The Best Way To Pull the Trigger for an Accurate Shot


Although posture, aim, and gun positioning play pivotal roles in taking accurate shots, trigger technique is just as important. This is especially the case when looking to master taking flawless shots. Often, expert shooters will swear by varying techniques, which can lead to some confusion.

The best way to pull the trigger for accurate shots is to relax and take a deep breath before taking a shot. The idea is to gently squeeze the trigger, applying slow and steady pressure until the weapon fires.

Just keep in mind that the best way to pull the trigger often depends on the type of gun used. The rest of this article will go into greater depth about handling guns and the proper techniques to pull the trigger.

How To Squeeze a Trigger Properly

Becoming a great shooter relies on several factors, among the most important being your trigger squeezing techniques. However, as most gun enthusiasts will agree, mastering the art of pulling the trigger takes a lot of practice, patience, and, of course, experience.

Below are essential tips to keep in mind when looking to squeeze a trigger properly.

Check on Your Grip

Although not viewed as important by most first-timers, gun grip is pivotal to any shooter’s success. When talking about grip, the focus should not be solely on the trigger. You should also pay attention to how you hold the gun and the positioning of the other fingers. 

The better grip your grip, the less likely you will miss your shot due to hand or anxiety-related pressure. Remember, just a simple flick or twitch from the other fingers will almost certainly ruin your shot. 

So you should ensure you’ve properly gripped the gun before taking a shot. If you’re new to gun handling, have an expert show you how to firmly hold the gun in position when taking aim.  

When looking to improve your grip, keep an eye on the following fundamentals:

  • Avoid wrapping your thumb (on your trigger hand) above the stock’s wrist. Instead, try resting on the same side as the firearm frame or receiver. This will reduce the chances of canting the rifle and help apply even backward pressure.
  • Besides the trigger finger and thumb, you should also check on how you position the other fingers. Find a comfortable place on the grip to ensure the fingers improve your overall grip on the gun.
  • Hold the trigger between the tip and the first crease of your finger. Ensure the tip is centrally placed to reduce the chances of messing your aim. 

Stay Calm As You Start To Squeeze the Trigger

Trigger pulling technique is a fairly controversial topic. Some shooting experts will argue that a shot should never surprise you, while others will insist the shot should come as a surprise. 

So how should you go about it? Ideally, a shooter ought to have enough trigger control to determine when to fire deliberately. However, since the focus shouldn’t be on the trigger pull, the shot should come off as a micro-surprise on the target.

The whole idea is to stay focused on the target and avoid thinking about the trigger pull or your breathing. Therefore, before you take that shot, try as much as possible to breathe in and exhale slowly. A regular breathing rhythm will ensure you remain well on course to hit the target. Try shooting before you complete exhaling to maintain your form and positioning.

Apply slow, well-measured, and steady pressure on the trigger until your gun fires. Remember, clenching the trigger hand abruptly or jerking the trigger might move the gun, thus setting you up for a miss.

Follow Through

Unfortunately, pulling the trigger isn’t the last step when shooting. After taking a shot, your handling of the trigger finger plays a huge role in determining whether you hit or miss the target. Keeping the trigger finger in contact with the trigger even after taking a shot is highly recommended.

Maintaining constant trigger contact eliminates the risk of slapping the trigger, which usually makes it hard to shoot consistently due to finger (and hand) movement. Keeping your finger on the gun’s trigger allows you to take another shot once the trigger resets. 

Trigger Control Techniques 

As we’ve already established, learning how to pull the trigger is as important as learning to aim. Controlling the trigger allows you to take accurate shots as your finger and hand motions won’t interfere with your aim. Below are some trigger control techniques you should know about.

Surprise Shot Method

The surprise break trigger control technique has been around for several years and continues to work for both beginners and experts alike. The technique is aimed towards reducing flinching or movement due to the anticipation of the recoil and flash. Moving when holding the trigger can lead to a left or right pull, affecting your shot.

When using this technique, you’ll be expected to squeeze the trigger in a slow, well-controlled manner. Your trigger finger should gently curl toward the thumb. Instead of focusing on pulling the trigger at a ninety-degree angle or jerking it, your focus should be on the aim and gradual trigger squeeze.

The surprise trigger shot technique is ideal for both handguns and rifles and is among the most commonly taught trigger pull techniques. This is because the technique helps shooters concentrate on the squeeze and aim, meaning they won’t compromise trigger control or aim due to the anticipation of the shot.

Double Stage Trigger Grip

The double stage trigger pull is another technique known to work for some shooters. Although it’s mostly suited for double-action pistols, the technique can be used with most firearms. 

In this method, a shooter pulls the trigger for approximately 75% of the way before pausing then firing.

The first pull allows for the trigger pull and sighting to simultaneously take place before the shooter completes the sequence with the final pull. When the last 25% of the trigger pull occurs, the gun goes off without affecting gun aim or hand control.

What Is the Best Way To Pull the Trigger on a Rifle for an Accurate Shot?

The best way to pull the trigger on a rifle for an accurate shot is first to establish a firm position. Positioning will have a great impact on your overall grip and shooting accuracy. Keep your eye on the target, and take a deep breath. Control your breathing as you begin to squeeze the trigger.

What Is the Best Way To Pull a Handgun’s Trigger for an Accurate Shot?

The best way to pull a handgun’s trigger for an accurate shot is to focus on a smooth, consistent pull. It’s important to keep pulling the trigger at the same pace, lest you dip the barrel or push the handgun unintentionally. Practicing dry firing is a sure way to improve your handgun trigger control.

Bottom Line

Becoming an expert shooter requires a lot of dedication and practice. While it’s important to improve on your aim and gun handling skills, understanding how to pull the trigger almost certainly makes you a better shooter.

Always check on your posture and grip. When using a rifle, it’s important to have the right posture and hold the gun the right way to even stand a chance. Similarly, you’ll need to ensure your grip is great when shooting with handguns. Either way, you should always focus more on aim than on pulling the trigger.

Jim James

Hey, I'm Jim and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!

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