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  1. #1
    mccoy's Avatar
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    Exclamation Trigger control in DA: subtleties

    I recently read the following tips on trigger control by Jerry Miculek (by the way, a unique revolver shooter and a good teacher on top of it!):

    http://www.shootingusa.com/PRO_TIPS/.../miculek4.html

    Briefly, he outlines the following 3 points, as I understood them:
    1. Rapid fire: in this case just use the last, extreme joint of the trigger finger (the pad) to actuate it
    2. staging a trigger: you go further into with the finger, rapidly pull the trigger then stop 3/4 th of the way thru, accurately aiming to decide when to finish the action and fire.
    3. finger as a trigger stop: greatest accuracy of all, you use your finger as a reference, when it contacts the frame you stop and know you are just about to fire


    I tried the staging technique yesterday at the range and my DA shots suddenly dramatically improved (I also accurately followed the other tups about stance, wrist, arms and legs postures).

    One difficulty I had is that I staged the trigger OK, then, when I acquired the target and was ready to shoot, often I pulled some more but still did not reach the full trigger run, started to wobble and had to abort the firing. Sometimes I fired when the wobble just started sending the rounds a little way off the bullseye.
    Is there a way around that, I mean acquiring an exact perception of the trigger 'end-of-the-run' to be able to release exactly when desired?

    Also, the finger-stop technique did not work. when the tip of the trigger finger got in touch with the frame, there was still a little run to the trigger.
    Could not find a proper trigger-stop point.

    Looking forward to your valuable insight about the above

    P.S: I've been drooling all the time over Jerry's revolver: a SW 627-PC black & steel with unfluted cylinder
    .

  2. #2
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    It just takes a lot of practice including dry fire to develop your trigger feel and control. That is what makes it fun. if we were expert instantaneously we would get bored and do something else.

    Enjoy learning


  3. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    While Jerry Miculek is a far better shot than I can ever hope to be, I sometimes wonder if the techniques that work for the top-tier shooters are always applicable to us regular Joes. The overwhelming majority of good DA shooters I have seen use the distal joint of the index finger to stroke the trigger, rather than the pad. This offers greater leverage. Not saying Mr. Miculek is wrong - the guy is truly an amazing shooter - but I wonder if a technique that works for a guy who shoots tens of thousands of round a year is universally applicable.

    Rob Leatham uses a trigger technique where he lets the trigger fly all the way forward and his finger completely loses contact with the trigger. Then his finger gets a running start and slaps the trigger for the next shot. Is he wrong? Obviously not, he's the best shooter in the history of practical shooting. But I tried it and couldn't hit jack. I suspect most of us non-superhuman shooters are better off using more conventional trigger control techniques.
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  4. #4
    Charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccoy View Post
    1. Rapid fire: in this case just use the last, extreme joint of the trigger finger (the pad) to actuate it
    As usual, I'm confused......is the last, extreme JOINT of the trigger finger..........or the "pad"???? To me, this appears to be two different areas. Somebody please straighten me out.

  5. #5
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
    As usual, I'm confused......is the last, extreme JOINT of the trigger finger..........or the "pad"???? To me, this appears to be two different areas. Somebody please straighten me out.
    I think he means the pad. I have seen several references to Mr. Miculek using the pad of the finger rather than the joint.
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  6. #6
    mccoy's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I haven't been clear enough, think he meant the distal pad, these are his exact words:

    Okay guys, we’re going to review what we did on these techniques, give you some input. Rapid fire you’ll want your finger right on the face of the trigger, just use the pad. For slow fire, for a little bit more accurate shot, you might want to put your finger through a little bit and stage it.

  7. #7
    mccoy's Avatar
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    Mike,
    your words make sense. Also, JM's revolvers have been accurized by himself and I figure the trigger is adjusted for his finger lenght and strenght.

    Only, it would appear in those tips that JM is speaking in general so the concept at least in his opinion should be applicable to everyone and every gun

    TOF, I thought about it, spending a lot of time practicing with dry fires and master the trigger run, stiffness and so on for your particular gun(s).

    Sure sounds like a musician getting to know perfectly his own instrument (with a different kind of music though...)
    :

  8. #8
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    My own technique has been to use the straight pull-through DA fire. That is, finger tip on the trigger, pull at constant speed, smoothly and rapidly. If I've got time to stage the trigger, I've got time to cock for SA fire.

    I'm much more accustomed to single action shooting, both from Bull's eye type shooting and from using the old Single Action Colts and Rugers.

    With my DA style, the Smiths are much more conducive to accurate DA fire to me as they lack that "hitch" just before let-off.

    Bob Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Wright View Post
    If I've got time to stage the trigger, I've got time to cock for SA fire.
    Bob Wright
    Mmmm... sounds sensical. I don't know why, but JM appears to totally rule out SA in revolver shooting...

  10. #10
    neophyte is offline Member
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    practice

    mccoy: Sir; I too shoot single action. With Double actions; I'm like 'Bob', and Mike.
    "Jerry" nor "Rob" will never have to worry about me.

  11. #11
    James NM's Avatar
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    I saw JM give shooting tips recently on one of the Wednesday shooting shows (I think it was Shooting USA or Sighting in with Shooting USA). As I remember it, he suggested using the pad for SA, the first joint for regular DA (including staging), and finger just past the first joint when using it as a trigger stop.

  12. #12
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mccoy View Post
    Mmmm... sounds sensical. I don't know why, but JM appears to totally rule out SA in revolver shooting...
    Because once you get used to shooting DA accurately, SA firing offers no real advantages. You usually have to break your support hand grip to thumb-cock; it takes longer to cock and re-acquire the sights and support-hand grip than just holding and squeezing DA; and the high/tight grip most DA shooters use is better for controlling recoil/muzzle flip.

    In all fairness, I'm an old PPC revolver shooter, so I've put a lot of DA shots downrange. In the medium-good-old-days, a coffee-saucer sized group was par at 50 yards, and coffee-cup-sized was the standard at 25. If you scattered any shots, the other shooters would clean your clock, so precision was always the goal.

    Even my .44 Redhawk rarely gets fired SA; I just don't hit any better shooting SA vs. DA, so what's the advantage?

    James NM, to get the most out of the trigger-stop style, you have to have a set of grips that positions your hand properly; too much or not enough finger on the trigger, and the technique doesn't work. This is probably the biggest challenge that new DA shooters face, finding a set of grips that works for their hand-size and gun.
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 02-06-2008 at 01:44 AM.

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I shoot a good, smooth DA more accurately than SA in a revolver. I have no use for single-action capability in a well-tuned DA revolver.
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  14. #14
    Bob Wright's Avatar
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    As to thumb cocking, I'm referring to the first shot, in which I cock the gun prior to acquiring my two-hand hold. The hammer is cocked before the gun completely clears leather. If I'm in-you-face-close, no thought of cocking, just clear leather and fire with gun in opponent's mid-section.

    I have never been able to shoot double action as accurately as I have single action. There are those who can, I know, but I have never had the time, nor money, to practice enough to really become proficient with the DA action. The Ed McGiverns and Bill Jordans had the financial backing and place to practice, and really went after it. My own experience has been mainly afield, where shots were made at small targets at long range. I have never noticed silhouette shooters going after the rams at 200 meters in the DA mode.

    If I have to be very precise in placing my shot, I'm going to cock the hammer.

    Bob Wright

  15. #15
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    If you are out in the field getting critters single action is a great way to go. If someone is coming at me with a gun or knife I will stay with double action.

    I am not quite confident enough in my own safety to cock a revolver as I pull it from the holster in haste.


  16. #16
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    Saturday afternoon is range-time for me.
    So yesterday I shot my regular 100 rounds, equally split into SA and DA.

    Studying the target clusters, I'd say I was a little more accurate with SA (closer clusters) than DA. Not much though, many of my rounds (75-80%)went into the paper silhoutte's head at 15 yards, either SA or DA.
    Trigger staging seems to be the golden mean between SA and trigger stop.
    I tried some trigger stop DA but realized it takes a long practice and , as DJniner says, careful choice of grips and probably an adequate trigger job. it also tends to tire the trigger finger very soon. At least, after 6 rounds I had to change hand.
    I realize once you understand the spatial pattern (grip, trigger) which works better for you, staged DA is a killer.
    Its advantages are better gun control, and ease of switching from slow to rapid fire.

    Another shooting buddy let me try his new S&W 686+ model, I found it has a distinct treshold in trigger strenght which sort of warns you where the end-of run is reached. That spells for better staging. This characteristic I do not find in the older 686 model I usually fire.

    Last note: I realize I always end up shooting a few stray rounds off the intended point, I can even see the bullet's trajectory in the air and its lateral deviation, but the cause of such deviations beats me. Sure that makes me nervous.
    I should learn and cultivate the virtue of patience.

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