Accurate Handgun Shooting

Trigger Control

Spencer Berger, Co-owner of Impact Steel Targets on a hunting trip.

One of the most important shooting skills to master is a smooth, controlled trigger pull that doesn't push or pull the weapon as it is being fired. This is of course important with all firearms, but it's especially important with handguns because their small size and low weight is more easily affected by a bad trigger pull.

The following is list of tips and ways to practice and improve your trigger pull technique, which will help you become a more accurate handgun shooter.

1. Dry fire, dry fire, and dry fire some more

One of the best (and cheapest) ways to practice your trigger pull is by dry firing as often as possible. During live-fire practice the weapon begins to recoil as soon as the trigger breaks, which makes it harder to see how much a bad trigger pull affected sight alignment. But with no recoil during dry-fire practice, any movement caused by the trigger pull will be easy to detect. As we saw in the video attaching a laser sight to the weapon can also help to illustrate how your trigger pull affects your point of aim.

Pick a small spot on the wall such as a tack, concentrate on maintaining sight alignment before, during, and after the trigger pull on this spot.

2. Buy a .22 LR handgun for live-fire practice

With the current price of ammunition, few of us can afford to become truly proficient marksman shooting center-fire ammuntion. A .22 LR however costs literally pennies per round. This allows you to shoot literally hundreds of rounds of .22 LR for the same cost as a box of center-fire handgun cartridges. Some center-fire handguns such as the EAA Witness have a .22 LR slide and barrel kit that will fit your current center-fire handgun frame.

3. Pull the trigger straight back

Pulling the trigger straight back is substantially less likely to disturb the point of aim than a trigger pull that adds sideways pressure. Often, sideways pressure is the result of having your finger too deep inside the trigger guard and pulling the trigger with the center of the finger, rather than the tip.

4. Buy an aftermarket trigger kit

Some factory handguns come with respectable trigger pulls, but the majority are designed to avoid lawsuits, rather than improve accuracy. A good trigger pull should break crisply, cleanly, and have a relatively light pull.

Due to the potential for accidental discharge of the firearm, a trigger is not the place for the average gun tinkerer to apply their handiwork. If you're not perfectly confident of your ability to do the work safely, effectively, and correctly, take the firearm to a competent gunsmith that has experience with that particular firearm.

5. Use the I-45 Rolling Steel Target

The Impact-45 center-fire handgun Rolling Steel Target is a great way to put everything you've learned into practice at the gun range. Because the target rolls farther downrange with each successful shot, it's a great way to improve your accuracy and confidence with a handgun. It's a small investment that is incredibly fun and will help you become a more accurate shooter.

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