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Trigger Manipulation

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Trigger manipulation is the process of applying pressure to the trigger of a pistol in a smooth and controlled manner in order to fire the weapon accurately. There are four main stages of trigger manipulation:

  1. Prep/Take-up: This is the initial movement of the trigger before it encounters any resistance.

  2. Wall: This is the point at which the trigger begins to feel resistance.

  3. Reset: After the shot and before the sights settle, the trigger is released and returns to either its original position or forward enough to fire another round.

  4. Prep/Follow-Through:The slack is taken up again and the shooter either pauses at the wall then refines a sight picture (accuracy) or continues in a straight, smooth press of the trigger (speed) to fire another round. Let's be frank, if you're prepping on a 7-yard Bill Drill, you're probably exercising too much caution (AKA taking too long).

The goal of trigger manipulation is to apply smooth and consistent pressure to the trigger between steps 2 and 3.

Take-Up > Wall > Sight Picture > PRESS > Reset > Prep

This will help to prevent the pistol from jerking or moving during the shot, which can lead to inaccuracy.

The best technique for trigger manipulation will vary depending on the individual shooter and the type of pistol being used. However, all shooters should practice trigger manipulation regularly in order to develop smooth and consistent trigger control.

Here are some tips for improving your pistol trigger manipulation:

  • Practice dry firing regularly. This will help you to get used to the feel of the trigger and to develop muscle memory.

  • Use a laser sight or dry fire training aid. This will help you to see how your trigger pull is affecting your accuracy.

  • Focus on smooth and consistent pressure. Don't jerk the trigger or apply too much pressure.

  • Practice with different types of pistols. This will help you to learn how different triggers feel and to develop the ability to adapt your technique to different guns.

  • Record your trigger finger in slow motion, like I did, and hold yourself accountable for resetting the trigger before the sights settle and the gun levels out.

With practice, you can develop the smooth and consistent trigger control that is essential for accurate pistol shooting.

Thanks for reading/watching this post.

Shoot fast, shoot straight,


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Great content!!

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