Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

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Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by mikemyers on 5/19/2018, 3:02 am

I was wondering, is there any advantage in learning to control your trigger finger by working with a terrible trigger, where you have to constantly work hard to keep the sight alignment, or an excellent trigger?

The reason I'm asking, is I made up a "mock-up" 1911, which I can use overseas for "holding drills", etc.  I added a Pachmayr grip to it, and now where the trigger finger rests on the rubber, it flexes all over.  It took ages to be able to learn how to put pressure on this thing straight towards the rear - before, it kept wanting to go off to one side or another.  It might have taken ages (two days) but I finally got it. If this thing isn't doing anything else good for me, at least when I get home my guns won't feel like they gained weight.  I can take a photo, but it's no big deal really.  The rear sight is made from black electrical tape, and the front sight is made from a toothpick colored black.  The Pachmayr grip, wrapped around a mobile phone case (filled with coins) is the best idea I came up with.  Nobody who sees it has the slightest idea of what it is, or does.  My imagination turns it into something almost real....

Last night I was sort of thinking that if you learned how to control your trigger finger with a not-very-good revolver, it would be a piece of cake to go to something nice, but not the other way 'round.
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by willnewton on 5/19/2018, 7:55 am

What about an air pistol? If you are in India, then .177 cal target air pistols are under the 20 joule limit for license if I understand the rules correctly.
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by orpheoet on 5/19/2018, 10:11 am

Personally I think a good, but heavier than trigger has some benefits. I also think shooting a revolver double action really drives home the 'steering the sights' concept.
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by mikemyers on 5/19/2018, 10:35 am

Let me rephrase.  

When I'm doing the best I know how, even when the sights are where I want, several of my shots seem to have a mind of their own.  From what I've read here, the most likely culprit is my trigger finger.  The best cure I know is dry-fire, paying attention to every single shot.  

Not sure how to describe it, but when I'm dry firing with a good gun, this means having the trigger finger in exactly the right position, and pressing the trigger finger  straight to the rear.  

When I'm playing around with this contraption I made, it's more like what I remember from a double action revolver, where I had to actively compensate for anything the trigger wanted to do incorrectly.

Maybe it's all a waste of time (haven't figured that out yet) but with the trigger finger pushing on the soft rubber, this tried to move the gun right and/or left, and it took two days for me to learn how to control that.  I would have never learned that "control" on a gun with a beautiful trigger.  (But maybe that's a waste of time.)

I don't have one of my revolvers with me now to test this, but I remember very strongly feeling that I could shoot in single-action better than with double action, because of this.  Strangely enough, the targets didn't show this, for reasons I don't understand.  Many of my better target were double-action (S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman, 6" barrel).  

Like I said, even if all of this is a waste of time, using the thing as a "holding drill" is more than worthwhile, at least for me. It helps keep the muscles they way I want them to be, and I don't get tired simply for holding the gun up for a longer time (one minute).
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by mikemyers on 5/19/2018, 10:46 am

I'll add one more thing - following yet another idea from this forum, I wrote out a "shot process" for what I'm doing. It seemed like a waste of time, until I realized it was keeping me doing the same thing every time, and not forgetting to do something or doing it differently. 

  • put on the correct glasses
  • Pick up the gun with my left hand a little under the gun, so it helps support the weight
  • lean slightly forward
  • thumbs off the gun
  • breathe twice, then pause while breathing out, to shoot
  • pressure on trigger, smoothly and evenly increasing
  • Follow-through for every shot
  • index my trigger finger until ready to "shoot".
  • Raise the gun slightly high, and bring it down onto the target.


My brain must have flunked the memory test, as time after time I forgot something, or did it differently; the only way to fix that was by putting it in writing.  I foolishly thought I could remember all this - slightly true, but the only way to memorize it, for me, was to concentrate on following my plan religiously.

If I need to do this in my room, I absolutely need to do it at the range.  Like a check-list.
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

Post by jmdavis on 5/19/2018, 11:55 am

Don't teach yourself bad habits. Learn a right way to do things and then repeat it. If ypu can figure out a way to duplicate what you will do with the real gun, ypu will be ahead. If your mock up makes you do wrong things, you will not. Good luck.
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Re: Which is better for learning trigger control, a good trigger or a poor one

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