What are the fundamentals of solid marksmanship?
- Steady Position
- Consistent Aim
- Consistent Breath Control
- Consistent Trigger Pull
I’m willing to build on this concept…just a bit. Notice that on each of those bullet points, aside form the first one, consistency is the key. And the first one, by the way, is only achieved through consistency as well- this is why we drill consistent cheek welds and the placement of the support and firing hands on the weapon during manipulation. Consistency is the key to accuracy.
The last point, consistent trigger pull, is frequently misunderstood. Most only think of it as the pressing of the trigger and the weapon discharging, beginning the extraction and feeding cycle. But what many miss is the incredibly important role of the trigger reset.
Trigger reset occurs at that critical point after the weapon is discharged and the bolt has completed its extracting and feeding cycle. The hammer is reset. A well trained shooter will keep the trigger depressed until this cycle is complete, letting the trigger out just enough to feel and hear a loud click.
This is the trigger reset.
What this does for us on a semi-auto weapon is give us a point of reference on where the trigger is going to break, firing the weapon again. Whether that’s a high-end AR-15 competition trigger, a mil-spec AR trigger, the AK trigger, a Glock Trigger, so on and so forth, mastering the trigger reset is an important step in learning a consistent trigger pull.
Do this next time you go to the range. Put a target out at any given distance and fire a magazine, holding the trigger, releasing to hear the reset, and firing again. It doesn’t matter what your weapon of choice might be, or even the distance. Work on it- slow is smooth, smooth is fast and the speed will come in time. You’re going to notice your groups getting better and you becoming a better shooter. You’ll come to know your weapon better while focusing on that critical consistency.