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Being new to shooting, I keep hearing about proper trigger control. I understand that, like a golf swing, you can have good or bad trigger control and there is a definite need for practice. Here's what I don't understand. I can swing a golf club in my backyard 1000 times but (knowing how poorly I golf) all I'd be doing is training my muscles what a bad golf swing feels like. Without feedback from seeing where the ball goes, I'm might just be repeating a bad swing 1000 times.



Similarily, if I dry fire how do I know that I'm practicing ''good'' trigger control rather than repeating a bad habit over and over?



When I first bought my M&P, everything I shot was low and left. After a couple hundred rounds I thought I'd try to squeeze the trigger with different parts of my finger. As I moved my finger further along the trigger, my POI started to move into where I was aiming. I've ended up pulling the trigger close to or on the first joint of my finger and my groups and POI are where I aim. When I go back to the pad of my index finger, my goups move back to low and left.



I had a golf pro tell me once that a guy can either change their swing to golf correctly or change their game to match their swing. Either way you're still outside enjoying a nice day. It just depends on how serious you want to take the game.



So....if you dry fire, how do you know you're doing it right?
 

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Dry firing is one thing, but you really need to use snap caps to see if you're shooting correctly. If you randomly insert snap caps in your mag, then when you surprise yourself by firing a snap cap, make sure you don't flinch or the gun does not move after the pull.
 

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If you can dry fire and not have the sights move off of target you are on the right track! The only thing "we" control is the trigger. The gun does everything else!! You also need to "get over" perceived recoil and this helps!
 

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When dry-firing, what you're primarily looking for is movement of the front sight. If you can bring up the pistol and press the trigger, carefully paying attention to the fundamentals (good grip, trigger finger position, smooth press), with the front sight remaining still, you are doing well. If the front sight dives or jerks to the side, you need to continue to work on it. Once you get a feel for it, this is what you want to repeat at the range.



The snap cap drill already mentioned is helpful in catching yourself screwing it up and reverting back to old habits.
 

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what he said, good trigger control means little to no gun movement.
 

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dry fire until you can keep the front sight from moving at all when the shot breaks then go to the range and load a few snap caps into the gun randomly (better yet have a buddy do it). Then convince yourself on every pull the gun is not going to go bang, if you are convinced and you pull the trigger the way you have learned without the sights moving you will have some groups to brag about.
 

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Some say in the Army dry firing damages the weapons but that is the old army weapons.. Great training how to fire consistently..I dry fired approx 750 times.... It also helps with the trigger squeeze as well
 

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You are right, you shouldn't dry fire unless you know what you are trying to fix with your form.



Basically if you are a newbie, you are going to practice minimizing flinch, breaking of the wrist, and anything that makes the sight move. One good method is to dryfire with a penny balanced on your fornt sight. Works better with something with a DA trigger though. Another method is the pencil method. Take a good old #2, wrap it with tape until it fits reasonably well in your barrel. Tape a piece of paper to the wall. Barely touch the tip to paper, and dryfire. You should just make a dot if anything. I'm not that fond of that one though, but ti does work with a single action trigger.



Then you go shoot. Find the new bad habits that were hiding (like milking the grip), and practice those bad habits away.



Then when you get to shooting a LOT, and practicing even more. You are dryfiring to cement consistant form. Like moving from my 1911 where I could slap the trigger without ill effect to the M&P where I ahd to learn to ride the trigger reset.
 

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In the Marine Corps we call it snapping in. Your main objective to gain trigger control and correct position with regards to stance. The other objective is to also gain a respect for the weapon and know and understand it in every way. Practice reloading magazines, establish point of aim and slow squeese to the rear with a clear front sight tip.



Will
 

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MP9 said:
So....if you dry fire, how do you know you're doing it right?


When your front sight doesn't move at all during the trigger pull. Dry firing is simply conditioning and strengthening your fingers and hand.
 

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You can practice almost everything through dry-firing. Marksmanship, reloads, malfunction clearances, presentations, etc. At Rogers Shooting School they even have team dry-firing sessions that let you work on recoil management. It might not be as fun as live-fire, but if your budget or range access is limited then dry-fire gives you the opportunity to practice regularly.



A good place to start with dry-fire practice is the Wall Drill (link). Developed by George Harris at SIGARMS Academy (or SIG-Sauer Academy, I can't remember if they officially change the name this week or next week), the Wall Drill helps learn to focus on the sights without distraction of a target. Just work on a slow, consistent trigger press straight back without disturbing the alignment of your sights.
 

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Accomplishes trigger preperation.........

Dry firing definately helps with trigger control. As many have said you should practice holding the front sight on target when squeezing (not pulling) the trigger. One of the main things dry firing can accomplish is you learning trigger preperation, that is, learning how to take up the slack in the trigger to the point of discharge and holding on target at the time of discahrge. Dry firing helps you learn exactly when your particular pistol is going to fire.

I practiced dry firing a long time with my Sigma SW9VE when that was all I had. Once you master trigger control with that trigger you can pretty well shoot about anything. I love my Sigma because it is a very dependable pistol, but that trigger............ :roll:
 

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Dry firing is useful if you practice stance, grip and trigger squeeze all t the same time. I spent some time studying different stances and grips and then practiced them at home. At first, the modern isosceles stance and a thumbs forward grip did not feel very natural and I tended to use a Weaver with a thumbs down grip. However, I wasn't satisfied with my consistency at the range with the latter and by practicing at home I eventually became comfortable with the former and my accuracy and consistency improved. Now, I assume the correct stance and grip (for me) automatically at the range and find that I only need to work on how much trigger finger to use for each gun and on not flinching.
 

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ToddG said:
A good place to start with dry-fire practice is the Wall Drill (link). Developed by George Harris at SIGARMS Academy (or SIG-Sauer Academy, I can't remember if they officially change the name this week or next week)


Oct 1st SIG changes names. Ah, George Harris, he's a crazy cat but a great instructor.



One of my co-workers (Luis G.) showed me a neat practice technique that's similar to dryfiring when you have more time than ammo and need some live fire practice. Luis is a former Quantico HRP instructor (now full-time at Blackwater, part-time with us).



It's using 2 small circle dots on your target at 7yds spaced about 5" (I use the orange 3" ones) you load the chamber on the pistol and then remove the magazine. Fire the round (watch the sights lift, the pistol recoil etc) and take a sight picture on the 2nd dot and fire again (the gun won't fire because it's empty and you'll see if El Snatcho is happening). This is great for target transition and can be done with targets further out or you can mix it into a lot of your practice.
 
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