How To Load and Accurately Shoot a Pistol

Continuing with my blog tour I’ve been at a few different sites recently that I’d like to share with you. For those unfamiliar with Margot Kinberg’s Crime Fiction News Break, she shares information from the crime writing world. October’s edition is extra special for me.

Today, I’m at Ben’s place, CrimeFictionBook. a fantastic site with a wealth of information for crime writers. For those unfamiliar with Ben, he’s the author of The Writer’s Guide to Weapons, published by Writer’s Digest.

You can find out more about this valuable resource here.

When Ben asked me to guest post about the weapons I chose for my character(s), part of me was sweating bullets. What if my scene was wrong? To my delight, it’s dead accurate. Which is why I’m sharing this with you.

Step-by-Step: How to Load and Accurately Shoot a Pistol

Sue Coletta is a crime author and writer bud of mine with a new book out this November worth your time, Marred. I’m interested in how Coletta approaches the weapons in her work, seeing as how she came up with a primer called 60 Ways to Murder Your Fictional Characters. What follows is her guest post on how she chose the firearms for one of her law enforcement characters, along with a terrific example of how to load and shoot a semi-automatic pistol. Enjoy!


Using Reality to Create Fiction

Sue Coletta crime writer

When Ben asked if I’d like to join him here at to share which firearms I chose for my character, Sheriff Niko Quintano, I jumped at the chance. While researching what gun to use this was the first place I came.

During the final edits for Marred, Adam from Writer’s Detective, one of my favorite real-life detectives, guest posted here about The Best Handguns for Detectives in Fiction. After I read what weapons Adam used on the job, I knew I’d made the right decision for Niko.

The Selections: Sig Sauer P227 & Glock Model 27

Sig Sauer P227 Glock 27

I couldn’t give Niko a wimpy weapon, so I armed him with a Sig Sauer 99 mm (that refers to the barrel length, not the caliber, with the specific model being the P227 ~Ben), with a Glock 27 for his backup piece.

(Note: For those reading an Advance Reader Copy of Marred, you may want to wait to read the following excerpt when you get there. No spoilers, though, you if you choose to read it.)

Read the Excerpt: Step-by-Step: How to Load and Accurately Shoot a Semi-Automatic Pistol

About Sue Coletta

Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is the bestselling, award-winning author of psychological thrillers and mysteries. Sue’s short stories and flash fiction have appeared in OOTG Flash Fiction Offensive magazine and numerous anthologies, and her forensic articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly.

In 2017, Feedspot awarded her Murder Blog as one of the Top 50 Crime Blogs on the net. Sue’s the communications manager for Forensic Science and the Serial Killer Project, and co-hosts the radio show “Partners in Crime” on Writestream Radio Network. As a way to help fellow crime writers, Sue created a team of crime experts (detectives, coroners, police captains, etc.) and founded #ACrimeChat on Twitter. She’s also a proud member of the Kill Zone (see details in full bio — menu bar).


  1. This is useful both in writing and practical use. I’ll have to reference this article for my stories and whenever I find myself at the shooting range. Great post!

  2. These are great advice for how to load and accurately shoot a pistol! Owning a gun has a lot of responsibility to it, and so its important to be as knowledgeable about guns and shooting them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. It’s a great post. There is so much helpful information here. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh my! Last time I fired a gun was in the Navy. We went through a range of weapons, from an M-16 to a Colt 45. We even fired an ancient tommygun (by far the most fun of them all)!

    Many of us picked up some spent slugs as souvenirs (as guns are illegal in Greece, one doesn’t have many chances of firing one). We were on our way back from the shooting range, which was in a field away from the boot camp, when some smart-ass started a rumor that we’d be searched, and anyone found with slugs would be penalized.

    All you could hear for the rest of the walk back was clink clink clink as pockets were casually emptied 😀
    Nicholas C. Rossis recently posted…Creating New AwardsMy Profile

  5. Why would you choose a backup gun that doesn’t take the same mags?

    • Niko had the Glock in the home safe, so I guess technically it’s a “spare” gun. Regardless, these are the exact two guns that my buddy Adam carries, and he’s still on the job. He keeps the Glock in his ankle holster (which is where Niko carried it to the range). I suppose it all comes down to preference. What did you carry for a backup piece, TJ?

  6. As someone who has fired every imaginable type of weapon including mortars, canons, heavy and medium caliber machine guns, as well as rifles, shotguns, and pistols of every caliber, it is especially difficult to suspend disbelief when reading a book or watching a show produced by someone who has no clue. I also have difficulty with stick-thin women taking down brutal perps or kicking in doors. I can easily imagine Kate Beckett’s leg shattering if she ever actually attempted it. If a writer wants to describe anything accurately, they should actually try doing it.

  7. Interesting and very informative post! How are you Sue? I have been back for a few days, but found I had to sign up again to comment on your blog. Security must be tight – 🙂

    • Hey, Joycelin! *waves* I’m not sure what’s going on with that. It seems everyone has to be “approved” again. I must have clicked something, somewhere. Course that doesn’t stop the spammers from nailing me. Figures, right? Hope you’re well and happy! I’ll see you over on your site in the morning. It’s time for dinner here. Bye for now!

  8. I think you wrote a fabulous post, Sue, with the prefect excerpt to showcase it! 🙂

  9. Thanks very much for the kind mention, Sue. And thanks for this really informative post! There is so much more to shooting than you’d think if all you know about it is what you watch on TV…
    Margot Kinberg recently posted…Clean-Up TimeMy Profile

    • Thank you, Margot! Yes, you’re right. Especially if you’ve never fired a weapon, like me. Thank goodness for sites like Ben’s and for YouTube. 🙂

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