Finger Off The Trigger.

This is a discussion on Finger Off The Trigger. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Mods, if this should go someplace else, please move. I found the following in another board and thought it was good and very important to ...

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Thread: Finger Off The Trigger.

  1. #1
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    Finger Off The Trigger.

    Mods, if this should go someplace else, please move.

    I found the following in another board and thought it was good and very important to share with everybody.

    I can quickly recall three events where finger on the trigger resulted in NDs:

    1. Experienced officer and his rookie are covering a meth freak/forgery suspect hiding in a dog house after a car and foot chase. Experienced officer has his finger on the trigger of his P-35 and during the excitement discharges a round which narrowly misses the rookie's leg and impacts the ground between the rookie and suspect (who quickly surrendered).

    2. Experienced officer is involved in car chase with stolen car and upon the stolen ride crashing out, jumps out with finger on trigger of his P-35 and begins foot pursuit. Officer NDs a round and being startled by the ND, NDs a SECOND round, both of which hit the ground.

    3. Multi agency search warrant against armed meth dealer goes awry when a very violent fight with the suspect occurs at front porch/door of the target residence. Involved in this fight are myself and three other officers and the puke du jour. During the fight, an experienced (NRA Master PPC shooter) shooter and officer with his finger on the trigger of his S&W 686 4" loses his balance and falls backward, launching one round of WW .357 Magnum 145 STHP. This round tracks between my throat and right shoulder (very narrowly missing) and strikes the officer's partner, critically wounding him.

    Yours truly, having heard the shot and the accompanying scream and blood splash (arterial wound), deduce that the meth dealer has shot the police. I draw my 1911, clear the safety and slack out the trigger to deliver eight rounds amidships to the puke (which were going to be fired one handed at a range of about four feet). Just as I'm about to break the first shot, I see the dealer's hands are empty and also see the revolver in the hand of the officer in my periphral vision to my left side. By God's grace (and that's all I can say stopped me) I kept from shooting this guy. My decision to shoot and then not to shoot couldn't have taken 3/4 of a second in the dark on that porch. Like many LE deals where one mistake is made this deal snowballed into a beating of the suspect, a big IA deal and an FBI Civil Rights investigation. All for one finger in the wrong place at the wrong time...
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

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  3. #2
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    It just shows how things can go to crap in the blink of an eye...
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  4. #3
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    And how do you train for that?
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    ALWAYS pay attention to where your finger is. It MUST be second nature. Anyone will tell you that in high stress, you go to your training.
    David

    Ride hard and Shoot safe

    The first rule of gunfighting should be to know when the gunfight starts - being the last one to get the news certainly won't put the odds in your favor.

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    I learned to not lay my finger along the frame of the gun.

    What I do is PRESS the tip of the trigger finger in to the frame when I am not actively engaging the trigger. I think it was Massad Ayoob that came up with this technique. I have found that often, when the crap gets "scary" there is a natural inclination to put your finger on the trigger, especially if it's resting alongside the frame. The pressing of the trigger finger in to the frame helps to prevent this.

    Biker

  7. #6
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    This happened to two friends of mine about 7 years ago.

    State police sergeant and his partner along with sheriff's deputies serving an arrest warrant on man known to carry a knife, and also a prior felon was hiding in shadows of small cellar type space beneath his fathers house. He tried to strong arm money out of his father to go on the lam and flee the jurisdiction. His father called police.

    The suspect hiding in shadow taking cover behind furnace refusing to come out and apparently holding something in hand. Sergeant switched his G-22 to non dominant hand in order to strike subjects wrist with ASP baton using his dominant hand in an attempt to get him to drop what he was holding. (believed to be a weapon)

    As he forcefully struck the subjects hand with ASP, he experienced an uncontrollable and autonomic nervous system response known as "transference of energy" to his off hand causing him to tighten the grip of his non-dominant hand at the same time he was striking the subject with the ASP baton. Since his finger obviously (and as he related to me, subconsciously) was on the trigger of the glock, he had a negligent discharge.

    The bullet (Federal 180 gr. Hydra-Shok) exploded into the cinder block wall sending large fragments into the face and chest of his partner (also a friend of mine) who after hearing the gunshot and feeling his face on fire from the impact of the cinder block fragments, logically assumed the suspect had just shot him in the face. He in turn shot the suspect three times in the chest killing him.

    Tragically, the suspect turned out to be unarmed.

    The coroners inquest ruled the shooting an accident and no charges were filed against either troopers.

    The wounded trooper underwent 4 hours of surgery removing over 200 cinder block fragments from his face and neck. I was just coming on duty in the ER as they were taking him to the operating room.

    Ironically, I had just read an article by Massad Ayoob explaining the phenomenon of "transference of energy" not three weeks prior to this shooting incident.

    I sat down with the sergeant a few months later and told him about how I believed it happened. He said, "funny, I just thought I was a dumb f#@$!" I don't know if it helped any, but he thanked me for explaining the dynamics of how "transference of energy" works.

    Both the troopers remain on the job. The wounded trooper transferred to another part of the state and the sergeant I still see from time to time. He is definitely a changed man, but seems to be handling it!

    A tragedy that could have been prevented with better training, but certainly one which could happen to anyone.

    It takes a conscious effort to maintain proper focus on the 4 Golden Rules of Firearm Safety when in a high stress situation. A moments inattention can and often does lead to tragic events.

    Transference of Energy is a neuro-muscular phenomenon in which up to 80% of the force being generated by the dominant hand, such as when delivering a hard strike or blow with an impact weapon will be transfered to the non dominant hand causing a tighter grip on whatever it may be holding. It is kind of like the central nervous system being wired in parallel on both sides of the body. It is a natural occurance which can not be consciously controlled and works both ways. If you make a hard strike or impact with the non dominant hand, a certain amount of energy will also be transfered to the dominant hand, causing it to take a tighter grip on whatever it happens to be holding.

    As you can see, not understanding how things like this works can really jack you up in certain situations. Hopefully learning about this phenomenon may help prevent a tragedy among the people here in this forum. I seek out as much information as I can possibly learn on the physiological dynamics of how the human body reacts to stresses and situations just like this, and I can state with a great degree of confidence that the man to learn this stuff from is Massad Ayoob. I don't think there has been a single person who has done the kinds of research he has done over the course of his career, or to the extent of which he has.

    Stay Safe!
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    The suspect hiding in shadow taking cover behind furnace refusing to come out and apparently holding something in hand. Sergeant switched his G-22 to non dominant hand in order to strike subjects wrist with ASP baton using his dominant hand in an attempt to get him to drop what he was holding. (believed to be a weapon)

    As he forcefully struck the subjects hand with ASP, he experienced an uncontrollable and autonomic nervous system response known as "transference of energy" to his off hand causing him to tighten the grip of his non-dominant hand at the same time he was striking the subject with the ASP baton. Since his finger obviously (and as he related to me, subconsciously) was on the trigger of the glock, he had a negligent discharge.
    I think in hindsight it was a terrible mistake to not holster the handgun before the transition between force options. NOTHING should be in the hands with a handgun except a flashlight or a magazine, anything else is a dangerous invitation. Lower level force options like OC, cuffs, ASP should not be drawn until gun is out of the fight.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    In my years of owning guns I can always tell how much knowledge somebody has of gun saftey, if when you hand them a firearm and their first action is to place their finger inside the trigger guard!! I believe this tends to happen without the person thinking about it and it actually has to be taught in muscle memory for the index finger to rest on the outside of the trigger guard and not on the inside.
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
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    Excellent & worthwhile thread Miggy.
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  11. #10
    Member Array sourmash's Avatar
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    Thanks for post, Miggy. I have never read that in any book or mag. I'll post it on our board at the range.
    What you think you know.... Can kill you!

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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by semperfi.45 View Post
    I think in hindsight it was a terrible mistake to not holster the handgun before the transition between force options.
    NOTHING should be in the hands with a handgun except a flashlight or a magazine, anything else is a dangerous invitation. Lower level force options like OC, cuffs, ASP should not be drawn until gun is out of the fight.
    Wise words.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCHornet View Post
    In my years of owning guns I can always tell how much knowledge somebody has of gun saftey, if when you hand them a firearm and their first action is to place their finger inside the trigger guard!! I believe this tends to happen without the person thinking about it and it actually has to be taught in muscle memory for the index finger to rest on the outside of the trigger guard and not on the inside.
    This is VERY true...I look for this very 'action' when someone handles a weapon...where the finger goes is due to muscle memory...
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  14. #13
    Member Array Mojoski's Avatar
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    Excellent info, guys. Thanks so much for sharing it. I've never heard of the "Transference of Energy" concept before, but it makes perfect sense, now that I think about it.

    One a side note, I came up with a helpful trick for new shooters when I first started shooting (only a bit over a year ago). When I took my first handgun safety class, the instructor drilled into my head the important of finger placement when handling my weapon. When I got my first gun, I was interested in developing a way to train my finger to stay out of the trigger guard, since I didn't have that muscle memory in place yet.

    What I decided to do was to take some of that blue masking tape, the stuff often used for covering trim when you're painting, and cover the trigger guard so that my finger couldn't go into the trigger guard. I would ensure my gun was empty, lock the ammo away in the safe, and then carry my gun around the house, holding it while watching TV and such, with my finger laying along the side of the frame. When I unconsciously allowed my finger to creep towards the trigger guard, the tape would stop my finger and remind me to keep my finger against the guard.

    After a week or two of doing this in the evenings while watching TV, I eventually trained my finger to stay out of the trigger guard. Now, whenever I pick up any gun, my finger instantly goes where it should.

    Hope someone finds this helpful.
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    Excellent info. Very grateful for the personal experience you took the time to share.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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    Good info Miggy - the sort we need to see to help sharpen our disciplines.

    With semi's I think best place for finger is slightly up on slide, and with some pressure. Revo - firm on frame but contacting cylinder very positively.

    Worst place IMO is on front of trigger guard!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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