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Trigger - Squeeze or pull at the range?

Discussion in 'General Glocking' started by Riversub, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. Riversub


    Jan 7, 2013
    For me - while I really enjoy target shooting I purchased my glock g19 primarily for self defense. I try to spend a reasonable amount of time at the range practicing a balance of speed and accuracy from the ready position. Trying to simulate SD situations versus trying for a tight grouping at the bullseye.

    This got me thinking about the trigger pull. Popular wisdom is to "squeeze" or "press" the tigger to keep the gun as steady as possible when firing a round. While this is clearly best for target practice, I'm wondering if it makes sense from a self defense perspective?

    Under stress or duress, will you just pull the heck out of the trigger or will muscle memory kick in using the "squeeze" used during all of those hours at the range?

    My intuition says that the "pull" is most likely and this is what should be practiced at the range. Just sight and go - regardless of the trigger form. I'd love to hear from more experienced shooters, maybe some who have participated on idpa on their thoughts?

    What do you think?
  2. Butch

    Butch RetiredDinosaur Millennium Member CLM

    Dec 17, 1998
    It depends on the level of your to get some from a good instructor.

    To shoot accurately, you have to squeeze/press/pull the trigger without moving the sights off the target. To shoot accurately fast, you have to squeeze/press/pull the trigger fast without moving the sights off the target.


  3. What Butch said. Plus for me, "squeeze" implies squeezing with the whole hand and that's sure to move the sights off the target. So I think "pull" or "press" instead.
  4. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!

    Feb 15, 2012
    I read an article that came out years ago on this topic. In the article it covered the shooting technique of two professionals. (Rob Leatham, Chip McCormick, Doug Koenig, I forget) One slapped the trigger, the other squeezed/pulled/pressed the trigger.

    As I recall both shooters taught their method; the "correct" way to shoot. The author of the article pointed out that obviously, each technique worked for those individual pros.

    The authors conclusion: Try both, use what works for you, but what ever you do keep the sights aligned when you do it.

  5. incorrigible


    Feb 10, 2013
    Leatham is the slapper. Sure works for him.
  6. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Deus Vult!

    Sep 20, 2003
    Penn's Woods
    :shame: Nope! 'Squeeze', 'press', 'slap', or, 'pull' the trigger DO NOT mean the same thing; nor can these terms be (correctly) used interchangeably between either: (1) specific (and prerequisite) methods of firing a weapon, or (2) interchangeably among rifles, pistols, and shotguns.

    The general consensus (with which I agree) is that you, 'squeeze' a rifle trigger; but, 'press' (or, 'slap') a combat pistol trigger. 'Pull' is an archaic term that is being less and less frequently used nowadays.

    Me, personally? I, 'press' (or, 'slap') pistol triggers when I'm firing quickly and at close range. Different pistols, however, have different lockworks; and certain pistols cannot be fired from the reset position: e.g.; my S&W Model 41 in comparison to my Glock Model 21. I'm forced top, 'slap' the trigger on the Model 41 in order to make it repeat rapidly; but, on any model Glock pistol I'm able to repeatedly, 'press' the shots off from the trigger's, 'reset point'. *

    The ONLY TIME you want to, 'squeeze' a handgun trigger is when you are firing precisely, and usually at targets farther than 15 yards away. (I do, 'squeeze' pistol triggers; BUT always at targets farther away than 15 yards.) ;)

    While trap shooting I tend to, 'press' (or, 'slap') a shotgun trigger as I follow a moving target. I defy anyone to, 'press' (or, 'slap') a rifle trigger while firing at long range targets, AND hit the target. THAT, ain't never going to happen! **

    Whether you should, 'press', 'squeeze', or, 'slap' a trigger depends on BOTH the weapon, and the trigger mechanism, as well as what you're trying to do with that gun and a specific target. ;)

    As for your final question about, 'What' YOU should do with your pistol trigger at the range? My friend, WATCH YOUR FRONT SIGHT, AND LET YOUR TRIGGER TECHNIQUE TAKE CARE OF ITSELF! The three, 'classic elements' you should be focused on are (1) Your grip. It should be highly consistent and always the same. (2) The trigger. Use the correct trigger technique for both the weapon, AND what you're trying to do; and (3) your front sight. If you don't watch it (and the target in the background) very carefully, then all sorts of shooting errors and missed shots are going to creep in on you.


    * The term, 'slap' implies that there is some distance (or daylight showing) between the trigger's face, and the pad of the shooter's trigger finger. If that space isn't there, then the term, 'press' is more applicable.

    ** Perhaps I, 'slap' my shotgun triggers because all of my shotguns have been either of Browning manufacture, or pump action. :)
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  7. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    The reason it works for him is that he has arms like tree trunks. His gun is held so tightly that no amount of trigger yanking will deflect it. I don't know what he shoots today but back in the day it was a 1911 and those triggers are light and crisp. No a lot of slapping required.

    Jeff Cooper always taught the surprise break or, more to the point, the compressed surprise break.

    [ame=""]How to Use the Compressed Surprise Break: Jeff Cooper's Defensive Pistolcraft Tape Series (on DVD) - YouTube[/ame]

    It's easy to get a surprise break on a 1911. It's not nearly as precise on a Glock.

    I think I tend to slap the trigger because I get better centering if I get a really strong grip on the gun.

  8. Glock 23 Nutter

    Glock 23 Nutter

    Jul 28, 2010
    This is a good general technique.

    For a Glock, it comes out more like a squirt-gun squeeze... but still a surprise.

    Dry-fire drill from the low ready, One-second up/acquire the front sight/engage the trigger, then a smooth half-second surprise squeeze, then back down to low ready and reset.

    Shoot the same way at the range.

    Every shot is THE shot - Sage advice from the Master.

  9. clarkz71


    Aug 24, 2012
    South Florida
    I tend to get past the take up on a Glock and shoot from
    the re-set position. I have a 1911 back ground.
  10. Butch

    Butch RetiredDinosaur Millennium Member CLM

    Dec 17, 1998

    If you're letting the trigger go all the way forward after each shot, you're wasting time and probably not shooting as accurately as you could be.

    Use the Reset Luke….