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Shooting Techniques vs. Principles: Trivial Debates About What Technique is Best

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One of the reasons I started Tactical Hyve was because I became frustrated.

In one class, a reputable instructor might say that one technique was the best way to do something.

But in another class, a different instructor would completely disagree and say that technique would get someone killed.

This happened often and still does.

Debates About Shooting Techniques

Shooting technique debate versus universal shooting principles.

You’ll hear endless debates over many things like how one should stand, hold their firearm, or pull a trigger.

I began to wonder why there were so many differences…

It’s because technique is a matter of personal style.

A lot of people in the industry focus on techniques. Instructors will teach the techniques that have worked for them and continue to do so.

However, that doesn’t mean the same techniques will work for another person.


Because we’re all different.

Our physical makeup, the size of the firearm we use, the caliber, and our skill levels (just to name a few variables) all differ.

This is why there is a lot of debate—one might even say useless debate because neither side is right or wrong. The ‘correct’ answer is relative to the individual.

Shooting Principles

Shooting Principles

There is a deeper and more systematic way to approach your training.

A method that will save you a lot of time because you’re less likely to care about trivial debates, and you’ll avoid frustration because you’ll understand that certain techniques work for some while they don’t for others.

The key?

Think about and focus on the underlying principles of all techniques, rather than the techniques themselves.

While techniques may vary among people, principles do not.

Principles are universal.

Leverage is leverage. Gravity is gravity. Friction is friction.

When you understand the principles behind different techniques, you are way ahead of the power curve.

You can even create your own techniques as long as you adhere to the proper principles.

For example, the grip.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard instructors tell students that placing their support hand index finger in front of the trigger guard of a pistol is “stupid.”

Well, those instructors are wrong.

Why do some of the best shooters in the world place their index finger in front of the trigger guard of a pistol? Isn’t this “stupid?”

Simple. Because it is the technique that works for them. Again, technique is a matter of style, and people have different styles.

The actual technique one uses doesn’t really matter if one adheres to proper principles.

Because we’re talking about grip, some of those principles are maximizing one’s leverage over the pistol, maximizing friction, and leveraging our body’s bio-mechanical efficiency to create a human ‘vice.’

There are countless ways, i.e., techniques, to accomplish these principles.

A New Way of Thinking

As soon as you understand that every technique has an underlying principle, you will begin to progress faster, and you’ll begin to ignore trivial debates over techniques.

While people are wasting time arguing, use that time to practice and get ahead of them.

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About the author


Myles is the Founder of Tactical Hyve, a competitive shooter, and a life-long student of all things dealing with the tactical and self-defense worlds.

2 thoughts on “Shooting Techniques vs. Principles: Trivial Debates About What Technique is Best”

  1. I try to teach all my students basically the same grip. I guess that is my technique with the purpose that they have a solid grip to control the pistol. Whether i stack the thumbs or use the top thumb to pin down the lower thumb the principal is for a solid grip. So, thats the idea. Right?

    • It’s difficult to tell based on your description. Based on the article, a solid grip is not a principle.

      Some principles, when it comes to grip are maximum friction and maximum leverage over the gun. There are countless ways to fulfill those principles.


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