Saturday, September 21, 2013

Shooting Quick Tip: Trigger Press

A proper trigger press is arguably one of the most, if not THE most important thing for making accurate shots with a handgun.  It is also one of the easiest things to mess up.  Luckily you can practice your trigger press for FREE with dry fire.

There are a few steps to making sure your trigger press is where it needs to be:

Finger placement

You should place your finger on the trigger right in the center of the pad between the tip and the first joint.  If you put just the tip of your finger on the trigger, you are not going to have any control and you can actually push your shots left.  If you put the trigger all the way in the crease of your first joint you can pull the shot to the right.  Right in the middle is where you want to be.  You want to focus on moving the trigger directly to the rear, with zero side to side movement.

(Approximately where to place your finger on the trigger.)

NOTE: The exception to this rule is if you are shooting a gun with a heavy double action trigger pull, put your finger on the trigger right in that crease at the first joint.  That gives you more strength to help offset the heavy pull.


You want to make sure you are pressing the trigger straight back.  You want to make sure you are moving your trigger finger by itself, independently of all your other fingers.  Hold up your hand up with your fingers straight out and all together, in a “karate chop” fashion.  Now bend just your trigger finger at the second joint until it is bent 80-90 degrees.  Now move that finger back and forth in a trigger pressing motion and see if any of your other fingers are moving.  Play with that until you can move just your trigger finger by itself.  That is the movement you want when you are shooting.


Start off slow with this one.  After the shot, keep the trigger pulled to the rear.  Do not immediately let the trigger go back forward.  Quickly squeezing the trigger back then letting it fly forward is called “slapping” the trigger.  Don't do that.  Hold the trigger to the rear until the shot is cleared, then allow the trigger to move forward only enough to reset the trigger.  Depending on your gun that could be very little movement, or it could be letting the trigger move all the way back forward.  On a Glock,  you can hear and feel when the trigger resets.  If you are going to shoot again, let the trigger move forward only to that point, and then press and hold again.  You can, and should, also take up the initial slack on the first shot, to the point where you would be after a trigger reset.

So to practice this, either think or say aloud as you do it, “Press, Hold, Reset.  Press, Hold, Reset.” You can read my post about dry firing here for ideas on how to practice this.  You want to watch the front sight, and make sure it doesn't dip or move left and right when you dry fire.  If you press the trigger(while dry firing, obviously) and the front sight does not move when the trigger breaks, you are doing it right.

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Thanks for reading!


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cool Old Guns 2: H&R 733 .32 S&W Long Revolver

I recently picked up a little H&R .32 S&W Long revolver for practically nothing.  It is a 6 shot nickel revolver, model 733. This model was made from 1961 until 1986. H&Rs don't have the fit and finish of a Smith & Wesson or Colt but it isn't a bad little gun.

This one has some pitting and the nickel is pretty much gone from the cylinder. It is actually in better condition than the first picture I saw of it. 

I could only find 20 rounds for it locally. They are 85 grain hollow points from Hornady loaded by a small local outfit. I decided to go ahead and shoot 14 of them and keep the last 6 until I can pick up some more. 

This is the first six shots:

That's probably about 4 inches or so, and I wasn't trying to be super precise or anything. I was mostly just wanting to make sure it was going to function correctly.

Size comparison for the .32 S&W Long round:
.22 lr, .32 S&W Long, 9mm Luger, .44 mag, .223/5.56x45

Overall it's a pretty cool little old gun. Guns like this are fun to shoot if not useful for much. I wouldn't use it for home defense or concealed carry, but I wouldn't want to be shot by it either. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Should you get training? What about DVDs, Books, YouTube?

I got my license to carry a gun in 2008.  I have carried off and on since then.  In the state of Georgia there is no requirement to get any training at all to get a Georgia Weapon Carry License.  You go to courthouse, fill out some paperwork, get printed, get your picture taken, pay your money then wait for your license to come in the mail a few weeks later.  Other states require a class, but those usually consist of going over law and the very very basics of shooting safely.

It took me almost exactly 4 years before I got real training with an instructor.  Why did it take so long?  Well, quality training is relatively expensive.  You can buy another gun for the cost of a class, especially once you factor in ammo cost and gas if you have to drive.  Billy Bob down at the local indoor range might teach classes for cheap, but what is he teaching?  The fact is, if you carry a gun for self defense, knowing how to use that gun can literally be the difference between life and death.

Sure in those 4 years I read lots of articles, browsed a few forums, and watched tons of YouTube videos.  I bought quality gear.  I even shot a good bit.  Hell, I've been shooting guns since my age was in the single digits!  I had looked at a few training courses, knew I wanted to do it, and thought "Yeah, I'll get around to doing that one day."  After I finally got around to taking a course(review here) there was two phrases that came to mind that I had heard floating around the forums:

  1. You don't know what you don't know.
    Man, some of this stuff was completely different that what I would have came up with on my own.  It all made a lot of sense though.  Getting off the X, shooting while moving(what direction? why?), draw or move first?, what do you do if there is more than 1 bad guy?, what do I do after I shoot?
  2. The "Me" after training would kill the "Me" before training if we were to get in a gun fight.
    If this is not the case, you have wasted your money.
 That's all well and good, but why not just buy a few DVDs?  Can't you learn just as much that way?  Eh, I would say that depends on a few things.  You probably will learn some good stuff from watching DVDs.  The big thing is, are you going to practice it?  REALLY practice it?  In an actual training course you are going to do the drills, over and over again.  The second thing is, how do you know you are doing the techniques as well as you think you are?  A lot of these techniques have small nuances that can make a big difference.  Having a good instructor watching you shoot and critiquing you can mean the difference between kinda knowing what you are doing and mastering a technique.  I think DVDs can be valuable tools.  They are good refreshers. I think they are good for seeing some of the differences in what different schools teach.  I also think that you can get a lot more out of a DVD if you really have your basics down pat from taking a course.

Another benefit of attending training courses that isn't often thought of is getting to hang out with other people that have the same views as you regarding guns and taking care of yourself.  When you are carrying concealed you may pass by any number of other people also carrying, but if you are both doing your job concealing you will never know it.  Every time I have went to training there has been a camaraderie there.  You get to talk about the things you usually aren't supposed to talk about, and you get to meet some pretty cool people there.  Going out for food and BSing after training is common.  We are lucky in that there is a good little mom and pop diner just down the road from our usual training location so we usually all grab lunch together too.  This is also a good time to ask the instructor questions you may have that don't pertain to exactly the class you are attending.   I know every time I go, I pester Randy about all sorts of things.

Cliff notes version:
  1. Learn to shoot better, probably WAY better
  2. Learn skills and techniques to better defend yourself if you ever have to use your gun.
  3. Become more confident, which actually shows and makes you less of a target(Criminals love easy targets)
  4. Meet good people
  5. Test out your gear.  Does it really work as good as you think it does?
  6. Learn what and how to practice.  Instead of just going to the range and blowing targets away, you learn effective ways to practice.
  7. It's fun!

 There really aren't any.  Unless you go to Instructor Bubba and accidentally get shot.  Don't be that guy, go to a reputable trainer.  Note: I'm not saying training has to cost $1000.  As a matter of fact it shouldn't cost that much, especially basic classes.  You can get quality training for just a couple hundred bucks.  Just make sure you read plenty of reviews before you go.

Update: I've had a lot of feedback saying that cost is a con.  Yeah, it can be I guess, and is probably one of the main reasons I didn't go sooner.  I really think however, that if you get some quality training when it is over you aren't going to be like, "man I just wasted my money on this, I should have just kept watching youtube!"

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