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Old January 25, 2021, 11:24 PM   #1
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trigger finger placement and arm extension

i started visiting range after buying my "actual" guns(smith & wesson 642, sd9ve, walther pps m2, mossberg 590 and psa ar-15). it seem some skills with bb guns like double-action trigger pull and shoot while moving(i can't practice this skill on my indoor range) have carryover on actual guns barring recoil control and "little" anticipation issue(makes me shoot either straight low or low-left during quick mag dump). i shoot better than most folks on range who either shoot shotgun pattern or VERY low-left(the people who shoot better are very good) even with double action smith & wesson model 10(very old gun might be from nam's era), sd9ve, dak p229 and h&k p30 with lem triggers.

when squeezing the trigger i like to use the 'power crease', slightly bend my arms and wrap my grip so my first joint can confortably reach the trigger. i get much better leverage and control this way, feels far more natural and much easier to memorize in stressful situations. back when i used the pad as taugh over internet, i either didn't have enough leverage or it had DISASTROUS results when shooting dao guns, the only gun i shoot with the pad is the beretta 92 or rifles and shotguns with conventional stock

i'm attending a shooting class on a outdoor range(45 min travel from my home!) and the instructor AGGRESSIVELY insistis his students when shooting the arms should be fully extended until you can't extend any further, use the center of pad when pulling the trigger and wrap the trigger guard with the index finger of supporting arm and use it as "foregrip" which let you physically control the recoil and trigger jerk on whatever gun you use.... which didn't do anything to improve my skill(expecially with my sd9ve and revolver)

on future i'm planning to purchase the g17(made very familiar with umarex g17 and feel good in my hands), apx,
sks and mosin-nagant(maybe a nagant revolver or vp70 as well to further improve my dao skill)
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Old January 25, 2021, 11:37 PM   #2
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I’ll be honest and say it sounds like your instructor is a bit much, depending on how aggressive you mean. As long as you can press the trigger to the rear without disrupting your sight picture the instructors at the SIG Sauer Academy, as a reference, don’t really care whether you use the center of the pad, edge of the pad, joint, etc. In fact they generally encourage you to experiment with trying different finger placement. People have different sized hands and different levels of muscle development. Forcing one way or the other exclusively seems a bit much. The arms fully extended with no bend and wrapping the index finger around the front of the trigger guard are somewhat older techniques. If they work for you okay. In my experience leaving some bend in your arms helps with absorbing recoil and keeping your arms fully extended with no bend tends to tire out your arms. Keeping that level of tension can help if you’re doing strings of rapid fire, but it doesn’t need to be maintained all the time.

I can’t say the instructors I’ve had are ultimately the best or that yours is unequivocally wrong. My experience though is when an instructor is only willing to entertain one technique (absent a safety concern) that’s not someone I’m particularly interested in learning from. My advice is to always give the instructions an honest try, but at the end of the day you have to decide what you do or don’t incorporate into your standard practices.

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Old January 26, 2021, 08:10 AM   #3
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I agree with Tunnel Rat.

When I was going thru the Ft Worth, TX Police academy in 1984, the lead instructor walked up to me as I was shooting and said " I don't know what you are doing, it Ain't Weaver and it ain't Isosceles but keep doing it." I was drilling out the center of the target and was using what would later become the modified Weaver.

We are not all the same, different things work for different people.
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Old January 26, 2021, 10:59 AM   #4
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To some degree,trigger finger placement is whatever comes straight back.
The grip and finger length can cause the muzzle to be deflected sideways if you are not using what is best for you.
You might not have the right instructor.

There is an Old Man named Jerry Miculek on youtube who ofers a vid on the basics of shooting a handgun fast and accurate.

His results tell me he is not wrong. Check him out.
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Old January 26, 2021, 11:01 PM   #5
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Heres a vid with jerry, very helpful for me.

So the long and short of it is this. Over the years I have interacted with several instructors. In general they teach and want you to use their specific technique because you came to learn from them. In my experience I try to learn what they are teaching. I always end up learning something, even if its something that does not work for me. Sometimes I change my techniques, or modify them based off of what I learned. The above vid from jerry helped me a LOT.
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Last edited by Shadow9mm; January 26, 2021 at 11:07 PM.
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Old February 9, 2021, 03:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips everyone!
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Old February 16, 2021, 08:11 PM   #7
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I dont know anything about your instructor but I have come to realize that many instructors which have developed the majority of their knowledge in books/manuals or sitting in a classroom, are often rather ridged in regards to their form. I have only in the rarest of circumstances, extended my arms fully during any training or practice sessions. I doubt its what I will do if facing a real crisis. I do use the pad of my finger but really its because I dont have a choice ( short fingers)
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Old February 17, 2021, 06:07 PM   #8
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I'm willing to try another man's method and see it through. However, if I don't like it, it goes into the bag of tricks and I would revert to what worked earlier.
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Old February 18, 2021, 10:04 AM   #9
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I believe that the instructor is teaching "proven methods" that work for most people. If the instructor believes that you have developed some "bad habits", it is his job to help you correct those "bad habits" and to teach you the "right way".

Why is it bad to place your finger all the way to the first joint? There is a tendency to pull the gun to the right (if you are right handed) when pull the trigger. Is it possible to pull the trigger that way without moving the gun? I'm sure the answer to that is yes, but it must be practiced. If the issue is heavy trigger pulls, work on hand strengthening exercises and consider reducing the trigger pull weights.

Why does it make sense to extend your arms? It helps control recoil and also presents a more consistent sight picture (sights should always be the same distance from your eyes). There should be less moving "parts" and the recoil will be managed by your elbows and wrists bending. Ideally, less body parts moving will allow you to get back on target faster to your "reset" position. Most instructors will also recommend that you have your gun under tension by pushing with your support hand and pulling with your support hand. This will also help control recoil.

The idea is that you can pick up most guns and shoot them well without adjusting how you place your finger. If you are at the point that your "habit" is set and it works for you, that stick with what works for you. The problem with BB guns is most of them have crappy triggers. Also, the lack of recoil has allowed you to shoot the gun differently. Long story short, work on what you were taught. Unorthodox styles can have strange results when the proverbial poop hits the fan.
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Old February 18, 2021, 06:40 PM   #10
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None of it really matters as long as it works. The important thing is being able to look at your target and diagnose why your rounds are impacting where they are. If you can do that you can start figuring out what works and doesn't work for you.

For me, depending on the gun, the crease or just forward of the crease is where my finger touches the trigger. You need to find the sweet spot where you pull the trigger straight back without pulling or pushing it to either side.

Punching out to full extension of your arms is standard practice at least for combat shooting. It helps with recoil management and keeps your stable.

As for wrapping the trigger guard with your off hand I guess it could be fine as long as it works for you but that's not how I teach it. I teach roughly equal pressure from both hands. The idea is to have your off-hand fill in the gaps left from your dominant hand so that the whole grip is covered with skin. Fingers under the trigger guard, thumbs more or less horizontal along the frame but not putting pressure on the slide.

Beware any instructor who is aggressively dogmatic about anything.
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Old February 18, 2021, 07:24 PM   #11
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IMO TunnelRat nailed it. Every ones hand is different, as are pistol's triggers lop.
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Old February 20, 2021, 06:11 PM   #12
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I'm a little surprised about the index finger around the trigger guard. I thought that was popular in the 80's, which may have been when this instructor learned his craft.

My concern with wrapping your index around your trigger guard is that as your "foregrip" index finger tires, it will apply differing levels of pressure which will pull your pistol off to the side at different rates, and respond to recoil differently. All the while you have to tension your grip to resist sideways pull. Why introduce that inconsistency?

I suppose you could try it and just pick and choose what you want to keep.
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Old March 3, 2021, 08:23 PM   #13
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I agree with several of the other posters that the tunneling individual known here as TR is right.

I would also add that you should probably not return to that instructor and find another.

I would also recommend you don't suggest him to anyone else for training.

He is obviously just too simple minded to be teaching this life and death skill.
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