My Pistol Shooting Sequence

This post contains a collection of my shot processes (aka shooting sequence, ritual, etc.) as they change over time and those of other shooters in the hope it can be helpful to other shooters. Please contribute sharing your shooting sequence in the comments.


This is my current single breath shooting sequence: 

  1. I decide that it is time to shoot, this changes my concentration and makes me have a different focus.
  2. Turn head towards target
  3. Stretch arm into ready position and check arm feelings and sights without moving head, just lowering gaze, correct if needed (needed a lot).
  4. Balance check (am I moving too much? things look steady?).
  5. Inhale and raise gun over target. I’m looking at the target with a lazy focus and feeling my arm.
  6. Pause.
  7. Make sure sights are ok.
  8. Check shoulder is not too up.
  9. Hold breath and lower gun under control (not too fast, not too slow) looking at front sight, trying to keep wrist lock. 
  10. At end of bullseye reduce speed, take trigger stop and exhale slowly.
  11. Focus on front sight while going down from bullseye and try to reduce movement.
  12. Conscious of initial trigger tension in hand and keep on augmenting it when arriving at zone (sometimes it feels too loose and I abort). If I feel it taking too long, I lower my arm and restart (most of the time). 
  13. Follow through, recall feelings and where I think the shot went. I cannot recall the whole shot (almost nothing stays in memory).
  14. Lower gun. 
  15. Check impact. 

When taking position: 

  1. Start from right of the target, perpendicular, looking at target. 
  2. Looking at target walk towards front until I see that I’m well aligned. 
  3. Check feet and place them right. 
  4. Take gun barrel with left hand and place grip against web of right hand. 
  5. Lower back of hand
  6. Stretch fingers
  7. Move fingers into position.
  8. Rest held gun in table
  9. Look at target and do a few raises to validate position. I’m trying to be aware of where gun wants to go naturally so that it ends centered without me driving it to any side. 
  10. Pivot or move until position is good. 


My new coach has told me to read my ISSF pistol shooting sequence for 15 shots in every training, so I have updated the one I had written following the advice of my previous coach. There are no big changes in the sequence itself, but changes in how I see it now.

  1. Start looking in front of me.
  2. Inhale and towards the end turn head and look at top of target.
  3. While exhaling, raise gun to ready (directly, without adapting). Check that grip is good.
  4. Check balance.
  5. While inhaling, raise gun to a bit over the black of the target.
  6. While exhaling, check that sights are good but looking at target.
  7. Check balance.
  8. Smaller inhale.
  9. Lower arm slowly while exhaling.
  10. Stop at aiming zone. At the same time stop exhaling, change focus to top of front sight, reach trigger stop.
  11. When stability starts to be acquired launch shot release.
  12. After shot is released follow up for a few seconds.
  13. Lower gun

I keep it in a Google Keep note so that I can read it in my phone, but I’ve found that reading it in a piece of paper is more helpful.

What’s yours like?

Update 11/01/2019: Here’s the routine by Statis’tir shared via Twitter:

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  1. Thanks for this Ramon. Not a lot of useful information like this to be found online. I love the final point of Statis’tir’s sequence.

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