What is the best way to improve trigger speed, without sacrificing accuracy, for rapid follow up shots?

If you’ve ever shot a gun, you’ll know just how fun it can be. You’ll also know how satisfying and fun it can be when you shoot it fast! However, something most firearm owners struggle with, is improving trigger speed. Trying to improve your trigger speed could mean sacrificing accuracy, and the inability to take rapid follow up shots. 

If you want to improve your trigger speed while keeping your accuracy intact, let’s take a look at what you can do. 

Focus on Increasing Your Efficiencies

Sounds counterproductive, but the best thing you can do is forget about trying to be fast. Instead of thinking about being fast, think about increasing your efficiency instead. You need to slow down the process and put all of your focus on the movement. Make sure you have a high grip on the backstrap. You should then lift your firearm from your holster, level it towards your target as early as possible, and raise the sights to your eye target line. Work the trigger straight to the rear as soon as the firearm stops. That’s all you need to get right to take fast, accurate shots. If you add in additional movements, you have more room to make mistakes and will likely compromise your accuracy. 

Once you have made the decision to shoot, you should work on reducing and eliminating the ‘dwell’ period at the end of the draw stroke. This is the lag time between the gun stopping at full extension and the break of the shot. It doesn’t matter if you have a fast draw if you are going to hesitate to recognize the ideal sight picture. By slowing down your draw and working on picking up an acceptable sight picture you can get rid of that dwell period altogether. 

When your eyes are trained to pick up the front sight as it flashes into view, you’ll have a better time working the trigger straight to the rear without wasting time. 

Remember: The Goal Is Combative Accuracy

Your goal should be combative accuracy, so make sure you have realistic expectations. You won’t need a perfect sight picture – you’re not precision shooting. You are simply making fast, fight stopping shots. 

Some people try to say that you need to concentrate on finger isolation, that you need to dry fire, or that you should get a gripmaster to strengthen your grip. Unfortunately, this information does not work and has frustrated many firearm enthusiasts. You need a systematic, efficient approach to increase trigger speed and trigger finger isolation. 

An ideal place to start is improving the sensory map of your hand. Try holding your hand out in front of you with your fingers spread out and then tracing the outline with a pen. You should aim to avoid touching the side of the pen to the side of your fingers. You can also work on improving the mobility of your finger joints with exercises like finger waves and finger circles. 

If you want to avoid spending a fortune on firearms training, you’re going to need to work on vision speed, draw stroke efficiency, recoil management, and following your sights in recoil. The majority of shooters don’t bother to work on these skills because the information is not readily available, so learning is both time consuming and expensive. The reality is, you shouldn’t need to practice more than a few minutes a day, a few days a week to get it down. You can get substantially different results by using different, smarter training methods. 

Bonus Pointers: 

  • Continue to assess conditions as you use your firearm and ensure your body is prepared for quick, accurate positioning. This will boost your odds of making an accurate, fast shot. 
  • The longer you take aim, the more you’ll feel the need to breathe normally. 
  • Use your body position to lay a foundation that uses full bone support, not muscle. This should allow your rifle to point naturally towards your target. 
  • Try to block out distractions that could affect your focus and your judgement. 
  • Don’t think that you need to be able to hold your firearm perfectly still. You can allow a slight wobble and this is acceptable. Your speed and accuracy can still improve. 

Practice this advice with your own guns, and you’ll eliminate the need for any expensive firearm training. Improving your trigger speed without sacrificing your accuracy means focusing on efficiency, reducing additional movements, ensuring your fingers are mobile enough, and practicing a few days a week.

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