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Old April 24, 2012, 08:36 PM   #1
Join Date: April 19, 2012
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Question about Technique

So this isn't really a question about competition but more on technique which I am sure people competing have an opinion on.

Ok so I am relatively new to shooting and I watched some youtube vids of competitive shooters and they said I should shoot my pistol with the pad of the first digit of my index finger. I have pretty big hands and it feels extremely awkward to shoot the gun that way. I even tried sliding the gun forward in my grip to make the pad lie more naturally and it didn't help.

What should I try to do? Is it ok if I keep shooting with a full grip where I slowly squeeze my grip around the gun till it goes bang. I am a decent shot like this.
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Old April 24, 2012, 09:11 PM   #2
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Sorry, didn't mention which kind of gun I was shooting. A Beretta 92 which is already a pretty big gun. I have sold it and this is a general question going forward.

Last edited by BroKing; April 24, 2012 at 09:29 PM.
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Old April 24, 2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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People have different size hands and fingers so what works for one may not work for others.

When shooting you'll notice you can adjust windage my putting more or putting less finger in the trigger guard.

As you shoot your pistols (assuming right handed) and your group is to the right, side your trigger finger to the left a tad. If your shooting to the left, put more of your trigger finger into the trigger guard.

To see how this works, dry fire a pistol with a laser sight. Slide your finger back and forth on the trigger watching what it does to the red dot as the hammer falls.
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Old April 24, 2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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There isn't a hard-and-fast rule for everybody. For example, we're taught to shoot double-action with the distal joint, yet I do so with the pad of my finger on many DA pistols. I know a guy who's a crack shot with a 1911, and he uses the distal joint instead of the pad.

In the old days before fancy pantsy lasers, the suggestion was to balance a quarter flat on the top of the slide and find a method of pull that didn't disturb it.

At no point in the trigger pull, however, should your grip or grip position change.

(The forum software doesn't think "pantsy" is a misspelling. Go figure.)
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tom Servo
There isn't a hard-and-fast rule for everybody.
I agree. And since you're "a decent shot" as is, you needn't automatically change to conform to some standard. You may find, though, as you speed up, things may change, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Originally Posted by Tom Servo
balance a quarter flat on the top of the slide and find a method of pull that didn't disturb it.
Flat?! Ohhh.
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Old April 25, 2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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Choose a gun with the length you need, from backstrap to trigger.
Or choose a gun that can be altered, like a 1911, for example.
Many different length triggers are available for them.
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Old April 25, 2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Wow i never thought of dry firing with a laser. That is a great idea just to practice and improve your shooting!!!! I am definitely trying this out!!!
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Old April 25, 2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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Try dry firing against a blank white wall with out a target. Experiment with gripping the pistol and different trigger finger placement untill you can get the trigger to release with out disturbing the sight alignment. Any sight disturbance will be apparent on the blank wall.

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Old April 25, 2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the tips guys. Ill post back after I get my next gun and try them out.

Any other suggestions, feel free to add.
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Old April 25, 2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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One similar technique I've tried to help with trigger control is to balance a rifle casing on top of the slide (only possible with something with a flat slide like a Glock) and then squeeze through the trigger; if you can go all the way through the squeeze without knocking the casing off, you're part-way there.
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Old April 27, 2012, 06:33 AM   #11
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If you can, I suggest getting an experienced IDPA or IPSC shooter to check your overall grip in person at the range just in case. Consistency in position is really important, and its repetition that will make that position feel comfortable and natural.

Once we all give the signal that we're gripping "naturally", our instructor always marks a line across our thumbs where they press/fit together so that our grip position is always consistent throughout the practice session. Consistency is important for which part of your pad on your index finger you use to pull the trigger too, because if you change that during a course of fire you'll often unconsciously shift your entire grip as well. Then you'll wonder why you aren't hitting alphas anymore.

I'm not a big believer in dry firing by balancing items on the slide, or using lasers to see if your gun moves. If you use a laser, you'll be looking at the dot on the wall - not at the front sight. Already you're practicing bad habits that will be incredibly hard to break later on. While properly focusing on the front sight, if you jiggle the gun even a tiny micro amount while pulling the trigger, you'll see your front sight move in relation to the rear sight (and/or target). If you can't call your shots while dry firing in the comfort of your basement, how on earth are you going to do it live fire at a match while running?
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Old May 2, 2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Long story short, bought the P30L and it feels a lot more comfortable to shoot with the pad of my finger then the Beretta 92 so I am going to try that now.

One thing I changed yesterday that improved my shooting. I was always told I should feel like I am pushing with my right hand and pulling with the left. I told some guy my fore arms were getting cashed and he recommended that I feel like was applying more equal pressure on the firearm from all sides with my left hand and I instantly shot better.
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Old May 5, 2012, 09:25 AM   #13
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One of the suggestions to me was using my "weak" hand to provide most of the support and grip. Trying to use the fine muscles to work the trigger AND grip the gun is difficult. So, for me, grip the gun firmly with left hand, grip more weakly and pull the trigger with right hand.
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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not sure just how big your hands are, but you may try twisting your hand to where the bore is in line with your forearm. this positions your index finger further out of the trigger guard. it took getting used to, but it works for me. whatever you find that works, you should stick to. elimination of variables is key with pistol, (possibly any) shooting.

also, as was already suggested, using your offhand to hold the weight of the gun and using your stronghand for primarily trigger manipulation helps.

EDIT: i'm also a huge disbeliever in pulling back with your weak hand. i know a lot of people teach that, but i've yet to see any decent IPSC shooter condone it. pulling back with either hand is only going to make the gun return to POA slower, as you're helping the recoil pull the gun back. equal pressure pushing out is better. also, make a concious effort when you index to be relaxed, especially in your shoulders. no muscles should be getting tired, or you might be pushing/pulling too hard somewhere.

Last edited by theycallmeingot; May 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM.
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Old May 9, 2012, 01:27 PM   #15
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"What should I try to do? Is it ok if I keep shooting with a full grip where I slowly squeeze my grip around the gun till it goes bang."

This description makes it sound like you are not just squeezing the trigger but also the rest of your hand as you fire the gun. Some shooters prefer to use the term "press" because it gets it in your head that you keep the grip pressure the same with the rest of your hand as you only press the trigger straight back. You might try thinking of it as a trigger press instead of a trigger squeeze. Mark
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