Trigger Squeeze

Improper trigger squeeze causes more misses than any other step of marksmanship, so pay attention.

Poor shooting is caused by the aim being disturbed before the bullet leaves the barrel of the weapon.  This is usually the result of the shooter jerking the trigger or flinching.  A slight off-center pressure of the trigger finger on the trigger is all it takes to move the weapon off-target.  Jerking is an effort to fire the weapon at the precise time when the slights align with the target, and flinching is a reflex caused by anticipating recoil.

Trigger squeeze is the independent rearward movement of the trigger finger without disturbance of the sight alignment until the weapon fires.  First, the slack in the trigger is taken up.  You will then hit the break point of the trigger.  Continue applying steadily increasing pressure until the weapon fires.  If the trigger is squeezed properly, you will not know exactly when the weapon will fire; thus, you will tend not to flinch or jerk.  This is called letting the trigger surprise you.

Beginners must work hard to overcome the urge to anticipate recoil, which usually results in low shots (as you attempt to counter the upward movement of the muzzle after firing).  Another common beginner error is moving more fingers than just the trigger finger.  The trigger finger should apply rearward pressure and the thumb should apply forward pressure.  That's it.  Applying pressure with the other fingers will tend to disturb the sight alignment.

A good shot holds the sights of his weapon as nearly on the center of the target as possible while squeezing the trigger with increasing pressure until the weapon fires.  (Whew!  Long sentence!)


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