Early Trigger Pull
I tend to pull the trigger before I want to. How do I fix this?
I am assuming the issue is with both barrels. If the second barrel is discharging immediately after the first, that’s a different problem. Having said that, there are three possible causes of “premature” execution:
1) Trigger pull is too light. A good trigger pressure is about 4-½ pounds. Some shooters prefer it a bit lighter or heavier, but for most, anything in the 3- to 3-½-pound range or lighter will be too light and result in occasional accidental discharges.
2) You’re overgripping the gun. As shooters, we tend to tighten up our hand grip when we are in a pressure situation. This can cause the gun to discharge before we’re ready. Any good preshot routine includes deep breathing and is just one of a number of ways to reduce bodily tension as you prepare to engage your targets.
3) Your “conditioned response” is poorly trained. Shot execution is a conditioned response. Properly timed, shot execution should occur at the precise moment that two events simultaneously occur – the target reaches its preplanned break point and the shooter achieves the proper level of visual connection with the target. Many shooters dramatically underestimate the level of visual intensity required to break targets consistently. “Pray and spray” or “poke and hope” are not very effective paths to consistency in clay target shooting. If this is the problem, a more intense visual connection with the target at the break point will help you time your shot execution appropriately.
Whether it’s a trip to the gunsmith, reworking your pre-shot routine or committing to your breakpoints, a qualified instructor can help you assess which of the above possible causes are to blame for your premature execution.
Don Currie is NSCA’s Chief Instructor, an Orvis Wingshooting School instructor, and Master Class competitor. To get free shooting tips and videos, sign up for his monthly newsletter. You can also see more tips from Currie at www.doncurrie.com.