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GUNS Magazine May 2012 Digital Edition - Page 26
STORY: Massad Ayoob triGGer fiNGer PLaCemeNt ubtleties matter. Individuality matters. And for both of those reasons, exactly how you place your finger on the trigger matters. We’ve all heard the old saying, “The devil is in the details.” I try to balance that with the classic statement widely attributed to the great architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “God is in the details.” To get good hits with a handgun, I have long believed a controlled trigger press is “the heart of the beast.” But the heart of anything is made up of that organ’s valves and chambers and synergy with the lungs and the circulatory system. In the same (no pun intended) vein, telling folks to “just bring the trigger straight back without pulling the muzzle off target” doesn’t cover all of the little elements involved in making that possible. And one of those elements is, exactly what part of the trigger finger should contact the face of the trigger in the first place? also adapt the technique to the task. Traditionally, we have looked to target shooting champions for techniques allowing us to shoot well in tasks that might be the same as theirs—target shooting in the given champion’s same discipline—but also might be starkly different, such as hunting or fighting. We have to remember different tasks might require different techniques as well as different tools. Since the dawn of organized “target pistol shooting” in the 19th century, trigger finger placement assumed a heavy pistol that hung steady on a still target, with a very light trigger pull a layman might even call a “hair trigger,” and ample time to aim and release the shot. The classic example is NRA bull’s-eye, S Part II in the continuing series, “Back to Basics.” where Rapid Fire means five shots in 10 seconds, and a 2.5-pound trigger is allowed in everything but the Distinguished event and President’s Hundred competition. If “Rapid Fire” suddenly becomes five shots in 1 second before an onrushing psycho can reach you with his knife, and you’re an NYPD cop with a light Glock 19 pistol and the departmentmandated “New York Plus” (NY-2) trigger system requiring nearly 12 pounds of pressure, the task and the tool have both changed profoundly. So, therefore, must the technique. Leverage Leverage gives power, and power controls. The more we go toward “lighter gun with heavier trigger pull,” the more leverage we need if we’re going to hold the gun steady on target as the shot is fired. There are three trigger finger “sweet spots” generally recommended: the tip of the finger, the “pad” of the finger, and the distal, or farthest, joint. “Tip” of finger is an old theory, based on the presumption it is the most sensitive part. That might be true if the task is to determine the roughness of the trigger’s surface, but it does little to “control” the trigger. In fact, using the very tip of the digit tends to push the gun left for a right-handed shooter, and vice-versa for a southpaw. Fingertip tools and techniques We must adapt the tool to the task. Some people forget we must Finger “pad” placement works well with the short, light trigger pull of this High Standard .22 Target pistol. Longer, heavier pull of this double-action-only SIG P250 .45 ACP makes distal joint finger placement advantageous. 26 W W W. G U N S M A G A Z I N E . C O M • M AY 2 0 1 2