Rifle Fundamentals: Trigger Control

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posted on February 26, 2018
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In the last installment of our Rifle Fundamentals series, we discussed breath control and hold control. This article focuses on trigger control in rifle shooting.

To fire a good shot, you must pull the trigger when your hold is best. This is when your hold looks and feels right. There are two rules for good trigger control.

  1. Pull the trigger while you are holding steady.
  2. Pull the trigger smoothly, without disturbing your hold.

Hand Position. Correct hand and index finger position makes trigger control easier. This is because it allows your index finger, which pulls the trigger, to do its job better. Grasp the grip firmly, as in a handshake. The part of the index finger just above the first joint should rest on the trigger. Your finger must press straight back on the trigger.

Controlling the Trigger. Control the trigger by smoothly pulling it straight back while your hold is good, gradually increasing the pressure until the shot fires.

To become a trigger control master, you must think about how you will follow all the fundamentals of firing a shot. The fundamentals include aiming, breath control, hold control and trigger control.

Decide how well you can hold steady, and then press the trigger when you are holding steady. When you are a beginning shooter, the rifle may seem to move quite a bit no matter how hard you try to hold it steady. You may have to begin shooting with a fairly big hold movement. This is exactly what you should do. Just hold as well as you can and pull the trigger smoothly without disturbing your hold. Do not try to shoot better than you can hold! Your hold will improve with practice.

The next Rifle Fundamentals article will cover shooting and follow-through.

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