TRIGGER MECHANICS

Our instructors agreed, the most common error seen in students  is moving the pistol while firing.      


The pre-firing grip:   

The trigger hand (dominant hand) does two things 

1. Backstop. Use the palm of your hand on the backstrap of the pistol to control rearward recoil. 

2. Trigger manipulation.

DONOT get into the utterly stupid pull, squeeze, press, yank semantics game. If the gun is moving while you are shooting then you will miss. Don't move the gun while shooting.

That's all the Dominant hand does.  If you grip with this hand too strongly then you will move the pistol as you shoot.      


The Support hand is the strong gripping hand controlling the muzzle rise. 

1. Point with support thumb. Put your trigger hand thumb on top of the support hand. 

2. Put the palm of the support hand on the grip for more skin on the gun (friction - which is recoil control)    

If your pistol rises excessively when you shoot then your support hand isn't doing its job. 

If your support hand doesn't stay glued to the gun while firing multiple shots without adjusting then your support hand grip is to weak.

Do not tighten your grip as you move the trigger. Do it before you shoot or don't do it at all.    


If the sights are not aligned with the intended target spot... don't shoot.    

If the sights are aligned...don't move the gun.  With the sights aligned on the intended Point Of Impact, all time and all movement are bad.    


When ready to shoot, do 5 things in order every time: 

1. Point the gun at the target using your trigger finger and support hand thumb

2. Touch the trigger. Middle part of the first pad.  Keep the rest of the entire trigger finger off the gun.  See picture above

3. Pull till you feel tension (do this for Double Action Only triggers where there is slack or pre-travel for the trigger before it shoots). For single action triggers do not do this. There is no pre-travel. 

4. Cross check the sights. Get the correct Sight Picture (see pistol sighting page) 

5. Slowly, smoothly and with only your trigger finger move the trigger rearward till it fires   


For follow on shots:

1. Repoint

2. Reset the trigger.  Release the trigger only far enough so it will fire again.  With some pistols this may be tough to feel. In that case it's better to release the trigger farther than required.   

3. Resight.  Reacquire the Sight Picture if you lost in during recoil.  Your goal is to be able to track the front sight throughout aiming, shooting and recovery.

4. Reshoot


Common mistakes: 

1. Tightening the grip as you shoot which moves the gun 

2.  Snatching the trigger in one motion which moves the gun typically by moving all your fingers on your  trigger hand

3.  Pushing forward anticipating recoil which moves the gun (and doesn't eliminate recoil anyways)    


Practice: Dry fire.  If you are going to the range and shooting one shot at a time all of that training could be done at home, for free, dry firing.   Try putting a coin on the top end of your slide while dry firing to make sure your not moving the pistol at the trigger squeeze.

See Dry Fire Drills page