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How to Shoot a Handgun from the Seated Position

How to Shoot a Handgun from the Seated Position

Shooting from a seated position can be performed on a hot range with the proper safety protocols, or it can be practiced at home with a for-doubly-sure unloaded gun without any ammo present in the room using dry-practice techniques.

When might you have to shoot defensively while seated? Driving comes to mind, especially now that encountering civil unrest is a possibility, although your car is probably a better defensive tool than a handgun and can also help you get away from a bad situation. How about seated at your desk, or at a table in (or outside of) your favorite restaurant? Then there’s riding the bus or subway or enjoying your lunch on a park bench when a mugger shows up. Using your imagination, I’m sure you can think of a number of instances where you might have to defend yourself while seated. And while the possibility of this happening is remote, wouldn’t it be better to practice your response beforehand?

Adding elements like shooting while seated complicate your training because you find yourself in an awkward position. Can you access your pistol or reload? If you normally employ pocket carry, for example, shooting from a seated position is going present a problem. Then there’s the safety concern; can you present your pistol without pointing the gun at things you don’t want to shoot, like parts of your body? Can you holster safely, or would it be better to stand up first? 

While some ranges may prohibit you from shooting while seated, there’s no reason you can’t dry practice these skills at home. First, remove all ammunition from your dry-practice area and make sure you’re pointing at a target/backstop that will stop a bullet. Next, check your unloaded pistol, then check it again to make certain it is unloaded. 

Considering that shooting defensively from a seated position is likely to be a close-range proposition, I recommend you set this drill up on the 3- or 5-yard line, no farther. You’ll need an Option or silhouette target, your carry pistol and holster and, of course, a chair. A metal folding model works just fine. 

Here’s the Drill:

• l Chair facing the target, from a seated position present the pistol and fire two rounds to the upper-chest area of the target. Perform five times, reloading as necessary. Total: 10 rounds.

• l Chair facing 90 degrees right of the target, from a seated position present the pistol and fire two rounds to the upper-chest area of the target. Perform five times, reloading as necessary. Total: 10 rounds.

• l Chair facing 90 degrees left of the target, from a seated position present the pistol and fire two rounds to the upper-chest area of the target. Perform five times, reloading as necessary. Total: 10 rounds.

Start slowly and be extremely careful about covering (sweeping, pointing at) any part of your body with the muzzle, paying special attention to your legs and feet. Do not touch the trigger until your sights are lined up on the target, then make sure you are not touching the trigger as you slowly, carefully reholster. Take your time, be safe, and let me know how it goes.

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