When it comes to learning the fundamentals of marksmanship, follow through is the one that will prevent your skill development if you follow it to the letter as it is taught today.
Traditional follow through has been defined as pinning the trigger to the rear through the recoil, reacquiring the sight picture, and slowly resetting the trigger and feeling and listening for it. I feel that this is a flawed concept that only hinders the shooters abilities in the long run.
Let me first tackle the issue of pinning the trigger to the rear and feeling the reset. I can wrap this up simply by saying with confidence that if you are delaying your ability to deliver follow up shots, you are failing to truly follow through. High performance shooters that shoot and teach for a living will tell you that if you can feel the reset, you are not resetting the trigger fast enough. A cool drill Ernest Langdon actually has done in his classes is telling the students when to shoot, and then having them reset the trigger as fast as possible. Many of the students were taught the old follow through law of feeling the reset, and it hindered their ability to be prepared to deliver more shots on target quickly.
In my experience, when shooting fast or slow, long or short range, resetting the trigger during recoil does not have any effect on bullet placement. However, my ability to deliver further accurate shots is virtually instantaneous. As soon as the sights touch the target after the recoil, I could go through the firing sequence all over again. That is the point of cutting this "RESET" crap out of the equation. Furthermore, I have yet to meet a new shooter who did not reset the trigger after the gun recoiled. However, I have seen new shooters get told to be conscious of the reset and intentionally reset the pistol. I think this is a huge waste of time and actually counterproductive to what occurs naturally.
Now that I have dumped my paragraphs of soap box ranting into this article, I want to share what I feel is a more logical and beneficial definition and procedure for follow through. To put it into simple terms, I think follow through should only be a fancy way of saying you are ready to deliver more follow up shots. Think of the fact that hardly anyone will just stop attacking after taking a few rounds and falling to the ground. This is the reason you will see police and military holding someone at gunpoint, even after they have been dropped and may even be dead.
History and many shootings have shown us that just because a threat falls, it doesn't mean they are done fighting. It is just as likely that your opponent tripped while taking incoming fire as it is that all the rounds caused him to get weak in the knees or pass out. I am not saying to keep shooting when someone falls to the ground, but I will say that you need to use the time to find cover and still be ready to deliver more shots on target. 5 rounds may have been good enough to get your attacker to the ground, but it doesn't mean they are no longer a lethal threat to yourself or others.
The way to add this philosophy into your fundamentals is realizing that it is important to verify your results at gunpoint and be ready to add a couple more. This philosophy carries over to all avenues of firearms shooting from competition to combat. There is no harm in having this kind of prepared and aggressive mindset. Any warrior will tell you that this is the most basic trait of a fighter who intends to win the fight. So consider this lesson next time you're out at the range. You may find the results quite impressive.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.