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Old 07-29-2012, 22:04   #9
Arc Angel
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Penn's Woods
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Originally Posted by MadCityJack View Post
Regarding training, your point is very well taken. We just spent a few minutes dry firing the revolver. This is what we learned: 1) She was not using the pad of her finger tip to pull the trigger straight back but was contacting the trigger closer to the first joint. 2) This had the effect of putting sideways pressure on the trigger, making it near impossible to pull. Trying her method, I could not pull the trigger back doing that. 3) Once corrected, she was able to pull the trigger back several times. 4) Despite that she shoots a Glock 19 with ease (again a wonderful beginner's pistol), the shape of the Ruger trigger must of optimized the lateral pull for her hand. Of note, I should have anticipated this because her Glock groupings suggested pulling to the right (she is a South Paw). The lesson for me is that not all training with one pistol readily generalizes to others, at least not initially.

My (our) .357 has a 4 inch barrel and is heavy, making shooting .38s virtually without recoil for her. Also, we occasionally shoot with only one round in the six shooter (randomly located) to minimize anticipation of recoil. Once we get this down we will move to .38 +P. So, I have learned an important lesson here. And, in fact, my own trigger control training has improved of late, allowing me greater accuracy with the Glock 19, PPQ and the Ruger. So I am finding that as my accuracy improves with one pistol, it improves with others. These 3 pistols are all great shooters--each with their own unique feel.

Will check out the gunsmithing sites. Making the pull modestly lighter may still help. But we will go out to the range again before making a decision to have the trigger pull lightened.

Any other training suggestions? The Ruger trigger does give way at some point, but her pull seems smooth throughout. Please tell me more about "staging".

Thank You Again (Arc) Angel,
Jack, I've been out at the range most of the day; or I would have answered you sooner. 'countrygun' beat me to the gist of what I was going to tell you, though. I'm going to try to break this down for you: (Internet pistol training - Wow! )

1. A semiautomatic pistol's trigger should be handled (pressed or tapped) in one way; and a revolver's DA trigger should be handled (pulled) in another.

2. Trying to keep this simple - because there are several different types of trigger actions on semi-autos, nowadays - GENERALLY, a semi-auto's trigger should be worked off the center of the pad in front of the trigger finger's distal joint. (The joint you've been having trouble with.)

3. Double-action revolver triggers are a different story, though. Here, I defer to a Firearms Instructor with whom I have frequently disagreed in the past. Massad Ayoob has written one of the best explanations of HOW TO WORK A DOUBLE-ACTION REVOLVER TRIGGER that I have ever read. (Unfortunately Mas has applied his advice to ALL pistol triggers; and his advice is now at odds with other equally renowned pistol trainers like Todd Jarrett! Me? I'm in the Jarrett camp.)

4. No matter what type of pistol you’re using it’s been largely my experience that pistol shooting neophytes tend to break their shots to the inside of the grasping gun hand - Which is, of course, the weakest part of the grip - Right! Because you’ve been clever enough to state that your wife is left-handed I already know that this is what she is doing too. So, what to do?

5. I’m going to tell you something that many commercial pistol instructors won’t: (We get paid by the hour, right!) No matter what type of pistol you’re shooting you actually control that pistol, not off the front sight, not with the trigger pull (alone), and not even with your grip, but with the principal force of your grip against the backstrap, itself. Control a pistol’s backstrap; eliminate, ‘trigger torque’ as much as possible; and you will control the entire pistol. Watching the TOP of the front sight and working the trigger correctly will just naturally fall into place.

6. You need to grasp a pistol from front-to-back in a straight-line grip. (Don't, 'lemon squeeze' any pistol frame.) This needs to be a fairly strong grip, too. (I don’t advocate, ‘crushing’ anything - OK!) The very first thing I look for when I grasp a pistol is the, ‘control spot’ on the pistol’s backstrap. (This is seldom the same from pistol to pistol.) On my G-19, and on my wife’s SP-101 that spot is on the highest part of the backstrap. This is where I focus a large part of my attention while I’m lining up on the target; the top of the front sight comes next; and, THEN, hitting the target is all about how you work the trigger. When I fire fast what I’m looking for is a rhythmic, ‘bounce’ to the front sight. The moment I acquire that rhythm the center of the target disappears!

7. You and your wife need to fire that revolver by placing the trigger squarely into the crease (The, ‘power crease’ as countrygun has said.) underneath your trigger finger’s distal joint. The way you avoid, ‘torquing’ your shots off to one side or another is by: (1) maintaining strict control over the, ‘control spot’ on the pistol’s backstrap; and (2) by how you hold your elbows and distribute the force of recoil back to your shoulders. Any, ‘southpaw’ who torques shots off the weak side of the grasping hand (to the right in your case) needs to hold the gun hand elbow LOWER than the support elbow; AND the support arm should be extended as straight as possible.

8. You’ve asked about, ‘staging’ a DA trigger; and well you should! Whenever you pull a DA trigger you should pull it ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE ENTIRE TRIGGER STROKE; and, then, allow the returning trigger to gently push your trigger finger forward as it returns to the static position. When a novice DA pistol shooter pulls the trigger halfway back, stops, checks the front sight for the proper sight picture, and then completes the DA trigger stroke, THAT is called, ‘staging’ the trigger. Staging is the wrong way to fire any double-action revolver.

If you don’t own A-Zoom snap caps then you should. If you aren’t doing, ‘ball and dummy’ drills you should be doing this, too. When I was training my wife I made her do 10 or 15 minutes of dry fire practice morning and night. When I had her at the range for live fire practice I did two things: One thing was to start her out with anemic 38 Special ammunition; and, thereafter, steadily add more and more 357 Magnum cartridges to each cylinder I loaded for her. The other thing I did was to add one or two dummy rounds (snap caps) to each cylinder she fired. What did I end up with? A wife I’d never want to get caught cheating on!

Learn how to control that backstrap, and pull the trigger all the way through, and the problem you’re presently having with torquing the pistol to the right will disappear. Finally, you’ve mentioned another problem with hand strength. That’s something I can neither properly analyze, or help you to correct on the Internet. Thank you, too, for the gracious compliment; it’s refreshing to get one of those on the normally ever quarrelsome internet.

Here - (Remember what I said, though, OK!)

PS: Lighter trigger springs do NOT make for a good self-defense revolver. Usually I go in exactly the opposite direction.
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