Trigger Management (a la the late Paul Gomez)


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Bobson
May 1, 2013, 02:45 AM
Earlier today, I was watching this video (Working the Trigger, Pt 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qahYMhDQtOA&list=UUnlR_KehwA1YfqrR9Mf9Rig&index=6) by the late Paul Gomez. At the 3:04 mark, he begins talking about three different forms of trigger manipulation.

The first technique is "Slack-Out Shooting," which he says was popularized at Mid-South Institute (http://www.weaponstraining.com/). He describes it as pulling the trigger, flicking the trigger finger forward until it's completely off the trigger, then returning the trigger to the slack-out point in anticipation of the next shot.

The second technique is called the "Flip-and-Press," which Gomez attributes to the Rogers Shooting School (http://www.rogersshootingschool.com/). This technique includes holding the trigger to the rear after each shot, until the decision to shoot again. Once that decision to fire again has been made, the user "flips the finger forward, then strokes all the way through" the trigger in one fluid motion.

The third technique is usually called "Trigger-Reset." Gomez says that's sloppy terminology, but he describes it as being very similar to Slack-Out Shooting, except that instead of returning the trigger to the slack-out point in preparation for the next shot, this technique is usually taught in a way that removes this step. In other words, the idea is that the shot is made, the trigger is released only to the point where the trigger resets, and the operator is ready for the next shot.

The point he was making, if I understood it correctly, is that the third technique (Trigger-Reset) isn't a great idea, because it doesn't give the operator the opportunity to learn proper trigger management. He says that this technique should be taught with an emphasis on "reset and prep," which makes it seem a whole lot like Slack-Out Shooting.

Now, the reason I'm starting this thread is that I was taught the "Trigger Reset" technique in a course that's operated by the state of AZ, which I attended in 2012, and it worked very well for me on the range. However, there was no emphasis at all on reset AND prep, because the instructors were stern about only allowing the trigger to release to the point of "reset." Like I said, that worked really well for me on the range, and still does; but I've recently started watching a bunch of Paul Gomez' videos, and it's obvious he knew his stuff.

What do you guys think? Is this something I should be concerned with? Is there sufficient reason for me to switch to either Slack-Out shooting or the Flip-and-Press, instead of Trigger-Reset? Which method (if one of the three) do you use?

For anyone interested, here's Paul Gomez' Working the Trigger: Pt 2 video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ajGrqR244g&list=UUnlR_KehwA1YfqrR9Mf9Rig). He discusses working the trigger in series versus working the trigger in parallel. Excellent video.

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9mmepiphany
May 1, 2013, 04:13 AM
Interesting as I hadn't heard these terms used in exactly this way before. I've heard of taking the slack out of the trigger, but never heard it called the Slack Out point. I also found it interesting that he attributed it to Mid-South...it must be an East Coast thing. On the West Coast, we trace it's origins to the birthplace of IPSC shooting...the South West Pistol League

In case you didn't notice, Slack-Out is an example of resetting the trigger in parallel and Flip-and-Press is one of resetting in series

Shooting to Trigger Reset is a pretty a pretty elementary technique. It is commonly taught as the first level of accomplishment over just releasing the trigger and getting ready to slam it back when ready to fire your next shot. It isn't a great idea to stop at that point, because 1) it is painfully slow and 2) it offers very little trigger management opportunity over just jerking the trigger. It makes shooting accurately at much more than 2-3 rounds per second pretty difficult.

Progressing to what he called Slack-Out...and what I have been taught as Trigger Prep...shooting offers much more potential for accurate shooting at speed. Taking up all the slack and prepping the trigger is much less disruptive to your gun/sights and is no slower than just slapping through the trigger...so we're talking more accurate and faster. This is how folks shoot accurately at speeds over 5 shots a second.

It is how I shoot and what I teach to students who want to go beyond the basics.

BTW: Trigger Prep is a bit beyond Slack-Out shooting as we put quite a bit of pressure on the trigger...prepping the trigger hard. That is why the technique has a steeper learning curve and why it takes more maintenance

Bobson
May 1, 2013, 04:31 AM
I appreciate the detailed response. Hoping to get to the range again this weekend, and if so, I'll focus on trying Slack-Out shooting.

joeponds
May 1, 2013, 09:53 PM
Thanks for the link to Gomez's videos , real interesting.

9mmepiphany
May 2, 2013, 01:32 AM
I appreciate the detailed response. Hoping to get to the range again this weekend, and if so, I'll focus on trying Slack-Out shooting.
The most important part is to reset in parallel...during muzzle flip...and take out all the slack before the sights return to your original POA

Blackstone
May 2, 2013, 05:39 AM
This would involve knowing your gun and trigger very well though, correct? I don't want to accidentally fire the gun instead of simply taking up the slack.

Ankeny
May 2, 2013, 11:51 AM
Most (make that all) of the GM shooters that I have shot with (and that's a bunch) manipulate the trigger same speed in, same speed out, when shooting at speed. That roughly translates into slapping the trigger.

Several years back myself and another GM shooter did some work with just releasing the trigger to reset, thereby eliminating any "slack" on the subsequent "press". The "experiment" for lack of a better term, was done just for kicks after a conversation with Matt Burkett. Neither of us could reliably shoot a Bill Drill (6 shot string) with splits much below .30 going just to reset. As previously noted, prepping the trigger during the "press" isn't as difficult as stopping the trigger right at the point of reset.

9mmepiphany
May 2, 2013, 12:37 PM
This would involve knowing your gun and trigger very well though, correct? I don't want to accidentally fire the gun instead of simply taking up the slack.
You should get to know your trigger through Dry Fire practice before even thinking about loading ammo into your gun

BCRider
May 2, 2013, 03:28 PM
I'd say that these methods might be a little tougher with a lightened match trigger. It seems like it might be too easy to go past the Slack Out point with such a light trigger as found on most full on race guns.

For myself I've found that on the days where I was "in the zone" and shooting matches with multiple targets that required transition from one to the next that I got my best results from holding back during the recoil and moving forward through the reset point by a little during the recoil recovering and transition to the next target. But I didn't release all the way by a long shot. This being with a DA/SA CZ so the "slack" once into SA mode is LOOOONG. To release the whole way and then get back to the Slack Out point would take more finger motion than I'd like.

But when I consider how I've used my 1911 in such meets I realize in thinking about it that I tend to use that full forward then slack out method. But instead of flicking my finger back and forth I still do it by removing and then re-applying some pressure to move the trigger. I do this as fast as I can but it's still not a flick sort of action.

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