Trigger control tips
I used to comfortably getting 2" groups without too much concentration, if I pay more attention, I can get ~1" groups. Now, I'm unable to get less than 4" no matter what, deep concentration doesn't help, white nuckles don't help either.
By compare my shots with the chart, I seem to have problems with jerking trigger. I am trying to stablize my trigger finger, but I can't seem to do so. Seeing some of you get 1" groups @ 20' is very impressive. I love to get that, but first I need to overcome my trigger problem.
What can I do to shoot better. I see ads for finger grip on gun mags, does that help at all?
Thank in advances.
Originally Posted by coolguy
Make sure you're using the pad of your finger.....not the joint. Pressure should be straight back from the pad of your finger to the web of your hand. Don't anticipate the shot...just concentrate on the trigger. Get some snap caps and dry fire...a LOT. Mix some dummy rounds in with your live ones when on the range to check your flinch. Just take your time and squeeze. I dont think there is a mechanical device that will fix this. Its usually mental in my experience.
I've taken shooters who flinch.....had them hold the gun on target and pressed the trigger myself while they held the gun.....bullseye. Then had them place their finger on the trigger......my finger pressed theirs....bullseye.....then let them do it alone....bullseye. It's all in the mind.
That being said....I'm a combat shooter, not a bullseye guy. If I draw quickly and put three or four shots COM within 4" thats just fine with me.
[QUOTE=coolguy;48690]What can I do to shoot better. I see ads for finger grip on gun mags, does that help at all?QUOTE]
Don't try to substitute gadgets for practice. That's what golfers do. It looks foolish, and it never works.
Here are three exercises that have been proven to fix trigger control problems.
BALL AND DUMMY. Have a friend load your magazines or cylinder chambers with a mix of regular live ammunition and plastic dummy ammunition. You can get expensive spring-loaded snap caps, or cheap plastic stuff. Save your money, get the cheap plastic stuff, like this:
Fire as carefully as you can. When a dummy round comes around, the gun will go "click" instead of "bang." Then, you (and everybody around you) will see if the gun moves from having its trigger yanked. Your goal is to have the gun remain motionless when the gun goes click.
As you do the drill, you will be trying to avoid the embarrassment of having people see you yanking your gun around, so you will treat every shot as if were a dummy round (because it could be). When you start thinking that way, all your shots will go into one ragged hole.
BALANCE THE COIN. You can do something similar at home, dry-firing. Unload your gun. Unload it again. Visually inspect the chamber, and visually inspect the cylinder or magazine well. Stick your finger into the chamber so that you can feel that the chamber is really empty. Repeat the unload-look-touch procedure half a dozen times. Then point the gun in a safe direction. A safe direction is one which will stop a bullet, with minimal damage to property, and no injury to you or anybody else, if Satan magically loads your gun even after you did the unload-look-touch drill half a dozen times.
Balance a coin on top of your front sight, or on the front of your slide if the top of your front sight is not flat. Press the trigger until the hammer falls. Try to press so lightly that the coin does not fall off when the hammer fals. If you can't do it at first, keep trying -- you'll get it eventually.
THE EYE-DROPPER. This is one I have done with youth groups (Boy Scouts, 4H) Fill a glass with water, up to the brim. Take an eye-dropper full of water. Add one drop of water to the glass, without spilling any water over the edge. You will find that a glass that appears "full" can hold several more drops of water. (Because of surface tension, the water level will rise above the rim of the glass without spilling.) Eventually, the glass really will be "full," and adding one extra drop of water will spill a lot of water over the side. Let the kids take turns adding one drop each, with the object of not spilling anything over the side.
OK, you're a big boy, not a kid. Skip the water glass and eye-dropper; you've got the idea. Take your gun in hand and try to press the trigger just hard enough so that it will NOT fire. (You can do this dry, at home. Unload-look-touch half a dozen times, then point in a bullet-proof direction.) If your gun has a five-pound trigger pull, apply 4 1/2 pounds of pressure. Now, add "another drop of water." Bring the total pressure to 4 pounds 9 ounces. Now, 4 pounds 10 ounces. See how much pressure you can apply to the trigger WITHOUT causing the hammer to fall.
When the hammer does fall, you must say "Damn!" because that means you failed. You do NOT want the gun to fire. Do this at the range with a loaded gun, adding "one more drop of water," but trying NOT to let the gun fire. When the gun does fire, all your shots will be in one hole.
In my training for bullseye, dry-firing is an important tool to improve trigger control, snap caps required for rimfire to keep from damaging the chamber edge. Always make sure that the weapon is unloaded (check chamber, check again). Keep your focus on the front sight. Making sure that the sight picture remains perfect, equal amount of light on each side of the front sight and level with rear sight. Now push straight back on trigger without disturbing the sight picture. Focus on the front sight. Do not worry about the target, it will take care of itself.
I like milquetoast's reply, I would also add to that two more exercises you don't even need a pistol for.
1. 5-7 lbm. dumbbell. Get a 5 lbm. dumbbell and don't put it down for an hour. You can do this while watching tv. You can use both hands, hold it straight out, keep it moving around, just don't put it down for an hour. Once the 5 lbm. isn't overloading you, move up to a 6 lbm. dumbbell. Your pistol will feel like a feather after a while.
2. Finger gym. Get yourself a finger or hand gym, you know those little things with two handles sticking out of a spring? Looks kinda like this- /\- and you squeeze it. Turn it upside down so it looks like this- \/- and squeeze with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers. Keeping the thing squeezed as much as you can, leave your index finger off and practice a perfect trigger pull, moving only the two joints from the end. This isolates the index finger from the others so you don't "milk" the grip. Do the exercise for about 20 minutes, 10 min. a hand.
Those two drills really tightened up my groups.
I went to the range last weekend and the result was very good, my groups were 2" again.
I never though I has flinch problem, since I'm not startle by the blast/flash, I was looking forward to see the ball of fire in front of my muzzle. When the dry cartridge came up I notice that my gun moves when the hammer drop. Something I must also address, but now I know what to fix. I also taking my time to try all of your advice, but going one at a time, so it's easier for me to track my progress.
Since we are on the dry fire without dryammo can damage something subject. At the end of my session, my gun cocked and ready for the next magazine. Since I was ready to call it a day, I always pull the trigger to release the hammer. Is it better to leave the gun cocked with no ammo in the chamber and magazine for days until my next range session?
Good for you!
Originally Posted by coolguy
- Dry firing won't hurt a modern centerfire pistol. Dry firing older rimfires without a snap cap can break a firing pin (he said from bitter experience with a Star and a Llama).
- Makes no difference wear-wise whether you store your pistol unloaded with hammer down or hammer back. Personally, I'd recommend you keep it loaded always, so that you don't have to try to remember whether it is or isn't. We have all seen too many AD's by guys who dropped the hammer on what they were sure was an empty chamber. Cooper's Safety Rule #1 is "All guns are always loaded." If they really are always loaded, and you know it, you won't ever have an AD with an "unloaded" gun. But that's just me; I'm weird that way.
Actually, dry firing can still damage SOME new guns.
For years, I have read of examples of Beretta 92 firing pins breaking with excessive dry firing.
And, believe it or not - While U must dry fire a Glock to disassemble it - I've seen several reports (w/ pics) of the area of the slide surrounding the firing pin hole breaking from lots of dry firing of a Glock.
HK also redesigned their firing pin a couple of years back because there were reports of pins breaking from dry firing.
So, while occassional dry firing is probably no big deal - I wouldn't do it a lot w/o a snap cap on any gun. That's me... Feel free to what U like.
Well, see there? You live and you learn.
Moral of the story: Get a 1911!
When I first got my laser/light thing, I would attach it to my gun and dry fire around the house a lot. You'll be amazed at how much the gun moves when you're looking at a red dot projected on a wall across a large room. Even after the click! That helped me with trigger control. By dry firing with the laser dot, I got to practice keeping the gun steady until after it clicks. Several hundred of these and muscle memory takes over. Now, I routinely put 100 rounds in a hole the size of my fist at 7 yards. That hole usually starts off about the size of two thumbs.
I always use snaps just to be safe.
Dry firing at home - Rule 2
Originally Posted by propellerhead
All guns are always loaded!
Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!1
Always be sure of your target!
You undoubtedly use a designated "safe wall" for your dry fire practice -- masonry construction, or something that will stop a bullet if some day the "unloaded" gun turns out not to be so unloaded. A bullet hole through the TV is not a good thing, nor is a bullet hole through the spouse, child or neighbor on the other side of the wall behind the TV.
That said, watching a laser dot is an excellent training aid, a very cool way to see how much that muzzle really is shaking.
I knew someone was going to say that. I didn't mention it but I probably should have. I only dry fire at home after I lock up all ammo and clear the gun.
Originally Posted by milquetoast
See Rule 1
I know. Me, too. I still put that hole through the window. Rule 2 applies to "unloaded" guns, too. See Rule 1.
Originally Posted by propellerhead
I think I'll start a new thread: "Tell us about your AD's." There are two kinds of shooters, those who have had AD's, and those who are going to, but think they never will.
But, just to keep this thread on topic, yes, a laser dot is an excellent trigger control training device.
Me too. I have a set of crimson trace grips on my TLE II. I spend 10 to 20 min a night dry firing. It is a great visual aid.
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