Trigger discipline is a crucial part of general gun safety and can even affect how accurate you are with your favorite weapon. Let’s break it down here and what you need to know to practice it properly.
What is Trigger Discipline?
All responsible gun owners should know how to use their weapons safely and accurately.
But doing this relies on more than just placing your bullet where it needs to go downrange.
Trigger discipline is a term for general good trigger practices or techniques. This is more complicated than it sounds.
The most basic example relates to where you place your pointer finger or trigger finger when you are holding a loaded weapon.
In most cases, the natural human instinct is to let your trigger finger wrap around a handgun’s grip to reunite with your hand. This will usually result in your finger resting on the trigger.
As you can imagine, this is terrible trigger discipline.
You can accidentally pull the trigger of a loaded weapon when you don’t mean to and injure or kill someone by mistake.
While there is bad trigger discipline, there’s also good trigger discipline, which we’ll focus on next.
How to Practice Good Trigger Discipline
There are two main parts of trigger discipline you should understand and frequently practice, as with all other aspects of safe firearm use.
1. Gripping a Firearm
As mentioned, keeping your trigger finger within the trigger loop is a bad idea unless you’re about to fire the weapon or intending to take someone down.
Remember that a staple rule of firearm safety is to never point the barrel of a loaded (or unloaded, you never know for sure) weapon at someone unless you intend to fire.
The same holds true for placing your finger on the trigger.
Instead, you should keep your pointer finger resting next to the trigger loop at a horizontal angle.
This keeps your trigger finger close to the trigger in case you need to pull it quickly in a self-defense situation, but means you won’t accidentally fire under any circumstances.
Always practice keeping your trigger finger out of the loop at all times unless you’re about to actually squeeze off a round.
It’s the best way to build this habit in your muscle memory so you don't even have to think about it.
2. Shooting a Firearm
The other major part of trigger discipline deals with actually pulling the trigger.
As you practice, you’ll need to work on curtailing your body’s natural responses to the recoil and intense sound of a gunshot.
Our advice is to work on not jerking your trigger; this means not pulling the trigger super hard in a single instant.
Accurate and consistent trigger pulls should be smooth and intentional.
You should also try not to stop squeezing the trigger as soon as the break – when the firearm actually lets off around – occurs.
Instead, follow the trigger pull all the way through until it stops moving, then let the trigger up.
At this point, you can either remove your finger from the loop or prepare for another round.
Lastly, try to use the pad of your finger when you pull the trigger instead of the small indentation around your first knuckle.
Doing this will help you achieve fine control over every shot you let off and will help you follow through with each pull as well.
All in all, practicing good trigger discipline will result in you being a safer and more accurate shooter.
Incorporate these techniques into your regular firearm practice sessions and you’ll see results in no time.
How do you practice trigger discipline? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!