From a fellow Team shooter:

I just gave the Army Training Circulars about small arms training a thorough read through. Bottom line, the TCs are very much like the same stuff we’ve been teaching all along. Very little I can arguably disagree with.

Not really happy about their take on trigger follow through. They almost encourage the “hot release”, repeatedly instructing to not hold back the trigger, stating: “the longer the trigger is held to the rear the longer the Soldier prevents the pistol from functioning and delays reengagement.”

I believe a shooter can’t shoot accurately any faster than he/she can recover from recoil, so there’s no need to get the trigger reset while the sights are off the target. Thoughts?

We’re in agreement. The new TCs are an overall improvement. Now just a matter of getting personnel to read them…

Concerning the “hot release” vs. trigger pin or hold/reset, this issue is a classic example of a useful attempt at a corrective by knowledgeable people being misinterpreted by parrots and creating problems.

Pinning the trigger is taught as a method to encourage followthrough. Feeling/hearing a click is a way to help someone with poor followthrough or recoil anticipation, pre-ignition push, flinch, or other unintended movement disrupting alignment. Used well, it’s a corrective that can help establish control in trigger manipulation.

Example from Dave Spaulding:

Apparently, in some law enforcement circles pinning the trigger to the rear after each shot and over emphasis on a slow reset became a version of “watch your breathing” in that cadre overemphasized it to the point of it overshadowing trigger control during the shot. I’ve seen videos of struggling LEO shooters being barked at by an “instructor” to emphasize a slow, deliberate trigger reset followed by a sharp, rearward jerk to make the shot go because that’s what someone emphasized to them as “important.” This also needlessly slows shot-to-shot speed. An example:

Click link to go directly to the video:

“Reset… reset… reset… FIRE!” The sequence places way too much emphasis and time spent on a smooth reset and no emphasis on smoothly controlling the trigger during the shot release. Ya know, when it actually matters…

It’s easy to see how a novice instructor working with shooters having no experience (a situation most common in law enforcement and military) can take a corrective completely out of context.

This is rather like someone long ago thought “trigger squeeze” was a useful way to convey the idea of smoothly-controlled trigger pressure and “trigger jerk” a way to describe unintended movement during shot release. The first is sometimes misinterpreted as squeezing with the whole hand as you’d normally do when, say, squeezing a lemon. The second is often misinterpreted by implying the “jerk” is mostly or solely due to the index finger on the trigger and not an unintended reaction from the rest of the shooter’s body.

Any of a number of correctives might be useful if they’re coming from someone knowledgeable enough to make the distinction. These same correctives can be potentially detrimental when overemphasized by personnel that don’t really understand what it is or why they’re emphasizing it.

As expected, a top shooter like Ernest Langdon is spot on. The error is “training” this reset as a required technique instead of using it to briefly emphasize followthrough for someone that isn’t otherwise getting it.