This ONE WEIRD TRICK Can Make You a Better Pistol Shooter! (The Trick Is Weightlifting)

    Pistol shooting has never been my strong suit. I have always cottoned more to gravelbelly-style traditional American marksmanship than I have to running and gunning with a fantastic plastic piece. Pistol day for me has always been more on the side of a chore I undertake to keep my skills up to par with the weapon I’m statistically most likely to use, rather than my favorite time at the range. I’m sure many of my readers feel exactly the opposite way, and that’s great; it would be boring if everyone was enthusiastic about the same things in our hobby.

    Where traditional rifle shooting is a discipline of finding the right bone structure to be as stable as humanly possible, pistol shooting is a discipline of muscle isolation, trigger control, grip strength, and more trigger control. Shooting a pistol well is a much more muscular activity than digging into the ground in the perfect prone stance.

    As someone with a weight problem, exercise has always been a priority for me, since I’d rather not die at age 40 of a failed, fat-clogged heart. Various health problems and the always-interloping “schedule” have interfered with me becoming an athletic Adonis like James Reeves, but in college I discovered weightlifting, a discipline I turned out to be pretty good at. After the end of my education and a few moves, I left weightlifting behind, only to pick it back up again earlier this year.

    It’s the damnedest thing, too, the more 25-plates I stack on the barbell for squats, the heavier my overhead presses, and the more arm-destroying my barbell rows, the better and more natural my pistol work has gotten. It’s not just me, either; my SO has been my gym buddy for this year, doing the exact same program I have been doing, and she’s noticed the same kind of improvement – she’s more deadly accurate than ever with her Blackhawk. So take notes, ladies: Want to get better at pistol shooting? Try lifting heavy things and putting them back down!

    It’s a simple (and for some, obvious) message,┬ábut well worth writing about: Weight training will help your pistol shooting, as well as make you an expert grocery-hauler.

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]