Quantcast

Trigger Control

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Frank Ettin, Mar 29, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TheProf

    TheProf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    714
    Look, I'm nobody in the gun world. And i make no claim to be an expert. Here's what I would tell my son...of what works for me:

    1. I don't like the term "surprise break". I want to be consciously aware of when the trigger goes off... especially in a self defense situation. I would want to master my particular gun so that I would know the exact instance when that hammer (or striker) is released.

    2. It's good to know the basic gun stances. But once you know them, learn to shoot on the move...and from unconventional positions. In fact, I don't pay attention to my stances anymore. My feet just goes where they need to go.

    Most of the time, I stand the same way as if I'm in a fist fight. Stand in such a way that you can absorb a shove from any direction...yet mobile enough to move in any direction.

    3. Grip the gun high. Have a crush grip..but not so tight that it shakes. The one mistake I see in beginners is that they don't hold the gun tight enough. (Envision someone trying to snatch the gun away.)

    4. Yes,Front-sight focus. In a real fight, distance will dictate where you focus. At near contact distances point shooting will likely take place.

    5. Visualize. If I'm training for survival, then I visualize that for every shot I take.

    That's what has worked for me. (And I'm not saying that will necessarily work for you)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    TopJeff and Ralph III like this.
  2. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Good post and I agree with your entire post except #4.

    While for sighted shooting, front sight focus is important, it is also good idea to practice unsighted or shooting beyond the sight, especially for defensive shooting distances.

    When I started shooting USPSA in the 90s, I progressed until I hit a plateau where I could not make significant improvement in speed and accuracy and I also found other match shooters were having the same problem. When we approached regional shooters with our problem, they told us we needed to look past the front sight and focus on the target to make holes "appear" anywhere on the target (Shot calling) fast at will to get past our plateau and shave significant stage times.

    This was a revelation to many of us since our mantra was "Front sight flash - Bang, Front sight flash - Bang".

    When I shared this with my defensive shooting instructor (Who taught PD/SD SWAT teams and USPSA RSO), he said "That's point shooting and I will teach you guys that next". So in the evenings after range closed, he made us remove the front sights from our Glocks and run the same USPSA stage layout but with range lights dimmed and smoke grenade tossed in. Well, we could barely see the targets and certainly had hard time seeing the rear sights. (He said in real life gun fights, use of sights, even night sights may not be feasible and he trained his SWAT students to be able to point shoot fast and accurate as bad guys will move around fast and the officers needed to keep their eyes on the bad guys).

    Our training started out at 5 yards establishing natural point of aim with our eyes closed. When many of us shot low on the target, he laughed and said many SWAT students (Who were seasoned officers) shot the range floor because they pushed in anticipation of recoil. Once we synchronized our natural point of aim (POA) with point of impact (POI), he had us shoot at 2 targets then 4 targets.

    After training sessions and practice, he had us qualify (with eyes closed) with him calling targets (Top right, Bottom left, etc.) and wanted our groups to be no larger than 4"-6" as he put his fist over the groups saying, "That's the size of a human heart, and way smaller than a human head."

    After point shooting with our eyes closed, he next had us point shoot with our eyes open, which was much easier. What he did was for us to focus on the target with front sight fuzzy but to look past the front sight and point shoot for accuracy at 7 yards at multiple targets. With practice, we were able to point shoot fast double taps at will anywhere on the target (Same thing the regional match shooters were doing as they flashed through the stage targets).

    As we increased our target distance to 10-15 yards, we also started reducing our target size from full sheet of copy paper to half then quarter and still manage fast double taps.

    Over the years, I too have taught/shared point shooting for defensive distances as an additional shooting option to sighted shooting and being able to point shoot with eyes closed absolutely confirms what Frank Ettin posted in OP that "The first principle of accurate shooting is trigger control". Because without consistent trigger control, you will not have consistent natural point of aim and you won't be able to point shoot consistent size groups.

    For those interested, we have several extensive threads in the "Competition" category where we discuss in detail the steps to shoot fast and accurate, not only for competition but for defensive shooting - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-help-me-speed-up.824618/page-4#post-10902245

    And one of many threads on point shooting in ST&T - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...e-situation-video.849479/page-2#post-11180959
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    TopJeff, larryh1108 and TheProf like this.
  3. TheProf

    TheProf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    714

    Thanks for sharing! I learn something new everyday.
     
  4. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,806
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    1. Do you know the exact instant when your shot will break?

    2. Can you consistently press the trigger and fire the gun without the gun moving? Without conscious thought? On demand?

    3. Did you read the discussion in the OP about the the compressed surprise break:

    4. When one has mastered the compressed surprise break he consciously decides to take the shot and consciously initiates pressure on the trigger. The shot breaks an imperceptibly short interval later -- an interval so short that it's indistinguishable from instantaneous.

    5. No action is truly instantaneous. There is a time interval between each of the events in the chain of events leading to the act having been executed -- the eye seeing the sights on target (or registering the gun indexed) --> the brain registering what the eye has seen --> the brain deciding to shoot --> the brain sending out the instruction to the trigger finger to begin pressing on the trigger --> the trigger finger beginning to apply pressure to the trigger --> the sear moving and releasing the hammer or striker --> the firing pin or striker hitting the primer --> the primer igniting --> the primer igniting the propellant --> the burning propellant building up enough gas pressure to begin the bullet's travel down the barrel --> the bullet exiting the barrel.

    6. When properly executed, including a compressed surprise break, the intervals between each link in that chain of events will be vanishingly short. It will be perceived as instantaneous, but it is not really.
     
    LiveLife likes this.
  5. TheProf

    TheProf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    714
    I agree with the above. But I still don't like the phrase "surprise break".

    And obviously there's a time lag in all things. And of course, in theory, one can never know the exact instance something takes place. In practice.. I can say that I am not surprised when the hammer falls. (We may be talking about the same thing.)

    Again, I was just conveying that I don't like the phrase.."surprise break". And I would never use it. I think it sends the wrong idea to those who don't understand the concept.


    And I can see an overzealous prosecutor asking the defendant in court.."So, Mr. Jones...are you telling the court that you had no control of your firearm firing? That you actually train to be surprised when your gun goes off in public?"


    I have practiced thousands of rounds...and have gotten to the point that I know when that hammer is falling to the actuate round. No surprises for me and certainly would not want to be surprised at my gun firing.

    I'm no expert...so others may have different experiences than mine. Been shooting for over 30 years..but I'm still learning and have room to grow. (At this rate though, I maybe getting too old...)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  6. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    Over the decades, I have heard and seen different approaches to breaking the shot from surprised to anticipated or forced. When I started shooting with 1911, the clean surprise break made sense but when I transitioned to Glocks with gritty/vague triggers, I changed my approach to breaking the shot.

    For fast draw to bang as one quick smooth motion, my role model is Jerry Miculek. :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:



    Now I tell people to do the following, especially for point shooting:
    • Take the multiple steps of stance, draw, grip, sight alignment/point shooting, trigger and make it "one continuous motion"
    • Perform this one continuous motion slowly enough so it can be done smoothly without hesitation from "draw to bang"
    • As explained by Brian Zins video below, key is trigger control to the point where the gun goes "bang" as it approaches the point of aim to produce point of impact at the same place
    • Deliberate practice is focused on consistency of smoothness and not on jerky rushed motion
    To me, this slow motion practice takes into consideration the sequence of events that takes place to release the firing pin/striker outlined below.

    Very good points of trigger control being the act of releasing the hammer/firing pin or striker and sequential events that occur.

    When my bullseye match shooting mentor taught me to shoot matches, reload and do light gunsmith work, he emphasized on being able to actuate the trigger without moving the front sight/gun. He said some pistols are able to accomplish this with just the proper break-in. And when the pistol is not able to hold the front sight after the break-in, he said that's when you may need to perform varying degrees of trigger job so it will as he proceeded to teach me to do a 2.5 lb trigger job on my Norinco 1911 heavily fortified with Wilson Combat components.

    What I learned from that trigger job is firing pin/striker release is not an "instantaneous" event rather a sequence of events that require increasing amount of force to undo several intentional safeguards and mechanical action of metal-to-metal contact surfaces overcoming friction/tension applied by springs and leverage.

    When I did Burwell site posted trigger job on my M&P45 from gritty 9-10 lbs down to smooth 4.5 lbs, certain engagement surfaces HAD to be "reshaped" from round circle to a smooth incline and metal-to-metal surfaces polished so the sequence of undoing intentional safeguards and metal-to-metal surface friction decreased - http://www.burwellguns.com/M&Ptriggerjob1.htm

    I recently bought a Ruger 10/22 Collector #3 and have been studying various trigger job videos down to 2.5 lbs and even for the humble 22LR plinker, there are several surfaces that must be reshaped and polished to decrease the "sequential" engagement of metal-to-metal surfaces - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...that-you-bought.284507/page-424#post-11243053

    For more precise bullseye match shooting, at 1:45 minute mark of video, Brian Zins, a 12 time NRA champion and holder of 30 shooting records says, "Trigger is used to maintain sight alignment and sight picture." He then explains, "There are two types of trigger control ... uninterrupted and wrong."

     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    Demi-human and South Prairie Jim like this.
  7. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    I am sorry, but this is incorrect as well and I explained the following in post #17 - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/trigger-control.834737/#post-11242185

    "... I shatter this shooting myth when I demonstrate defensive point shooting by shooting various 9mm/40S&W/45ACP pistols with just the thumb and the middle finger wrapped around the pistol grip (Very poor grip). I tell people 4th and 5th fingers are there just for "moral" support and can often contribute to input on grip to move the POI away from POA. ;)

    After I demonstrate controlled shooting various pistols with just two fingers, including fast double taps at multiple targets, I have the students do the same and they are amazed, especially female shooters, that they can control even 45ACP 1911 pistol with just two fingers and manage to shoot rapidly at multiple targets."

    Since we can control the pistol with one hand, even 45ACP 1911, using just two fingers even by female shooters with small weak hands, "crush grip" is not required. What is needed is a neutral/even/balanced pressure grip (single hand or two hands) to not push the grip to move the POI away from POA.

    I illustrated this in this thread where I "push" with the shooting hand (palm) and "pull" with the support hand (fingers) to form a vise around the pistol - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...-help-me-speed-up.824618/page-4#post-10902444

    With this neutral/balanced grip, shooting hand/finger is "relaxed" and moves INDEPENDENT of the shooting/support hand to not add input to the grip to move the POI away from POA. I tell people, if they want to increase the tightness of the grip, to relax the shooting hand more but pull back/squeeze tighter with the support hand fingers while applying resistance with the shooting hand palm. By employing this neutral/balanced grip, you are better able to apply trigger control to not move the front sight or add input to the pistol.

    Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised as this grip will move the front sight less (or not at all) than "crush/death grip" on the pistol.

    [​IMG]

    And Rob Leatham demonstrates this grip at 1:55 minute mark of video

     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    Demi-human and TheProf like this.
  8. TheProf

    TheProf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    Messages:
    714
    Livelife,

    That slow motion practice and continuous motion idea is exactly what I do. You were able to articulate it much better than I can.

    We will have to agree to disagree on the crush grip idea. Yes, I think your method may be better in preventing the front sight from moving. But I still prefer the "crush grip"...for gun retention purposes.

    As I shoot, I always imagine a surprise opponent trying to disarm my weapon as I fire on the primary target.

    I check my grip strength by asking this simple question.."if a secondary actor where to surprise punch my hand as I am firing on my primary assailant, would the gun come flying of my hand?"

    I guess I strive for a balance of shootability and retention. (When I say crush grip... I don't mean to the point of where the hand starts shaking. )

    Having said all that, accuracy of fire is final.

    Thank you though for you insightful comments. I am here to learn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
    LiveLife likes this.
  9. Ralph III

    Ralph III Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Ms/Al Gulf Coast
    Hello All, First I apologize so slow in replying but we stay very busy with two daughters still in school.

    1) First...
    Any study or organization that would state such a thing is making a grave mistake, just as the OP, because they are misrepresenting how things actually work. They would be stating something that is technically and emphatically incorrect. That is what the OP did by overemphasizing trigger control while undermining factors that are actually responsible for accuracy. Irrespective, you will not find a legitimate study or organization that states trigger control to be the “first principle” of accurate shooting while also diminishing the importance of other factors, such as stance or grip or sight alignment/picture. Not happening.

    Now consider the following statement because it is important:


    {Trigger control does not make you accurate. Trigger control is only capable of affecting your accuracy. Your accuracy is solely dependent on your ability to put the gun on target and keep it on target as the gun fires}


    Your ability to put the gun on target has everything to do with sight alignment/picture, which the OP puts below trigger control. Your ability to keep the gun on target has everything to do with stability, which the OP also puts below trigger control. Stability is dictated by the platform you use to stabilize the weapon. Since we are talking about typical pistol shooting methods your stance and grip as well as the rest of your body is your means of support. Not only does the OP put trigger control ahead of those things he then exacerbates the situation by diminishing the importance of the grip.

    Sight alignment and stability DETERMINE accuracy. They are truly the first principle of accuracy. Whereas trigger control and other aspects (breathing, heart rate) can only AFFECT accuracy. So in order to be accurate you must put the gun on target and keep it on target (aim, stability) in order to remain accurate you must insure nothing disrupts that (trigger pull, breathing, heart rate) etc.

    The problem with espousing something as the OP did which is technically incorrect, beyond simply being incorrect is as follows. Someone reads that trigger control is most important factor for accuracy. Consequently, they practice trigger control but their accuracy never improves. So they continue working on trigger control over the years and yet their accuracy never really improves. Then one day someone points out their stance doesn’t promote good balance or it causes them to fall off as they shoot. Or they point out that their grip is causing the gun to pull off target as they fire. Or they point out that their sight alignment is incorrect. So the person begins working on those aspects and low and behold their accuracy immediately improves. So instead of teaching them the importance of how everything truly works together you would have simply hindered their development. They could have established a proper aim and platform first and then continued to improve trigger control and other intangible aspects (focus, breathing) or advanced self defense features; for the rest of their life. That is proper and natural progression.

    The above would be especially egregious if the person had some sort of handicap that needed additional attention in order to create better stability for them. They may have been enthusiastic starting out thinking trigger control would be sufficient to overcome this handicap only to become frustrated to discover it is not and that they needed to work on items truly responsible for creating accuracy (stability,sight alignment).

    Even as a highly proficient shooter you will spend the rest of your life practicing to insure your focus is proper (you should) and that your trigger control remains pristine. If the OP had stated that trigger control was the most important factor for the advanced shooter to consider I could agree; because they would have already properly developed the other aspects. I actually think focus is most important for the advanced shooter immediately followed by trigger control, but that is me. Otherwise, he could have just stated trigger control to be one of the most important factors for accuracy.

    Yes, my opinions are entirely mine but they based upon almost 50 years of experience. Not only shooting at steel or paper targets but also live game. They are also in part based upon a lifetime of interactions with family and friends who were/are gun enthusiasts and hunters; some of whom were/are military and law enforcement.

    Of course trigger control is vitally important but your ability to put the weapon on target and then stabilize it is paramount. I have provided a few quotes by others who share in these views for your consideration.


    2) Second...

    Yes that is true. However, a gun mounted in a gun vice with only adequate trigger control will outperform even the most skilled marksman shooting freehand with superior trigger control.

    Now try the following (in the deep woods) being sure to do so in a safe area and safe manner of course.

    Place a 3ft x 3ft target on an old barn with a bullseye on it.

    *Now stand 10ft away and fire your gun in the opposite direction of the target being sure to use superior trigger control. Stability and sight alignment/picture are not a factor. Now explain how superior trigger control fared in actually putting shots on or even near the target!

    *Now stand and face the target. Using a solid stance and grip and proper sight alignment; pull the trigger as quickly or as violently as you desire while aiming at the targets bullseye. You have just proven that sight alignment and stability are superior to trigger control. You have just proven that sight alignment and stability are truly the first principles of accurate shooting. Trigger control is important but it does not supersede stability and sight alignment.


    3)Third...
    No, I understood what the OP was saying. He said “if you try to make it break...when everything seem steady and aligned….you usually wind up jerking the trigger”. That is a factually incorrect statement that the NRA also refutes by prescribing just the opposite. They suggest that you should try to make it break at the optimal time.

    “As a shooter, you need to learn to recognize the period of your steadiest hold. This is because the shot should be fired when hold is steadiest. Your goal is to reduce the amount and the speed of the movement and to release the shot when the hold is at its best.”

    The reason the OP’s statement is factually incorrect is because any highly proficient shooter who has shot moving objects can make a shot occur when they need it to. People spend quite a bit of money on trigger jobs insuring that.

    The OP’s statement could be changed slightly in order to make it factually correct though.

    “... if you try to make the shot break at that one instant in time when everything seem steady and aligned, you must be careful not to jerk the trigger. The goal is to always execute proper trigger control.”

    4) Last... Briefly: I worked in the school system for 5 years teaching both fully capable children as well as severely handicapped. Full credit goes to the teachers though because I only assisted them in a minor fashion. We have numerous immediate family members who have taught for decades. My wife and I have two daughters who are in school and we are very involved. Beyond that I have spent most of my life giving family/friends instruction on hunting and firearm usage. I’ve given decades of instruction to beginning and advanced tennis players as well. So I am familiar with both the learning and teaching process.

    Again, slogans and such are absolutely meaningless minus proper instruction. If an instructor gave a pistol class to students and they all came away with a different understanding of what the word “squeeze” or “pull” or “press” or “practice makes perfect” means; then it is because the instructor utterly failed them. He didn’t properly explain things. A simple printout for people to review could have eliminated any such confusion.

    I have seen some poor instruction given at times and that is something we need to be cautious of. I’ve seen a lot of people using slogans and counter intuitive teaching methods. Some of it is simply gimmicky but some of it is quite confusing and even really bad. I welcome any survey you can produce that says people find the word trigger “press” to be more accurate than trigger “pull” or even “squeeze” because I don’t see it. I did my own survey before ever posting to this thread and nobody used the word “press”. These were avid hunters/shooters and all found that term to be very odd. Now ask anyone you know to take their index finger and use it to “pull” something/anything. Now ask them to take their index finger and use it to “press” something/anything. You will quickly learn that some words are more intuitive than others. If a theory or teaching model cannot even pass the common sense model; then it needs to be re-thought or tweaked. What’s our goal after all? Is our goal to look good while teaching or to teach good? If our goal is to improve then we must be willing to learn ourselves. God knows I try to learn something every day or at least, not to forget.


    God Bless,
    Ralph
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    No need to apologize as many of us are parents and children/family comes first in priorities of life. (after God for me)

    OP did not post that trigger control was the "ultimate and absolute principle" of accurate shooting. Rather, OP posted trigger control was the "first principle" of accurate shooting.

    So, what you posted may still be applicable.

    I do not believe most of us, specifically me, are saying sight alignment is not important. But based on my experience, I tell people, especially for new shooters I am teaching, they must first master trigger control before they move onto other aspects of shooting such as stance, grip, point shooting.

    Now, before I start my point shooting training/sharing, especially with a new pistol that can dry fire, I have them dry fire several hundred times while watching the front sight so the sight does not move when the hammer/striker is released. I have them do this homework before the range session because even though their sight alignment maybe good, pull/push on the trigger/grip will cause flyers or more specifically, POI deviating from POA that increases the group size. Dry firing also has the benefit of smoothing out the metal-to-metal contact surfaces to help "break in" the pistol.

    An example of starting out first with trigger control:

    Last year, a younger Millennial coworker friend who never shot a pistol before wanted to buy a pistol not only for home defense, but possibly for competition (Yes, this lifelong Democrat voting Millennial got converted to gun owner now supporter of gun rights/2A after we talked but that's for another thread discussion). Since he was the generation of Google/Youtube, he wanted to avoid mistakes and focus on things that actually worked. After demonstrating point shooting with a pen laser pointer to place the red dot within an inch of various objects throughout the office, he was sold as he was able to do similar with the laser using his index finger.

    After much research, he decided on Glock 34, a 5.31" barrel 9mm and I told him to dry fire several hundred times before we started the point shooting training the next day. When we met the next morning, he told me he dry fired over 1000 times and could absolutely hold the front sight steady when the striker was released! :eek: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...at-you-can-share.218188/page-62#post-11085598

    After starting out at 5 yards with two dots on target, I had him shoot at alternating dots with his EYE CLOSED. Mind you, since he never shot before, his groups after POA/POI synchronization was the result of his trigger control alone. After he produced around 2" groups at 5 yards with eyes closed, I had him point shoot at 4 dots at 7 yards WITHOUT USING THE SIGHTS. He managed around 2" groups with me calling out, "Top right, bottom left, etc."

    Only when I moved the targets further out to 10-15 yards, did I have him reference the sights and had him look "PAST THE FRONT SIGHT" to shoot at dots and he produced around 3"-4" groups. He was definitely sold on point shooting and we then moved to doing fast shooting drills at multiple targets at difference distances for the rest of 4 hour training session.

    When he commented he was surprised by small groups he produced at 5-7 yards using eyes closed/open point shooting, I told him not be as elderly group I recently taught (With arthritis and shaky hands) also managed to produce similar tight groups at 5-7 yards using eyes open point shooting. ;) (The elderly group shot most of their lives. :D)

    Interesting thing I want to point out is that with the elderly group, they are able to point shoot smaller groups at 5-7 yards without using sights then shooting with sights. So for shooters with visual acuity issues, trigger control definitely trumps sight alignment.

    And the reason why I now introduce people new to shooting with point shooting first is I believe point shooting starting with trigger control and synchronizing natural point of aim with point of impact (Adjustments made only at shoulders and waist as grip remains unchanged) incorporates sight alignment without having to rely/use visual indexing and thus visual sight alignment is not required for defensive shooting distances of 5-7 yards and beyondt.

    Of course, this is my opinion only and what works for me and students/people I share "my" version of defensive point shooting with.


    If I were to shoot bullseye matches, I would revert back to my bullseye match shooting mentor in regards to trigger control with focus on front sight on target as expressed in post #31 - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/trigger-control.834737/page-2#post-11245640

    "For more precise bullseye match shooting, at 1:45 minute mark of video, Brian Zins, a 12 time NRA champion and holder of 30 shooting records says, 'Trigger is used to maintain sight alignment and sight picture ... There are two types of trigger control ... uninterrupted and wrong.'"

     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  11. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    And Jerry Miculek says the same thing on "surprise break".

    At 0:40 second mark of video below, he outlines how to properly train with dry firing/trigger control.

    "Put a spot on the wall and try to hold the scope as steady as you can and break the shot ... You will never have a perfectly still sight picture so don't even try ... Live with your wobble ... To have the shot surprise the shooter is the ultimate expression of shooting ... With bad trigger control, you will miss the target everytime."

     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  12. Ralph III

    Ralph III Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Ms/Al Gulf Coast
    Hello LiveLife!

    First, I really enjoyed your post. I was actually expecting to get flamed by having the nerve to challenge the OP's statements, so it is nice that that didn't occur. It tells me people are willing to converse on the subject and share thoughts. That is excellent because we all have a different perspective to give and others may find something useful from that.

    I would like to respond to a few things especially on the video and Miculeks because I come away with a slightly different take. It may be tomorrow though.

    God,
    Family,
    Country,
    Steak and Potatoes.....

    In that order please!
    Ralph
     
  13. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,806
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Unlike you, my opinions aren't based solely on my personal experience reinforced by my buddies. The importance of trigger control has been recognized by major instructors for many years. For example, Colonel Charles Askins, Jr. wrote (The Art of Handgun Shooting, A. S. Barnes & Co., 194, pg. 38):

    A similar theme has been repeated in the courses I've taken at Gunsite and from instructors I've trained with, such as the late Louis Awerbuck. And the efficacy of the principles I've outlined have been tested and verified in my own experience helping train hundreds of beginning shooters.

    I'm with a group of instructors putting on a monthly NRA Basic Handgun classes. We're older guys, most of us retired or close to it. We've all done a fair bit of shooting and training -- multiple classes at Gunsite and/or Front Sight, classes with a number of instructors, USPSA or IDPA competition, NRA instructor certifications, and three are POST certified. All our past training has inculcated us in the principles I've outlined, and we apply those principles in our instruction.

    In the live fire portion of our class, after the students fire t25 rounds of .22, we put out a variety of guns from 9mm to .44 Magnum so the students can get the experience of firing the larger calibers. Shooting the centerfire guns is at each student's option. Most fire them all, but some choose not to.

    During the live fire exercises it's normal for a student with absolutely no prior shooting experience to shoot 2 to 3 inch groups at seven yards with even the heavy calibers. A few months ago, a petite young woman who had never fired any type of gun before out shot everyone, including her husband, with the .44 Magnum -- putting three rounds into about an inch at 7 yards.

    And as Clint Smith wrote in the January/February 2008, American Handgunner:

    It's customary when relying on an outside source to support an argument to cite the source. Doing so allows one to verify that the source was quoted accurately and appropriately and also to assess the credibility of the source.

    Actually, they don't necessarily share your views. They merely say that stance and sight alignment are fundamentals -- which we all agree with. They really discuss the ranking of the fundamentals.

    That's preposterous and proves nothing.

    I do essentially this (as well as a couple of variations of this exercise) frequently in our classes, and it proves just the opposite of what you suggest. It consistently demonstrates that an error in sight alignment with excellent trigger control will produce a better result than perfect sight alignment with a jerked trigger.
     
    larryh1108 likes this.
  14. Ralph III

    Ralph III Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Ms/Al Gulf Coast
    Hello Frank,

    I will reply to your post and LiveLife by this weekend sometime.

    Ralph
     
  15. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,806
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    No rush. I'm not really interested in what you have to say.
     
  16. bearcreek

    bearcreek Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Messages:
    2,047
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Real shocker there. ;) At least you're consistent.
     
  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Messages:
    10,203
    Unless one is shooting from a rest at a stationary target, "stability" sufficient to offset the variation in the timing of the shot would be an elusive goal.

    A hand-held handgun moves. One cannot "keep" the gun "on target". One can only make if fire when the firearm is on target.

    That is easily shown by the dot from a laser sight.

    That requires trigger control. Grip is, of course, very important. But to say that stance is more important than trigger control does not make sense.
     
  18. Ralph III

    Ralph III Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Ms/Al Gulf Coast
    Hello All,

    First, irrespective of what the OP may think this thread was intriguing for me. It made me consider some things that I haven’t really thought about in years. I also have no problem being challenged or challenging others (or considering other views). Because if a point can stand up to scrutiny then it is worthy of consideration. Some folks however do not like being challenged and instead resort to insults which is unfortunate. Nobody learns anything in that instance. I take nothing personal myself, btw.

    Now I wish to clarify my first point because it doesn’t properly represent my position. I overstated this point in simply attempting to make-a-point. I realize that may have caused some confusion though so I sincerely apologize if it did.

    The OP stated in his thread
    He then espoused numerous other points in attempting to support his claim, going so far as to even diminish the importance of vital aspects of shooting (aim, stance, grip). I didn’t challenge that sentence because I consider something else to be the “first principle” of accuracy. I really do not believe any one principle is greater than any other, although I do lean toward stability (platform). Because that is vital with long guns and pistols for a whole variety of reasons. Otherwise, I fully understand the importance of trigger control. Trigger control however could never even be a consideration minus stability or aim. You have to a least be aiming the gun at the target in order to hit it, you have to have stability with your platform (grip, stance) and such must be consistent. The highlighted statement within brackets in my last post is not a quote. It is attributable to me alone in making this point. Even during rapid fire routines, you are utilizing stability in order to get the gun quickly back on target. In regards to stabilizing the gun for accuracy purposes, I do not mean that you can keep the gun perfectly still or hold it perfectly on one spot. Of course there will be some wobble. But it takes stability to limit the wobble sufficiently enough that an accurate shot can be made. In addition, a well developed stance and grip that promotes a natural POA may well be the deciding factor for accuracy, if you find yourself in a self defense situation at night or in the dark.

    The OP’s post was erroneous and misleading because it takes EVERYTHING to come together in order to make an accurate shot and to be consistent. It’s like someone saying the most important feature of a car is the motor. Well what about the gas that fuels the car or the wheels that allow it to roll? In regards to shooting, the stance must be good, the grip must be good, the aim must be good, the trigger pull must be good; in order to not only make accurate shots but in being able to do it consistently.

    The OP’s post and several follow up posts did not promote this position and he even went so far as to diminish pistol fundamentals. That was my take and why I challenged his post. I do not feel I was wrong in this assessment because the OP then doubled down by quoting Colonel Charles Askins.


    For me that is an outlandish statement. It is simply a man becoming overzealous in his presentation. Because in doing so he ends up making factually incorrect statements or giving people a false impression that the fundamentals are somehow “insignificant’. He could have just said "trigger control" was most important to him and left it at that. Instead of leaving it at that he went on to diminish the basics which is exactly what the OP did. It's simply foolishness. I cannot see how anyone could espouse such, much less a purported NRA instructor. Jeff Cooper and Jack Weaver would be rolling over in their graves. Do you think you could convince Jack Weaver that the stance and grip deserve lesser consideration and that Jeff Cooper was wrong in developing the modern technique based upon such important factors? All of that came about because Weaver was dominating pistol competitions with his unique stance and pistol grip; such that it became the standard.

    Anyhow, I couldn’t see how the NRA would support such notions so I contacted several current and former NRA Training Program Coordinators, Larry Quandahl and Christian Vara. I wanted to get an idea of the NRA teaching standards or methodology or at least have them set me straight on exactly what I was missing here. I can tell you we had excellent conversations and the above sentiments do not represent the NRA standards. Christian Vara rejected the above statement and sentiments as both an NRA representative and in "taking my NRA hat off" as a shooter. He stated they have issues such as this on occasion or misunderstandings so he wanted to make a review in order to fully answer my questions. We were never in disagreement on any point though.

    Again, I am not doubting the significant importance of the trigger pull but you cannot dismiss the importance of other vital factors such as grip, stance and aim. Some of you speak of some very impressive results in giving instruction to new shooters. The results you speak of are highly impressive. No matter, you still would have had to have taught them the importance of the grip, stance and aim. When I say “aim” I am speaking of the ability to accurately point the gun at the target whether slow fire in which you are aligning both sights or in rapid fire in which you may only be using the front sight. Even if you are resorting to instinctive shooting you are still aiming the gun at the target.

    It’s like Larry stated, whether you are a trigger control advocate or a platform advocate, "It all has to come back to the basics". Anyhow, I hope I have cleared up any confusion that I may have caused on this point; otherwise, I stand by everything I have stated.

    God Bless,
    Ralph
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    South Prairie Jim likes this.
  19. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    865
    Location:
    South Prairie Wa.
    Brian Zins video is very good IMHO
     
    LiveLife likes this.
  20. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,806
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    Actually, you simply don't understand Jeff Cooper or the Modern Technique of the pistol.

    First, let's look at the question of the Weaver Stance. The Weaver Stance is about recoil control.

    1. As Gregory Morrison put it (The Modern Technique of the Pistol, Gunsite Press, 1991, pg. 69, emphasis in original):

    2. And as Jeff Cooper himself put it (Jeff Cooper Commentaries, Volume 8, Number 3, pg 14):

    3. And that is, of course, about facilitating making a series of accurate shots quickly.

    And while we're at it, let's see something Jeff Cooper said about trigger control ( Jeff Cooper Commentaries, Volume 7, Number 2, pg 10):

    By the way, when I took my first class at Gunsite in 2002, Jeff Cooper was the Range Master (lead instructor for the class). He invited my to his home on the Sunday after the class to watch the Monaco Grand Prix. I'll always remember that afternoon.
     
  21. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,858
    Location:
    NC
    If we look at all 4 steps in accurate shooting; stance, grip, sight alignment and trigger control, and then look at a typical self defense situation, what do we think is the most important step if we only have 1 to choose from in that instant that we need it?
    Stance: I don't think this is considered when the SHTF. Yes, we want a firm and steady stance but will the time allow?
    Grip: Do we have the time to make sure we have the proper grip for an accurate shot?
    Sight alignment: in a "typical" SD distance of 21' or less, I don't think sight alignment is up there considering fractions of seconds counting. I'd bet we will fall into a point shooting instinct before we pull the trigger.
    Trigger control: If we just start jerking the trigger (and adrenaline and fear may cause this) then the shots will be all over the place. How many shots by LE actually hit their target in the heat of battle? I'd bet most misses are due to poor trigger control due to panic and adrenaline.

    My point is that if good trigger control is ingrained into our training and in "that moment" when our training just kicks in, then stance, grip and sight alignment fall to the wayside. Good trigger control should enable the best chance of achieving the goal of stopping the attack. Conditions may dictate that a proper stance, a perfect grip or the perfect sight alignment just don't get to happen. Trigger control will always be present if we do get a shot off. That doesn't change.

    Now, if we are talking about precision target shooting then all 4 steps are very necessary for the best accuracy. None is more important than the other in the instance of competition. However, I'd bet that 98% of the people that carry do so for self preservation and not to get the best score in a contest.
     
    LiveLife likes this.
  22. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    11,806
    Location:
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    I agree, Larry. And there’s another consideration: trigger control seems to be the most difficult of the fundamentals for someone to learn.

    We see this in our training of beginners. They seem to pick up a satisfactory stance, grip, and sight alignment more readily than they do pressing the trigger to make the gun fire without moving the gun. That’s a reason we emphasize trigger control the way we do in our basic handgun classes.

    And our approach bears fruit. When our students get onto the range for live fire they generally manage the trigger well and get good hits. Those who have problems are generally helped significantly with additional work on trigger control. (An exception are those few students who are having troubles related to vision problems like weak dominance or shifting eye dominance.)

    Also, I originally wrote that post on trigger control to respond to the many “I can’t shoot well” question we would get on here. And pretty much all the performance faults described related to trigger control issues.

    I frequently do a demonstration in class. Using an airsoft 1911 with a laser I can show how much jerking the trigger deflects the dot off a target on the wall. I can also graphically show how much deflection misaligning the sights cause. Even when the front sight is run all the way up or down in the rear sight notch, or is actually placed outside the rear sight notch, the jerked trigger takes the gun further off target.
     
  23. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    22,911
    Location:
    Northwest Coast
    That's your choice but consider this.

    I train/share defensive point shooting to novice shooters and many new shooters who have wildly varying "notions" about guns and shooting, mostly from movies and secondhand information.

    During the 20-30 minute introduction to firearm safety and demystifying gun related notions, I myth bust the significance of stance, grip and sight alignment to accurately hit targets. I do this intentionally to impress upon the students the importance of trigger control. As OP stated, it is "The first principle of accurate shooting".

    As I already posted, after demonstrating and teaching "proper" trigger control of not moving the front sight/pistol when the hammer/striker falls, I use the "poor" thumb and third finger grip to demonstrate accurate and good control of firearm of various calibers to produce fast accurate double taps on multiple targets. I also demonstrate "poor" stance by shooting accurate and fast double taps from various unconventional stances like lying flat, sitting and even shooting across chest with 2 finger grip (without looking at the sights). And ultimately, I establish natural point-of-aim with point-of-impact synchronization by point shooting with EYES CLOSED which totally removes sight alignment. But I emphasize the "proper" trigger control as foundation to accurate and consistent shooting to the point where now I require every student to dry fire several hundred times (with pistols you can dry fire) to the point of not moving the front sight before we start the range session.

    All these are not possible if I did not establish proper trigger control with the students as after I demonstrate, they themselves perform these to their amazement, totally shattering the various "gun myths/notions" they heard all of their lives.

    And as OP posted, using a laser while demonstrating dry fire is an excellent tool to show how much trigger control moves the POI away from POA, especially at 15-25 yards. People are shocked how much their dry fire with laser moves/jumps the laser dot around the target and I may incorporate use of lasers in future groups.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    Ralph III likes this.
  24. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,858
    Location:
    NC
    About 10 years ago, when lasers got to be (somewhat) affordable ($300ish) I bought one for my Glock 26. It was the one in the recoil assembly.
    When I went to the range, I set up my 8.5"x11" target and ran it out to my usual 10 yard marker. I then turned on the laser. I was stunned at how much wobble I had. I had always known of my genetic hand tremors, something I've had since birth, but I somehow was OK at the range. Well, when I saw how much that red dot danced on the paper I was stunned. When I tried to get it like they show on TV, it got worse. I was all over that 8.5"x11" paper. Out of instinct, I began to fire when the red dot came close to the bullseye and with all the confusion and surprise, I was lucky to get it on paper, let alone close to the center. It made me realize how bad we would shoot if presented with a life or death situation, which this was not but the adrenaline was flowing due to trying to follow the red dot. I then sat down, regained my composure and went back to the target. That damn dot kept distracting me. With this new laser, I shot the worst session I ever shot, counting when I was just a newbie. When I got home, I removed the laser and sold it. I never tried a laser on any gun again. Lesson learned. Back to the basics.
     
    South Prairie Jim likes this.
  25. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    865
    Location:
    South Prairie Wa.
    Well a good discussion here , so for an old guy that can’t hit his butt with both hands.
    Should I concentrate on stance or trigger?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice