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Old September 25, 2020, 04:57 PM   #26
dyl
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The choice of particular word: squeeze, press, pull, stroke is usually trying to get a certain point across, that it's different than some bad thing you're trying to avoid. The word chosen depends greatly on what the teacher has set the definitions in her/his mind. That probably changes culturally over the years and depends on whatever vocabulary the teacher was taught.

My generation doesn't use the word "stroke" regularly. But we push buttons. But a problem is that the word "push" doesn't imply fine control or restraint, and neither does "pull". I guess the new words are to get people to pay more attention to trigger control, to imply moving the trigger rearward with just enough force to get the trigger moving smoothly and to break within the required time frame.
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Old September 26, 2020, 10:54 AM   #27
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What mental steps do you take when shooting your pistol?

Brother.. I do not get into considering a bunch of nuances. I pull the trigger when I want the gun to go bang. I have shot my gun (alot) and I am very familiar with how my trigger breaks. I couldnt tell you a dang thing about the trigger pull if you asked me. Its simply an innate thing from shooting the gun thousands of times. I just pull the trigger evenly

I dont think it much matters what someone wants to call it.

I dont think many gunfights are going to hinge on trigger pull nuances or what you call it.

If conveying the nature of a trigger pull to someone learning to shoot. I would call it an even and deliberate press. If someone wants to call it a "stroke", I guess they can. Instructors often try to be different (just enough) to set themselves apart from the next guy. Terminology could be a good way to do that. Same thing.. different word. I would not call it a stroke but again, I dont think it really matters.
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Old September 26, 2020, 12:24 PM   #28
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I'm going to say (as I have said before, and I will undoubtedly say again) that muscle memory plays a huge part in the process.

I mostly carry and shoot 1911s. I do my own trigger jobs, and pretty much all of my pistols (other than a couple of mil-surp Sistemas that I haven't touched because I have no intention of ever carrying them) are set to between 4-1/2 and 5 pounds, and I've pretty much eliminated creep and grit.

Yesterday at the range, I tried a new commander-size pistol they have there. The trigger pull weight as measured on a scale is just about 6 pounds, with some creep and a fair amount of grittiness. And I found that it was impossible for me to shoot it accurately. "Combat" accuracy at 25 feet was no problem but target accuracy at 75 feet was not going to happen.

I found that when shooting off a rest for accuracy, the difference between my 4-1/2-pound triggers and this 6-pound trigger seemed mu greater than it is. At times I felt like I was pulling/pressing the trigger with all my strength and nothing was happening. It didn't help that there was a bit of a catch mid-way through the creep portion of the release. I could feel the sear start to move, then it would stop and I had to increase the pressure still more to get it to release.

Cleaning all that up would take 15 minutes or less, but to me it just emphasizes the role that muscle memory plays. I've shot other guns at the shop (1911s) that came from the factory with 3- or 3-1/2-pound triggers, and I had trouble shooting them accurately, too ... because the gun would go off before my muscle memory expected it to. The light triggers are easier to adapt to, because they're clean. The heavy, gritty, creepy trigger is (IMHO) almost impossible to adapt to. It's less noticeable when shooting offhand at a silhouette, but very noticeable shooting off a rest for accuracy.
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Last edited by Aguila Blanca; September 26, 2020 at 12:25 PM. Reason: typo
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Old September 26, 2020, 07:41 PM   #29
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The principles described below apply to both handguns and rifles. It's all about learning how to press the trigger to make the gun fire without moving the gun.
  1. The first principle of accurate shooting is trigger control: a smooth press straight back on the trigger with only the trigger finger moving. Maintain your focus on the front sight (or the reticle if using a scope) as you press the trigger, increasing pressure on the trigger until the shot breaks. Don't try to predict exactly when the gun will go off nor try to cause the shot to break at a particular moment. This is what Jeff Cooper called the "surprise break."

    Now of course you shouldn't be surprised if your gun fires when you press the trigger. You expect it to fire. The point of the surprise break is not that you're surprised because the gun fires. It's that you don't know exactly when, within some time interval, the gun will fire.

    And the group of instructors I teach with have found the concept to be very useful in teaching beginners.

  2. One wants to place his finger on the trigger in a manner that facilitates that. Usually, the best place for the finger to contact the trigger will be the middle of the portion of the finger between the first knuckle and the fingertip, and that part of the finger should be perpendicular to the direction in which the trigger moves.

    • With some triggers, e. g., heavy double action triggers with a long travel, that placement might not provide enough leverage to work the trigger smoothly. In such cases, the trigger may be placed at the first joint.

    • In either case, the trigger finger needs to be curved away from the gun sufficiently to allow it to press the trigger straight back without the trigger finger binding or applying lateral pressure to the gun. If one has to reach too far to get his finger properly on the trigger (or turn the gun to the point that the axis of the barrel is significantly misaligned with the forearm), the gun is too big. (For example, I have a short trigger reach and can't properly shoot some handguns, like N frame Smith & Wesson revolvers double action.)

  3. By keeping focus on the front sight (or reticle) and increasing pressure on the trigger until the gun essentially shoots itself, you don’t anticipate the shot breaking. But if you try to make the shot break at that one instant in time when everything seem steady and aligned, you usually wind up jerking the trigger.

  4. Of course the gun will wobble a bit on the target. It is just not possible to hold the gun absolutely steady. Because you are alive, there will always be a slight movement caused by all the tiny movement associated with being alive: your heart beating; tiny muscular movements necessary to maintain your balance, etc. Try not to worry about the wobble and don’t worry about trying to keep the sight aligned on a single point. Just let the front sight be somewhere in a small, imaginary box in the center of the target. .

  5. In our teaching we avoid using the words "squeeze" or "pull" to describe the actuation of the trigger. We prefer to refer to "pressing" the trigger. The word "press" seems to better describe the process of smoothly pressing the trigger straight back, with only the trigger finger moving, to a surprise break.

  6. You'll want to be able to perform the fundamentals reflexively, on demand without conscious thought. You do that by practicing them slowly to develop smoothness. Then smooth becomes fast.

    • Again, remember that practice doesn't make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

    • Practice also makes permanent. If you keep practicing doing something poorly, you will become an expert at doing it poorly.

  7. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of the gun firing "by surprise." They feel that when using the gun for practical applications, e. g., hunting or self defense, they need to be able to make the gun fire right now. But if you try to make the gun fire right now, you will almost certainly jerk the trigger thus jerking the gun off target and missing your shot. That's where the "compressed surprise break" comes in.

    • As you practice (perfectly) and develop the facility to reflexively (without conscious thought) apply a smooth, continuously increasing pressure to the trigger the time interval between beginning to press and the shot breaking gets progressively shorter until it become indistinguishable from being instantaneous. In other words, that period of uncertainty during which the shot might break, but you don't know exactly when, becomes vanishingly short. And that is the compressed surprise break.

    • Jeff Cooper explains the compressed surprise break in this video beginning at 36:04. This article by Jeff Campbell and this article by Jim Wilson might also be helpful.

    • It may help to understand the way humans learn a physical skill.

      • In learning a physical skill, we all go through a four step process:

        • unconscious incompetence, we can't do something and we don't even know how to do it;

        • conscious incompetence, we can't physically do something even though we know in our mind how to do it;

        • conscious competence, we know how to do something but can only do it right if we concentrate on doing it properly; and

        • unconscious competence, at this final stage we know how to do something and can do it reflexively (as second nature) on demand without having to think about it.

      • To get to the third stage, you need to think through the physical task consciously in order to do it perfectly. You need to start slow; one must walk before he can run. The key here is going slow so that you can perform each repetition properly and smoothly. Don't try to be fast. Try to be smooth. Now here's the kicker: slow is smooth and smooth is fast. You are trying to program your body to perform each of the components of the task properly and efficiently. As the programing takes, you get smoother; and as you get smoother you get more efficient and more sure, and therefore, faster.

      • I have in fact seen this over and over, both in the classes I've been in and with students that I've helped train. Start slow, consciously doing the physical act smoothly. You start to get smooth, and as you get smooth your pace will start to pick up. And about now, you will have reached the stage of conscious competence. You can do something properly and well as long as you think about it.

      • To go from conscious competence to the final stage, unconscious competence, is usually thought to take around 5,000 good repetitions. The good news is that dry practice will count. The bad news is that poor repetitions don't count and can set you back. You need to work at this to get good.

      • If one has reached the stage of unconscious competence as far as trigger control is concerned, he will be able to consistently execute a proper, controlled trigger press quickly and without conscious thought. Of course one needs to practice regularly and properly to maintain proficiency, but it's easier to maintain it once achieved than it was to first achieve it.
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Old September 26, 2020, 09:37 PM   #30
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Rob just won the stock gun nationals again, he's arguably one of the best shooters in the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li0rGtXh23I&t=37s
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Old September 26, 2020, 11:14 PM   #31
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The take-away from Rob's video: "If you shoot fast you're going to jerk the trigger. So learn to jerk the trigger without moving the gun."
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Old September 27, 2020, 12:07 AM   #32
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He makes it look easy but it's not, I bought a Glock 19 a few years ago just to have a gun to learn that technique, I can do it....some days.
Shooting a pcp air rifle is the closest thing there is to dry firing without the monotony of dry firing, I have one already but another on order that's stocked much more like a hunting class silhouette rifle, should make the colorado winter more bearable in my garage.
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Old September 27, 2020, 01:05 AM   #33
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Part of it is practice, but there's another factor at play with the world class shooters. I certainly haven't met all of them, but off the top of my head I can remember meeting Rob Leatham, Todd Jarrett (when he was at the top of his game), and Travis Tomasie. The thing that struck me about those three gentlemen was that their wrists and forearms are HUGE. (And Rob himself is huge -- I'm over 6 feet tall, and he towers over me.)

So Rob talks about locking your wrists so the gun doesn't flip up in recoil when you shoot. Yet I just watched a video of his wife (who is also a professional shooter for Team Springfield) in action, and her gun (which I believe was a 9mm) very clearly did flip up in recoil. Not a lot -- but a lot more than Rob's gun, which doesn't move at all. He simply overpowers the gun.

We aren't all fortunate enough to be able to overpower our gun, so we have to train the best we can to do the best we can with what we've got. Do wrist strengthening exercises. I keep a grip exerciser on my desk next to the computer so I can relax from what I'm working on by just forgetting the screen and doing a couple of sets of grip crunches -- or I'll do them (alternating hands) while I watch a YouTube video. Another good one is to use a dumbell and do wrist curls. The hand grippers work more on the hands. The wrist curls build up the wrists.
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Old September 27, 2020, 01:44 AM   #34
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I think intentional practice of each component of the shot is important so it becomes a habit. My reason for it is based on shooting archery. My daughter picked this up quick because she plays golf. I instructed her by showing her the basics and explaining to her that it was like golf and to maintain the same form with every repetitive form at the range. Then, by mastering the form, she will consciously adjust it to the archery target trail just like when she is at the golf course. Likewise, the same is done other sports like shooting or hunting.
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Old September 27, 2020, 10:33 AM   #35
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You can turn anything into rocket science if you want to. I doesnt mean you should
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Old September 27, 2020, 12:34 PM   #36
Bart B.
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The best example of proper trigger use in rifles is when a Garand is used in an Infantry Trophy Match 600 and 500 yard stages shot from the prone position. Each stage's 24 shots in 50 seconds on a silhouette target. All 24 bullet holes inside 12 inches extreme spread. Had to reload twice.
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Old September 27, 2020, 08:33 PM   #37
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Quote:
What mental steps do you take when shooting your pistol?
It's called a "Shot Process".

https://youtu.be/zz3mywN6TRk
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Old September 28, 2020, 01:27 PM   #38
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"You have to treat your trigger finger as it's own entity."


quote: A world class pistol shooter --- That I forgot the name of...
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Old September 28, 2020, 02:39 PM   #39
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I've been shooting this gun quite a bit lately, my friend Gary just bought it, it's a Fienwerkbau, the model 2 is a vintage .177 CO2 gun. I'm having a little trouble with getting the trigger to go when I'm ready, to me the first stage is to heavy, there's not a definitive wall like my Anschutz rifle.{picture is from the net}

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Old September 28, 2020, 03:22 PM   #40
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Nice pistol. I can't help you Double K from my experience. The closest I can do so is suggest from what I know. As a traditional archer, I warm up with a light bow just like a rifleman warms up with a .22 or maybe even an air rifle. My natural point of aim is first. I shoot with my eyes closed so I don't chase a point. I feel for form, namely the anchor point and release. At 10-15' I try and ignore the sound of the aluminum shafts hitting each other. At best, my arrows are grouped tight. Maybe you can do the same at close range. Close your eyes and feel for trigger press and the pressure on your wrist.. With a good group, you can open your eyes and shoot at the bullseye.
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Old September 28, 2020, 03:26 PM   #41
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This might sound stupid but it's the way I shoot. When I line up my sights one a target or especially draw my bow, I ask myself, "does this picture feel right?"
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Old September 28, 2020, 04:00 PM   #42
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Trigger Squeeze

Quote:
Originally Posted by burbank_jung View Post
Nice pistol. I can't help you Double K from my experience. The closest I can do so is suggest from what I know. As a traditional archer, I warm up with a light bow just like a rifleman warms up with a .22 or maybe even an air rifle. My natural point of aim is first. I shoot with my eyes closed so I don't chase a point. I feel for form, namely the anchor point and release. At 10-15' I try and ignore the sound of the aluminum shafts hitting each other. At best, my arrows are grouped tight. Maybe you can do the same at close range. Close your eyes and feel for trigger press and the pressure on your wrist.. With a good group, you can open your eyes and shoot at the bullseye.

Natural point of aim was also taught to me as an important factor in shooting. I don’t advise shooting a firearm with your eyes closed, but I have done draws from the holster with my eyes closed to confirm that my stance and grip allow a natural point of aim that is on target.

With your experience bow shooting I would think you have a leg up for firearm shooting.


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Old September 29, 2020, 10:11 AM   #43
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I think FireForged is missing the point about the firing process. As you consciously take each process to master, it becomes a habit or part of your unconscious. The unconscious can do many things at once like running across rough terrain. This becomes part of a flow eventually like the running example. By then, you are consciously focusing on the flow. Just shooting thousands of rounds down range doesn't guarantee the same result.
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Old September 29, 2020, 12:08 PM   #44
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One thing that's hard to get across to the regular guy is that regardless of how much you shoot/train there are days because of outside factors your just not able to shoot well, on the other side of the coin there are days when your totally in the groove and hold and trigger control is flawless.
Where I notice it is at protracted shooting tournaments, for me it seems I either get better over the course of a week or worse, trigger control is at the heart of this because my hold always gets better with practice.
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Old September 29, 2020, 03:05 PM   #45
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I think this is common in sports. You reach this plateau and no matter how hard you try, you just stay there. Then, for some reason you take off and improve.
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Old September 30, 2020, 03:14 PM   #46
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I’d agree about the dry firing comments.
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Old September 30, 2020, 11:37 PM   #47
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I don't care for the use of the term "stroke" while it is fine in a literary sense, everything I can think of that one strokes implies a back and forth motion, and I don't use a back and forth motion as one motion when shooting.

I pull or press the trigger and then releasing it is to me a separate thing. Something one does in between trigger pulls, not as part of the trigger pull.

Of course it depends on how and what you shoot. Rapid fire with a semi auto requires letting the trigger go forward until it resets. Firing a single action revolver doesn't matter when you release the trigger as long as you do it before cocking the gun for the next shot.
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Old October 14, 2020, 09:03 PM   #48
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Quote:
I think FireForged is missing the point about the firing process.
I am sure that I am missing all sorts of points on many levels within this subject as well as many other fields of study. There is nothing special about me but I have been around the block a good bit and have had the occasion to partake of a good bit of training over many decades.

Sometimes you simply need to check a box and not dwell on things. You sometimes need to check a box and move on to more crucial or complex training, knowledge or skill. When I say "check a box", I am talking about learning and developing a skill to a competent degree and move on without loitering or dwelling on it. Hopefully it is sometime before a person reaches the point of obviously diminished returns.

There are people who will turn things like pulling a trigger into something which is the time and effort equivalent of landing a man on the moon, mapping a black hole or proving the existence of dark matter. People can do what they want but in my estimation, it aint that deep.
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