When did people start teaching trigger discipline?

When did people start teaching trigger discipline?

This is a discussion on When did people start teaching trigger discipline? within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; When did people start teaching trigger discipline? Might sound like a weird question but what I mean is this: I just watched El Dorado (60s?) ...

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Thread: When did people start teaching trigger discipline?

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Treo's Avatar
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    When did people start teaching trigger discipline?

    When did people start teaching trigger discipline?

    Might sound like a weird question but what I mean is this: I just watched El Dorado (60s?) and in one scene James Caan casually points a cocked shot gun at John Wayne’s head from a foot or so away with his finger on the trigger. Now I realize it was a movie but that’s not something that a person who had been taught muzzle or trigger discipline would ever do casually and the gesture had nothing to do W/ the plot or story line.

    I also recall an episode of magnum PI (80s?) in which Magnum is shown W/ his finger on the trigger of his 1911 and you could actually see him realize what he was doing and take his finger off the trigger and place it on the frame. Again, not an acting technique but a habitual response of someone familiar W/ weapons Like the scenes in Quigley where Selleck picks up his rifle and clears the chamber.

    I also recently watched “To Hell and Back”(1955) and I noticed all through the movie that Audie Murphy had lousy trigger discipline. I point that movie out because trigger discipline is (IMO) a habit that you either have or you don’t.

    I personally don't change my behavior relative to the status of the gun so I assume Audie Murphy and Ton Selleck don't either

    Now even though I realize that this may have been due to the fact that all the guns were unloaded and everyone knew it but I watched “Uncommon Valor” (1983) the other day and all the actors there practiced strict trigger discipline.

    There was a short lived series on tv last year called "Life On Mars" The main character was a cop from 2008 who somehow got sent back in time to 1973. One of the things they did to show that Sam (the 2008 cop) was different from his 1973 co-workers is that every time he drew his gun he observed proper trigger discipline and his co-workers didn't signifying that this was a "modern" idea that wasn't practiced in 1973.

    That's kinda of my point the idea of placing your finger alongside the frame rather than on the trigger is (IMO) a relatively recent thing and I'm curious when it started becoming prevalent.

    I don’t recall an issue ever being made when I was in the army WRT to this (1988-2003)

  2. #2
    Member Array FreeDelivery's Avatar
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    I, too, have noticed the habit (or lack thereof) in movies and TV shows being practiced. Instead of a time period when it becomes regular practice, I think it's more a matter of the care that the director or actor(s) take to be accurate to real-world, safe standards.

  3. #3
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    Hollywood is not real life. My thought is that we can't assume a timeline based on what an actor's fictional character does in a movie.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Actors take direction from Directors, if Director says finger on trigger then it is a finger on trigger. It really depends on if they have professional advicer on gun handling or not. Actors who want to work try and avoid conflict with Directors.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I learned trigger discipline before I even picked up the old mossberg 36B.I was 7 years old. I didn't touch a handgun until I was an adult,mainly because I didn't own one.

  7. #6
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    In the movies, they keep their finger on the trigger and have mags that hold 75 rounds.
    Anywhere else, keep your finger off the trigger...
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; January 2nd, 2010 at 11:51 AM.
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  8. #7
    Senior Member Array dairycreek's Avatar
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    I'm 73 years old and have been shooting all of my life. I remember clearly my earliest instruction included the admonition, "keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot". Trigger discipline has been around that long for me.
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    the idea has been along probably as long as guns.
    hopefully now some directors / actors know it well enough to do it even in movies.
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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    If Audie Murphy wants to keep his finger on the trigger, I'm not going to argue with a certified hero!

    It's probaly a byproduct of lawsuits and Neg discharges. Back in the day when cops carried revolvers, such things weren't so common. Now, with Glocks and the like, adreneline and triggers don't mix well.
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I'm 52 shot my first 22 when I was about 10 years old,and my dad drilled the rules into me before I ever shot the gun,still have that 22 in my safe
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    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    "I'm 52..."

    You're a classic then Dukalmighty, like a '57 Chevy Belaire.

    I'm thinking all the best forum members are 52 and live in Texas, hah!

    We're the same age and pretty much have the same story on trigger control.

    I never was too concerned about what Hollywood was doing.

  13. #12
    Member Array TapRackBang's Avatar
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    You can thank GLOCK..

    It was taught to prevent sympathic reflex, but I still don't remember it being preached until we switched over from revolvers to semi and then really only after Glock came out.

    I know we had at least 3 or 4 ADs right after Glocks were approved for carry...

    Then it was Katie bar the door..everyone preached finger off trigger..
    "Arms in the hands of individual citizens may be used at individual discretion..in private self defense." John Adams

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctr View Post
    Hollywood is not real life. My thought is that we can't assume a timeline based on what an actor's fictional character does in a movie.
    Bingo. ^^

    As well speaking to history prior to roughly the 90s the vast majority of handguns one would come into contact with were revolvers...And to that it was very normal to keep the hammer down on an empty chamber, so having trigger discipline was not an item of issue or need simply because the gun was not kept in Condition 0; Chamber loaded, hammer cocked and unlocked.

    Further when autoloaders were first introduced as through to the 70s they too were regularly kept and carried same as a revolver; Condition 3; Chamber empty, hammer down, magazine or cylinder with revolvers as loaded...Requiring cycling of the action or press of the trigger to cycle the cylinder to make the gun in to Condition 0 and by that ready to fire.

    Looking at or toward Hollywood for material information is as much as a non-starter as it is to look to them for training.

    As I understand it the concept of teaching trigger control and having an 'indexed finger' is very new as circa the early 90s.
    If someone were to research this through past NRA instruction documentation I'd bet they could better and with more accuracy determine exactly when the transition began, as opposed to reviewing TV shows and movie actor practices.

    I mean heck actors still drive cars on TV and in moves with the steering wheel turned at various angles even as the vehicle is clearly being shown as traveling in a straight line, and vice versa.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    I was unfortunate in that my childhood was completely gun free. I basically taught myself by reading about guns. First thing I read was about Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper and all the wonderful rules and concepts he had developed. I guess from there the rest is history.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  16. #15
    Member Array Backroad's Avatar
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    Agree with the above: You can thank GLOCK for that.

    "gettin' there is half the fun."

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