun is a longer length leading to less maneuverability. On the other hand, the pistol offers better maneuverability, but lacks the stopping power of a shotgun”. Moreover, the pistol may be less accurate, according to some critics. This NSSF video looks at the question from a logical standpoint — making some surprising points.

As you can see in this still frame from the video, the shooting stance of the pistol shooter (Clint) is NOT much more compact than that of the two shotgunners (compare actual muzzle positions). So a shotgun may actually be more handy inside a home than some people realize. Clint concludes that the gun selection debate “is all very easily solved by only one question: ‘If someone was going to run across a bedroom at you and they had a big knife, would you rather shoot him one time with a pistol or one time with a shotgun?’ When you answer the question you figure out why this [shotgun length] doesn’t really bother us. We simply take these [shotguns] and use them in a slightly different manner…”

Home defense shotgun NSSF Clint Thunder Ranch

In this video, Thunder Ranch Director Clint Smith explains why the overall length of a shotgun, as held in firing position against the shoulder, is not really that much greater than the “shooting stance length” of a handgun held in a proper firing position (with arms extended). Accordingly gun length/size should not be the deciding factor when choosing a firearm for home defense.

Whatever Weapon You Choose — Train with It
Fundamentally, you should use the firearm that is 100% reliable, and with which you have trained regularly. Mastery of a defensive firearm — whether shotgun or handgun — needs to be second-nature. You should be able to operate all the controls (safety, pump, decocker, slide, bolt handle etc.) by “instinct” based on hours of training. Likewise you should know how to operate the light/laser if your defensive firearm is so equipped. Importantly, you should be able to reload in darkness, and clear malfunctions without panicking.

Permalink Handguns, Shooting Skills 2 Comments »
December 29th, 2016

Six Great Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters

Pistol Marksmanship training book

One of our Forum members asked: “Are there any good books on pistol marksmanship? I’m looking for a book that covers techniques and concepts….” Here are our recommendations — six titles that can make you a better pistol shooter. These books run the gamut from basic handgun training to Olympic-level bullseye shooting.

Pistol Marksmanship training book 1911 race gunGood Guidebooks for Pistol Shooters
There are actually many good books which can help both novice and experienced pistol shooters improve their skills and accuracy. For new pistol shooters, we recommend the NRA Guide to the Basics of Pistol Shooting. This full-color publication is the designated student “textbook” for the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course.

Serious competitive pistol shooters should definitely read Pistol Shooters Treasury a compilation of articles from World and National Champions published by Gil Hebard. You could work your way through the ranks with that book alone even though it is very small. It is an excellent resource.

If you’re interested in bullseye shooting, you should get the USAMU’s The Advanced Pistol Marksmanship Manual. This USAMU pistol marksmanship guide has been a trusted resource since the 1960s. Action Shooters should read Practical Shooting: Beyond Fundamentals by Brian Enos, and Ben Stoeger’s new-for-2013 Practical Pistol Book. Brian Enos is a well-known pistol competitor with many titles. Ben Stoeger is a two-time U.S. Practical Pistol shooting champion and a member of the USA Team at the 2011 World Pistol Championships. Last but not least, Julie Golob’s new Shooting book covers pistol marksmanship, along with 3-Gun competition. Julie holds multiple national pistol shooting titles.

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