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!


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