How to Correct Trigger Jerk- aka low & left hits

Low & left hits are a common problem for handgun users as they hone their skills. It’s incredibly frustrating to score good A-Zone hits in a string and end with a shot in the 7 o’clock region of the target. On the left is an example- a few fliers but mostly trigger jerk. Even a lot of hits in the A lean in that direction.


Most pistol ranges I frequent have an analysis chart somewhere – it looks something like the chart on the right.

Great- now you can see what’s wrong. But how to correct it? The first thing you have to be is consistent- if your hits aren’t grouping consistently this chart won’t help much. Most of the target you see is the result of consistent and repeated splits- so it’s not like 3 of my 4-round splits all hit that 7 o’clock zone, it was an occasional round over 18 splits.

The commonly cited remedy for trigger jerk I have seen and heard is a combination of trigger press technique and finger position on the trigger (the second half of the article). If you look at the second link you can see that groups have centered quite a lot but it could be better. It turns out that there are other views on correcting that jerking problem:

Any time the gun seems to be moving excessively on the target enough to make you want to time the shot when the gun is in the proper relation to the target, there is the high likelihood of a trigger jerk because eye focus has transitioned toward the target. Bring the eye focus back to the rear sight and shift it slightly forward to the front sight keeping it there until discharge is realized.

 Yes, we can all improve our discharge realization. Even the ladies. This has helped me get closer to my goals. Keep your eye focus on the front sight and make sure you see the flash. Eye focus has made a difference – note how the group has moved in and the outliers are down about 10% over 12 splits and a double tap. Do more than train- evaluate, modify and then train some more.

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