The Trigger Matters

By Michael Ryen

The basics of shooting include: proper grip, hold control, breathing, sight picture, and trigger control.  And you guessed it, we are going to talk triggers.  I had a young lady in our store the other day for her first shooting lesson.  Her mom purchased a firearm for Christmas for her and she was preparing to learn how to shoot it.  Unfortunately, the firearm mom got her has an absolutely horrible trigger.  What I mean by this is the trigger squeeze takes a long time and the vibrations after she pulls the trigger irritated her hand.  She shot the firearm five times and said, “Nope not shooting this gun.”

The challenge with triggers is that some are really smooth and light, while others are not crisp and are heavy to pull back.  Thing is, you’ll never know the difference until you shoot several firearms and do a comparison.  People who know firearms always appreciate a good trigger.  A smooth trigger simply brings a smile to a person’s face, especially when you have experienced a bad trigger.  A single action trigger is generally easy and smooth, and it doesn’t take much effort to make the firearm function.  Double-action triggers are normally associated with a longer, heavy (harder) trigger squeeze to make the firearm function.  The reason why triggers are so important is that a smooth trigger allows you to remain focused on the target as you prepare.  As you pull a heavy trigger, it is easier to pull the firearm off target because of the focus it takes just to pull that particular style of trigger.

There is some discussion about how you don’t want a light trigger as you will have an accidental bullet discharge because you’re not “ready” to shoot, especially in a violent confrontation.  I counter that with the need for continuous training and familiarity.  One of the NRA’s main rules of firearm safety, “Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.”  If a person’s main concern when practicing is the trigger squeeze, then it’s not the right trigger for you.

Vance Ewing spent 22 years in the US Army and eight years as a NATO Counter-IED and Anti-Terrorism Instructor. Vance currently serves as a NRA Counselor and Trainer. Michael Ryen spent eight years in the US Army Reserves and currently serves as a NRA Trainer and recruiter. They are the owners of The Bow and Barrel Sportsmen Center located at 22940 Harlan Lane, Saint Robert, Missouri. www.bowandbarrelsports.com, 573-451-2129

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