Getting the Finger

7-Oct-10 – 09:48 by ToddG

If you are teaching someone to shoot for the first time and talking to him about:

  • stance
  • sights
  • speed
  • tactics

… while your new student has his finger on the trigger of a drawn, loaded pistol, you’re doing it wrong.

If you are teaching a pretty young girl to shoot for the first time and you’re too busy gushing over how wonderfully she just managed a 12″ group at three yards to notice her finger is on the trigger of a gun pointed at her foot, you’re doing it wronger.

If you are showing your student how to hold the gun and, while talking to him and explaining the fine details of thumb placement your finger is on the trigger of your gun that is pointed who knows where, you’re doing it wrongest. And should be beaten publicly.

Yes, I saw all three of these examples last night during less than two hours at the range.

Train hard & stay safe! ToddG

  1. 29 Responses to “Getting the Finger”

  2. Did you beat all three of them:)

    By x-man on Oct 7, 2010

  3. Todd – Start video shooting phone video on that stuff! You can call it your “Dumb-Ass-Cam”. It would be the hit feature of your site.

    By Stephen on Oct 7, 2010

  4. Oh, you’re just being a safety nazi. Nobody got killed, right? So it’s all good.

    You tactical snobs just think your better than everybody else, but you’re not.

    /sarcasm 😉

    By Tam on Oct 7, 2010

  5. Ahhhh…let me guess…you must be talking about the Ennn Arrrr Aaaa range? I’m glad those range dividers are bullet proof? Or at least that’s what I tell myself every time I shoot beside some guy teaching his “Hottie” how to shoot.

    By Tony on Oct 7, 2010

  6. What about some booze? A few drinks never hurt anyone, right??

    By Whiskey14 on Oct 7, 2010

  7. Whiskey14,

    Charlie Askins didn’t think so, but they hadn’t invented gun safety yet back then. 😉

    By Tam on Oct 7, 2010

  8. Nah, you got it wrong. They are just doing it “Real World,” all is good.:-)

    By gtmtnbiker98 on Oct 7, 2010

  9. They were playing by the Big Boy Rules.

    By Drang on Oct 7, 2010

  10. We already had to close comments on the last safety thread guys. Let’s stick to the topic at hand, please.

    By ToddG on Oct 7, 2010

  11. Good post, Todd. I’ll second the “Dumb-ass Cam” recommendation Stephen made. Almost reminds me of M4C’s “dumbest things at the gun store” thread.

    By Will on Oct 7, 2010

  12. Three weeks ago, I had to leave a range over some poor trigger discipline shooting next to me. Things I have learned. Shoot as far to the right on the range as you can. Righties tend to muzzle sweep to the left when the chamber a round. Also, they tend to finish shooting and turn to the left.

    By Andy on Oct 7, 2010

  13. A night at the range never ceases to amaze me. I saw a gentleman wearing shower shoes and rocking an I-Pod while on the firing line to my left. He was shooting a Beretta Cougar and attempting to make an M4 carbine function properly.

    By FM on Oct 7, 2010

  14. There are two hard and fast rules, wheres your trigger finger and wheres that muzzle pointed. Basically all the others we have come up with (keep the gun pointed down range, don’t handle the gun while someone is down range of you etc) are for when we have a brain fart and screw those two up! Why is it that people can’t get that through their heads. One of the students at my last NRA LEO instructor classes wasn’t certified because he couldn’t keep that finger out of the trigger guard after being corrected repeatedly. BTW he had 30 plus years of experience. How do we know, he told us repeatedly. Not something I’d brag about.

    By rsa-otc on Oct 7, 2010

  15. I was trying to teach my mother to shoot her M&P. I started off telling her about keeping her finger off the trigger until the gun is on target and end up yelling TRIGGER! at her any time she did it. My father then yelled at me for yelling at my mother… it was an interesting day at the range to be sure.

    By Jesse on Oct 7, 2010

  16. Jesse – yow. This is why I won’t train family members.

    By Chris Rhines on Oct 7, 2010

  17. …somehow i think yelling at someone and maybe even scaring them by doing that while their finger is on the trigger ain’t a very good idea.

    By Michael S. on Oct 8, 2010

  18. Yeah, it’s tough to get that blend of “Urgent, but not startling” down pat.

    By Tam on Oct 8, 2010

  19. Yelling may have been the wrong word choice. But with ear protection on I had to make sure I was being loud for her to hear me.

    By Jesse James on Oct 8, 2010

  20. Active hearing protection is the single greatest aid to training new shooters since the invention of the .22LR cartridge. :)

    By Tam on Oct 8, 2010

  21. +1 on the active hearing protection

    By Michael S. on Oct 8, 2010

  22. Reasons like these (and many more) are why I stopped working as an RO on a public range.

    By Jim on Oct 8, 2010

  23. Indian cops even don’t have to carry their guns in holsters. That’s something !
    Hyderabad police commissioner, B. Prasada Rao clarifies that it is not mandatory to carry the pistol in a holster. “It can be carried as per the officer’s convenience.”

    By Sphinx on Oct 9, 2010

  24. Back to basics:

    1) All guns are always loaded.

    2) Never let the muzzle cover anything which you are not willing to destroy.

    3) Keep your finger OFF the trigger until your sights are on the target.

    4) Always be sure of your target.

    By Dandapani on Oct 9, 2010

  25. Its always funny watching a horrible handler teach a newbie anything related to the art!

    By Shawn on Oct 10, 2010

  26. I would define it as tragic. The possibilities of bad things happening multiplies. If the student of the bad handler doesn’t have something horrible happen, he will them teach someone else the horrible habits. When something horrible does happen, all gun owned get a black eye.

    By rsa-otc on Oct 10, 2010

  27. rsa-otc,
    you hit the nail on the head. I aggree 100%.

    By Frank B on Oct 10, 2010

  28. I read an article in a flight training magazine that said “an airplane cockpit is a lousy place to teach someone to fly.” I found out it was true — it’s loud, and has lots of distractions, things that can kill you, and time pressure.

    The firing line of a range can be the same way. It’s a fine place to practice, but a lousy place to teach.

    By Peter on Oct 11, 2010

  29. How many also shoot at a range that requires you to leave your gun on the shooting table pointing downrange to walk out to the target?
    If you holster a pistol or rack a rifle before walking downrange they warn you not to do it again!
    You are setting down your gun then walking down and back with it pointing directly at you and this is considered ‘safe’?
    I refuse to do it, they don’t like it but I will not step in front of a gun even if it is my own.

    By Zermoid on Oct 14, 2010

  30. I refuse to do it, they don’t like it but I will not step in front of a gun even if it is my own.

    How do you deal with gun stores?

    By Tam on Oct 15, 2010

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