As promised, Green Light has released 2 new Quick Tips this week for becoming a better shooter. First up, we have tip #2: taking up the slack.
If you’re new to shooting, you might not be familiar with this concept. I know I wasn’t when I first started. But it’s something that absolutely made me a better shooter.
When most beginners first shoot, they put their finger on the trigger and pull back. It’s as simple as that. The gun goes bang, they don’t know when it’s going bang, and they usually jerk the gun in response to the recoil. I think that, at one time or another, we’ve all been there. But there is a better way to manipulate the trigger.
On almost every gun out there (especially hand guns), you’ll have what’s called a “wall” in your trigger. Essentially, this means that if you pull back very slowly on the trigger, it will pull consistently and then all of a sudden, it will stop. To move it past this stopped point, you’ll have to apply a significant amount of pressure. As soon as the trigger breaks past that point, the gun will fire. That initial easy pull before the wall is called the “slack”. Therefore, the point of this tip is learning how to efficiently take out all of the slack, pause at the wall, then apply even and strong pressure for a clean trigger break.
So now that we understand what it means to take up the slack, why do we care? How does it help our shooting?
Taking out the slack and utilizing even pressure on the wall creates not only an even trigger pull, but it also creates a certain conscious intent on pulling the trigger. Rather than blindly pulling the trigger back with all your might every time, you’re caressing the trigger. It allows you to have complete control over when the gun is going to fire and where your trigger finger is going. When you’re afraid of the recoil and you’re anticipating it, you tend to “dip” the gun causing your shots to aim low. By utilizing this technique, you’re in charge of when the gun fires so you’re less likely to anticipate the recoil.
A great way to practice this is with dry firing. As always, make sure your gun can handle being dry fired. Almost all modern guns can, but if you’re unsure, check your owner’s manual or just do a simple google search. Clear your gun to make absolutely certain that it’s empty. Then cock your gun, and take up the slack. Once you’ve hit the wall, stay there for a second, then let off the trigger. Do that a few times until you’re certain you can feel where the wall is. Then once you’re comfortable with that, take the slack out, rest on the wall, and pull straight back on the trigger until it breaks. Do this a few more times and once you’ve got a good feel for it, concentrate on your muzzle. Get into a full shooting grip and stance, take the slack out, rest on the wall, and pull through. The most important thing to watch for here is that when you pull through, your muzzle doesn’t move. Practice that over and over. Then next time you’re at the range, do this same thing. Load the weapon, point it down range, take up the trigger slack, rest on the wall, then let off. Then, move to actually pulling through and firing the gun. Again, focus on not letting your muzzle move from it’s point of aim when you pull the trigger past the wall.
After a few times of doing this drill, I promise you will be a better shooter. This is also a great way to get to know different triggers. There are “heavier” and “lighter” triggers out there. That just means they require more or less pressure to move past the wall. Learn the sweet spot on your guns and learn what kinds of triggers you prefer.
Thanks for reading and watching. I hope this tip helped you out. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me using the contact tab above. We’ll see you on the next Green Light Quick Tip for How to Become a Better Shooter.