Isolate Grip Issues v. Trigger Control and Sight Alignment Issues

How do you know if you have a trigger mechanic issue versus a grip issue? The goal of trigger mechanics is to keep the muzzle on target while you're breaking a shot.

A good majority of shooters have trigger mechanic issues, in particular when rapidly pulling the trigger.

 

How do you know if you have a trigger mechanic issue versus a grip issue? The goal of trigger mechanics is to keep the muzzle on target while you're breaking a shot. A good majority of shooters have trigger mechanic issues, in particular when rapidly pulling the trigger.

Often times our mechanics break down when time pressure is placed upon us. We must identify our break down and focus on remedying that particular break down. The usual suspects are: 1) grip, 2) trigger control and/or 3) sight (muzzle) alignment. The "and/0r" conjunction in the previous sentence throws an interesting twist.... sometimes we have a combination of deficiencies.

Why'd I Miss? The Usual Suspects....

Often times trigger control is blamed for low left shots (for a right-handed shooter). Trigger control is the most likely suspect however we have reviewed high speed camera footage and found that a close second culprit for misses are grip issues.

Trigger control is simple don't move the muzzle when breaking the shot. However mastery of trigger control is a refined skill requiring isolated training. Further mastering trigger control under time pressure is even more challenging and a longer journey to mastery. We have more courses and material on trigger control at NextLevelTraining.com but the important point is to isolate the issues by shooting strong hand only and use the SIRT to see if you are getting clean dots and not dashes.

The muzzle (barrel of the pistol) should be aligned on target in the first shot (before there is any recoil and even before we pull the trigger). Sometimes shooters do not properly align the sights on target even before the first shot is fired. This issue is simple to diagnose with a SIRT.

Simply take one shot on target and observe the laser impact. Even with a front sight focus the laser impact location can be seen even though it is blurry because you are focused on the front sight about in front of you. Shoot only one shot. If you shoot more than one shot for this diagnostic step you will be tempted to walk in the shots . Walking in the shots is where you shift your focus from the front sight to the target and move the gun to the center of the target based on the previous laser hits. To remove this temptation simply shoot one shot on target and see if the shot hit right behind your sight picture.

For more information on sight alignment sight picture see the training articles on this fundamental skill

Do Not Slow Down.

A common misguided remedy is to hear a shooting coach say “You're going to fast slow down”.
Crummy mechanics executed slower is not better. Poor mechanics executed more slowly is only reinforcing poor technique masking the root cause and will betray you in deepest consequence when you need to act swiftly and decisively with your pistol.

Granted there are times when you must time your body decelerations more appropriately but simply going slower is not a coaching point it is a myopic crutch that only has short sighted gains with long term problems.

We have to diagnose the root cause why we missed and remedy that issue. Then we continue to hit the gas and work our mechanics at increasing speeds. Grip is often overlooked as the root cause for a large shot group. This course if focused on mechanics for establishing a grip and maintaining a grip throughout rapid consecutive shots. This series will go into much more detail on diagnosing grip issues such as porpoising support hand slippage rocking rearward etc.

Safety First!

  • Always remember to train safely. Adapting the live fire training rules will ensure we can maintain a 100% safety record when training with the SIRT.

  • All guns are always loaded.  Treat the SIRT like a live fire gun.  Don't point it at other people unless you are following strict Force on Force Safety Protocol.
  • Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.  Always have awareness where you are pointing the SIRT.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.  This is one of the best safety training you can do with your SIRT.  Be sure the trigger is off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.  Have a good ballistic backstop when training.  So just in case somehow a live fire gun got in your training space, a discharged bullet will be caught in the target area where you are training.

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