Trigger control is a critical component of the fundamentals of shooting and is likely the most difficult to master. Supporting components of shooting are stance, grip, sight alignment, sight picture and follow-through.
An exercise to help improve trigger control is dry firing an empty weapon. After ensuring your weapon is safe and unloaded (redundant safety checks) and while focusing on the fundamentals of shooting, point the weapon in a safe direction and pull the trigger of your empty weapon. Repeat!!!! Progress from the dry fire exercise by going to a shooting range and implementing the following drill: With an empty and safe weapon, while aiming at a small target dry fire 5 times. Then load the weapon with a magazine containing only one live round, and with the weapon pointed at the same target fire the live round. Repeat this drill 10 times.
It is important you strive for mastery of the fundamentals of shooting through repetition; however, there is a BIG difference between shooting at a still or static target and being in a gun fight. A high-stress encounter will tremendously impact physical and psychological performance. For this reason it is recommended to train in a stress-induced environment. One effective method to induce stress during training is to methodically increase firing cadence from slow to medium, and eventually to rapid, while maintaining safety and relative accuracy.
I learned the importance of a perfect trigger pull during many long days in sniper school. I learned trigger manipulation by spending hours on the range repeating an exercise where I mentally decided on a specific number of rounds to fire with an MP-5 set in full auto mode (for example, choosing to fire 1, 2, 3 or 4 round bursts with one trigger pull), and then executing the proper trigger pull. Note the groups of brass in the air in the picture below depicting 2 separate 3-round bursts. Even with all those hours and countless rounds I have not mastered trigger control and continue to learn.
While it is important to learn to fire a weapon administratively during training, it is equally important to learn to control the trigger in exigent and stressful situations.
Strive to master the fundamentals of shooting through a variety of training techniques and drills to better prepare yourself to deliver righteous Havoc if needed.
Remember you don’t pick the time; the time picks you, so pursue peace but prepare for righteous havoc!
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