Jerking the trigger

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Jerking the trigger

Post by Dcforman on 3/8/2018, 6:55 pm

Hey all.

Right now, I'm having serious issues with trigger jerk. I'm trying to dry fire as much as I can, but here's the rub... when dryfiring, I have no issues with jerk. As soon as I get a live round in there, it's like my finger just goes twitchy and I need to get that round off ASAP. 

I've been shooting my 45 exclusively lately, as my Ruger 22 is off for a trigger job. But deep down I know that i was still jerking the trigger on the 22 as well before I sent it off. The jerking issues have obviously been magnified on the 45, since the trigger pull is set right at 4#.

So thinking about it today after a trip to the range, I decided it might be good to go tomorrow and fire into the backstop with no target for a while. Really focus on increasing trigger pressure without a target, or even a blank sheet of paper distracting me. Even with a blank target, I find myself trying to center the red dot and then jerking the trigger.

So, does that sound like a good drill? Anything else to try? The other thing I noticed today is that my trigger pull got slightly better by keeping both eyes open, tightening my grip and focus on moving only my trigger finger, and focusing hard on the dot. So I'll keep doing that. 

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!

Dave

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by zanemoseley on 3/8/2018, 7:44 pm

It took me the better part of 3 years to semi-conquer my flinch with the 45. Most anyone can sit there with a unloaded 45 and squeeze the trigger smoothly, its when your brain realizes there is a small scale explosion about to go off in your hand when things go south.

I can never talk myself into extended dry fire sessions but it should help you learn your trigger and help some with muscle memory. I would recommend just sticking at it and try to make your practice sessions stay positive. It can be easy to get frustrated, especially during matches when you begin flinching badly.

Make small goals like trying to get all shots on paper, then all 7 ring, 8 ring ECT. Focus more on timed fire at first to build confidence.

If you want to confirm your flinch you can try some ball and dummy training, I don't know it helps overcome the flinch as much as it just really shows how bad it is.

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by rreid on 3/8/2018, 8:27 pm

It sounds like you don't have a shot process. If you're doing it correctly when dry firing, but not in competition, then you're not doing everything the same. That being said, what you're struggling with is the same thing we all struggle with, to one extent or another. It's the reason why most guys shoot 50 to 100 points lower at Camp Perry than they do at their home club.  If you can develop a shot process and stick to it, even when things seem like they're falling apart, you'll see a huge improvement in your shooting.
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by mikemyers on 3/8/2018, 8:57 pm

There was an article about this in "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury".  As I recall, it said go to the range with a full box of hardball, and shoot.  So, I got a box of Winchester White Box 45 ACP, went to the range, and just fired, no target.  Then I got fancy, as I had several magazines, and loaded two rounds in one, three in another, one in the next, and maybe four in another.  Mixed them up, and continued to shoot.  By the time I got half way through the box, I was so used to the explosion, that I stopped caring.  If I tried to fire when the magazine was empty, and the gun "jerked", it meant back to work.  By the time I finished the 100 rounds, the flinch was gone, as I no longer cared.  (As I recall, my hand was pretty sore too...)

I'll try to find the author of that article - don't want to quote the wrong person.  


Oh, and lots and lots and lots of dry fire, so your hands react because of habit.  Keith Sanderson says that for every live round you fire, you should fire 100 in dry-fire.
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Ed Hall on 3/8/2018, 9:59 pm

I support the ball and dummy exercise as well, but I put a caveat on it.  Many shooters use the drill to see their failures.  You need to change that to looking for your successes.  When you shoot ball and dummy you should look for the gun to be stable when the hammer falls on an inert cartridge.  Seek what you desire.

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by john bickar on 3/8/2018, 11:18 pm

Shooting into the backstop is a good drill. Mike Douglass did that one more than anyone I know, and he was quite successful.
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by john bickar on 3/8/2018, 11:20 pm

Ed Hall wrote:I support the ball and dummy exercise as well, but I put a caveat on it.  Many shooters use the drill to see their failures.  You need to change that to looking for your successes.  When you shoot ball and dummy you should look for the gun to be stable when the hammer falls on an inert cartridge.  Seek what you desire.

Yesssss...

Do or do not; there is no try.
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Bullseye_Stan on 3/9/2018, 11:13 am

Ball and dummy is the most effective training for me.  Frustratingly, my jerking the trigger seems to occur during matches and not practice.  It's associated with my shot process and is psychological; it's getting better.  The blank target as described as the first exercise in the USMC training manual helps also.

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Dcforman on 3/10/2018, 7:02 am

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Did a lot of shooting at a backstop yesterday, and started to feel like I was doing better. Even got a full on surprise shot. 

Ended up shooting a blank target at the end and grouped much tighter, but with a couple flyers. Good shots are getting tighter, but still have some bad shots mixed in. 

I like the idea of the "positive seeking" ball and dummy. I'll load up a few blanks and mix them in tonight.

Dave

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Left handed troglodyte on 3/10/2018, 7:26 pm

john bickar wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:I support the ball and dummy exercise as well, but I put a caveat on it.  Many shooters use the drill to see their failures.  You need to change that to looking for your successes.  When you shoot ball and dummy you should look for the gun to be stable when the hammer falls on an inert cartridge.  Seek what you desire.

Yesssss...

Do or do not; there is no try.
Thank you Yoda

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by KB2MBC on 3/11/2018, 5:54 am

Left handed troglodyte wrote:
john bickar wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:I support the ball and dummy exercise as well, but I put a caveat on it.  Many shooters use the drill to see their failures.  You need to change that to looking for your successes.  When you shoot ball and dummy you should look for the gun to be stable when the hammer falls on an inert cartridge.  Seek what you desire.

Yesssss...

Do or do not; there is no try.
Thank you Yoda

Ed reminds me more of Chewbacca...

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Ed Hall on 3/11/2018, 10:51 am

KB2MBC wrote:Ed reminds me more of Chewbacca...
I hope it's not because of the sound I make...

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by james r chapman on 3/11/2018, 11:21 am

Ed Hall wrote:
KB2MBC wrote:Ed reminds me more of Chewbacca...
I hope it's not because of the sound I make...
after each slow fire shot??
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by Ed Hall on 3/11/2018, 5:34 pm

james r chapman wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:
KB2MBC wrote:Ed reminds me more of Chewbacca...
I hope it's not because of the sound I make...
after each slow fire shot??
Those moments are quite rare.  I try not to build such things into my process.  I have often pointed out to fellow shooters that their process shouldn't include a side to side head shake, either...

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by joy2shoot on 3/11/2018, 6:13 pm

james r chapman wrote:
Ed Hall wrote:
KB2MBC wrote:Ed reminds me more of Chewbacca...
I hope it's not because of the sound I make...
after each slow fire shot??

Once I shot in a match and the shot process of the guy next to me included saying the word 'Damn!' after every slow fire shot....

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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by jglenn21 on 3/11/2018, 6:51 pm

I go a little further than "damn" on occasion What a Face
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Re: Jerking the trigger

Post by KB2MBC on 3/12/2018, 11:50 am

Hey Ed, I resemble that remark!   Very Happy

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