Trigger-Meister Jerry Miculek


It ain’t magic — just hard work and the right genes.

Jerry Miculek is a fine rifleman, a wizard with a shotgun and adept with any type of handgun. His skill with a revolver is legendary. Simply stated, he’s the best revolver shooter in the world, arguably the best who has ever lived. And he’s generous about sharing his knowledge.

Jerry ’splains he could even teach Dave to shoot a wheelgun.

The Grip

“Let’s have a look at your grip.” I uncased my old S&W 19 and holding it around the frame with my left hand began seating it in the web of my right hand.“Ah, a bullseye shooter,” smiled Jerry. “That’s a fine grip for a single action auto, or for a cocked revolver where the trigger hardly moves. It’s not so good for really fast double action shooting with a trigger movement of half an inch. With your bullseye grip the trigger finger has to be fully extended to reach the trigger, and you’re putting some pressure on the side of the trigger. During a fast double action string you’ll likely be pushing your shots to the left.” Ah so.

“Shift the hand more to the right side of the gun (for a right-handed shooter, duh). Extend the trigger finger through the guard so the finger touches the trigger between the first joint and the knuckle. You won’t shoot like that, but it gets the hand in the correct position.” This may be one of those “secrets” we hear about.

“Move the trigger finger back so the pad of the finger, halfway between the tip and the first joint, is on the trigger. For best leverage it should be low on the trigger, certainly no higher than midway. The base of the finger is well away from the frame, and there’s about a 90-degree angle at the knuckle. Now you can press and release the trigger straight back and forth, along the axis of the gun, without putting on side pressure.”

Jerry also has another way of teaching the proper revolver grip.

“Stand with your heels against a wall and pick out a target squarely in front. Hold the revolver around the frame with the left (weak) hand and align the sights on target. Now just bring the right hand up and grip the gun without disturbing the sight alignment and you should have the correct grip.”

Study this grip.

It works!

Lady Shooters

“The biggest obstacle for ladies is bad advice from husbands or boyfriends,” laughed Jerry. “About the worst advice women get is to put small grips on their handguns. Actually most women need grips about the same size as men. Small grips just cause problems. I became aware of this when I tried one of Kay’s 1911 match pistols (Kay Clark Miculek, four-time USPSA women’s national champion, two-time IPSC world champion). I have a fairly large hand but my fingers aren’t extra long. I like a short trigger on a 1911 so I can get the trigger finger squarely across the trigger face.”

“Kay uses a long trigger on her 1911s. This didn’t make sense to me. Then one time I was holding a pop can and happened to notice how far my trigger finger reached. I asked Kay to hold the pop can so the web of her hand was where mine had been. I was surprised to find her trigger finger reached further around the can than mine. It seems my hands are not only bigger than Kay’s, they’re thicker. When I wrap my hand around a handgun grip the trigger reach (from web of hand to tip of trigger finger) is actually less.”

My wife Simone was with us, so we tried the pop-can trick. Darned if Jerry wasn’t right. Her trigger reach (pop can reach?) was within a quarter-inch of mine. Miculek then showed her how to hold the S&W. Jerry tried to move the revolver muzzle around and seemed surprised when it hardly moved. “I’ve tried this with some big tough special forces guys and I can move the gun muzzle around like it was a wet noodle. How did you develop such strong wrists,” asked Jerry?

“Twenty-five years of farming and gardening,” she grinned. Still, I doubt the military is going to start looking to retired farmers and gardeners for recruits.

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