Trigger Control is the KEY! The Pro’s and Experts Agree…
Trigger Control, The Key To Success
At the recent SHOT Show held in Las Vegas, Nevada, I once again had an opportunity to mingle with the experts and professionals in the shooting industry. Coupled with the on-going study of how to shoot well and correctly, I found some more pearls of wisdom. I had the pleasure of watching Travis Tomaise, a professionally sponsored shooter for Para Ord., give a demonstration. He showed how he practices consistency in everything from presentation from the holster to reloads, and did it under time pressure. He is a gifted athlete, but we can learn and benefit from his example. He pointed out that consistency is the key. Trigger control is a huge part of that. He allowed members of the audience to handle his person competition handgun, and it had a wonderful trigger that I felt for myself. He said several times, that trigger control, doing it the same way, was why he is so successful. I’ve noted that every expert (a person who does it correctly) and paid professional I’ve encountered will say almost the same thing.
The Basics of Trigger Control At Any Level
Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch recently pointed out that “the trigger is the last physical control over the bullet.” What the shooter does with the trigger at the moment of firing determines where the bullet will leave the barrel and eventually where it strikes on the target.
Just a few days ago I was working with some Concealed Carry students on the range. The best overall shooters were the women in the class, while some of the males did not do as well. Only one of the men asked me “what am I doing?” I was able to show he had too much finger on the trigger, and he was pulling down and right at the moment of firing in order to shoot “right now!” With trigger control and less experienced shooters, they try to “make” the gun fire and as a result push or jerk the muzzle off target. I showed him how to slow down the trigger press, being consistent with the movement, moving straight to the rear with correct finger placement. In the few moments we had, he saw some improvement and I encouraged him to do some serious dry-practice and get further instruction to help his trigger control. Many may have a mental picture of what needs to happen, but are not sure how to apply it physically to the firearm. That is where an experienced instructor is invaluable. In a recent Armored Car Guard qualification, a young man who had struggled for months with trigger control finally put it all together and shot his personal best score. He was one happy camper after that experience.
Trigger Control, Be A Good Student And Learn From The Best!
I also had,as part of our SHOT Show group, a person who has become a great friend and fellow instructor. I had no clue about his background when he attended a National Rifle Association instructor course I taught some years ago. It was the first time he had done what he called ”two-handed” shooting. He was extremely good at fundamentals and later revealed he had shot in the military. I finally got him to tell me with which branch, etc. He had been in the Air Force, then the Utah Air Guard, retiring after over 30 years. He was a member of the Service Pistol team, shooting all over the country and around the world. Not long ago, he mentioned he had won the National Service Pistol Championship NINE times! Here is a man who knows fundamentals and what it takes to shoot well and consistently! I’ve shot with him and heard him grumble when he did not do as well as he expected…even though the center of the target was gone! Age, eye changes and other factors have lessened his ability, but he still is better than anyone I’ve worked alongside. It’s like playing basketball: you do pretty well until a taller, more experienced player comes along and takes the rebound away you were sure was in both of your hands. During a discussion at dinner, he stated one of the problems he encounters as an employee of a local gun store. “People think gadgets and gear replace knowing HOW to shoot. They think they can buy equipment to replace skill.” I’ve seen it as well. A person reads an article in the printed magazines, or sees a TV program, sees a piece of gear, and thinks it is the answer to their lack of skill in running the gun. By running the gun, I mean operating it safely and with the necessary skill. They don’t know that they “don’t know.” Author Harry Turtledove in his book “Colonization: Down To Earth”, a science fiction story made a relevant point that applies here: “Had he known half as much about the business as he thought he did, he would have known twice as much as he really did.”
To conclude, experts, professionals and students of good shooting know and practice consistent trigger control. Qualified instructors teach it constantly. In the end, be it target shooting or self-defense, only hits count. Control the trigger to get the hits. Until next time, stay safe and check six often.