Technical Aspects of 10M Air Pistol Shooting
10M Air Pistol Shooting might seem like a very easy sport on the outside but it has a technical depth to it that can only be seen once you start to practice it as a sport as it has a lot of factors and fundamentals that have to be followed. Shooting is a sport where learning never stops, everyday a Shooter discovers something new about their weapon, or their stance, or even the smallest thing in their trigger. Through this article we at Aim Down Sight, will try to take you through the important fundamentals of 10M Air Pistol Shooting.
Before starting any shooting session, warming up your body by stretching helps your body to relax from any kind of stiffness, focusing on your arm and opening it up. Warm-up doesn’t only mean preparing your body for a sports activity but also includes mentally preparing yourself for the activity to come.
THE FIRST 6
Once you are physically and mentally prepared, we now need to focus on the fundamentals of 10M Air Pistol Shooting. They can be divided into 6 and they go as follows –
- Sight Alignment
- Controlled Breathing
- Trigger Squeeze
These 6 aspects are the foundation that shooter build upon to reach great heights and this is why we will be discussing them further.
For 10M Air Pistol Shooting, shooters are supposed to stand in the sideway position while using only the dominant hand, the focus in this first step is to establish stability. It is important to note that this initial position does not need be very comfortable nor very rigid. The trick to establishing stability and balance is to stand in a position with the distance between your feet approximately the width of your shoulders give or take a couple centimeters.
While your non-dominant hand has a passive role to play, many prefer to keep it in the pocket of their trousers or rest it on the belts wrapped around their waste. This helps it maintain a resting position which also increases the overall balance of your body.
Once you have established the correct body position according to your comfort, the next step is to correctly grip your Pistol to minimize the arc movement of your hand. In 10M Air Pistol, shooters are allowed to use only one hand, therefore having the right grip takes you halfway to hitting the bullseye.
There are 3 sections of your hand that play the most important role –
- The space between your thumb and the index finger; this space fits into the grip behind the barrel and under the rear sight.
- The lower part of your hand next to the wrist joint, this section will fit into the adjustable palm rest section of the grip.
- The upper part of the middle finger which will support the pistol grip under the rear trigger guard.
One is supposed to hold the pistol like holding a bottle while drinking water. Holding it very tightly will lead to the movement of the pistol and shaking. On the other hand holding the Pistol too softly and casually will lead to poor grip causing movement and will also put excess pressure on your shoulders.
Sight Alignment is the 3ed step to your starter pack for 10M Air Pistol Shooting because it plays a crucial role. Pistol has a sight significantly different from a rifle sight. The most significant difference is that sight alignment of a pistol can be described as the W sign.
The backside (rear sight) of the pistol has a sight with a gap in between and the front side of the pistol has the front sight, which is supposed to be fixed parallelly between the gap in the rear sight. The front sight is sharp, whereas the rear sight is a little blurred but not much. The focus on the front sight will help the shooter in determining the movement in the pistol, if any. Then the sight has to be aligned with the Target, usually shooters prefer to align their sight right below the black area (6 o’clock – 5 o’clock). Shooters should never focus on the target, instead they should focus on the sight because it will help them in understanding the movement of the pistol. If they are focused on the target instead their shot will not turn out the way they expected it to be.
Breathing is considered one of the hardest fundamentals to master, especially during match situations. If a shooter breathes heavily while firing, their body might move slightly. This can cause movement in your body and weapon, hence the shot may end up hitting the wrong spot. Breathing is something that is a personal experience and everyone’s capability to hold one’s breath is different. But it is said that holding one’s breath for 11-12 seconds is more than enough to focus your attention on your sight, pull the trigger and follow through in a calm and composed manner. One should determine their own endurance, how long they can hold their breath, but a minimum of 7 seconds is required so that there is no movement in your pistol.
The first thing that we learn about triggering technique is what the correct finger placement is for a smooth shot. Step one would be to keep your Trigger Finger (i.e. Index finger) on the center of the fingerprint lines in the middle of the trigger (trigger shoe) and not on the edges of it. Triggering techniques are the most overlooked, but are a very important aspect in your shot cycle. Pulling the trigger has 3 stages: the first pull, second pull, and the third pull, this process of 3 pulls, helps in the smooth delivery of your shot. Every shooter has their own preference and so they can adjust their weapon’s trigger pulls accordingly. If any shooter doesn’t pull the trigger correctly they might find a jerk in their weapon and it will lead to the pistol moving as well.
The second step would be identifying the correct timing each pull has. The 1st pull starts when the shooter reaches the top of the target, but not very hard otherwise it might lead to the firing of the shot. The 2nd pull starts when the shooter reaches the bullseye of the target i.e. number 10. The 3rd and final pull is in the sighting area (6 o clock). The final pull has to be pulled very softly and calmly to prevent any unwanted movement or jerk.
After you pull the trigger it is important to keep your pistol in the same position for 2-3 seconds, this is called a follow through. This last fundamental is important for 3 reasons: –
- A common practice by shooters is that after firing their shot they tend to keep their weapons down immediately. While you might think the shot has been fired as soon as you squeeze the trigger, this may not be the case. If you have planned on keeping your weapon down as soon as you fire you will end up subconsciously moving your hand before the pallet has had a chance of fully releasing from the barrel. As a result the chances of you not hitting your desirable spot are high. This is why setting 2-3 seconds for follow through can help prevent any subconscious mistakes from happening.
- Secondly, this step helps you in determining if your sight was perfect, if you had any unwanted hand movement and where did you hit your target. It is like an instant feedback process.
- And lastly it helps the shooter in preparing for the next shot by understanding what went wrong in the un-favorable shots, or what they have to continue doing to get favorable results.
In the end, technique, style, and position differ from person to person and their personal experiences. But, these are some basic fundamentals that are important for a shooter to now about so that they can make their own path to success. If you liked this technical introduction to 10M Air Pistol, check out our Introduction to 10M Air Pistol that will take you through all you need to know about pistol shooting if you are a beginner. Let us know how you liked our article in the feedback section and fell free to add. If you have any topics you would like us to take up in our up coming articles let us know!!!
Keep Aiming High!