Slapping the trigger....how do I stop it??


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finz50
September 5, 2010, 09:38 AM
Shot another IDPA match and was lucky enough for a more experienced shooter to critique me. He said during the two COFs that I shot, I was slapping the trigger, and it was affecting my accuracy. I noticed it more when I was shooting for time vs. accuracy. Any thoughts on what I can do do improve???

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9mmepiphany
September 5, 2010, 12:31 PM
It would help if you were to tell us which action type you are shooting, different actions use different trigger management techniques. also your level of skill

General advice would be to slow waaaaayyy down in practice and see the sights before pressing the trigger.
Each shot is made without regard to the next, until the first shot is away.
Use the time during recoil to re-set the trigger and start prepping the trigger for when your sights return to target.

How fast you shot isn't determined so much by how fast you can pull the trigger as how fast you can see you aligned sights on the target

MrBorland
September 5, 2010, 12:32 PM
I'm no expert, but this type of trigger control often seems to come from rushing shots and transitions without really seeing what it is you're shooting at. For example...

bambam...pause while whipping the gun to the next target, then overshooting and coming back...bambam...

...instead of bam..bam..bam..bam.

A drill that I've been working on is with my .22 understudy and 3 steel plates. At the beep, draw and bam..bam..bam, getting the splits as even as possible, and the rounds hitting where I'm aiming, i.e. the center of the plate. I'm not going for smoking times here, just even smooth shooting and transitions, and effective aiming.

I also practice El Prez with my match gun to work on the same skills.

rimfireriot
September 5, 2010, 12:57 PM
Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone says "slapping" or "jerking" the trigger. I shot slightly low and slightly left for about a year when I was younger and everyone said "You're slapping the trigger" turns out the were entirely wrong.

I was tightening my right middle finger while pulling the trigger, and just barley anticipating the recoil. My middle finger pushed me left, and the anticipation pushed me low.

Conventional wisdom says low and left is "Jerking, or slapping the trigger" in my case it was really 2 different problems.

If your groups are all tight, but all low and left, the trigger might not be your problem.

Just some food for thought.

finz50
September 5, 2010, 02:22 PM
I know when I "took my time" and took shots I was getting all scores of -1 and that's only because I was about 1 inch outside the circle.

ny32182
September 5, 2010, 04:22 PM
To be honest I have never had a clue what anyone means when they say "slapping", or "jerking", or "pushing, pulling, fondling, tickling, squeezing, punching", or anything else that is said can be done to a trigger.

This is my non-professional opinion on how to build up speed in IDPA, especially if you are a total newbie:

1) Look up an example of a good, high, thumbs forward grip, and if you don't currently grip the pistol this way, change. Mechanically, it matters in terms of the pivot point and how well you will be able to control the recoil. Once you become more advanced, this will be a major factor in going fast. Do a little dry-fire and make sure your sights show only minimal movement in the process of dropping the hammer/striker. Some flinching due to "recoil anticipation" is almost completely inevitable at match speed, but you should be able to slow fire or dry fire while maintaining near-pristine sight alignment.

2) Start from zero (as far as speed goes) and make sure you CAN hit the target in an untimed format. Put paper plates (roughly the size of the zero zone) at 3, 5, 10, 15 yards (covers 90% of the targets you will see in IDPA), and fire slow deliberate untimed shots just to affirm to yourself that you can make the shot. If you can't, you should probably get with a coach/trainer and work on the fundamentals until you can.

3) After that, you can start to speed up. Gradually speed up with pairs at each range until you find the speed where you are not likely to hit the paper plate each time, while paying attention to the sight picture so you know about what you are seeing in terms of sights at each speed. Then back off 10%, or whatever is the fastest speed you can get two hits on the plate about 80% of the time.

At that point, in my opinion you are basically at your current opimal match shooting speed. If you are shooting ALL zeros, you are going too slow. If 20%+ of your total score is coming from points down, you are going too fast. I like to see about 10-12% of my total score come from points down, and when I'm doing what I should be doing it is amazing how consistently close I can get to that ratio. But anyhow... a little range time to find your personal limits can go a long way to improving your match performance.

And of course you can work on almost everything else that is non-shooting related at home: reloads, movement, draws, etc.

9mmepiphany
September 5, 2010, 06:08 PM
To be honest I have never had a clue what anyone means when they say "slapping", or "jerking", or "pushing, pulling, fondling, tickling, squeezing, punching", or anything else that is said can be done to a trigger.

This is funny, because it is true...we use words when we don't always know how they will be taken.

A correct trigger press will apply just that amount of pressure needed, or as close as you can get, to cause the sear and hammer to release.

A flinched trigger will apply enough pressure, through clenching the fist, to drive the trigger past that release point, into the frame, and cause the gun to pull the sights off the target before the bullet leaves the muzzle.

finz50
September 5, 2010, 07:24 PM
BTW I started shooting my Springfield TRP this match and OMG it was awesome....

9mmepiphany
September 5, 2010, 09:28 PM
Well that explains some of it, the SAO trigger on a 1911 does invite slapping

mickeygrimreaperblueeyes
September 5, 2010, 09:59 PM
I shot several 1911's on Bullseye Matches all over the country, I haven't shot the IDPA matches, but I did do alot of DRY FIRING to harness my trigger control. You jumped a step with your training envelope. Your results have shown you that you should go back to the fundamemtals and slow down. Static Training, Fluid Training, and Dynamic Training. The matches take what you learned in the Static and Fluid and get you to the dynamic. I like Wall Dry Firing Drills. Take a sheet of computer paper and draw a line down the middle of the 11" length. Put a DIME on the Front Sight and get a good sight picture on the line with your rear sight opening and balance the dime. When you get comfortable balancing the dime and keeping good sight picture, then start dry firing the gun with your sights only on the line. After you get comfortable with that process, put the dime on there and it will show you how to keep from slapping your trigger. When you pull the trigger to the rear propperly, it won't knock your dime off the front sight till the recoil from the hammer hitting the frame goes forward. This drill is great for working on follow-through also. But hey, Some people like to spend money on ammo and have less skills. Months on end with dry firing drills on all your weapons will greatly imporve the inate skills that you need. I would also research the Basic Fundamentals of shootrig before you go out again. I wish you luck in your endeavor. Maybe I will see you out at an event sometime. I usually wear a Marine Hat and a shirt with some sort of Mickey Mouse on it.

Red Cent
September 9, 2010, 09:33 PM
mgrbe knows his stuff.

Another old guy will add. A long time go some top shooters in IPSC used fiberglass, Bondo, and other stuff to build up the frame area of the trigger finger. This bulge was adjusted to the point that they could just reach the trigger with the tip of the trigger. That is the way I learned.
These days they sell custom grips that incorporate different sizes or bulges that will fit you hand and trigger finger.
http://www.accuracygrip.com/c_buynow.html

Combine mgrbe with the correct way to press the trigger. Slap the trigger gets the point across. Look up action photos of Jessie Abbate. She shoots for Glock. Top female shooter. Lookk at her trigger finger. The curlof the finger is high and the tip only touches the trigger. Sevighny, same way. Randi Rogers, same way.

On one of the shooting channels some time back they had two competition shooters explaining their way. One of them slapped, released, slapped released. The other practiced enough to ride the reset and, with fingertip pressure, caused the next round to fire. Because of their status in IPSC, couldn't argue either way.

Red Cent
September 9, 2010, 09:41 PM
.......

Ankeny
September 9, 2010, 10:05 PM
Well that explains some of it, the SAO trigger on a 1911 does invite slapping That isn't necessarily a bad thing. :)

Riss
September 16, 2010, 06:01 PM
Unless you are good enough of a shooter to slap the trigger and get good results your best bet it to use the trigger reset technique. Watch the front sight, drive the gun where you want it to go and hold on. Keep up your cadence when shooting multiple target arrays. That and 5 million other things and you have the problem solved.

Waywatcher
September 16, 2010, 06:43 PM
Slapping the trigger is not a problem. Leatham does it, so does a local IPSC grandmaster that I know.

I slap triggers.

As long as you hit what you point at is does not matter at all.

Of course, when you are going in competition you do not conciously recognize you are doing it; it takes a video or third party to watch you. This is also assuming that you know the difference between slapping and jerking.

But seriously now, don't worry about it; just keep practicing.

IndianaBoy
September 16, 2010, 09:53 PM
Lots of dryfire is usually the key to overcoming trigger control issues.


Have someone mix some dummy rounds/snap caps in one of your magazines with regular ammo the next time you go to the range.

When you don't expect a snap cap, and you get one, you will see how much you are moving the pistol that is being masked by recoil.

jscott
September 16, 2010, 10:25 PM
Alot of good advice here. I would like to reiterate that you should be practicing the fundamentals. Dry-fire tends to cure some of the issues created in live-fire, so don't ignore its importance. Speed comes with time.

Even with advanced students, I first present and instill the trigger-reset method, which is explained above. Nonetheless, for the very advanced shooters, slapping is a very good technique that proves to be both fast and accurate.... assuming the other fundamentals are applied. I have found that to be a select few.

Only because the source of advice seems to be pertinent here, I am an instructor, IDPA Master Class Shooter (A37564), and have a handful of regional master class titles to my name. I slap the trigger. I also dry-fire, including very slow and deliberate "shots," about 1 hour every night.

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