Marksmanship is made up of several factors, most of which we merge into one mass to produce an accurate shot or shots. The most misunderstood and misused skill is the trigger reset, what can you do to change that and improve your shooting across the board.
Blood, sweat and tears
First off, acknowledge that it takes hard work to be good. There is no secret pill that will elevate you to rock star status. You have to put in the hours of blood, sweat and tears to earn the title marksman. Too many folks are looking for the easy road. There isn’t one unless you are on mediocre main street. I know tons of people who travel back and forth on that road. They settle for mediocre, focusing on all the “fun” things. Truth be told, the fun things are fun. Get past the fun, get to mastering of the fundamentals. So, before you decide to partake in any shenanigans make sure you are good to go first.
As I watch students perform I usually go for the low lying fruit first, the biggest one being trigger reset. If I can get them to consistently and correctly apply solid trigger reset skills the rest of the problems have a good chance of solving themselves. I also subscribe to the process of elimination type corrective strategy. We eliminate deficiencies in your technique; which improve other areas of your technique at the same time; win/win. Keep in mind you have to really engage the brain. I believe students are “tired” from our training because they have had to “think” through it all. Thinking or mental engagement is exhausting. Sleep is not difficult during our training programs.
Trigger rest as we define it is the process by which the sear is re-engaged to allow for a subsequent shot or in this case a follow up shot. A simple way to think about it is for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if the student comes flying off the trigger, they were more than likely slapping the trigger with the same motion. The moment your trigger finger breaks physical contact with the trigger, you will either 1) take a running start and slap the holy hell out of the trigger or 2) have to take the extra time, no matter how minuscule to place your finger correctly on the trigger, apply pressure to take up the slack then apply a slight bit more pressure to break the shot disturbing the sights as minimally as possible.
The complete process
The biggest mistake I see is when students rush to come off the trigger. There is some notion the faster they reset, the faster they can fire the next shot. You can only shoot as fast as the sights dictate. Assuming you are a proponent for sighted fire. I promise it takes more time to confirm your sight picture than to reset the trigger. I also remind students to perform the technique in the correct chronological sequence. Starting with getting the gun back on target, confirming your sight picture and lastly resetting the trigger. A consequence to improper sequence is the urgency to start applying pressure to the trigger. Once the trigger is reset, many students will start applying pressure before the gun is back on or target or they have confirmed their sights. They typically will fire the shot without one if not both of these being sorted out first. Another problem we see is when folks fail to take out the slack after the reset. They fail to move the trigger up against the sear wall. Once on the sear wall, breaking the shot requires only slight pressure.
I can teach a monkey to pull the trigger, but it takes a superior being to master the art of pulling the trigger more than once.
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