In a defensive shooting class, once the students have established the fundamentals of kinesthetic alignment and their intuitive defensive shooting, one of the most important things they have to deal with is the refinement of their self-defense trigger control.

Applications of Trigger Control

A lot has been written and a lot has been said about the mechanics of trigger control, and Rob Pincus emphasizes that it’s important to understand that he looks at trigger control for defensive shooting very differently than trigger control for extreme precision at distance or for a bullseye-type shooting competition. When we look at defensive firearms, the triggers are not set up for extreme precision most of the time.

Individual firearms owners may choose to have a firearm that is set up that way, but most typical off-the-shelf defensive firearms aren’t set up for extreme precision, so we must learn how to consistently control the trigger from shot to shot. We want to have as much consistency in the mechanics of the shooting as we do in the philosophy and theory of handgun training and practice.

Trigger Press

For self-defense trigger control, working with training guns can be a great way to develop consistent trigger press. And that’s the key when it comes to self-defense shooting: we want to have as consistent a trigger press as possible, and that means we don’t want to stage the trigger. Mechanically, on a defensive firearm, we also want a trigger that is only pulled in one way. Having a double-action/single-action trigger works against the concept of consistency. Rob demonstrates a smooth trigger press using several different handguns.

Self-defense trigger control is about consistency. It’s about doing one thing at a varying speed depending on how much deviation in control the shooter needs. Practice is key to developing this consistency.