Video: Perfecting Your Trigger Pull Under Stress

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Bringing pressure to trigger pull practice.

By this time, most folks with a firearm understand the importance of a proper trigger pull. This goes double when it comes to handguns. Yes, that single little digit has an overwhelming influence on if a shot hits the mark or ends up a flier. In turn, it’s worth your time honing a smooth, consistent and accuracy-enhancing trigger pull.

That said, in terms of a high-pressure situation, the fundamentals of a trigger pull can fly out the window, which isn’t good. Hence the reason why Jamie Caldwell’s trigger pull drill is a much-needed antidote to countless hours squeezing the switch. What the former special operator and current instructor with 1-Minute Out does with his training is introduced an element of pressure alongside precision

How Caldwell achieves this is through the introduction of a shot timer. As is demonstrated in the above video, the idea is to match the break as close to the single from the countdown timer. At the same tick, the shooter should objectively watch that he or she is keeping their sights on target throughout the break. It sounds fairly rudimentary, however, honestly assessing personal performance, improving a shooter’s overall ability to maintain a smooth stroke under stress. This is key for most shooting situations away from casual range time.


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Perhaps the best part of Caldwell's drill, it's appropriate for both dry and live fire. Either way, his trigger pull drill has the potential to get shooters on target.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I find this drill very useful for diagnosing gun movement. I will be trying the dry fire portion with a SIRT pistol. For live fire, and other comparisons I will be trying it as shown, and from compressed ready finger off trigger, and from a holstered and holstered/concealed. This might be a good standards stage for a competitive match, to further increase the stress level.

    According to experts Mike Seeklander, Robbie Leatham, and Massad Ayoob the best cure for moving a pistol off target with trigger pulling is a strong, crush, “gorilla” grip. According to Mas, this is exactly what the body will do when firing a gun under stress. In the Stressfire portion of MAG classes this is discussed and taught in more detail. In my words, the only way one finger can overpower nine is if the nine aren’t trying as hard as the trigger finger. At MAG (Massad Ayoob Group) we teach shooters to use this method all the time, so that in stressful situations they won’t be experiencing this affect for the first time.

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