Trigger Pull Technique

“Pulling the trigger” is the action the operator performs to discharge a firearm. While very simple in concept, it creates problems for most shooters, even experienced ones.

Let me give you the basics first:

  • Hold the gun firmly with your proper grip
  • Align the sights on the target
  • Place the center of the first pad of your trigger finger on the trigger
  • Begin pressing the trigger rearward, smoothly, without moving anything else (or while moving everything else as little as possible)
  • Once you have created enough pressure on the trigger, it will move (sometimes imperceptibly) until the striker, firing pin or hammer in the gun is activated and starts the ignition process, firing the gun.

Several things happen in the gun to cause it to fire. The part you control is pulling the trigger. If done correctly, nothing moves, not your hands or the sight picture and the pistol fires a round exactly where you intended.

However, if you “jerk” or “flinch” before or at the instant you fire the gun, the shot will most probably head somewhere other than where intended.

In my experience, a good trigger pull is one of, if not the most important aspect of shooting well.

Serious shooters spend many, many hours perfecting their trigger pulling. Top marksmen can pull the trigger so well they never move the gun out of alignment.

New shooters have a tendency to pull the trigger in an abrupt manner that can move the gun quickly out of alignment and cause the shot to miss.

The old adage of “aim and squeeze the trigger slowly” is a perfect place to start for the new shooter.

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