Trigger Press

The next skill we’re going to go over is a smooth trigger pull/press. Visually and physically confirm (again) that the firearm is unloaded. Then bring the empty firearm up and aim it at something you don’t mind destroying and slowly pull the trigger straight back… the smaller and more precise, the better. Your trigger finger shouldn’t squeeze like you’re making a fist or push off to the side—It should press straight back. You should keep aiming as you pull the trigger and your aim should never come off of the intended target, even when the trigger breaks and the firing pin is released to strike the primer on your bullet. You should press the trigger slowly enough that you don’t know when the release will happen.

As you continue to practice keeping your sights lined up all the way through the trigger press, you’ll be able to speed up your trigger press without any impact on your accuracy. In general, don’t press the trigger so fast that your sight alignment gets messed up, but keep trying to squeeze the trigger faster.

Re-rack the slide on your firearm between dry fires (while maintaining muzzle discipline) and practice your trigger press 10 times. Specifically, you’re trying to condition your mind to do three things with this drill: Aim all the way through the trigger press. Squeeze the trigger instead of jerking it. Keep the firearm aimed at your intended target instead of trying to compensate for recoil by pushing the point of aim down.

While practicing this, it’s very common to notice something that you never noticed while shooting live fire—a sticky or jerky trigger. This can make a smooth trigger press much more difficult, and it is a good sign that you need to clean and lubricate your firearm.

Do repeat sets of 10 until you can keep your sights on target all the way through your trigger press for all 10 repetitions, then try this fun training technique:

Pick a target that is roughly at the same height as your eyes, aim at it with your firearm and lay the coin on the front sight (this may not be possible on all pistols) and pull the trigger. Your trigger squeeze should be so smooth that the coin stays on the front sight and doesn’t fall off as you’re squeezing the trigger. The release of the hammer may vibrate the coin off. That’s out of your control and OK.