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Old February 3, 2014, 10:41 PM   #26
boondocker385
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I don't know what the TM and FM say but I work with some of those high speed/low drag guys.....some of them are fingers on the trigger any time their weapons are in their hands....and since they are all safe I tell them "please don't do that around the trainees"....lol.
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Old February 3, 2014, 11:03 PM   #27
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True story....

Author & former SEAL officer; Richard Marcinko, www.DickMarcinko.com , wrote about how a SFOD-1 operator shot him through the neck with a 1911a1 .45acp.

The D boy discharged a 230gr FMJ bullet through a airframe cockpit, it went straight up through the chair & in/out of Marcinko.
Marcinko stated the injury was minor & he was T'ed off at the Delta operator more than anything.

FWIW; The LAPD D Platoon(SWAT) will DQ any member who has a AD/ND with a sidearm on duty or off.

My point is that even highly trained spec ops & SWAT members have training accidents when they leave the finger on the firearm trigger.
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Old February 4, 2014, 02:04 PM   #28
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Everything changes...

No. The 'finger off trigger' has NOT been taught forever. The concept began - or began being popularized - when Jeff Cooper issued his 'Four Safety Rules' in the early 1970s as I recall.

Prior to that, 'serious' holsters, for military and police use, had exposed trigger guards and triggers. As James mentions, being 'ready to fire' was taught in many law enforcement departments and agencies. Worthies such as Julian S. Hatcher, Fairbairne and Sykes, Bill Jordan and so on either taught fingers at triggers specifically or at least assumed the practice.

In the early '70s, Jeff Cooper 'edited' (I suppose the most accurate word) various issuances of 'safety rules'. Earlier versions included items like "Carry only one type of ammunition in the field; the correct size for your firearm" and "Listen and obey all range commands". Cooper was the arranger of the Four Rules commonly in use now. (For entertainment and historical instruction, do an internet search for "10 rules of firearms safety". Not all include the finger and trigger thing.)

I remember very well starting the pull on a double action revolver prior to being on target. When done properly, it is amazingly fast. Nor can I remember firing a wild shot while so doing. (I do painfully remember some wild shots shooting in other circumstances.)

Then the world changed to single action pistols. Attempting to pull such a trigger prior to getting on target is - difficult. I'm pretty sure Cooper came up with the 'finger off trigger unless' rule after witnessing and possibly suffering through some embarrassing and emotionally painful (at least) 'premature discharges' during his directorship of the Big Bear Leatherslap and other early 'combat' matches.

Not to forget, at this time in the U. S. more people were entering the Armed Forces or law enforcement WITHOUT any prior firearms experience. So agencies decided to protect the unfamiliar with technology. (Covered holsters.)

The holster makers - possibly with pressure from various agencies - started offering holsters with covered trigger guards - middle '70s to early '80s. (When I joined the Border Patrol in 1978, everyone used exposed trigger guard holsters and revolvers. When I joined U. S. Customs in 1988, we were issued revolvers and holsters with covered trigger guards.)

Safety! Most agencies are very close mouthed about ADs in training or actual duty. Not only is it embarrassing, but a history of ADs can be expensive in a civil suit regarding an accidental shot fired. However, from what I can gather talking with firearms training officers and just seeing what goes on, exposed holsters tend to have ADs on the draw stroke. Covered holsters have a few shots on the draw stroke (less than uncovered) but many more when re-holstering. Putting the sidearm away becomes more hazardous.

What does all this mean?

I gather the self-control and basic training of the individual is more important than style of holster. I have seen people - in pistol matches - who fell when running and didn't fire a shot.

Is keeping the finger off the trigger a good idea? Probably in general; but I think one should not be so oriented they cannot alter the technique when needed. It is no doubt more important for beginners.
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Old February 4, 2014, 06:49 PM   #29
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US Army MPs.....

When I served on active duty, 1989-1993; we were given Bianchi "Border Patrol" leather holsters for our M9 9mmNATO sidearms.
These were covered trigger styles with thumb breaks.
In my second MP company, we used Bianchi M12 OD holsters.
These nylon rigs were more practical & held up to the elements better.
Many MPs & MPIs(military police investigators) used other holsters & styles when working the "road" too.

Clyde
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Old February 4, 2014, 07:47 PM   #30
Bartholomew Roberts
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I think one thing to keep in mind is that the "exposed trigger, trigger prep" school of drawing coincided with double-action revolvers with a longer and heavier trigger pull by and large.

The "Cooper" school of the draw was formed around short, light, single-action semi-automatic trigger pulls and has been carried over to more modern "safe-action" triggers that share much in common.

I don't recall any agency issuing single-action semi-autos carried cocked with an exposed trigger.
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Old February 4, 2014, 09:21 PM   #31
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That 'finger on the trigger, starting the stroke before you're on target' mentality is what led former Chicago PD Superintendent Leroy Martin to proclaim, quite sincerely, that 'Glocks go off by themselves.'

The issue was that officers were transitioning to the Glocks from D/A revolvers with little or no retraining. Officers who'd become used to 'taking up' the first six or seven pounds of that D/A trigger found that when they treated the Glock the same way, the gun 'miraculously' went off. The worst part was the cops who were doing it were absolutely, positively certain they had NOT 'pulled the trigger', and convinced everyone they were telling the truth, when in reality they hadn't meant to FIRE THE GUN, but were certainly PULLING THE TRIGGER.

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Old February 5, 2014, 12:08 AM   #32
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Quote:
The 'finger off trigger' has NOT been taught forever. The concept began - or began being popularized - when Jeff Cooper issued his 'Four Safety Rules' in the early 1970s as I recall. Prior to that, 'serious' holsters, for military and police use, had exposed trigger guards and triggers.
Shrug. This was the widely used holster for a 1911 type handgun.



Not being flip but maybe you don't consider this a 'serious' holster...it was widely used however.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:56 AM   #33
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In 1991 I went shopping for a holster for my brand new glock 17. At the time, glock holsters were a different design from most others, in that they completely covered the trigger. I bought a Bianchi belt slide leather holster with a thumb break, and it was a new design from Bianchi tailored just for the Glock.

In 1991, The vast majority of holsters I saw were designed to expose the trigger, and the most popular auto pistols of the time IMO were 1911, SW 59xx, Beretta 92 (including the Taurus derivatives). DA revolvers were still in very wide use by law enforcement. My uncle was a cop (still is), and his SW 59 series duty pistol holster had an exposed trigger.

So I think it was the soaring popularity of glocks in the 1990s that drove holster designs which cover the trigger.

Jim
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:29 PM   #34
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"Prepping" the trigger by beginning the pull before you're fully in the shooting position doesn't have to contradict the "finger off the trigger rule". In the Marine Corps I learned it the following way: "Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire". For me, as long as the gun is pointed at the target and you actually intend to shoot, you can put your finger on the trigger even if you haven't yet established sight picture.

Some instructors teach the following technique: Draw the pistol into the ready position, and while you're driving the gun forward to the target your finger is on the trigger and you're removing the take-up and preparing to fire as soon as sight picture is established. During this process your finger is put on the trigger while the gun is still close to your body in the ready position, but the gun is pointed at the target the entire time your finger is inside the trigger guard.

This technique could definitely cause problems for someone without enough training or practice under their belt, and it also could cause problems for someone who pulls a gun but doesn't intend (or isn't justified) in firing it. But for me, I will never draw my gun unless I intend to use it at that moment and am fully justified, so it's a technique that I practice.
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:41 PM   #35
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I follow the school of thought of taking the "slack" out of the trigger... BUT, that is only done as i punch the gun to the target/threat.

I have already made the decision to shoot at that point. If im at the "ready" my finger is on the frame. After i have decided to shoot... Gun goes to tgt line and finger moves to trigger.. Slack comes out... Sights get aligned to the degree needed.

As soon as the pistol hits full extension (assuming a shot that allows this) i break the trigger... Reset and break again. Repeat as needed

AGAIN, i stress this all happens AFTER i have made the decision to fire. Prior to that point my finger is along the frame at whatever "ready" position i feel is appropriate
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Old February 6, 2014, 04:42 PM   #36
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^^^ I agree 100%. I guess I should have stressed the same thing you did; the technique I described (which appears to be the exact same as yours) is only used when you're actually intending to fire your weapon. I also should have clarified that your finger is put inside the trigger guard as you're extending out from the ready position, but if you're staying at the ready then your finger is straight and off the trigger.
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:12 PM   #37
raimius
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Yep...
I saw a shooter try to use that method. He got a little ahead of himself and moved his finger to the trigger while still at high ready. As he started to extend toward the target ("classic" arc from the high ready), he started taking the slack out of the trigger. Unfortunately for this instance, he was shooting a 1911 with a 4lb trigger with almost zero slack...
The result? A new hole in the roof of the shelter.


While this technique can be useful, it carries a lot of inherent risk of error. So, if you use it, you had darn better be good at it. (You had also better get your bore on line with the target first!)
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Old February 6, 2014, 08:30 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raimius
...He got a little ahead of himself and moved his finger to the trigger while still at high ready. As he started to extend toward the target ("classic" arc from the high ready), he started taking the slack out of the trigger. Unfortunately for this instance, he was shooting a 1911 with a 4lb trigger with almost zero slack...
The result? A new hole in the roof of the shelter...
Seems like more than one flaw in his technique. In coming on target from "ready" the muzzle should never come above the level of the target.

It sounds like he was starting from a "full Sabrina", which is not a recommended position with a handgun.
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Old February 6, 2014, 09:04 PM   #39
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Shrug. This was the widely used holster for a 1911 type handgun.



Not being flip but maybe you don't consider this a 'serious' holster...it was widely used however.
Aye, and at one time, the old Brown Bess musket was a widely used combat arm, and considered state of the art in the "serious" combat weapon category for nearly a century..... that does not make it such today..... that flap holster has gone the way of the Brown Bess, I think..... a nice relic, but not very practical for serious purposes today, as there are better options.
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Old February 8, 2014, 11:41 AM   #40
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"What do the other services and police departments teach? Which way is better?"

USMC
1. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
2. Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot.
3. Keep the weapon on safe until you are ready to fire.
4. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you intend to fire.

Why - To make it a force of habit that, unless your sights are on a target or aimed in the vicinity of one, your finger is not on the trigger.

This is important because - Every single time someone has had a negligent discharge, it has been due to a violation of one (or more) of the 4 basic safety rules. I'm sure some will want to argue about that, but from the first-hand experiences I have had with Marines (and a few sailors, Iraqi and Afghan soldiers) having negligent discharges, this was always the case.

The current Army acronym of the week for firearms safety is T.H.I.N.K.:
Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.
Handle every weapon with care.
Identify the target before you fire.
Never point the muzzle at anything you don't intend to shoot.
Keep your weapon on safe, and your finger off the trigger, until you intend to fire.

So, in short, whoever is teaching you to keep your finger on the trigger is wrong. You can do whatever you want on your own time, but if you intend to be in the military, you'll need to follow the correct rules (see above). Hope that answers your question!
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Old February 9, 2014, 03:50 AM   #41
raimius
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Quote:
Seems like more than one flaw in his technique. In coming on target from "ready" the muzzle should never come above the level of the target.
I'll ignore the rest of that post...

How, may I ask, would one be at the "high ready" and never have the barrel go above the horizontal plane?
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Old February 9, 2014, 04:01 AM   #42
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raimius
Quote:
Seems like more than one flaw in his technique. In coming on target from "ready" the muzzle should never come above the level of the target.
I'll ignore the rest of that post...

How, may I ask, would one be at the "high ready" and never have the barrel go above the horizontal plane?
Simple, as long as we're talking about handguns. One doesn't use a "high ready" with a handgun.

In something on the order of 300+ hours of handgun training, I've never seen a "high ready" taught or used.
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Old February 9, 2014, 04:15 AM   #43
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THINK concept; true story, Fort Clayton....

I like the US Army TRADOC's THINK policy. It's simple & can prevent mishaps.

In the early 1990s, I heard of a enlisted MP in a National Guard unit who discharged his M9 9mmNATO into a arms room clearing barrel. He was so startled by the loud BANG that he fired several more times into the barrel!
A officer near the scene yelled out for someone to take the M9 away from him.

This was in the 92nd MP BN arms room, Fort Clayton, RP(Republic of Panama).
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Old February 9, 2014, 04:15 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
One doesn't use a "high ready" with a handgun. In something on the order of 300+ hours of handgun training, I've never seen a "high ready" taught or used.
I also have NEVER seen anyone who knew what they were doing use a "high ready" position with a handgun. You shouldn't point the gun above the horizontal unless you're shooting uphill.
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Old February 9, 2014, 07:37 AM   #45
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Hmmmm....

I was just thinking about this issue today when practicing my draw with a revolver. I noticed instinctively that as I presented and made a proper sight picture on the "target" (myself standing in front of a mirror) that my finger fell alongside the frame of the gun. If I had needed to make the shot, I would have had to move my finger down into the trigger guard to press the trigger which could have cost valuable time.

I believe I may start practicing with my finger inside the trigger guard, perhaps with pressure towards the front of the guard and not against the trigger, but still inside the guard if a quick trigger pull is needed.

Is this a bad idea?
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Old February 9, 2014, 09:28 AM   #46
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Training is diffderent, for different situations

Keeping your finger off the trigger always works, no matter what gun you are using. It's that simple. No matter what the situation, no matter what happens, if your finger is not on the trigger (or in the trigger guard) you will not pull the trigger unintentionally.

And, while there is a lot of overlap, there are differences between training in safe gun handling and training for a gunfight.

I do get a bit of amusement from people talking about the "4 rules" or "Coopers 4 rules" etc., as if they were the only rules, or the only "important" ones. The aren't. There are a lot more than just 4. Cooper took the four that were most important to safety and what he was trying to teach, and gave them to us in an easily remembered package.

Go take a hunter safety course, you'll find the "rest" of the rules for safe gun handling. All good, and sound rules, but, not always applicable to a gun fight.

For instance, "unload your gun before crossing a fence", is sound advice, and safe, but may not be such a good idea when a gunfight is imminent.

As to the full flap holster,
Quote:
a nice relic, but not very practical for serious purposes today, as there are better options.
Americans have an almost ingrained belief that a "proper" holster is one that allows the gun to be drawn (and fired) in the easiest, most expeditious manner possible/practical. No one else does (unless they have adopted the American attitude). Even our GI flap holster works faster than other nations versions. Germany went through both world wars with full flap holsters that buckled shut. We had a holster, they had a luggage case.

Certainly there are better holsters for speed of the draw, and there are lots of circumstances where that is the paramount consideration. But there is nothing else that both allows you to have the gun on you, AND protects the gun from the elements as well as the flap holster.

A gunfight is the most serious thing you do with a handgun, clearly. But there are other things, that I consider "serious" (meaning not frivolous), as well. While it is good to be able to focus on a tree (and perhaps vitally so) there is still the rest of the forest out there.
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Old February 9, 2014, 10:44 AM   #47
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As others have asked I would like to know what FM states that putting your finger on the trigger before your'e ready to fire is proper procedure.

I am no operator but have been lucky enough to attend some pretty high speed weapons training taught by current and former operators and not one of them ever instructed us to do this. In fact most taught the principal of indexing. Indexing is when you point your trigger finger along side your weapon at the intended target. This speeds up target acquisition and aids in getting your natural point of aim on target saving you much more time than the milliseconds it takes to get your finger on the trigger.

You will most likely never go into a fire fight alone unless your entire team has fallen, the last thing you want to do is shoot one of your own (fratricide) because of poor weapons handling/instruction.
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Old February 9, 2014, 12:51 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Model12Win
...I believe I may start practicing with my finger inside the trigger guard, perhaps with pressure towards the front of the guard and not against the trigger, but still inside the guard if a quick trigger pull is needed.

Is this a bad idea?
Yes it is a bad idea.

There's a good reason to prefer the finger indexed along the frame rather than across or in the trigger guard. That's the phenomenon of interlimb interaction (or sympathetic squeeze response). This was discussed at all the classes I've taken at Gunsite (and see here, here, here and here).

Briefly, it's part of the startle response. If one is surprised or startled, especially under stress, he is likely to squeeze his hands, including the trigger finger. It's a reflex, automatic and involuntary. If one's trigger finger is along side or in the trigger guard, instead of indexed along the frame, when startled or surprised, he is more likely to allow it to slip onto the trigger and press the trigger.
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Old February 9, 2014, 01:18 PM   #49
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This is what happens when you draw a pistol with your finger on the trigger.
I will warn you there is some language used in this video that under other circumstances might be considered offensive. If you don't want to hear it turn the sound down before clicking the link.
see here
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Old February 9, 2014, 03:57 PM   #50
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Quote:
Simple, as long as we're talking about handguns. One doesn't use a "high ready" with a handgun.

In something on the order of 300+ hours of handgun training, I've never seen a "high ready" taught or used.
Recommend we move this rabbit hole here: http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=541544

I think we may have been talking past each other. I wasn't talking about the Charlie's Angels "High Ready" as defined in the linked thread, which I think is what you are talking about. I meant the 45 degree "Modified High Ready." Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
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