Using another trigger finger? Doable?

Using another trigger finger? Doable?

This is a discussion on Using another trigger finger? Doable? within the Basic Gun Handling & Safety forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; The ďitisĒ has reared itís head again and itís always worse in my trigger finger. Past couple of days itís swollen and not moving well ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Sister's Avatar
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    Using another trigger finger? Doable?

    The ďitisĒ has reared itís head again and itís always worse in my trigger finger. Past couple of days itís swollen and not moving well - this has been an issue but is getting worse. Itís bad enough to where I can see itís making a difference in targets when shooting.

    Question: How hard it is to relearn shooting using another finger to pull the trigger?

    Has anyone had to do this? How difficult? Iím obviously thinking about using the middle finger. Itís pretty strong since I used that one with scissors back when I was a hairdresser many years ago.
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    VIP Member Array Struckat's Avatar
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    I had to learn to be a lefty when I broke my wrist, bit that is different than what you are asking.
    Canít make my hand use a different finger and be able to hang on to the gun.
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    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    I'm sure it can be done. Just be very careful with your revolvers with the placement of the index finger near the front of the cylinder.
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    VIP Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    You will never know until you try.

    You will hear all sorts of shooting advice. One of these is people who train using the middle finger to operate the trigger while pointing their index finger down the frame. (Or is it indexing their pointer finger down the frame? lol )

    Ordinarily, this is poor form. It certainly is not best practice for the vast majority of people. In your case, it would be worth a try. It is going to take repetition to learn to isolate that movement and learn trigger feel. People have overcome worse. Best of luck to you.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    There are two articles linked below on using the middle finger as a trigger finger. One says it has been called the "Vermont Technique" (it doesn't say why) and it may have been taught by the Polish Cavalry and has possibly been used by the Mob. Jack Ruby appears like he might have been using his middle finger on the trigger when he assassinated Oswald. The Army has a field manual on the technique for the M9 and M11 pistols. Of course, it flies in the face of conventional teaching, although some instructors have students try it, in case the index finger is out of action. There is a school of thought that it works better than the index finger for point shooting. The index finger points, like it would point without a gun and the middle finger pulls the trigger. I have tried it. It's interesting. Whatever works for you, works.

    I agree with the earlier comment that you should be careful about your index finger placement with a revolver. I made that mistake once. Fortunately, there was not permanent damage, but it hurt like heck!

    I should point out that Jerry Michulek has demonstrated shooting accurately with a revolver held upside down, using his pinky as a trigger finger.

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    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    The reason for the caution statements.
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    I've heard of people using their middle finger as a trigger finger on semi-auto's but not revolvers. I would probably not do it on a wheel gun due to cylinder blast

    https://imgur.com/gallery/z2JwGPz

    Using another trigger finger?  Doable?-cylinder_blast.gif
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    Several years ago, I got my trigger finger chewed up by a router bit (that's a whole nother story) and couldn't use it for about 5 months. I started shooting with my middle finger and it wasn't to much of a learning curve and i actually shot better. With my index finger running along the frame under the slide and my offhand thumb on frame, it gave really great support and I still shoot that way occasionally.The same way with my rifles, that little extra pressure against the frame/stock helps keep it more stable.
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    @Sister , I know a fellow who learned to shoot with his middle finger. He had an accident and his forefinger had bad ligament and tendon damage. he could not control movement of the kicks of the first and second digits to a degree that the finger was mostly useless. A hand surgeon fused those two joints so he could have some control of the finger. But he could not shoot with that finger. He had to learn to use his middle finger.

    He shot semiautomatic only. He practiced with dry fire for an hour or more every day. And he was able to develop a technique that worked. Above @jmf552 wrote about using the forefinger as a pointer. That is what the fellow did. He told me he got to like it because it make pointing the pistol the same as pointing his finger. He felt that actually improved his fast response SD shooting. However, it did affect his accuracy somewhat but not enough to mean anything in a SD situation.

    So Sister, go for it. I think you will be able to adapt to it easier than to changing to non0dominat hand shooting. Good luck.
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    Itís doable. Itís all the same technique for pulling the trigger.


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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    My wife carried an S&W 640 .357 magnum with a concealed hammer for many years. Her arthritis got so bad, she had to use both index fingers to shoot the double-action only revolver. She tried several different guns including my Sig P938 9mm. She can rack the slide on it and the trigger pull is much easier. She now carries a Sig P938.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sister View Post
    The ďitisĒ has reared itís head again and itís always worse in my trigger finger. Past couple of days itís swollen and not moving well - this has been an issue but is getting worse. Itís bad enough to where I can see itís making a difference in targets when shooting.

    Question: How hard it is to relearn shooting using another finger to pull the trigger?

    Has anyone had to do this? How difficult? Iím obviously thinking about using the middle finger. Itís pretty strong since I used that one with scissors back when I was a hairdresser many years ago.
    You made me curious so I did some dry fires that way with a Glock 19. It seems to me to be absolutely doable without significant learning difficulty.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Sister's Avatar
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    Wow great advice, thank you all that responded, and @jmf552 thanks for the links very helpful! @wmhawth , cool that you tried it and it worked out good! Iím thinking this may work out well from the replies

    Still need to go shoot the new .45, Iíll have to just start using it that way as the same finger has given me trouble before when shooting. Itís swollen with knots on the top, looks like a knuckle it has swollen so much. Probably from eating too much candy lol.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Sister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LimaCharlie View Post
    My wife carried an S&W 640 .357 magnum with a concealed hammer for many years. Her arthritis got so bad, she had to use both index fingers to shoot the double-action only revolver. She tried several different guns including my Sig P938 9mm. She can rack the slide on it and the trigger pull is much easier. She now carries a Sig P938.
    Walther is another one that is usually much easier to rack than some of the others.
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    I had a Ruger LCR .22lr for a while. With its close to 12 lb. trigger pull, the only way I could shoot it at all was using both trigger fingers. Accurate enough but slow. Obviously this is not a SD technique, but a little .22lr revolver isn't a SD gun either...........for me...........yet.

    Interesting reading the suggestions about using the middle finger. I might give that a try. Several days ago I got close to the worst blood blister I've ever had (on my trigger finger!) from the sharp edge at the end of the barrel shroud and the charging handle at the rear of the bolt on my Mark IV Lite. My fault for not pulling the thing back and letting go completely.
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