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Old November 3, 2005, 07:50 AM   #1
H&K4Life
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Meaty part of the finger....hogwash!!

Just got into an argument with the co-wokers. For pistol shooting, everyone keeps saying use the tip of your finger.
I say hogwash. I say you get as much of your finger on the trigger as possible (yes the joint if necessary). Everyone has different size fingers, so how can you possible put out a general statement such as EVERYONE USE THE MEATY TIP OF YOUR FINGER.

At a bare minimum one should say,"Use as much of your finger that will facillitate an actual SQUEEZING motion/technique"

What say you guyz?......<as the saga rages on!>
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Old November 3, 2005, 08:03 AM   #2
Glock 31
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Pull!

According to the New Mexico State certified instructor I went to to get my ccw license, put your finger on the trigger in the center of your print pad. Right where your finger prints form the center of their unique shape. And you NEVER NEVER pull or squeeze the trigger. You PRESS the trigger. You move over 30 times the muscles in your arm when you squeeze something. Just pressing back on the trigger in a smoothe controlled motion only uses the muscles in that individual finger. Squeezing will almost always cause the enitire gun and your direction of fire to drift to the left or right depending on which side dominant you are, (lefties / righties). And after the round goes off, keep the trigger pressed fully in, then let it out just enough till the trigger clicks ready to fire again. This is called a trigger reset, and it is one of the secrets of accurate firing. The other two secrets are pressing the trigger as mentioned before and firing on the pause between letting out your breathe and beggining another. Not holding your breathe, simply breathe normally, there is a natural pause between breaths. This is when you shoot, don't hold it, it causes internal muscle tension that can sometimes cause jittering or nervousness.
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Old November 3, 2005, 08:18 AM   #3
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It sounds like that might work best with an electrically fired pistol. I don't know how it would play out with a Model 36 S&W fired in a hurry--but maybe you are never supposed to be in a hurry. Then again, who am I to argue with a New Mexico State certified instructor. At one time, add-on trigger pads were in fashion to help somehow, as was grinding off the grooves on the trigger so as to have a smooth trigger. There was also a time when progressive police departments emphasized single action shooting in combat with their K-38's. To be honest, a wide trigger would help a great deal in shooting that way and K-38's in fact came with a wide trigger and hammer spur also. Oddly enough, I don't know of any single action revolvers (there were K-38 single actions but I don't mean them) that had such things.

It might be a difference in semantics.
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Old November 3, 2005, 08:34 AM   #4
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Correction

Well I forgot to mention that the instructor did mention it was a little different with revolvers. Depending on the action of the gun you may just have to do your best. On tough actions, I would suggest actually holding onto your wrist with your free hand to maintain aim.
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Old November 3, 2005, 09:50 AM   #5
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While I don't have it in front of me, I believe Ed McGivern used the tip of the finger (meaning the pad on the end of the finger, right where the instructor was referring to) for his shooting and I'm certain he tried it every way possible. So there just might be something to that. However, there is more to the story than that.

It is not commonly mentioned that some people's physical characteristics make them a potentially better shot than other people. That statement may border on the politically incorrect but there are some laws that cannot be repealed. People with certain characteristics have an advantage in shooting, just like they do in football. In general, people with short arms will shoot better, at least for target shooting, than people with long arms, all other things being equal. It should go without saying that people with better eyesight should shoot better, too. Also, a stronger person should be able to shoot better, especially handguns, than a weaker person, at least if they have stronger arms and hands. Of course, it doesn't mean they will. Just like a tall person just might make a better basketball player than one who is a foot shorter.

In any event, it would be more accurate to say that some people have the advantage over other people.

With pistols and revolvers, all the action takes place in the hand. But not everyone's hands are the same. I guess manufacturers are aware of this because clearly an S&W model 36 and all the other I and J frame revolvers were intended to be used by women and children, judging by the size of the grip, while Colt single actions were intended to be used by men missing the little finger. I myself have relatively long fingers (all my relatives do), so for me to use just the tip of my finger, or the last joint, so to speak, does not work on a lot of handguns. But that is also why custom grips are popular, especially for target shooting, which is what used to be adapting the gun. This is easier to do for some guns than others, especially for automatics. Some more recent models have interchangable backstaps or inserts (or whatever you call them). Some target handguns, which of recent years has usually been an automatic, have very elaborate grips, to the extent that you could not holster them, at least with a normal practical holster, whatever that might be. Such modifications are not found to the extent on target rifles but you get to use two hands on a rifle.

You are probably aware that the original Colt 1911 was modified because some hands came up a little short, so to speak, when it came to grasping the pistol. And, judging from photographs of other people holding a Colt .45, they were justified in the modifications that resulted in the 1911A1. Then, there came a time when people thought that the thumb had no place in the grip but at this point we leave the original story.

Elmer Keith said you had to work it out for yourself. So there!
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Last edited by BlueTrain; November 3, 2005 at 11:12 AM.
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Old November 3, 2005, 09:58 AM   #6
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Most people that I see use the joint "pull" the weapon to the support side.

Do whatever works for you while facilitating a press straight back

If you really want to hear a lot of "general instructions" that don't work for everyone take up golf
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Old November 3, 2005, 04:18 PM   #7
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I am tracking what the instructor is saying (about the "other" aspects of pistol shooting), but he needs to get out of doge with the 30 muscles to squeeze as opposed to "pressing" the trigger. Whether you call it squeezing (which probably equates to a slow press), manipulating, shucking, jiving, kissing (Ephederine or Metabolite) it is only correct when you finger can move independantly from your hand. It's nice that someone can shove 12 theories and techniques down someones throat during a one-day CCW course, but that does not pan out over time with actually training numerious individuals with varying body compositions.

Those put-out-to-pasture, defunk'd, sidewalk instructors like to chime in phrases like "secrets to accurate shooting "to lure in their students to believing anything that comes out of their mouths.

Buy hey, one can only honestly say that the one true thing that can make you an accurate shooter is practice...practice...practice.
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Old November 3, 2005, 04:22 PM   #8
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The key is to try both and see which one works best for you. Best for you should be defined as minimal muzzle movement when the trigger breaks. I find that for me, the pad is key because it's easier for me to press the trigger straight back that way. If I hook my finger in, the trigger breaking has a tendency to pull the muzzle to my right (I'm right handed). Try both and see which one lets you get the least movement.
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Old November 3, 2005, 04:40 PM   #9
Doug.38PR
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Quote:
Just got into an argument with the co-wokers. For pistol shooting, everyone keeps saying use the tip of your finger.
I say hogwash. I say you get as much of your finger on the trigger as possible (yes the joint if necessary). Everyone has different size fingers, so how can you possible put out a general statement such as EVERYONE USE THE MEATY TIP OF YOUR FINGER.

At a bare minimum one should say,"Use as much of your finger that will facillitate an actual SQUEEZING motion/technique"

What say you guyz?......<as the saga rages on!>
I agree wholeheartedly. This is especially true of revolvers in Double Action. I;ll never forget the time a gun range guy said "you're putting way too much finger in that trigger guard. You're supposed to use the tip." I use the middle of my index finger to pull the trigger and get good groupings too. Here is my finger postions:



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Old November 3, 2005, 04:50 PM   #10
GUNSMOKE45441
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Most people will shoot better with the pads, pressing straight back, however if you can shoot well(not left, and low) having a lot of finger on the trigger, GOOD ON YA!!
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Old November 3, 2005, 05:50 PM   #11
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H&K4Life,
I think you will find out differently when you get to Front Sight. You will hear a lot of what you just bad-mouthed here.
I don't know about the 30 muscles thing and it doesn't really matter what you call it but pressing and squeezing are 2 different things and require different muscles to perform.
Perhaps you should learn a little bit yourself before you start bad-mouthing others' instruction. You sound as if you will benefit greatly from some professional instruction.

The trigger should be placed in the center of the first pad on the index finger, not actually on the "tip", if you are shooting a single-action revolver, SA semi-auto or a Glock. If you're shooting a double-action anything, the trigger should be about on the joint.

blue train,
Shooting with your finger in that position does not require anymore time to do. We routinely shoot 1 shot from 5-7 yards into the 3" x 4" head box ( the cranio-ocular cavity) from a CONCEALED holster in 1.7 seconds or less shooting that way.

Glock 31, from your description, you sound like you may have taken your class from me. Have you signed up for our tactical class yet?
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Old November 3, 2005, 08:32 PM   #12
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I have never seen a competition shooter use the joint. Everyone I have ever seen uses the pad.

I could probably learn to drive pretty well using my elbows but it isnt the best method.
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Old November 3, 2005, 08:49 PM   #13
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Most people using the joint will pull to the right, or push to the left, up or down(due to wrist mechanics). If you are not having this problem then go for it. In fact if you are shooting dead center evert time, why are you even reading this? You are already a perfect shot!

+1 for meaty finger, center of print.
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Old November 3, 2005, 09:13 PM   #14
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I have not shot in a couple of weeks, all this talk

Has given me the urge to go out in the morning and see if I can still do it.

I believe I will be shooting some rifles and pistols/revolvers. I have seen some
stuff change over the years. The way to hold a pistol with two hands is probably the most controversial.

Double action revolver shooting vs single action, shooting the heavies vs the lighter ones. I believe there is the right way the wrong way and the Marine Corps way. Pick your choice, if you can keep them in the 9 and 10 ring with the way you shoot, keep it up.

I have found that some people can get the job done the way they want to. I feel some can not shoot one way or the other no matter what. They are happy staying on the pie plate...

But if you have the time and want to learn the proper way go to different classes. They all will tell you the right way. Pick one you like and practice.

Can I move??? What! Can I move??? (Sundance Kid... in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid movie)...

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Old November 3, 2005, 10:15 PM   #15
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DA shooting is different from precision SA shooting.

For precision SA shooting, use only the pad of the finger. For DA shooting, many people do better with the finger farther through the triggerguard.
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Old November 4, 2005, 12:34 AM   #16
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This thread has cemented my resolve to go to the range this weekend and shoot through a couple boxes. My trigger pull definitely needs work.
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Old November 4, 2005, 07:05 PM   #17
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I believe by whichever part of your own individual trigger finger you use, you want to be able to squeeze your finger with the trigger back in straight and even direction and not squeeze back with more force on one side if the trigger than the other which may cause the firearm to be pulled or pushed to the left or right.
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Old November 4, 2005, 07:21 PM   #18
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I've always heard/been taught to use the pad of the finger as well.

I was told that it was "wrong" to use the crease of the joint of the fingertip. It makes sense to me that this would foul up your aim, since it is far easier to keep a direct front-to-back travel of the pad, but not so of the joint. Trying to use the joing, it seems to me, would mean that you'd waver the muzzle back and forth since the axis of movement of the crease of the joint would be a curve, not a straight path backward.

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Old November 4, 2005, 09:19 PM   #19
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Just flip this over left/to right if you shoot left handed. But as always your mileage may vary......



Quote:
Everyone has different size fingers, so how can you possible put out a general statement such as EVERYONE USE THE MEATY TIP OF YOUR FINGER
It's easier for most shooters to pull the trigger STRAIGHT BACK when the center of the pad of the finger contacts the trigger. Use some rubber bands to attach a penlight to the barrel of an UNLOADED pistol and try the trigger pull both ways while watching the light beam. Might surprise you. With enough practice, one may be able to shoot reasonably well with any finger position, but it all boils down to personal preference........ hardly worth arguing over.
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Old November 4, 2005, 10:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
hardly worth arguing over

<monty_python_british_accent>: ...yes it is.






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Old November 7, 2005, 08:19 AM   #21
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Are we talking target, or combat? In target it is very important, in combat(which usualy occurs at close range in seconds) not so much. Practice is the answer, you will respond as trained, if you score hits in the desired area with your technique, by all means use it. As instructors , it is our job to teach the unskilled, not reform the proficient shots.
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Old November 7, 2005, 11:26 AM   #22
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Quote From Glock 31: On tough actions, I would suggest actually holding onto your wrist with your free hand to maintain aim.

Did you learn that in class as well?
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Old November 7, 2005, 11:49 PM   #23
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Not in MY class,he didn't, no.
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Old November 10, 2005, 11:05 AM   #24
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Guns & Ammo TV addressed this very subject.

Windows Media Clip:
http://www.gunsandammomag.com/tv/GATVepisode1205.wmv

Quicktime Clip:
http://www.gunsandammomag.com/tv/GATVepisode1205.mov

To see the entire lineup of TV shows or view clips from each episode:
http://www.gunsandammomag.com/tv/season3
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Old November 10, 2005, 12:40 PM   #25
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What about a DA/SA?
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