In LEO/Mil, Sports Applications, Videos

January 20, 2011

Video Article

Join Dave Re, grand master in the United States Practical Shooting Association, as he teaches gun safety to fellow CrossFit Central members Travis Holley and Crystal Nelson at the Austin Rifle Club.

In Part 2, Re begins by teaching Holley and Nelson the proper stance when firing.

“Recoil control and management of the gun actually starts from the feet and works up all the way out to the gun,” Re says. “The more solid we are in our stance, the less the gun’s going to tend to move in weird directions on the target.”

The grip is also important to controlling the gun.

“The higher we get the hands up in relation to the barrel, the less leverage the gun has on us,” Re says.

Re coaches Holley and Nelson through firing practice, refining their technique with his cues. Then he and CrossFit Director of Training Dave Castro challenge the two newcomers to a CrossFit WOD, shooting-range-style.

“I feel like I’m a little more confident with ... the gun and got a little better, too, from the beginning to the end,” Nelson says.

For a PDF article containing more detailed descriptions of the drills seen in this video, read Dave Re’s companion article Handgun Basics: Drill for Skill.

11min 31sec

Additional reading: CrossFit’s Right on Target by Dave Re, published March 29, 2009.

Free Download


43 Comments on “Handgun Basics Part 2: Stance, Grip and Firing”


wrote …

Love it!!!


wrote …

I've been looking forward to this Part Two for awhile.
Thanks for posting it!


wrote …

Only in America!
Still not sure what this has to do with fitness.....


wrote …

+1 on Jack Rowland's comment... What's next, how to throw a grenade?


wrote …

As a fellow CrossFit affiliate, we are bringing this awareness of gun safety and fitness to the CrossFit community both locally and across the country. We are implementing a One-of-a-kind Tactical Fitness and Training Program that will combine CrossFit workouts with the Gainesville Target Range directly across the street.

We are bringing a combination workout to the community in mid-February that will combine weight lifting, running and shooting at the Target Range in between rounds. Local military, Law Enforcement and Civilians will be participating.

Take a look at our page for more information. We will be offering this to the CrossFit community both locally and across the country here in the next few months to teach the benefits of Self Protection for Civilians, Military Prep Programs and much...


replied to comment from Jack Rowlands

Jack and Andreas.. The relationship between shooting and fitness may not be obvious to everyone. I have a comment posted after Handgun Basics Part 1. It might help you make the connection. (comment #41)


wrote …

To Andreas, Jack-

To some, shooting is a sport. It has competitions, rankings, scoring, and there are winners and losers. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy - these are all needed in some measure to do the kind of stuff that Dave Re does. Some people attach more negative connotations to guns, but that's really got nothing to do with the physical requirements necessary to be good at the sport. If that bothers you, just think of it as the Olympic sport of biathalon, but without the skiing. Monathalon, perhaps?

Plus, Crossfit has roots in the LEO/Mil community. Those communities take less of a negative view of guns than the general population does (although at the same time a much healthier respect for what guns can do). I don't show up at a Yankees fan club and start talking about how standing around in pinstripe tights playing catch with grown men for money shouldn't be a sport; it won't get me anywhere. Same sorta thing with guns and Crossfit. You don't have to like it but you're in the wrong place to argue against it. :)

Some context - I'm not a hobbyist shooter, not LEO/Mil, not a member of any group whose identify revolves around guns or shooting. I've fired a few guns (3? 4?) a few times in my life, all at targets and none with any great success. I have no particular stake or skill in shooting, but I've tried it. If you haven't tried it you should, it's illuminating how difficult it really is to be good at.


wrote …

@ jack and andrea

many "sports" involve firearms. many "games" were developed or have origins as a test of military capability.

this is just one

@ andrea

actually USMC has a PT test that ends with throwing a hand grenade. ha!


wrote …

The right to bear arms is everyone own decision. Who are you to tell me any different Eric and Jason.


wrote …

Dave Re,

Solid and informative. I like the stuff on elbow and thumb position; it's the first time I've heard it.



replied to comment from Michael Conville

What part of what Jason or I wrote suggests that you should change what you do with guns? Maybe you meant to address your comment to Jack and Andreas? If there's something you don't like with what I've said please be specific.


wrote …


The question was what this had to do with fitness. I am not sure how your comment applies to my posting. I provided examples of sport with firearms.

I made no comment about firearm ownership.

As far as who I am to tell you... I can tell you anything I want. It doesn't matter if you are offended or not. More Speech not Less!


wrote …

@ Jack and Andreas

Accuracy and control is an important part of fitness and they are highly lacking in CrossFit. A wall ball at a target is a novice test of accuracy, like running a mile under 9 minutes. The Olifts are better but not the most direct and sensible way of testing accuracy and control. Box jumps would be interesting if the landing site was tiny or a railing like in Parkour. Every other movement has large windows of allowable error as compared to elite tests of accuracy.

Throwing or shooting a weapon (rock, blade, ball, arrow, spear, dart, your own body, bullet) at a small target while fatigued is just the ultimate test of accuracy & control.

Would love to see a CrossFit style event involving elite tests of accuracy combined with elite test of fitness.


wrote …

I would suggest that CrossFit kept a distinct separation between physical fitness and the use of non-body weapons. i.e. guns. Feel free to develop the link between CrossFit and martial arts, just keep the handguns and political views out of the community (by that I'm referring to the use of "infidel" on t-shirts etc. That is only creating a clash between the civilizations/religious views). You are hurting my European/Scandinavian feelings and ethical guidelines. That is not what CrossFit is to me.

It might would be a great idea to discuss what CrossFit stands for. After all it is spreading throughout the world and I like to support CF in any way possible. But as for now, when getting questions about "infidel", I'm trying to wave it of me by saying; Hey, the're Americans. They are not like us.

With that said; I am totally agreeing with Jack's and Andreas' comments.


wrote …

"But as for now, when getting questions about "infidel", I'm trying to wave it of me by saying; Hey, the're Americans. They are not like us."

We don't fret over speech here in the USA. Men and women are, for the most part, informed citizens. The idea of being punished or imprisoned for speaking against the king or the government is not part of our culture. Shutting down speech or controlling speech is rooted in some false beliefs. One man is not an independent thinker and he can't figure out things for himself. Two your thought/politics/movement/belief/whatever cannot be reasoned and accepted in public debate. Tyranical forms of government worry about speech because they believe the people are a controllable mob and are easily influenced. I personally don't believe that man should be led by an elite class and that we should control language so we don't disrupt the "mindless herd." Shutting down speech or the written word is the act of desperate person losing the debate. Only the wicked fearing a loss of control have a problem the exchange of ideas or debate.


replied to comment from Thomas Simonsson

what do you agree with? I'm confused. They don't say anything about their political, civilization, or religious views. yet, your comment is about that.


replied to comment from Thomas Simonsson

Thomas, the use of the word "Infidel" on CrossFit merchandise doesn't necessarily have any sort of political motivation - though I think your take on it is perhaps somewhat common. While you hear that word in the context of religion and politics, consider an alternate definition - "One who doubts or rejects a particular doctrine, system, or principle." - and then juxtapose that against CrossFit and the exercise/fitness community in general, especially as it was when CrossFit was presented to the world initially. Perhaps the use of the word "infidel" in that context will make more sense to you...


wrote …

+1 on Jason's comment.

To the critics Andreas and Jack: Please inform me, and the rest of us, how you are in ANY way personally hindered or wronged by this video. oh, you're just offended? IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT THEN DON'T WATCH IT.

I heard a saying once that the smarter people get, the less they realize they know, and so they seek out knowledge more actively. I haven't touched a gun in 15 years but this is quite informative and what it really comes down to is this.

I would rather have this knowledge and not need it than need it and not have it. I hope that day will never come.

I'm really curious, which countries are you from?


wrote …

I wish I wasn't bothered by (afraid of) loud noises. I think I'd be good at shooting. Anyone have a good idea of how much sound can be blocked by the earmuff's? Would it be weird (unmanly) to wear earplugs and the earmuff's?


wrote …

@ Shane - I am noise sensitive myself. The use of earplugs and/or ear muffs is highly encouraged. Dave Re was earing ear muffs in the video. Just goes to show you that you were paying attention to the instruction, not what Dave Re was wearing.

Accuracy and bodily control are a part of crossfit. Hollow rocks and other exercises are great for bodily control when it comes to shooting.

Also part of Crossfit is the spirit of competition. There is a wide range of shooting competitions out there. Dave Re is definitely part of it.

America is great because it gives everyone the "freedom" to have free speech and the right to bear arms. Just because it is a freedom, does not mean that one MUST exercise that right. It is a personal choice. Yet, it remains a right. Just like your ability to choose what exercise regimen you wich to use.

Dave Re - thanks for the informative video and instruction. Keep it coming Crossfit!


replied to comment from Shane Scott

Shane - earplugs and earmuffs at the same time is called "double plugging". I do it all the time - nothing weird about it at all!

Hearing protection is rated by the amount of noise they cut, typically in decibels (dB). Typical foam earplugs will be rated between -22 and -33 dB. Typical earmuffs are between -19 and -29 dB. Depending on the type of gun being shot, and how close you are to it, -33 dB may simply not be enough to protect your hearing (not to mention that with plugs, you can still get transmissive noise through the bones right behind your ear - muffs tend to block that). A lot of shooters will wear plugs, and then a pair of lighter weight electronic ear muffs over the top - the electronics involve a microphone and speaker in each ear muff - they amplify ambient noise so you can hear conversations normally, but cut off when they detect a gunshot, protecting your ears. The muffs I have on in the vid are electronic muffs made by Dillon Precision.

I have another reason for double plugging - when I'm on the line to shoot, I want to minimize distraction from outside noises. So, I put plugs in, and turn *off* the electronics on my muffs - it gets super quiet at that point, and eliminates any noise from conversations going on behind me, etc.


Jake Di Vita wrote …

One small thing to add:

If the sights are on the target when the bullet leaves the barrel, it is impossible to miss.

I double plug as well.


wrote …

I luv XDs, and guns in general lol


wrote …

Normally don't comment, but in lieu of all the trolling going on these days figured I'd say thanks!

I definitely appreciate the work that goes into this, and I wouldn't mind seeing some higher level firearms looked at if possible. As of now my only source for learning about guns is youtube. It's nice to get some professionally done videos.

Thanks again.


wrote …

Love the video........and "infidel" shirts.


replied to comment from Jordan Derksen

Jordan - feel free to contact me offline, and I'll hook you up with some info... ;-)


wrote …

I am slightly disturbed by this whole thing on using handguns. What the hell has this got to do with fitness and it is very bad brand marketing to the rest of the world. As mentioned earlier "only in America". You have just had a shooting in Arizona and high school shootings are rife in the U.S. From an englishman living in Dubai (which gets such a bad rap from the western world and is nothing like it is perceived) I recommend that this be the last on this subject and you continue to promote topics related to health and wellbeing. If this is CrossFit's idea of training for accuracy then I suggest they find another medium to do this by.


wrote …

I have a feeling that this whole handgun/CrossFit thing can slide in the wrong direction. I can see what you are trying to achieve but I believe that this is the wrong way to go. Please, feel free to allow the affiliates to train their members in handgun-skills. But by doing so through CrossFit Journal you are creating a special image about CrossFit that will not be to your favour in the rest of the world and the community. Please also consider how Reebok would respond to questions about supporting handgun instruction videos. It might work OK in the U.S. but Reebok is a global actor and will have to protect their image all over the world. I believe that that is a experience that they would rather be left without.

I've written it before, but please consider what values CrossFit stands for. You are now a global actor with great influence. With that comes great responsibilities.


wrote …

Guns don't kill people...I DO!


wrote …

who cares what Reebok thinks? i certainly do not. anti gun people make me sick to my stomach. how do you think we gained our freedom from England? sit down with a cup of tea and talk it over. no we shot them and took our freedom.

guns are not going anywhere in the US, ever! i for one own numerous guns for hunting and i guess a couple you could classify as home defense. i believe in my right to keep and bear arms with everything in my body. that being said i see no purpose in extended mags for handguns or some of the other aussalt rifles.

ill give up my right to keep and bear arms when women give up their right to vote. anyone wanna take me up on that one?


wrote …

Thanks Dave,

You extended my understanding for the phrase "Infidel". Though, I still believe that there can be interpretations like I did. In Afghanistan, "Infidel" was used as a opposition to Islam. Soldiers had that tag on their arms. The meaning then was not "One who doubts or rejects a particular doctrine, system, or principle." - like CrossFit. It was as I described a way to create a clash between civilizations/religious views.

I just think that CrossFit is about something else. If you take a look at the whiteboard now, you'll see that the discussions have landed way beyond CrossFit. Some guys are discussing for their rights to bear arms in America. That is not what this is about. It's about if CrossFit should be connected with this kind of things or not.

But still, thanks Dave, for making me wiser


replied to comment from Thomas Simonsson


I certainly wouldn't argue that the word "infidel" is used commonly as a description of those opposed to Islam. In the context of religion, it's generally used as a derogatory term for those who believe differently than you do, and western soldiers wear it as a badge of honor, along with a lot of other religiously oriented phrases and symbols. I'm definitely aware of that meaning of the word, and how it's currently used in that context.

You say: "That is not what this is about. It's about if CrossFit should be connected with this kind of things or not." I understand that's the discussion you're trying to have, and I understand it's your opinion that things related to shooting should not be considered "CrossFit". That's certainly your opinion, and it's shared by a small number of folks within the CrossFit community, as evidenced by comments on the Journal pages for these articles, as well as comments on the main page the days these articles have appeared. I would say that the comments you see discussing rights to bear arms, and that sort of thing, indicate an emphatic indication that those commentors feel this kind of subject most definitely *is* "CrossFit", and is appropriate material for the Journal (probably provided it doesn't become the sole focus of the Journal, which I would definitely agree with). I would also suggest that there's a pretty strong indication about CF HQ feels related to whether this kind of thing "is CrossFit" - this is the 7th piece in the Journal related to shooting, at this point, after all. I would also guess that the vast majority of folks just don't care, either way.

It's not for me to say, either way - I'm very honored to be able to participate in these Journal articles and videos, and share some of the skills I've learned with the CrossFit community as a whole. If HQ feels further material is useful, I would love to help out in any way I can. I'm obviously biased about how I feel these skills relate to CrossFit (and vice versa). I, for one, am very appreciative that the folks at HQ are willing to present material that, while not directly related to how I might perform a workout, might prove to be useful knowledge at some point. At the very least, it can spark interesting conversations, and transmit knowledge - I don't think that's bad, either way, whether I agree with the material or not.


wrote …

Love the use of PVC and grip instruction. So many people just think its point and pull. I personally learned from this video, and coaching cues when I take someone shooting as well. Nice Vid. Now the rant:

+1 Baker! Who gives a crap what Weebok thinks? I think the only reason HQ is letting them near the brand is because they won't get in the way.Their shoes suck anyway. Reezigs or ReeTones anyone? CrossFit is happening world wide, but it is American first. CrossFit shouldn't puss out or lay down so "everyone" likes it. I would also like to add that I seriously doubt my Infidel hoodie I got for CHRISTmas has offended anyone yet. If that happens, that person (like a couple here) needs to take a chill pill.


replied to comment from David Re

What everyone has really got to remember is that Crossfit is not jus an american product anymore but it's encouraging and inspiring people globally. Sorry to sound a bit hippyish but all this talk about "infidels" and religion has absolutely nothing to do with Crossfit, it's to do with american culture and attitude. As mentioned previously I am a Christian born Englishman living in an Islamic environment (Dubai). My education on Islam, as it seems a lot of you seem to have, was skewed by western media. If you want to slag off a religion and a culture don't do it from a distance. I will only listen to those who have lived in an islamic culture for a period of time. Some of you guys have got to get off your high horse and understand that CrossFit does not belong to america, it belongs to the world. In this vein talking about guns, although it is an accepted part of american life, it's not the world over and thus, unless it is an absolute essential to Crossfit's being, must not fill the pages of this website. As also mentioned earlier Reebok is a global brand and will not endorse any "controversial" concepts in the light of it potentially affecting global sales. The thing I worry about (from some of the comments) is that if I decide to bring a middle eastern side to the games one year small minded people (you know who you are) may ridicule them simply for the culture they were born in. I suggest the topics arising from this journal paper end now before Crossfit stops being an amazing protocol for creating community and oness and starts becoming political.


Jake Di Vita wrote …

"I will only listen to those who have lived in an islamic culture for a period of time. Some of you guys have got to get off your high horse"

Pretty funny to me that those sentences were actually back to back...Give me a break.

Did you know IPSC competition takes place in over 70 different countries outside of America?

This video was about a SPORT. The people bitching are the ones making it political.


replied to comment from Jake Di Vita

Is this sport really a Crossfit necessity?


Jake Di Vita wrote …

Why don't you just quit beating around the bush and say "I don't like this so get rid of it."

No one is forcing you to read anything. Go poop on someone else's doorstep. There's plenty of room here for people who do like shooting and would like to learn about it and people who don't.


replied to comment from Matthew Coe


1. to hell with reebok and what they think. reebok doesnt own crossfit, i dont give a rat's ass what they think about CF. since when do we have to start taking into consideration what they think? 2. reebok invested what was it 150mm in CF to rebuild their brand, they came to us remember. not the other way around. we dont need them they need us and frankly i do not like the way they are doing business. trying to and in some cases signing the top athletes to exclusive contracts and not allowing them to be affiliated with other crossfit companies. i speak from experience as i am a partner in one of those companies that lost and athlete bc of this. the thing is they dont even make the product we sell. 3. you bring a muslim to Cf and he/she will be accepted w. open arms bring a muslim extremist who hates america and that's a different story. 4. shooting is a sport 5. the only person i see complaining and making this controversial is you 6. please go away, you are negative 7. if you dont like the articel dont read it dont like the video of people shooting guns and getting instructions on how to shoot guns dont watch PS i didnt perform spell check


wrote …

hey matthew, how do you feel about self defense and the Cf Cert Striking? is that bad for Reebok too?


replied to comment from Jake Di Vita

Jake +1 Matthew Coe negative infinity


replied to comment from Baker Leavitt

Self defence is a positive aspect that uses the human body functional. Since when has pulling a trigger been a functional movement. That is the most pathetic argument I have ever heard. What is this! How can you deem this to be Crossfit? Ask Reebok pal and see what they say! I can't believe I'm classed as negative because I don't endorse guns. That's scary in itself.


wrote …

read post #38 with regards to reebok. the day i care what reebok thinks is the day i dive out of my apt window "ask reebok pal and see what they say" and with that comment Mr Negative Nancy im done with this discussion as you clearly have no clue.


wrote …

Good video. Thanks for the tips!

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