Shooting Tips: Trigger Reset

Trigger 1

When shooting, is it more advantageous for shooters to reset the trigger while the slide is cycling or should the trigger be reset after the gun settles back on target?   Which of these allow for faster shots back on target?  For the uninitiated, the phrase “trigger reset” refers to having a shooter release the trigger just far enough after a shot has been fired for the sear to re-engage with the hammer or striker (depending on the model of gun being shot).

The advent of trigger reset occurred in the 1920’s and was originally used as a method of stage 4 trigger management for High Power Rifle shooters (involved in shooting competitions).  This concept was intended to afford shooters an advantage in rapid fire contests.  Since its inception, trigger reset has since been circulated into many other shooting disciplines.  Similarly to most other classic shooting techniques, many of the esoteric aspects of trigger reset have been lost in translation over the years.

In order to gain insight into effective trigger reset, adequate training should be conducted.  First and foremost, shooters need to train themselves to hold the trigger to the rearmost position after each shot (novice shooters tend to release the trigger all the way to the forward most position after each shot).  At this point, shooters should reacquire a good sight picture and the release the trigger only forward enough to feel the reset of the sear (as shooters gain experience, they will feel and sometimes depending on the situation hear the reset “click”).  Now, shooters can activate the trigger again with follow-up shots (with minimal or no disturbance of the integral front sight).  As the steps are learned, shooters can then start to practice at home with dry-fire drills.  This will help the shooter to perfect the trigger reset, and also save some money!!!

Trigger 2

As shooters become more comfortable with trigger reset, it’s important to take the training to the next step.  Being proficient is key with trigger reset.  Next, shooters should try to begin resetting the trigger as soon as they feel the gun begin to recoil.  Now……..to some of you guys this will be as strange as walking and chewing gum at the same time!!!   This is the part of your training where you have to stay diligent.  The end game is to be able to learn how to reset the trigger just far enough in the forward position to reset the sear as your gun returns to battery (when the breech is fully closed and a round is chambered).  Commonly dubbed as “Reset Under Recoil,” this technique should be the ultimate goal of all efficient shooting.  As with any other training, this process should feel as easy as putting on socks in the morning!  Your diligence should result in this process being ingrained into your economy of motion so much, that if you don’t do this while shooting, you should feel strange.  At the end of the day, if you are faced with a defensive situation and your fine motor skills have ran out of the door, you will still be able to execute proper trigger reset and remain on target (i.e. the bad guy)!!

Executing an effective trigger reset is of utmost importance.  If you ever have to use your firearm to protect the lives of you or your loved ones, that fight is fought at extremely narrow margins.  Each and every single microsecond saved in time can be used to increase effectiveness and accuracy and thus keep you around for next Christmas!!!

***  If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.  

We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!!  We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates!  We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!!  We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!

And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!

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