First off, we need to lay down that Training is not just going out with your friends or alone and shooting things. Training has a purpose, so before you do anything, set down a few goals for your training. What you want to accomplish specifically.
At this point, I’m talking about Pistol Training. Reading through a number of Paperback and Hardbound sources of firearms wisdom, I’ve found one consistent trend. Going back to a Shooter’s Bible that was printed back in 1958 PIE – Pre Internet Era – I found an article written by a champion competitive shooter. (He must had had a holster lashed to his Loin Cloth) The article specified that the key to good shooting with a handgun is Trigger Control. Such a simple thing as how you pull the trigger, effects everything.
Think about it. You have target rifle shooters go on and on about the quality of the Triggers in their rifles. They are running 8 pound or heavier rifles, with trigger pulls measuring from just ounces to 2 pounds… and triggers are critical to them. In handgunning you have a pistol that weighs just ounces up to two pounds, but with trigger pulls that weight from 4 pounds up to 12 or more. Now tell me how critical trigger control is for accurate handgunning.
If you have everything right. Sight Picture. Sight Alignment. Grip. Stance. Breathing. Everything is right… then you hamfist the trigger pull…. Where is that bullet going to go? In the bullseye? You might not even be on the Paper. But if you have good Trigger Control and your sight alignment was slightly off… Where is that bullet going to go? Just slightly off the Bullseye. Keeping an eye on the Front Sight is important, but meaningless if you have poor trigger control. So if we are going to weight everything out – Trigger Control is the Pinnacle of Handgunning Accuracy.
This is why we need to concentrate on Trigger Control when we are training. Luckily, we can do this on the cheap, at home, and you can even do it without a buddy. But it helps if you do have a Laser. You don’t have to get any fancy Crimson Trace Grips or the like. But those do indeed help. Just a cheap laser pointer that you can pick up anywhere that takes money. 7-11, the check out at the Grocers, Wal-Mart… a cheap skinny laser point can be one of the very best Trigger Coaches you can use. Because the laser isn’t going to lie to you. Take a skinny laser pointer, skinny and small. Tape it so it fits your bore roughly. Put some thread on it and trail that thread out of the Chamber to anchor it in the gun so it wont fling out the barrel. Simple enough. Now we Dry Fire Practice. Watch that laser dot as the weapon comes out of the holster and up onto target. Presentation of Weapon to the Threat is an important step and the laser on it’s path shows you what you could be doing wrong or what needs to be tightened up. Are you sweeping your Leg? Arm? Are you getting the weapon pushed out to target cleanly? When you push out to the Target, arms extended into the shooting position of your choice, now you can Dry Fire. WATCH THAT LASER DOT. When the Gun goes CLICK, that Dot should not twitch. If it does, then you had less than ideal Trigger Control. Doesn’t matter what gun you have… that Dot should stay anchored on the Bullseye from the moment you tell the gun to fire, until that bullet leaves the muzzle.
Train on this until it’s naturally smooth. Holster to Click, smooth and consistent and accurate. Don’t just sit on the couch watching a movie doing this. We have a rule here at the house when my kids play Guitar Hero – you can’t ROCK sitting on your duff, you have to Stand. Training is the same way. Stand up, get off your butt, get on your feet and get into a Shooting Position. Train like you mean it. Unless you can’t stand. Just Train like you mean it.
Once you have this down, now work on speeding it up. Faster is better than slower. He who hits first, wins first, usually in a gun fight. There are cases where that’s not true, but generally speaking, the first bullet to strike the target wins. So let’s try to get that winning shot first. Speed is fine, but accuracy is final… yeah. It is. But accuracy is not going to be there for you if you just came down with a bad case of Sucking Chest Wound because you were sluggish.
Smooth, Consistent, and Quick. These are what we are looking for. And all of these can be Trained with Dry Fire Practice. This is what all the best Competive Shooters do all the time. When they have some time, not doing anything else… They are doing Dry Fire Practice.