Trigger discipline

When i first started shooting the one thing that always stood out was all the trigger discipline advice i received from friends and fellow shooters’, so that’s how i trained.
That was then, now it’s the exact opposite for me, i now train with my finger mainly on the trigger. If i’m running from one cover point to the next then i will swiftly slide in and out of safety.
Just because your finger is on the trigger does NOT mean the gun will discharge. Trigger discipline is being taught in a most basic fashion, "if you’re not aiming directly at your target and are set to shoot, then DO NOT place finger on trigger. This form of trigger discipline is great for beginners at a range, not so much in a realistic setting where there are multiple moving targets.
True trigger discipline IMO comes from having full control of the trigger 100% of the time (finger on or off the trigger) and knowing exactly (through rigerous training) when to squeeze.

I know most will disagree with this post…regardless, i welcome your comments and/or input


I’d be interested to see how that plays out in high stress situations.

Not dogging it just very skeptical


stress management is definitely critical to the success of this style of training…but keep in mind, the benefits could be the deciding factor of life or death in a so called high stress situation.

I guess it comes down to what exactly we are training for…I believe things will be very chaotic if “SHTF”

This is the key to me. I would suggest that anyone trying your brand of trigger discipline start with an unloaded handgun, and a spotter to make sure they are removing their finger from inside the trigger guard while moving. A trip and fall with finger inside trigger guard, and chances are the gun will discharge.
I believe this type of training would require a lot of time and discipline before the muscle memory would be there so your finger is not on the trigger while running.


I agree anything can be learned.

For me personally I don’t have the time or money to properly train for this style of gun handling.

Very interesting point of view tho. Excited to see what conversations come of this.

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You see those bullet “holes” in the ceiling at the range? Those are people with their finger on the trigger. That’s why its beat into people so much. Second, under stress, most people loose a degree of fine motor function. That’s why some train with only gross motor function. Pulling slide back to release vs. Pushing the button. How many fingers used to pull back slide. Third, to where I agree with your point. Being a civilian, If the time ever comes that I need to pie the corners, I have my finger on the trigger. I’m only at that point because I know of immanent danger. When I hear a noise at home and I clear the house, my finger is OFF the trigger.

Dr. Murphy says keep finger off bang switch for a reason. Finger on the trigger is an exception under very specific circumstances. What does any human do 100% of the time?


finger def off the trigger anytime leo is present!..thinking more of a combat situation with multiple threats

we breathe 100% of the the time…granted, it’s difficult to sustain that percentage in regards to trigger discipline, but through training comes habit, and through habit comes what we refer to as second nature, which could save your life in a critical situation…or at the least give you the advantage, something you will need in a kill or be killed environment/situation/scenario

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I would not reccomend doing that, and I do not know of any instructor that would. We also never trained with a finger on the trigger in the Army for a combat situation. Mechanical safeties fail, and a self inflicted GSW or friendly fire adds insult to injury in a gunfight.


Actually here’s one, Chris Cerino and coincidentally it’s at last year’s USCCA expo touching on this very subject.
As for Army training, you must understand that when the Army is actually training, they are training new recruits, mostly very young recruits with very little or no experience at all, and so they train accordingly.
As far as mechanical safety fails and self inflicted GSW’s, they will always be a major concern when coupled with lack of training…AND SO WE TRAIN

4:05 mark


High stress, focusing on potential threats rather than a corner sticking out to bump your elbow or a root sticking out of the ground to trip you… particularly under strange, dark, and/or unfamiliar conditions and environments… High risk of accidental discharge with the finger on the trigger.

I can’t find the reference so take it with a grain of salt, but I thought I read that one of Patton’s issues with the 1911 was all of the friendly fire casualties from troops in the trenches because of keeping their finger in the trigger guard.

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If bumping your elbow causes you to pull the trigger, then this style is def not for you, or more training is required…you better just hope it’s the same case for the threat on the other end of the barrel.
I would only have to worry about tripping on a “root” if running, in which case i would have swiftly switched to safety.
Reaction time can be the deciding factor in a critical situation, it’s your choice if you want to train to have an advantage or not. Nothing wrong with staying in your comfort zone…matter of fact you can name your casket that “comfort zone” :grimacing:

I did some training with one of my favorite trainers this week. New carry position, and I was qualifying for draw from the holster, and being able to shoot at a moving Target.

One thing he worked with me on was my transition from my “punch out from chest to extension was that at the end of the extension I should already be pulling the trigger, as well as point shooting”.

It felt weird as I have trained so long to keep finger off trigger, but he explained it as you have obviously made the decision on all 4 rules or you wouldn’t be pulling your gun.

I see his point but I am not completely sold as there are a few times I may draw my pistol surreptitiously. But I will say after about an hour I had the absolute best time from draw to empty into target at 21 feet. 4.8 seconds from draw to 10 rounds in center mass.

John Lovell has a great video on riding the trigger once he starts shooting but he disagrees with the point @Ben_Blanc is making.

No dog in the fight here. Not trying to stir you up. I can see both sides of the argument.


please feel free to share the video as i am a self proclaimed “lifetime student”…meaning i am always willing to learn new styles/technics/strategies, e.t.c…

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How the Pros Reset their Triggers | CLASS EXCERPT! - YouTube

This is the video on how he rides his trigger after he starts shooting. He is very adamant about on the draw that the trigger finger should be on the frame of the gun and not across the trigger guard.

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Great video!
Basically my point…I continue to ride the trigger when moving from target to target though, can’t tell if he does as well since he using a single target in this lesson.

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say he most likely does the same when teaching an advance course or does personal training.

I’m definitely supporting firearm safety rule:
Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
If you’ve ever heard about grasp reflex you find out why keeping finger off the trigger is important.

There is a video from Lafayette (IN) Police Dept. showing the officer shooting his partner because he was startled by barking dog.
It’s better to avoid problems than practice something that may never help.

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nor do i…

Not for everyone that’s for sure, some people are naturally more “flinchy” than others…However, anti-“grasp reflex” can be taught through training if one chose to train in that manner

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