Shooting RangeWhen you get a new handgun, you might be disappointed to discover that your shots are lower than they ought to be. This can be a confusing problem if you’re an experienced shooter – and if your other handguns do not give you this problem.

Fortunately, you can correct low shots. In most cases, the problem is easy to figure out and address. With a little investigation and the willingness to make a few changes, you and your new handgun should work well together for years.

There are many possible reasons for low shots. Explore one possibility at a time until you find the problem. These are the most-common causes – and how to correct them.


Have a range buddy, or a video camera, help you confirm that you have a good shooting stance. Check for problems like pushing the gun forward while you squeeze the trigger; flinching, and an unsteady hold on the firearm.

Fortunately, all of your stance-related problems are easy to correct. Typically, you fix these problems by deliberately, carefully assuming a proper stance and consciously reminding yourself of this stance every time you approach the firing line. A range buddy can help remind you to maintain a good body position. Just be sure to return the favor.


Be sure that you have a correct grip on the firearm. Sometimes, a straying thumb can throw off your alignment and interfere with your results. A firearms instructor can help you explore proper grips, as can an experienced range buddy or other friend.

Sight Picture

Be sure that you have a proper sight picture. This will look like one thing or another, depending on which sights your gun uses. Your owner’s manual or an Internet search will give you information about the correct sight picture for your particular gun.


Believe it or not, changing the brand of ammo you use might have an effect on your shooting. Sometimes, a firearm performs better with some brands and worse with others. This is a possibility that you can explore only through trial and error. Experiment with a few different brands to see if the change affects your results.


Fixed sights are not always great ideas for handguns. Take your firearm to a reliable gunsmith for adjustable sights. If the aforementioned conditions are all good to go, having adjustable sights will enable you to adjust the sights for your specific stance, grip, et cetera.

In most cases, one or more of these corrections will put your shots back on target. However, you might be one of few exceptions. If this is the case, you still have two solutions. One is to take your firearm to a reputable gunsmith for a thorough inspection. Explain the problem in detail so that the gunsmith knows what he or she is trying to find.

Your other option is to take a handgun-shooting class with a certified instructor. This person can help you be absolutely certain that you are doing everything correctly.