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Old October 11, 2010, 01:44 PM   #1
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Trigger finger position.

Watched an episode of "Steven Segal: Lawman" last week. Part of the episode showed a simulation room with voice reactive video training. I noticed Both Segal and the other officer Having their finger in the trigger guard all the way thru and wrapped around so their finger tips were nearly touching the grip. What's up wtih that? Is that what I'm supposed to be doing?
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Old October 11, 2010, 02:15 PM   #2
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I wont address TV shows but I'll mention what is proper.

That is, it depends, on the size of the hand and the size of the gun, or simply put:


Once the proper grip is obtained, (I like the high grip myself), then the finger should be placed where it is "comfortable" but allow "SMOOTH" pull of the trigger straight back, without disturbing the sight alignment.

Now having said that, one can use his trigger finger to adjust sights, ........not really sights, but point of impact. If your groups of going right, push your trigger finger a little deeper into the trigger guard (for right handed shooter). If your groups are going left, then put less finger in the trigger guard.

The key word here is 'SMOOTH', not squeeze as use to be taught by the army, you can squeeze all day, it may or may not be smooth, or you can concentrate on your squeeze to the point that the target is gone (as in hunting) or dies of old age. Squeezing is something reserved for the ladies who don't seem to mind how long you squeeze them. Not so with shooting.

You can shoot Smooth, fast or slow, doesn't matter as long as it is smooth and doesn't disturb sight alignment.
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Old October 11, 2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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I would say, "Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire." You don't want a nervous twitch to kill someone!
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Old October 11, 2010, 07:23 PM   #4
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You generally don't want to go past the first crease.
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Old October 11, 2010, 10:26 PM   #5
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Finger on Trigger...

So the proper way unless you are going to shoot. Regardless of if you are at the range, at IDPA/USPSA or for self defense - if you are not shooting - keep your finger off the trigger.

LEO's are trained to keep their fingers off the trigger unless shooting. If you are planning to shoot then put your finger on the trigger but if you are investigating or thinking about shooting - keep your finger off.

Stressful situations and your finger on the trigger - it doesn't take much to pull that trigger (even a heavy double action). Look it up on Youtube - police shootings.

Side Note:
Now regarding finger placement: the argument of either finger pad or first joint. Both are useful. Just depends on what you are doing and what works for you better for your situation. For fine accuracy - finger pad. For fast - double taps or rapid fire - first joint. But again whatever works better for you.
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Old October 12, 2010, 08:36 AM   #6
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Old October 13, 2010, 10:24 AM   #7
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You generally don't want to go past the first crease.
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Old October 13, 2010, 10:30 AM   #8
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Aaron Roberts addressed this on HANGUNS tv show.... and I hope I don't totally mess up his point....

Basically, it is a give and take. It's preferred that you shoot with the first pad of your trigger finger for smoother trigger manipulation. But using a deeper trigger contact point on the finger will give a shooter a lighter perceived trigger break.
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Old October 13, 2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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You generally don't want to go past the first crease.
Because you want to bring the trigger straight back. If you have to much finger in the trigger you won't be able to bring the trigger straight back. Dry fire it with the front sight lined up in the rear sight and the muzzle an inch from a mark on the wall and try it. When you apply pressure to the trigger you are going to pull the gun out of position and your front sight will scream at you that you have just missed.

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Old October 13, 2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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This is why you keep your finger off the trigger unless you intend to fire.
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Old October 15, 2010, 01:15 PM   #11
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I don't know. For a million bucks an episode, I could force myself to change my grip configuration.

In Hollywood, all things are possible. As a safety instructor, I take notice of stuff like that in the movies. Most of the time, they get it right now days. Probably depends on the films budget to hire consultants and how conscientious the director is.

Basic rule taught to every novice. Never put your finger on the trigger til you're ready to fire.
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Old October 15, 2010, 03:39 PM   #12
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Steven Seagal is a pretty decent shot. I also noticed that trigger finger thing when the episode aired a while back. He does some strange looking things with his guns. I think that if he were move into much faster shooting with that finger position he would run into accuracy and/or speed problems, but one never knows.

That being said, DA pistols require more finger on them that SA or short action striker pistols, so if their PD carried heavy DAO pistols or they carried revolvers when he started, he would have developed a "deeper" trigger finger. I also saw an episode where he was "helping" another officer with his shooting qualification, so I would imagine some of those shooting habits are recycled throughout their PD.
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Old October 15, 2010, 04:05 PM   #13
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If by that you mean don't touch the trigger until AFTER the sights are on target then that's the politically correct version that's in the safety instructions. It's proper for target shooting.

If you want to stay alive in a gunfight, then you learn to time your trigger finger to fire the instant the gun comes on target. If you look for the trigger after the sight picture, you'll slam the trigger every time (at least in a stressful situation) and yank the sights off the target.

Consider that, for point shooters, especially at near contact distance, the sights are never on the target.

Make sure you're ready to shoot instantly when you get the sights where you want them, and that your finger is never on the trigger until the gun is pointed at the target---a couple milliseconds before you have the final sight picture.

I've never seen it taught any different from that in any course I've taken or observed.

Last edited by Nnobby45; October 16, 2010 at 05:48 PM.
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Old October 19, 2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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I go with pad of the index finger on the face of the trigger.

Objective is to produce a trigger pull with no sideways forces, everything straight back directly in line with the long axis of the barrel.

Getting your index finger to move straight back without engaging the muscles/tendons/ligaments in the other fingers is something you can practice and improve.

.22LR and dry fire (nickel drill) are great for this.

Regarding trigger finger on/off the trigger.. if you're engaging a target as an LEO/military operator, then the rules are a bit different than for general civilian carry. Going into a scenerio where you know you will engage may require taking slack off the trigger as the gun comes up to the target. Competition shooters practice this as well. It is a fairly more advanced technique and requires practice.

Last edited by booker_t; October 19, 2010 at 10:15 AM.
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Old October 20, 2010, 11:43 AM   #15
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Someone said "I would say, "Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire." You don't want a nervous twitch to kill someone!"

I say thats why all my handguns are DA/SA. I hate all that Glock crap. My finger will be on the trigger ready for engagement.
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Old October 20, 2010, 12:01 PM   #16
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In that link Mr. Jarrett says you shouldn't go passed the first joint because if you do, you are working the joint closest to your hand, which can cause your hand to push.
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