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Thumbing the trigger on a pistol


Buckshot Bear
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Watching a whole lot of CAS shoots on YT it looks like a lot of shooters are holding the trigger in on their pistols the whole time there shooting and just letting the hammer fall ie keep trigger depressed - cock, aim, let hammer slip off thumb, cock, aim, let hammer slip off thumb

 

Is what I'm seeing correct do people do that or does it just look like there doing it?

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Not recommended by many, except they hope the competion does it.   I lost part of my trigger finger in a shop opps years ago and do not have much feeling in the tip.     Works for me and my situation     GW

Edited by G W Wade
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I suggest you try it on paper so you an see the hits after you finish the string.

I shoot two handed and I trigger each shoot because I learned early on I can not keep the sights on target after about the 3rd shot.

Some can slip hammer very well.

I am not one of those people.

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I slip hammer almost exclusively.  I like being able to keep my strong-side hand grip rigid, including gripping with the strongest (Index) finger that is closest to the barrel, as I shoot.  With a firmly gripped hand, it is nearly impossible to keep from rotating the wrist a mm or two when moving the index/trigger finger in and out, due to wrist tendon movement.   (Try it with arm extended. ) That mm of shift projects to inches at target distance.  

 

The other thing slip hammering does is to force me to keep my arms fully extended and move across targets by rotating on my legs, waist and trunk, rather than shifting my arms.  That further steadies the end of the barrel and affords me better control when acquiring targets.  

 

I am sure others mileage will vary, but my pistol times reduced by at least 1/3, and misses probably dropped 60% or more when I took time to learn how to slip hammer properly. 

(I had a lot of prior misses with separate trigger pulls).  

 

After-note:   

The fact that shooters concern themselves with accuracy effects of  heavier or lighter trigger pulls tells you that hand-trigger action definitely affects repeatability of shot placement and accuracy.  Slip hammering renders trigger pull weight moot.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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56 minutes ago, Slapshot said:

I've tried it at my first shoot recently. Not hard but would take practice to get fast doing it. IMO

It is much easier to learn slip hammering when you focus on the strong-side grip, rather than thinking about the hammer and trigger pull.  Focus attention on the front sight movement and quieting it by locking your grip tightly.   

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2 hours ago, Cliff Hanger #3720LR said:

I suggest you try it on paper so you an see the hits after you finish the string.

I shoot two handed and I trigger each shoot because I learned early on I can not keep the sights on target after about the 3rd shot.

Some can slip hammer very well.

I am not one of those people.

 

THIS^^^^

 

Very few people can do it successfully. Remember every miss add 5 seconds. Will slip hammering a whole match shave off enough time to negate that miss???

 

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7 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

 

THIS^^^^

 

Very few people can do it successfully. Remember every miss add 5 seconds. Will slip hammering a whole match shave off enough time to negate that miss???

 

For me, it isn't about adding speed, although speed did improve substantially.  But the important thing is the improved  grip solidity, as I described above.   I find it to be much, much more accurate than single trigger pulls. But you do have to take time to live-fire practice & learn to slip hammer properly.    

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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4 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

The majority of Top shooters will report they DO NOT slip hammer and pull the trigger for each shot.  They just do it really quick.

 

This.  There are times where it's appropriate.  However, it should be done with intention and after a tremendous amount of practice.

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3 minutes ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

This.  There are times where it's appropriate.  However, it should be done with intention and after a tremendous amount of practice.

Don't those two elements apply to just about everything in sport shooting?  

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I started trigger pulling. Then saw a video doing slip hammer double taps. Worked better.  Then I went to full time slip hammer. Gives me a better grip, helps me keep my arms fully extended. 
 

 

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16 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Don't those two elements apply to just about everything in sport shooting?  

 

Pretty much, yes.  I think a lot of folks rush into new techniques before they master the fundamentals, or the techniques that make the next thing work.  I tend to caution against that.  When a shooter decides to pick up a new technique, a lot of work needs to go into it. 

 

Once the fundamentals are down, and not just "able to do them", but rather they are 2nd nature and don't require thought.  They are automatic.  Then try other things to see what works for you.  We're not all built the same.

 

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Exactly we are all not the same. You have to start with the technique that we think we are going to use. I'll probably go with Double Duelist style since I really didn't like the feel of slip hammering. JMO

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  Sometimes I does, sometimes I don't. I shoot duelist. Depends on target size/distance and what else I have going on. One size doesn't fit all for me. I can tell you I don't have the intention of doing it at smallish pistol targets of 10+ yards. I can tell you I do have the intention to do it with big pistol targets at 3 yards. But chances are, I couldn't tell you if I did it or not at the end of the stage. My mind is on other stuff.

#duelist is coolest

Edited by Tennessee williams
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1 hour ago, Doc Shapiro said:

 

Pretty much, yes.  I think a lot of folks rush into new techniques before they master the fundamentals, or the techniques that make the next thing work.  I tend to caution against that.  When a shooter decides to pick up a new technique, a lot of work needs to go into it. 

 

Once the fundamentals are down, and not just "able to do them", but rather they are 2nd nature and don't require thought.  They are automatic.  Then try other things to see what works for you.  We're not all built the same.

 

Agree fully.  

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I shoot gunfighter and almost always major caliber.   

 

The only time I've slip hammered was on the last stage and my 51 Navy wouldn't cock - likely a cap fragment in the works.  So I slip hammered the last couple of shots. It's possible to slip hammer with a single hand hold. I hit the targets,  by the way. 

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I’ve tried that shooting duelist but my hands are just not big enough. I don’t have lowered hammers either. 

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4 hours ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I’ve tried that shooting duelist but my hands are just not big enough. I don’t have lowered hammers either. 

I can't imagine how a person could slip hammer one-handed and control muzzle movement.  The thumb motion, especially at the instant of hammer release would be nearly impossible to overcome.   I'd love to see someone post a video of a Gunfighter or Duelist actually slip-hammering (and hitting targets).   It would seem to nullify all of the grip advantages of doing it two- handed. But I suppose with harder springs, a shorter hammer draw would be possible.   I guess I just need to try it and see.  

Edited by Dusty Devil Dale
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23 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Then you haven't seen some of the more accomplished duelists out there.

I shoot with some World class champions my friend and they don’t slip hammer! 

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Just now, Rye Miles #13621 said:

I shoot with some World class champions my friend and they don’t slip hammer! 

You get me wrong brother. Never said they ALL do it, just that some accomplished duelists can do it with aplomb. Make sense?

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There are multi-time overall World Champs/Nat'l Champs that Slip Hammered...I Slip Hammered exclusively when I shot two handed. I don't recommend it any longer.

 

The fact is that at some point the shooter has to bring his/her thumb up to re-cock the revolver...you can do that before you pull trigger or after you let go of the hammer...but you still have to bring that thumb up at some point...except the last shot obviously.

 

Phantom

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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

Then you haven't seen some of the more accomplished duelists out there.

I've seen a few very good ones.  I guess I just didn't notice them slip hammering.  I'll have to look closer. 

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1 hour ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

There are multi-time overall World Champs/Nat'l Champs that Slip Hammered...I Slip Hammered exclusively when I shot two handed. I don't recommend it any longer.

 

The fact is that at some point the shooter has to bring his/her thumb up to re-cock the revolver...you can do that before you pull trigger or after you let go of the hammer...but you still have to bring that thumb up at some point...except the last shot obviously.

 

Phantom

Agree, but in two-handed, it isn't the grip hand that has to reach up for the hammer (at least speaking for me).  I shoot right-handed.  I barely touch my grip hand with my left  when shooting except to anchor/index the left hand in position with the tip of my last two fingers.  So reaching for the hammer doesn't really affect my grip very much, if at all; especially using the low SBH hammers on a NMV pistols.

 

Did I understand you correctly?   

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3 minutes ago, Captain Bill Burt said:

I've had people see videos of me shooting and comment that I'm slip hammering, which I'm not.  The triggers on my revolvers are set back and have very little movement.  I pull the trigger every time, it just doesn't have to move much, particularly compared to a stock Vaquero.

How did you accomplish the trigger set?  

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1 hour ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

Agree, but in two-handed, it isn't the grip hand that has to reach up for the hammer (at least speaking for me).  I shoot right-handed.  I barely touch my grip hand with my left  when shooting except to anchor/index the left hand in position with the tip of my last two fingers.  So reaching for the hammer doesn't really affect my grip very much, if at all; especially using the low SBH hammers on a NMV pistols.

 

Did I understand you correctly?   

Not really. I was simply addressing speed and not grip. The act of cocking the hammer exists regardless of whether one is shooting supported or not.

 

Phantom

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2 hours ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

You get me wrong brother. Never said they ALL do it, just that some accomplished duelists can do it with aplomb. Make sense?

Touche', I get what your saying but just I don't know any myself and I shoot with some of the best!!  ;)

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