How to Improve Pistol Groups

Once you have accomplished enough of the basics of pistol marksmanship to hit your intended target most of the time, how do you grow to the next level? That’s part of what I’m working through in my own skills development – I know that my leading shots tend to fly true but I still have hits outside the 8″ A-Zone- and my goal is to put everything into a 4″ zone inside the A. Here are 5 focus areas I am using to tighten my pistol groups:


Sight Picture:

Scattered groups can often be improved by sharpening front-sight focus.  you should be focused intently on the front sight when the trigger is depressed. This means both the target and your rear sight will be slightly blurred, as depicted in the image above. 

Trigger press: 

Trigger press is everything when it comes to marksmanship. This is the last human input into the weapon before a shot breaks. Even if you do everything perfectly to aim a shot bad trigger technique will cause a miss. Trigger finger placement should be one of the options shown below:

Once you can consistently place your finger on the trigger, it’s all about the press. Honing trigger press technique requires practice. Here are a couple drills you can use to improve your press technique:


Practice Slow-Fire Drills

Slow-paced execution of all the perfect mechanics can go a long way in shrinking groups. Try this drill to ingrain strong follow-up shots. 

Folow Through

Just like any other sport, shooting requires follow through. The process of shooting involves sending a tiny projectile down a long tube at ridiculous speeds. We want to make sure that we are allowing the bullet to make it safely out of the barrel prior to moving ourselves or the firearm. As you line up your shot – utilizing all of the other steps – remind yourself not to move after you squeeze the trigger. Granted, the recoil is going to move you. That’s fine. What you want to do is be able to tell where your shot hit, or “call your shot.” 

Know When to Shut it Down

You may be fatigued from work, your mind may wander away from shooting focus or you may feel yourself getting tired. In any case, if your focus is not on shooting, you are wasting ammunition and developing bad habits that will have to be fixed later. 


2 thoughts on “How to Improve Pistol Groups

  1. Pingback: Grouping 101 | TriggerActionTriggerAction

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