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Jay Cunningham
04-13-2013, 11:46 AM
I have come to a reckoning when it comes to dry practice. I've found it helpful and my students have found it helpful.

Everyone has opinions and if you don't agree with mine, I'm quite fine with that. I'm not the best shooter in the world, but I'm not bad. I'm also pretty good at helping others to become better shooters. If you require either GM ranking or 100 confirmed kills as credentials before you consider what I have to say, then move along because I possess neither. :o



If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. You know the gun isn't going to recoil, so you hold the gun like a dead fish. However, your hands interact with each other and with the gun differently when your full firing grip is achieved. It's especially tempting to shortcut your grip during dry practice with striker-fired guns because you continuously remove your support hand to reset the trigger via the slide. DON'T SHORTCUT YOUR GRIP. SET THE TENSION IN YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU OPERATE THE TRIGGER, DON'T ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN *AS* YOU OPERATE THE TRIGGER.*


If you are staging the trigger during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. A long, slow trigger manipulation almost never increases your chance of getting a hit. In fact, what it tends to do is significantly contribute to the anticipation that leads to jerking the trigger. You all know what that looks like; for right-handed shooters it usually manifests itself as hits low left. You are better off operating the trigger straight through decisively, regardless of trigger characteristics. This short-circuits mental agony which helps mitigate jerking the trigger due to anticipation. Commit!


If you persist in using "just the tip" of your trigger finger because you were trained that way, you're screwing yourself. If you're reading this you've likely taken formal training and you've likely been told to use just the tip of your finger on the trigger. I'm telling you to use how much ever finger you need to minimize movement of the gun. This requires experimentation. You may only need just the tip of your finger. You may need to jam your whole finger in up to the second knuckle. You need to figure it out, and now is the time. You'll know when it's right, because the sights won't move. Note that this is an even more important consideration for SHO and WHO dry practice and shooting, which typically (but not always) require more trigger finger than usual.


If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" (riding the reset) during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. BANG-CLICK is something I wish I could purge instantly from my students, but instead I need to rely upon 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions. Such is life. If you've been trained to "catch the link" (operate the trigger, hold it to the rear, gun cycles, sights back on target, let the trigger out to reset point, operate the trigger again) you've been taught a technique that isn't particularly helpful. You're far better off simply relaxing your trigger finger during the recoil of the gun and being ready to fire that next shot when the sights fall back down on target. So with all that said, quit trying to simulate catching the link during dry practice. It's not doing anything useful.


If you think lots of live fire means you can skip dry practice, you're screwing yourself. Dry practice allows you to look at things differently than live fire. If you have a mentality that you "shoot all the time" therefore you don't need to dry practice, you're depriving yourself of a very simple and effective methodology for improvement. Don't view dry practice as something to do only when you can't get to the range.



Operating the trigger quickly without having your sights appreciably move is a much more useful goal for practical pistol shooting than that of having your front sight remain "perfectly still". Obviously the focus of the above is narrowed down to practicing with a normal two-handed grip... SHO and WHO practice has some additional nuance and is more truly trigger control from the lack of a supporting side-to-side grip.


*Start by establishing the web of your firing hand (between the thumb and index finger) as high and tight as you can get it into the back of the gun. Utilize the bottom fingers (pinky and ring) as leverage to help make the web fit even higher and tighter. This establishes your grip front-to-back. Keep your firing hand thumb out of the way so as to fully allow your support hand onto the gun. Bring your support hand into play, knuckles on top of knuckles (pivot there like the hinge of a nutcracker) to establish a hard grip as high on the gun as you can. Thumb position isn't necessarily important as long as you get the "ball" of your support hand (between your wrist and thumb) up on the gun. This establishes your grip side-to-side. In this fashion, one builds a "box" around the pistol with the firing hand top/bottom on the grip, and the support and firing hands squeezing high near the slide.

If you find your forearms torquing inward and your pectoral muscles come into play, you're on the right track. If your support arm winds up higher relative to your firing arm, you're on the right track. If your elbows are coming together low, you're on the wrong track because you are breaking your high grip on the gun. Building your grip low on the gun is much less effective because it is further away from both the recoil vector and the reciprocating mass.

Sparks2112
04-13-2013, 12:41 PM
REALLY good post.

Jay
04-13-2013, 01:37 PM
REALLY good post.

+1 Thank you Jay, I will try this this weekend.

Nik the Greek
04-13-2013, 10:05 PM
Thanks Jay. Very helpful-I was staging the trigger during dry fire to minimize movement.

Jay Cunningham
04-13-2013, 10:39 PM
I was staging the trigger during dry fire to minimize movement.

How much sense does that make? zolzolzolzolzollo

SecondsCount
04-14-2013, 09:47 AM
Good stuff Jay.

When teaching beginners, I always find it better to walk before running. Getting them to do something consistently is the most difficult part.

Schmetallurgy
04-16-2013, 03:49 PM
Awesome post! One of the first practice technique issues I noticed after getting back into shooting was the effect of recoil on your grip and trigger finger position relative to dry-fire practice. This was a pocket pistol and I realized after a couple trips to the range that I was dry practicing an impractical grip for rapid fire after the first shot buried the gun in my hand. I was having to readjust between shots or simply start hunting midstring for a new grip and trigger press which I hadn't drilled on. After accounting for this in dry-practice, I got better and faster.

While I have shot Glocks and other striker pistols with mid-length pulls and short resets, I've never owned one and so haven't been able to form a thorough, experimentation-based opinion on catching the reset, though it definitely seems to help with Glocks from the times I've played with it.

I tend to think it's beneficial for speed with precision, and I'm curious if you have a more thorough technical explanation of why you disagree?

I could see it perhaps being too much of a precision gear change to expect to manage under life or death stress, though I'm not sure if I buy that any more than slapping the trigger being unavoidable under the same situation.

But as for gaming I figure it's a pretty well used and effective technique with pistols that operate in the relevant fashion. I also see the difficulty in meaningfully simulating catching the reset in dry-fire, but I'm not sure that limitation of dry-fire practice, among others, is justification for discarding the technique vs acknowledging that it requires live-fire practice or a SIRT to really get down.

A full trigger press while trying to re-align the sights seems more difficult than a partial press from reset and certainly feels that way to me because of the greater trigger travel, but mostly because of the greater weight change from 0lbs to full break weight at speed vs prep to break.

Also, doesn't it pretty much simulate, on the followup shot, the state the trigger/finger is in at the end of press-out on the first shot from presentation, where the trigger has been prepped during press-out, something I also thought was SOP these days for the sake of speed? Otherwise aren't you negating that speed advantage you gained on the draw during followups? Unless you're saying to let out only to the reset mid-recoil, but that seems like it would be far trickier to hit with the gun still moving and not worth the resulting inconsistency.

Chuck Haggard
04-16-2013, 04:03 PM
A very real reason to not train to ride the reset is that under stress it is very easy to short stroke the trigger and end up pulling on a dead trigger.

It's a stupid technique only really useful for teaching new shooters what a reset is.

Schmetallurgy
04-16-2013, 04:24 PM
A very real reason to not train to ride the reset is that under stress it is very easy to short stroke the trigger and end up pulling on a dead trigger.

It's a stupid technique only really useful for teaching new shooters what a reset is.

I can see that being an issue as mentioned, and I guess it's better to train in a consistent enough grip and finger placement that if you do slap it under stress you'll still get the shot off and be pretty close vs a short stroke. Actually the biggest concern I have about riding the reset under stress is how tremors or simple tactile numbing could cause one to have an unintentional discharge while making a threat assessment whether to follow-up as one might subconsciously leave the finger wobbling around in the reset zone. Better to drill on full, decisive movements of either firing/pulling, or fully releasing pressure.

ETA: This is pretty eye-opening, I honestly haven't noticed anyone making these arguments before regarding riding reset. Thought it was SOP. Like I said, I've only had constant-pull triggered weapons so it hasn't really been something I've had to make a decision on in practice. But I'm planning to get either a G19 or PPS shortly so it's good timing for me.

ToddG
04-16-2013, 04:47 PM
There's a nice wide happy place between riding the reset to the nearest bilimeter and slapping the trigger with most pistols.

When you try to ride the reset precisely you're building up a skill that requires precision. In fact, I'd say it requires more precision that a decent trigger press. Given that most people expect their trigger finger manipulation to suffer under stress it seems fair to expect a precise reset to suffer under stress. When my trigger pull is off a little bit, I shoot an inch or two off my POA. When my reset is off a little bit, I can short stroke the trigger induce what is, in essence, a stoppage (pull trigger, no bang).

I try to maintain contact with the trigger at all times and certainly don't exaggerate the reset but neither do I try to control the forward motion of the trigger so strictly that I run the risk of short stroking.

Schmetallurgy
04-16-2013, 05:01 PM
There's a nice wide happy place between riding the reset to the nearest bilimeter and slapping the trigger with most pistols.

When you try to ride the reset precisely you're building up a skill that requires precision. In fact, I'd say it requires more precision that a decent trigger press. Given that most people expect their trigger finger manipulation to suffer under stress it seems fair to expect a precise reset to suffer under stress. When my trigger pull is off a little bit, I shoot an inch or two off my POA. When my reset is off a little bit, I can short stroke the trigger induce what is, in essence, a stoppage (pull trigger, no bang).

I try to maintain contact with the trigger at all times and certainly don't exaggerate the reset but neither do I try to control the forward motion of the trigger so strictly that I run the risk of short stroking.


Is a bilimeter two millimeters?

ToddG
04-16-2013, 05:06 PM
Is a bilimeter two millimeters?

Eleventy billionths of a millimeter.

Schmetallurgy
04-16-2013, 05:47 PM
Eleventy billionths of a millimeter.

I should have paid attention in school. How embarrassing. :(

Chuck Haggard
04-16-2013, 09:12 PM
Since, at work at least, I am carrying a G17 and a couple of 642s, along with a Mossberg 590 and a Colt AR, I often ask the reset advocates which of said resets I should master.

Jay Cunningham
04-17-2013, 10:15 AM
While I have shot Glocks and other striker pistols with mid-length pulls and short resets, I've never owned one and so haven't been able to form a thorough, experimentation-based opinion on catching the reset, though it definitely seems to help with Glocks from the times I've played with it.
This can screw you on guns with a long reset. When shooting my Ruger LCR, I've short-stroked it many times. The trigger needs to pretty much come all the way out.



I tend to think it's beneficial for speed with precision, and I'm curious if you have a more thorough technical explanation of why you disagree?
I would be happy to try and give you an answer, but you need to first give me your own reasoning why you think it's better for speed with precision.



I could see it perhaps being too much of a precision gear change to expect to manage under life or death stress, though I'm not sure if I buy that any more than slapping the trigger being unavoidable under the same situation.
This is just my opinion, but there is slapping the trigger and then there is slapping the trigger. Depending on who you talk to, the implication could be competitors with race guns with 1 lb. triggers that the shooters literally slap (finger comes completely of the trigger between shots). On the other end of the spectrum this could mean a controlled "slap"... like 12 lb. DA triggers that the shooter simply presses straight through instead of staging.



But as for gaming I figure it's a pretty well used and effective technique with pistols that operate in the relevant fashion. I also see the difficulty in meaningfully simulating catching the reset in dry-fire, but I'm not sure that limitation of dry-fire practice, among others, is justification for discarding the technique vs acknowledging that it requires live-fire practice or a SIRT to really get down.
I'm not a competitive shooter so I can't really comment on most effective techniques in that realm, or if they're specialized in any way. The reason *I* recommend discarding the technique is because instead of your front sight being the go/no-go signal for pressing the next shot, resetting the trigger winds up being the go/no-go.



A full trigger press while trying to re-align the sights seems more difficult than a partial press from reset and certainly feels that way to me because of the greater trigger travel, but mostly because of the greater weight change from 0lbs to full break weight at speed vs prep to break.
If you're gripping the pistol correctly and allowing it to recoil in a controlled fashion, you shouldn't need to do any realigning of the sights. The sights should pretty much be tracking up/down/up/down in a consistent, predicatable rhythm. Also - on your first shot, you're pretty much always going to press the trigger through it's full stroke of travel. I know this can be argued back-and-forth a bit, but if you draw your gun to shoot a threat are you going to slowly take up on the trigger for your first shot?



Also, doesn't it pretty much simulate, on the followup shot, the state the trigger/finger is in at the end of press-out on the first shot from presentation, where the trigger has been prepped during press-out, something I also thought was SOP these days for the sake of speed? Otherwise aren't you negating that speed advantage you gained on the draw during followups? Unless you're saying to let out only to the reset mid-recoil, but that seems like it would be far trickier to hit with the gun still moving and not worth the resulting inconsistency.
Not everyone teaches the pressout as a general one-size-fits-all presentation. It's a different approach to solving the same problem. Todd is quite clearly the SME on the pressout presentation and knows the nuances of that technique inside and out. Prepping the trigger is an inherent part of a proper pressout (to the best of my determination). I don't necessarily advocate prepping the trigger on a conventional index draw, though I'm not saying it's incorrect either.

Jay Cunningham
04-17-2013, 10:17 AM
I try to maintain contact with the trigger at all times and certainly don't exaggerate the reset but neither do I try to control the forward motion of the trigger so strictly that I run the risk of short stroking.

This is what I strive to do and what I advocate.

ToddG
04-17-2013, 11:13 AM
On the other end of the spectrum this could mean a controlled "slap"... like 12 lb. DA triggers that the shooter simply presses straight through instead of staging.

I've never heard anyone refer to that as slapping the trigger. That's just a good trigger press, IMHO.


The reason *I* recommend discarding the technique is because instead of your front sight being the go/no-go signal for pressing the next shot, resetting the trigger winds up being the go/no-go.

That's excellent. Consider it stolen.


I don't necessarily advocate prepping the trigger on a conventional index draw, though I'm not saying it's incorrect either.

I wouldn't advocate prepping the trigger on an index draw. By "index draw" I mean one in which the gun goes in the straightest, shortest line from holster to full extension. The shooter isn't on the sights and the muzzle isn't on the desired POI until the gun gets to extension so touching the trigger before then is, by definition, a violation of fundamental safety rules.

Chuck Haggard
04-17-2013, 11:25 AM
I'm not a competitive shooter so I can't really comment on most effective techniques in that realm, or if they're specialized in any way. The reason *I* recommend discarding the technique is because instead of your front sight being the go/no-go signal for pressing the next shot, resetting the trigger winds up being the go/no-go.

This also, in my experience, makes for slower shooting. One can reset during recoil and be ready to go when the sights settle. Reset guys tend to let the sights settle, then reset, then start the trigger squeeze.

Jay Cunningham
04-17-2013, 11:34 AM
I've never heard anyone refer to that as slapping the trigger. That's just a good trigger press, IMHO.
Yeah, I would tend to agree. However someobody recently pointed me to a video where an instructor was attempting to differentiate between certain techniques and he referred to the above as "slapping the trigger". So once again, we run into the issue of language, definitions, and semantics. The best we can do is try to be as descriptive as we can, I suppose.




That's excellent. Consider it stolen.
Coolio. :cool:



I wouldn't advocate prepping the trigger on an index draw. By "index draw" I mean one in which the gun goes in the straightest, shortest line from holster to full extension. The shooter isn't on the sights and the muzzle isn't on the desired POI until the gun gets to extension so touching the trigger before then is, by definition, a violation of fundamental safety rules.
Once again we are in agreement. But I do know some instructors teach prepping the trigger on an index draw (you and I define that draw the same way) and they are good, experienced instructors.


My main problem with trigger prep - aside from the cardinal rules violation that you pointed out in the specific above example - is that the difference between trigger prep and trigger staging is widely misunderstood. And even when the *concept* is understood, in far too many cases I see shooters prepping the trigger on their presentation - then pausing *for whatever reason* - thus killing the initial gain of the trigger prep and now putting them in the mental state of "I'm all prepped and ready to go but oh shit I paused and didn't take the shot yet wait I'm behind the power curve I better take my shot NOW" BANG! and then snatching the trigger due to the mental anticipation game inside their head.

A certain decisiveness needs to be part of the trigger press on the index draw or in the prep during the pressout. Otherwise it turns into staging which IMO is a precursor to jerking/snatching the trigger.

Range psychology! lolz

ToddG
04-17-2013, 11:51 AM
JC -- Agree on all points.

Slavex
04-23-2013, 02:26 AM
I'm certainly the least qualified to disagree on this, but I'm going to on a few points.
The trigger reset, I find it immensely helpful for new shooters who typically throw their finger off the trigger as soon as the sear breaks. This is true for rifle and pistol. And I'll admit I still default to it if I suddenly find myself taking extra shots at distant steel. Once they learn how to do that, we move onto reset under recoil. I learned that from Ernest, so I can't say it's just something I made up. It is slower to do the reset version of course. But I feel it allows for a better learning curve with people.
I also don't think people who index draw and are prepping the trigger on the way up are breaking any cardinal rules. They are on target, purposely engaging it, which means to me, they should be on the trigger. This is competitive shooting I'm talking about obviously in this case

ToddG
04-23-2013, 09:12 AM
I also don't think people who index draw and are prepping the trigger on the way up are breaking any cardinal rules. They are on target, purposely engaging it, which means to me, they should be on the trigger. This is competitive shooting I'm talking about obviously in this case

Can you positively guarantee every time that your finger isn't on the trigger when the gun is pointed below, above, or next to the target during the drawstroke? What if there is a no-shoot superimposed over the bottom half of the shoot target?

And that's just being picayune about the rule in a competition setting. Now think about the habit you are building and what it means if you need to draw the gun in a less recreational setting.

Sparks2112
04-23-2013, 02:01 PM
Now think about the habit you are building and what it means if you need to draw the gun in a less recreational setting.

I've been told shooting yourself at the start of a gunfight is counter productive?

Slavex
04-23-2013, 04:15 PM
Todd, I understand where you are coming from regarding trigger finger placement, and on this I disagree. I don't buy into the training scar idea on it. Maybe because I train on more than just draw and shoot. The competitive arena is distinctly different than the real life arena, so long as people train to recognize that, I don't think there will be a problem.

Al T.
04-24-2013, 09:25 AM
Tagged. This is pure gold.

ToddG
04-24-2013, 12:41 PM
Todd, I understand where you are coming from regarding trigger finger placement, and on this I disagree. I don't buy into the training scar idea on it. Maybe because I train on more than just draw and shoot.

I'm not sure what that means, "because I train on more than just draw and shoot." You might also practice ballet dancing and your multiplication tables but how is that relevant to the discussion? We're talking about draw and shoot so it's that practice that's relevant.

If your drawstroke involves you putting your finger on the trigger when you are not positive that the gun is pointed at something you're willing to shoot, you've violated a cardinal safety rule. Period. Perhaps you're not worried about violating the rule but that doesn't change the fact that you're violating it.


The competitive arena is distinctly different than the real life arena, so long as people train to recognize that, I don't think there will be a problem.

And when we're talking about complex decision making, I agree. But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about building up a skill -- drawing on a target -- to the point where it becomes almost reflexive. And we're talking about doing it in a way that violates safety fundamentals because, when playing games, the whole downrange area is an acceptable target. The idea that under stress you will consciously think through your draw technique and modify it to be completely different than your practiced method... that goes against just about everything we know about human stress response.

It's like the guy who insists that practicing with his race holster 99% of the time is fine because the skill will transfer to his concealed CCW holster. You know how many of those guys I see get completely fumbled up in their concealment garment? Or how many of them fumble the draw because they can't get a grip on a concealed gun held tight against their body as fast as they can grab one hanging inches off their hip? It's not about decision making or awareness or mindset. It's about executing an ingrained program. If you reversed the gas pedal and brake on my car, I could drive it just fine slowly around the parking lot. I might even be able to drive it safely under normal road conditions. But when a little kid suddenly runs out in front of my car, which pedal am I going to stomp on reflexively?

Some people will choose to focus their time and effort into techniques which give them an edge in competition (or so they perceive) but that are impractical or even unsafe under other circumstances. That's a judgment call and one that needs to be made based on the shooter's priorities. But it's a grievous error to make that compromise and then try to convince yourself -- and others! -- that there is no compromise.

Bill Lance
04-24-2013, 04:59 PM
Jay,

That is so well expressed.

May I have permission---giving full credit to you!---to use your post in my training circle?

Thanks.

Bill

Jay Cunningham
04-24-2013, 05:46 PM
Sure, Bill. Thanks for the kind words!

Slavex
04-24-2013, 06:10 PM
To clarify how I do it, in practice first. I still do a combo of Ernest's press out and an index draw, once I can see the gun in my peripheral vision I start prepping the trigger until I hit extension. In a match on a clear target at 10yds or under I'm on the trigger as soon as the gun is level out of the holster. If that qualifies to you as breaking the rule, then I am, but for me it doesn't. If it's a partial, or has a no shoot around it, I wait until I see the sights. In a force on force scenario I wait until I'm on target pressing the gun out. I change what I'm doing based on target presented. Which is what my "I train more than just draw and shoot" comment was supposed to mean. And I would expect, based on my exposure to other shooters that they do similar.

NETim
04-24-2013, 07:18 PM
I have come to a reckoning when it comes to dry practice. I now dry practice a very certain way and I teach my students to practice this way. I've found it helpful and my students have found it helpful.

All trainers have opinions and if you don't agree with mine, I'm quite fine with that. I'm not the best shooter in the world, but I'm not bad. I'm also pretty good at helping others to become better shooters. If you require either GM ranking or 100 confirmed kills as credentials before you listen to what I have to say, then move along because I possess neither.


If you are staging the trigger during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. An exaggeratedly slow trigger press almost never increases your chance of getting a hit. In fact, what it does is significantly contributes to the anticipation that leads to jerking the trigger. You all know what that looks like; for right-handed shooters it tends to manifest itself as hits low left. You are better off pressing the trigger straight through decisively, regardless of trigger characteristics. This short-circuits mental agony which helps mitigate jerking the trigger due to anticipation.

If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. You know the gun isn't going to recoil, so you hold the gun like a dead fish. However, your hands interact with each other and with the gun differently when your full firing grip is achieved. It's tempting to shortcut your support hand grip during dry practice because with striker-fired guns you continuously remove it to reset the trigger via the slide. Don't do it. Pivot those knuckles like a hinge and drive the base of the palm of your support hand into the grip to provide tight, full 360 degree coverage.

If you persist in using "just the tip" of your trigger finger because you were trained that way, you're screwing yourself. If you're reading this you've likely taken formal training and you've likely been told to use just the tip of your finger on the trigger. I'm telling you to use how much ever finger you need to minimize movement of the gun. This requires experimentation. You may only need just the tip of your finger. You may need to jam your whole finger in up to the second knuckle. You need to figure it out, and now is the time. You'll know when it's right, because the sights won't move.

If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. BANG-CLICK is something I wish I could purge instantly from my students, but instead I need to rely upon 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions. Such is life. If you've been trained to "catch the link" (press the trigger, hold it to the rear, gun cycles, sights back on target, let the trigger out to reset point, press the trigger again) you've been taught a technique that isn't particularly helpful. You're far better off simply relaxing your trigger finger during the recoil of the gun and being ready to fire that next shot when the sights fall back down on target. So with all that said, quit trying to simulate catching the link during dry practice. It's not doing anything useful.

If you think lots of live fire means you can skip dry practice, you're screwing yourself. Dry practice allows you to look at things differently than live fire. If you have a mentality that you "shoot all the time" therefore you don't need to dry practice, you're depriving yourself of a very simple and effective methodology for improvement. Don't view dry practice as something to do only when you can't get to the range.


Obviously the focus of the above is narrowed down to practicing the perfect trigger press with a normal two handed grip. SHO and WHO practice has some additional nuance. Ultimately, the goal of dry practice should be to develop a perfect trigger press and to work on techniques which don't require live rounds to go down range. Focusing on developing the perfect trigger press requires you to move the trigger to the rear while keeping three axis stability of the boreline. Through combination of strong support hand grip, an understanding of the subtle interaction of support hand and master grip, trigger finger positioning in relation to the trigger face, and authoritative but controlled trigger movement, you will be able to achieve the goal of pressing the trigger without having your sights appreciably move.


If you hate this post and think I should die, I'm fine with that. I would suggest giving what I said a try first, though. Anyway, you didn't have to pay me for these big secrets, so what do you have to lose?

:cool:

Where have you been all my life? :)

Bill Lance
04-24-2013, 07:56 PM
Sure, Bill. Thanks for the kind words!

Thank you!!!!

ToddG
04-24-2013, 08:41 PM
To clarify how I do it, in practice first. I still do a combo of Ernest's press out and an index draw, once I can see the gun in my peripheral vision I start prepping the trigger until I hit extension. In a match on a clear target at 10yds or under I'm on the trigger as soon as the gun is level out of the holster. If that qualifies to you as breaking the rule, then I am, but for me it doesn't. If it's a partial, or has a no shoot around it, I wait until I see the sights. In a force on force scenario I wait until I'm on target pressing the gun out. I change what I'm doing based on target presented. Which is what my "I train more than just draw and shoot" comment was supposed to mean. And I would expect, based on my exposure to other shooters that they do similar.

I look forward to the next time we shoot together, then. Because I definitely want to see how you make a conscious precise decision about when to access the trigger when drawing at full speed to different types of targets under stress. That seems like a pretty serious Hick's Law problem to me.

Slavex
04-24-2013, 08:44 PM
as do I, and I'm totally willing to be told I'm out to lunch.

ToddG
04-24-2013, 08:46 PM
as do I, and I'm totally willing to be told I'm out to lunch.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNOp-Jp07ag

Bill Lance
04-25-2013, 07:40 AM
Uh, wow!

Slavex
04-26-2013, 08:06 PM
derail

Frank R
04-26-2013, 11:36 PM
I don't hate your post. As a matter of fact I totally agree with it.

Whether you should die, well I'm up in the air about that.

Rich
03-01-2014, 11:41 AM
+1

#3 I've been told this also . (pad only)

I get better groups using more finger.

Trigger Reset- in the beginning I didn't really know what you guys are talking about.

When I shoot a revolver or a TDA Pistol I'm ready to go during recoil.
I shoot only as fast as my sights line up. So far I never had a short stroke.
I must be doing something right if I shoot nice groups.

LangdonTactical
03-01-2014, 04:29 PM
Wow, I started reading this thread because I thought it was about dry fire??????

By the way, the very first post was money! JC, you nailed it and I may have to steal the whole thing.

How did the whole thread go down the hole of a combo of trigger reset and press out technique? Kind of funny from where I sit :)

GJM
03-01-2014, 04:41 PM
How did the whole thread go down the hole of a combo of trigger reset and press out technique? Kind of funny from where I sit :)

Most likely, because most dry fire discussions on PF are pretty simplistic, compared to what is being discussed and practiced by those on Enos and other USPSA oriented forums.

LangdonTactical
03-01-2014, 05:26 PM
Most likely, because most dry fire discussions on PF are pretty simplistic, compared to what is being discussed and practiced by those on Enos and other USPSA oriented forums.

Understood, and I see the point for sure. I am a big believer in dry fire for sure, but it does get really complicated and approaching it correctly can make the difference between it helping you or making things worse. I think JC did a great job in pointing out some downfalls that many shooters fall into. Too often people are just told "you should dry fire" but they are not told how to dry fire.

Good stuff :)

Mr_White
03-01-2014, 05:55 PM
Agreed, I reread Jay's original post and it is right on.

Bratch
03-01-2014, 10:21 PM
If you persist in using "just the tip" of your trigger finger because you were trained that way, you're screwing yourself. If you're reading this you've likely taken formal training and you've likely been told to use just the tip of your finger on the trigger. I'm telling you to use how much ever finger you need to minimize movement of the gun. This requires experimentation. You may only need just the tip of your finger. You may need to jam your whole finger in up to the second knuckle. You need to figure it out, and now is the time. You'll know when it's right, because the sights won't move.


Several years ago when Tac Conference was in Tulsa, Wayne Dobbs showed a trick the help find your trigger finger placement. Wayne had everyone remove their slides and get a two handed grip on just the frame, you then worked the trigger watching the rails for movement. You would move your finger around on the trigger to find the placement that provided the least movement. Removing the weight of the slide helped exaggerate the movement especially on the polymer frames.

I found this to be a helpful exercise.

Jay Cunningham
03-02-2014, 01:42 PM
By the way, the very first post was money! JC, you nailed it and I may have to steal the whole thing.

Thanks dude; steal away!

:cool:

Jay Cunningham
03-02-2014, 01:43 PM
Agreed, I reread Jay's original post and it is right on.

Thanks, much appreciated.

BoppaBear
03-29-2014, 06:24 AM
Thanks for posting Jay. Lots of insightful info.

Jay Cunningham
03-31-2014, 05:12 AM
Thanks for posting Jay. Lots of insightful info.

My pleasure.

Chuck Haggard
03-31-2014, 08:48 AM
How did the whole thread go down the hole of a combo of trigger reset and press out technique? Kind of funny from where I sit :)

I think this part kinda got the ball rolling;


If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. BANG-CLICK is something I wish I could purge instantly from my students, but instead I need to rely upon 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions. Such is life. If you've been trained to "catch the link" (press the trigger, hold it to the rear, gun cycles, sights back on target, let the trigger out to reset point, press the trigger again) you've been taught a technique that isn't particularly helpful. You're far better off simply relaxing your trigger finger during the recoil of the gun and being ready to fire that next shot when the sights fall back down on target. So with all that said, quit trying to simulate catching the link during dry practice. It's not doing anything useful.

Lofty
04-02-2014, 06:11 AM
Sorry to come on board so late.....I have a point I would like some comment on...
I have a single action 9mm pistol South African Beretta copy...
When using snap caps for my first "shot" I then simply continue to aim the gun and press the trigger
which is now "de-activated"....is this of any benefit or should I always cock the hammer
thanks for the help

JeffJ
04-02-2014, 08:51 AM
That's exactly what you should do, assuming that you're dry firing a string of shots. Anytime you "reset" whether that's back to the holster, or to a ready position for another rep - you should rack the slide.

Jay Cunningham
09-17-2014, 08:03 PM
I think I'm going to revisit this, with some very minor tweaks to the existing stuff and perhaps two additional entries - a recent class with Bob Vogel helped nail down the final important aspects.

YVK
09-17-2014, 08:07 PM
You're going to edit the first page, or post it here?

Jay Cunningham
09-17-2014, 08:09 PM
Both, I think?

What do you suggest?

YVK
09-17-2014, 08:17 PM
Both is a good idea, I didn't think of it.
Curious to read it, the initial post was some good stuff.

Jay Cunningham
09-17-2014, 08:21 PM
Thanks, I appreciate it.

I listened with rapt attention to Bob because naturally I wanted to see how my own thoughts compared with his on the matter... and they actually tracked pretty well. Bob turned me onto at least two things that I'm sure other competition guys know about but had never been emphasized by any of the tactical guys I'd trained with.

The primary lesson was continuing to manipulate the trigger on a striker fired gun after the first true dry fire. The other one (which I kind of knew) was just how important incorporating the draw into dry practice is, for numerous reasons.

Mr_White
09-18-2014, 10:35 AM
Thanks, I appreciate it.

I listened with rapt attention to Bob because naturally I wanted to see how my own thoughts compared with his on the matter... and they actually tracked pretty well. Bob turned me onto at least two things that I'm sure other competition guys know about but had never been emphasized by any of the tactical guys I'd trained with.

The primary lesson was continuing to manipulate the trigger on a striker fired gun after the first true dry fire. The other one (which I kind of knew) was just how important incorporating the draw into dry practice is, for numerous reasons.

Very interested to hear your expanded thoughts, Jay.

For me, on the issue of dry fire with a SFA with either one dry press followed by more pressing of the dead (or mushy, if doing the slide-blocked-out-of-battery-trick) vs. a slight rack of the slide each time so every trigger press is a realistic one, I really think there are specific benefits to both methods, and both should be used depending on what exactly is being practiced.

Jay Cunningham
09-18-2014, 11:01 AM
Thanks much, I appreciate it. I'm in agreement with you... and why dry practice seems to be so... I don't know. Misunderstood? Underutilized?

I'm trying to bridge the gap between competition and tactical... I know it's an old story, but a lot of the gamerfag vs. timmy ranting out there leaves me baffled. In the proper context, many things are right which may seem mutually exclusive when taken out of context.

While I haven't posted in them, I've been following the trigger finger placement and how soon to get on the trigger threads with great interest. There are high-level shooters having high-level discussions about this stuff, which is great. But I'm working on the aspect of trying to translate this very stuff into a proper way to teach a new shooter, without polluting their brains or leaving "training scars" that they'll need to try and deprogram later when they themselves begin to push.

I know I'm still trying to deprogram my own self from things I was taught eight years ago. I'm almost ready to start a separate discussion of whether or not the conventional shooting methodologies we (the big We) teach new shooters aren't in fact actually hobbling them.

Wendell
09-18-2014, 12:15 PM
...a proper way to teach a new shooter, without polluting their brains or leaving "training scars" that they'll need to try and deprogram later when they themselves begin to push.
I know I'm still trying to deprogram my own self from things I was taught...

This, exactly, is what pistol-forum.com means to me.

Mr_White
09-18-2014, 12:55 PM
Jay,

I very much share your enthusiasm for bridging the gap between the counterproductively separated shooting communities. That's where my mind is too.

I think that as I have learned more, particularly in the area of technical skills, and integrated those with my longstanding tactical training, I have become far less doctrinaire than I used to be.

From all the experimenting and struggling and introspection of the last few years, I now believe that while there are plenty of bad ways to do things, that there are a handful of good ways that can all become examples of extremely high levels of performance if an individual practitioner will do the work to make them that sharp.

And I think that goes for dry practice methodology. We can find top level examples that adhere to radically differing dry fire principles. But they all do a lot of work with their chosen methods and I think that's why the different practices are apparently so effective.


While I haven't posted in them, I've been following the trigger finger placement and how soon to get on the trigger threads with great interest. There are high-level shooters having high-level discussions about this stuff, which is great. But I'm working on the aspect of trying to translate this very stuff into a proper way to teach a new shooter, without polluting their brains or leaving "training scars" that they'll need to try and deprogram later when they themselves begin to push.

I know I'm still trying to deprogram my own self from things I was taught eight years ago. I'm almost ready to start a separate discussion of whether or not the conventional shooting methodologies we (the big We) teach new shooters aren't in fact actually hobbling them.

Those are great things to consider. I'm with you.

So, here's an example cluster that I think maybe applies. In teaching new students, and wanting to lay the groundwork for their future excellence, here are some things I've been doing and thinking:

In basic pistol class, I make it clear that we are laying the foundation for their higher level development in the future, and that they should not make the mistake of thinking that Basic Pistol Class is the same thing as Easy Pistol Class. Two different things, and we are not the latter. No question that means we are not the best school for people who want to buy the gun, take a few hour class while they drink some Starbucks and screw around with their phone, and then ignore the gun after that day. Those people would be good candidates for a lot less detailed class that we don't offer. There are plenty of places that do, and I don't think they are wrong. They are simply oriented toward a different motivation level than we are.

In basic pistol class, I make them aware of the concepts of shot calling and sight tracking. We don't do any dedicated drills on that, and I make it clear that I don't expect them to realize those skills during class. But I want to plant the seed so they know how important it is when they do, one day, notice the position of the sights when the gun fires, and thus know where the shot went without inspecting the target itself.

In all our training, we define firearms safety principle #3 as: finger needs to be outside and above the trigger guard and pressed into the frame or slide (register), unless and until two conditions are met: muzzle is aligned with the target, and a conscious decision to fire has been made.

In basic pistol class, I add, ďAt this beginning point in your training, you will know the muzzle is aligned with the target because you will see the sights aligned with the target.Ē

As they continue training and move on to later classes, we do more 'epistemological work' on how we know the muzzle is aligned with the target Ė retention shooting drills based on nearly pure kinesthetic awareness, deliberate sight misalignment, coarse visual alignment using references other than the sights, etc., and add safety principle #4 elements Ė foreground and background issues Ė that also figure into the mechanics of achieving a reasonable belief of sufficient gun-target alignment.

So essentially, we start with a definition that does not conflict with later refinements of skill or a later introduction of retention shooting where sights will not be visually referenced, but we still have to get the muzzle aligned with the target and know with reasonable certainty that we have done so.

Kind of went off on a walk there but I hope it is relevant to what you are talking about.

Jay Cunningham
09-18-2014, 02:16 PM
Just to touch on something briefly - I'm still gathering data and whatnot - an example of what I'm talking about:

Traditionally, right from the get-go, pistol marksmanship is taught with a hard, laser-like focus on the front sight and then a slow takeup on the trigger, resulting in a surprise break.

Without getting into details right now, I think this could be completely wrong and may in fact be a huge cause of anticipation/jerked triggers. Naturally it also leads to slower than necessary speed and "perfomance anxiety" a.k.a. agony over breaking that first shot.

Establishing proper dry practice protocols on the front end I think would be a huge step forward, in addition to changing the above "standard" paradigm.

:p

Mr_White
09-18-2014, 02:38 PM
I agree with you on the slow trigger press and surprise break.

Erik
09-18-2014, 05:32 PM
I agree with you on the slow trigger press and surprise break.

Why and what do you think is appropriate instead, if you don't mind (and Jay doesn't mind)?

Jay Cunningham
09-18-2014, 05:42 PM
All I ask is that we try to keep that discussion within the context of dry practice.

JHC
09-18-2014, 06:13 PM
All I ask is that we try to keep that discussion within the context of dry practice.

Thanks Jay! Very timely. I've just been contacted by a young friend who is having some qual struggles and I just sent him a link to this and the wall drill from PT blog. That'll hold him til we can hit the range together.

Jay Cunningham
09-18-2014, 06:17 PM
Hope it helps him out - let me know how it goes.

RJ
09-18-2014, 08:01 PM
Very glad I came on this thread.

Been searching for a good, basic, look, here-is-how-you-do-this guide to dry firing.

Many many thanks to the OP for taking the time to post these suggestions.

Jared
09-18-2014, 08:06 PM
Just to touch on something briefly - I'm still gathering data and whatnot - an example of what I'm talking about:

Traditionally, right from the get-go, pistol marksmanship is taught with a hard, laser-like focus on the front sight and then a slow takeup on the trigger, resulting in a surprise break.

Without getting into details right now, I think this could be completely wrong and may in fact be a huge cause of anticipation/jerked triggers. Naturally it also leads to slower than necessary speed and "perfomance anxiety" a.k.a. agony over breaking that first shot.

Establishing proper dry practice protocols on the front end I think would be a huge step forward, in addition to changing the above "standard" paradigms.

:p

Jay, this may not help much, but I found a noticeable improvement in accuracy and speed when I started to learn to let go of the notion that I had to have a laser focus on the front sight exclusively and slowly press the trigger. Once I learned to just relax and focus on the sights and "row" the trigger, my anticipation problems almost disappeared

RevolverRob
09-18-2014, 08:31 PM
Jay, one drill to consider is the coin on front sight.

Personally, I had a pretty tough time initially getting a straight back, smooth, continuous trigger press, when first really learning the double action trigger. And I went to the old nickle-penny-dime on the front sight routine. I found it helped me immensely in realizing that trigger presses can be quick and smooth and the muzzle doesn't waver. In fact, it's a trick I find helps a lot if you feel the trigger press is too slow. Too long working the trigger and the coin has a tendency to fall off, before the trigger stroke is finished, by virtue of moving the hand. It is also a drill that can show if someone is milking the grip, if the coin falls especially at the beginning of the press. When I feel like I'm focusing too much on sight picture and not getting a clean press that finishes flat, I go back to change on the front sight, until I am consistent in not dropping the coin.

The drill also has the advantage of taking the eyes off the sight, it puts them on the coin, but I find that's fine, it's a trigger press drill, not a full on set of dry-fire reps. That said, I've found it immensely helpful in getting consistent, smooth, and quick trigger presses.

-Rob

BullseyePistolCompetitor
09-18-2014, 09:39 PM
As an instructor, there are two levels of dry firing. The first level, for newbies, is simply holding and pressing. Dry firing for newbies is simply a method of understanding the kinesthetic operation. Only when they are able to see the wobble, flinch, or unintended movement, is Dry Firing beneficial. I have taught many students who simply cannot discriminate the movement of the sight alignment or picture when it is so obvious to me.

For me, DF is limited to Slow Fire and the mental prep of the first shot of Timed and Rapid Fire. I do not draw in my sport. My pistol is out there pointed at the target long before my finger is on the trigger. Only when the sights are aligned do I contact the trigger. I start applying pressure while dressing the sight picture. I keep applying pressure while sometimes fascinated that I can actually hold still long enough for the shot to break.

Not anticipating recoil is IMPOSSIBLE, even with a 22. I do however, try to flinch as little as possible. As most of you are familiar with the B-6 or B-16 targets, flinching at my level means dropping a shot to the 9 ring or worse, 8ring. 7 ring means that I SLAPPED the trigger or I am horribly out of concentration. Mentally, I am focused on the sight alignment more than sight picture. The thousands of rounds downrange allows me to pull the trigger slowly without thinking about the recoil too much. But I do anticipate the break for recording the snapshot in my noggin so that I can evaluate the smoothness or "non disturbance". This level of dry fire is not yet taught to the newbies because their ability to SHOT CALL has not yet been developed.

Shot calling cannot be developed if the student can see and discriminate their last shot with the naked eye. By the time they can no longer tell what was the last hole, their flinching has already become a habit.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 06:27 AM
Jay, one drill to consider is the coin on front sight.

Personally, I had a pretty tough time initially getting a straight back, smooth, continuous trigger press, when first really learning the double action trigger. And I went to the old nickle-penny-dime on the front sight routine. I found it helped me immensely in realizing that trigger presses can be quick and smooth and the muzzle doesn't waver. In fact, it's a trick I find helps a lot if you feel the trigger press is too slow. Too long working the trigger and the coin has a tendency to fall off, before the trigger stroke is finished, by virtue of moving the hand. It is also a drill that can show if someone is milking the grip, if the coin falls especially at the beginning of the press. When I feel like I'm focusing too much on sight picture and not getting a clean press that finishes flat, I go back to change on the front sight, until I am consistent in not dropping the coin.

The drill also has the advantage of taking the eyes off the sight, it puts them on the coin, but I find that's fine, it's a trigger press drill, not a full on set of dry-fire reps. That said, I've found it immensely helpful in getting consistent, smooth, and quick trigger presses.

-Rob

I'm happy that that technique works for you. I'm pretty well versed in that and the spent-case-on-the sight technique. To be brutally blunt - as a teaching method, I've placed it in the category of "parlor trick". I'm not intending to be snarky or dismissive - I've used the above technique for years - but I've kind of deleted it unless it serves a very specific purpose.

The reason why I've deleted it as a teaching technique is that I found that I could get anybody, of any skill level, to do it within 10 minutes. It struck me theat the ability of a new shooter to successfully do this did not translate into any better real trigger control.

As an individual technique, It may work really well for someone, but remember I'm approaching this from an adult learning aspect.

Mr_White
09-19-2014, 09:52 AM
Why and what do you think is appropriate instead, if you don't mind (and Jay doesn't mind)?

I don't want new students' minds poisoned with the idea that in order to press the trigger well, that they have to do it slowly. I want students to recognize early on that the quality of a trigger press is not inherently connected to the time they take to press the trigger.

The trigger can be pressed fast or slow, either well or badly.

It's not that I tell beginning students to press the trigger quickly, it's that I don't want them thinking that it has to be done slowly to be done well. I want them thinking in terms of pressing through the trigger without making the gun move, rather than being speed-focused (trying to do something slowly is a form of speed focus.) I make sure to demonstrate in dry fire, pressing the trigger both with and without disturbing the gun so they can see the difference. When I do this, I don't take a long time to press the trigger. The students also work on this dry right before we first go live.

I also don't emphasize a surprise trigger break. It's fine if that happens while continuously improving the sight picture and continuously adding pressure to the trigger, but it's not a concept I want them concerned about adhering to. It will break down under enough external or internal time pressure. Shooting in smaller amounts of time will ultimately have a person firing at a moment of their choosing. They need to be able to choose to stroke right through the trigger without inducing extra movement. That development can be started pretty quickly with a little bit of dry fire.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 09:56 AM
I don't want new students' minds poisoned with the idea that in order to press the trigger well, that they have to do it slowly. I want students to recognize early on that the quality of a trigger press is not inherently connected to the time they take to press the trigger.

The trigger can be pressed fast or slow, either well or badly.

It's not that I tell beginning students to press the trigger quickly, it's that I don't want them thinking that it has to be done slowly to be done well. I want them thinking in terms of pressing through the trigger without making the gun move, rather than being speed-focused (trying to do something slowly is a form of speed focus.) I make sure to demonstrate in dry fire, pressing the trigger both with and without disturbing the gun so they can see the difference. When I do this, I don't take a long time to press the trigger. The students also work on this dry right before we first go live.

I also don't emphasize a surprise trigger break. It's fine if that happens while continuously improving the sight picture and continuously adding pressure to the trigger, but it's not a concept I want them concerned about adhering to. It will break down under enough external or internal time pressure. Shooting in smaller amounts of time will ultimately have a person firing at a moment of their choosing. They need to be able to choose to stroke right through the trigger without inducing extra movement. That development can be started pretty quickly with a little bit of dry fire.

Nicely said, and I'm right there with you.

I think grip is massively under-emphasized on the tactical side of the house. A proper, strong grip will facilitate a decisive trigger manipulation. All too often people manipulate the trigger slowly because their grip is weak... because that's the only way they can get the gun to stay still.

Mr_White
09-19-2014, 10:05 AM
Great point on the grip for sure.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 10:05 AM
Jay, this may not help much, but I found a noticeable improvement in accuracy and speed when I started to learn to let go of the notion that I had to have a laser focus on the front sight exclusively and slowly press the trigger. Once I learned to just relax and focus on the sights and "row" the trigger, my anticipation problems almost disappeared

Is there a reason not to press the trigger more quickly?

Erik
09-19-2014, 10:14 AM
Thank you both.

RevolverRob
09-19-2014, 10:33 AM
I'm happy that that technique works for you. I'm pretty well versed in that and the spent-case-on-the sight technique. To be brutally blunt - as a teaching method, I've placed it in the category of "parlor trick". I'm not intending to be snarky or dismissive - I've used the above technique for years - but I've kind of deleted it unless it serves a very specific purpose.

The reason why I've deleted it as a teaching technique is that I found that I could get anybody, of any skill level, to do it within 10 minutes. It struck me theat the ability of a new shooter to successfully do this did not translate into any better real trigger control.

Fair enough. I am interested in the assessments you made on both sides of the drill to evaluate if it was helpful.


As an individual technique, It may work really well for someone, but remember I'm approaching this from an adult learning aspect.

So, I'm pretty interested to see what you consider adult learning and how it is taught. I'm not sure what you're defining as "adult learning" here.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 10:41 AM
"adult learning"

Don't get too wrapped around the axle; it's just another way of me saying "from the perspective of an instructor teaching newer shooters".

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 10:50 AM
Fair enough. I am interested in the assessments you made on both sides of the drill to evaluate if it was helpful.

It's ponderous, it eats time, it's very difficult to do solo, and you can achieve the desired result (case or coin stays on the front sight) even if you have a lousy, weak grip... if you pull the trigger very slowly and carefully.

There are much easier, more effective methods to train dry trigger control.

I'm not saying the technique is never useful, just that I keep it in the magic hat.

Sheep Have Wool
09-19-2014, 12:03 PM
Been following this thread with interest. Is there a good method for learning/practicing a strong grip/flat press in dry fire? I've been working with a LaserLyte training cartridge (http://www.amazon.com/Laserlyte-Laser-Trainer-9-mm-Cartridge/dp/B004NKY23E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411146045&sr=8-2&keywords=laserlyte), looking to minimize laser "wobble" after I press. My trigger press has certainly seen improvement, but I know my grip is lacking. If the coin on the site drill isn't great for working solo - and it doesn't seem to be, since it's incredibly time consuming/annoying to set up - what is something else I can do?

David S.
09-19-2014, 12:44 PM
"adult learning"

Don't get too wrapped around the axle; it's just another way of me saying "from the perspective of an instructor teaching newer shooters".

. . .who happen to be adults.

Thanks for dragging this necro post back up top.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 12:45 PM
. . .who happen to be adults.

Correct.

Mr_White
09-19-2014, 12:49 PM
Been following this thread with interest. Is there a good method for learning/practicing a strong grip/flat press in dry fire? I've been working with a LaserLyte training cartridge (http://www.amazon.com/Laserlyte-Laser-Trainer-9-mm-Cartridge/dp/B004NKY23E/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411146045&sr=8-2&keywords=laserlyte), looking to minimize laser "wobble" after I press. My trigger press has certainly seen improvement, but I know my grip is lacking. If the coin on the site drill isn't great for working solo - and it doesn't seem to be, since it's incredibly time consuming/annoying to set up - what is something else I can do?

SHW,

When it comes to lasers in dry fire, they have an upside and a downside.

Upside is that it gives the clearest feedback on the trigger press. When watching the laser, it is obvious whether and how much movement you've added in working the trigger.

The downside is that now you are paying attention to the target to decide whether your 'shot' was a hit. Ultimately, you need to get that information from the sight picture.

Until shot calling is more ingrained than it will be starting out, discerning the quality of the shot via the sight picture will be less clear and obvious than by looking at the laser.

So, a laser is great to initially establish, with pretty good certainty, a great trigger press. Once you know what a great trigger press feels like (in the finger and in the mind), the laser needs to go away and you need to connect the feeling of a great trigger press to what it looks like in the sight picture. Then you can do good work on the trigger in dry fire, and also practice reading the sight picture and calling the shot too.

When it comes to grip, you have to be very disciplined in dry fire, and use the same grip force you use in live fire. You should be getting grip panel texture imprints on your hand after gripping for five or ten seconds, and probably tiring yourself out a bit. Not saying to grip harder than in live fire, but it does need to be just as hard. It can be hard to do dry fire for a very long time if real, live fire grip pressure is used in dry fire the way it needs to be. It gets fatiguing pretty quickly.

Jay Cunningham
09-19-2014, 12:54 PM
When it comes to grip, you have to be very disciplined in dry fire, and use the same grip force you use in live fire. You should be getting grip panel texture imprints on your hand after gripping for five or ten seconds, and probably tiring yourself out a bit. Not saying to grip harder than in live fire, but it does need to be just as hard. It can be hard to do dry fire for a very long time if real, live fire grip pressure is used in dry fire the way it needs to be. It gets fatiguing pretty quickly.


If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. You know the gun isn't going to recoil, so you hold the gun like a dead fish. However, your hands interact with each other and with the gun differently when your full firing grip is achieved. It's tempting to shortcut your support hand grip during dry practice because with striker-fired guns you continuously remove it to reset the trigger via the slide. Don't do it. Pivot those knuckles like a hinge and drive the base of the palm of your support hand into the grip to provide tight, full 360 degree coverage.

We're really tracking with other, I need to figure out where our thinking parts ways. I also posted in a SIRT thread yesterday that I wasn't thrilled about using the live laser for casual dry practice.

One of the ways you know you're doing it right - "It gets fatiguing very quickly".

I get smoked from 10 minutes of dry practice now.

ToddG
09-19-2014, 01:59 PM
Traditionally, right from the get-go, pistol marksmanship is taught with a hard, laser-like focus on the front sight and then a slow takeup on the trigger, resulting in a surprise break.

Without getting into details right now, I think this could be completely wrong and may in fact be a huge cause of anticipation/jerked triggers. Naturally it also leads to slower than necessary speed and "perfomance anxiety" a.k.a. agony over breaking that first shot.

I literally got off the phone with SLG not three minutes ago and we were talking about this same thing regarding different pistols (specifically 1911 vs Glock). I think marksmanship is very important and think it is something that should be worked upon and improved every time one goes to the range. But asking people to be perfect marksmen before they advance to faster, more "tactical," etc. shooting goals is just silly. It's like asking someone to spend five years developing the perfect right cross before you teach them anything else whatsoever about boxing. For at least five years, that person doesn't really know how to box, does he?

The NRA has known this for quite a while as any certified instructor knows. Instead of having students shoot at bulls eyes, instructors give them a full sheet of paper and consider any hit anywhere on the paper -- center, corners, anywhere -- a success. They're satisfied with new students have a fundamental understanding of sight picture, trigger control, etc. without demanding that they develop those particular subsets of shooting skill to perfection before moving on to other types of training and shooting.

Sheep Have Wool
09-19-2014, 02:17 PM
Thanks guys.

One of my worries about the laser was that I already have a terrible habit of checking the target after basically every shot in live fire. I was concerned that I'd only emphasize that issue with the laser, because I end up looking to see if I'm getting a "hit/dot" or a "miss/streak." It sounds like my worries were justified. I really should do some negative target shooting again, so I can make sure I'm not creating training scars. It also seems like it'd be a good idea to do only every other dry fire session with the laser, and slowly back use of it off.

Apparently I'm not even coming close to gripping hard enough, though. A bit off topic, but just so you training folks know, things like this comment:


You should be getting grip panel texture imprints on your hand after gripping for five or ten seconds, and probably tiring yourself out a bit.

...are extremely helpful. Any time I can get a visual, tactile, or kinesthetic reference point, it's much easier for me (and presumably others) to "get it," even online. Another example: SouthNarc's comments on feeling a pinch behind your shoulder when you're in retention.

In any case, extremely useful information.

Jared
09-20-2014, 07:00 AM
Is there a reason not to press the trigger more quickly?

Jay, I initially learned a rather slow trigger press, which would get even slower on a shot that I perceived as difficult. Nobody I knew had a shot timer at the time, but I'd be willing to bet there were more than 2 Mississippi's in my trigger press, at minimum, back then. I have come to think that this led to a lot of unnecessary tension, both mental and physical, that led to a lot of anticipation problems.

Since this is about dry practice, one day while doing Wall Drills, I noticed that if I just stroked through the trigger, I had a much easier time keeping the sights stable. I tried it live and found it worked live as well. Shortly after that, I bought a shot timer, and started working on pressing through the trigger before the start tone had ended, which helped even more.

In 2013, I started shooting USPSA, and felt that it would be beneficial to learn how to "slap" the trigger effectively. So I started doing a little drill where my finger is inside the trigger guard, but the finger nail is up against the front of the trigger guard as far from the trigger face as I can get my finger. When the start tone sounds, I "slap" the trigger as quickly as I can. For me, I really need a good grip to do this without moving the sights. Specifically, if I relax my shooting had too much, my other fingers want to squeeze sympathetically. I wouldn't use this technique at 25 yards, but at 7 yards or less, I've found I can pretty easily get A's in live fire as long as my grip is solid.

ETA: I can't find the article right now, but I'm all but certain I read an interview with Jerry Miculek once where he said he used to have an awful flinch. He said that he had wondered if he could learn to fire the gun fast enough that he didn't have time to flinch as a cure. As he experimented with that, he wound up laying the foundation for the speed he has today.

RJ
09-20-2014, 08:04 AM
With respect to grip, question please.

I'm in the 'learner' camp, and following this thread with interest.

As a 5'7" guy, my hands are not huge. I had automatically put the S backstrap on my M&P from the start, thinking I need to match my hand size.

Surprisingly, I went to the M, I felt better,, and now I have the L installed, and it feels better still. i guess it gives more grip surface (well, duh) and my fingers don't wrap around the gun.

Is this 'ok' to leave the L on, or alternately, what would be the recommendation on students that have replaceable backstraps (as is becoming common on pistols these days) for which size to use?

Thanks very much in advance.

Rich in Tampa

Sheep Have Wool
09-20-2014, 08:19 AM
Is this 'ok' to leave the L on, or alternately, what would be the recommendation on students that have replaceable backstraps (as is becoming common on pistols these days) for which size to use?

There's a thread on this here (http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?13036-Ideal-fit-with-interchangeable-grip-panels-Is-there-a-science-to-it). Surf had a good post (http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?13036-Ideal-fit-with-interchangeable-grip-panels-Is-there-a-science-to-it&p=243008&viewfull=1#post243008) that described his process for fitting students. I followed it, using my laser, in dry practice and came to a setup that I was happy with. Afterwards, I verified in a live fire session. One thing to watch out for with the L panels is that they may be easier in dry fire, but cause your grip to break in live fire.

On the topic at hand, I did two 10 minute sessions with a "real" grip last night, and sure enough, I was definitely not gripping hard enough when I practice. I've also tried doing some presses with the laser cartridge and some with a pencil in front of it to block it, focusing on the feel of a good, non-moving trigger press. I'm also thinking I need to adjust my grip panel setup for the VP9, as I'm getting my finger to rub on the frame some.

RJ
09-20-2014, 08:22 AM
^^^. Thanks.

Jay Cunningham
09-21-2014, 07:55 AM
On the topic at hand, I did two 10 minute sessions with a "real" grip last night, and sure enough, I was definitely not gripping hard enough when I practice.

Almost no one does; then again, almost nobody seems to be properly teaching this. You just get "dry fire's important, mmmmmkaaaay?" with barely any explanation behind it. The best we get is usually a description of a Wall Drill or something. This is my experience from the Timmy side of the house... however the recent Bob Vogel class I took was pretty descriptive about dry practice. I don't know if this is common with competition instructors, and if this is some great divide in the shooting community.

My research continues.

Wendell
09-21-2014, 02:11 PM
Super Dave Harrington teaches and demonstrates a comprehensive dry-fire routine.

His self-discipline still amazes me.

Jay Cunningham
09-21-2014, 02:13 PM
Dave Harrington and Ben Stoeger have dedicated dry fire resources: I'm sure there are some others out there.

Jared
09-21-2014, 04:38 PM
Dave Harrington and Ben Stoeger have dedicated dry fire resources: I'm sure there are some others out there.

Steve Anderson has one that's pure competition. Mike Seeklander, I think, has one for gaming and one for defensive use.

YVK
09-21-2014, 04:44 PM
I have both Seeklander's and Stoeger's material, and I find the latter to be better laid out and just user friendlier. There are some expected limitations from a concealed carry standpoint, but it is still a helpful resource.

CCT125US
09-21-2014, 05:24 PM
The downside is that now you are paying attention to the target to decide whether your 'shot' was a hit. Ultimately, you need to get that information from the sight picture.

Once you know what a great trigger press feels like (in the finger and in the mind), the laser needs to go away and you need to connect the feeling of a great trigger press to what it looks like in the sight picture.


Agreed....however, we know feelings are rude and sometimes lie.
What I have done to remove the desire and tendency to watch the laser is as follows. My laser and sights do not co-witness. The dot is about 8" off to the 11 o'clock position at 55' on purpose. I place a dark piece of fabric where the laser would fall if my sights are in the target zone. I like to use a 3x3 post it as a target, so the fabric is smaller in size, maybe 2" or so. The fabric absorbs the laser unless my sights are off target. I am still able to focus on the sight, but become very aware of the laser starbusting on the white wall if my sights are not trully aligned.
Sometimes what feels good in the trigger, is contradicted by the red fail light. This is what works for me currently, I am waiting for the day when my vision and trigger press cooperate fully.

Jared
09-22-2014, 06:40 AM
I have both Seeklander's and Stoeger's material, and I find the latter to be better laid out and just user friendlier. There are some expected limitations from a concealed carry standpoint, but it is still a helpful resource.

I agree. Of all the dry fire material I've encountered, Stoeger's is far and away my favorite.

Mr_White
09-22-2014, 11:53 AM
Agreed....however, we know feelings are rude and sometimes lie.
What I have done to remove the desire and tendency to watch the laser is as follows. My laser and sights do not co-witness. The dot is about 8" off to the 11 o'clock position at 55' on purpose. I place a dark piece of fabric where the laser would fall if my sights are in the target zone. I like to use a 3x3 post it as a target, so the fabric is smaller in size, maybe 2" or so. The fabric absorbs the laser unless my sights are off target. I am still able to focus on the sight, but become very aware of the laser starbusting on the white wall if my sights are not trully aligned.
Sometimes what feels good in the trigger, is contradicted by the red fail light. This is what works for me currently, I am waiting for the day when my vision and trigger press cooperate fully.

Very interesting approach. Thank you for sharing!

FWIW, in using the SIRT (the only time right now I use a laser) I sometimes leave the laser on and make it a big act of will to not let myself do anything different with my eyes trying to see it or look at it, and other times I tape it off.

Jay Cunningham
07-21-2015, 03:40 AM
If you are staging the trigger during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. A long, slow trigger press almost never increases your chance of getting a hit. In fact, what it tends to do is significantly contribute to the anticipation that leads to jerking the trigger. You all know what that looks like; for right-handed shooters it usually manifests itself as hits low left. You are better off pressing the trigger straight through decisively, regardless of trigger characteristics. This short-circuits mental agony which helps mitigate jerking the trigger due to anticipation.

If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. You know the gun isn't going to recoil, so you hold the gun like a dead fish. However, your hands interact with each other and with the gun differently when your full firing grip is achieved. It's tempting to shortcut your grip during dry practice because with striker-fired guns you continuously remove your support hand to reset the trigger via the slide. DON'T SHORTCUT YOUR GRIP. Think of your knuckles like the hinge of a nutcracker and establish a hard grip as high on the gun as you can. If your forearms are torqueing inward and your pectoral muscles come into play, you're doing it right. If your support arm is higher than your firing arm because you're getting the "ball" of your support hand up as high as you can on the gun, you're doing it right.

If you persist in using "just the tip" of your trigger finger because you were trained that way, you're screwing yourself. If you're reading this you've likely taken formal training and you've likely been told to use just the tip of your finger on the trigger. I'm telling you to use how much ever finger you need to minimize movement of the gun. This requires experimentation. You may only need just the tip of your finger. You may need to jam your whole finger in up to the second knuckle. You need to figure it out, and now is the time. You'll know when it's right, because the sights won't move.

If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" (riding the reset) during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. BANG-CLICK is something I wish I could purge instantly from my students, but instead I need to rely upon 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions. Such is life. If you've been trained to "catch the link" (press the trigger, hold it to the rear, gun cycles, sights back on target, let the trigger out to reset point, press the trigger again) you've been taught a technique that isn't particularly helpful. You're far better off simply relaxing your trigger finger during the recoil of the gun and being ready to fire that next shot when the sights fall back down on target. So with all that said, quit trying to simulate catching the link during dry practice. It's not doing anything useful.

If you think lots of live fire means you can skip dry practice, you're screwing yourself. Dry practice allows you to look at things differently than live fire. If you have a mentality that you "shoot all the time" therefore you don't need to dry practice, you're depriving yourself of a very simple and effective methodology for improvement. Don't view dry practice as something to do only when you can't get to the range.


Obviously the focus of the above is narrowed down to practicing with a normal two-handed grip... SHO and WHO practice has some additional nuance.

Trigger control is simply dropping the hammer/releasing the striker (via the trigger) while keeping two axis stability of the boreline. By experimenting with the the interaction of your support hand and firing hand and your trigger finger position in relation to the trigger face - whilst gripping the gun hard and high - you will be able to achieve your ultimate goal: pressing the trigger quickly without having your sights appreciably move.

This is a much more useful goal for practical pistol shooting than that of having your front sight remain "perfectly still".


Updated with some tweaks and additional thoughts.

:cool:

cclaxton
07-21-2015, 08:17 AM
Jay,
These are great tips.
How do you recommend increasing trigger frequency in dry-fire? Anderson recommends using a metronome and then pushing the metronome faster and pushing the speed of your trigger finger to the metronome. My splits average .25, and I want to push that number down.
Any suggestions?
Cody

the_swede
07-21-2015, 08:47 AM
Jay,
These are great tips.
How do you recommend increasing trigger frequency in dry-fire? Anderson recommends using a metronome and then pushing the metronome faster and pushing the speed of your trigger finger to the metronome. My splits average .25, and I want to push that number down.
Any suggestions?
Cody
Worry less about trigger speed and more about shooting the sights! That helped me alot atleast for increasing trigger speed in live fire.

RJ
10-31-2015, 07:13 PM
If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. You know the gun isn't going to recoil, so you hold the gun like a dead fish. However, your hands interact with each other and with the gun differently when your full firing grip is achieved. It's tempting to shortcut your grip during dry practice because with striker-fired guns you continuously remove your support hand to reset the trigger via the slide. DON'T SHORTCUT YOUR GRIP. Think of your knuckles like the hinge of a nutcracker and establish a hard grip as high on the gun as you can. If your forearms are torqueing inward and your pectoral muscles come into play, you're doing it right. If your support arm is higher than your firing arm because you're getting the "ball" of your support hand up as high as you can on the gun, you're doing it right.



I really like this thread, and I keep coming back to read it from time to time.

I hope Jay does not mind me bumping it with a question, vs. a new thread, because what I'm asking is kind of related.

With regard to the above point, in particular, the bold, does this necessarily argue for a more "support arm locked" approach?

So today I was shooting with some friends that were visiting Tampa. One was a young USMC officer, so I took the opportunity to ask him to critique my stance. (I understand the USMC knows a bit about marksmanship :cool:)

After looking at me shoot low right (as a lefty), he had me try locking my support arm elbow much closer and tighter to counter my trigger hand grip tightening.

Wow! After I did this, I immediately saw my groups at 5 yards shrink by 1/2. It was...pretty amazing. It felt much more solid and stable.

So, I came home, did some research, and thought I would ask what you guys thought about this suggestion. Since this thread is so useful, I wondered if this was what Jay was getting at in the quote (and bold part) above.

Thoughts?

http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/10/31/4dfaaf292d7a2325c1c436d343da589e.jpg

Luke
10-31-2015, 07:19 PM
I'd like to know more about the boldest area as well. I've tried it before and didn't like it so I stopped, but I was probably doing it wrong. If I torque my arms inwards like I think it says the part of my palm closest to the ground while aiming the gun comes up and tries to 'peak' my hand away from the gun..

Or are you saying to torque down wards and not up like I was assuming? Activating your front delts?

RJ
10-31-2015, 07:22 PM
I'd like to know more about the boldest area as well. I've tried it before and didn't like it so I stopped, but I was probably doing it wrong. If I torque my arms inwards like I think it says the part of my palm closest to the ground while aiming the gun comes up and tries to 'peak' my hand away from the gun..

Or are you saying to torque down wards and not up like I was assuming? Activating your front delts?

Um, my English sucks. :cool: sorry. :(

I meant that he suggested I bring my support hand elbow in tight, like, locked in tight, vs letting my elbow bend and kinda drop / point to the floor...hopefully makes more sense.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

GRV
11-01-2015, 01:18 AM
I don't want to speak for Jay, but here's my interpretation:

What he's saying does not involve locking the elbow out as you have. In fact, getting pec activation may be harder with a locked elbow. Instead, think like Bob Vogel's grip, torquing "in"/down onto the top of the frame.

In your pic, your support arm actually looks lower than your strong arm, but it might just be the angle. It doesn't look optimal or in total matchup with any contemporary grip theory, but personally, I think this stuff is super individual and that results should speak louder than conformity, so power to you if it's working.

HopetonBrown
11-01-2015, 02:31 AM
One was a young USMC officer, so I took the opportunity to ask him to critique my stance. (I understand the USMC knows a bit about marksmanship :cool

One of the great myths in the firearms world is that because someone is in the military or law enforcement it means they automatically have anything more than a rudimentary understanding of firearms accuracy or gun handling.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCVldvgEi4o

RJ
11-01-2015, 06:44 AM
^^^ Understood. My point was he was not just some yahoo at the range, but your point is valid.

At any rate, I noticed an immediate and sudden reduction in group sizes, my groups were more centered than ever before, and my wife said I was better looking. :cool:

Ok, well maybe not all of that, but, I tell ya, my shoulders (both sides, the muscles that connect my head to my shoulders) were much tighter with my elbow locked or nearly locked. It seems logical to me that given that I've been pushing rounds low right as a lefty for two years, that 'for me' the effect of locked elbows corrected that issue.

You mentioned Bob Vogel, exactly. Here is Mr. Vogel's grip video, check out 1:54, for example:


http://youtu.be/45QhpvY9LZc

His support arm looks pretty straight to me:

4181

I get the biomechanics is not the same for everyone, was just wondering, 'in general' would the experts advise locking support hand elbow, or no?

Jay Cunningham
11-01-2015, 08:10 AM
My opinion:

It behooves the practical pistol shooter to get the "ball" of their support hand as high on the gun as they can get it - the area directly between the thumb and the wrist. Once there, it behooves the shooter to "pinch" the gun high, as close to the bore axis as possible. To facilitate this, the shooter should torque inward with both hands (forearms come into play as well) to build the man/machine interface high on the pistol frame. If the hands splay apart a bit down low on the pistol grip, that's okay.

I don't recommend locking arms/elbows unless you're shooting SHO or WHO. Leaving a bend in the elbows is better for recoil control and allows for a stronger grip. Try this: Lock your elbows out and try to build a high, strong grip. Now bend your elbows and try to build a high, strong grip. Locking elbows tends to bring the bottom of the hands together on the pistol grip, which can lead to "heeling" (throwing rounds high) and to "milking" the grip (continually reestablishing) over a multi-shot string.

Vogel has figured out a lot of stuff and it's important to consider his opinion, however also keep in mind that he's a world class competitor and that his technique tends to verge on the extreme. Learn the lesson from him, don't try to imitate him.

Here a different angle of Vogel:


4182


Note the support arm higher relative to the firing arm. It would also appear that both elbows are bent.


:o

Jay Cunningham
11-01-2015, 08:21 AM
Read through this AAR of last year's diagnostics workshop Protective Shooting Concepts conducted:

AAR: pistol-forum.com Diagnostics Workshop (https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?13954-AAR-pistol-forum-com-Diagnostics-Workshop)

for some clarifying commentary and pictures.

:cool:

GJM
11-01-2015, 08:23 AM
Vogel is so strong, it almost doesn't matter how he holds a 9mm Glock 34 -- it isn't going to move.

Rich, here is my thought on support hand influencing trigger pull. While the support hand being strong may allow you to be rougher on the trigger (meaning go faster more aggressive), you need to be able to press the trigger back without disturbing the sights. That is two hands, or right/left hand only. Until you can press the trigger straight back slow fire, followed by intermediate speed, followed finally by full speed, you are chasing things that are secondary. Until you get to 50 yards and beyond, most/many missed shots are a result of trigger control problems not sight alignment problems. A different support hand position may allow you to shoot better, but it may also be masking problems with pressing the trigger straight back, that should be fixed immediately.

Kevin B.
11-01-2015, 08:34 AM
Until you can press the trigger straight back slow fire, followed by intermediate speed, followed finally by full speed, you are chasing things that are secondary.

Completely agree.

Jay Cunningham
11-01-2015, 08:38 AM
Vogel is so strong, it almost doesn't matter how he holds a 9mm Glock 34 -- it isn't going to move.

Rich, here is my thought on support hand influencing trigger pull. While the support hand being strong may allow you to be rougher on the trigger (meaning go faster more aggressive), you need to be able to press the trigger back without disturbing the sights. That is two hands, or right/left hand only. Until you can press the trigger straight back slow fire, followed by intermediate speed, followed finally by full speed, you are chasing things that are secondary. Until you get to 50 yards and beyond, most/many missed shots are a result of trigger control problems not sight alignment problems. A different support hand position may allow you to shoot better, but it may also be masking problems with pressing the trigger straight back, that should be fixed immediately.

I agree with much of what you say, but I'd emphasize that SHO and WHO shooting are almost essentially pure trigger control, whereas shooting with a two handed grip should take advantage of the *support!* provided.

For dry practice, I recommend "perfect trigger press" repetitions SHO and WHO for maximum bang/buck. I recommend as aggressive trigger manipulation as you possibly can with both hands on the gun.

BehindBlueI's
11-01-2015, 09:14 AM
If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" (riding the reset) during dry practice, you're screwing yourself. BANG-CLICK is something I wish I could purge instantly from my students, but instead I need to rely upon 3,000 to 5,000 repetitions. Such is life. If you've been trained to "catch the link" (press the trigger, hold it to the rear, gun cycles, sights back on target, let the trigger out to reset point, press the trigger again) you've been taught a technique that isn't particularly helpful. You're far better off simply relaxing your trigger finger during the recoil of the gun and being ready to fire that next shot when the sights fall back down on target. So with all that said, quit trying to simulate catching the link during dry practice. It's not doing anything useful.:

Huh. I've not been catching the reset, but once I read this I realized I was pinning the trigger most of the time when dry firing one shot. I never thought to think about it, so to speak. So today I worked on working the trigger hard and then relaxing the finger. I noticed some things that pop up in live fire that hadn't in dry fire before, so thanks for this.

Also noticed I need to work on support hand grip strength. I've taken too long off of working on grip strength and it's starting to show.

GRV
11-01-2015, 11:14 AM
[snip]
Here a different angle of Vogel:


4182


Note the support arm higher relative to the firing arm. It would also appear that both elbows are bent.


:o

:cool: You found exactly the picture of Vogel I was going to post.

RJ
11-01-2015, 12:35 PM
Try this: Lock your elbows out and try to build a high, strong grip. Now bend your elbows and try to build a high, strong grip.



Just tried this. I can feel it in my trapezius and deltoid both.

Can't wait to try this on the range; meanwhile, I'll incorporate this into my dry fire.

Thanks!

scw2
11-01-2015, 07:54 PM
I saw a discussion a few pages back, but wanted some opinions. Running a CZ 75 I fire my shots SA, but recently in dry fire I've purposely followed up shots using DA, with the finger on the trigger in the same location as for SA. I figured it would help me see if there were issues with my grip, especially after the first shot (relaxing, shifting, etc). Is this beneficial, or am I better off just doing 1 SA shot at a time and resetting the hammer each time?


Rich, one thing I've realized recently is that I'm not pressing my trigger fast enough in dry fire. I've realized slow pressing allows me to be lazy with grip. What's even worse, is I suspect when I'm shooting really well live fire, it's when I'm just pressing straight back smoothly and not when I'm right at the wall and try to snatch a shot. I've recently been looking to increase my speed in dry fire while trying to keep my front sight 100% stable. I also make sure to release the trigger immediately to simulate resetting during recoil. Seeing when your front sight moves in the process is illuminating as you can quickly see what tweaks or changes to your grip are crap, and can be tossed out without even needing to waste ammo to experiment on the changes that are useless. If you have a gun that is DA, then you can maybe do additional testing and press multiple times and see how your grip holds up, depending on what the experts say in response to my question above :)

I'm no expert, but I think that would give you a great starting place in your dry fire to try different tweaks to your grip, see what might work, then go to the range and compare. At least that's my plan.


Edit: Reading through Jay's linked AAR makes me wish I could go back in time and attend that class. Feels like it's a really great course on fundamentals of trigger and grip, which is exactly what I'm mostly working on in dry and live fire recently!

GJM
11-01-2015, 08:06 PM
With DA/SA pistols, in dry fire, some folks press the trigger once in DA, then don't let the trigger all the way out to simulate SA. The 320 and VP9 are nice, because you can keep pressing the trigger after the first press (unlike the Glock where the trigger is dead after the first press).

No disagreement with a strong two hand grip, but Rich/Jay, the point I was trying to make was reference Rich's post, where he described his group at 5 yards shrinking with a different support hand technique. As Robbie Leatham demonstrates, you can make an accurate shot with almost any grip, from two fingers to a tea cup, or even one hand. Where the strong two hand grip comes in is trying to shoot accurate shots fast. Robbie actually makes a teaching point that even with a botched grip, you can make accurate shots, but you have to shoot more slowly than with an ideal grip.

scw2
11-01-2015, 08:27 PM
Thanks, I'll have to try out that tip. Part of me wants to let it fully reset, since I figure if I can get my front sight stable at a "fast" pace in harder DA mode in dry fire, it'll help a lot in live fire. I don't know if that's misguided thinking or not and if would do more harm than good.

GJM
11-01-2015, 08:36 PM
Thanks, I'll have to try out that tip. Part of me wants to let it fully reset, since I figure if I can get my front sight stable at a "fast" pace in harder DA mode in dry fire, it'll help a lot in live fire. I don't know if that's misguided thinking or not and if would do more harm than good.

Early on, there is a temptation to do almost all DA practice since that is "harder," although SA is the vast majority of shots, and hard in its own way. I learned that from Taadski.

nycnoob
11-01-2015, 09:00 PM
Rich, one thing I've realized recently is that I'm not pressing my trigger fast enough in dry fire.

I learned about using a metronome for trigger practice after a Bloovman/April class.




The were also a whole series of cadence shooting drills designed to help speed up the shooting of
close targets without sacrificing accuracy (aimed fire at 60 BPM (one shot per second, 1 sec split), 120 BPM
and finally 240 BPM (.25 sec split) ). Found this so helpful that I plan on incorporating cadence shooting
into my dry fire regime (Here is a free metronome which goes to 300 BPM http://a.bestmetronome.com/).

MGW
11-01-2015, 10:33 PM
Okay, between this thread and the AAR referenced above some lights have started to switch on. I've really been struggling with pushing shots low and not managing the trigger very well.

Vogel's description of torquing both arms in just clicked with me. I've watched his video above multiple times but couldn't figure out what he meant by that. The reason I couldn't is because I've been locking my elbows out with out realizing it.

If I torque my arms inward as I press out its almost impossible to lock my elbows out. It also creates an incredibly tight grip on the pistol without feeling like I'm trying to crush the pistol with my hands. It really frees me up to just see the sights and work the trigger.

Some really good stuff here.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 06:33 AM
No disagreement with a strong two hand grip, but Rich/Jay, the point I was trying to make was reference Rich's post, where he described his group at 5 yards shrinking with a different support hand technique. As Robbie Leatham demonstrates, you can make an accurate shot with almost any grip, from two fingers to a tea cup, or even one hand. Where the strong two hand grip comes in is trying to shoot accurate shots fast. Robbie actually makes a teaching point that even with a botched grip, you can make accurate shots, but you have to shoot more slowly than with an ideal grip.

Yes, of course... no disagreement with the above.

But remember, despite the twists and turns this thread has taken (all good!) the original premise is "dry practice misconceptions" and as a subtitle I'll say "for practical pistol shooters". I feel a huge problem occurs when practical pistol shooters don't dry practice with a full strong firing grip and a crisp trigger manipulation.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 07:21 AM
I noticed in the AAR thread I linked to that some of the pictures weren't showing! I fixed three of those!

Anyway, I wanted to comment about the original intent and scope of the topic. The following is a synopsis (or perhaps a restating) of my point, without me going back to the beginning and specifically referring to what I've already written:


When drawing on my previous 10 years of experience, overwhelmingly in the "tactical" shooting world, I've come to find three issues with Tactical Timmies (I use the term with endearment) which consistently have a detrimental effect on their shooting performance:


Grip is not emphasized properly.
Surprise break trigger control is taught.
Shooters are told that dry practice is important, but not how to dry practice.


All three of the above can be woven into the overall topic of dry practice for the practical pistol shooter. I consider the defensive/tactical class taker, and both USPSA and IDPA as practical pistol shooters. Starting with #3 and working our way back, Tactical Timmies are told that dry practice is important. Besides draws, reloads and other stuff like that, trigger control is the big thing they should practice dry. They are often told to perform a "perfect press" which usually means the front sight remains perfectly still. As far as goals go, I believe this is counter-productive.

When shooters make a "perfect trigger press" (front sight perfectly still) they will compromise all kinds of things which they need for good shooting performance to achieve that one misguided goal. Continuing back through our list, they will take up the trigger in an agonizingly slow fashion... but that's okay, because it's just a slowed-down version of the surprise break methodology, right?

Surprise break trigger control methodology is a poor methodology for practical pistol shooters. Despite the claim that it eliminates anticipation, it actually does the opposite and builds anticipation. It also looks nothing like the way practical pistol shooters manipulate the trigger 98% of the time. It may be appropriate for the art of bullseye shooting, but I'll leave that up to a bullseye shooting guru.

So since the Timmies are told dry practice is important but not how to do it (except for being told "achieve a perfect trigger press") they take up super slow on their triggers to achieve the goal of a still front sight when the hammer/striker falls. Naturally, the third thing which is compromised is any type of realistic, strong grip on the pistol. When the goal is a perfectly still front sight, the shooter will compromise essential things to achieve the goal.

So... I propose some basic ideas for the practical pistol shooter to consider during their dry practice:


First, redefine your goal. Practice pure trigger control SHO and WHO. Try to achieve that still front sight (but do your best to keep the trigger in motion the whole time). With both hands on the gun in your normal grip, your goal should be to operate the trigger as crisply and aggressively as you can without too much movement of your front sight. Think of it this way: SHO/WHO are trigger control, both hands on the gun is grip check.

With both hands on the gun during dry practice, have your full firing grip established and don't compromise it. A strong grip built high on the gun is what I recommend; when you perform the above-mentioned crisp trigger press you'll be able to achieve your goal of very limited front sight movement - hence, grip check.


There are lots of great and talented shooters here with varying opinions, and they're all worthy of consideration. What I'm offering here are some basic suggestions to Tactical Timmy types (believe me, I know you all very well because that's my own background) which make more sense in supporting your practical pistol shooting goals that what you may be currently doing.


:cool:

JHC
11-02-2015, 08:42 AM
My opinion:

It behooves the practical pistol shooter to get the "ball" of their support hand as high on the gun as they can get it - the area directly between the thumb and the wrist. Once there, it behooves the shooter to "pinch" the gun high, as close to the bore axis as possible. To facilitate this, the shooter should torque inward with both hands (forearms come into play as well) to build the man/machine interface high on the pistol frame. If the hands splay apart a bit down low on the pistol grip, that's okay.

I don't recommend locking arms/elbows unless you're shooting SHO or WHO. Leaving a bend in the elbows is better for recoil control and allows for a stronger grip. Try this: Lock your elbows out and try to build a high, strong grip. Now bend your elbows and try to build a high, strong grip. Locking elbows tends to bring the bottom of the hands together on the pistol grip, which can lead to "heeling" (throwing rounds high) and to "milking" the grip (continually reestablishing) over a multi-shot string.

Vogel has figured out a lot of stuff and it's important to consider his opinion, however also keep in mind that he's a world class competitor and that his technique tends to verge on the extreme. Learn the lesson from him, don't try to imitate him.

Here a different angle of Vogel:


4182


Note the support arm higher relative to the firing arm. It would also appear that both elbows are bent.


:o

A couple years ago I took a crack at this elbows out thing and rejected it quickly. Then earlier this year a really good young shooter was my guest at the range and he suggested the same thing except this time he offered a few tips on how to set it up and it clicked.

I don't have a very strong grip and this method of getting those elbows out a bit improved my support hand purchase a good bit and my recoil control with what grip I have. It's good.

Then a couple Sat's ago shooting with Kevin B he offered the idea of a little more forward placement of my support hand index finger out past flush with the end of the trigger guard, yet still under it. This seemed to creep the "ball" of my support hand incrementally even higher.

I agree that a high octane grip during dry fire is pretty important vs getting slack on it.

scw2
11-02-2015, 09:26 AM
A couple years ago I took a crack at this elbows out thing and rejected it quickly. Then earlier this year a really good young shooter was my guest at the range and he suggested the same thing except this time he offered a few tips on how to set it up and it clicked.


Were there any tips that you can share regarding the elbows out grip? I never know how 'high' to bring them up, and at some point it feels really awkward.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 10:25 AM
Were there any tips that you can share regarding the elbows out grip? I never know how 'high' to bring them up, and at some point it feels really awkward.

GOALS! What is your goal? Don't get sucked into "making your thumbs point forward" or "making your elbows stick out" ---

Understand what is important to your shooting and your practice, then understand how to achieve it. Look at the following pic and my associated caption:


http://i.imgur.com/6FD6hpZ.jpg

It's remarkable to see such uniformity in grip, especially considering no one was told to "make your grip look like this". What we did was tell shooters what was important and why, and how to achieve it. The shooter in the foreground (whilst otherwise displaying excellent overall marksmanship throughout the day) was encouraged to lift his chin up and break out of the "turtle"... this can be difficult to deprogram but we got there little by little.

JHC
11-02-2015, 10:39 AM
Were there any tips that you can share regarding the elbows out grip? I never know how 'high' to bring them up, and at some point it feels really awkward.

Without any intention of contradicting Jay's reply (and a pretty excellent picture), I would say that when I tried it first I tried to point both elbows out - pointing on an axis fully parallel to the ground and found that a no go. This year I didn't change my strong hand elbow direction much but more so the support side elbow - but comfortably, not straining. Just "cocked" it up maybe 15 degrees from where it had been and got more solid support.

It's not easy to be sure but my sense it pretty close to the guy in Jay's pic with the brown jacket.

edit: I thought this was so cool that when I visited my son in AK in June and we got out to shoot I was all about showing him this but I saw he was already doing it. He said, "Well, yeah, that's how Frank Proctor suggested we do it when we trained with him." I had dumped memory of that completely. Perhaps because I'd thought I'd tried it and found it wanting.

scw2
11-02-2015, 11:10 AM
GOALS! What is your goal? Don't get sucked into "making your thumbs point forward" or "making your elbows stick out" ---

Understand what is important to your shooting and your practice, then understand how to achieve it.

I guess goal-wise what I have been trying to do recently with my grip during dry-fire:
1. Minimize or eliminate front sight movement as I go through an entire trigger press, including doing an immediate reset. Any movement tells me where my grip is changing or breaking down in the absence of having to deal with recoil
2. Maximize surface area and friction on the pistol
3. Get hands as high as possible near the bore line, up high on the beaver tail
4. Try to press in on the grip of the gun, both inwards by torquing elbows up a bit and pressing the thumb-side of the palm inwards, as well as somewhat front-to-back pressure
5. Try to add extra pressure/locking of pinky and ring finger to help improve recoil
6. Lock wrists and elbows
7. Wonder if I should try again with my support-hand index finger slightly further out on the trigger guard.


Do you think I am tracking wrong on any of the goals I've set up in my head, or am I missing anything critical? Appreciate all the feedback I can get :)

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 12:29 PM
My opinion is that you shouldn't chase off in too many directions at the same time. Here are *very brief* thoughts on your list.



I guess goal-wise what I have been trying to do recently with my grip during dry-fire:

1. Minimize or eliminate front sight movement as I go through an entire trigger press, including doing an immediate reset. Any movement tells me where my grip is changing or breaking down in the absence of having to deal with recoil I'd go with "minimize sight movement" I wouldn't worry about "doing an immediate reset".

2. Maximize surface area and friction on the pistol This can be counter-productive - where your hands come together on the gun needs to be strong.

3. Get hands as high as possible near the bore line, up high on the beaver tail Get the important part of your support hand as high as possible.

4. Try to press in on the grip of the gun, both inwards by torquing elbows up a bit and pressing the thumb-side of the palm inwards, as well as somewhat front-to-back pressure I wouldn't worry about front-to-back pressure.

5. Try to add extra pressure/locking of pinky and ring finger to help improve recoil I wouldn't worry about that.

6. Lock wrists and elbows I'm concerned with the "lock" terminology you're using.

7. Wonder if I should try again with my support-hand index finger slightly further out on the trigger guard. Yes, if it helps to get the important part of your support hand higher on the frame.


Do you think I am tracking wrong on any of the goals I've set up in my head, or am I missing anything critical? Appreciate all the feedback I can get :)

This stuff is hard to do via written word.

scw2
11-02-2015, 01:04 PM
My opinion is that you shouldn't chase off in too many directions at the same time. Here are *very brief* thoughts on your list.

This stuff is hard to do via written word.

Jay, thanks for your thoughts and feedback. Can you help me process some of what you’ve said?

I'd go with "minimize sight movement" I wouldn't worry about "doing an immediate reset".

The reason I added the ‘doing a reset’ part is I used to just dry fire once, and either not follow through or would just pin the trigger. When I started releasing the trigger to reset after the shot broke, I realized that there was wobble on the front sight. I realized that something was off with my grip, which would probably cause issues in trying to get a clean return of the sights on target in recoil, hence the desire to include that specifically. I think the goal of ‘minimize sight movement’ is ultimately the goal, but are you saying to not worry about the reset in and how my gun moves during reset in dry fire, or rather that you recommend using a broader goal to strive for?


It sounds like the other key part is to just get the key index/contact points as high up on the frame of the gun as possible, which makes sense. I’ll try to break down my grip and see where or how I can improve that further.

I'm concerned with the "lock" terminology you're using.

I don’t think I’m describing this properly. I am not fully extending and locking my elbows out, but instead trying to get tendons activated. I know people recommend the 45 degree angle for the hand, but I read somewhere (Mike Seeklander maybe?) that if you follow the prior point about getting high on the gun, your hand will naturally point ~45 degrees down. Once you actually apply a firm grip, your wrist will naturally lock due to the tendons being engaged.

I noticed a few weeks ago I was trying too hard to control recoil, so I was muscling the gun back down into position, which made my shooting much worse. Instead recently I’ve been trying to engage muscles in my core, arms, and shoulder, which has the added benefit of adding tension to the tendons in the joints. I'm not trying flex or activate those muscles at 100% capacity, just enough to have a solid base and engage the tendons in my elbow. I don’t know if that clears things up with what I’m trying to accomplish, or if what I'm doing is counter-productive.

JHC
11-02-2015, 01:06 PM
Jay,
You mentioned that he not worry about focusing on his pinkie to help in recoil control. Agreed.

Do you have any concrete thoughts on the role of that stunted digit? I tend to think it's counterproductive and causes more harm than benefit. I can't see how focusing on crushing with the pinkie could do anything but increase risk of milking the shot low.

Luke
11-02-2015, 01:41 PM
Just the other day in dry fire I realized that if I quit squeezing with the pinky thinks we're a lot better.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 03:06 PM
Jay, thanks for your thoughts and feedback. Can you help me process some of what youíve said?

Yes of course, but please don't get the impression that I can give you highly specific recommendations. I'd need to be on the range with you for a couple of hours for recommendations to be tailored to you.



The reason I added the Ďdoing a resetí part is I used to just dry fire once, and either not follow through or would just pin the trigger. When I started releasing the trigger to reset after the shot broke, I realized that there was wobble on the front sight. I realized that something was off with my grip, which would probably cause issues in trying to get a clean return of the sights on target in recoil, hence the desire to include that specifically. I think the goal of Ďminimize sight movementí is ultimately the goal, but are you saying to not worry about the reset in and how my gun moves during reset in dry fire, or rather that you recommend using a broader goal to strive for?

Don't worry about any thoughts of trigger reset during your current iteration of dry practice. Just delete it for now.



It sounds like the other key part is to just get the key index/contact points as high up on the frame of the gun as possible, which makes sense. Iíll try to break down my grip and see where or how I can improve that further.

That's my thinking. They are between your thumb and trigger finger on your firing hand and the area between your thumb and wrist on your support hand, roughly speaking.



I donít think Iím describing this properly. I am not fully extending and locking my elbows out, but instead trying to get tendons activated. I know people recommend the 45 degree angle for the hand, but I read somewhere (Mike Seeklander maybe?) that if you follow the prior point about getting high on the gun, your hand will naturally point ~45 degrees down. Once you actually apply a firm grip, your wrist will naturally lock due to the tendons being engaged.

I agree with getting the tendons engaged (I think). Get the important parts of your hands high on the gun and let your thumbs and wrists fall where they may. Don't worry about numbers and angles.



I noticed a few weeks ago I was trying too hard to control recoil, so I was muscling the gun back down into position, which made my shooting much worse. Instead recently Iíve been trying to engage muscles in my core, arms, and shoulder, which has the added benefit of adding tension to the tendons in the joints. I'm not trying flex or activate those muscles at 100% capacity, just enough to have a solid base and engage the tendons in my elbow. I donít know if that clears things up with what Iím trying to accomplish, or if what I'm doing is counter-productive.

I agree with engaging muscles in your core, forearms, and shoulders (and pectorals).

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 03:07 PM
Jay,
You mentioned that he not worry about focusing on his pinkie to help in recoil control. Agreed.

Do you have any concrete thoughts on the role of that stunted digit? I tend to think it's counterproductive and causes more harm than benefit. I can't see how focusing on crushing with the pinkie could do anything but increase risk of milking the shot low.

I don't think the ring and pinkie fingers on either hand contribute much.

Peally
11-02-2015, 03:10 PM
Pinkie fingers are good for picking your nose and shooting guns upside down.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 03:11 PM
Pinkie fingers are good for picking your nose and shooting guns upside down.


Agree!

Dismas316
11-02-2015, 07:45 PM
Jay, Sorry to be a little thick, somewhat of a newbie, but I 'm still struggling with the concept of staging the trigger vs prepping the trigger. Been reading through this thread and I'm not grasping the difference and application of these two. Could you please explain the difference and how you would utilize the application? Thx

scw2
11-02-2015, 08:49 PM
Jay, tested some of the things you were advocating plus what I've seen on other videos/blogs, and some of your tips made a big difference. Especially thinking of what part of your hand is really contacting the gun and to press inwards. In the past it never worked but seemed to click this time for some reason. Also the SHO shooting before helped me warm up my trigger press in isolation, then focus more on the grip afterwards. Really appreciate the help and insights you've provided.



Don't worry about any thoughts of trigger reset during your current iteration of dry practice. Just delete it for now.


Is this due to a "walk before you run" issue and focusing on something more foundational?

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 08:55 PM
Is this due to a "walk before you run" issue and focusing on something more foundational?

Trigger reset is not something to get wrapped up in, so don't. During live fire, devote a little time to some rhythm drills to simply relax your finger during the recoil cycle.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 09:03 PM
Jay, Sorry to be a little thick, somewhat of a newbie, but I 'm still struggling with the concept of staging the trigger vs prepping the trigger. Been reading through this thread and I'm not grasping the difference and application of these two. Could you please explain the difference and how you would utilize the application? Thx

Many experienced shooters struggle with the concepts and don't fully recognize the differences, so don't knock yourself. Without getting deep into the pros and cons of trigger prep here, I'll refer to one of my previous posts in this thread:


My main problem with trigger prep - aside from the cardinal rules violation that you pointed out in the specific above example - is that the difference between trigger prep and trigger staging is widely misunderstood. And even when the *concept* is understood, in far too many cases I see shooters prepping the trigger on their presentation - then pausing *for whatever reason* - thus killing the initial gain of the trigger prep and now putting them in the mental state of "I'm all prepped and ready to go but oh shit I paused and didn't take the shot yet wait I'm behind the power curve I better take my shot NOW" BANG! and then snatching the trigger due to the mental anticipation game inside their head.

A certain decisiveness needs to be part of the trigger press on the index draw or in the prep during the pressout. Otherwise it turns into staging which IMO is a precursor to jerking/snatching the trigger.

The best way for me to put it right here in super simple terms is that trigger prep is a conscious choice to get the trigger into motion - and keep it in motion - during the presentation.

Trigger staging is "taking the slack out of the trigger" - then either stopping or slowing waaaay down - then starting again, to break the shot.

A long, slow trigger press almost never increases your chance of getting a hit. In fact, what it tends to do is significantly contribute to the anticipation that leads to jerking the trigger. You are better off pressing the trigger straight through decisively, regardless of trigger characteristics. This short-circuits mental agony which helps mitigate jerking the trigger due to anticipation.

Dismas316
11-02-2015, 10:05 PM
Ok, that makes sense. I think I got it. Thank you. By the way, this has been an extremely helpful thread.

Jay Cunningham
11-02-2015, 11:00 PM
Reading through Jay's linked AAR makes me wish I could go back in time and attend that class. Feels like it's a really great course on fundamentals of trigger and grip, which is exactly what I'm mostly working on in dry and live fire recently!


I'd love to do another one of these for PF members - let's make it happen!

Luke
11-03-2015, 05:11 AM
I'd love to do another one of these for PF members - let's make it happen!

Yes! Sometime next year though! And somewhere in the south east lol

RJ
11-03-2015, 07:02 AM
I'd love to do another one of these for PF members - let's make it happen!

Yes please! :)


Yes! Sometime next year though! And somewhere in the south east lol

Yeah!

But seriously: I went so far in the AAR to look up where PSC is located. Turns out we spent a night on our RV trip this summer in Cranberry Twp, PA, not a million miles away. :cool:

If this happens in 2016 again, I would seriously consider routing our 2016 RV travel destinations to be able to be a part of this. We're currently in Memphis for Mr. Givens' Tac Con 2016 in March.

Heck, even if not, I would probably swing by PSC and pay to get some diagnostic 1:1 advice by appointment.

scw2
11-03-2015, 08:36 AM
Jay, thanks for all the advice. You had made a comment about how you can't provide truly diagnostic advice since it's all text, without even any pictures or video, which is fair enough. However, I think you might be short changing your ability to communicate and teach since I was able to see great improvement in dry fire yesterday based on your comments. :)


A long, slow trigger press almost never increases your chance of getting a hit. In fact, what it tends to do is significantly contribute to the anticipation that leads to jerking the trigger. You are better off pressing the trigger straight through decisively, regardless of trigger characteristics. This short-circuits mental agony which helps mitigate jerking the trigger due to anticipation.

I have come to this conclusion in the past few weeks, and realized my live and dry fire have been all wrong. I think you alluded to this in a prior post with front sight tracking back onto target being the 'go' signal to start shooting again. When I was firing with a cadence counting off in my head at a speed I could see the front sight well and press the trigger cleanly and smoothly straight back, I got really amazing grouping in a string of 4 shots. When I tried that in slow fire, single shots at the same distance, the grouping increased 2-3x.

Also, this reminds me of the quote from Jerry Miculek when asked about how he got so fast, and his response was that he used to flinch and then one day decided if he could out-shoot the flinching. Didn't make sense before, starting to understand what he meant...




I'd love to do another one of these for PF members - let's make it happen!

That'd be great fun to just meet up with people, to say nothing of the quality of instruction that people clearly received last year. I personally have no idea driving up to your stomping grounds and would happily road trip with some of the members here from NOVA! I'd be willing to help out how I can, too, but really don't know too much about organizing classes and such. :)

Jay Cunningham
11-03-2015, 11:18 AM
Also, this reminds me of the quote from Jerry Miculek when asked about how he got so fast, and his response was that he used to flinch and then one day decided if he could out-shoot the flinching. Didn't make sense before, starting to understand what he meant...


I think there's something to this. I usually refer to it as "agony" or "agonizing over the shot". Bypass that agony with a decisive trigger press!

JHC
11-03-2015, 12:20 PM
I think there's something to this. I usually refer to it as "agony" or "agonizing over the shot". Bypass that agony with a decisive trigger press!

Once a female new shooter was flinching and a couple close range mag dumps for fun (and they were painless) seemed to dissolve the anxiety that seemed to cause the flinch.

Mr_White
11-05-2015, 11:48 AM
Jay has given a lot of great advice in this thread. I just wanted to add a few comments and points of discussion.


I think there's something to this. I usually refer to it as "agony" or "agonizing over the shot". Bypass that agony with a decisive trigger press!

Could not agree more!!!!! I think this is the single most important point (among many important points) raised in this recent exchange.


I don't think the ring and pinkie fingers on either hand contribute much.

I don't know if the calluses on my ring and pinkie fingers mean I disagree with you....but I have calluses on those fingers that make me think I might be applying significant grip pressure with them. Or maybe the calluses are a function of something other than that?

An interesting point of view has been expressed by D.R. Middlebrooks on this. He has a video somewhere, sorry I don't remember which one, where he demonstrates the direction the gun moves in recoil and asserts that the fingers at the bottom of the grip are pretty key.

I don't have a strong opinion on it, and I don't at all discount yours and JHC's views those fingers don't do much. I'm not sure they do, but this discussion made me wonder a bit. I do kind of think of the middle, ring, and pinkie fingers as a unit though, and I feel like that unit is weaker without all its members. Things do work differently for different people, but I think when I milk/anticipate/convulse fingers and mess up a shot, it is more with my middle finger than the smaller ones. I'll try to notice this more next time it happens.

---

I think the things people do to increase pressure on the gun - rolling the elbows up and out, engaging the pectoral and core muscles, grinding the ball of the support hand into the frame as high as possible, radical support wrist cant, etc. - are all good, but on the individual level those measures may be tempered because raw grip pressure on the gun is not the only consideration. I like having maximum skin-to-gun contact. I don't radically cant and position my support hand as high on the gun as it could possibly go because it messes up the interlock between my strong and support hand fingers and then despite the greater pressure I might be putting on the gun, the grip structure is compromised and then hands come apart under recoil. I feel like I am better off with a small compromise in raw pressure in order to get the skin-to-gun contact and grip structure that confines the gun to pretty much straight up and down movement in recoil and keeps my hands from separating. I roll my elbows up and out, but not as much as I could be doing it, because I start getting tension and feeling like I am muscling the gun and making it move funny. I think there is a narrow range of really good technique, but a range nonetheless.

Resetting the trigger: scw2, I used to do exactly what you were talking about - try to reset and press while holding the gun on target and minimize gun movement including during the reset. I agree with Jay there and don't think it's productive. The reason is that when shooting in live fire and running the trigger at speed, the trigger reset should happen while the gun is recoiling and already in a greater degree of motion than I think the reset gives it. It's basically a freebie motion in live fire so I don't think you need to attend minimizing reset movement in dry fire. I don't think it's bad to include reset as part of target transitions or multiple shot drills in dry fire, I just wouldn't be concerned about minimizing that small movement, especially not while holding the gun on target at the same time.

Locking wrists: I also dislike this term, because I don't think the wrist joint 'locks' like elbows and knees. Maybe that's just me and how I think of the words. I like to think of it as 'stiffly holding the gun in space' because of all the tensions involved, and it connotes that I am not consciously trying to move the gun in any particular direction. Just stiffly hold it there while my eyes, mind, and finger run the sights and trigger.

The discipline to apply an honest, live-fire quality grip in dry fire is hugely important. Shooting is a tension-filled activity. Dry fire also needs to be if it is going to be very relevant.

Jay Cunningham
11-05-2015, 07:15 PM
I don't know if the calluses on my ring and pinkie fingers mean I disagree with you....but I have calluses on those fingers that make me think I might be applying significant grip pressure with them. Or maybe the calluses are a function of something other than that?

An interesting point of view has been expressed by D.R. Middlebrooks on this. He has a video somewhere, sorry I don't remember which one, where he demonstrates the direction the gun moves in recoil and asserts that the fingers at the bottom of the grip are pretty key.

I don't have a strong opinion on it, and I don't at all discount yours and JHC's views those fingers don't do much. I'm not sure they do, but this discussion made me wonder a bit. I do kind of think of the middle, ring, and pinkie fingers as a unit though, and I feel like that unit is weaker without all its members. Things do work differently for different people, but I think when I milk/anticipate/convulse fingers and mess up a shot, it is more with my middle finger than the smaller ones. I'll try to notice this more next time it happens.

The jury's still out on this as far as I'm concerned, and I may very well change my opinion on it. I've experimented with my grip and I can see how those pinkie and ring fingers can feel integral... Ultimately it goes back to me trying to give a tool to shooters who don't have a tool, and I think most are better served not worrying about the ring and pinkie fingers. But I'm going to keep this part in my thoughts for the future.



I think the things people do to increase pressure on the gun - rolling the elbows up and out, engaging the pectoral and core muscles, grinding the ball of the support hand into the frame as high as possible, radical support wrist cant, etc. - are all good, but on the individual level those measures may be tempered because raw grip pressure on the gun is not the only consideration. I like having maximum skin-to-gun contact. I don't radically cant and position my support hand as high on the gun as it could possibly go because it messes up the interlock between my strong and support hand fingers and then despite the greater pressure I might be putting on the gun, the grip structure is compromised and then hands come apart under recoil. I feel like I am better off with a small compromise in raw pressure in order to get the skin-to-gun contact and grip structure that confines the gun to pretty much straight up and down movement in recoil and keeps my hands from separating. I roll my elbows up and out, but not as much as I could be doing it, because I start getting tension and feeling like I am muscling the gun and making it move funny. I think there is a narrow range of really good technique, but a range nonetheless.

I agree completely that one size does not fit all. WE have the benefit of YOU being an extremely talented shooter and sharing your insights with us. You (and other high performance shooters like you) reach deep into the technique and are able to touch on nuances which are often completely lost on Tactical Timmy in his third Tactical Pistol class. I say this once again as a term of endearment - I *am* Tactical Timmy!

I want to give shooters a better starting point.



Resetting the trigger: scw2, I used to do exactly what you were talking about - try to reset and press while holding the gun on target and minimize gun movement including during the reset. I agree with Jay there and don't think it's productive. The reason is that when shooting in live fire and running the trigger at speed, the trigger reset should happen while the gun is recoiling and already in a greater degree of motion than I think the reset gives it. It's basically a freebie motion in live fire so I don't think you need to attend minimizing reset movement in dry fire. I don't think it's bad to include reset as part of target transitions or multiple shot drills in dry fire, I just wouldn't be concerned about minimizing that small movement, especially not while holding the gun on target at the same time.

Yeah, we're tracking.



The discipline to apply an honest, live-fire quality grip in dry fire is hugely important. Shooting is a tension-filled activity. Dry fire also needs to be if it is going to be very relevant.

^^^ 100% THIS ^^^

scw2
11-06-2015, 09:23 AM
The discipline to apply an honest, live-fire quality grip in dry fire is hugely important. Shooting is a tension-filled activity. Dry fire also needs to be if it is going to be very relevant.

Yeah, I was very inconsistent with this earlier and I think it showed in less than ideal groups when going to live fire. Can't fool yourself on the range when the results speak for themselves. One thing I noticed this morning was in the past you had always said to move my hands faster when doing pressouts or draws. I always struggled to find the right blend of speed and being able to find my front sight consistently. I noticed this morning that even when I sped up, having a good grip and thinking of pressing my hands inwards during extension actually resulted in much more consistent positioning of the front sight. Would you guys agree that’s a benefit of a good solid grip, or was I just BS’ing myself this morning?


The jury's still out on this as far as I'm concerned, and I may very well change my opinion on it. I've experimented with my grip and I can see how those pinkie and ring fingers can feel integral... Ultimately it goes back to me trying to give a tool to shooters who don't have a tool, and I think most are better served not worrying about the ring and pinkie fingers. But I'm going to keep this part in my thoughts for the future. [/B]

When I asked about the pinky and ring fingers, it was more something I was thinking about more on a theoretical level. Prior to Gabe sharing his thoughts, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any high level shooter call out those two fingers as being a potentially a critical part of a good shooting grip. I figured the further you are away from the fulcrum on a lever, the more torque (force times radius) there would be to counteract the opposing muzzle rise forces. Maybe it could be helpful but secondary to other things like a high grip and engaging the wrist tendons.

taadski
11-06-2015, 10:44 AM
Just FWIW, there have been a number of abstracts written about the involvement of the ulnar digits (ring and pinkie finger) and how much they contribute to overall grip strength. I'd have to dig for a reference link but results typically showed a HUGE decrease in force (like up to 60%) taking those two digits out of the grip equation. Studies were typically done using a dynamometer with a variety of protocols for limiting the use of the digits in question; usually some form of splinting, etc....

Regardless, me thinks they play a much bigger role in grip and specifically in controlling the pistol than is being suggested.


Good thread.

t

JHC
11-06-2015, 11:18 AM
Just FWIW, there have been a number of abstracts written about the involvement of the ulnar digits (ring and pinkie finger) and how much they contribute to overall grip strength. I'd have to dig for a reference link but results typically showed a HUGE decrease in force (like up to 60%) taking those two digits out of the grip equation. Studies were typically done using a dynamometer with a variety of protocols for limiting the use of the digits in question; usually some form of splinting, etc....

Regardless, me thinks they play a much bigger role in grip and specifically in controlling the pistol than is being suggested.


Good thread.

t

That's pretty neat.

It would be really cool if the lab coat guys with the right devices could measure a very competent shooter's max grip strength, then be able to measure how much he was applying to his pistol's grip during a shooting drill that required speed and precision. Ideally during him actually shooting with speed and precision.

Any guesses on what % of his max total would be actually used?

I'm guessing it something on the order of a third. My intent is to grip hard while shooting but I don't know how hard so I'm just guessing. OTOH on a CoC that I can't really close all the way - there I know I'm attempting with 100%.

MGW
11-06-2015, 11:24 AM
I'd love to do another one of these for PF members - let's make it happen!

Any chance of seeing one closer to the center of the US? Maybe Oklahoma?

luckyman
11-06-2015, 12:13 PM
When I asked about the pinky and ring fingers, it was more something I was thinking about more on a theoretical level. Prior to Gabe sharing his thoughts, I donít think Iíve ever heard of any high level shooter call out those two fingers as being a potentially a critical part of a good shooting grip.

FWIW, during the one Jeff Gonzales class I went to he really stressed focusing on the pinky and ring fingers, and their contribution to the grip.

Mr_White
11-06-2015, 01:24 PM
The pinkie/ring finger thing: I think we are seeing some 'different strokes' action here. Top shooters get top results doing things slightly different ways, and those slightly different ways are what we are talking about. Nobody is arguing for the cup and saucer grip. Plus, mind-speech translations muddy any discussion. I remember being told (sorry, no robust citation for this) at a shooting school about another student who had been through that school and was a hand surgeon and had offered some physiological insights to the instructors. One was that there is huge variation in how people's tendons are arranged, and some people are truly unable to isolate their trigger finger because tendons of multiple fingers move together in some individuals. Seems like that person might do better to focus on creating a crushing pressure on the gun to insulate it from the inevitable bits of milking that are going to be in their grip. They might not find that out right away (or ever) and just have a hell of a time moving only their trigger finger. And maybe some people milk from the pinkie or ring fingers and other people milk from the middle finger?

Jay - All hail an improved Timmydom!

scw2 - Yes, absolutely, consistent grip (even better, a consistent grip acquired at speed) will be the root of index - the ability to grip the gun and drive it to a target spot and have the sights show up in perfect/near-perfect alignment. What I've said about pinkie and ring fingers is specific to the discussion in this thread. I would say approximately none of it to a new shooter to whom I was teaching the basics of shooting. I would be much more reductionist, like "grip the gun pretty hard, for you." "Grip the gun until you shake and tremble, then back it off until you are not shaking." And back it up with a simple illustration of holding the gun stiffly (engaged tendons) and there are a couple easy ways to do that. I would try not to lead them into giving conscious attention to any of the middle, ring, or index fingers. Just to use them together with most of their strength.

Jay Cunningham
11-06-2015, 04:14 PM
I don't want to tell people specifically *how* to grip their pistols in this thread. I just want shooters to achieve a good, strong grip and then use that grip during dry practice.


If you are staging the trigger during dry practice, you're screwing yourself.

If you aren't achieving a full firing grip during dry practice, you're screwing yourself.

If you persist in using "just the tip" of your trigger finger because you were trained that way, you're screwing yourself.

If you are worried about trying to simulate "catching the link" (riding the reset) during dry practice, you're screwing yourself.

If you think lots of live fire means you can skip dry practice, you're screwing yourself.


By experimenting with the the interaction of your support hand and firing hand, and your trigger finger position in relation to the trigger face - whilst employing your full, strong firing grip - you will be able to attain your ultimate goal: pressing the trigger quickly without having your sights appreciably move.

:cool:

Rick_ICT
01-13-2016, 11:34 PM
There is probably an obvious answer to this question that I am just missing, but why isn't this thread in the reference section? Or is it there, and I'm not seeing it? I feel fortunate that it was still shallow enough in the the Drills and Practice sub that I stumbled across it, but it could sink into the depths eventually and I think it would be a shame for such an awesome resource to get buried like that.

It has been incredibly helpful to me, and it's not like the forum is going to run out of room in the reference section, right?

Rick

60USN66
02-29-2016, 10:19 AM
Just found this thread and realize now that my dry fire practice has been incorrect. Thanks to the members here that have posted I think I am now on the right track. Looking forward to learning much more and sharing what I can. Thanks again and stay safe. Burt

RJ
10-01-2016, 07:51 AM
There is so much good stuff in this thread, I come back from time to time to read it again and again.

Have a question on trigger press speed.

With a striker, I've heard folks say 'press fast', or maybe more accurately 'in one continuous motion'.

So, today's question is 'when' does that continuous motion begin?

Is it:

A - with finger on slide in register?

B - with finger in trigger but not depressed?

C - with all slack taken up in the trigger, to just before the break?

Jay Cunningham
10-01-2016, 09:43 AM
Definitely not C!!!

Mr_White
10-07-2016, 05:04 PM
There is so much good stuff in this thread, I come back from time to time to read it again and again.

Have a question on trigger press speed.

With a striker, I've heard folks say 'press fast', or maybe more accurately 'in one continuous motion'.

So, today's question is 'when' does that continuous motion begin?

Is it:

A - with finger on slide in register?

B - with finger in trigger but not depressed?

C - with all slack taken up in the trigger, to just before the break?

I do not mean to undermine Jay because quite frankly I think his thoughts on this matter are quite excellent.

For me, I think ALL THREE of those are worth practicing. Not because they all represent desirable places to start the trigger press, but because they can all come out when there is enough variability in the target presentation/availability, and physical circumstances involved in a given shooting engagement.

Jay Cunningham
10-09-2016, 10:36 AM
I do not mean to undermine Jay


lol!

You are too gracious, sir.

Your own commentary in this very thread (and via some PMs) led me to a much better understanding of the strong hand and how it works. I had some pieces, but with some stuff Vogel said plus your own thoughts, I sorted out in my mind the interplay between the strong hand only grip and the strong hand combined with the support hand on the gun.

Your point you made above is quite interesting and simply something that hadn't crossed my mind. Your thoughts on dry practice misconceptions tend to be more nuanced than my own and reflect your deeper understanding of higher-performance shooting.

So I'm not going to change my answer

Definitely not C!!! but I do think your answer is very much worth considering.

Once students make it through all of my various pistol class offerings I want to send them to you for finishing school.

Shit, I need that myself.

Al T.
10-09-2016, 03:56 PM
Tagged, great thread, thanks folks!

Gorris
12-04-2016, 06:16 PM
I'm rather new too shooting and was working on some dry fire practice and had a question about trigger pull. Should you take up the slack on the trigger? Or should I touch the trigger then pull slow and smooth to the rear? I feel like that when I try to pull faster it turns into a "jerk" and I end up low left. I'm just not sure because in a self defense situation (main focus), I will be pulling the trigger rather quick. Any feedback would be great!

RJ
12-04-2016, 06:23 PM
I'm rather new too shooting and was working on some dry fire practice and had a question about trigger pull. Should you take up the slack on the trigger? Or should I touch the trigger then pull slow and smooth to the rear? I feel like that when I try to pull faster it turns into a "jerk" and I end up low left. I'm just not sure because in a self defense situation (main focus), I will be pulling the trigger rather quick. Any feedback would be great!

I've settled on 'you need to practice them all'. :cool:

In a competition environment, targets vary from literally at your feet to 25 yards. The press you use for close-in is going to be different than those far-off shots.

So, for me, my dry practice regimen includes trigger presses from index on the slide, from trigger guard, and 'just' at the break.

I'm no expert, so I will be interested in what answers you get from those that are.

Jay Cunningham
12-04-2016, 06:51 PM
I'm rather new too shooting and was working on some dry fire practice and had a question about trigger pull. Should you take up the slack on the trigger? Or should I touch the trigger then pull slow and smooth to the rear? I feel like that when I try to pull faster it turns into a "jerk" and I end up low left. I'm just not sure because in a self defense situation (main focus), I will be pulling the trigger rather quick. Any feedback would be great!

The advice I'm about to give you is based on your statement that you're a relative novice.


My suggestion is to perform your dry practice starting with your finger on the trigger and with no slack out. I also suggest skipping the "slow and smooth" part and attempting to operate the trigger as quickly and aggressively as possible.

But I don't want you to consider this a trigger control exercise. I want you instead to consider this a grip check. Strive towards having a grip which will allow you to decisively operate the trigger with minimal sight movement.

If your front sight moves unacceptably, set it up again and check your grip. Repeat... However I'd advise against spending more than 10 minutes per day on this grip check, because it will fatigue your hands and forearms and you could induce a repetitive stress injury if you overdo it.


You need to worry about this first, before worrying about "do everything" - that can come later.

Jay Cunningham
12-04-2016, 07:48 PM
Updated 12-04-16, mostly dealing with foundational grip.

LOKNLOD
12-04-2016, 09:27 PM
appreciable front sight movement

Jay,
I think I'm tracking (a sight pun, sorry) with you but for the sake of clarity amongst all skill levels, where would you define the point of "appreciable" sight movement?

Jay Cunningham
12-04-2016, 09:33 PM
Jay,
I think I'm tracking (a sight pun, sorry) with you but for the sake of clarity amongst all skill levels, where would you define the point of "appreciable" sight movement?

Good question.

A shove, yank, dip, or jerk which really stands out during something like a Wall Drill.

A little wobble or wiggle is okay. It doesn't need to be "balance a spent case on the front sight" perfectly still.

LOKNLOD
12-04-2016, 10:56 PM
Good question.

A shove, yank, dip, or jerk which really stands out during something like a Wall Drill.

A little wobble or wiggle is okay. It doesn't need to be "balance a spent case on the front sight" perfectly still.

Makes sense, I figured as much.

With a few caveats*, I think this is an area where having access to something like a SIRT or laser attachment (even if it's a cheap one only used for practice purposes) can really be a benefit.

*It's pretty easy to pick up some visual bad habits with a laser if not applied carefully, or is simply over-used.

Jay Cunningham
12-04-2016, 11:20 PM
It was never my intention to have anything other than "don't shortchange your grip" regarding grip. However a majority of the conversation in the thread has been about grip and there are still many questions about it, so I added a section with supplemental info.

Cupcake615
12-28-2016, 08:09 AM
I know I'm about two years late to this thread, but this is great stuff. Just read all these posts in one day. Thanks Jay for starting this and the others for valuable contributions. This has helped and will continue to help a lot. I have been doing slow deliberate trigger presses for so long and wondering why it doesn't help much. Thanks again and keep it up the good work.

Jay Cunningham
01-22-2019, 07:16 AM
I like to update this every once in a while. The last time it was updated was 12-04-16.

The main thing I tweaked was adding some clarifying language regarding the firing hand's importance with the overall grip. The original version of this placed a bit too much emphasis on the strong side-to-side pressure high on the gun. This is still an important concept, but not the be-all/end-all.

Special thanks to GJM and Mr. White for additional deep thinking over the years.

Jay Cunningham
01-22-2019, 09:18 AM
There is probably an obvious answer to this question that I am just missing, but why isn't this thread in the reference section? Or is it there, and I'm not seeing it? I feel fortunate that it was still shallow enough in the the Drills and Practice sub that I stumbled across it, but it could sink into the depths eventually and I think it would be a shame for such an awesome resource to get buried like that.

It has been incredibly helpful to me, and it's not like the forum is going to run out of room in the reference section, right?

Rick

Rick_ICT

It's in the Reference Section now.