Handgun Shooting Tactics

Having knock down power would be nice to have in a handgun. But in reality even with a .45 cal it won’t stop a person dead in their track. Knocking down someone with a round or two is a myth. The reality is that if the bad guy has ammo left they’re going to keep on returning fire, once ammo is out they’ll be running away.

Experts from established gun courses like Gunsite Academy, Black Ops, etc. all agree its the targeting and employments of rounds that needs to be trained on. In other words you don’t shoot just to be making noise. You shoot tactically to slow and to stop the bad guy so you can get to safety.

Target Employment

Whether you’re in the Law Enforcement or private citizen licensed to carry a weapon. You will be taught to shoot a pattern of shots most of these are close range around 10 feet or less. There are many variations from Mozambique to El Presidente but here’s the basics of shot patterns:

  • 2-1 Means 2 shots to the chest and 1 to the head, also known as the T zone
  • 2-1-1 Means 2 shots to the chest, 1 to the pelvic area, and last to the T zone
  • [tippy title=”Double Tap”][/tippy] (Video) to the T Zone is for the advanced people that are in the “HRT” class (Hostage Rescue Team)


Upon contact (firing the first 2 shots) there is a pause to assess, yes even for the “Double Tap” in this case its after the first shot.

What other things should we be aware of? Your ammo count, really?, no just be aware this isn’t a game where you have unlimited ammo. If you think you need to reload do it while behind cover, but do a tactical reload. This means don’t just release your mag and let it fall to the ground, you want to have it in your pocket after the extraction from the gun.

So let us know what type of handgun drills do you do.

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