Amazing Trigger Compression

trainers4you Firearms Training, Training Tips

THE MAGIC OF BIG PUTTY
A Guide to Amazing Trigger Compression
By: Matt and Sherrie Seibert

Big Putty is a lot like Silly Putty but you get twice as much putty for your buck.  Before we discover the Magic of Big Putty, let’s explore the basics and take a cutting-edge approach to applying trigger compression.

THE BASICS OF TRIGGER COMPRESSION

The trigger must be compressed straight back so the muzzle of the gun does not move when the gun releases the shot. The finger position on the trigger will be different for each person based on the size of their hand and the ergonomics of the firearm they are shooting.  Is important to realize, that the position of the trigger finger on the trigger will affect the shooter’s ability to compress the trigger “straight back” so the muzzle of the gun does not move left or right as the shot is released.

TRIGGER COMPRESSION & ERGONOMIC LEVERAGE

To maximize the leverage of the trigger, we want to position our trigger finger towards the bottom of the trigger to maximize the amount of leverage required to release the shot.  If the trigger finger is positioned on the upper portion (top) of the trigger it will require more energy to be applied to the trigger to release the shot.  If the trigger finger is positioned on the lower portion of the trigger (bottom) during the compression phase, it will take less energy to be applied to the trigger to release the shot.  The more energy it takes to compress the trigger to get the shot to release the greater the chances are you will disturb the alignment of the sights during the compression phase.

GIVE UP CONTROL AND ALLOW THE GUN TO RELEASE THE SHOT

We do NOT like the concept of a “compressed surprise break”.  If you are constantly startled and surprised by the release of the shot, you will develop an aversion to the recoil and the firing process.  Imagine every time you walked around a corner and someone popped out and startled you. Wouldn’t you eventually develop an aversion to corners?

If you are compressing the trigger so gently that you are surprised by the shot’s release, notice the accuracy you can achieve when you allow the gun to release the shot. You may find that if it was a surprise, it was a pleasant surprise, wasn’t it?  The key is to give up control and allow the gun to release the shot.  This reframe automatically instantly changes the frame of fear created by the startle response into a pleasant and positive emotional state. 
NOTE: If you try to fire the shot, you will always end-up forcing the shot and cause a misalignment of the sights. You MUST be patient as you are compressing the trigger and just wait for the gun to release the shot.

TRIGGER FINGER POSITION ON THE TRIGGER

The trigger must be compressed so the muzzle of the gun does not move when the gun releases the shot.

You know you have proper trigger compression when you compress the trigger to its most rearward position and the front sight stays level with the top of the rear sight and the spacing between the front sight in the rear sight remains perfectly equal on both sides.


FINDING THAT SWEET SPOT

One of the easiest ways to find the best position of the trigger finger on the trigger is to remove all the ammunition from the gun and compress the trigger past the point where the hammer or firing pin is released and then compress the trigger firmly against the back of the trigger guard. If you notice the front sight go slightly to the left or slightly to the right your trigger finger is not properly positioned on the trigger. You must find the “Sweet Spot” on the trigger finger so when you’re compressing the trigger to the furthest position against the back of the trigger guard the front sight doesn’t move to the left or to the right. (It’s when the trigger is compressed to the furthest rearward position against the trigger guard that will cause the sights to go out of alignment at the time the shot is released.)

If you are right handed and you compress the trigger to the furthest rearward position and the front sight moves to the left, then put more trigger finger on the trigger. If the front sight moves to the right, then position less trigger finger on the trigger. When you compress back gently but firmly and the front sight doesn’t move, then memorized that placement of your trigger finger on the trigger.

You will have to use an empirical process (trial & error) to discover what position of your trigger finger on the trigger will work best for you.  You’ll also notice that it may be different depending upon the size and ergonomics of the various guns you may shoot.

Another way to find the sweet spot of the trigger finger on the trigger is to dry practice with the gun waist high with the elbows bent and the barrel parallel with the ground and the muzzle pointed into the backstop with no ammunition in the firearm. Prep and compress the trigger and keep your focus on your front sight GIP as the firing pin or hammer is released.  If you notice the muzzle of the gun moves left or right, reposition your trigger finger on the trigger.  For a Right Handed Shooter, if the muzzle moves to the left, you put MORE finger in the trigger guard. If the muzzle moves to the RIGHT, take some finger out of the trigger guard.  Reset the firing pin or hammer and continue this process until you find that ”sweet spot” so when the firing pin strikes or the hammer falls the muzzle doesn’t move.

PREPPING & STAGING THE TRIGGER

By prepping the trigger, we mean taking the slack out of the trigger until you feel the sears engage.  This technique helps prevent smashing the trigger all the way through its travel to the back of the trigger guard and eliminates muzzle movement when the firearm releases the shot. When you prep the trigger, you are stabilizing the gun so that you can verify the sights are in proper alignment.  Once the trigger is prepped, the gun is then stabilized, you can now focus on the front sight GIP and gently compress the trigger without disturbing the alignment of the front and rear sight.  In other words, once the slack is out of the trigger there’s less chance of disturbing the alignment of the sights during the compression phase.

You “Stage” the trigger when shooting a Double Action handgun and “Prep” the trigger with a Single Action Semi-Automatic handgun. When you stage the trigger of a Double Action handgun, you want to take 2/3rds of the slack out of the trigger.  This means that distance you must move the trigger may be from 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. When you prep the trigger of a Single Action Semi-Automatic handgun you want to take all the slack out of the trigger until the trigger stops and the sears engage. This means that distance you must move the trigger may be from 1/8 to 1/64 of an inch. The techniques for compressing the trigger of a double action revolver and semi-automatic pistol are a little different because the amount of compression that must be applied to the trigger and the amount of trigger movement required to disengage the sears for the shot to release.

The trigger on a Double Action Revolver or a Double Action Semi-Automatic has a lot of rearward travel and the amount of compression to release the shot may be upwards and above 12 pounds. As your compressing the trigger, you’re manually cocking the hammer.

The trigger on a Single Action Revolver or Single Action Semi-Automatic Pistol has very little or no rearward travel and the amount of compression to release the shot is generally between 3 to 5 pounds.

If you have a true Double Action Semi-Automatic, the compression of the trigger cocks and fires the gun double action every time. Some Double Action Semi-Automatic’s have inconsistent trigger pulls. When you compress the trigger on the first shot, there is a lot of rearward trigger travel and the poundage can be up to 12+ pounds. After the shot is released and the slide moves rearward due to the recoil process, it will re-cocked the hammer automatically and leave the firearm in a single action position and the compression to release the second shot may be only 3 pounds.. This means that you are going to have inconsistent trigger pulls from the first to the second shot. Some people like it.  Some people don’t. It is a personal preference we recommend that you “Try It Before You Buy”.

TRIGGER SPEED AND MUZZLE MOVEMENT

The faster the trigger is moving when the shot is released, the more muzzle movement you are going to have.  The speed at which the trigger is compressed will be proportionate to the amount of muzzle movement.  The key to an accurate shot is to limit the amount of muzzle movement at the time the shot releases.

You must learn what it feels like to properly take up the slack or prep the trigger so you can do it safely and quickly without unintentionally discharging the firearm.  This takes several repetitions but can be easily mastered within minutes.

INSIGHT TO TRIGGER COMPRESSION USING QUANTUM PHYSICS

You Can Easily Get Better Trigger Control Using the Principles of
Quantum Physics:  Space · Time · Energy · Matter

The most precise way to understand the requirements for shooting accurately is to apply the basic principles of Quantum Physics.   Simply – Consider Space, Time, Energy and Matter (STEM) into the trigger compression process. To create a more meaningful understanding, we can also apply the principle of ”contrast” to measure and monitor the quantity and quality of trigger compression. 

The STEM Principles  

(SSpace – What is the distance you must move the trigger for the shot to release?

Most shooters over compress the trigger which causes the muzzle to take a nose dive.  (The barrel is positioned ergonomically higher than the trigger.  When you apply compression to the trigger, you immediately begin to force the muzzle end of the barrel downwards.  For most right hand shooters, this results in shooting low and to the left. 

(TTime – How much time does it take to move the trigger that distance for the shot to release?

Many shooters take too much time to release the shot.  This can result in a build-up of an emotional bubble. The anticipation of the recoil becomes overwhelming and eventually the shooter cranks on the trigger just to get the shot over with.  

(EEnergy – How much compression (i.e. speed and pressure) is required to move the trigger that distance for the sears to disengage, allowing the shot to release?

The reason most shooters apply too much energy to the trigger is because their emotional arousal level is elevated.  The ideal emotional state for shooting accurately is one of detachment and the emotions are flat-lined.

(MMatter – The Trigger.

 The trigger and trigger mechanism is the Matter in which the energy is being applied.

(S) Space  (T) Time  (E) Energy  (M) Matter
STEM Applied to Trigger Compression 

Now we can apply contrast by utilizing a scale from 0 to 10 to create the contrast to enhance the STEM principles.  Let’s break down the dynamics of shooting two shots with a Double-Single Action Firearm:  Because the first trigger pull of the double action firearm is going to take more compression (Energy) to move the trigger a longer distance (Space), we can assign the amount of energy on a 0 to 10 scale at a 6.  If the amount of compression applied to the trigger is a 6, and a 6 is taking too long to release the shot (Time) we can increase the amount of compression (Energy) to a 7 or to an 8.  This computation of energy can also be deconstructed in terms of Speed = (Distance (space) divided by Time) and Pressure = (Force (energy) divided over the area (matter).  If the amount of energy required to compress the trigger is a 12 pound trigger pull, we can apply 14 pounds of pressure to overcome the inertia of the hammer spring at a speed of 3 so that we don’t disturb the sights when the shot releases.

To shoot a really accurate shot, we must stage the trigger.  To stage the trigger you may apply 15 pounds of compression at a speed of 8 to get the hammer spring to compress two thirds of the way back and then you must reduce the amount of compression to 13 pounds at a speed of 3 during the final third of the compression phase to guarantee that the sights are not disturbed when the shot releases.  Remember: The slower the trigger is moving at the time the shot releases, the less muzzle movement you will have and the more accurate the shot will be.

Utilizing a scale of 0 to 10 demonstrates how to create “contrast”. By integrating a sliding scale within the STEM process can help you achieve better accuracy. When you deconstruct trigger compression in this way, you can refine your trigger compression to a science.  Initially you will have to think about what you’re doing in order to perform the task until you get to the point where you can do it at an unconscious level and it will happen automatically.

THE MAGIC OF BIG PUTTY
A Guide to Amazing Trigger Compression Using STEM

SPACE – Refining and Limiting Motor Movement

Determine how far the trigger must move to release the shot once the trigger has been properly staged or prepped.  This will vary with each gun.  Let’s say you identified that the amount of trigger travel required to release the shot after the prep point is only a 1/16 of an inch. Now, as you’re compressing the trigger, limit the amount of travel in your mind to only a 1/16 of an inch.  This will set the limits on how far you compress the trigger rather than allowing your mind to run wild and have the trigger slam into the rear of the trigger guard which will disrupt your sight alignment.

SPACE – Segmented Compression

Sometimes we tend to think too much when we’re compressing the trigger. We need to create the sensation that ”the gun is releasing the shot” remembering what it feels like to have our trigger finger melt that 1/16 of an inch and to give up control and allow the gun to do the work. To facilitate this, we can utilize segmented compression. This helps us understand the difference between forcing the shot and allowing the shot to release. This technique works extremely well! It is an excellent way of preventing the emotional bubble from building to the bite point. (The bite point is the place in time where the emotional bubble has become so overwhelming that the shooter cranks on the trigger in order to get the shot over with.)

This is an alternative to monitoring a steady and continuous amount of compression to the trigger. For many people, steady continuous compression builds up an “emotional bubble” that creates anticipation and can result in the dreaded flinch. The Segmented Compression technique allows the shooter to segment the stages of the compression on the trigger. This can also assist the shooter in managing their emotional state by distracting their conscious mind.
TIME – Discovering Patience and Allowing the Gun to Release the Shot
Time is a perception of the conscious mind.  In order to bypass the conscious mind so your mind to stays in the present; “Think about not thinking”….  Really Consider that Fully ! …That’s right…Empty your mind and just wait patiently for the shot to release.  It’s that easy.
ENERGY – Less Equals More
(KE=1/2MV2) The speed at which you compress the trigger and amount of compression you apply to the trigger will affect the quality of your shot. 
Speed = Distance divided by Time.
Pressure = Force divided over the Area.

Speed: If you prep the trigger “quickly” on the front end, (take out the slack, i.e. (space) minimizing excessive trigger movement before the sears engage) you will have more time on the back end to compress that trigger on the backend of the compression phase. This results in allowing the shot to release without disturbing the alignment of the sights.

 

Pressure: The amount of compression must be dispersed low and in the center of the face of the trigger to maximize the leverage and minimize the muzzle movement, nor is it held to the back of the trigger guard as the gun releases the shot.

MATTER – Your Trigger to Success
The Trigger and Trigger Mechanism is the Matter…The lighter the trigger compression, the less energy that needs to be applied to the trigger (matter) to allow the shot to release.  This results in less muzzle movement at the time the shot is released.  If you get a hernia every time you try to compress the trigger on your firearm, seriously consider getting a trigger job done on your pistol. 
(A 3 pound to 5 pound trigger pull is safe and works best for most shooters.)  

 

Remember: The easier the trigger is to compress, the more control you’ll have and slower the trigger will move at the time the shot releases.  This results in less muzzle movement and a more accurate shot.

BIG PUTTY ON STEROIDS
Practice with Your Support Hand

If your dominant hand is your right hand that means your left hand is your support hand.  For most right handed people, the dominant hemisphere of their brain is the left hemisphere.  The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body. Most right handed people are not yet aware that they can shoot more accurately with their left hand (support hand) than they can with their right hand.  When you shoot with your support hand you are getting a direct connection to the right hemisphere which instantly takes you into a flow state and into the zone.  The accuracy you can achieve with your support hand is absolutely freakin amazing.

BIG PUTTY EXERCISES USING THE STEM PRINCIPAL

Go through the Big Putty Exercises below applying the STEM Principles using your dominant hand’s trigger finger and utilizing your support hand’s trigger finger. This creates bilateral learning (parallel processing) and will take your trigger compression to a whole new level. Alternate utilizing both hands.

Warm Up: Before you begin exercising with Big Putty you want to warm up your hands. (This is especially important if you have arthritis or any form of neuropathy or carpal tunnel.) A simple way to warm up your hands is to simply rub them together on the top and the palm of the hand for several minutes.

Stretching: The next step is to do stretching exercises. Extend the trigger finger backwards (not to the point of pain) just enough to feel the stretch and hold for 30 seconds. Then flex the trigger finger inward just enough to feel the stretch and hold for 30 seconds.

Set-Up & Forward: Mix two Big Putty’s into one piece.  This gives you more putty to hang onto and optimizes the experience.  If you have REALLY big hands, you may even want to consider utilizing three Big Putties together.

Start by rolling the Big Putty into a ball utilizing both hands. This helps warm up the Big Putty. All the exercises that were going to do will be held for 10 seconds with a 30 second break in between exercises. Repeat the exercises below with the opposite hand and alternate hands five times each. (Ideally, you want to be able to work up to 10 contractions with each hand. If you begin to feel any discomfort… STOP!… Don’t Over Do It and give your hands time to normalize.)

For each of the STEM Exercises below, roll the ball of putty into the shape of a 3 to 4 inch cylinder (cigar shape) approximately one inch thick.

Hold the putty in your gun hand with your trigger finger on the end of the Big Putty.

Compress on the end of the Big Putty quickly as if you were prepping the trigger. Once you feel the resistance (simulating the sensation of the sears engaging to the prep point) immediately stop.  Now isolate the sensation of your trigger finger and sense your trigger finger contacting the putty:

The Magic of Big Putty Utilizing the Concept of SPACE:

  1. Now, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty and limit the distance (space) to 1/16 of an inch. (Do Not Force It … Feel Your Trigger Finger Melt into the Big Putty only a 1/16 of an inch!) This will help you discover what it feels like to move the trigger the required distance (space) without over compressing the trigger into the back of the trigger guard. Practice this until you have learned how to limit the trigger finger’s movement to only 1/16 of an inch and it has become integrated at the unconscious level.

The Magic of Big Putty Utilizing the Concept of ”Segmented” SPACE:

  1. Now, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty and limit the distance (space) to 1/16 of an inch.
  2. Do it again, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty again and limit the distance (space) to another 1/16 of an inch.
  3. Continue this until your trigger finger has melted one inch into the Big Putty at 1/16 inch intervals.
  4. Notice your emotional state as your compressing into the Big Putty. Your state should be emotionally flatlined with each compression.

NOTE: This technique can be used as training wheels until you fully integrate the state of emotional detachment and our able to sense what it feels like to isolate and contract the muscles in the trigger finger a limited distance (space).  Neurons that fire together wire together. In other words, we are associating the emotional state of detachment to the motor movement of compressing the trigger.

The Magic of Big Putty Utilizing the Concept of TIME:

  1. Now, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty and limit the distance (space) to 1/16 of an inch and notice the TIME required for the trigger to move that 1/16 of an inch. (Do Not Force It … Feel It Melt that 1/16 of an inch and notice the duration of time!)
    This will help you discover what it feels like to wait patiently (time) to move the trigger the required distance (space).
  2. Again, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty again and limit the distance (space) to another 1/16 of an inch and notice the time required for the trigger to move that 1/16 of an inch.
  3. Continue this until your trigger finger has melted 1 inch into the Big Putty at 1/16 inch intervals noticing the time / space
    KEY: When conducting this exercise, practice emptying your mind and not thinking. Just waiting patiently (time).

The conscious awareness of monitoring the compression of the trigger finger is constant throughout the process at 1/16th of an inch intervals. The compression is gentle. The curl is straight back. This exercise teaches you to remain in a focused state of emotional detachment for a longer period of time and uses the space between compressions to maintain emotional control and sensitivity to the trigger.  With each 1/16″ of an inch compression, the shooter patiently waits for the gun to release the shot.
 
NOTE: If you take too much time between compressions or segmentations, you may become oxygen deficient or develop a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles causing a tremor or excessive movement.  Ideally, during slow fire the shot should be released between 4 and 8 seconds during the minimum arc of movement after focal acuity has been acquired on the front sight GIP.

The Magic of Big Putty Utilizing the Concept of Energy:

  1. Now, sense your trigger finger gently melting into the putty (energy) at an energy level of 3 and maintain that constant amount of energy. (Do Not Force It … The Melting sensation is the amount of energy that you are using to compress the trigger. This will help you discover how much energy is required to move the trigger at a consistent speed (Speed = Distance (space) divided by Time.)
  2. Repeat Again: Sense your trigger finger melting into the putty again but increase the energy to an energy level of 6 and limit the distance (space) to 1/16 of an inch and notice the time required to move the trigger that 1/16 of an inch at that energy
  3. Continue this until your trigger finger has melted 1 inch into the Big Putty at 1/16 inch intervals noticing the energytime / space
    KEY: When conducting these exercises, practice emptying your mind and not thinking. Just wait patiently (time) and allow your unconscious mind to guide you through.

TRAINING ALTERNATIVE: You can alternate utilizing the Big Putty STEM Exercises and Dry Practice with your firearm of choice. (As you’re compressing the trigger of your gun when dry practicing, re-create and remember that sensation of what it feels like to feel your trigger finger melt into the Big Putty only 1/16 of an inch.)
WARNING: The firearm and the room must be sterilized of any ammunition before beginning dry practice.  Live Ammunition should NEVER be in the gun or the same room in which you are dry practicing. It is always best to use Snap Caps when dry practicing.

BIG PUTTY HAND STRENGTHENING EXERCISES 

When shooting a pistol, your grip determines the ability of the sights to naturally recoil back into alignment. A person that lacks strength in their hands will be less likely to manage the recoil of the gun than someone with stronger hands. This will often determine the caliber of pistol the person should be shooting to maximize their performance. Sometimes the ergonomics of the gun may not fit the shooters hand which can create problems and prevent the shooter from ever maximizing their potential.

The strength of the shooters trigger finger is also important. The stronger the strength of the trigger finger, the less effort and force will be required to properly compress the trigger without disturbing the sights thus yielding a more accurate shot.

Exercise #1:  Put the ball of Big Putty in the palm of one hand and squeeze using only the forefingers for a count of 10 seconds.  You will not utilize your thumb in this exercise. Keep the thumb extended out.  After releasing the Big Putty you’ll notice the depth of the imprint into the putty. The depth of the imprint is an indication of the strength of that respective finger. The key is to make sure all your fingers are participating equally when gripping the gun.

Exercise #2:  Put the ball of Big Putty between the tip of your thumb and the tip of your forefinger.  Squeeze using only the thumb and forefinger for a count of 10 seconds. If your thumb and forefinger come together, that is an indication that you have good pinch strength.

Exercise #3:  Put the ball of Big Putty between the tip of the thumb and the tip of your middle finger.  Squeeze using only the thumb and middle finger for a count of 10 seconds.

Exercise #4: Put the ball of Big Putty between the tip of your thumb and the tip of your fourth finger.  Squeeze using only your thumb and the your fourth finger for a count of 10 seconds.

Exercise #5: Put the ball of Big Putty between the tip of your thumb and the tip of your pinky finger.  Squeeze using only the thumb and pinky finger for a count of 10 seconds.

Exercise #6: Roll the Big Putty into a cylinder (cigar shape). Put the cylinder of Big Putty in the palm of your hand and make a fist with approximately 1 inch of Big Putty sticking up above the forefinger.  Squeeze down on the end of the Big Putty using only your thumb (as if it were a detonator switch) for a count of 10 seconds.

Exercise #7: Roll the Big Putty into a ball. Extend your fingers straight out and spread them apart as wide as possible. With the fingers extended straight out and spread wide, put the ball of Big Putty between the thumb and extended forefinger.  Squeeze only those two fingers inward for a count of 10 seconds. (Do this with only the two fingers you are working with.)

Exercise #8: Extend your fingers straight out and spread them apart as wide as possible. With the fingers extended straight out and spread wide, put the ball of Big Putty between the forefinger and the extended middle finger.  Squeeze only those two fingers inward for a count of 10 seconds. (Do this with only the two fingers you are working with.)

Exercise #9: Extend your fingers straight out and spread them apart as wide as possible. With the fingers extended straight out and spread wide, put the ball of Big Putty between the middle finger and the extended fourth finger.  Squeeze only those two fingers inward for a count of 10 seconds. (Do this with only the two fingers you are working with.)

Exercise #10: Extend your fingers straight out and spread them apart as wide as possible. With the fingers extended straight out and spread wide, put the ball of Big Putty between the fourth finger and the extended pinky finger.  Squeeze only those two fingers inward for a count of 10 seconds. (Do this with only the two fingers you are working with.)

Exercise #11: Roll the Big Putty into a 6” to 8” cylinder (cigar shape) utilizing both hands and connect the ends making a circle (big ring) of the Big Putty. Put all five finger tips inside the circle. Extend your fingers and spread them apart as wide as possible for a count of 10 seconds.

Exercise #12 (Trigger Finger Strengthening Exercise): Roll the Big Putty into a cylinder (cigar shape) utilizing both hands. Put the cylinder of Big Putty in the palm of your hand with the Big Putty extended along your trigger finger. Compress down on the end of the Big Putty using only your trigger finger for a count of 10 seconds utilizing smooth and consistent pressure without activating any of your other fingers.

PURCHASE YOUR BIG PUTTY NOW – BUY 3 GET 1 FREE  Reg. $3.99ea

Insight Firearms Shooting Center now has Big Putty in stock.  

If you’d like more information regarding Insight’s revolutionary new teaching techniques that guarantees you will be shooting “one-hole-groups” in only a matter of minutes, please contact us.

Warmest Regards,

Matt and Sherrie Seibert
Insight Firearms Shooting Center
6969 E. State Route 69
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314  

928-227-1950
No Part of this document may be copied or duplicated in part or whole without the written consent of Matt Seibert, Insight Firearms Training Development LLC.  

ã 2017 Matt SeibertAll Rights Reserved

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