209th West Hudson Detachment Marine Corps League Shooting Team

Tricks and Tips

Trigger control

Trigger Control


I do not like to use the word "squeeze" in connection with trigger control. When we think of the action of squeezing, we usually close all four fingers and thumb together at the same time. This is definitely not proper trigger control. The pressure put on the trigger must come from the trigger finger only The gripping fingers and base of thumb do not move. Review the chapter on grip. Get the proper grip on your pistol and keep the pressure constant, align the sights on the target properly, then with the trigger finger only, exert a steady, constantly increasing pressure, straight to the rear, until the hammer falls.


There is a slightly different method of trigger control that I recommend for master shooters only and even then with extreme caution. The difference is that while the sight picture is not perfect, the trigger pressure is maintained, but not increased. When the picture becomes good again, the pressure is continued. This method when used correctly, insures that all shots go off with a perfect sight picture. The danger in this method is the tendency to flinch. I have been successful in the timed and slow fire stages, but I revert to the constantly increased pressure method in rapid fire. I just don't have time to interrupt my pressure in the rapid fire stage.


There is one very important element common to both trigger control methods: the shooter does not pick out a definite moment to fire the gun. He knows by the amount of pressure on the trigger about when the hammer will fall, but not the exact instant. If he does pick out one exact instant to make the hammer fall, he will invariably flinch.