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Old October 21, 2017, 07:16 PM   #26
Ghost1958
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin View Post
Really now? Two hundred years ago the handgun in common use was a single shot, muzzle loading, flintlock (there might have been the occasional percussion cap lock around at the time).

Guns have changed just a bit as has the way they are used and handled. And roughly fifty years ago Jeff Cooper and the other folks of the Southwest Combat Pistol League had a lot to do with teaching us a lot about ways of most efficiently using handguns as fighting tools.

And indeed the Modern Technique of the Pistol teaches that the finger is off the trigger until the gun is on target and the shot is to be taken.
I agree completely with Coopers words your signature line while realizing when he was speaking to practice and when he was speaking to real world attacks.

Try keeping your finger off the trigger in a real world attack up close attack. Unless you have a very undetermined attacker that runs at harsh language, you will never get your finger near the trigger.

Raised with guns. Been there done that for the most part.
Last post in this thread.
Not going to argue MT gospel.

My own counsel I will keep concerning guns and use of.
Jeez I sounded a bit like yoda lol.

Last edited by Ghost1958; October 21, 2017 at 07:34 PM.
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Old October 21, 2017, 07:23 PM   #27
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Ghost1958
...Unless you have a very undetermined attacker you will never get your ginger near the trigger.
I keep my ginger in the kitchen where my herbs and spices belong.

However, I have enough experience training, including with Col. Cooper when I went to Gunsite for the first time, as well as in USPSA competition to be confident in my ability to keep my finger where it belongs -- off the trigger until the gun is on target and on the trigger when I need to shoot.
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Old October 21, 2017, 07:55 PM   #28
Ghost1958
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Originally Posted by Frank Ettin View Post
I keep my ginger in the kitchen where my herbs and spices belong.

However, I have enough experience training, including with Col. Cooper when I went to Gunsite for the first time, as well as in USPSA competition to be confident in my ability to keep my finger where it belongs -- off the trigger until the gun is on target and on the trigger when I need to shoot.
One last post to clarify.
I'm not talking about a commercial training school.

Or Gaming.
I don't game.

Again if I draw in response to an attack its already past the line of justification. And I intend to shoot as soon as muzzle is on com when I start the draw . Firing may well happen as soon as muzzle clears holster and rotates to bad guy. Depending on distance and a few hundred other variables.
So yes my finger is on the trigger as it clears holster as, take note please, I intended to fire before I started the draw and as soon as possible.

Now is where common horse sense comes in.
Again depending on a bunch of variables all in my attackers control and done in the bit of time it takes me to draw I may not have to fire at which point I won't. And didn't at least three times in the past.

Just because you draw intending to fire in no way means you have to fire. And should be able to not fire if a situation changes.
Now I'll hand it over to the real gunslingers to carry on.

Edited to add. When just target practicing in my back yard, unless I'm seriously working on accurate speed, or if I was just playing a game my finger is and would be off the trigger.

Of course neither of those relates to actually using a gun in a serious attack by a dangerous person or people.
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Old October 21, 2017, 08:01 PM   #29
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Ghost1958
...So yes my finger is on the trigger as it clears holster as, take note please,...
I do take note. Your finger is on the trigger before the gun is on target.

Thankfully modern doctrine and current instructors don't follow your example, so future generations, if they actually get some decent training, will be doing things differently.
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Old October 22, 2017, 09:31 AM   #30
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Just because you draw intending to fire in no way means you have to fire.
You can say that again!

Quote:
And should be able to not fire if a situation changes.
And that. too.

But none of that has anything at all to do with finger placement.

The issue with placing one's finger on the trigger prematurely has to dp with the very real risk of an unintentional discharge.

God help the shooter when that happens.
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Old October 22, 2017, 10:49 AM   #31
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There's an interesting study that just came out from the Force Science Institute. They didn't find anything new (Roger Enoka did the real ground breaking work a long time ago) but it's a pretty good picture of how unintended discharges happen -- when, where, and why.

There's a free, 36-page pdf available for download at http://www.forcescience.org/research.html -- follow that to the second link down.

For those inclined to brush these findings aside (because we are regular people trying to defend our lives, not law enforcement), I offer the following: we are all human beings. The research rather clearly shows the predictable ways that human beings behave with and around firearms, both during highly stressful deadly force events and during the more mundane stress of everyday gunhandling. And the research also shows how that can sometimes go wrong.

There are several types of stressors that can cause an unintended discharge while a person handles a firearm with the finger near or on the trigger but with no intent to fire immediately. These include:
  • Postural disturbance aka loss of balance. This includes getting knocked off balance for any reason, such as tripping or bumping into something. It also includes getting bumped into by others, such as might happen if a family member jostled the gunhandler's elbow.
    .
  • Sympathetic contracture, aka sympathetic squeeze response. Humans are bilateral; what we do with one hand tends to be mirrored by the other. This is why beginning piano players often struggle to carry the melody with one hand and chord with the other, and why it's hard to pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time. Similarly, when one finger curls, the other fingers on the same hand tend to curl at the same time even without a conscious decision to do so. When handling a firearm with any fingers near -- but not on -- the trigger, a sympathetic squeeze reaction can draw that finger onto the trigger as the gunhandler contracts or curls their other fingers for tasks such as pressing the magazine release. Sympathetic squeeze reactions also get triggered by gunhandlers doing things such as grabbing a doorknob, activating a flashlight, or flicking a light switch with the non-gun hand. Interestingly, many of the unintended discharges documented in the Force Science study were triggered by the shooter using their legs in a forceful way, such as running or kicking a door. Same basic physical dynamics there too.
    .
  • Startle reaction. When humans hear an unexpected loud noise or feel a sudden and unexpected physical sensation (cold water to the face, for example), we instinctively react by tensing up our muscles. This includes the muscles of the hands and forearms, which means we tend to clench our hands into a fist. A person handling a gun when startled is likely to depress the trigger, unless the finger is far away from the trigger and outside the trigger guard at the moment the startling event occurs. Startle reactions are perhaps more common during high-stress events than they are in daily living, because the muscles are already highly tensed and the person is primed to react.

Worth looking at that pdf, by the way. Get your learning on.

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Old October 22, 2017, 11:12 AM   #32
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So yes my finger is on the trigger as it clears holster
To have ones finger on the trigger as it clears the holster is a recipe for disaster. Youtube is full of examples of guys doing just that and shooting themselves in the leg.

The proper draw stroke has the gun clear the holster and rotate towards the threat BEFORE the finger moves to the trigger. If the threat is very close, then touch and press the trigger AS THE GUN BEARS ON THE THREAT. This does not slow the shot and prevents you from being a victim of your own ammo selection
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Old October 22, 2017, 11:39 AM   #33
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There's an interesting study that just came out from the force science institute. They didn't find anything new (roger enoka did the real ground breaking work a long time ago) but it's a pretty good picture of how unintended discharges happen -- when, where, and why.

There's a free, 36-page pdf available for download at http://www.forcescience.org/research.html -- follow that to the second link down.
excellent read!
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Old October 22, 2017, 03:18 PM   #34
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I can think of a couple of instances where a clenching of the non-gun hand resulted in a tightening of the trigger finger of the gun hand, with guns discharging, involving a couple well trained cops. Nobody was injured or killed, with only property damage occurring.

I wasn't present when those instances occurred, but I knew both cops.

One was a senior firearms instructor, serving a search warrant in his regular assignment. His TDA (DA/SA) .45 fired when he was activating his light with the fingers of his non-gun, and the trigger finger of his other hand similarly tightened on the DA trigger.

The other was a senior SWAT supervisor, serving in his special enforcement unit capacity, searching a vehicle. If I remember correctly, his 1911 fired when he was grasping and pulling on a veh door handle with his dominant hand, having apparently transferred his 1911 to his non-dominant hand, and his non-dominant hand also clenched.

Long story short, if their trigger fingers hadn't been able to find the triggers and press them, the guns wouldn't have discharged.

Anybody ever experienced stomping on the accelerator pedal in a car/truck when they meant to rapidly push the brake pedal? And that's when some driver is using the same foot for both accelerator and brake pedals. Imagine the potential for limb confusion occurring if someone has acquired the bad habit of using a different foot for each of those pedals. Talk about inter-limb confusion ...
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Old October 22, 2017, 04:39 PM   #35
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I agree with Ghost in that if I decide to draw my weapon, I already have a mental green light regarding the use of deadly force, otherwise I would not draw. Its True, I may not fire, ..the threat may suddenly cease being a threat or simply run away. If that happens..great, but there is simply no way I am going to have a weapon trained on a badguy with my finger off the trigger. As part of my draw stroke, I keep my finger out of the trigger guard until it is lined on target.
You guys can all it what you want but I will simply call it realistic.
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Last edited by FireForged; October 22, 2017 at 06:30 PM.
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Old October 22, 2017, 04:45 PM   #36
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You guys can all it what you want but I will simply call it realistic.
I call it unsafe and and good way to shoot yourself at the begining of the fight. Not a winning plan.
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Old October 22, 2017, 06:30 PM   #37
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really.. my finger outside the trigger guard until the weapon is trained on a target? How is that a good way to accidentally shoot myself at the beginning of a fight? Did you read what I wrote

I am not telling others what they should or should not do, I am simply discussing how I personally feel about it.
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Old October 22, 2017, 07:16 PM   #38
Troy800
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There has been alot of discussion on our actions and finger placement during an attack. When that dreaded moment happens we will resort to our traning. No time to think or rationalize. So how do you train. 99.99% of my weapon handling is not in response to SD. It is handeling EDC at home, practice at the range, local compititions, hunting. I never handle or train with my finger on the trigger. My finger never goes on the trigger untill my weapon is pointing at the target, whenever i need to move or step my finger comes off the trigger untill i am repositioned and weapon is back on target. Placing your finger high on the side does not slow you down, lack of training does. Train with a purpose.

Negligent discharges never happen, untill they happen.
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Old October 23, 2017, 12:57 AM   #39
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireForged
....my finger outside the trigger guard until the weapon is trained on a target? How is that a good way to accidentally shoot myself ....
Where is it outside the trigger guard. To be safe it needs to be up and indexed on the frame. See pax' comments and follow the link in post 31.
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Old October 24, 2017, 06:33 AM   #40
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Back in the bad old days we did not have holsters that covered the triggers in LE. Lots of cops shot themselves in the butt during qualification. Sometime in the mid 1980's they started teaching us to keep out booger hook off the bang switch. It is now second nature for me to index my trigger finger on the frame above the trigger guard.

I shoot competitively, just IDPA these days. While I will never shoot at the master level I have no trouble getting on the trigger when it is time.
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Old November 3, 2017, 07:23 PM   #41
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In my younger (dumber and more arrogant) years, I learned the hard way how light a double action trigger (Sig P229) can seem during a flinch. I heard noise and went to check it out. I kept the gun pointed low ready but had my finger on the trigger. I believed that my 5 years of was enough to allow me to keep my finger on the trigger and would give me a split second advantage if I needed to use the gun. I car near me backfired and I flinched, sending a round into the ground. Thank goodness for muzzle discipline. After that, always finger off the trigger till I am ready to fire.

As for where I put my trigger finger, I place mine right outside the trigger guard, in line with the muzzle. The idea behind that is you can use your finger to instinctively point at an object. I am basically using my finger as a guide for point shooting. For close distances, it works incredibly well. If I was in a defensive situation where I was justified in drawing my weapon on someone, I would prefer to be ready to pull the trigger in a split second and be able to use my finger to aim at the threat. If I was to flinch because I was being attacked, it would probably be my intention to shoot anyway.
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Old November 4, 2017, 12:12 AM   #42
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by stephen426
...I place mine right outside the trigger guard, in line with the muzzle.....
Probably not a particularly good idea. See post 31.

Recognizing interlimb interaction as a possible safety issue isn't particularly new. It's been discussed at every class I've taken at Gunsite beginning with my first class there in 2002 (and see here, here, here and here).

That's why we teach indexing the trigger finger high on the frame.
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Old November 4, 2017, 09:20 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost1958
Let me define pressed enough as it seems it's not clear to a few.
It means someone has put me in a position where shooting that person would be justified and my finger will be on the trigger when I draw.
That's contrary to the NRA's rules of firearms safety, and it's contrary to Cooper's rules of firearms safety.

The NRA expresses it thusly:

Quote:
ALWAYS Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot

When holding a gun, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
Cooper expressed it slightly differently:

Quote:
Rule III: KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET AND YOU ARE READY TO FIRE

Rule III is violated most anytime the uneducated person handles a firearm. Whether on TV, in the theaters, or at the range, people seem fascinated with having their finger on the trigger. Never stand or walk around with your finger on the trigger. It is unprofessional, dangerous, and, perhaps most damaging to the psyche, it is klutzy looking. Never fire a shot unless the sights are superimposed on the target and you have made a conscious decision to fire. Firing an unaligned pistol in a fight gains nothing. If you believe that the defensive pistol is only an intimidation tool - not something to be used - carry blanks, or better yet, reevaluate having one around. If you are going to launch a projectile, it had best be directed purposely. Danger abounds if you allow your finger to dawdle inside the trigger guard. As soon as the sights leave the target, the trigger-finger leaves the trigger and straightens alongside the frame. Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit - as in grasping - separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.
You are not ready to fire while drawing. You are not ready to fire while "presenting" (raising the firearm from the out-of-holster position to eye level and aligning the sights on the target). You are not ready to fire when the firearm is pointed at a target but you have not decided to fire. Placing your finger on the trigger before or while drawing is an invitation to a negigent discharge.
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Old November 6, 2017, 10:28 AM   #44
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Mas has a article in the latest American Handgunner about the Liang case. That was an officer who had a ND that ricocheted and killed an innnocent.

It was discussed that he might have been trained to keep his finger along side of the trigger leading to an accidental and negligent pull.

Very sad case for all involved.
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Old November 6, 2017, 11:02 AM   #45
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So what about the technique of the "press out," in which the idea is you've already made the decision to shoot, so your finger is already taking out the slack as you're presenting the weapon, then breaking the trigger (in theory) just as you're fully on target with your sights.

Seems to break the rule about "finger off the trigger until the target is clearly in your sights..."
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Old November 6, 2017, 12:14 PM   #46
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Seems to break the rule about "finger off the trigger until the target is clearly in your sights..."
The rule is more clearly stated as “keep your finger off the trigger until you have made the conscious decision to fire the shot AND the muzzle is on target”
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Old November 6, 2017, 01:12 PM   #47
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The rule is more clearly stated as “keep your finger off the trigger until you have made the conscious decision to fire the shot AND the muzzle is on target”
Right. It's not the sights that are at issue -- it's the muzzle direction and the decision to fire. The goal is to put an intended bullet in the right place. Sights are simply one tool that can help us be sure that the muzzle is pointed at the thing we want to shoot, while good trigger finger behavior can help us 1) avoid putting the bullet in the wrong place, and 2) avoid launching an unintended bullet.

The words don't matter. The thing itself does.

As for the press-out, there are people I highly respect who land on both sides of that discussion. My own thought is that most of the people I have seen on the range have a hard enough time keeping their trigger fingers under their own conscious control. Until that problem has been solved and they have enough training to respect their own limitations, the press out isn't a good idea for those folks... who are the huge majority of gun owners.

Crawl, walk, run.

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