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.
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.
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.
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.
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