I first met Chris Cerino at the 2011 Bianchi Cup. It was just after the first season of the History Channel’s ‘Top Shot” TV series, and he was just starting his training company, the Cerino Consulting & Training Group. He was an excellent shooter and had an infectious, positive attitude. Later, I took his four-day Diagnostic Pistol Instructor Course and learned more about teaching pistol shooting than I’d acquired in the previous 30 years of teaching people to shoot. A former federal air marshal and a shooting instructor for the agency, Cerino has an analytical approach to training shooters. He has thought out the issues that prevent good performance and has a way of presenting them that’s revealing and helpful.

As a former air marshal, Cerino stresses the importance of accuracy, advising that accuracy takes precedence over speed—but don’t think he can’t shoot fast. His methods come from long hours of practice with the air marshals, sitting for long hours before a Simunition gunfight is initiated by a simulated attacker. Shots must be accurate and fast in that kind of environment. With training and practice, a shooter can acquire the sight picture and get off shots both quickly and accurately.

Scroll through the gallery above to learn about Chris Cerino’s five shooting fundamentals.

This article was originally published in “Combat Handguns” July/August 2017. To order a copy, visit

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