New Gun, Training & Handling

Trigger Pull Technique

The Correct Trigger Pull Is Key To Your Shooting Accuracy

Pulling the trigger on a gun is serious business, a skill that we must learn to do correctly and with the proper technique to be a safe and effective shooter. Here we will review the trigger pull technique for the women shooter.

Pulling the trigger on a revolver is typically very different than pulling the trigger on a semi-automatic handgun. Revolvers have a very “hard” and “long” pull that acts as a safety mechanism. You have to really intend to pull the trigger to do so.

The semi-automatic gun usually has a safety lever or mechanism that prevents the gun from firing accidentally. Once the safety has been released, the pull on a semi-automatic is quite light and smooth.

Trigger Pull Technique For A Woman Shooter

One of the first things to consider for a proper trigger pull technique for a woman shooter is how the gun fits your hand. You want to get as close as you can to having the first joint of your trigger finger on the trigger. This will not only give you better leverage on the trigger, but it will also help to have a clean and straight trigger pull, front to back. Not having “enough” finger on the trigger will tend to result in shots going to the left and having the finger too far onto the trigger results with shots going to the right. (Right-handed shooter) See the downloadable trigger technique training aids below

Choosing the gun that fits your hand and finger length is critical. A hand-me-down gun is usually not a good choice and the odds are it does not properly fit your hand. The same holds true if you are given a gun as a gift. Ideally, you have done some research and tried a few gun types and selected the one that just fits your hand perfectly. See article on which type of gun is right for you

Revolvers and semiautomatic firearms have different trigger pulls and these can vary model to model. Semiautomatic guns tend to have lighter, quicker pulls and revolvers will have a longer harder pull. A double action revolver will have a very long and hard pull. Revolvers typically do not have external safety mechanisms so the long, hard pull acts as the safety. You must really intend to pull the trigger to fire the gun.

How To Pull The Trigger

  • Your trigger finger is extended along the frame of the gun until you have sighted your target and are ready to shoot. See gun safety rules.
  • Once you decide to pull the trigger, keep the trigger moving, do not try to control it or “stage” it. Pull firmly and with consistent pressure. You are either pulling or not, so don’t begin the trigger pull until you are fully prepared to shoot your gun.
  • Once you do – let the trigger return to its complete forward position without trying to stop or slow its progression while keeping your finger on the trigger to “feel” it reset back into position to pull again.
Proper Trigger Pull technique

This image is from Women & Guns: The Basics online course. Click the image to learn more and find out how to enroll!

Common Mistakes Women Make

It is very common and natural, especially with women new to guns and shooting to adopt some common mistakes with the trigger pull.

One such mistake is to “jerk” the trigger. This really is a mental issue, not a physical one. Anticipation and timidity are the culprits here. Be confident in your sight, and commit to pull the trigger and pull it smoothly and firmly. This “jerk” trigger habit must be mentally trained out of you. If left uncorrected, missing your target will be an ongoing issue and minimize your effectiveness in protecting yourself or the satisfaction of hitting your practice targets.

Many times a simple adjustment in your grip or the way you are pulling the trigger can make the world of difference in your accuracy. If you are struggling to hit your practice target after a reasonable amount of practice, professional instruction is recommended. It is difficult for us to personally see the mistakes we are making, especially with all of the power and noise going on! So self-correcting is of these common mistakes with trigger pull are difficult to make unassisted. It takes a trained professional with a trained eye to help make the necessary corrections.








Continue Learning How To Shoot A gun here: Making The Decision: Part 4 – How Do I Use A Gun?

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One thought on “Trigger Pull Technique

  1. Christine says:

    Thank you for pointing out that trigger pull on revolvers is different from semi-autos. I prefer revolvers for their built in safety features, that are effective and simple for me to understand. I have always, always had difficulty with proper trigger pull.

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