Proper trigger finger placement?


January 7, 2007, 06:40 PM

I seem to have an issue putting most of my groups consistently 2 or 3 inches to the left of POA at 25 yards. :banghead: Based on a chart located in the club house at my range, I seem to think this has alot to do with my finger placement on the trigger. Gather I have been using too much finger on the trigger. So just how much of your finger are you supposed to use?

I practice dry firing and I know I need alot of work still. I know that I sometimes still jerk the trigger instead of squeeze it. I have been practicing with a two handed grip with thumbs pointing foward

Any advice would certainly be appreciated.:)

By the way, I was shooting a box stock Kimber Royal II .45.



If you enjoyed reading about "Proper trigger finger placement?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 7, 2007, 07:39 PM
I use just the pad of my finger opposite the centerline of my fingernail.

January 7, 2007, 08:07 PM
On a 1911 I use the middle of the pad of my trigger finger. I have to use short triggers to do this correctly, no matter what part of your finger you use it won't work unless it is perpendicular to the line of fire. Your finger needs to be at 90* to the gun where it contacts the trigger or you will not be able to pull straight back on the trigger.

January 7, 2007, 08:19 PM
Thank you.

I will continue practicing and also consider a short trigger if necessary.

January 7, 2007, 08:39 PM
Have you bech restedthis gun? It is assumed you are RH, and your confession of jerking the trigger could add to this.

Proper placment is half way between the tip and the 1st knuckle. just like the others described in there own way.

Consistency "is" what we all look for, maybe you just need to do a sight adjustment??
Thats about .08

January 8, 2007, 10:21 AM
7 time national bullseye champion Brian Zins recommends plasing the trigger inbetween the 1st and 2nd pad. Where the finger has the least amount of 'meat' on it.

His thinking is that you get better feedback and less of a 'musshy' feel caused by additional meat in the pad of the finger.

However, I kind of doubt that finger placement is entirely the cause of the shots hitting to the left.

Assuming you shot this gun off the bench rest and found the 'POA' you then proceeded to shoot with the normal stance and hold and are now concerned that it is shooting differently. What in fact YOU are doing is SHOOTING DIFFERENTLY! Recoil, trigger movement and hold are all factors that will cause a shot to go differently from when you shoot from a bench or ransom. My advice is adjust your sights 2-3 clicks right and continue to fine tune.

January 8, 2007, 10:44 AM
Honestly I have not bench rested the pistol to see if point of aim and point of impact are the same.:o

I will check this out next range session.

I will also work on trigger finger placement that best allows me to pull the trigger straight back to the rear of the pistol.


PS. Yes I am shooting right handed.

January 8, 2007, 11:23 AM

You should considder what I was trying to explain as well. Your POA and POI WILL be different if you bench rest vs hold in your hands. You really need to call your shots. If the shot is called dead center and you see the bullet impact 2 inches left, then your aim was good but the sights are off. Generally speaking this will remain true if your hold and trigger felt good.

Take time to sight your gun the way you hold in real-life (i.e. one-hand-off hand if you shoot bullseye) . Shoot two - three shots. Call each shot. Then adjust the sight as needed until you are satisfied that any errant shot is not because of the sight alignment.

January 8, 2007, 12:24 PM
I used to pull the shots too. I was putting the trigger in the bend under the first knuckle. Now I just use the pad, and it helped a lot.

Chris Rhines
January 8, 2007, 08:53 PM
Proper finger placement is one of those thing that you just have to determine yourself, through experimentation and practice. Also, remember that consistency is key - it matters less how you press the trigger and more that you press the trigger the exact same way each time.

I'd go out to the range and shoot some groups at 25 yards, using a large target with a fairly small aim point (2-3" dot?) Shoot one set of groups with just the tip of your finger on the trigger, then another with a little more finger, and so on. You'll soon figure out what's ideal for you, which is all that matters.

- Chris

January 8, 2007, 11:48 PM
I use light loads and a lightened trigger on my match kimber. 3.57 pounds of pressure on the bang switch and 185gr loads makes for a nice 1 1/2 inch group or better at 25 yards.

January 9, 2007, 11:36 PM
Although the "experts" all tell us to use the pad of the finger, there IS NO UNIVERSAL proper finger position. You have to find what works best for you. In all probability, it WILL be the pad of the finger, but you have to experiment and practice to be sure for yourself.

One way to see how your pull is impacting your shots is to practice dry firing. Watch your sights closely as the gun "fires". If you see movement, reposition your finger and try again. Keep it up until you can "fire" again and again without sight movement. Then, once you have gone through the steps outlined here to insure your sights are properly aligned, do it again at the range.

That's the only way I know for anyone to find their own personal "proper finger position".

January 10, 2007, 10:55 AM
Chris Rhines makes an excellent point.

I've been finding that trigger finger placement, and consistently pulling just the trigger finger have a huge impact on accuracy.

FWIW, lately I've been placing the trigger just past the joint, but not quite out on the pad of my finger.

Rich in VA
January 10, 2007, 11:22 AM
The farther you have your finger in the trigger guard, the more likely you are to shoot to the left (if you're right handed), simply because the other part of your trigger finger is contacting the frame and pushing the gun that way. You should be able to place your finger on the trigger, hold the gun vertical, and see some daylight between your finger and the frame. Try it (empty of course) and see if the gun moves as much as before.

Also, when you have your trigger finger in that position, with a bit of a crook in it, it allows for a more straight pull. And both thumbs forward is correct.

Shooting groups is a great test of trigger control.

My $.02.


January 10, 2007, 01:54 PM
In rifle shooting there is a natural firing position where no muscle tension is needed to keep the rifle on target and in my opinion the same holds true in handguns. Have your checked your stance/hold/head/eye position so see if you are in a natural point of aim position relative to the target?

January 12, 2007, 09:49 PM
185gr loads :eek:

how am I misreading that?

January 18, 2007, 05:04 PM
I like what Todd Jarrett ( has to say about it.

January 24, 2007, 02:14 PM
I stumbled across one of those charts the other day on the net and now I can't find it. It was one similar to this:

Where if you're squeezing with lower hand, or pulling sideways at the trigger, or putting too much thumb pressure down or cernter, how your POI would differ from your POA.

If anyone knows of this chart and has a link, please send it to me. (I've been working on a grip change during my Bullseye sessions, and have some results that I want to compare)

A two hand grip is quite different than a one handed grip, but many of the same principals apply.

I invite you to read: And

And for that matter, all of

Not that you're shooting Bullseye, but much of what's said there can be applied to practical shooting.

As was said before, there's not a universal trigger finger postition for everyone, save that the trigger squeeze, or rather, pull should be comfortable, straight back and without change in grip pressure from the rest of the supporting hand/s.


If you enjoyed reading about "Proper trigger finger placement?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!