It seems that people don’t understand that the only thing they need for complete adaptability to any platform is a steady trigger pull without disturbing their sight picture. Now this isn’t including the fact that you will have a different manual of arms requirement to run certain platforms. This will require some retraining in order to operate the gun smoothly if it has more controls, of course.
After going from guns like Glocks to M9s and back to striker fired pistols like the VP9, I never found that it took more than 100 repetitions of proper manipulation to dial in a pattern to smoothly run the gun. The same is true for going to a bullpup from an issued M16. Maintaining a proper sight picture while applying rearward pressure on the trigger will always result in good accuracy on any gun. The manual of arms is petty at best and can easily be retrained with little to no effort.
The reason you should concentrate on adaptability from one platform to the next is because there could be a gun out there that you can run better, but you haven’t tried it yet. It is often seen as a waste of time because the shooter believes they can just get more proficient with the guns they already have. That is fine if that is what you want to do.
You may think lighter triggers and other modifications will help you with your speed and that is all you need. This is true, but only to a certain point since light weight triggers under stress haven’t always served people well. You should stick with the stock trigger since they will typically be a fair weight and will smooth out a lot if you oil in the right places and wear the trigger naturally. This is easily done through shooting the gun and dry firing.
Remaining adaptable is a good thing for anyone who is serious about self-defense where speed and proficiency rule above all. You can’t really judge a platform by just comparing it to the current gun you run. You have to really run the gun as quick as you can. Learn to look at the important things and remain objective to its intended uses. This doesn’t mean that you cant have preferences. In fact this is so that you can acquire new preferences and find what really works for you when you really run your guns. I think you would actually be surprised what you could learn.
As a good example, I run DA/SA pistols way better than I have ever run a striker fired gun. I found this out when I was trying to draw and fire my first shot accurately in as little time as possible. With a striker fired gun, I had to wait until the last minute to break the shot. I found that this could cause a premature discharge if I tried to do this process too fast under stress. I could only get so fast and accurate with these pistols before it became dangerous, such as trying to stage the trigger during extension.
With a DA trigger pull for the first shot, I found that I can gradually take up the slack in the trigger during extension. Right at the moment that I acquire my target, I found that I can apply the last bit of pressure to the trigger, breaking the shot. With stress added, I found that we as human beings learn to cut corners and whatever helps us safely and accurately do so, is the best platform. Your results may vary depending on the type of shooting you intend to practice. Target shooting can be difficult with a DA trigger pull, but shines in defensive situations.
Going from trigger to trigger will teach you a lot about yourself and what fundamentals you really have mastered. The first and most important fundamental to master is trigger control. You need to focus on this the most since it can make or break your shot. It is all about applying smooth and gradual pressure all the way to the rear. You can’t afford to jerk or yank the trigger to the rear. You don’t get fast by yanking the trigger, you get fast by getting better at adding gradual pressure every time. Only then will you become faster at pulling the trigger. The key to speed is mastery of the fundamentals and just applying them faster.
For a DA/SA, I prefer to call the first long trigger pull the “draw shot”. This is because of what I talked about earlier. The first shot can be the hardest to time if the trigger pull is too light. The other shots are short and light for follow-up shots, so I don’t have an issue. I like the long and weighted pull, but if it is too heavy, it can be harder to get accurate shots. This is evident with the “NY triggers” which are often blamed for the NYPD Officers having poor accuracy.
I have also found that I like the Walther CCP trigger for its lengthy but smooth trigger pull that has almost no weight or reset. It doesn’t feel great as a target pistol since there is no reset like the PPQ. But it was meant to be a defensive pistol, not a target pistol. The point is that you shouldn’t discount a pistol just because it doesn’t have the same trigger as all the other guns you have had before. Use your trigger control to find where the pistol shines.
This is important, so you can properly judge the pistol by what it does, rather than what it doesn’t do. This is also important with DAO pistols. These can actually be shot more accurately than any other trigger type if you have really good trigger control.
You may not like the trigger pull during slow fire, but if you put yourself under real stress like running and shooting from the draw while moving, you may find the charm in the platform. This was why I like Bullpups more for pretty much everything they offer.
People hate on the Tavor trigger for being around 10lbs, but under pressure, you won’t notice the different in accurate shooting. Also I get a lot of people who complain about the PTR91 trigger for being heavy and too long. I find this to work just fine when shooting fast under pressure as well. The trigger is only 8lbs but it has a respectable travel, which really isn’t as bad as people make it seem.
These are just some examples of my experience from shooting many different guns for the sake of reviewing them fairly and looking for strengths and weaknesses. This has led me to continue to improve my skills in the fundamentals, increasing my ability to quickly adapt to new guns and has helped me find my strengths and weaknesses.
This can help you too if you are seeking to improve your skills or just find that perfect carry pistol or defensive rifle. Don’t judge a gun unless you have mastered this one all-important skill that all shooters must master. As long as you can maintain proper sight picture and put gradual rearward pressure on the trigger, you can shoot any gun out there. To me, there is no better sign of skill than to be able to shoot any gun.
David served in the USMC for a few years, deployed twice and got wounded. Retired and moved to Alaska. Has a passion for reviewing and testing guns and gear of all kinds. Enjoys working to dispel myths and show that you can train and practice in a realistic, safe, and practical way.