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When do you put your finger on the trigger? 1.What are the deciding factors that have to be in place before the finger goes on the trigger?
2.Do these factors all have to be there for you to take that next step?
3.Does this mean you will take the shot now, or is there still potential you may not take the shot? What has to happen before you shoot?
 

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If one were to follow the rules of safe gun handling, they should probably not put their finger on the trigger until their target has been identified, as well as, anything behind the target.

If one were in a life and death situation, they should probably do what they must to save their life as safely as possible.

Just because the finger is on the trigger doesn't necessarily mean you have to take a shot now. If the situation defuses itself, then the finger should come off the trigger. If the situation escalates, just press, then release - repeat as necessary.
 

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IMO, your trigger finger has no business in the trigger guard, let alone on the trigger until:

1) You acquired the target in your sights
2) You made the decision to shoot

I've had a total of 2 non-intentional discharges in my shooting life, both times the shots were fired in the direction of the targets but not when I was ready to shoot. That's 2 ND too many. The first was a cocked revolver and I chucked it up to a light SA. The second was trying to get the shot as soon as possible out of the draw with my 1911. It was stupid and pretty embarrassing and I spent the next month doing draw-aim-fire drills with a conscious effort on keeping the finger out of the trigger guard until the sights are in near perfect allignment on the COM.
 

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I think you are thinking about it too hard. I never make a conscious decision to move my finger to the trigger. When its go time my subconscious automatically tells my finger to migrate. I would guess it happens sometime during the process of bringing the gun too the target. I guess I just have my finger trained when to be in there and when not to be, but when it is on the trigger it is go time and something is going to be shot at.

If you have such a drawn out thinking process about moving your finger to the trigger IMO you are thinking too much or too slow. If you have to wonder if its time to get on the trigger, its not time yet. Finger on the trigger is last second for me and when I go I've already decided that I'm going to pull it.
 

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1st & Foremost

In response to your question, I'd urgently suggest to you that your Number # 1 Urgent Priority should be to firstly research, study in depth, thoroughly understand, and firmly commit to memorized memory any and all criminal code and penal law statutes in your jurisdictional residency locale which goverm the justifiable use of lethal, deadly self-defensive force.

And never forget the unwritten law that applies in conjunction with the written statutes - when and whenever there are any "grayish areas" of judgment-calls in the legal exercise and application of self-defensive lethal force, in the end, you will be held accountable for your actions according to that which is expected of the "standardized benchmark" - that which is to be expected of the "reasonably intelligent, prudent and discerning person", after a preponderance of all the available evidence, facts and circumstances there and then existant at the time of the occurrence.

Please don't think of my reply as intending to be wise-guy, smarta** or condescending - that's not my intent at all - I'd just hate to see you concentrating on the "technical aspects" of the art and skills without having firstly understood all the moral and legal aspects as well.

And I only mention so because deficiency in the technical aspects can get you dead; deficiencies in the legal aspects can get you jailed for life, which is essentially the same thing as dead, if you love your own freedom.
 

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I think you are thinking about it too hard. I never make a conscious decision to move my finger to the trigger. When its go time my subconscious automatically tells my finger to migrate. I would guess it happens sometime during the process of bringing the gun too the target. I guess I just have my finger trained when to be in there and when not to be, but when it is on the trigger it is go time and something is going to be shot at.
i an agree with part of that, but not all of it.

i personally dont put my finger on the trigger until i feel its time to shoot. yes your subconscience or " training reflex" or " muscle memory" or whatever is probably going to dictate when the tfinger goes on the trigger, but that should be something you already know from proper practice, i dont believe it should be " i would guess it happens when"

when i pull my gun on the job my trigger finger is pointed straight ahead, on the slide lock bump. i dont want my finger on the trigger until i decide i want to shoot. yeah there may be a time that you draw and fire ( under fire or diress) but if youve got your gun out doing a building search or executing a felony stop or whatever, theres no need for your finger to be inside the trigger guard.

proper practice and training will get you to know exactly at what point your finger goes on the trigger.. and thats when your going to fire. it does not ( and shouldnt be) need to be there while your drawing and getting a sight picture.

grabbing your gun out out of the holster is a quick action... and your trigger finger should automatically go to pointing along side frame towards the target.

some people may not agree, and thats fine, thats how i was trained and thats how i practice, and my rounds still leave the gun in a damn big hurry when they need to.

russel
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I try and follow the rule ... never put your finger on the trigger (OR point the gun at) anything you are not ready to destroy.

But then again I have always wondered about guys that ONLY always train to automatically put their index finger on the side instead of inside the trigger guard.

Isn't there a chance that under an emergency situation where one needed to draw and shoot in a quick draw situation and you instinctively draw (because you trained the muscle to do that) and point your index finger straight only to realize a split second that it needed to go straight to the trigger?

It would give you a 1 or 2 second delay in getting your first shot off. Thats enough time to be killed maybe?

I think the only way you would have to train for this would be to have pop up targets, some you shoot at and some not and the ones that you do, the finger goes straight to the trigger and the ones that you don't shoot at, the index finger goes straight ahead.

So your index finger and the process of whether it goes directly to the trigger or straight to the side would be directly tied to reaction of whether the object of your aim is to be shot or not.

This would be hard to practice with just a flat stationary target that most of us use at the range.

Anybody understand what I am aiming at (pun intended) or have any suggestions?
 

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Isn't there a chance that under an emergency situation where one needed to draw and shoot in a quick draw situation and you instinctively draw (because you trained the muscle to do that) and point your index finger straight only to realize a split second that it needed to go straight to the trigger?

It would give you a 1 or 2 second delay in getting your first shot off. Thats enough time to be killed maybe?
i can see where your coming from, and i respect your thoughts.

however, there are a couple of courses of fire that we do ( in the scheme of things, our qualifying runs arent that hard) that are immediate shoot situations. one of them we fire 3 rounds from 3 feet away from the target in 3 seconds. what we do is when the target turns we draw and fire from the hip. its surprising how much time you have left after you have drawn and shot.

in that case, your still drawing your gun from the holster with the trigger finger pointing straight down the holster and as the gun clears it you bring the muzzle and fire. training to keep you finger outside the trigger guard does not slow this down.

there is a bit of a difference in drawing down on someone, and drawing to shoot. but even if your drawing to shoot the trigger finger is outside and along the frame ( i dont put it all the way up onto the slide) and as your pushing the gun forward and up to get the front sight on the target your finger doesnt touch the trigger until the gun is where you want it. you may fire as soon as it gets there, but you still had your finger out until it was there. that really only takes a fraction of a second after you have practiced it, and its still a safe way to go.

ive seen guys shoot the ground 10 or 15 feet in front of them because they are starting in on the trigger before they get the front sight on the target.

thats where training comes in, and lots of practice so that it becomes a fluid motion.

like i said before, im sure people do it different ways, i can ( and im sure there are guys much faster than me) get my gun out-up-on and put my rounds into the target pretty darn quick. another reason for that is that unlike someone who only draws when they are going to shoot, most of the time i have to have my gun out, still be able to move and search ( and sometimes move quickly) and its better for me to not have my finger on the trigger until i need to fire..

geez this became a long post... lol... sorry about that, just trying to clarify my thoughts on it.

russel
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It may depend on your target, and whether it is moving or not. I haven't shot competitively for years, but I still do a lot of handgun hunting. My trigger finger gets inside the guard when I have made the decision to shoot (which decision is made after factoring backstop, etc.) and I am lining up the sights. If the target is moving I keep my finger inside the guard as I'm tracking the target. If it is not moving I stroke the trigger when the sights are precisely aligned. Never having aimed at a human being, if I had to I suppose I would follow my experience--with a lot more adrenalin pumping away.
 

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Golfer, . . . because # 1, I tend to be give people the benefit of the doubt, . . . and # 2, I do not ever want to be harming someone who certainly did not warrant shooting: I will probably never draw my weapon until I am certain there is a need for it.

That said, I will in all liklihood, be behind in the race, . . . so I will have to make up for it by following through. My finger will be in the trigger guard even as I am releasing the 1911 safety, . . . and as I have already pre-qualified the bg as needing a good shooting, . . . target aquisition will result in firing, . . . plain, simple, done.

The bg(s) will already have given me cause, reason, and purpose to shoot him/them, . . . therefore the action will be more a "reaction" than a thought out process. And for that line of reasoning, . . . their actions that would stop my firing, . . . would have to occur while I am drawing, releasing the safety and acquiring a sight picture.

I don't know any other way to train, . . . that is the way I have trained, . . . from hunting as a teenager with a double barreled .410, . . . through VietNam, . . . and on as a civilian these last 40+ years.

I hope this helps, may God bless,
Dwight
 

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My finger goes into the trigger guard when it's time to pull the trigger and not before.
 

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Finger to the trigger when the decision has been made to fire.

In my opinion (worth all you paid for it) any deviation from that is asking for trouble.

If I have my finger indexed along the slide and you have yours on the trigger, both of us facing targets, you have absolutely zero practical speed advantage. Why? because When the R.O. yells "SHOOT!" I do what I've practiced a jillion times. I've demonstrated this many times at the range. I usually get shot off first, not last.
 
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