How do you squeeze the trigger?

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OK here is some food for thought. Back in the day I got into HIGH POWER COMPETITION. I went to FT. Benning in 2000 for their 3 day shooting school with the army marksman team as instructors. I had been target shooting since 1971 and always thought I was a good shot. Well I had a lot to learn and improved a lot. One thing that we were taught was that we are all taught incorrectly how to squeeze the trigger. For long range shooting we were told that all of the bones in our arm need to be aligned up in a straight line from your second joint in your trigger finger all the way to your elbow. If you squeeze the trigger with the first bone you will put pressure to the right of the rifle. This can cause your shot to be pulled to the right. If you use the second bone in your finger you will squeeze straight back. The first time I used this method in competition my score increased by 20 points. Try this with your empty rifle both ways and you will see what I mean.


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greencobra

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I suck at high power shooting...probably because I don't give this any thought. certainly not as much thought as you. interested to see some of the replies.
 

45collector

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I don't really shoot rifle as much as pistol, so on a SR-1 target @ 100 yards I'm happy to keep all mine in the black with any of my rifles. Is it safe to say that my level of shooting rifle probably wouldn't be much affected by this?
 

PatMcD

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I've never heard that bit of advice before. It's 100% impossible to "line up the bones from your trigger finger all the way back to your elbow". Especially with the AR or any other pistol grip match rifle.
The best thing to do is to dry fire half a million times to see what works for YOU. Try to make the rifle fire without moving the sights: it will become clear where the best place on your finger the trigger belongs.
 
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PatMcD, The end of the third finger bone should be parallel to your barrel which will align that bone to your wrist and also to your elbow. You squeeze the trigger in between the first and second joint. then your finger moves straight back instead of pulling to the right. You should be able to see this without even holding a gun. In high power we use two stage triggers that start out at 4 pounds then stops at one pound or less (mine was set at 2 ounces) then squeezing a little more to fire. Even at this slight trigger pull it can make for more consistent firing.
especially when you are shooting 80 bullets for the competition.

PS: You are correct about where you feel more comfortable, but should be in between the first and second joint. I see in your photo you keep your elbow down. We were taught to point the elbow out so it is parallel to the ground. Anyway it worked for me.
 
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Fritz the Cat

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If I am shooting offhand, I cradle the trigger at the first joint, high elbow. I have long fingers and this allows me a comfortable grip with the remainder of the hand.
Maybe one day I'll get that full custom rig I've been dreaming of.
Fig50.JPG
 

42!

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High elbows went the way of the Dodo and wood guns when the AR came along.
Whatever works, I guess.
High elbow for target, low elbow for combat. Since I've never had anyone shooting back, outside of paintball [laugh], I keep my elbow up.
 
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Another thing we were taught was the way we aim and when to touch off the shot. Since it is very difficult to hold the front pin in the center of your peep and on the bottom of the black bullseye without moving all over the place. We were taught to follow an imaginary sideways number 8. The way I did it was to follow around the edge of the "LITTLE" 8 and when the front pin would be going around and on the way up to the black I would touch off the shot hopefully exactly every time it touched the black. This way every shot should be on the way up to the "X" ring. If your pin is on the way down your shots will be low. At FT. Benning they hooked our DCM rifles to a laser which showed up on a computer monitor so we could see exactly what we were doing. My DCM had 3 pounds of lead in the stock and 2 pounds in the forearm and weighted a total of "I think" 17.75 pounds. I also would take my AR to my eye doctor when I needed to get a new pescription. I also had a lens that fit into my peep to help with focusing the sights.

If any of you would like to get a super accurate upper mine will shoot way less than 1/2" ten shot groups at 100 yds. off of a good rest with Sierra 69 grain Match Kings. I also put a Geissele SSA-E trigger in it. I got an 18" barrel with a 1 in 7" twist and had the barrel Fluted to save a little weight. I use it for my hunting rifle now. It is more accurate then the DCM I used in competition. It also runs like a sewing machine. You might beable to find a company that can make them as accurate, but you won't find one that will make them more accurate. The first 5 shot group I shot with it after sighting in my scope was the size of a dime with 65 grain Sierra Game kings before I got the best reloads for it. I payed $610 plus $100 for fluting.

$ 610.00
In Stock

SKU: 2VU11807


SHOP
 
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I always thought length of pull and trigger index were more important WRT healing trigger slap than anything else. Seems to me a rifle that fits my body is way easier to get a shot to break without any extra movement. I'll put some thought into it the next time I'm spooning my Rem 700.
 

42!

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Another thing we were taught was the way we aim and when to touch off the shot. Since it is very difficult to hold the front pin in the center of your peep and on the bottom of the black bullseye without moving all over the place. We were taught to follow an imaginary sideways number 8. The way I did it was to follow around the edge of the "LITTLE" 8 and when the front pin would be going around and on the way up to the black I would touch off the shot hopefully exactly every time it touched the black. This way every shot should be on the way up to the "X" ring. If your pin is on the way down your shots will be low. At FT. Benning they hooked our DCM rifles to a laser which showed up on a computer monitor so we could see exactly what we were doing. My DCM had 3 pounds of lead in the stock and 2 pounds in the forearm and weighted a total of "I think" 17.75 pounds. I also would take my AR to my eye doctor when I needed to get a new pescription. I also had a lens that fit into my peep to help with focusing the sights.

If any of you would like to get a super accurate upper mine will shoot way less than 1/2" ten shot groups at 100 yds. off of a good rest with Sierra 69 grain Match Kings. I also put a Geissele SSA-E trigger in it. I got an 18" barrel with a 1 in 7" twist and had the barrel Fluted to save a little weight. I use it for my hunting rifle now. It is more accurate then the DCM I used in competition. It also runs like a sewing machine. You might beable to find a company that can make them as accurate, but you won't find one that will make them more accurate. The first 5 shot group I shot with it after sighting in my scope was the size of a dime with 65 grain Sierra Game kings before I got the best reloads for it. I payed $610 plus $100 for fluting.

$ 610.00
In Stock

SKU: 2VU11807


SHOP
You're not even green and you're trying to sell stuff, not cool. You're too cheap to pay to be a dealer on the site so you can list in the classifieds, but you want us to trust you? Were's the neg rep when you need it.
 

PatMcD

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You're not even green and you're trying to sell stuff, not cool. You're too cheap to pay to be a dealer on the site so you can list in the classifieds, but you want us to trust you? Were's the neg rep when you need it.
The first time I read that post, I had almost the same reaction. Then I read it again. He is recommending WOA as a great place to buy a very accurate rifle; not advertising his for sale.
 

PatMcD

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A lot has changed in 20 years of Highpower technology and shooting instruction. Bullets are one area of change; nobody uses 69 grain Sierras except maybe at 200 yards, IF they got them on sale somewhere.

20 years ago, the AR was the young punk that just moved in next door. Nobody really gave it the respect it deserved. The M14, and how to shoot it properly, was still being used as THE example of how to correctly practice Marksmanship. The wood-gun's exaggerated, backward-leaning, high-elbow, offhand "Smallbore" stance allowed the shooter to "hang" the rifle from his shooting hand. Leaning back to counter-lever that weight was required.

Fast-forward 20 years. The AR15 is now recognized as a superior target rifle. Instruction on how to utilize it correctly has changed. The AR's pistol grip and the rifle's overall compactness are that main reason. A more upright position where the weight is centered on your body core is encouraged. Head straight; better balance; less sway. With the pistol grip, that shooting elbow naturally drops down to the chest to add additional support. Trigger pull/squeeze will naturally occur depending on you arm length, hand size, etc. The goal is to not move the rifle as the trigger is being pulled.

Here's a video I took at a Remington advanced clinic. Offhand instruction begins around the 14-minute mark. View: https://youtu.be/SPVVeKY_puY



But, like I said before: it's whatever works for YOU. Everybody is built differently, flexibility changes with age, etc. There's no way to know if something works or doesn't until you try it.
 

mac1911

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PatMcD, The end of the third finger bone should be parallel to your barrel which will align that bone to your wrist and also to your elbow. You squeeze the trigger in between the first and second joint. then your finger moves straight back instead of pulling to the right. You should be able to see this without even holding a gun. In high power we use two stage triggers that start out at 4 pounds then stops at one pound or less (mine was set at 2 ounces) then squeezing a little more to fire. Even at this slight trigger pull it can make for more consistent firing.
especially when you are shooting 80 bullets for the competition.

PS: You are correct about where you feel more comfortable, but should be in between the first and second joint. I see in your photo you keep your elbow down. We were taught to point the elbow out so it is parallel to the ground. Anyway it worked for me.
What about prone? Your elbow is down.

The thing with your fingers is they are controlled by “strings” running down through your wrist up through your arm.
Your grip pressure had a lot to do with “pulling” shots if you tighten your grip through the “pull” your going to put left cant on your rifle , if you try to use the tip of your finger you have a tendency to put a right cant. This is more so with pistol grip but does the same with straight. Grip.
I am not one for the “squeeze” I start the trigger pull until the “wall” and when I feel like my breath/sight is where I want it I snap off or break the shot.
When I was young I was taught to hold the trigger elbow up high and my dad would say you should be able to hold the rifle in standing position with just your trigger arm with the elbow high.
Maybe for a few shots at deer but I find this position a little fatigued on the muscles in during a match.

Cover the basics then tweak it from there
 

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But, like I said before: it's whatever works for YOU. Everybody is built differently, flexibility changes with age, etc. There's no way to know if something works or doesn't until you try it.
I've said that a million times to HP shooters and Marines. I'll show you the "text book" way, "my way (what works for me)", some other ways I've seen work, but ultimately the trigger puller needs to weigh all the options and figure out what works for "them".
 
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Sorry guys I am 74 and was thinking of off hand shooting at 200 yards. My memory has been fading and I was trying to be helpful. I never did get my score above 475 with 14Xs if I remember correctly.
 
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Sorry guys I am 74 and was thinking of off hand shooting at 200 yards. My memory has been fading and I was trying to be helpful. I never did get my score above 475 with 14Xs if I remember correctly.
Why arr you sorry? This is a great thread with tons of delicious info from very skilled people, and it hasnt drifted into keys on roof territory. Probably one of the best threads ive seen in awhile anywhere.
 
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High elbow for target, low elbow for combat. Since I've never had anyone shooting back, outside of paintball [laugh], I keep my elbow up.
Funny paintball is how i learned how to shoot elbow and head low and tucked. Getting hit in the lower forearm is not something i enjoyed like a charlie horse that lasted all day
 
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Thanks whatluck. I always try to give good info to help the new guys coming up.
 

PatMcD

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Why arr you sorry? This is a great thread with tons of delicious info from very skilled people, and it hasnt drifted into keys on roof territory. Probably one of the best threads ive seen in awhile anywhere.
I'll agree with that. Just proves there's more than one way to skin a cat.
 
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It's the same in practical pistol shooting. The best pistol shooter in the world hooks his finger on the front of the trigger guard, which is highly unusual. Some guys in the super squad use a crush grip, while others just use firm pressure. They all see the sights aligned on target when the shot breaks though.
 

42!

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Funny paintball is how i learned how to shoot elbow and head low and tucked. Getting hit in the lower forearm is not something i enjoyed like a charlie horse that lasted all day
That's right, tuck it in tight behind the gun. Gun hits don't count. Keep that target small.
And getting hit in the fingers or neck is way worse.
 
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I guess theres all different styles, why not learn about them all? I
That's right, tuck it in tight behind the gun. Gun hits don't count. Keep that target small.
And getting hit in the fingers or neck is way worse.
Ever had a round skip off the top of your skull? I had a welt like a mohawk.
 

42!

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I guess theres all different styles, why not learn about them all? I


Ever had a round skip off the top of your skull? I had a welt like a mohawk.
Facemask with a visor takes care of that, and don't turn you back on the other team. But ya, I've see some bad marks on the heads of the follicly challenged. Winter scenarios were always fun, 1/2 way through the day all the paintballs are getting harder and traveling faster.
 
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