Firearms Training: Trigger Control Drill 1

Trigger control is perhaps the single most import aspect of good shooting, and bad.  It doesn’t matter what else you are doing wrong, if the sights are on target and you are able to manipulate the trigger without disturbing the sights, you will hit your target.  Conversely, you can do everything else right, stance, grip, sight picture and so on, but if you can’t pull the trigger smoothly and without disturbing the sights to the point that they are no longer on target when the gun goes off, you will fail to hit your mark every time.

One of my favorite drills to bring to light any trigger control issues a student who is struggling to consistently hit the target is having is to employ dummy rounds.  I load the magazine for the student with a dummy round every second or third round and then have them shoot a complete magazine while I video them.  When they have shot up the entire magazine which usually contains between 3 and 4 dummy rounds, I review the video with them so that they can see what they are doing wrong.

In the video below, you will see one of my students who is having issues hitting the target at the 25 yard line.  At that range, optimal trigger control is critical.  The second round is a dummy load and you will see the pistol dip down slightly as the student anticipated the shot.  This round would most like hit low on the target or impact just below.

Two things to note.  First, this student is an experienced shooter who had not idea she was anticipating the trigger.  Second, using video is a great way to show somebody, or even yourself that there is a problem in a way that leaves no doubt what is going wrong. (Yup, there are those who pay me good money to train them and then argue with me about what I tell them they are doing wrong.  I love video because it doesn’t lie) In the above example, the issues with anticipating the shot isn’t even detectable without the use of video and the dummy rounds.

I cannot stress strongly enough how invaluable the use of video and dummy rounds is to your training.  Add both to your toolbox of training drills.

Don’t just survive, thrive!


Carrying a firearm for personal protection brings with it an awesome responsibility. You have the power to change a person’s world forever, and even the power to take their life. It is you duty as a responsible gun owner to always obey the cardinal rules of firearms safety and to understand the laws where you live and travel with your gun. Do your due diligence become educated on the use of force continuum and become proficient with your firearm before you leave home.



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