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View Poll Results: Good or bad advice to be surprised by a shot?
Good advice 130 58.30%
Bad advice 50 22.42%
Bacon 43 19.28%
Voters: 223. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:20 PM
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My advice is to stop taking things so literally.
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  #42  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
If one doesn't know when the shot is going to break, I suppose they'll be tense indefinitely until they're surprised.
I think we are talking about two different things.
I don't think being surprised means being startled.

I repeat, I am talking about not needing to know when the trigger breaks. Not caring about where the trigger breaks.

I am talking about "drawing a line in wet sand with my finger", having the finger go across a small rock that I couldn't see before, but continuing to draw past it. I am talking about not making my trigger finger be sensitive to every little obstacle in the way. Not thinking with my trigger finger.

I think that is the best strategy - focusing on stance, grip and consistent trigger pull that doesn't care about what it feels. And really, I have never been in real combat or defensive situation so I don't know for sure, but I would think that in those you would not want to "feel" with your trigger finger. What if you are wearing gloves?

In any case, I am not trying to convince anyone. Just answering your original question. I do think that it is best to not know when the trigger will break. I think people are hanging up on the word "surprise" like a surprise party surprise. With the gun in your hands you are not going to be completely unaware of what will happen when you pull the trigger.

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  #43  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Lead Waster View Post
OK, but why? You are already pulling the trigger so you KNOW it will fire at what you are aiming at. Firing the gun is already a made decision. if it's not then don't pull the trigger. The gun will only fire if you pull the trigger... so why do you need to know if it's this millisecond or that millisecond?
Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -

I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.

WHY? Because most people hardly ever shoot with their off hand, and the hand has not developed the muscle memory to know and anticipate the trigger break. So there's no flinching.
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  #44  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:52 PM
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Default Squeeeeze until the bang surprises you? Legit advice?

[QUOTE=toonmeister;21644657]Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -



I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.



WHY? Because most people hardly ever shoot with their off hand, and the hand has not developed the muscle memory to know and anticipate the trigger break. So there's no
--------------------------------------------
Some good advice in this thread. Doubling up on ear pro is a big one.

When I shoot 50 yds with an RMRd pistol, focusing on breathing, grip, keeping that dot steady and very gradually squeezing the trigger so that I'm barely aware that I'm doing it does the trick. And yes, I am surprised that the shot went off. In fact, when I'm convinced that I missed the target completely because the gun just went off and flipped up and startled me slightly is when my shot is exactly where I want it to be. Which means 8, 9 and 10 ring at 50 yds. Any other technique besides the surprise break and it is impossible for me to achieve this.


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Last edited by rlewpolar; 05-15-2018 at 3:00 PM..
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  #45  
Old 05-15-2018, 3:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonmeister View Post
Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -

I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.

WHY? Because most people hardly ever shoot with their off hand, and the hand has not developed the muscle memory to know and anticipate the trigger break. So there's no flinching.
Iíve never done that.

I have had someone hold their firearm, finger off the trigger, get a good sight alignment and picture, and I press the trigger for them. Have them stay on their front sight all the way, tell me when itís lined up again, and I press the trigger.

After a handful of bullets, we look at the target and itís like they were hammering nails. Weird.
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  #46  
Old 05-15-2018, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by esy View Post
Iíve never done that.

I have had someone hold their firearm, finger off the trigger, get a good sight alignment and picture, and I press the trigger for them. Have them stay on their front sight all the way, tell me when itís lined up again, and I press the trigger.

After a handful of bullets, we look at the target and itís like they were hammering nails. Weird.
That's like teaching someone how to drive by telling him to steer while you control their gas and brakes.
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  #47  
Old 05-15-2018, 3:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lightcav View Post
Its really inconsequential, makes no difference at all. What matters is practice. New shooters are new. Duh, right? So they simply need to put more rounds downrange until they become comfortable with the bang and recoil. What they really need to focus on is a proper stance, grip, and trigger pull which all should be practiced with an unloaded gun first. Once they get comfortable with dryfire they can move on to live fire.
When teaching a new skill to somebody, many people make the mistake of trying to teach all the steps perfectly the first time. And please, do not use the term muscle memory, your muscles do not remember how to do any action just because you do something over and over. What has happened is the nerves from your brain to those muscles have fired thousands of times and established a very strong connection that they operate without you having to consciously think about it.

Because we are human and due to genetics and a whole host of other things, each one of us learned differently. So what works for one does not necessarily works for another. If you watch the best teachers, they always adjust how they teach to match how the student they are teaching learns best.

Finally, if you take a newbie to the range and have them dry fire for an hour, you are likely going to turn them off of shooting. I hear so many say that to teach a new person, you have to get the stance, sight picture, grip, and trigger control all perfect first, then you let the person do live fire. I have seen this at my LGR. What I see is that after 20 minutes is a frustrated person that says screw this, I am out of here. Guns are too complicated and this reinforces what I thought, they are scary.

The LGR I go to has a class for newbies and they have them shooting within 10 minutes. They use .22 pistols. They start with the rules. Then how to operate the gun. Load one round. Point down range and give the basic directions of how to sight but the goal is not to worry about accuracy. Then the directions are how to squeeze the trigger. The first round is fired and the shock of that is out of the way. That is repeated a few times. Once the students are comfortable, then the work is on stance. Then if that is learned the next step is to work on improving grip. If the class has run out of time, that is saved for the next week.

This system replaced one where the first 2 hour session was all talk and did not allow touching a gun. Half never returned for the next session. Now they have 90% return for the 2nd session and over 60% complete all 4 sessions.

As for me, I had a terrible problem with flinching and I tried all sorts of trigger exercises. What finally worked was sending 10,000 rounds downrange, 1,000 rounds a day, twice a month for 5 months. Half were 9 mm and half were 10 mm. I finally reached a point where the noise and recoil had no effect on me.
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  #48  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:10 PM
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classic example is the shooter who hits the bull in DA, but pulls low left in SA.
the difference can be as simple as knowing when it goes boom, and trying to compensate for the recoil before it happens.
when you're a newb we call it flinching.
when you're more experienced we can call it anticipation
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  #49  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:15 PM
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I've told women shake it like a cocktail shaker, until the bang surprises you.



But I have a feeling that is something else entirely.
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  #50  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackcage View Post
Good advise for total newbies who need to trick their brain and not anticipate.

Bad advise and a crutch for more experienced shooters
Exactly, when I first started shooting I had a bad flinch, but then I stopped caring about the trigger break and didn't think about the trigger and I had no flinch. After a few range trips of that and letting my brain be accustomed to bang without flinching, I was able to start focusing on the trigger pull for accuracy. Not everyone is the same, I have a friend who jumped straight in to shooting without a flinch and he was able to focus on the trigger from day one.
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  #51  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theLBC View Post
classic example is the shooter who hits the bull in DA, but pulls low left in SA.
the difference can be as simple as knowing when it goes boom, and trying to compensate for the recoil before it happens.
when you're a newb we call it flinching.
when you're more experienced we can call it anticipation
That is pretty accurate.

For folks who have been shooting a while, it isn't anticipation of the boom/flash. It is anticipation of the sight picture being perfect and want to make the shot go off THEN...which results in a jerked shot

It is often described as "being surprised", but it isn't the same surprised as "being startled".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha
You don't ever stage the trigger?
I try very hard not to. Staging your trigger is a great way to go down the road to a jerked trigger...especially with a DA trigger.

I woudn't say that I never stage a trigger...when shooting out pass 50 yards, I'm often tempted to cock my revolver hammer into SA

It is the surprised of not making the shot go off, but letting it go off. That means not changing anything about your trigger press in reaction to what your aligned sights are telling you.
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  #52  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:39 PM
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Good advice for a beginner. It teaches you to pay attention to what's going on. Take up slack, applying consistent pressure, follow up etc. It's worked for countless shooters. As they get better then they aren't going to be surprised but when they don't have much experience you don't want them anticipating recoil or jerking the trigger.
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  #53  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:41 PM
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I posted this in another discussion.... Thanks for the clarification here.

Quote:
Slight topic drift...

So what's with a "surprise" break? Pressing the trigger yields a firing pin release at the same point on the length of the pull every time... or at least that is my perception of it.

I'm wearing out snap caps trying to understand this.

Can someone help me out on this?
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Old 05-15-2018, 4:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany View Post

It is often described as "being surprised", but it isn't the same surprised as "being startled".


I try very hard not to. Staging your trigger is a great way to go down the road to a jerked trigger...especially with a DA trigger.

I woudn't say that I never stage a trigger...when shooting out pass 50 yards, I'm often tempted to cock my revolver hammer into SA

It is the surprised of not making the shot go off, but letting it go off. That means not changing anything about your trigger press in reaction to what your aligned sights are telling you.
I like that
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Old 05-15-2018, 4:55 PM
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it shouldn't be surprise to scare you but more along the line of oh there it is!
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  #56  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
I've told women shake it like a cocktail shaker, until the bang surprises you.



But I have a feeling that is something else entirely.
LOL........ Great post.
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Old 05-15-2018, 5:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
I like that


I've got a lot of good stuffs from 9mmepiphany the day I discovered Calguns.
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Old 05-15-2018, 7:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
That's like teaching someone how to drive by telling him to steer while you control their gas and brakes.
Thatís exactly what it is. Thatís the concept of being surprised by the gun going off. If the person has a good sight picture, good grip, good stance, then the shots will be on target with an equally as good trigger pull.
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Old 05-15-2018, 7:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jeremiah12 View Post
When teaching a new skill to somebody, many people make the mistake of trying to teach all the steps perfectly the first time. And please, do not use the term muscle memory, your muscles do not remember how to do any action just because you do something over and over. What has happened is the nerves from your brain to those muscles have fired thousands of times and established a very strong connection that they operate without you having to consciously think about it.

Because we are human and due to genetics and a whole host of other things, each one of us learned differently. So what works for one does not necessarily works for another. If you watch the best teachers, they always adjust how they teach to match how the student they are teaching learns best.

What has happened is the nerves from your brain to those muscles have fired thousands of times and established a very strong connection that they operate without you having to consciously think about it.

That is a textbook definition of muscle memory. I realize that your muscles don't actually have memory, just like head cheese isn't really cheese, but that's what we call it to make it easy to understand.

So, yeah, I will call it muscle memory.
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Old 05-15-2018, 7:36 PM
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Want to test your muscle memory and be surprised. Have someone else load a revolver with empty cases and loaded rounds in no particular order. If someone else loads it you won't know if next trigger pull is going to go bang or click.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:20 AM
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Originally Posted by esy View Post
That’s exactly what it is. That’s the concept of being surprised by the gun going off. If the person has a good sight picture, good grip, good stance, then the shots will be on target with an equally as good trigger pull.
Yes, equally good trigger pull. BY THE SHOOTER. Not by some dude giving you a reach around while you stand there acting like the gun is in a vise.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
"Being surprised" means being startled?
I think you are reading into the semantics of this way too much. As mentioned before, it just means don't anticipate. It doesn't mean each shot will freak out the shooter. SURPRISE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Not that kind of surprise.

I just visualized a bunch of RSO running around with Scream Movie masks running behind shooters, tapping them on the shoulders while carrying a bloody knife in their hands.

Last edited by creampuff; 05-16-2018 at 6:36 AM..
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  #63  
Old 05-16-2018, 6:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonmeister View Post
Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -

I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.

WHY? Because most people hardly ever shoot with their off hand, and the hand has not developed the muscle memory to know and anticipate the trigger break. So there's no flinching.
i'll have to try that, I had one kid who would jerk his hand every time
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
I've told women shake it like a cocktail shaker, until the bang surprises you.



But I have a feeling that is something else entirely.
You working out with shake weights?
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
I was at the range last week when I overheard a guy instruct the newbie he brought, to slowly squeeze the trigger until the bang surprised her. Presumably, the intent behind that advice is to avoid jerking the trigger.

But that advice seems to me a horrible advice. Why would I want to be surprised at every shot? Would develop a bad flinch, no? When I shoot, I squeeze the trigger, but I know exactly when the gun will go off.

Poll is up. What do you think?
who fking cares....worried about your own lane.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
Yes, equally good trigger pull. BY THE SHOOTER. Not by some dude giving you a reach around while you stand there acting like the gun is in a vise.
You clearly donít understand the concept, the fine details of shooting, nor the saying either, and thatís ok.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toonmeister View Post
Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -

I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.

WHY? Because most people hardly ever shoot with their off hand, and the hand has not developed the muscle memory to know and anticipate the trigger break. So there's no flinching.
This +

Plus, I never judge how much I like a new handgun based on my first shooting session. Invariably whenever I buy a new type of handgun I had never purchased before, I always do well on the first session. I haven't built up the muscle memory for it yet. I would walk away thinking wow, I should have bought this firearm years ago, it is the best thing ever!!! Invariably for myself, two to three sessions later, my groups start to drop more and more as I learn to anticipate exactly when it breaks and when it recoils.
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Old 05-16-2018, 6:45 AM
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Donít quible about the wording....it means donít anticipate the gun recoiling in your hand, just let it happen. Concentrate on stance, grip, sights and trigger control....not your dick.
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Old 05-16-2018, 7:04 AM
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Originally Posted by tbc View Post
For the beginner crowd, step away from the keyboards and follow the surprised break technique to overcome the flinch.

For the experienced crowd that shoot at speed, hold it as tight as possible. Is that correct? I am no expert.

For the experienced bullseye crowd, know when the trigger breaks to align with the wobbling pattern. Right? Again, I am no expert.

For the crowd that has been shooting for decades but still have the habit of flinching, may the force be with you because there is no cure. Yes, I am an expert in this area
Beginner or expert, a shooters focus should be on the sight picture and what's beyond. If you can jerk a trigger and still hit where you are aiming, good on you. My brother jerks the hell out of his triggers and was asked to shoot on his college shooting team. His coach tried to break him, but after seeing his results, she said just keep doing what you're doing. It works for him. It doesn't work for most.

When you break shooting down, the basic goal is to hit the target. Whatever you do in achieving that goal is what you need to do consistently - as in every time. Most people find it easier to avoid anticipation if they squeeze the trigger. Some can jerk the trigger violently and still score hits.

As long as your focus is to keep the gun on target when the trigger breaks, who cares if the trigger was jerked or squeezed? Squeezing the trigger is a means to achieve the focus necessary to hit the target.

For those thinking there is a difference between shooting fast (like combat style) or slow (targets) think about the last thing you see before your gun goes off. In either scenario, whether shooting fast or slow, the last thing you should see is your sight alignment, the target and what's beyond. If you are not seeing that, you are anticipating.

TBC, don't be discouraged. You can beat your flinch. The flinch is just you're body's reaction to pain. You just have to convince your body that the shots are not going to hurt it. I agree that noise is the biggest problem. It's hard for me to convince my body that shooting is not going to hurt it, when I'm practically deaf in my R ear from shooting. Double plugging helps. Dry firing helps. And shooting a .22 pistol helps (no sonic booms with a .22LR shot out of a pistol). Then lots of repetition. You'll eventually convince your body that its not going to be injured. Then step up to heavier calibers. Good luck.
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Old 05-16-2018, 7:11 AM
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I don't flinch.
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Old 05-16-2018, 7:29 AM
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Flinching is a natural defensive reaction to an known explosion that is about to happen right in front of your face!

Flinching has only a mental solution, that your brain has to become comfortable with what is about to happen by overcoming the fear. Eyes are closed in an attempt to protect them as the brain shouts "incoming". People have to work at stopping the flinch. I don't care if first time shooters even hit the target, I want to help them keep eyes open and head steady. Fire rounds off so the brain learns that it is OK. That is a basic.

Similar to the real estate mantra of the 3 most important things being location, location and location; good pistol shooting mantra is practice, practice and more practice. Those guys you see on TV doing amazing things with pistols didn't get that way playing gin rummy every afternoon, they got that way with talent and by practice shooting 6K to 8k rounds a week.
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Old 05-16-2018, 8:29 AM
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The term "flinching" is a catch all term which is itself inaccurate. Some shooters have an actual flinch. That occurs though after the trigger has been pulled and is in reaction to the shot. it's also easy to get over.

What most shooters do is anticipate the shot. That takes several forms.
It's pressing forward into the shot in anticipation of recoil.
It's gripping the gun extra hard, hard enough to disturb the sight picture, as the trigger is being pulled.
It's a tightening of the shoulders and forearms just before the trigger breaks, in anticipation. Or tightening the glutes or back muscles.
It's closing the eyes just before the trigger breaks.

These and others are small unconscious movements made as we pull the trigger. They are hard to see sometimes, and usually hard to unlearn.

In the combat oriented competitive sports they can go unnoticed if minor. It's in the accuracy sports that they take a heavier toll.

So folks used to speak of the "surprise break" and triggers that break like a glass rod. Nowadays many don't know what a glass rod is or looks like.

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Old 05-16-2018, 8:33 AM
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You clearly donít understand the concept, the fine details of shooting, nor the saying either, and thatís ok.
Fine details of shooting by giving reach arounds. Got it!
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Old 05-16-2018, 8:59 AM
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That advice is good for what it is - advice geared towards new shooters and people who flinch in anticipation of the shot. Nothing more nothing less.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:08 AM
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Although taught to new shooters from the start, the smooth, uninterrupted trigger squeeze, followed by a surprise break, is by no means a noob principle. It is a fundamental technique of accurate handgun shooting (maybe even THE most fundamental technique). That doesn't magically change when you become less noobish. (Unless, of course, you're talking about using an interrupted trigger squeeze to shrink the wobble zone. But most don't master the first technique well enough to correctly utilize the second.)

And then there's the run n' gun stuff. That can become a different kind of animal altogether, with people riding resets and going down a sliding scale of acceptable sight pictures to shave time. Different styles with overlapping principles. Good to master both.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:42 AM
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Trigger press is one of the fundamental techniques of shooting pistols and rifles. It's not about avoiding flinch at all (although it does help with it), but about not disturbing the sight picture as the shot is fired.

The idea is also not to be surprised by the shot (although it is one of the unintended consequences), but to prevent any disturbance of the sight picture at the last moment.

This technique is used for bulls eye and other precision shooting. It necessarily involves stacking of DA triggers and shooting revolvers in SA mode. As the pressure on the trigger is increased, all the slack/creep/first stage/grit will be taken out and there will be a point where adding pressure doesn't move the trigger any further without firing the gun. With fine muscle control, this is the point where the sights are completely stabilized and then a minute added pressure releases the hammer/striker without any perceptible movement of the trigger (or sights).

However, this is ONE of the techniques, suitable for SOME types of shooting. It can be right or wrong based on the application. Either way, it MUST be mastered as the primary technique of slow fire.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:49 AM
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And then there's the run n' gun stuff. That can become a different kind of animal altogether, with people riding resets and going down a sliding scale of acceptable sight pictures to shave time. Different styles with overlapping principles. Good to master both.
"Fast trigger pull without disturbing the sight picture" is an advanced skill. Simple concept, not so easy to execute. It's the *next step* after the static "trigger press" technique is mastered.

In this technique, the trigger is pulled smoothly and constantly (no stacking of any kind, no delays) while the correct *grip* and *stance* prevent the disturbance of the sights throughout this pull.

A good exercise for this is to run it on timer - acquire the target, wait for the beep, pull the trigger as fast as possible without missing. For all but bulls eye accuracy this should be done in 0.2 seconds or less and should be pretty much dominated by the reaction time, rather than the pull time.

(The "acceptable sight picture" is a different animal and doesn't directly affect or correlate to the skill of fast trigger pull.)
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
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I try very hard not to. Staging your trigger is a great way to go down the road to a jerked trigger...especially with a DA trigger.

I woudn't say that I never stage a trigger...when shooting out pass 50 yards, I'm often tempted to cock my revolver hammer into SA
Staging triggers is just a different technique. It's not either/or proposition.

You are doing it exactly right by using the appropriate technique for small targets.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:57 AM
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Good advise for total newbies who need to trick their brain and not anticipate.

Bad advise and a crutch for more experienced shooters

this !!
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:59 AM
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Whenever someone comes to me and says the are having difficulty hitting their aimpoint, I have always done the same thing -

I ask them to aim and fire one round, at close range, with their off hand. Invariably, the bullet goes EXACTLY where they were aiming.
I tell them to add as much pressure on the trigger as they can WITHOUT firing the gun. It's like a game - aim and add pressure, but don't fire.

Invariably, the gun will fire and they will hit the target precisely where they aimed. The trick is that as they kept the constant pressure, at some point they exceed the threshold and the gun fired, but they didn't feel it as "pulling the trigger" so the gun was pointed correctly at the target.

Then I tell them that it was a trick and that I made them feel the "trigger press" technique.
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