Finger On The Trigger - Mistake Or Tactical Advantage?
This is a discussion on Finger On The Trigger - Mistake Or Tactical Advantage? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am probably going to take flak for this, but here goes:
I am of the mind that trigger discipline is of utmost importance on ...
January 8th, 2011 03:20 PM
I am probably going to take flak for this, but here goes:
I am of the mind that trigger discipline is of utmost importance on the range and in "administrative gun handling". Booger Hook Off The Bang Switch and whatnot. Safety First. On and on.
However...having worn a badge for 22 years and been involved in three on duty dynamic critical incidents...I can tell you that:
1. Using your pistol as a "threat management device" i.e. holding a subject at gunpoint, the best idea IS to keep your finger indexed along the frame. This is a situation, obviously where the subject is in or getting into compliance, and you are managing the situation where gunfire now is possible but not likely. Since your weapon is already drawn, and pointed, you are ahead of the action curve. If the situation re-escalates, you may reflexively tense your muscles and fire the weapon before you need (or want) to. Many bad juju things can go wrong here, I know I have seen them. I saw a brother officer with 13 years service and a stellar record lose everything when he shot a compliant subject (no one calls them a "perp" in real life, so stop it) when his muscles twitched as a car braked hard in the parking lot where the incident was occurring. He twitched, he fired. Luckily the subject wasn't killed. The subject did however win a multimillion dollar suit against the city, the officer was fired, and lost everything.
2. Going from holster to immediate action, i.e. you need to draw and shoot RIGHT THE F*** NOW....EXTEND, TOUCH, PRESS. Your finger better daggum well be hitting the trigger during the extension phase of the draw stroke so you can break that shot AS SOON AS you are on target. Very often range practice (NOT real TRAINING) and even USPSA style competition condition one to extend, aquire perfect sight pisture, THEN touch and press. This extra twitch of a second can be an eternity...especially if bullets are coming YOUR way as they have a nasty habit of doing.
In my not-so-humble-opinion, there is no absolute here, but I know what works for me from real-world experience. If you choose to go armed you had better choose to go "trained" as well. Plinking on the square range is to real training as owning a spoon is to gourmet cooking.
Be safe all. Don't be the gun without a brain attached.
January 8th, 2011 04:46 PM
Very good post.
"....(no one calls them a "perp" in real life, so stop it)..."
"No one" covers a lot of ground. You call them what you want and so will I.
"I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".
January 8th, 2011 05:18 PM
Agree completely, AS Infidel. Finger off the trigger until you have decided to shoot, NOW. Pretty simple, really.
A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.
January 8th, 2011 06:07 PM
Your trigger finger should engage the trigger by the time you've made the choice to target and destroy what ever it is that's brought you to that moment in time. This isn't a hunt or target practice, it's a gunfight. The only movement after acquiring the target is to squeeze the trigger and send the round on. If you have not made the decision to kill, then remove your finger and ready the weapon.
"He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36
"If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." – Thomas Jefferson
January 8th, 2011 06:29 PM
Funny, but I brought this exact cow to the table a few years back on SI 6 years ago.
Default Finger on the trigger?
On Sunday two NYPD Housing Police officers were doing a rooftop patrol in the projects when they were surprised by an innocent youth coming out of the door and onto the roof, which he was using as a shortcut.
One of the officers fired one shot into the kids chest (DOA) and was heard to scream to his partner, "My God!! I let one go!!!
It appears that the shot was fired by accident and that the P.O. had his finger on the trigger.
W.E Fairbairn insisted upon teaching his SMP officers to SAFELY keep their fingers on the trigger at all times.
Even when moving/running.
His rational was that no matter how often they are told not to, men will place the finger on the trigger when in a high stress situation.
And since he did not change his opinion on this it apparently means that he was successful with this controversial policy.
My personal experience bears this out, along with the many, many LEOs who I have spoken to.
But others that I have spoken to have claimed they had no problem keeping off the trigger.
I realize that this is considered a big no no in training, but this is the second NYPD fatal accidental shooting in the past few months.
My questions are as follows,
1)How many of those here who have been in armed encounters ( wheither or not shots have been fired) were able to keep the finger off the trigger?
2) Did anyone here who did keep the finger off the trigger then have a problem getting it on the trigger when the situation took a turn for the worse?
3) Does anyone feel that it is possible to train shooters to safely have their finger on the trigger with a minimal risk of ADs?
I hope this can be discussed in a rational manner without all of the nonesense that this topic sunk to on GT.
And, with all due respect, only those with pratical experience should be taking part in this discussion.
We all know what should be.
But at times that conflicts with what actually is.....
Last edited by Matthew Temkin; 01-27-2004 at 06:12 PM.
January 9th, 2011 11:28 AM
AZ Infidel, great post. I agree with you on all trigger use aspects. What words people choose to use doesn't matter to me. Tom(A)to / Tom(ah)to.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
January 9th, 2011 03:58 PM
I've shot IPSC too long, I clear leather and as soon as I am lining up the handgun on the target I am on the trigger. However, real life is NOT IPSC so I have been training to draw and point my trigger finger down the slide of my Glock at the target/BG. I only put the finger on the trigger when I am ready to shoot. Safety first when a human life is at risk, mine or the BG. I don't want to end up jailed for life or getting executed because of an ND.
Just an opinion from your old Uncle Duke.
"It's time to nut up or shut up" - Woody Harrelson, "Tallahassee" in "Zombieland"
January 9th, 2011 09:03 PM
Originally Posted by gottabkiddin
"Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy
"A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing
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