If you’re just getting started honing your pistol marksmanship, you may have noticed that your shots are grouping to one side of the bullseye or another. A small adjustment of your finger on the trigger will likely fix this issue and make your shots more accurate.
The illustration above and instructions below apply to right-handed shooters. If you’re a southpaw, just flip things.
Snatching. If your shots are grouping to the right, it likely means you have too much finger on the trigger. When you squeeze the trigger, it’s causing the sights and the barrel to shift to the right.
Pushing. If you notice your shots are grouping to the left of where you’re aiming, it’s likely because you have too little of your finger on the trigger. When you squeeze the trigger, it’s causing the sights and the barrel to shift to the left.
Heeling. If you notice your shots are grouping high, it likely means you’re anticipating the recoil from the shot and consequently driving the heel of your palm forward. This causes the barrel to shift up. One drill you can use to fix this is to have a friend load a magazine with a random assortment of live and dummy rounds. When you fire a dummy round, you won’t get the normal recoil and will be better able to see if you’re heeling and shifting up the barrel of the gun. Focus on keeping things even throughout the trigger squeeze.
Jerking. If your shots are grouping low, it likely means you’re jerking the trigger instead of squeezing it. Abruptly jerking the trigger will cause the barrel to tip down.
When you place your finger on the trigger, make sure the trigger sits on the middle of the first pad of your finger. And remember to squeeze or press the trigger straight back. Don’t pull. That will just cause you to jerk the pistol and disturb your sights.
Keep these pointers in mind during your next session at the range, and your shot grouping may end up much more on target.