On A Draw, When Exactly Is It Trigger Time?


It stumps some, but figuring out when to place your finger on the trigger is an important element to defensive handgun use.

Five Parts To A Draw Stroke:

  • Grip the handgun.
  • Clear the holster.
  • Rotate the handgun into position.
  • Smack the hands together for complete grip (finger should touch trigger).
  • Look for the front sight.
  • Press the trigger when you’ve aimed at the target.

Some shooters do not know when they should place their finger on the trigger of their defensive handgun. Gunsite Instructor Cory Trapp sheds some light on this topic:

“At Gunsite, we break the draw stroke into five parts: grip, clear, rotate, smack, look and press. While the stroke is one fluid movement, breaking it down like this simplifies the teaching process. One point that often gives clients trouble is count four — smack — the point where the hands come together and start the two-handed shooting position.

“On smack, you should also be touching, or prepping, the trigger. Rule three is not being violated, the gun is aligned with the target; you just don’t yet have visual verification with the sights. You must get on the trigger now so, at the top of the draw stroke — when you see the front sight stop on the target — you’re ready to press. Many people wait until they reach full extension and have focused on the front sight. This normally results in an uncontrolled slap of the trigger and then poor shot placement.”

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For more information on Gunsite Academy, please visit: www.gunsite.com.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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