The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 14, 2008, 04:22 PM   #26
Steli
Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 15
What I have learned from this thread so far is that the decision to put the finger on the trigger and even prepping it is dictated by my prior decision to shoot or not shoot the target. The type of weapen I'm using (SAO, DA/SA etc) also plays a certain part in it. It's also important to feel comfortable with this technique, otherwise one might be better off doing it differently.

On the other hand i believe we all agree that one never puts the finger into the trigger guard when just pointing a gun at a suspect in order to have him comply with one's orders. Same goes for scanning the surroundings after shots have been fired. In these circumstances finger outside the trigger guard is the only correct and safe way in my opinion.
Steli is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 04:30 PM   #27
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,186
My finger goes on the trigger when the gun is on target and I'm committed to shoot, but not necessarily on the bullseye yet. (This is for target shooting. SD might be a little different but I don't think so)

Quote:
On the other hand i believe we all agree that one never puts the finger into the trigger guard when just pointing a gun at a suspect in order to have him comply with one's orders. Same goes for scanning the surroundings after shots have been fired. In these circumstances finger outside the trigger guard is the only correct and safe way in my opinion.
Does this change a little with a double action revolver? (and not cocked)
zxcvbob is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 04:41 PM   #28
Steli
Member
 
Join Date: January 1, 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 15
Quote:
On the other hand i believe we all agree that one never puts the finger into the trigger guard when just pointing a gun at a suspect in order to have him comply with one's orders. Same goes for scanning the surroundings after shots have been fired. In these circumstances finger outside the trigger guard is the only correct and safe way in my opinion.

Does this change a little with a double action revolver? (and not cocked)

I don't believe a DA revolver changes it. The problem is that with your finger on the trigger it still only takes around 10 pounds to overcome a DA trigger. If you do get startled while having your finger on the trigger, your reflex will most likely kick in and your finger will produce easily 10 pounds of pressure thus leading to an unintentional discharge.
We have watched a video on this subject at the academy and the conclusion was to always keep your finger off the trigger until you have decided to fire.
Steli is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 05:04 PM   #29
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,186
You know that infamous picture of the federal agent pointing an M16 at Elian Gonzales and his uncle (?) hiding in a closet? I can't tell if his finger is on the trigger or not. It looks like it is, but since he is wearing gloves with the fingers cut out, that could be an illusion.
zxcvbob is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 05:29 PM   #30
jfrey123
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 7, 2006
Location: Reno, NV.
Posts: 1,026
I've begun training myself in the "slack out" method on my semi autos. I know I'm more accurate when I do, and for me personally it works when shooting in a range environment. It works very well.

I believe if the SHTF and I need to use a carry piece, that if I've trained myself properly in this practice, then my mind will revert to that training when it needs an instant reaction based on instinct.

I think anyone who practices this needs to acknowledge it in their mind, and recognize that it undoubtedly multiplies the risk of a ND, especially for example if should you are 'slack out' and get knocked from your feet. However, I believe that in that same SHTF scenario that there are 999 more variables that could cause you to ND, cause you to miss and hit an unintended target, miss and over penetrate, etc.

I'll point out that this is response is coming from a guy who once had a friend lined up in his G17, 'slack out'. The only thing that stopped me was other training that made me identify my target.
__________________
Rock out with your Glock out!
jfrey123 is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 06:53 PM   #31
bushidomosquito
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2007
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 434
Let me clarify the circumstances I'm talking about. I don't carry so no dark alley scenarios here. I keep a G-23 loaded in the nightstand simply because it has to live somewhere and why not have it ready, right? Missouri has a castle doctrine so if I find someone in my home I have only to consider their actions before I fire. Now, IF I have to engage a BG in my home there will be that period between when I tell him that he had better lay down where he stands because I'm within my rights to shoot him and him deciding his next move. Now one thing a castle doctrine does is insure that only the most brazen and fearless (or stupid) criminals enter your house at night. I have absoloutly no reason to think this is a man of reason at this point. I think I would want to have the sights lined up on his forehead with all the slack pulled out of that trigger at this point because that's how I hit the mark. If he makes any sudden moves that startle me then tough, that sudden move could have been him going for his own weapon.

My whole train of thought is just where do you draw the line between actions that warrant you pulling a gun on someone and actions that warrant pulling the trigger? I would think in most situations they would be one in the same.
__________________
"Jack Bauer sleeps with a pillow under his gun."

"Bush is listening, use big words."
bushidomosquito is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 08:04 PM   #32
Lurper
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2006
Posts: 943
Quote:
My whole train of thought is just where do you draw the line between actions that warrant you pulling a gun on someone and actions that warrant pulling the trigger? I would think in most situations they would be one in the same.
Not necessarily. You should pull your gun at the first sign of trouble. You shouldn't point the gun at someone until you feel you are in danger. You should not put your finger on the trigger until you have decided to shoot them. You should not prep the trigger until you have placed your finger on the trigger.
Maybe looking at it in that progression will help. You really shouldn't put your finger on the trigger until you've decided "I'm going to shoot this S.O.B.".
Lurper is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 08:15 PM   #33
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,339
Quote:
You should not put your finger on the trigger until you have decided to shoot them.
Agreed. My previous post was not worded carefully.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 08:37 PM   #34
Mas Ayoob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2005
Posts: 239
The easiest way I've found to teach it is:

THE TRIGGER FINGER IS ONLY INSIDE THE GUARD WHEN WE ARE IN THE VERY ACT OF INTENTIONALLY FIRING THE WEAPON.

Didn't mean to shout...
Mas Ayoob is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 08:42 PM   #35
TexasSeaRay
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 19, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 810
Quote:
On the other hand i believe we all agree that one never puts the finger into the trigger guard when just pointing a gun at a suspect in order to have him comply with one's orders. Same goes for scanning the surroundings after shots have been fired. In these circumstances finger outside the trigger guard is the only correct and safe way in my opinion.
Well, don't count me in the "we all agree" crowd.

Actual experience in both situations you describe and that I quoted taught me otherwise. In situations where I/we just finished firing shots, we still had our fingers inside the trigger guards. When covering/taking prisoners (overseas) or covering suspects here in the states, if our guns were pointed and aimed, our fingers were in the trigger guard. After shots had been fired and we were scanning the area looking for more targets (read: enemies), finger in the trigger guard because we assumed we were not through shooting. Assuming otherwise is how you lose members of your team.

Gunfights/gun battles don't just end of their own volition. You end them, and you do so by making it clear that you will continue to shoot until the threat (enemy) either surrenders and lays down their arms, or is incapacitated. They key in communicating that is demonstrating that you are one-hundred percent ready and prepared to continue the battle.

Again, it is a discipline acquired by massive amounts of training, mindset and situational awareness and being "one" with your weapon. Anything less, and yes, you ARE better off keeping your finger off the trigger.

Jeff
__________________
If every single gun owner belonged to the NRA as well as their respective state rifle/gun association, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.

So to those of you who are members of neither, thanks for nothing.
TexasSeaRay is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 09:02 PM   #36
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,339
Quote:
When covering/taking prisoners (overseas) or covering suspects here in the states, if our guns were pointed and aimed, our fingers were in the trigger guard.
The rule is typically stated "Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot."

I believe that in the situation you describe, you were (and should have been) ready to shoot and therefore I don't see a contradiction.

On the other hand, the idea that enough training can always prevent a person who has their finger in the trigger guard from shooting when they don't mean to is not entirely based in reality. The human startle reaction includes sudden involuntary contraction of muscles. That would include the muscles of the forearm which cause the hand to close. I'm not saying that it's impossible to suppress a normal reflex, but I am saying it's more than just a little difficult and it's certainly unwise to bet a human life on one's ability to do so.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old March 14, 2008, 09:49 PM   #37
Sigma 40 Blaster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2007
Location: East Texas
Posts: 997
I have no official training but have ready many books about shooting, some competition and some self-defense based.

Most authors have differing opinions about when is the right time to "touch" the trigger and different perspectives about prepping the trigger as well.

The way I see it the threat is relatively close to you draw, present, and are already pointed at the threat.

If you are shooting a stock double action handgun, revolver or pistol I see no harm in prepping the trigger assuming you have made the decision to shoot and have a clear backstop and path to the target. If you draw "properly" you are not sweeping upwards, the gun is already pointed correctly, you're just extending your arms up and out...so you'll shoot lower than you intend to IF you over-prep. I have yet to find a DAO gun that had a friendly trigger that you couldn't learn when it would break.

I would do that with any 1911 I have ever shot or my XD. Revolver or Sigma...sure...if I still had it that is.
Sigma 40 Blaster is offline  
Old March 15, 2008, 01:41 AM   #38
bushidomosquito
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2007
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 434
Right. I like the Glock trigger for this very reason. There is a definite stop that says, "Any further and we go bang." I wouldn't attempt to shoot a match 1911 or even a DA revolver or DA/SA auto in this manner because most I have owned or fired didn't give that much of a tactile warning before the hammer drops. To me pulling the safe action trigger back to that point is still safer than just lightly resting your finger on any other gun with a hammer back or striker cocked. It's like a 5 pound SA trigger and the only thing someone could do to "startle" me into pulling that trigger from the slack out point is to make a move that would likely get them shot under any circumstances.

So let me put it this way, the threat has been identified as such. The gun is drawn and orders to ease my worried mind have been given. The sights are on COM. The next move he makes could be to pull his own weapon, lunge at me, chuck his stereotypical burgular crowbar at my head or dart down the hallway towards my family. I would think that any sudden moves resulting in an adrenelin kick to my trigger finger and a bullet heading his way would be a good thing. I'll ease it back when he's on the ground.
__________________
"Jack Bauer sleeps with a pillow under his gun."

"Bush is listening, use big words."
bushidomosquito is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 03:18 PM   #39
Erik
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 1999
Location: America
Posts: 3,479
"Finger off the trigger until when?"

I'm with the "until you've decided to shoot" crowd; the decision may come prior to the draw, or some time afterward.
__________________
Meriam Webster's: Main Entry: ci·vil·ian Pronunciation: \sə-ˈvil-yən also -ˈvi-yən\, Function: noun, Date: 14th century, 1: a specialist in Roman or modern civil law, 2 a: one not on active duty in the armed services or not on a police or firefighting force b: outsider 1, — civilian adjective
Erik is offline  
Old March 16, 2008, 03:36 PM   #40
matthew temkin
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 369
I was once stalking a deer with my Mossberg 500 shotgun.
There was snow on the ground and I had a good set of tracks to follow, so I was carrying the gun at high port, safety off, with my finger on the trigger.
Two deer suddenly burst out of a bush at my 9:00 and my shotgun went BANG!!!
Since I was still in high port when this happened, and I was hunting alone no one was injured--not even the deer.
Moral--finger off until ready to engage.
matthew temkin is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11283 seconds with 9 queries