Barret Kendrick

Properly Pressing the Trigger

Barret Kendrick
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Duration:   6  mins

While training students, PDN Contributor Barret Kendrick of Bearco Training has observed that most do not have a problem pointing the gun properly at the target, but may have a problem as they’re pressing the trigger. What’s going on and how can this be fixed?


Many shooters wait until they see what they believe to be a perfect sight picture with proper sight alignment, then they hold steady, and then hurry up and press the trigger. Often the result is, they have the gun aimed right at the target but they don’t make the shot.

Barret believes that trigger press is the key to getting hits on target. As you press the trigger, don’t do anything to cause a change in where the gun is pointing. A lot of modern firearms, including striker-fired semiautos, have what feel like multiple stages in the trigger. Initially the trigger is very mushy, then it hits a wall, a harder spot toward the rear.

Barret has noted a tendency with students in handgun training classes to have the gun pointed at the target, then they hurry the trigger press and cause some deviation, therefore missing the shot. They take up the slack on the trigger, get to the wall, then hurry and press it to the rear. Result: MISS.


Instead of waiting for the perfect sight picture, then hurrying to press the trigger, learn how to press the trigger in such a way that it will account for the movement of the gun.

How much movement can we have with the gun? Barret demonstrates, focusing on trigger control – having one smooth continuous trigger press back toward the rear. Doing that, he can move the gun more than you might think possible and still get hits.


1. Accept that there will be some movement with the gun.
2. Focus on getting one smooth, continuous trigger press while
3. Maintaining sight picture and
4. Keeping the gun on target.

Do this and your group sizes will come down. Then you can work on increasing your speed.

Share tips, start a discussion or ask one of our experts or other students a question.

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2 Responses to “Properly Pressing the Trigger”

  1. William

    Excellent video. Well presented, easy to follow……..and great information to receive.

  2. Ronald Thomas

    This makes a great point for accuracy when firing a pistol. However, you never show the pulling of the trigger in your video. Every time the trigger is pulled you change the video picture to show the result on the target at trigger pull. If you would wait an additional second or two before you change the view to the target I believe this video would be even better.

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