Trigger Control and Follow Through

Trigger Control:  

In previous segments, we talked about a shooters Stance, Grip, Sight Alignment and Sight Picture in relation to becoming an accurate shooter. Today, we are going to target Trigger Control with a semi-automatic handgun.

What is Trigger Control?  By military definition, “Trigger Control is the manipulation of the trigger, allowing the shot to break without disturbing sight alignment. Sight alignment and trigger control must be performed simultaneously to fire an accurate shot”.

In a nutshell, the shooter should press the trigger smoothly to the rear while maintaining proper sight alignment and sight picture. Without hesitation or pause, make one smooth press with the pad of the index finger on the center of the trigger, allowing the shot to be a surprise to you.

To deliver multiple rounds quickly, you’ll not only need to efficiently press the trigger to the rear, but you will also need to efficiently and smoothly release the trigger to its reset point, before firing the handgun again.

Once the first shot is fired, the shooter immediately finds the “trigger reset” point, regains sight alignment and sight picture, and prepares for the next shot in precisely the same manner. This is known as “Follow Through”. Follow Through occurs when you keep contact with the trigger and only let the trigger release to the “trigger reset” point between shots. So, by not allowing the trigger to come forward any more than is needed for trigger reset and getting your sights back on target, allows for quicker target acquisition and follow up shots.

The reset point of a trigger is easily identifiable by a tactile and audible “click” as the trigger is traveling forward.  At that reset point, the trigger can once again be pressed to the rear, instead of allowing it to travel all the way forward.

Without knowing exactly where the trigger’s reset point is, shooters typically allow the trigger finger to travel too far forward (sometimes off the trigger entirely), resulting in slower follow-up shots, with a tendency to “slap” the trigger on subsequent rounds, disrupting target alignment.

In upcoming segments, we’ll talk about shot placement and determine where you can improve based on your targets hits.