Trigger discipline

Maybe you could train to reduce the time it takes to move your finger from the frame/slide to the trigger and satisfy both requirements.

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Imagine this…it’s late night and you get home to a slightly ajar front door, children were left home with the babysitter but are nowhere to be seen. After calling the cops, you realize every minute is critical, so you decide to sweep the house, if you sweep with finger off and run into an armed burglar riding HIS trigger (whether he trained that way, or he’s just a nervous crook with “bad trigger” discipline) he’s going to have the split second advantage on you which could result in your demise.(only thing more dangerous than a trained finger on a trigger, is a nervous one)

If you DO NOT train with “finger on” discipline, and you sweep, and a threat presents itself, you now have to place finger correctly on the trigger before you can get a shot off, which also simultaneously puts you into shoot mode (per training), then someone else appears in your peripheral at that very moment, you might be inclined to let a premature shot off considering you’re already in “shoot mode” as you’ve trained yourself to be because your finger is now on the trigger.

If you DO train and therefore sweep with “finger on”, you are now able IMO to switch your sight from target to target without premature firing, but instead make instant assessments, distinguishing threats from innocent bystanders, which in this particular scenario could be your family

I get what what you’re saying, and will say that is the pinnacle of trigger control. While it’s possible to achieve that level of control, and be 100% confident in your ability, I don’t think it’s possible for everyone to achieve that level of control. Just as athletes have different specialties and levels of ability, some being more skilled in one area, less in another, so it goes with anything one does. It could be a good thing, it could also go very wrong.


@Ben_Blanc Last comment on the subject…

I might be misunderstanding your OP. Are you saying that you run from point to point with your finger on the trigger but you put the safety on and off? That’s how I’m reading it.

The video you linked, I think, was talking about not always keeping your gun in the holster when there is a threat, and not keeping your finger off the trigger in between shots or when on target. For example, I don’t take my finger out of the trigger gaurd in between shots at the same target like he said some shooters do.

The guy in the video is an instructor. Sounds like it would be well worth it for you to contact them and possibly train with them to get the full skinny.


Finger stays on while i’m engaging multiple targets…not while running, it is part of my safety procedure to take finger off when sliding into safety mode as i will sometimes change weapons at the same time

Just to clarify. John Lovell of the Warrior Poet Society is very well known in the firearms and life training world. He does not advocate moving with finger in or near trigger. If you take one of his classes, and draw with your finger across the trigger guard he will warm you one time. If you do it again he kicks you out of the class.

He expects your trigger finger to be on the frame of the gun until a decision to shoot has been made.

In his video he is showing how he will only minimally reset the trigger during multi-shot which speeds his shots up. He doesn’t run n gun with finger on trigger. If you watch his channel or watch where he has worked with the USCCA. He is a great instructor and heavily stresses the 4 Universal Safety Rules.

The Instructor I worked with this weekend, he follows the 4 Universal Safety Rules. His point was as I was pushing out that as I reached extension I should be ready for a point shot. That is pretty much what I put the better of 1500 rounds down range doing. Practicing my point shooting.

I also worked on some drills with my right eye dominance.

I feel either I did not explain myself properly or may have inadvertently given the impression that the 4 Universal Safety Rules are not important.


Agreed, John Lovell and WPS is a great YouTube channel and wealth of valuable, and usable, skills and knowledge.



Let’s set the standard straight - when you’re in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm and have the threat in your sights, no one is saying take your finger off the trigger.

However, if you do not know who the threat is, are not aimed at the threat, or if you are moving, your finger should not be on the trigger.

Your example of Chris Cerino’s comments at last year’s USCCA Expo agrees with what I just stated. He is saying that just because you address the threat, you do not need to pull the trigger if the threat deescalates. He’s also saying that you shouldn’t take your finger off the trigger until the threat has stopped.

Riding the trigger from target to target in a dynamic critical incident can result in an innocent person being injured or worse.

The body’s natural startle reflex is to grasp whatever is in our hands - that grasping motion while your finger is on the trigger can cause you to shoot. We are responsible for every round that comes out of our firearm. If you are not aimed at the threat, your finger should not be on the trigger.

And for those of you who say you can train yourself to override the body’s natural response - there are the rare people who can do that with years and years and years of training. However, most people cannot override the body’s natural response even with all of the training. You will never know until you are in the situation - are you willing to risk innocent lives because of your trigger discipline?

How do you know it’s a threat and not your child? You have to know what the target is before you can shoot. Having your finger on the trigger as you’re sweeping the house, your startle reflex may cause you to shoot an innocent family member.

Assessing the situation including identifying multiple threats should be part of your continual training.

Trigger finger discipline is not a stand alone training. It goes hand in hand with all of the training including know your target and what is beyond.


Train like your fighting. Fight like your training. If your pointing at the target finger on the trigger. If your not pointing at the target. Finger off the trigger. Never point at something your not ready willing and able to shoot. Not sure I’m getting this. You hear a noise upstairs in your house. You go up stairs gun drawn finger on the trigger and BAM neighbors cat scares the crap out of ya and you just put a round through your floor in too the kids room. Not good!


Basically everything you are saying will work for the top elite, most of the time. You need to be on the top of your game mentally and physiologically. The saying, if you aren’t scared, your crazy. I understand theres prepared and unprepared. Some people dont have feelings, some people cant tell right from wrong, some people have a calm hand no matter what. People I respect say studies show that is a very small percentage of people who can do you are selling. Prepare for the possibility, not the probability.


I used to worry about being startled and taking a bad shot, and still do, so i do understand your point. It is true, I can be startled at any given time, except when i’m locked in, finger on trigger, awareness is on high, and i’m in that mind state…all reality has changed.

I’ll give a better example, some people can’t walk through a haunted house without being frightened, even though they know monsters in costumes are waiting inside to surprise them.

Some people can walk through and never be frightened at all, they are mentally prepared for what may come (heightened alert), even if they don’t know exactly when.

My point: “startle reflex” can be controlled

People are different, i’m just trying to see where exactly are my strong points as well as my weaknesses, i do not mean to advocate this style of training as it is not for everyone

John Lovell is a great instructor.

Prepare for both…and then prepare some more.

I appreciate everyones comments and feedback…truly

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Startle reflex can be controlled in situations where you’re expecting to be startled. And in situations like a haunted house, you’re expecting things to be around the corner to startle you… and it’s not a life or death situation with your gun in your hand.

Until you’re in a self-defense situation, you can’t say what you’ll really do. When you’re locked in on a threat, finger on the trigger, can you 100% guarantee that you won’t be surprised by someone attacking from behind you and accidentally shoot where you’re not intending to shoot?

All of the research indicates certain physiological responses that most people go through. Any combination of those responses will reduce your awareness of things around you and increase the chance you’ll be startled if there is a second or third attacker.

There’s a reason the safety rules have stood the test of time - they’ve proven that they work.


I’m not sure about it… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
Even you learn how to control it… it will happen one day that you DO NOT control it.

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No, i can’t guarantee 100% (don’t think anyone can)…but that doesn’t stop me from training and trying to get my % up as much as possible.

Just because i train for worst case scenarios does not mean i will apply every tactic to every scenario…if i’m at the range doing still target drills then of course i won’t be riding the trigger

This is true, I don’t claim to be in full control…so I train.

Exactly my point…when i’m in that state of mind, i’m expecting!

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An you cannot expect unexpected… no matter what you do, how you train, you need to proceed with safety rule [Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot] to avoid accident discharge (and I’m not calling this “neglected” in this case)