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Old October 3, 2005, 10:42 PM   #1
C Philip
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How to shoot quickly without jerking the trigger

How can you properly shoot very quickly with a semi-automatic weapon? Whenever I try to shoot very rapidly, I find myself jerking the trigger, and this is obviously bad for accuracy. I know you usually do a slow steady pull of the trigger, but if you want to shoot many rounds in rapid succession, you don't have the time to do a nice slow trigger pull.
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Old October 3, 2005, 11:58 PM   #2
Desertscout1
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The key is to practice good trigger reset A LOT and muscle memory will do the rest after a period of time. The more you practice, the faster this will happen for you.
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Old October 4, 2005, 12:06 AM   #3
281 Quad Cam
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Desert nailed it. Muscle memory.

There is absolutely no way on earth for me to teach you to rapid fire without jerking the trigger. There is no way for me to teach you to quickly draw from a holster or any other skill.

You can be shown, but than practice will make it happen. Learn the trigger reset for your particular weapon. That goes to hell when you switch guns, but the knowledge of how to develop the skill will make it less painful the next time.
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Old October 4, 2005, 07:14 AM   #4
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I just practiced doing quickly what I normally did slower. Roll the trigger without squeezing your fingers more, quickly.
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Old October 4, 2005, 07:22 AM   #5
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Dry fire until you can pull the trigger at speed without disturbing the sights.

If your gun allows it, put a coin on the slide and make sure it stays put.

After that, watch your front sight lift and fall during shooting. When she lifts and drops back into the notch trigger her again.
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Old October 4, 2005, 04:00 PM   #6
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Use the fleshy part of your index finger, not the first joint, which you should keep locked out while bending the second jount and "pushing" the trigger back toward the grip.
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Old October 4, 2005, 04:23 PM   #7
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The NRA Bullseye Course...

Requires thirty shots fired "Rapid Fire".

At 25 yards, one must shoot the pistol off hand (standing and one-hand only without support) at a three inch target. One fires six strings of five shots in ten seconds each.

Simply doing it is instructive.



Without disagreeing with any of the previous answers, the answer is two-fold.

One.
The difference between a clean 'slow-fire' shot and a clean 'rapid-fire' shot is simply one of interval. The amount of trigger movement is minor. One strives to be 'smooth'; which is independent of 'speed'. Work on the slow fire trigger activation. When you can fire good clean single shots, then move on to doubles. The motion of the finger is the same - it's just a little faster, not abrupter.

Two.
Practise. If you can find a regular Bullseye match in your area, shoot those matches. You will find an increase in dexterity and therefore, trigger control builds rapidly. This is that 'muscle memory' one hears about so much. It's just practise and practise until it becomes ingrained in your nervous system.

The skill applies to all forms of shooting.
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Old October 4, 2005, 08:10 PM   #8
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Dont dry fire a gun

Without snap caps.
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Old October 4, 2005, 09:08 PM   #9
arebindixie
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Upon firing, let your finger ride the trigger until you feel the sear engage. Upon recovering the sight picture, squeeze from this point. You will not be as likely to "slam" the trigger and break your wrist.
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Old October 4, 2005, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Without snap caps.
Depends on the gun. In the usual series 70/series I type 1911's you're just fine.

Research your pistol.
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Old October 7, 2005, 02:57 PM   #11
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Single action triggers allow faster shots. The trigger has a much shorter distance to travel and a shorter re-set. I can shoot my 1911 must faster and accurately than my 9mm glocks.
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Old October 7, 2005, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Requires thirty shots fired "Rapid Fire".

At 25 yards, one must shoot the pistol off hand (standing and one-hand only without support) at a three inch target. One fires six strings of five shots in ten seconds each.

I had always wondered/worried what "rapid fire" meant. I think I could manage five reasonably accurate shots in ten seconds. I'm not saying I'm some accuracy star -- I don't practice that often -- but I could do that okay if I put more time in. Whew! I thought "rapid fire" might mean like crazy fast!


edit: Oh, wait a minute. 25 yards, three inch target?! That I couldn't do.



-blackmind
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Old October 8, 2005, 06:27 AM   #13
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YOur wrong

Quote:
Without snap caps.
Depends on the gun. In the usual series 70/series I type 1911's you're just fine.
Research your pistol.

If you look at the way a firing pin works your putting loads on the pin that its not designed to take.
Instead of the pin itself taking the shock load of stricking the primer, the sholder or body of the firing pin takes the load and all of the load against the inner sholder. And instead of a deceleration caused by the deforming of the pin against the primer the shock load is much greater against the end of the firing pin hole since it stops much faster than when it strikes a primer.
There is nothing for the pin to strike so you get a negative load on the end of the firing pin instead of a positive load.
To make it a little easer, its like stoping your car with your breaks or attaching a steal cable to the bumper of your car and latching the other end to a tree. You get the same job done, stoping the car.
But do you really want to do it.
So when you say recearch your gun, you might want to research a little engineering and shock loads also.
So if you want to dri fire, have fun, but I wont with out snap caps.
I have had a gun come into our shop with a firing pin broken off from dryfiring.
A little wont hurt a gun, but excess is somthing you wont want to do.
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Old October 8, 2005, 06:40 AM   #14
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Practice smoothness of actions. When you develop smoothness then speed will come.
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Old October 8, 2005, 10:54 AM   #15
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"edit: Oh, wait a minute. 25 yards, three inch target?! That I couldn't do."

One handed, no less.

Oh, BTW -- if you are shooting at that level of competition, the size of the target really doesn't matter. You are either on target in the spot, or you aren't. I know, I used to shoot indoor freestyle archery competitively, at similar ranges and similar target sizes. (thankfully, no rapid fire) If you are competitive and shooting against those who are also competitive, it all boils down to "You are either in the spot or you aren't. If you aren't in the spot, you lose." It might not be quite that bad with handguns, but I'd bet it would be pretty close.

I'm a pretty good shot, especially with the wheelgun, but I've got a LONG way to go to get to where I would consider myself to be competitive. I still got a WHOLE LOT of practicing to do on that account. I can keep the shots touching at 7 to 10 yards, two handed, with that sort of rapid fire. But keeping it in tight at 25 yards, 1 handed, 2 seconds per shot? That's a tall order!

Not to mention that I'd just about have to tie my other hand down just to keep me from "instinctively" going to a 2 handed grip. It is hard to "untrain" yourself.

Just the other day at the range this one gentleman asked me if I shot competitively, and I had to tell him that while I'm not all that bad, I'm still not good enough to be competitive. He seemed ... dazed.
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Old October 8, 2005, 11:24 AM   #16
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GB,
those that have schooled in the bullseye game have an easier time going to two handed shooting than combat shooters trying to shoot bullseye.

I'm taking my buddy who is an incredible shot and firearms instructor for the local sheriffs deptartment to my old bullseye club where they are having a 900 NRA style bullseyes match. It should be interesting!

As to rapid fire, try international rapid fire pistol matches. 25 meters, one handed starting at 45 degrees down to bench, gun in hand, 5 SECONDS, 5 SHOTS ON 5 DIFFERENT TARGETS!

For rapid fire or double taps, the trigger should be a faster version of condensed slow fire surprise shot. The main difference is that in real slow fire, ala sniper trigger work, the squeeze might be held steady as the sights wander off the target, and then the squeeze starts again when the sights come back on. Sight alignment is,of course, more critical than sight picture.

But in rapid fire, combat or bullseys, the trigger is squeezed constantly and the main focus is staying within the black, target zone or COM. But in both types, the shot should be surprise and you hold through each shot, letting the recoil trigger your recovery. Reset happens AFTER the gun is in recoil and your trigger squeeze or pull happens BEFORE coming back into sight alignment.

People tend to jerk the trigger because they are "snatching" it when they see the proper sight picture (not enough focus on sight alignment) or they are losing focus THROUGH the shot and are already trying to think about the next shot.

Good exercises:
1. Hold your gun on the target, finger off the trigger. Slip your trigger finger onto the trigger, Then in a determined effort, pull your trigger constantly through without thinking about when it will go off. Sort of like a constant total surprise trigger break. Just focus on holding within the black and let the gun go off on it's own. By breaking down the sequences of the rapid fire shots, down to one fast shot at a time, you will be able to pick up your speed with subsequent shots. Try too much at one time and you will be embedding bad habits.

2. After a good rapid trigger break, just bring the gun down into sight alignmen for the second shot....without taking it.
It's sort of like paired sight alignment shots without taking the second shot. You come back down from recoil, get your finger set up for the second shot but do not take it. The reason for this exercise is that it eliminates the focus on the SECOND shot and lets you work on all the elements up to that point.

I found this out when teaching martial arts. If you teach someone how to block and punch, they are too focused on the 2nd act, the punch, to focus enough on learning the correct block. But if you teach them how to properly block, and SETUP for the punch, they can learn each element correctly, and the punch, (like the 2nd shot), comes more fluidly and natural.

Sorry for the long discourse!
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Old October 8, 2005, 11:42 AM   #17
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"GB,
those that have schooled in the bullseye game have an easier time going to two handed shooting than combat shooters trying to shoot bullseye."

I believe it. It wasn't that hard when doing the archery thing, as you CAN'T use a 2 handed hold!

"Sorry for the long discourse!"

Why? It wasn't a "ramble", there were some real good tips in there!
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Old October 8, 2005, 01:17 PM   #18
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GB,
slightly off topic, but I shoot traditional archery as well.
Stickbow, recurve, instinctive, gap shooting.

Going from precise bullseye shooting using visual clues to instinctive point shooting without sights was quite refreshing and challenging.
Got to where I could shoot a dozen arrows into a 4 inch groups at twenty yards pretty frequently. Taught me a lot about trusting your instincts. That's all you have to go by.
Now switching over to more combat shooting and practicing some close point shooting, and also using my focus on the target and sight alignment in peripheal vision, it has come full circle again!

An old iron sight bullseye shooter converted to instictive point shooting, imagine that! Some old dogs CAN learn new tricks.
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Old October 8, 2005, 02:22 PM   #19
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"...but I shoot traditional archery as well.
Stickbow, recurve, instinctive, gap shooting."

I was on the other end of the archery spectrum. NFAA freestyle class -- compound bow, long stabilizer, V-Bar counterweights, rear peep, kisser button, micrometer telescopic front sight with level bubble, trigger release, etc. Slow fire, ultra-precise. I also shot NFAA Bowhunter Freestyle class -- more restrictions, but still pretty precise. Probably very similar to slow-fire bullseye, at least when we were indoors. That or match rifle. It seemed to me that the whole sport just faded away back in the late 80's, nowdays it seems like nobody is doing it anymore.

And now I'm switching over to handguns after a pretty long break where I just wasn't shooting at all. For me it meant that I had to learn DA trigger pull from scratch (freestyle trigger release control is similar to SA trigger control), but the basics of marksmanship were already there. So the learning curve for me was really easy, the groups tightened up really quick-like. Now, I've still got to continue working on dealing with the shorter sight radius and increasing my rate of fire. Recoil never was an issue for me.

One other thing is the cost of practice. One nice thing about archery: once you have the equipment and a decent set of arrows, practice is cheap. Eventually the arrows wear out, but it is still a whole lot cheaper than ammo.
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Old October 8, 2005, 02:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
One other thing is the cost of practice. One nice thing about archery: once you have the equipment and a decent set of arrows, practice is cheap. Eventually the arrows wear out, but it is still a whole lot cheaper than ammo.
Right about that!
Just shot my bow last night. Nice thing is that it's super quiet and the neighbors aren't bothered. I can also shoot on my property, but in respect to the new neighbors, i keep it minimal. Like a mall ninja in the woods with my bow!

You might try to pick up a good quality air pistol.

Although the repeating types are either cheap CO2 or high quality gas released target guns, you can work or rapid trigger release with a single shot as mentioned in my exercies above.

A good quality air pistol can be shot at home, or in the basement, low sound, cheap ammo, and exact same practice on trigger control. You would see leaps and bounds of improvement with one. Just not as fun because of the lack of recoil and noise!

But believe me, high end internations style air pistol competition is one of the hardest there is! 60 shots. fired in strings of 10 shots in TWENTY minutes. Draining concentrations. 10 meters or 33 feet, but the 10 ring is the size of a pencil eraser! 9 ring the size of a nickel. Probably alot like your NFAA competition!
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Old October 9, 2005, 07:00 PM   #21
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I think the best way to learn trigger control is to use the tip of your finger on the trigger, thus maximising sensitivity - after that it is all down to practise.
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:22 AM   #22
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+1 to Lycanthrope's positions.

Quote:
To make it a little easer, its like stoping your car with your breaks or attaching a steal cable to the bumper of your car and latching the other end to a tree. You get the same job done, stoping the car.
With an analogy like that it's no wonder you just don't get it - new firearms for the most part are safe to dryfire. Check the manual if in doubt.
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