The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 1, 2019, 04:38 PM   #1
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 4,099
What's the reason for squared off trigger guards?

For generations all handguns that I can think of had and have rounded trigger guards. From single action revolvers, to double action to semis. Some time in the 1970's or so squared off trigger guards began to appear in European made pistols.

At the time I was told it was due to the European trend to place the index finger of the support hand on the front of the trigger guard. The grip had begun in combat shooting competition in the European games and traveled to law enforcement, so I was told.

I was also told that police in some European countries liked to place the trigger guard up against barriers, like walls, or the shields that tend to be used there for crowd control SWAT actions, etc.

At any rate it's become very common these days. Why haven't they disappeared? Any use to them other than getting hung up on a holster? Do they have a use? Why are they ubiquitous?


tipoc
__________________
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
tipoc is offline  
Old July 1, 2019, 05:11 PM   #2
reddog81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2014
Location: Iowa
Posts: 1,307
Quote:
Originally Posted by tipoc View Post
trend to place the index finger of the support hand on the front of the trigger guard.
This.

Watch some videos of the very quick shooters out there who are able to hold the gun completely still as they empty a magazine. Everyone of them will have their index finger wrapped around that guard. I've been trying to get better at this method myself but just don't have the grip strength.
reddog81 is offline  
Old July 1, 2019, 05:14 PM   #3
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Posts: 10,158
Dont know about Europe, I first remember seeing them on souped up 1911's back in the early 70's, when that craze took off. That was often a modification you saw on worked over guns.

There was a time that was touted as a "technique", but I think they soon found it tended to loosen your grip, and it fell out of favor.
AK103K is offline  
Old July 1, 2019, 06:14 PM   #4
gwpercle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 30, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Posts: 1,206
Supposedly helped with a two handed grip in the 1970's , fast shooting sports , you were supposed to wrap fingers from the support hand around the squared off guard .

I shot a lot of one handed NRA Bullseye so I never paid much attention to that style of grip. In theory if you were gripping with two hands the squared of guard should be easier to hang onto .
Gary
gwpercle is offline  
Old July 1, 2019, 07:44 PM   #5
dogtown tom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: Plano, Texas
Posts: 2,641
It wasn't Europeans, but Americans....Armand Swenson.


http://www.coolgunsite.com/comm_pist...on/swenson.htm

I believe Glock was the first European maker to incorporate a squared and checkered trigger guard, likely not because he knew why, but because he saw them on other US pistols and thought why not.
__________________
Need a FFL in Dallas/Plano/Allen/Frisco/McKinney ? Just EMAIL me. $20 transfers ($10 for CHL, active military,police,fire or schoolteachers)

Plano, Texas...........the Gun Nut Capitol of Gun Culture, USA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pELwCqz2JfE
dogtown tom is offline  
Old July 1, 2019, 08:54 PM   #6
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 4,099
Swenson was one custom gunsmith who did some of his guns that way. In looking at production guns. The squared off trigger, or recurved guard is much more common today than in the past.

Compare Sigs of today with those of the past...

https://www.sigsauer.com/products/firearms/pistols/

In the past they were all basically curved.

S&W did a few of it's third gen semis this was but most were curved.

tipoc
__________________
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
tipoc is offline  
Old July 2, 2019, 12:34 PM   #7
TailGator
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,713
The number of people using it for a grip seems pretty small these days, and I don't recall it ever being extremely popular. I have heard LEOs talk about being trained to use it in a barrier situation. For those reasons, I give more credence to the latter than the former, but it has become so ubiquitous I have no idea.
TailGator is offline  
Old July 2, 2019, 12:59 PM   #8
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 12,271
Nothing to do with Europe. It was the assorted game players. Everything has been tried by them to try and get a slightly better score.
__________________
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old July 2, 2019, 07:07 PM   #9
Road_Clam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 21, 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,507
My wife's Glock G22 has the finger support front trigger guard. I don't use it , tried it and it feels all wrong to me.
__________________
"To be old an wise you must have been young and stupid"
Road_Clam is offline  
Old July 2, 2019, 09:37 PM   #10
Bill DeShivs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 7, 2006
Posts: 10,455
Squared trigger guards had nothing to do with barrier shooting.
The guard was for your off-hand index finger.
__________________
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
www.billdeshivs.com
Bill DeShivs is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 01:21 AM   #11
Radny97
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2015
Posts: 803
I have really large hands (palming a basketball is easy) so hooking my finger on the trigger guard is the most effective grip for me. I note that some of the best competitors in the world do the same, like Eric Graufel.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Radny97 is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 09:50 AM   #12
JJ45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 8, 2015
Posts: 743
Col Cooper discouraged the use of the trigger guard as a grip aid. The 1911 was obviously his favored handgun which normally had curved trigger guards. On weapons with squared guards, I don't see any reason to not try it out.

Some of the old gurus, Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, mentioned handguns where the owner removed the trigger guard or maybe just the front. I think maybe only revolvers. I'm not sure of the main reason for this as I would think an unprotected trigger might catch on stuff.
JJ45 is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 10:26 AM   #13
tipoc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 11, 2004
Location: Redwood City, Ca.
Posts: 4,099
Quote:
Some of the old gurus, Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, mentioned handguns where the owner removed the trigger guard or maybe just the front. I think maybe only revolvers. I'm not sure of the main reason for this as I would think an unprotected trigger might catch on stuff.
This was popularized early in the 20th century by John Henry Fitzgerald (called Fitz) who worked for Colt. Fitz was a sales rep of a sort. He was an expert shot and would often set up a booth a tournaments and adjust peoples guns for them while they waited. He was an advocate of a "fighting handgun" as distinct from a duty or service weapon.

His modifications on guns, revolvers and semis, became famous and to a certain extent popular. He bobbed hammers, shortened barrels and cut away trigger guards or modified them, to make it easier for large hands or fingers to reach the trigger more quickly. His guns were often modified for concealed carry. His work was and still is influential.

Here's a bit about him and his guns...

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...-fitz-special/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M91tTJkyMM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5naPpxF8ws

https://www.americanrifleman.org/art...om-yesteryear/

tipoc
__________________
1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger till you are ready to shoot.
4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.

Last edited by tipoc; July 3, 2019 at 10:36 AM.
tipoc is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 10:35 AM   #14
Sharkbite
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 2013
Location: Western slope of Colorado
Posts: 3,499
The Texas Ranger museum has a bunch of display guns with the trigger guards removed.

Made em faster, dont ya know
Sharkbite is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 01:41 PM   #15
SIGSHR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Posts: 4,475
The squared front trigger guards were very "in" when I shot IPSC 1979-1981. I have seen pictures of Charlie Askins' Colt New Service with the "Fitz" cutaway trigger guard, the noted Texas Ranger M. T. Gonzaulas had an M1911 with a cutaway trigger guard. Bill Jordan have very long fingers but he disapproved of the cutaway trigger guard, as did Ed McGivern.
SIGSHR is offline  
Old July 3, 2019, 03:00 PM   #16
COSteve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2009
Posts: 1,336
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK103K View Post
Dont know about Europe, I first remember seeing them on souped up 1911's back in the early 70's, when that craze took off. That was often a modification you saw on worked over guns.

There was a time that was touted as a "technique", but I think they soon found it tended to loosen your grip, and it fell out of favor.
This. I tried it about 40 years ago and AK is correct; for most people it loosens your grip rather than tightens it. Currently when we are teaching proper grip techniques during our NRA classes at our range, we specifically advise new shooters not to wrap a finger around the front of the trigger guard.
__________________
Steve

“Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.” - Confucius
"When you find a find a big kettle of crazy, it's best not to stir it." - Dilbert
COSteve is offline  
Old July 4, 2019, 12:02 PM   #17
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 8,012
Quote:
Watch some videos of the very quick shooters out there who are able to hold the gun completely still as they empty a magazine. Everyone of them will have their index finger wrapped around that guard.
I shoot with those run 'n' gunners, and very, very few wrap their index finger around the trigger guard.
It's still a European thing, having only been something of a fad in the U.S., 30 years ago.
Multiple world champ Eric Grauffel uses the finger-forward grip, so it can be a winning technique.
__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old July 4, 2019, 03:11 PM   #18
fastbolt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,892
Somebody probably came up with the original idea and has been overlooked by history.

Paris Theodore designed the first ASP 9 with a uniquely up-swept curved & hooked trigger guard in the later 60's, and then apparently tried for a couple of patent filings in '71 & '73, getting one in early '74.

https://news.guns.com/wp-content/upl...sp9_patent.jpg

Then, HK introduced their P7 in '76 with a hooked trigger guard.

S&W produced their version of a hooked trigger guard with their 2nd and 3 generation series of their traditional double action pistols. The rounded trigger guard returned during the 90's.

Many Euro pistols still use the squared off trigger guard with some degree of a bottom hook on pistols.

I've seen more "average" shooters (both LE and non-LE) create problems for themselves than not, incorporating using the hooked guard for their support hand index finger. No small amount of unintentional pulling or pushing the front of the pistol to one side or the other.

I've usually left alone the long time shooters I've seen who could manage the use of a hooked trigger guard without it affecting their controllability and accuracy. As long as they still had a solid master hand grip for 1-handed shooting ... meaning they'd not modified or compromised their master hand's grip to accommodate their support hand positioning ... why "fix" what wasn't broken?

Having used pistols with hooked trigger guards for many years, I prefer not to rely upon them. I think only my couple of Glocks and my early Ruger KP-90DC have them (and the Ruger's is only a very slight hook at the bottom of the angled trigger guard).

Back when I was carrying either an issued 59XX or 6906 from the early 3rd gen production I had to order holsters made for the square trigger guards. I could carry my later production 3rd gen's with round trigger guard models in them, but not vice versa.
__________________
Retired LE - firearms instructor & armorer
fastbolt is offline  
Old July 4, 2019, 05:46 PM   #19
TB9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 28, 2013
Location: N.H
Posts: 119
You know I think it was to keep those darn Automatics from looking to darn sexy
__________________
Why thats... Brilliant ! now go lay down by youre dish and shut up .
TB9 is offline  
Old July 5, 2019, 02:48 PM   #20
RUT
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 17, 2004
Location: NH, USA
Posts: 790
I hate 'em!
__________________
Liberals don't care what you do... as long as it's mandated.
RUT is offline  
Old July 6, 2019, 05:00 PM   #21
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 22,439
Quote:
What's the reason for squared off trigger guards?
So people who want to have something to grab on to. The advisability of doing so is debatable.

there is another point not mentioned. The squared off trigger guard give a (relatively) sharp "point" when the pistol is used as an impact weapon.

It's almost never talked about (outside of specialist discussions) because we all feel it shouldn't need to happen (because we should shoot and stop the attacker) but real world gunfighting still sometimes does include using the gun to hit someone, not just the bullets. its a last ditch, desperation thing, usually, but it can still happen.

So, its a feature some people think they need and use, and others don't, and don't use, and it has a feature no one wants to need to use.

personally, I don't use it, have tried, simply not for me. I have a couple of Sigs with it, I just ignore it, and, as far as I can tell, my shooting hasn't suffered because of that.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old July 8, 2019, 08:12 AM   #22
P5 Guy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2005
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 1,804
"What's the reason for squared off trigger guards?"

To make pistols uglier?
Most likely to follow a fad that has now pretty much faded into obscurity.
P5 Guy is offline  
Old July 8, 2019, 09:33 AM   #23
BillM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Amity Oregon
Posts: 715
I shoot a lot of USPSA , Steel Challenge etc. I never use a index finger on the
front of the trigger guard. There ARE some very good shooters that do. Jerry
Miculek, Eric Grauffel and Angus Hobdell come to mind.

However---in GSSF matches I do. Only on my G36 and G43. Gets my support hand
just a bit higher on the gun, and my accuracy and shot-to-shot splits are measurably
faster. I use a standard thumbs forward grip on the G17, G26 and G21.
BillM is offline  
Old July 8, 2019, 11:06 AM   #24
RickB
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 8,012
I also see people shooting Glocks with their elbows locked, when I can't even hold most of my pistols with locked elbows; I think it must be the Glock grip angle?
__________________
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old July 8, 2019, 11:59 AM   #25
cw308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2010
Location: Plainview , Long Island NY
Posts: 3,863
I have a S&W 4566 in 45ACP it's built like a tank and shoots anything I feed it 100% . It has a square trigger guard , never bothered me and I hold it like any other . Finding a perfect holster could be a problem .
cw308 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 07:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2020 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12421 seconds with 10 queries