Does Trigger Control Matter for Self-Defense?


@David R. Marshall - What geographic area are you abouts? :) No need to get too specific, but the more you can give us, the better we should be able to help - nearest-metro would be nice (for me, for example, this would be Cleveland, Ohio), but even if you don't wish to disclose the city you're closest to, just a generalized quadrant of a state (again, with myself as an example, northeast-Ohio) would be pretty darned good.


Hello everyone I could use some help in choosing some to help train me. Don't know where to look or what to look for. I would be thankful for some help. I got an hell cat 9mm little while back. Went out an shot a box. And to be honest didn't do so good.
David, just simple suggestions is all, it can vary by location.
....Do a "google" or general search for "handgun training locations by state" gleaning through the online maze, you'll likely see many locations and usually some area locator options. Type in your state for more localized options, you may be surprised where they are or aren't located? Other thoughts, just ask or call around locally? The place you purchased HG from may be a good place to start and ask for instruction or where a local training center or person is at? Ask local law enforcement or county clerks office for suggestions too?

Ask around for references too once some are found. Can be good instruction and better out there. Best of luck to you.


@David R. Marshall, start out with a basic gun safety class if necessary and then a marksmanship class to learn fundamentals. Then practice those fundamentals. Then worry about other types of training.

Per the article, yes trigger control matters for self defense. It, along with proper stance, grip, sight picture, breathing, follow through, sear engagement, etc. should be practiced to the point where it is muscle memory. Because what doesn't matter for self defense is the erroneous idea that you will have time to think about any of that when the SHTF.
Yes, it does. For example, guns with upwards of five pounds of pull are difficult to shoot quickly because the muscle structure in your hand might not be able to handle the hard long pull. Too much weight can tire out your hands which will decrease accuracy and increase reaction time between shots.

It's also important that you know what type of gun for home defense is recommended for different situations. To have a gun handy all the time requires an understanding on where to place it so that you don't injure yourself or others in the process of drawing the weapon.
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When the targets are moving and shooting back at most self defense ranges, I favor the Rex Applegate convulsive grip firing technique...more consistent with the physiological effects of facing a lethal threat. I think this has some similarities to Rob Leatham's very fast technique.



Hello everyone I could use some help in choosing some to help train me. Don't know where to look or what to look for. I would be thankful for some help. I got an hell cat 9mm little while back. Went out an shot a box. And to be honest didn't do so good.
David, you’ve definitely come to the right place. As stated earlier knowing where you are located will help us point you in the right direction regarding a trainer or range that does training courses. I will say that if you have a Range USA relatively close to you they do a very good series of courses for new shooters and will certainly help you with your pistol dynamics. You said you didn’t shoot your Hellcat well, but don’t let that discourage you. Get to the range and shoot that gun as much as is possible because ultimately it’s all about practice, practice, practice. Yesterday I went to the range with a buddy and took a new gun along. Much to our surprise, several of our first shots were off by as much as 8-10 inches and we are pretty confident shooters. Gradually as we got acquainted with the pistol things started to fall in place, so stick with it you will get there like we all do. Grip, stance, trigger finger. Read up on that and try not to overthink everything. I overanalyze everything because I’m wired that way, but sometimes I drive myself crazy. And on that note, check out the Mantis system.

X3 have a system that pairs with your phone that allows you to track things like trigger control, stance etc and charts it on your phone. I’ve found it an invaluable tool and it will save you tons of dollars in range time. Good luck to you and welcome to the forum.


MantisX10 Elite has to be the best training aid ever...great for comparing your performance on different pistols. Combine with a training laser. Details and links in my video (one of many) on the the product. I've used it to measure the effectiveness of muzzle devices, to compare rifles in high winds, and to evaluate different grip ratios. Better a cheap gun with MantisX10 than an expensive one without.



Master Class
The day you can buy a gun with a thought activated solenoid powered trigger is the day that trigger control won't matter.
Be careful not to think the wrong thought at the wrong time, though.
Everything matters. Safety First.


Shooting a pistol accurately is significantly harder than most people realize. Be patient with yourself...practice a lot...

Was at my range this week, 2 new-to-shooting ladies were setting up near me with a range employee helping them. They were full of questions and he was answering them, albeit not with much help. He suggested they set up the target at 20 yards for their first shots with a 4" barrel handgun. I kinda wanted to slap him upside the head. After he left I suggested the ladies bring the target back to 10' and have more success and fun, then move it out if they feel comfortable. They kept it at 10' for as long as I was there. Use baby steps in progressing through your shooting...it will be more fun, keep you interested, and help you get better, faster.


Master Class
I am not an expert by no means but if you have a good relationship with your local Police Dept. or Sheriff's Office it wouldn't hurt to reach out to them and they can either refer you in the right direction or perhaps maybe one of their firearms instructors would be willing to help you along. Just a thought.