Proper Firearm Trigger Manipulation and Magazine Loading

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loading magazine

Before I get started, You need to ALWAYS adhere to safe gun practices.

I recommend reading my previous posts:

  1. Proper combat handgun grip 
  2. Proper Stance and Handgun Sight Picture 

The Correct Way to “Pull the Trigger” of Your Handgun

One of the biggest things that you could do to improve your accuracy is to pull the trigger the correct way.  You actually shouldn’t pull anything, you should slowly press it.  Let’s discuss how you should use your trigger finger.

Your finger is separated into three parts.  The first part from tip to the first knuckle is called the distal phalanx.  The second part as you move up your index finger is called the middle phalanx.  The third part as you move to the big knuckle is called the Proximal Phalanx.

proximal phalanx


Your trigger should be in contact with the center of the Distal Phalanx.  Your Proximal Phalanx should be almost parallel to the frame of the gun.  Being properly aligned with your distal phalanx will keep the gun from pulling or pushing left or right.

You can practice this without firing.  You want only the part of your finger below the second knuckle (PIP Knuckle) to move and you want to press the trigger with direct, smooth pressure.

After your firearm has shot, you will be able to reset the trigger about 2/3 of the way back.  There is a slight “click” when the firing pin resets.  This is good for  allowing a faster shot time, and less travel of the trigger, allowing for less pushing sideways of the firearm.  This will all allow you to get back on target and accurately hit it.


parts of handgun

What You Should Know About Firing a Gun and Loading a Magazine

You should always be surprised by the sound of the firearm.  If you anticipate the shot, you will drop your front sight to see where you are hitting, before you even hit it.


Load the Magazine

With your non-dominant index finger near the top of the magazine near the front of the bullets and the heel of your hand at the bottom, place it in the gun, and push it in firmly into the bottom of the gun.  You will not hurt the firearm.

Always rack the whole slide, and never use the slide lock, because this is a fine motor skill that you will lose when in a stressful situation.


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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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