Getting well-fingered

in The Pew4 months ago

Middle of the first pad on the index finger...That's what you'll hear from most people when talking about correct trigger-finger placement when shooting. So is it legit, or nah...

Right off the bat I'm going to offer a disclaimer here and that is, we're all different, and what works for me may not work for you. Someone shooting my guns, with my finger-placement might be as useless as a screen door on a submarine...Pretty useless. This isn't an instructional post, just one opening up on another aspect of shooting, and my experiences; What works for me.

Below you'll see three possible trigger-finger positions. The tip of the finger, middle of pad and first joint. The middle of pad is what could be referred to as the traditional position - The one mostly taught and considered a good position.

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The idea behind this is that the finer moves perfectly backwards on the trigger-pull from that central position on the finger/trigger and the shot heads down range straight and true. It sounds perfectly legit in theory.

Below you can see me demonstrating all three finger positions and what is purported to occur when each is used.

On the left I am using the tip of my finger. It supposedly exerts force to the left; Pushing the gun that way.

The right image is the first-joint position which purportedly pulls the gun to the right.

The middle shows the centre-pad position and everything looks good apparently; The bullet will head down range and strike the bullseye.

That's the theory anyway, and for many shooters this is exactly what they do. They see the logic in the centre-pad position and without any questions, or further testing, away they go to shoot.

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Based on the premise above this is what a target should look like after each finger position is shot. Of course, the centre-pad position in the middle has won the day right? Yay, this shooter is a superstar. But...Maybe not. In fact...Not.

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Here's the thing. We're not all built the same and therefore the same trigger finger position is not going to work across the board.

Furthermore, guns aren't all the same so a person changing between weapon systems will experience different results, or behaviours, as they change between different firearms. Sure, one single trigger position will allow the gun to be fired, but could there be an improvement in accuracy with a little experimentation?...I'll help you with the answer. Yes, there could!

I use a different finger position depending on which of my guns I am shooting. I have determined what works best on each gun and considering I'm always chasing continual improvement I've put time and extensive experimentation into making sure I am shooting as well as possible.

When using my CZ Shadow 2 9mm (pictured here) I use the first joint position which gives me better accuracy than the others. Considering the position of the gun when I shoot, where my hands are placed, and the run and gun nature of the shooting I engage in with it, that position works the best. Do I pull my shots to the right as per the premise above? Nope, I'm deadly accurate.

With my sniper rifle I use the very tip of my finger. The trigger is lighter, the grip a little larger so harder for me to get my hand all the way around it and for long range marksmanship I want as little of my body touching the rifle as possible - The more of me touching the rifle, the more I can affect the shot negatively. I even free-recoil when I shoot mostly. (I'll talk about that in another post.) I use the lightest touch when shooting out to long ranges and achieve the accuracy and consistency I require because of it.

When on my shotgun I shoot with a different position again, the centre-pad position, as I shoot sporting clays and am slapping the trigger as such, not pulling it. On my 38 Super (STI Edge) I also use the centre-pad position and my other guns require a mixture of each position, all unique to that particular gun.

For you to shoot all of those guns the best you can maybe your position would be completely different. It depends on the shooter and is specific to them.

Could I use a single trigger position on each of these guns? Absolutely, but seeking to improve my shooting leads to experimentation and to changing things up to find that improvement.

Trigger finger position, no matter which is used, is critical to accurate shooting and very specific to the the shooter. Yes, a person can shoot in any way they choose, but shooting is about accuracy and to find it one needs to experiment to determine what works for them.

The position, and the trigger-pull itself, is something that can make a massive difference to the shot. Everything comes into play when shooting though and each element needs to be practised, precise and efficient; Shooting seems easy at first but as the desire for speed and accuracy increases so must skills like getting well-fingered.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.

Be well
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I have a hard time with a lot of pistols, because I have comically large hands. A Glock 19 trigger lands pretty much on the knuckle, though most of that is due to the design of the grip more than anything. Other, more compact pistols basically land right on the edge of the first knuckle. It's the weirdest thing...

Yep, and there lies the issue. Hand size, arm length wrist flexibility etc. That's why how I shoot my Shadow 2 works for me, but may not for you and I'd shoot your guns differently than mine as I have a smaller hand. Experimentation is the key, and the only real way to find out what is best for the individual. The good thing is that experimentation means shooting...How could that ever be a bad thing? Lol

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it.



That could be taken really wrong out of context...

MOAR - I have a MOAR reticle in one of my Nightforce scopes (ATACR) Lol.

The more shooting the better as far as I'm concerned...Responsible shooting of course.

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I push the trigger with closer to first joint, using the point makes shooting way more unstable and it’s not a comfortable position anyways. It’s funny how much simimarities shooting guns and cameras have! I really need to try the former too, maybe I could be good at it too 😝

Stability shooting a gun and a camera are just as important I would say. Interesting you use close to your first joint. I use the middle-pad when clicking the shutter release, unless I have the camera way down low and the screen tilted in which case I use my thumb.

I pull more triggers than shutters though, thousands more.

Thanks for commenting Eve, always a good day when you drop in.

P.s. The blockchain wasn't the place for my comment on your watermelon post, so I stayed silent. 😇


If you think about it, the pad of your finger is less stable as the joint, since when you push with the pad, it's soft and also the joint gives a bit at the same time. When you push closer to the joint, you essentially have more control over the pressure, but this is really splitting hairs now :D

You're exactly right, but as ksteem pointed out in another comment, it's about consistency and practice. I mean, take what you do, creating your self-portraits. I'm sure you practised, experimented and made many errors that you have rectified to leave you with your images. I know you have. So, that's the key. Whatever works I suppose, and through doing it we learn what those things are.

I'm sure you have lovely hair, so don't tempt fate by saying splitting hairs, that's the last thing you need. :)

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Despite not shooting a fucking jotI do like to think that I would like trigger position 3!

Although, a memory of shooting just rose unbidden from nowhere. I got a silver (not real silver) medal once for clay pigeon shooting! It was in my first job and I was a young buck and had never handled a gun before. Man, it was fun!

The first-joint position is pretty good for certain disciplines and shotgun is one of them, so well done! I use all three as I said, and so there's no favourite, just the right one for the job.

So, you were shooting clays or pigeons? Either way, sounds like you had a blast. I do sporting clays which can be fun although I'm only passingly average on the shotgun.


It was clays, I had never done it before so was really chuffed that I want shit. It only took me a couple of show to realise that the shot took a while to travel to the target so you had to compensate for that and over I had that down pat I couldn't fecking miss. It was a great day out. Some of the guys couldn't do it though because they just could never get the hang of the recoil.

Goddamn, in tempting myself to do it again!

Yeah, leading the target it's called. Once you get the hang of that you're gold. You should go do it again. The local club will let you do so I guess.

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So many new things to learn, and here I thought I was a master at fingering! I mean, it's worked well on the human body, so I'm sure it'll work well for firearms too, eh? I guess I'll need to start practicing...

Haha, I vaguely remembered this scene, and it's still funny till this day! So effective, too XD

Lol, well I suppose I need to take responsibility for comments like this considering my title. I needed a laugh so I figured why not. Yeah, there's so many aspects to shooting, and whilst shooting like in this little clip may seem the right way to go...well, not always I guess. :)

Lol, personally I always welcome a bit of euphemism on posts. It just makes it that much more fun to read along XD. To be fair though, I you'd hand me over a couple of UZIs, I'd probably akimbo fire it just like that :-D

Lol...I fired an Uzi once...Worst fucking gun ever...Unless the target is 10 feet in front of you and standing still.

Well, I always thought highly of the Uzi, just for how cool it looks. Thanks for breaking the illusion :-(

I guess it has its use, but really is a pretty pointless gun. It's difficult to control, hard to aim. There's other more useful guns that have the ability to provide similar firepower with more accuracy and ability to adapt to changing situations. The Uzi is one-dimentional.

Ah, I guess so. I think it might be the reason why the Uzi is no longer in use these days, while other SMGs like the MP5 has gone through multiple iterations.

The MP5 and a few others do the job better than an Uzi every could. So ungainly to shoot and only really popular in the movies, and probably video games when a soggy carrot could also shoot well.

lol @ title :)

Reading the 'gun posts', there is so much more than just aiming and pulling the trigger.

Faith suggested I didn't use that title...But what does she fucking know?! Lol.

Yes man, it's a complicated thing; People think it's all beer and shooting watermelons down the back paddock near the creek...But no, to be good at it so many things need to come together. This is yet another.

Thanks for commenting, I was beginning to think the prospect of reading a post about being well-fingered had put people off.

You get down here mate, I'll take you shooting. I don't know it all, just a backwoods yokel really, but I'll get you underway. 🙂

I think the title roped me in for a comment, couldn't resist :)

Again with the watermelons eh, I can picture them right now, although in slices and in a bowl ....

Cheers, still saving in Hive Power so we shall see :)

Everyone likes watermelon.

I find it a challenge to have to change the finger position on each gun, I think there could be people using the same old position on every gun. Are they? But for competition I think you need to adjust to every gun. This is science, pretty awesome. A couple of mm and you are off track.

That's the theory anyway, and for many shooters this is exactly what they do. They see the logic in the centre-pad position and without any questions, or further testing, away they go to shoot

Yes, as per the line above from the post, many people have no clue that they may get better accuracy from experimenting with finger position on the trigger. It is small increments, and attention to detail that make the difference between average or poor shooters, and good ones.

A slight ocd can be very good in this, attention to details can lead to almost perfection

I have always had the ability to apply single-focus to a task; Self-discipline. It's required to do what I do with guns. Works for me in other areas also, and against me sometimes too. Seeking perfection isn't healthy as it doesn't exist. I work more to seek continual improvement instead.

Self discipline😍This is one of my favourite words 😂💪💪

Ownership, discipline and responsibility are three very important personality traits. Some would argue that all else is built upon them, although for me passion is at the very foundation...If one has that, then everything else they need to deploy becomes easier.

Yes.. The right thing to motivate you. 💪

I have to buy a gun first to try them. :) this is not good for those around me. :) anyway if I buy a gun one day, I'll read it again :).

Ok, good plan. Get the gun then come back and take a read of my post. It might come in helpful to you.

Good Stuff Bro.!

Could you macro in on that finger. I need to unlock these stolen phones.

I was thinking of positioning my fingers on a breakfast bagel or some other morning treat...

Yes... I will wash my fingers first!

Sunday morn here. Sitting on the deck, decompressing from this last couple weeks from hell. IMG_20200627_183912.jpg

Lol, good use of finger...

You should have seen the first image I took of the finger. It looked like a fucking cock! Had to take another one.

Seems like a good thing you're home and relaxing. Need a recharge huh?

Recharge, hang out with @pooky-jax and the fur family. 2 day therapy session before going back out and doing battle again...

And I fear what this news article speaks of happening to me. As if my job was not stressful enough... (5 min read)

Crazy shit dude...Crazy. I'm in chat with Asher and Boomy right now, talking about stuff like this. The world is cooked.

Have a couple days to yourself, shift to N and recharge. The war zone can wait.

So true on the importance of finger position. While I had pad position drilled into me many years ago, what I've found is that the real key is consistency. However you place your finger or even if you violate the "sacred" rule of "Don't jerk the trigger!" It really doesn't matter if you can do it consistently.

If you keep anticipating recoil, jerking recoil and pulling shots low left, you have two choices. Practice holding steady without the jerk, or practice jerking consistently and adjust your sights or sight picture. As long as you do it the same every time the bullets will go in the same place and you can adjust where they hit.

I also "slap" shotgun triggers, just from habit and jump shooting rabbits and game birds in my youth when we regularly ate what we hunted or fished on a weekly basis. Good post!

Hey man, yeah you're exactly right. It all comes down to what works.If I was able to hold the gun upside down and shoot using my little finger, and that was effective, then I might do that. (I actually wouldn't do that, but you know what I mean) Whatever works.

Consistency is the key as you say.

We often video each other, right up close in slow motion in an attempt to find small things that may be able to improve speed or accuracy. In this way I've found a few little things that I've worked on; Some I changed and some I reverted. It's a good way to shave time or improve accuracy. Taking time off an IPSC stage, no matter how small is critical. In fact, taking a second or two off the time can be more beneficial to shooting a little more accurately.

I can't recall what gave me the idea for this post and I think it came out ok. It would have been good to show some personal data from the range, some of my targets with the different positions but I made them up itself...All my shots go into the bullseye no matter what...Lol. (If only!)

Some very good pointers here mate and in the army they used to teach us to love your rifle like your future wife. No sex of course, but we had to strip, assemble and load blindfolded in seconds.
The more familiar that one gets with a weapon and it's tricks, the better one can shoot with it.

This takes unending practice which you are obviously overloaded with.
Nice grouping in that middle picture mate.

I think it's like anything, the better we know it, the better we will be able to make it work. It's a little like changing computer keyboards, which I did a few weeks ago when I changed laptops. Just takes a little bit of getting used to.

Ah yes, I've heard about these...I'm not sure about the $15,000 price tag, that's what mine cost, so I assume more. I think it would take the fun out of it for me though, I'm analogue and so like to do all those things myself. The other thing is, at distance the wind at the target needs to be factored, not just at the shooters position, and I'm not sure how a laser reads wind. The bullet slows the further it goes and so wind has a greater effect. Gravity can be accounted for with elevation, but wind? I'm always looking at wind at the target, reading the speed and direction in the trees, grass, blown dust, even the mirage, and accounting for it in the shot.

Still, in certain circumstances this system would work pretty well I think. The funny thing is that if we're hearing about it, the military have superseded it 300 times already. It would be really interesting to see what weapons the really have, what level they have taken them to.

With the Steyr I found my most stable stance was this (but standing)
The crook of my elbow felt so much more stable than my left hand on the grip; guessing if I was firing at extreme range that much contact with the rifle would've been counterproductive, but my 300m groupings were much better this way.

This is a legit way to shoot, situation-specific of course. This is one of the positions I assume when shooting in the field and also competition as it's quick to set up and a very stable shooting position. The F88 Austeyr would be nice to shoot in this position. It is a little more difficult with long guns, sniper rifles.

Why would you use exactly the same technique for every situation? o_O I don't understand! XD

eta should probably mention I was referring to

That's the theory anyway, and for many shooters this is exactly what they do. They see the logic in the centre-pad position and without any questions, or further testing, away they go to shoot.

specifically XD

Why would you use exactly the same technique for every situation?

Well, clearly I wouldn't, but many do. It's done mainly through inexperience and ignorance. Many just don't know that there's another way. Some stumble into it organically and others are taught, yet more never change their trigger position at all. They can still shoot, some really well, but they'll never know if they could have shot better with a different trigger position.

For each shooter it is going to be different. A lot comes into play, hand size, size of the shooter, the size of the grip, the cant of the stock...etc etc etc. What is most important really, is that the shooter is comfortable and relaxed. After that, it takes practice and a willingness to learn.

This is a topic I’ve discussed a lot and there seems to be no real correct answer.

Yes, exactly. The correct answer is whatever works for the individual I think. It's a very personal thing.

Thanks for commenting.