I have had more than one conversation regarding the physical location of your trigger finger on the trigger. I know most folks have heard at some point where and how they should place their finger on the trigger, but still some folks don’t get it.
I use a training prop most times in classes to help illustrate the correct location so it might be good for more folks to “see” what it is that I am talking about. Before we get to that, there are usually only two reasons why a shot misses it’s mark. Let’s assume the shooter was purposefully aiming to miss, then it is either that’s where the muzzle ended up prior to ignition or the sights were incorrectly zeroed. So, we are looking at either a technical or mechanical issue.
My natural instinct is to assume it is a technical issue, through a series of diagnostics we either eliminate it as the culprit or confirm it. If it is eliminated, then we know we are dealing with a mechanical and proceed accordingly. If we confirmed it was technical we start dissecting the most common problems. Aside from poor trigger movement, a major issue and directly related to the movement is placement of the trigger finger on the trigger.
As mentioned in previous posts there are three parts to trigger management. There is the movement, the location on the trigger itself and the portion of the finger used to make contact with the trigger. The later will be the focus of this piece, but I would highly recommend you read or review this article; Fatty Trigger Finger.
Which ever theory you subscribe to regarding the placement of the trigger finger the key will be in placing the trigger finger so the pressure exerted is exerted on the face of the trigger and I’m talking flush on the face. That is the problem that most people experience, or I should say they don’t experience. What I mean is folks really are not placing their finger flush on the face, they think they are, but upon closer examination then correlating with their shot groups we can see how they are actually on the edges and not the face.
As you start to explore this theory consider that as you start to move the trigger rearwards, if you are in contact with the edge of the trigger the pressure of your finger while potentially moving rearward will either be pulled or pushed depending on the trigger finger placement. This theory is a mirror image, so it doesn’t really matter if you are right handed or left handed. You really have to pay attention to where you are feeling the pressure. It is kind of hard on a Glock with a trigger safety, but you can still feel it if you really pay attention.
Some of the errors we see and I will discuss this as it applies to a right handed shooter, but again it is just the opposite for a left handed shooter. The shooter has his finger placed on the left hand edge of the trigger, as the trigger moves rearward, pressure builds on the left edge pulling the barrel to the right. For a shooter who has his finger on the right edge, he will experience a similar issue, only it will push the barrel to the left.
It may seem insignificant, but it is still a shooting error no matter how small. The goal is flawless execution, not spotty.