Executing a trigger pull does not appear to be a very difficult task. However, it’s surprising how easy it is to get wrong, and completely miss your target. Especially when everything is on the line.
The fact is, it doesn’t matter how much you prepare or who you’ve been training with. That quarter-inch movement can easily go awry when the pressure is on.
However, there’s certain things you can do to ensure you have the best possible odds during times like these. That’s why it’s important to know the…
3 Ways To Perfect Your Trigger Pull
Lightly Grip The Trigger
Trigger pull is a very finicky thing. That’s because just the slightest amount of pressure in any direction can make you miss your target. Not to mention, you can inadvertently add extra pressure from the other fingers holding the gun. This is why using proper grip is instrumental to your success.
When in a resting position, rest the thumb on your trigger-hand along the same side as the trigger finger. This helps prevent canting the rifle, and helps you bring an even amount of pressure directly backward.
As for the other three fingers (minus the trigger one), place these comfortably on the grip. These fingers should be holding the rifle in position, without having any influence. Be sure to relax them before firing.
Then, place the top pad (not the tip) of the index finger on the trigger. This
Pull Straight, Shoot Straight
If the sight picture stays constant (or improves), it’s time to shoot. Bring the trigger forward straight backward on the trigger, exerting even pressure. Breathe deeply, slowly exhale, and squeeze.
The shot should come as a slight surprise. You should be consciously using enough trigger pull that you decide when to shoot. However, it should still be slightly surprising when it goes off.
Keep in mind from the moment you take a breath to when you begin exhaling, you have approximately 8 seconds to shoot. Otherwise, you’ll need to take another breath. With enough perfect practice, shooters can settle their minds and their hands, squeeze, and fire within just a few of these seconds.
Get Your Mind Right
Most of the time, getting the hands right isn’t the big problem. It’s the mind. Mental games can wreak havoc on us all. And things like performance anxiety, fear of recoil, and more can mess up the calmest of hands in the moment. Even when the shooter performs a smooth, rearward trigger pull, the mind can still mess up the shot’s accuracy.
Because of this, many shooters find it helpful to repeat a mental mantra, like “Squeeze, and Follow Through.” This helps give their brain a job, allowing them to focus on the task at hand.
Whatever the strategy, make sure to repeat it every time you practice. This can help put your mind and body in “auto-pilot,” allowing you to perform even under mounting pressure. Dry-firing is especially helpful for practicing your trigger pull, since it’s effective and completely free.