Very few shooters have mastery over the trigger press process. Even fewer realize it. Most shooters actually abandon the trigger halfway through the press. In The Perfect Pistol Shot, I describe this desire to short-cut the process as being an attempt to release the shot without disturbing the sights. Of course, the opposite happens because failing to control the trigger all the way to release will not shorten the trigger process but simply speed it up. The trigger is going to travel all the way to the point of free-fall whether the shooter controls it or not. Here’s a simple live-fire drill to help you.

Prepare to fire a shot at a target which appears no larger than the size of the front sight tip. (Remember the cross targets from previous entries.) As you press the trigger to the rear, try NOT to fire the handgun. Plan to release the trigger before the hammer falls. Once the trigger is reset, try again. Each time, press the trigger further than the time before. Think of it like this: if there’s a fraction of press left when you decide to fire, you’ve abandoned sighting, and in fact, all marksmanship.

If you have never controlled the trigger press to the point of release, you will be surprised how far back your trigger must go. Repeatedly feeling proper press is the way to know how to do a proper press.

You may improve this drill by having a fellow shooter coach you to the very limit of the press. Eventually, you will fire a round and that’s what we want. But it is essential that you press slow enough, and be conscious of the press in order to convert the experience of “feel” into knowledge.
Both The Perfect Pistol Shot and this blog offer dry-fire training recommendations. Remember, dry-fire is foundational to the marksman.

Like everything in marksmanship, trigger press begins as an intellectual process. Think about it.

Good Shooting.