Defensive practice - staging triggers or no?

Defensive practice - staging triggers or no?

This is a discussion on Defensive practice - staging triggers or no? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A lot of the material I've read on pistol shooting talks about staging the trigger, i.e., taking up a long trigger until just before the ...

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Thread: Defensive practice - staging triggers or no?

  1. #1
    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Defensive practice - staging triggers or no?

    A lot of the material I've read on pistol shooting talks about staging the trigger, i.e., taking up a long trigger until just before the break, and then slowly squeezing through the break.

    While this is great for target shooting, it seems a bit unrealistic for a defensive shooting. If an armed aggressor is about to shoot, or is closing the distance between you and him quickly, it seems to me you are going to aim/point and pull the trigger in one quick motion. If that's true, shouldn't we use the same technique in our practice?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    Practice both ways. One way for target accuracy, the other for defensive accuracy.
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  3. #3
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    Staging the trigger = staging for a murder inditement as fas as defensive shooting is concerned. I don't believe that fine motor skills will be there when you need them. Likely result will be a ND. As someone great on the forums likes to say, keep the bugger finger off the bang switch.
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    While precision shooting is an important skill that should be maintained, and you may need in a SD situation for a precise shot if you have time.

    You should know how to pull the trigger steady to the rear all the way through in a quicker manner as well.

    If you have a pistol with a good reset, learning how to utilize that is much better than worrying about practicing staging a trigger.
    beararms likes this.
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    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    its good for target practice but in a real life shooting you're not going to look for the breaking point before pulling the trigger. a good two handed grip will help in the aiming process even with an 8lb trigger

  6. #6
    Member Array texasleaguer's Avatar
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    practice two hand, strong hand, weak hand. Just pull that trigger alot. When it becomes second nature, keep up the practice.
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  7. #7
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    I do different kinds of shooting. There's target shooting for fun, then there's practical shooting for practice. In the first scenario, do what you like or think is fun. In the second, practice the way you would react in a real situation. When the crap hits the fan, you pull hard, fast, and often. And you are likely point shooting from an awkward stance not you target shooting position. That's how you should practice for practical self defense practice.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    A lot of the material I've read on pistol shooting talks about staging the trigger, i.e., taking up a long trigger until just before the break, and then slowly squeezing through the break.

    While this is great for target shooting, it seems a bit unrealistic for a defensive shooting. If an armed aggressor is about to shoot, or is closing the distance between you and him quickly, it seems to me you are going to aim/point and pull the trigger in one quick motion. If that's true, shouldn't we use the same technique in our practice?
    Under stress you will subconsciously do what you've trained to do. If you're untrained or poorly trained you'll most likely point your pistol and yank the trigger.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    I do not stage the trigger, ever. Once I decide to shoot, my finger goes on the trigger and I apply one continuous press until the shot fires. Doesn't matter if I am shooting DA or SA.

    I do shoot from reset though on follow up shots.
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  10. #10
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    Somewhere a while back, I got tired of shooting the smallest group possible and started focusing more on drawing and shooting (and moving).

    Maybe because of years of practice, or maybe because I sucked at target shooting, but my accuracy didn't suffer much.

    The knowledge of knowing that you can put at least one round exactly where you want it on a quick double or triple-tap can be very comforting, and I believe worth the effort.
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  11. #11
    Member Array John123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHEC724 View Post
    Somewhere a while back, I got tired of shooting the smallest group possible and started focusing more on drawing and shooting (and moving).

    Maybe because of years of practice, or maybe because I sucked at target shooting, but my accuracy didn't suffer much.

    The knowledge of knowing that you can put at least one round exactly where you want it on a quick double or triple-tap can be very comforting, and I believe worth the effort.
    Agree completely! My whole world changed when I stopped shooting for groups and started shooting steel under a shot timer. This ultimately comes down to a speed vs accuracy debate, and I would argue that during a real world CCW altercation speed is going to be more critical... As long as you can still hit your target.

    OP, as others have stated in a dynamic shooting situation a continuous press to the rear will be your best bet. You may not get Olymic medal groupings, but this will definitely speed you up. I clued in on this when I started shooting IPSC matches and now exclusively practice "speed shooting" unless I'm sighting in a new gun. Other than my firearms themselves, my shot timer is my most used piece of training gear. I'm continually amazed at how many "defensive" shooters out there have never clocked themselves...
    WHEC724 and beararms like this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array Chuck R.'s Avatar
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    There seems to be quite a bit of difference in definitions/opinions. Here’s how I learned/understand it:

    Staging: Taking up the slack or 1st stage to the point just prior to where the trigger breaks to the point you can feel resistance.

    Prepping: Taking up slack, but stopping short of where the trigger breaks. Prepping is more of a motion/time saving technique on subsequent shots by not allowing the trigger to return fully forward after reset.

    I’ve been pulling or pressing straight through on my first shots, then prepping the trigger for subsequent shots.

    Chuck
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