Rule #3


December 23, 2006, 09:06 PM
How many gunshot accidents are a direct result of Rule #3.
Each Basic Pistol Class i teach (4-10 students). I can count on 20% of them curling there finger around the trigger as soon as their palm makes contact with the stocks. I tell them that during introduction. Then i exsplain the consiquences of doing it. Demonstraight the correct methode, yet i find it in the hands-on practical that i have added into the class. The habbit is so ingrained that seems like it almost takes an electrical shock to modify this behaviour.
Does anyone have a method of breaking this habit?

(I am looking for an old telephone generator)
From Jeff Coopers writings;
If nothing else, we professors of the modern technique seem to have got across Rule 3. The photos we see back from the contact areas all seem to demonstrate the straight trigger finger outside the trigger-guard prior to the moment of truth. This is a good thing, and if we are responsible for it, we will accept appropriate pats on the back.

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December 23, 2006, 09:23 PM
Gbro, it may come as a result of the natural tendency of the fingers to grasp...literally curl around...anything that the palm holds. Notice that the assistant to a surgical procedure slaps the scalpel forcefully into the surgeon's palm to trigger that reflex. Since it's a natural reflex, it must be
"trained out" of the individual and resisted by conscious effort.

Keep screamin'. The life you save may be your own.

Standing Wolf
December 23, 2006, 09:29 PM
I explain to my First Steps Pistol students:

1.) Hand guns are designed so the index finger will naturally come to rest on the trigger. That's where it belongs.

2.) The best place to keep one's index finger before one's ready to shoot is against the frame pointed directly at the target.

I stand up and ask everyone in the room to point directly at a finger held directly beneath my dominant eye. No one has trouble pointing. I move somewhere else in the room and have everyone point directly at a finger held directly beneath my weak eye. No one has trouble pointing.

We can all point with unerring accuracy, I mention. We've all been pointing accurately since toddlerhood. I suggest to my students they point first and keep pointing until their guns feel fairly steady, then move their index fingers to their triggers.

No, that doesn't always do the trick, but it seems to help.

December 24, 2006, 01:48 AM
Gunny R. Lee Ermey was once asked if he beat recruits, and why. He responded, "I can teach a man something a lot faster if I can lay my hands on him . . . "

Yeah, that kinda worked to teach me not to do it, too.

Since we aren't training Marine recruits, role modeling and admonitions work on the impressionable and eager learner. Then onto pointing out the incidents at the class proceeds shames the poor listener and the careless. Some I've seen charge a dollar per after its been announced . . . "after lunch, every time someone sees another do it, a dollar goes into the cup".

January 10, 2007, 10:44 PM
Thank you for the responces, It sure helps to get information. I will put it into my notes. I do like the Gunny's idea.LOL

I have thought about bellering out "GET YOUR $#@$ FINGER OFF" the trigger, (with the permission of the student) prior to him even picking up the gun, and then by keeping track of the did's vs didn't. But after all student done with hands on, explane that 1st student hadn't touched the gun yet.
I find the shock method works in manny ways. Gunny dose it all the time.

My 1st big blunder in basic training was during take down training on the M-16
When the recevoir was separated, the DI stated "do not pull the trigger, as the hammer will break" I can remember that like it was yeasterday, but i cannot remember how that damned trigger got pulled!!! All i could think of was.
Way to go "Dumb A$$"


January 10, 2007, 11:05 PM
break there fingers :D then they will have to use one of those splint things that keep there finger straight ;):neener:

January 11, 2007, 12:48 AM
Who was the first major firearms guy that said to keep your finger off the trigger, anyhow? Fairbairn advocated a finger-on-trigger draw - even a holster cut out for that purpose.

January 11, 2007, 10:51 AM
ALL gun "accidents" are the result of failing to observe rule #2. The others are important, but this one is paramount. Even true AD's in which the gun malfunctions will not result in personal injury if this rule is followed.

January 11, 2007, 11:16 AM
I'm an old timer I guess.
I was orginally taught my hand gun skills wayyy back in '63.
Finger on the trigger. It doesn't do any good any place else.
But. we were taught trigger control. Don't pull til you see your target.
In over 40 years I've never shot something I didn't intend to. And I've never had an AD.


January 11, 2007, 12:07 PM
There was an interesting discussion a while back ( in Strategies and Tactics. Here's an excerpt from the post which started the thread:

In his first study, 33 male and 13 female officers of different ranks and years of service, were sent into a room to arrest a "suspect" and to "act in a way they thought appropriate" while doing so. The officers were armed with a SIG-Sauer P226 that was rigged with force sensors on the trigger and grip. All the officers were instructed that if they drew the gun during the exercise, they were to keep their finger off the trigger unless they had made the decision to shoot, per their training and department regs.

As the role-play evolved, 34 of the 46 officers drew the gun and one officer actually fired, intentionally. Of the 33 others who drew, all insisted that they had followed instructions to keep their finger outside the trigger guard, because they'd not made a decision to shoot.

The sensors told a different tale.

January 11, 2007, 11:55 PM
You probly learned the high retention? I see that from old school shooters.
Like all habits, they are a booger to change.

Thanks All for the post


January 12, 2007, 11:31 AM
Why would I change?
It's always worked for me and at this point of my life it's beyond a habit.


January 12, 2007, 07:53 PM
break there fingers then they will have to use one of those splint things that keep there finger straight

Hahaha, I was going to suggest taping a popsicle stick to the index finger of the worst offenders as an example but that works too!

January 12, 2007, 09:50 PM
Why would I change?
It's always worked for me and at this point of my life it's beyond a habit.


When we do the range qualification we use a low retention/ready. I sure don't want anything going over the berm.
The only range i shoot at that has an eyebrow, and baffles is the indoor shooting sports center. all the outdoor ranges around here have covered firing lines just for Water/Sun. So yes the range officer dose take charge.

The Shooting sports center has a tryout day through a local firearms dealer (GLENS A/N) and someone trying the .500 S/W was in a high retention, The revolver went off and the baffles directed the slug to the floor within 20ft. The really impressive feature of this was looking at the back of the plywood panel that collected the splatter when the bullet hit the steel plate. What a job it did.
Ya the shooter blamed the gun, said it went off all by itself.

DA Revolver/Adrenalin(worlds largest(at that time)handgun/spectators watching.... Sound just like a reciepe for UD/due to finger on the trigger before the sights were on the target....


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