Tag Archives: pistol

trigger squeeze


One of the fundamental pistolcraft skills is trigger control. Trigger control is the ability of the pistol shooter to apply pressure on the trigger to fire the weapon without disturbing sight alignment.

There are a wide variety of trigger actions available today, from traditional double/single action to double action only and Glock’s “safe action”. Each of these requires a slightly different trigger technique. The most difficult to master is the traditional double/single action. The transition from the first shot’s double action to the remaining shots’ single action requires the shooter to learn and master two different trigger techniques and to transition between them after the first shot. The easiest trigger to learn and master is the Glock’s. It is the lightest version of the double action only trigger, and the lack of levers and buttons makes transitioning revolver shooters to autos easiest on the Glock.

The key to trigger control is a steady press of the trigger. The trigger finger should slip into the trigger guard from its “safety” position on the frame only when you are ready to shoot. Otherwise, it stays out of the trigger guard along the side of the frame. One must guard against “slapping” the trigger, however. Once inside the trigger guard, the area on the pad of the forefinger between the center of the pad and the first knuckle should touch the trigger. Having the trigger touched by the center of the pad or down in the crevice of the first joint of the finger will cause the gun to pull to the left or right and slightly down instead of staying exactly where the sights were aligned. (Other than flinching, this is the most common cause of misses.) The trigger press should be a smooth rearward steady rolling motion. Watch the front sight and align it with the target while the trigger is being pressed. One must guard against squeezing with the entire hand. The action of your finger against the trigger should be totally independent of the movement of the rest of your hand. When the trigger reaches the point where the trigger releases the firing mechanism, the shooter will feel a sudden release of tension on the trigger. This is the trigger’s “break”. This moment should come as a surprise, especially on single action mode. You should be able to “call” your shot by remembering where the front sight was on the target, the moment the trigger breaks.

Practice your trigger control by dry firing your pistol at home. Use a target on the wall. Make sure the pistol is unloaded (check it three times after you’ve put all ammunition in another room)!! Then, practice all of these points while aiming at your “target”. Never dry fire more than 50 to 100 times in each session. Take a break and relax, then go back to dry firing. You cannot dry fire too much. Just make sure to concentrate on these fundamentals, and as soon as you feel fatigued or recognize that you can’t do each one of these fundamentals every time you dry fire, stop and take a break.

To even begin to be a good/passable shot, you MUST master, front sight/trigger press.