Squeezing the trigger correctly is not as easy as it
may appear; the technique must be fully mastered. To
help you remember the correct technique, the acronym
BRASS was developed (see chart above).
Good pistol shooting, like rifle shooting, depends
on your ability to master and apply certain basic
marksmanship skills. You must practice these
skillsaiming, position, and trigger squeezeoften.
Apply these fundamentals of marksmanship! If your
life ever depends on how well and accurately you shoot
the pistol, you might walk away alive.
Aiming the Pistol
Aiming the pistol consists of combining proper
sight alignment with the correct aiming point to obtain a
correct sight picture.
SIGHT ALIGNMENT.Sight alignment is best
defined as placing the front and rear sights into correct
alignment with the eye. The top of the front sight is level
with the top of the rear sight, and the body of the front
sight is centered between the rear sight aperture (fig.
11-31). Correct sight alignment is essential for accuracy
because of the short sight radius (about 6 1/2 inches).
For example, if a 1/10-inch error is made in aligning the
Grasp the stock or pistol grip firmly, but without strain, so the trigger finger has the proper
support to overcome trigger weight. An unnatural, straining grasp causes excessive muscle
tension in the hand, which results in a tremor that is transmitted to the weapon.
Make contact with the trigger where the contact produces a movement straight to the rear
(usually between the first joint and the tip). (NOTE: The trigger finger must not touch the
receiver or rifle.)
Line up the
sights and apply
pressure on the
Gradually increase the pressure until the hammer releases and the shot fires. (NOTE: If,
during this process, the sights drift off the target, interrupt the trigger squeeze but maintain
the pressure. When the sight picture is correct, continue the squeeze until you fire the shot.)
Proper breathing is essential. It helps you relax, steadies your aim, and clears your vision.
First, take a normal breath; then release part of it (enough to be comfortable); and hold the
remainder. Do not hold your breath for more than 10 seconds before shooting. This may
tense your muscles and blur your vision. If you do not shoot during this breathing period,
take another normal breath and repeat the procedure.
You must relax. The more relaxed you are, the better your shot will be.
Concentrate on the proper sight alignment of the correct sight picture. Focus your eye on the
front sight post (blade).
Some rifles have a certain amount of slack in the trigger. Take up this slack before starting
your squeeze to the rear to fire. The M16 trigger slack is insignificant, and this step is
generally omitted when firing that weapon. Knowing your weapon is important.
SQUEEZE Squeeze the trigger as previously described. If you squeeze it properly, you will not know
when the round will fire. This will prevent flinching, caused by anticipation of the shock, or
recoil, from the exploding cartridge.