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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I ever hear glass breaking downstairs in the middle of the night, I doubt I'll be creeping down the stairs and slicing the pie around corners without my finger on the trigger.

In just about any situation I can imagine that an armed civilian or LEO would be required to draw his firearm, the first shot would be the most important. Do I really want to risk slapping the trigger in a dangerous moment?

I've never heard of anyone doing drills starting with your finger on the trigger guard.

I'm not an LEO, I haven't carried for years, but I was a LT. in nuclear security for 5 years, so I'm not completely inexperienced.

Am I totally wrong about this?
 

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In my opinion, yes. Virtually all police and military are taught to keep their finger out of the triggerguard and pointed forward at all times, unless they're actually about to fire. Even when covering a suspect the finger is off the trigger, just so that an accident doesn't happen. It takes only a split second to get your finger on the trigger so readiness shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I gotta agree with dsk 100%. As a matter of fact I do practice keeping my finger off the trigger. When I'm doing slow aimed fire at the range I make sure that my finger comes off and the safety goes on every time I take the gun off target, even when I'm just momentarily lowering the gun to rest my arms or to re-aim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
dsk said:
In my opinion, yes. Virtually all police and military are taught to keep their finger out of the triggerguard... It takes only a split second to get your finger on the trigger so readiness shouldn't be a problem.
Do you practice quick first shots with your finger off the trigger? How is your accuracy? I know we didn't at work, and neither do the local or state police here.
 

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Two things. First, there are no absolute rights and wrongs here (though I know some would disagree with me, at least for a pistol) with regard to the trigger finger. If you've got your finger on the trigger you gain the advantage of not ruining your trigger pull (IMO the most important part of the shot), but you ARE at more risk of the weapon firing if something crazy happens. You are trading one for the other. Personally, in a high stress situation, my finger would be on the trigger. I'm military, and had some opportunity to train with some returning SF guys before I went to Baghdad, and it was a little different from the rules on the firing range. Nobody said a thing about keeping your finger off the trigger in a life or death situation.

However, that does bring me to my second point. We were doing a lot of room clearing excercises with the same guys, and if you're not going to slice the pie in that type of situation, when are you going to? Slicing the pie didn't make it into roomclearing 101 because it doesn't work. If you forget the basics in a hot situation, you've lost already (remember to turn off that safety before you fire... I know it sounds crazy, but I've seen it happen)

There's my two cents (or jiao I should say, since I'm in China right now :biglaugh: )

Reid
 

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Sights on target (or muzzle oriented toward target--sans sights--as in retention shooting), finger on the trigger. Sights off the target, finger off the trigger. It really is that simple.

This is one of the skills that frequent, relevant practice can help ingrain...along with an understanding that nothing is lost, speed-wise, for so doing.

Rosco
 

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Rosco Benson said:
Sights on target (or muzzle oriented toward target--sans sights--as in retention shooting), finger on the trigger. Sights off the target, finger off the trigger. It really is that simple.
Yup, that's how I do it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rosco Benson said:
Sights on target (or muzzle oriented toward target--sans sights--as in retention shooting), finger on the trigger. Sights off the target, finger off the trigger. It really is that simple.
Now that makes sense to me. With just a little practice, the time it would take to raise your firearm is plenty of time to properly place your finger on the trigger.

Still, knowing my own strengths and weaknesses, I'd be far less worried about pulling the trigger unintentionally in a moment of excitement, than slapping the trigger on the first shot and missing.

Hey, maybe I'm wrong - I've never drawn my weapon except in training.
 

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jsoule said:
Hey, maybe I'm wrong - I've never drawn my weapon except in training.
Then get some more training and gain some confidence in yourself and your weapon, and KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET.
 

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basically the same thing we were taught in the two civilian self defense/protection classes we took. finger on trigger when sights are going onto the target. finger off otherwise. it becomes 2nd nature with practice.

be safe, shoot well.:rock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
shane45-1911 said:
Then get some more training and gain some confidence in yourself and your weapon, and KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON TARGET.
Well, I've had plenty of good training so confidence in my weapon or how to use it is fine.

In all the hundreds of so-called "tactical" course I've participated in, none of the instructors (including everything from ex small-town cops, to state troopers, to former Delta Force) never said anything about keeping my finger off the trigger EXCEPT when acting as over-watch for a buddy securing a hostile individual, or when moving in an area where you don't expect an immediate threat. That's why I asked.
 

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I like your scenario. Imagine you hear glass breaking in the middle of the night. With a shot of adrenaline, you stand up in your bed, and see your wife by your side has woken up too. You grab your nightstand firearm, check it's status (loaded), and start walking stalthily downstairs. You slice the pie on the corner to the kitchen and... Stop! You now have the sights of a loaded firearm with your finger on the trigger.... aligned neatly on your 11 year old kid that dropped his glass on the ceramic floor getting a water refill. Of course it's not that clear to you, it's dark, and adrenaline and excitement are making your vision pretty bad. Do you think this is an acceptable situation?

Alex.
 

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BANG!
 

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jsoule said:
Well, I've had plenty of good training
Doesn't sound like it.

I'm not trying to be condesending, but I would seriously question the integrity and quality of any trainer who DIDN'T consider "finger off the trigger" to be one of the golden rules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
shane45-1911 said:
I'm not trying to be condesending, but I would seriously question the integrity and quality of any trainer who DIDN'T consider "finger off the trigger" to be one of the golden rules.
That WAS the rule, unless our weapons were up, and we were moving into an unknown situation. We received the same pistol training and were required to pass the same tests as the Michigan State Police. However our focus wasn't apprehension of suspects, it was killing terrorists. Maybe that explains the difference in what you might expect in training. It was also ten years ago. Is it possible that people have become more stringent about this rule since then, as often happens with rules of safety?

We practiced a lot of room clearing, and small team movements (what they called hunter-killer teams). A HUGE amount of emphasis was placed on muzzle control and all-around awareness of your weapons.

But a lot of emphasis was also placed on quick identification of and shot on target. We drilled a lot with things like targets popping up from behind cover with us in the center of the room without cover. "Fire quick and accurate or die", was one of the instructor's favorite admonitions (he did tend toward the melodramatic, I admit).

In particular, the former Delta Force instructor loved tap-rack-bang drills and one handed load, re-load drills. But he never emphasised "finger-off-the-trigger" when we were rounding a corner into a new room, or approaching an area we knew the bad guys had just been in (and may still be).
 

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Sights off target, finger off trigger, sights on target finger on trigger

I've been handling firearms for 30 years. I've qualified in the military at least 15 times with a handgun and taken several courses on the outside. I have never had an instructor say it was ok to have your finger on the trigger when you weren't going to shoot! NEVER! Imagine walking down the hall or stairs or anywhere in your house and tripping or bumping into a chair. The first thing you do is tighten the muscles in your body in response. All of your muscles tighten and you try to grab something with your off hand. You will pull the trigger! I've had several instructors give the physiological reasons for this phenomenon. They all say the same thing, keep you finger off the trigger until you are going to fire. One of the instructors advocates you find a point on the firearm that is not inline with the trigger to put your finger on, i.e. part of the frame. That way you don’t pull the trigger even if your finger comes off the guard. It’s your choice but IMHO, the risks do not out way the advantages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
alexnormand said:
Stop! You now have the sights of a loaded firearm with your finger on the trigger.... aligned neatly on your 11 year old kid that dropped his glass on the ceramic floor getting a water refill. Of course it's not that clear to you, it's dark, and adrenaline and excitement are making your vision pretty bad. Do you think this is an acceptable situation?
It sounds like the problem here is target identification, doesn't it?

First, I would know if my daughter was out of bed because I'd check her room before anything else - but that's not your point.

I would turn white whether or not my finger was on the trigger when I realized I was pointing a loaded gun at my daughter. A horrible, scary, situation - but inevitable in your scenario.

The solution to keeping her safe has nothing to do with where your finger is. It concerns staying as calm as possible and identifying your target.

We've all heard the stories of the guy who did everything right except identify, and ended up killing or hurting a loved one. If you know whether or not to shoot FIRST, the only difference I can see in having your finger outside the trigger guard is that you have a better chance of missing when it would be best not to.
 

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...one vote for never convincing him otherwise.

...and can I have that list of instructors?:rolleyes: :scratch: :rolleyes: :scratch:
 
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