How NOT to go about handgun shooting

In a video put on the internet in 2015, and with over 500,000 views in Brazil, we have a classic walk through on how not to go about the proper fundamentals of handgun marksmanship. I will give the Brazilian police shooter credit in that she kept the firearm pointed downrange at all times. However, that is about the only proper thing she did right. From being unable to engage her target from the standing, then the kneeling, she goes into the prone. Once in the prone, she uses trigger fingers from both hands on the trigger to discharge the firearm. I’m not sure the concept of recoil was familiar to her that day, but thereafter I’m sure she learned her lesson when the recoiling handgun was sent flying back into her forehead, giving her a solid cut and making her bleed.

I don’t find videos on the internet of women shooting large caliber handguns or shotguns and then getting hurt in the process very funny at all. If anything it is indicative of poorly taught marksmanship and shameful on behalf of the owners that have them shoot such large caliber firearms just to watch them become hurt because of it. But in this case, the individual was not using a large caliber firearm she was unfamiliar with, but was supposedly a trained police officer using her service handgun.

And a news report in Portuguese on the matter

A similar situation where a Brazilian Police officer runs into the same problem

And if that isn’t interesting enough, check out this Danish Madsen in use alongside Brazilian police officers! It has since been retired.



Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • Anonymoose

    That appears to be DAO Taurus, which probably has like a 20lb trigger pull, so it’s kinda excusable for her having to pull the trigger with both fingers.

    • Uh it only takes one finger to pull a 25 trigger pull. After the first time it becomes much easier. With practice one can do over 20 pulls on a 20 pound trigger like it was a four pound trigger. Even toddlers can pull a 20 pound trigger.

      • Anon

        Uh, would you kindly tell me what you’re smoking? “After the first time it becomes much easier”, WHAT?! They said DAO, so how does that make ANY sense? You’re NOT going to find it much easier to pull the trigger because you got proficient after one pull.

        You are obviously crazy if you think a toddler can pull a twelve pound trigger let alone a freaking TWENTY pound trigger (case in point, I’m a young adult male and I can barely pull the DA trigger on the Walther P38 I’ve handled, because the DA trigger sucks and is probably over twelve pounds) and that you can pull a twenty pound trigger like a four pound trigger.

        If you can pull a twenty pound trigger like it was a four pound trigger, why do competition guns have lightened triggers?
        Why has NOBODY ever won a competition in which they choose their guns with a twenty pound trigger? Heck, I HOPE nobody is so supremely stupid as to even TRY that, except as an intentional challenge/handicap.
        What is one of the factors as to why the NYPD is not known for accuracy?

        So yeah, I think we can conclusively say that twenty pound triggers suck unless you: drank Chemical X, are Superman, or are a Lovecraftian horror, the last of which you probably are if you think twenty pound triggers are acceptable.

        • The first time is always the hardest because you don’t know how much strength to apply. Even a seven pound trigger will fell like a 30 pound trigger on the first pull.
          Toddlers can pull up their own body weight one handed. Toddlers have killed themselves or others by pulling DAO triggers on guns that were over ten pounds. Adults often when confronted as to why they left guns around with kids said “the gun had a ten pound trigger” as their defense.
          Competition guns have lightended triggers due to wusses. If you were to take the modern competition and put them 60-100 years in the past they wouldn’t be able to hit the broadside of a barn with the guns back then wheras the competitiors back then would beat and today beat the current world champions.
          Your best snipers and hunters didn’t use scopes instead they had no sights on the gun or used iron sights.
          There are eighty year old women who can shoot better then you and their guns have 15 -25 pound triggers and to them the trigger may as well not be there.

          • Anon

            …What? Have you even used a gun before? Are you defending the DA trigger pull of your Nagant revolver? Even back then, 1911s did not have a 10 pound trigger, the Colt SAA did not have a 10 pound trigger. Name me ONE gun that was EVER used in a competition with a “15 to 25 pound trigger”, I dare you, because you seem to be making stuff up.
            Also, these “eighty year old women” would shoot better if you gave them a gun with a match trigger than they would with a crappy 15 pound trigger.
            Wusses… What? This isn’t about being a real man/woman you dolt.
            Shoot a hundred rounds through a 20 pound trigger, then a hundred rounds through a 3 pound trigger and say people are wusses for wanting lightened triggers again.
            Also, yeah you shouldn’t leave guns around toddlers, never did say it was a good idea.

          • raz-0

            Don’t feed the troll. At this point I can only assume they are deliberately behaving that way.

            According to their previous posts, derringers are the most popular pistols sold. So…

          • I said derringers are popular among women and they are if you talk to gun store workers. A lot of people use them as drawer guns or backups or a nice little range gun to have some fun.

          • You cannot even name what guns were used in pistol championships back in the 1920s. Guess what one of the record holders was a 25 acp pocket pistol with no sights. Also there was no such thing as a competition trigger pull.

          • Anon

            You tell someone they can’t name guns used in championships back in the 1920s, and then you… don’t name who the record holder was or what the pistol model was specifically. What?
            That seems to be a little bit hypocritical to me.

          • Norm Glitz

            That was Bill Jordan in the ’50s. He used a 25ACP cartridge in a modified High Standard 22LR pistol in the centerfire portion of the NRA national pistol championship matches at Camp Perry. That was no sightless pocket pistol. After that stunt, the NRA changed the rule to 32 caliber minimum for centerfire.
            Camp Perry had their 100th anniversary match a few years ago. I shot in it. Since the national matches started a few years before that in Sea Girt, New Jersey, and later Creedmoor, New York on Long Island, there have been competition trigger pulls.

          • raz-0

            No, no you did not. “Least popular? You may want to rethink that they are quite popular as backup guns and fun range toys especially since a lot of modern designs allow multiple barrels on the same frame.”

            And to put your statement in perspective, you have cobra and the double tap .45 out there right now. Assuming 100% of pistol production for cobra is their derringer (which it isn’t), and that azimuth arms who actually manufactures the double tap makes ONLY that derringer, you get a bit shy of 58k guns for 2014. (That’s almost double phoenix arms whcih makes a 22 that looks like a piece of junka nd I’ve never seen sold or owned by anyone, and just a hair more than diamondback firearms, makers of another gun that is incredibly not popular). To put that in perspective, ruger made over 718k pistols (just in NC, their other locations made far fewer, but add on a few thousand more for them and not even revolvers push it over a million with them), S&W over 897k without revolvers well over a million with them, glock was 232k,

            As for 25lb triggers, some of the earlier shooting clubs in the 1800s, that were the first to have what we would call competitive shooting, were already dealing with double set triggers. If you have never fired something with a set trigger, heavy isn’t even remotely the word you would use to describe them. I have a rifle with a single set trigger. It breaks at about 9oz. Then you had release triggers for competitive shotgun. Most older pistols were single action only. I’ve handled some old pistols. Not even remotely close to 20lbs of pull. Heck most of them weren’t close to the 11-12lb NYC glock triggers. Those weren’t even competition geared to the best of my knowledge.

            You made me look at your disqus profile. Looking at your posts, you aren’t a troll, just deluded. Yes, people have made do with bad triggers and could get a lot of accuracy out of them if they knew what they were doing. It doesn’t make them sub optimal, much less negligible in the degree of performance. I can and have shot accurately with a bad 10lb trigger on an AR. I can shoot as accurately more rapidly with one that doesn’t suck though.

            As for your competitive pistol claim, what .25 acp pistol, what competition, what was the trigger pull?

            There have been gunsmiths lightening and smoothing triggers forever. More importantly, the level of craftsmanship in mass market manufacture back then might make “competition” triggers nearly pointless without the supporting modern manufacturing methods to make stuff square and consistent. I’ll point to my above mentions of old school competition with rifles, and how there damn well WAS competition trigger pulls.

          • Ever hear of an ortiges? In the 1920s about 70^% of the champions at shooting championships were using them, Race guns and competition triggers are recent things.
            Also Bond arms makes derringers. You have antique ones or ones made by other makers as well.
            You are confusing made with sold to the US public. Ruger exports a lot of their firearms and does military/le sales.
            I am deluded then why is it if I go to a range or any gun store then people consider me one of the most knowledgeable about guns? Sorry kiddo I ain’t deluded. Heavy trigger pull is a myth. When startled a person has a grip of strength of 25 pounds and they don’t know they had grabbed something. Human grip strength is a lot more then 25 pounds. A six year old has a grip strength of 35 pounds. Even a 75 year old has a grip strength of a 100 pounds.
            So in other words you are a wuss if you find a 10 pound trigger impossible to pull.

          • Anon

            Heavy trigger pull is a myth? Would you kindly troll harder?
            Consider you the most knowledgeable about guns in a gun store? Are you sure they weren’t being sarcastic?

          • JoelM

            Competition triggers are recent? You’re aware the original competition trigger… the double set trigger (with a release measured in ounces not pounds) was invented and popularized in the 1700’s.

          • JoelM

            A nice range gun to have fun isn’t a derringer, lol. There’s not a single thing fun about horrendous muzzle flash, recoil, pain, and missing the target despite all of that.

          • Don’t know what derringers are like that but none of the ones I have used miss their targets after I learned how to aim them. As for recoil full size guns had more recoil and muzzle flash then the derringers I used.

          • Anon

            On the other hand, there are people stupid enough to believe that the .22lr “kills more people than any other round” and to test a gun mounted laser by pointing it at their hand and pulling the trigger.
            With all that being said, you could go either way with whether they’re trolling or serious.

          • Those eighty year old women hit the bullseye whereas most men who complain about heavy trigger pulls cannot hit a garbage can at 20 feet with buckshot from a shotgun.

          • Anon

            But the problem here is, you’re not naming anyone or any gun to back up your claims in any way whatsoever. Hope you’re trolling, but then again, people can be that stupid.

          • Norm Glitz

            The now defunct USRA put on competitions at the turn of the century (1900). They mostly used SA and then DA revolvers as target pistols. Around 1910, special single shot pistols that looked like revolvers were brought out that had very light triggers. Special competition guns are nothing new.

            The only “old lady” that I’ve personally shot with was Ruby Fox. She’s still a babe at seventy. She won Olympic medals with her competition pistols. Yes, she still could and does outshoot me.

            When the Army adopted the 1911, the spec on trigger pull was 5 pound plus or minus 1/2 pound. That spec lives on today as the 4 1/2 pound minimum trigger pull for service pistols in CMP competitions.

          • iksnilol

            Those special single shots are also called “free pistol”. Weird devices they are.

          • Norm Glitz

            Little known but interesting fact: In 1894, the first modern Olympics in Athens Greece was opened by the queen of Greece with a shot from a free pistol. She competed in those games.

            Free pistols were called that not because of cost, but because they were relatively free of rules. The only rules now are that they are .22LR, have open, iron sights, the grips can’t extend behind the wrist bones and they have to be fired by touching the trigger. Typical trigger pull is around ten grams. At 454 grams per pound, that’s a bit lighter than the typical handgun. Recently, the ISSF decided in all its wisdom to call them “50 meter pistols”. Doh!

          • iksnilol

            Yup, that’s correct.

            You can do basically whatever you want with them in regards to rules. They also cost more than my car.

          • Norm Glitz

            Ouch! I’ve had cars like that.

          • iksnilol

            Oh no, my car is fantastic. Works well, doesn’t use too much fuel, spacy, looks classy. I am happy with it.

            It’s just free pistols are a bit expensive. Kinda funny though that the electronic trigger is like 100 dollars cheaper than the mechanical.


            Just look at that beauty. For comparison, my car cost 15k NOK.

          • Norm Glitz

            Fewer machined parts in the electronic?

            Closest I come is a Walther LP400 air pistol.

          • iksnilol

            Probably. Getting a that light mechanical trigger that works reliably and precisely must be harder to make.

    • Maxcoseti

      It’s not DOA because the hammer is cocked after the shot, it’s DA/SA, but the trigger pull weight in DA is probably the same as DAO if not heavier, so I agree, with practice it’s not that difficult though, she just needs more trigger time.

    • Budogunner

      The big issue for me is crossing thumbs on a semi auto pistol. That is asking for injury.

      • JoelM

        Asked and received apparently.

    • town22

      Sold my Berretta 96 Centurion for that same reason. Hardy gun, but that trigger pull was just to much. Now, if she was shooting a Glock; which will never happened in Brazil, maybe it would have gone better for her. Just a thought.

      • Anonymoose

        Eh, Beretta trigger pulls aren’t that bad. Was yours a D(S), FS, or G?

        • town22

          FS, not knocking the gun. It saved my bacon twice. But, these days I do IDPA and bowling pin and such… that double action went out the same way single shot went. I’m a 1911 disciple, but for competition Glock 34 has the edge.

  • DIR911911 .

    just after watching her take a full minute to get into position , one has to wonder what kind of physical test she went through for this “police force” . . . of course BOTH these videos are a couple years old at least.

    • datimes

      They were obtained by copying training and physical agility tests from Dept. of Justice mandates recently imposed on Ferguson and Baltimore.

  • BattleshipGrey

    I remember seeing a video with the madsen in use in a raid.

    It seems that the instructors aren’t trained themselves or they’re trying to make the females look bad. Any real instructor should’ve stopped the shooters knowing what was going to happen.

    • Sianmink

      Look at her arm. She has stripes. She was a political appointment and the instructors specifically called her out on her utter lack of ability. So yes. This was specifically to embarrass her.

      • randomswede

        Politically appointed, stripes, female and desire to call her out. How do these pieces connect?
        Is it an “affirmative action” type deal?

        • Sianmink

          more like connections/nepotism, probably.

          • randomswede

            I take no issue with someone pointing out a lack of ability where ability is to be expected. Especially where lack of ability equals a liability.

      • Jack

        No such thing in the Policia Militar (and BTW they are not really military).

    • town22

      That was my observation here. It’s on the Instructor and his attentiveness on the training.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    SEAL Team 2 Tacos for the price of one.

  • Evan

    And I thought Brazilian women were supposed to be hot.

    • Nathan Alred

      Well, she was sweating a lot.

    • Jack

      It’s a really big country (about the same population as the US) and you only see a small number of them (usually the cute ones). BTW, most of the models come from the South, not from Amazonia (in the North). In the South much of the immigration was from Germany hence Gisele Bundchen.

    • Mike Lashewitz

      Until she turned and you could see it was a ‘girl’ I thought is was just a fat boy.

      • Evan

        I don’t blame you.

  • einszweidrei

    Brazilian state polices lack in everything. Training, ammo, equipment, salaries. In the past year at least 3 officers died because their pistols, from that brazilian company you know well, jammed during shootouts.

  • cmbv79

    “And a news report in Portuguese on the matter.”

    • Bill

      As the Portuguese say, Brazilians speak bad Portuguese, as the Brazilians say, the Portuguese speak bad Brazilian. I couldn’t even say “thank you” without getting the gender clause wrong.

  • Edeco

    Oh my heavens, it’s like that video of a cat trying to drink water from a running faucet, where the cat just puts its head under the stream of water.

  • Fruitbat44

    Ow! Oh dear, I can only agree with Miles statement “videos on the internet . . .” and it really does raise questions about standards of training.

    In the third video, well funnily enough I’ve always imagined that would be what would happen if you did fire one of those pistol gripped shotguns.

    And the last picture, weird, 1930’s LMG with 21st Century cammos.

    • iksnilol


      Darn thing was designed in 1896 and in service since 1902. It predates the first world war.

      • Fruitbat44

        Good lord! Well, thanks for the info and it goes to show that one should make assumptions.

        • Michael Blum

          I suspect there are still some in the armories of the BOPE (military police SWAT teams in Rio) … they were cheap (old military issue, or seized from gangs), reliable, good for penetrating cinder block walls, loud and intimidating. They’ve been converted to 7.62mm NATO, and some have been shortened a lot (barrels and barrel shrouds).

  • randomswede

    Has the Madsen actually been retired now?
    I remember seeing it in pictures years after I first heard it had been retired.
    Could just be some stubborn users or economic concern or some such I guess.

    • Jeff NME

      What possible use could police have for a light machinegun?
      I could understand insurgents or other criminals wanting LMGs to spray crowds and cause mass slaughter, but why would police require them?
      Unless it’s been de-milled into a semi-auto for single, aimed shots, then what the heck is is for?

      • randomswede

        What it’s used for?
        What any LMG is used for: suppressing the enemy to allow friendlies to retreat or advance in greater safety.

        Have you heard the expression of: “bringing a knife to a gunfight”?
        Given the choice you want to be the “gun guy” so you bring LMGs to a rifle fight if you can.
        These guys aren’t handing out parking tickets in Irvine CA, they are trying to evict the armies of drug barons from the favelas.

        I’ll agree insofar that when the police need LMGs and armoured cars to do their jobs there’s something very wrong, but I’d never deny the guy in the boots on the ground the tools needed to the job safely.

        • iksnilol

          Also in the case of Brazil; LMGs might be useful for killing homeless people and other “undesirables”.

          • randomswede

            Surely a country that receives billions of dollars of aid from Norway(amongst others) wouldn’t have deathsquads in modern times, right? Right?

          • iksnilol

            Never. I mean, Obama got the peace prize from Norway. Obviously those people know what a peacemonger is.

          • Jeff NME

            That sounds like a perfect reason why police shouldn’t have military weapons.

          • randomswede

            They don’t, the police owns the weapons so they are by definition not military, but police weapons.

          • Jeff NME

            Military weapons being used by police are still military weapons, no matter which way you want to pretend.

          • randomswede

            If by “pretending” you think that I’m being facetious I assure you I am not.

            If the police have Landrovers and the army has Landrovers, what’s a police car and what’s a military vehicle?

            Where in the spectrum of weapons invented and built have you found a line where anything above it is military and below is potentially a police weapon?
            I’m assuming you aren’t making the point that the military shouldn’t have pistols or revolvers as those are police weapons?

        • Jeff NME

          That’s a job for a properly armed and trained army should be doing.
          What the heck does their army do instead of fighting what sounds like a civil war?

          • randomswede

            I’m just making educated guesses but once you deploy the armed forces you are officially at war, not good for the economy, tourism etc.

            I don’t know about Brazilian law, but here in Sweden it’s illegal for the armed forces to participate in policing the populace.

          • Jeff NME

            If you’re arming and deploying “police” exactly like an army, then it is ridiculous to call it anything other than a civil war.

          • randomswede

            I agree, but that’s the world we live in. On the scale of “things that are but shouldn’t be” it barely registers.

      • Bill

        It’s freaking Brazil – patrolling the favelas is one step above doing traffic stops in Kabul. We don’t have an equivalent in the USA, the closest might be Juarez, Mexico.

      • Mk.56T

        Police in other countries not all the same with typical police in the US…
        Here in my country, the police (paramilitary unit, not the usual city police who always using batons or revolvers) uses RPDs and PKMs to combat separatists.
        And they also used it in the UN missions in Africa, several years ago.

        • Jeff NME

          What does the army do while your police are fighting this war?

          • Mk.56T

            It’s not technically a war though. The army are deployed too, but usually the separatists spread into smaller groups that terrorizing people (random shooting, robbing people, like criminals with no political agenda) so the police usually did the job to fight them.

        • randomswede

          Revolvers for the city police, Soviet/Russian weapons for the paramilitary police, separatists… where are you?
          My stab in the dark would be southeast asia?

  • vwVwwVwv

    its hard not to offend feminists

  • steveday72

    OMG, that was just like watching a train wreck in slow motion!

    I’m only surprised that she didn’t rest her nose on the hammer.

  • smartacus

    i wouldn’t entrust them with a spoon

  • iksnilol

    Hans Rosling? I like that guy. Helped me expand my horizons.

    • randomswede

      I find I need a dose every now and then both for some version of hope for the future and to keep myself in check.
      He makes it so easy to see the “big picture” and how it’s a mosaic of “small pictures” most of which we never see.

  • Jack

    As a frequent visitor to Brazil, I can attest to the fact that their police firearms training sucks. It’s the little things like walking through the airport and seeing handguns with ZERO retention other than gravity (i.e., not even snapped – and there was a snap available). The first time I saw it, I almost mentioned it to the guy, but then I noticed his buddy was loaded out the same way so I guess they all just figure they are in a Sierra Leone movie.

    FWIW, the criminals in Brazil, mostly car robberies in traffic, are usually very professional. Actually, there is a joke in Brazil that says it is better to be robbed by a professional than an amateur (it’s funnier in Portuguese).

  • ft

    Her hands are too small for that gun. And that’s just for starters.
    Looks like she has had zero training and maybe her instructors also.
    The instructor should have seen that coming.

  • Mike Lashewitz

    Well sadly that little porker whose arms are not long enough to safely handle a large caliber firearm has chosen a profession that in her region is usually short lived and poorly paid. Also the size of her tiny hands compared to size of the Taurus, well it was a bit large for her.
    God bless her for trying and hopefully she did not develop a permanent flinch after that. You know, “Once bitten twice shy.”

  • throwedoff

    Her little fat fingers are too short to reach the trigger and get enough grip on it to squeeze the trigger with her right hand.

  • We had a department policy forbidding officers to cock the hammer. The first shot had to be DA.

    • John Wisch

      Copy that, but then shes screwed in lieu of a great amount of remedial training & livefire practice !

      On the street if I were her I would let the situation dictate the tactic regardless of policy.

    • CavScout

      Same, and all reloads must come from the pouches. We even decock between each engagement whether we holster or not.

  • Vladimir Putin

    Looked Like A Training Failure and total lack of Instructor Control !

    • Cottersay

      She shouldn’t NEED any instructor control; she’s a damn sergeant in the military police for heaven’s sake!!

  • Mikial

    So, what was this? The school crossing guard gets to shoot a gun for the first time in her life?

    • Cottersay

      That’s what it looks like, but unfortunately she is a Sargent in the Military Police, and is also completely and totally inept. Political correctness at its finest…

  • Tamara Scott

    That looks to be a Taurus 800 series, probably an 809.