Stop using this image to teach shooters


I remember when this image started making the round of the internet a while ago. People would look at it and think “oh, that’s what I’m doing wrong” because their groups would be off, or they’d be throwing shots or something like that. The problem is that this image has almost nothing to do with modern, two handed defensive pistol shooting.

The first place I ever encountered this exact same chart was when I was shooting collegiate bullseye pistol over a decade ago. That’s what it was designed for – one handed, slow fire bullseye shooting. Not modern rapid fire defensive/practical shooting. The problem is that the image doesn’t take into account all the ways the support hand can affect your shooting. So a new shooter that’s been taught a proper modern grip and stance will just be confused by all the silly nonsense on this image.

If you’re really teaching people, teach them to be observant shooters. Read their sights. If you can teach a shooter to watch their sights rise and fall, they’ll know why their shots were going in certain places. For example, yesterday I was shooting a DA/SA Beretta 92 that was new to me. I was consistently throwing the DA shot low. I noticed that right before the shot broke, the front sight would dive in anticipation of recoil – this was because I’ve been shooting a DA revolver with a lighter trigger pull. So my brain “knew” that once it had applied X amount of force to the trigger, it was time to control recoil. If I was going to shoot the Beretta a lot, I’d correct this with dry fire. I was able to confirm the diagnosis by shooting my revolver and seeing that the gun wouldn’t dive in the DA shot.

But if all I had was this image, I would have thought I was jerking the gun or pushing too hard with my trigger finger.

It’s time to stop using this image. It’s not helpful for modern pistol craft. If you’re teaching a bullseye class, go ahead. But otherwise, let’s retire this old horse. Instead, use this image! It’s a lot more helpful.

qualification target - you suck

Thanks to Andrew from Facebook for finding this for us.


  1. FYI, I can remember that figure, or something essentially identical, being around when I first took a disciplined approach to learning to shoot, back in the early 1980s. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

  2. If you knew a little more about shooting sports you’d know this is purely meant for one handed shooting. Still highly relevant today for those that do more than spray and pray and call it “training” (like most of the “training” you outline).

      1. Now that I think about it, we need a circular chart for common post misreading errors.

        1. Sometimes I think that would have to be a circle with a little spinner arrow in the middle.

  3. Its worthless for one handed shooting too, because it causes the student to concentrate of what is going wrong. If the student is thinking “don’t jerk, don’t jerk, don’t jerk!” guess what they are going to do? They’re going to jerk the dang trigger. The other issue is that the focus is on the outcome rather than the process.The focus should be on executing the shot perfectly. You can’t focus on the process if you are worried about what you just did wrong, or what the outcome is going to be.

    I doubt Tiger Woods has a constant inner monologue saying “Don’t Slice, Don’t Slice, Don’t Slice!”

  4. That’s been one of the funniest threads I’ve seen this month 🙂 reading has nothing to do with marksmanship lol

  5. My suggested circular target error chart for those commentators missing the point of a post:
    11:00-1:00: Didn’t catch on that it was a joke
    1:00-2:00 Overly Aspie focus on details
    2:00-4:30 Fanboi offended at brand being badmouthed
    4:30-7:30 Only read post title before making comment
    7:30-10:00 Makes the most extreme ‘what if’ case against point, no matter how unlikely
    10:00-11:00 Skimmed until offended

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