How to properly grip a handgun is one of the most misunderstood aspects of shooting.

To safely maintain control during firing and engage a target rapidly in succession, a two-handed grip is widely regarded as best practice. Though physical capabilities will vary by shooter, these steps can help develop correct form and accurate results.

• Firstly, it’s not enough to simply hold a handgun; you’re gripping it. Assuming the right hand is dominant, center your thumb webbing on the backstrap and grip as high as possible beneath the tang. The skin of your hand should tent out just beneath the slide. As the gun fires, force will shift from the front to the rear at the highest point of the gun. Having a firm, fundamental grip helps retain positioning of the firearm during recoil.

• Wrap your three lower fingers around the bottom of the grip.

• Place your right trigger finger alongside the frame, keeping it out of the trigger guard until you’re ready to shoot.

• Make sure your dominant arm (the right, in this case) is directly in line with the barrel.

• Take your non-firing hand and rotate it to where the lower part of the knuckle at the wrist is parallel to the slide, with the palm covering as much of the grip panel as possible. Then, bring the left thumb along the frame, keeping it out of the way of the slide. Lock or set the wrist of your support hand, feeling the top tendons tighten.

• Place your supporting left thumb high, near where the frame and slide meet, keeping muzzle rise to a minimum. The left hand will lie in place before the safety is flipped. The right thumb should settle on top of the left for a thumb-on-thumb universal grip.

• With body weight slightly forward and your nose over toes, lock tendons and elbows, checking for elbow flare. You are now in position to engage a target.

Practicing sound handling habits leads to improved muscle memory. Remember to consistently grip handguns in a similar, strong-hand manner — the more you do it, the more routine and natural the action, keeping unnecessary motion to a minimum.

AimHi Family Firearams Center offers a variety of firearms training classes for all levels of gun owners. All classes are conducted with a commitment to helping you learn in a safe, comfortable, relaxed environment. AimHi caters to those new to shooting and those unfamiliar with or nervous around firearms. AimHi also offers in-depth instruction to more advanced shooters looking to hone their skills.