Check out our other photos on Instagram!
Learning to safely and accurately maintain trigger control during the act of shooting is one of the most important skills a concealed carry permit holder can develop. It’s not an easy skill to master because the ratio of gun weight to trigger pull weight is much smaller in handguns designed for concealment as opposed to rifles.
Author and firearms expert Tom Givens explains why weapons designed for concealed carry are much harder to fire accurately than rifles in his article “Teaching Trigger Control” at USConcealedCarry.com.
“If you have an eight-pound rifle with a two-pound trigger, it’s easy to shoot well. Unfortunately, we often have a two-pound pistol with an eight-pound trigger pull, hence the difficulty.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
In a nutshell, there are four distinct trigger operations required each time a gun is fired: contact, slack, press, and re-set. Each one is equally important in maintaining the accuracy of every shot.
Contact refers to the point of contact with the trigger. This point of contact should only occur with the index finger.
The pad of the index finger should be firmly in contact with the trigger. No other part of the index finger should be touching the frame of the gun.
Semi-automatic pistols have a free-moving part of the trigger engagement known as the slack.
This happens between the time of the contact and the time when the index finger cannot move freely backward. As the shooter prepares to fire, the index finger moves through the slack and begins to put and feel pressure on the trigger.
Press is the actual act of firing the gun. The trigger should be fired using the index finger only. Using pressure with the whole hand in order to “squeeze” the trigger results in cumulative downward pressure and a low shot. A smooth backward pressure by the index finger results in a smooth discharge, much like a car slowly accelerating from a complete stop, rather than haphazardly peeling out.
The re-set is an important action for the ensuing rounds. Although the tendency may be to remove the finger from the trigger after each shot, this is not very efficient and may cost you precious seconds in a life-threatening situation.
The re-set occurs at a point before the trigger returns to the original position and can be felt by the index finger as a click, which may also be heard. The gun can be re-fired from this position.
The sequence is slightly different with double-action revolvers where the trigger must be pulled all the way back to fire and then allowed to return all the way forward in one continuous action so that the cylinder may clear and rotate.
Trigger control is not an easy skill to learn or perfect, but the good news is that it’s a skill that anyone can achieve. The only requirement is time and practice.