Phil Strader - Grip and Trigger Control


On today’s pro tip, we’re going to learn two important fundamentals of marksmanship. First will be the grip.

With a proper grip you’re going to feel less recoil, which in turn, will make you less likely to influence the sights during the firing cycle. The foundation of a good grip is total 360 degree coverage of the firearm. 

We’ve established that good grip in the holster. The strong side of my gun is already taken care of, the back, the right side, the front. 





I’m going to keep my thumb flagged high, keep my four fingers of my support hand together, and I’m just going to raise them up until they hit the bottom of the trigger guard. 

At that point, I’m just going to close my support hand around the gun, keep my thumbs flagged forward, and I’ve got myself a good grip. I’m going to make sure I don’t have any gaps. 




I want to do a live fire demonstration of a poor grip vs. a good grip. And I really want you to pay attention to the recoil of the firearm. First, the bad grip. 

And now, a better grip. So as you can see, a proper grip is extremely important for better accuracy, and more importantly for controlling that recoil for the second shot. 




Now trigger management. To me the most important aspect of trigger management is prepping the trigger properly. Depending on the kind of firearm you have, that prep or trigger slack, is going to be different. It’s up to you to learn the proper way to prep your trigger. Once you’ve pulled that trigger back and hit that point of resistance, or the wall, it only takes a little more pressure to make that gun go off. 

What I’ve done is setup a few drills to show the incredible importance of properly prepping the trigger. All right, I’ve got Mike as my stand-in student. The drill we’re going to do is very simple. I’m going to have Mike aim the gun at the target, lining up the sights, and prepping the trigger, and as soon as he hears the buzzer go off, he’s going to instantly pull the trigger. You read to go, Mike?

Mike: Lets do it, Phil.

Trigger is prepped, here we go.


All right good. Holster up. We’re going to move back several yards and try it again. All right, Mike, go ahead and draw the gun and let’s do it again. Aim, prep that trigger, and be ready to go. Looks like you’re good to go. Ready!



All right, good. Holster and let’s move back a few more yards. OK good, holster, and we’re going to move back to the last firing line. All right, good holster up. Lets go take a look. So, Mike, tell me how many times have you been told it’s all about how slow and steady you pull that trigger. 

Mike: Every time I’ve shot.

Phil: How many of those were slow and steady?

Mike: Not a one.

Phil: That shows you that trigger prep is incredibly important. So learn proper grip, and how to prep your trigger, and just like Mike, you’ll shoot straighter with Strader.




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