Get Your Reset On

Marksmanship is made up of several factors, most of which we merge into one mass to produce an accurate shot or shots. The most misunderstood and misused skill is the trigger reset, what can you do to change that and improve your shooting across the board.

Blood, sweat and tears

First off, acknowledge that it takes hard work to be good. There is no secret pill that will elevate you to rock start status. You have to put in the hours of blood, sweat and tears to earn the title marksman. Too many folks are looking for the easy road, there isn’t one unless you are on mediocre main street. I know tons of people who are travel back and forth on that road, they settle for mediocre and instead focus on all the “fun” things. Truth be told, the fun things are fun, but to truly add them to your inventory mastery of the fundamentals is key. So, before you decide to partake in any shenanigans make sure you are good to go first.

Mental toughness

As I watch students perform I usually go for the low lying fruit first, the biggest one being trigger reset. If I can get them to consistently and correctly apply solid trigger reset skills then the rest of the problems have a good chance of solving themselves. I also subscribe to the process of elimination type corrective strategy, as we eliminate deficiencies in your technique we are improving the other areas of your technique at the same time; win/win. Keep in mind you have to really engage the brain, I believe that students are “tired” from our training because they have had to “think” through it all and that mental requirement is exhausting. Sleep is not difficult during our training programs.

The nitty-gritty

Trigger rest as we define it is the process by which the sear is re-engaged to allow for a subsequent shot or in this case a follow up shot. A simple way to think about it is for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if the student comes flying off the trigger, they were more than likely slapping the trigger with the same motion. The moment your trigger finger breaks physical contact with the trigger, you will either 1) take a running start and slap the holy hell out of the trigger or 2) have to take the extra time, no matter how minuscule to place your finger correctly on the trigger, apply pressure to take up the slack then apply a slight bit more pressure to break the shot disturbing the sights as minimally as possible.

The complete process

The how of doing this is to slow things down. The biggest mistake I see is when students rush to come off the trigger. There is some notion the faster they do that, the faster they can fire the next shot. You can only shoot as fast as the sights dictate, assuming you are a proponent for sighted fire. It takes you more time to confirm your sight picture than to reset the trigger I promise you. I also remind students to move in the proper sequence; starting with recovering the gun back on target, reacquiring your sight picture and lastly resetting the trigger. Another problem we see is when folks fail to take out the slack. They may reset the trigger, but they fail to re-apply pressure to the trigger in an effort to rest against the sear wall. Once on the sear wall, breaking the shot requires only slight pressure. Remember this is all a mechanical skill, one that once habituated becomes as easy as tying your shoes. You have to put the hard work in to ensure you have done everything correctly. The more you pay attention to the details, the easier it becomes to master.

I can teach a monkey to pull the trigger, but it takes a superior being to master the art.


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