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CQB Trigger Finger

Discussion in 'Band of Glockers' started by kamelot, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. kamelot


    Dec 16, 2005
    Please educate me on this. I was with a "CQB practitioner" this afternoon and he mentioned that one difference between IPSC and CQB is that they keep their finger ON THE TRIGGER AT ALL TIMES unlike us. I couldn't believe what I heard. Our Gun Safety Rule (irregardless of discipline) states to keep the finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.

    Also is it true that our local IDPA (I don't practice this, only IPSC) is not recognized internationally? What do you CQB guys and IDPA shooters say about this? I'm just inquiring. thanks in advance for the info.
  2. mikey177

    mikey177 Remember

    Jan 28, 2003
    Sounds like a negligent discharge waiting to happen ;P

    What is a CQB practitioner anyway? Is he part of some high-speed low-drag SWAT unit or something?

  3. Eye Cutter

    Eye Cutter Moderator

    Nov 21, 2002
    Dr. B. Eye
    trigger finger in was popular in the 80's!

    current training doctrine is trigger finger out.
  4. PMMA97

    PMMA97 TagaBundok

    Nov 25, 2003
    INS CQB operative?


  5. batangueno

    batangueno Shock Resist

    Oct 1, 2002
    I'd suppose your "CQB Practitioner" friend also swears by the Weaver stance. ;f I do remember gun fighting expert Gabe Suarez teaches to put your finger on the trigger starting from the draw. ;P

    Yes, our local IDPA is not recognized officially.
  6. Toby1006Glock


    Sep 15, 2005
    Subic Bay
    Sir, as per the Navy Seals DVD instruction video on Close Quarter Battles (CQB) by Combat Concepts, it should always be trigger-finger out but firearm should be always on the "quick-kill" position or stance, may it be an assault rifle or pistol. The ex-US Navy Seals instructors point out that keeping your trigger finger off the trigger lessens injuring yourself or your buddy infront of you during an assault. Anyway, mabilis naman to put the trigger-finger in, if the need arises. Still the instructors emphasized that while moving towards or away from your target, your firearm should always be levelled in away that you can point your firearm quickly towards your target. Operator should always level the firearm that it puts the target / badguy under duress seeing a firearm pointed his way. Still, it's better trigger-finger off rather than "KA-BOOM! Shet, ay sorry bro natamaan kita. "

    PMMA97, I think that INS CQB operation you have shown was the one that they had to take away the Cuban boy from his relatives in the US. The boy lost his mother (thanks horge :)) at sea when they tried to flee Cuba for the USA. Unfortunately, the INS had no choice but to repatriate the boy back to relatives in Cuba.

    God bless!
  7. casmot

    casmot Re membered

    Yup, our IDPA is not recognized internationally. The irony of it, is that one of the founding members of IDPA is a Pinoy. He didn't register is gunclub anymore because he no longer believes in IDPA.
  8. Punisher_nbi45

    Punisher_nbi45 R we der yet?

    Dec 24, 2004
    a place far, far away
    Just as mikey177 said, "What is a CQB practitioner?"

    When I was still part of the Corps, one of the very first things we were taught was trigger finger out - whether we were charging up a hill, doing MOUT exercises, patrolling, etc.

    I kinda learned the hard way what happens if you keep your finger in the trigger and you suddenly slip, bump your hand, or suddenly have your hand close (along with the sympathetic reaction of the fingers!) Good thing we were only using blanks but I had a heck of a time explaining to my platoon mates what happened.

    I just have to say, whoever this "CQB practitioner" is, I don't want to have him behind me whenever I have to do an entry. Somebody who believes in that type of trigger discipline is an "accident" waiting to happen - just ask anybody who has to work and do ops with him! I'm sure they'll be itching to give his technique a try if he AD's near any of them, although I'm sure their AD's would be a lot closer than his!;f
  9. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    almost home
    Elian Gonzalez lost his mother at sea.
    It was his father back in Cuba who rightfully reclaimed him.

    As for trigger in, or out.
    Doc is correct: it was not so long go that trigger-finger-in was standard,
    and was so for many decades prior. It seemed to get the job done,
    or we'd be speaking Japanese today.

    I've never been in the Services, but I'm thinking along these lines:
    Charging up a hill, etc. is one thing, but once the enemy's in
    spitting distance, priorities on safety change. We're talking CQB, right?

    Stacked for breach, sure: low ready, finger out... but once in the hole,
    it's NOT that easy to get your finger on the trigger in time,
    especially when the enemy may be lying in wait.

    I think that, in unfamiliar, hostile terrain with risk of being ambushed,
    the primary danger is the enemy, rather than yourselves:
    You neuter the primary danger by shooting it first.

    Although they are the best way for civilians to train initially,
    (and frankly, I wish every armed Filipino was able to afford them)
    I think IPSC, IDPA etc. are games wherein the primary danger IS yourselves:
    You neuter the primary danger via "4 rules" protocols.

    And yet, people have AD'd in IPSC matches, yes?
    People have been accidentally shot at IPSC matches, yes?

    Humans will err, and one of the easiest errors is to presume
    that one's ways are best for everyone else; and/or that
    one's situation/context is universal.

    Talk is cheap, and that's all I'm doing ;)

    JMO, YMMV, TANSTAAFL, Monimus et. al.
  10. Benj


    Jul 26, 2005
    Speaking of which, are there such institutions here in the Philippines that offer CQB handgun courses for civilians? Kind of like gunsite or thunderranch in the US.
  11. jerrytrini


    Sep 15, 2001
    19th Hole
    I totally disagree with "CQB Practitioner". I have never heard of this method. I would like to know his rationale on this.

    Here's my $.02 cents, he will never be my partner (if he's a cop) nor break down a door with him. Furthermore, I will never be the RO for him nor shoot IPSC with him nor make a felony veh stop with him. NUFF said.

    I just hope he is on line and able to read this rant of mine.
  12. isuzu


    Jul 3, 2005
    North America
    You're not ranting, JT. You're just telling the truth;) I read in an old gun magazine (years ago) that trigger finger pressure could reach more than 20 lbs in stress situations.
  13. Punisher_nbi45

    Punisher_nbi45 R we der yet?

    Dec 24, 2004
    a place far, far away
    I'm not starting a flame war here but I really disagree with what Horge said, so just take my opinions at face value. You don't have to agree with me, I'm just speaking out what I know.

    edited for brevity

    It should not matter whether you're playing IPSC, doing CQB, or charging up a hill - using a firearm is dangerous enough as it is without having to add to the likelihood of "friendly fire" or "accidental discharge" due to unsafe firearms practices.

    And if you had your finger placed correctly OUTSIDE the trigger, getting it in isn't really all that slow. That is what training is for. Besides, it not the person who gets to to fire first that always wins. It's the person who is smart enough to "see" his opponent first (while not being seen), or one who takes his opponent by surprse, or if your on the defensive, the one who outsmarts his opponent, wins. There is more to CQB (or any type of fighting, for that matter), than just getting the first shot out. Besides, in CQB, you're not supposed to blindly rush in because you've already assumed that the person is hiding. Like I said, there are a lot of dynamic factors involved in CQB ops, but being unsafe is not one of them.

    What it think is important to remember here is that in any type of strenous activity involving firearms, the potential to get hurt is always there. That's why we train to have the trigger finger out in order to minimize the harm to ourselves and to others. That is also the reason why we train repeatedly in order to get the muscle memory down and have it hardwired into our system so we could accomplish it the fastest way possible and in the safest manner.

    Frankly, i agree with isuzu and jerrytrini. It may look macho to have your trigger finger in while doing an entry and conducting a search, but if you would have an AD because you got bumped in the hand or if you get a hell of a startle, i wonder what the guy in front of you would say if he suddenly finds himself with a hole where it should not be. Let's not forget the civilians who might suddenly pop up in front of you as you're clearing a room. What happens if you suddenly have sympathetic muscle contraction in your gun hand due to being startled? You may be the best CQB-trained, most high-speed, low drag operator in the world, but as they say, Murphy always has a way of gumming up the works and he will first chance he gets.

    I do agree that you should have your trigger finger in the trigger in CERTAIN situations - like if you are faced with an assailant or multiple assailants AFTER you have verified that they are the bad guys, after you have aimed and are preparing to fire at them, and after you have done a quick (as in real-quick) assessment of the situation and are sure of your targets, backstop, location of any innocent civilians (if any) within your area, etc., and you have made the commitment to fire.

    Aside from that, there are also the legal ramifications. The appearance of having your finger on the trigger is, in my opinion, very negative and can be easily attacked by a defense or class-action lawyer as "aggressive" and "showing a wanton disregard for safety".

    As horge said, talk is cheap. I don't presume to know everything about anything, and YMMV. People can listen to me and say that I'm just full of bs, but I don't care. I know what works for me and I know what works without getting others killed. In situations wherein there is the question of speed over safety, I think I'll go with safety, especially when other lives are at stake and not just my own. Just my P2 pesos worth.

    I hope that "CQB practitioner" gets to read this too.
  14. jasonub


    Sep 28, 2003
    Ipsc trigger in? thats a negligent discharge waiting to happen. most ipsc shooters have sub 2 pound trigger pulls.

    mine breaks at 1.2 pounds.

    We will never. never, never advocate trigger finger in.
  15. Arpee

    Arpee Still a member

    Aug 4, 2005
    I agree with Jasonub....

    I've been a Range Officer before in IPSC competition for almost a year. With my short span of being an RO, I've seen accidental discharges even by the most experienced shooters.

    Even if they are under pressure to beat a certain time, these shooters are having fun at that time. What more if there is really a danger.

    just my 2 cents worth :)
  16. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    almost home
    Hi Punisher! :)

    No flame at all!
    I trust you don't suspect me of advocating fingering the trigger all the time.
    (I'd point out my comments re pre-breach stacking as an example)

    Yes of course, at some point, the operator has to make the judgement call on
    when engagement (or cause highly indicative thereof) is imminent.
    As you essentially pointed out... you need to finger the trigger
    when you're about to shoot.

    My point is that some environments may conceivably be so severe
    as to effectively demand the trigger fingered for length.
    We have no real idea of the context in which this 'CQB Practitioner'
    was commenting.

    JerryT is presumably speaking from the POV of police CQB, which
    is said to be a markedly different proposition from 'military CQB':
    a friendly vs. a hostile population as an operating environment.
    Admittedly, recent military excursions (and enemy cowardice,
    hiding among civilians) may have begun to blur any distinction.
    I'm quite grateful for Jerry's post, as he's 'in the business',
    and I value yours no less, in the same spirit.

    My first puzzlement was:
    Did not US LEO's of just a few decades ago keep their triggers fingered?
    US servicemen?

    New, light triggers, as on a certain current US-LEO issue, may
    have taught their users to avoid unnecessary trigger contact.
    It's more pronounced with DELIBERATELY custom-lightened triggers, as are
    prevalent with gamers' pistols... and that's near the root of my
    discomfort. (I'll get to that in a bit, with regard to Jason's comment).

    I have been making the (extremely charitable, and Christian)
    assumption that this so-called 'CQB Practitioner' is:

    a. the real thing, with real experience
    b. talking about military CQB (not MOUTS, indeed)
    c. talking about mil-spec heavier triggers (The first DA pull on an M9 ~ 12lbs, right?)
    d. most importantly, speaking within the context of imminent engagement

    I'm morbidly fascinated with the extreme of his/her advocacy:
    it's not something I would do, though (again) up until very recently
    it was what ALL operators did.

    Unfortunately 'CQB Practitioner' doesn't seem to be here to offer explication.
    Hence all my tree-shaking.

    Nice to have something substantial fall out. Thanks again for posting.

    It's a good thing Jason specified 'IPSC' :)
    Of course, the IPSC is precisely not what
    "CQB Practitioner" was advocating his'technique' for.
    Anyway, here's what's bugging me, or rather,
    here's an attempt to describe what's nagging me...

    A trigger lightened to nearly than a third(?) of original spec
    is a deliberate and significant compromise of safety,
    for the sake of game performance, yes?

    If you can argue that a severely-lightened trigger is excusable
    for the sake of a game, because you have trained hard on '4 Rules'
    to negate it as a safety issue

    Then I wonder if an operator can't argue that he can train as hard,
    to negate as a safety issue the practice of parking a finger
    in the well of a so-much-heavier trigger for certain stretches
    of a high-risk op.

    I hadn't quite put my finger (hehe) on it the last post...
    But my earlier questions to the highly trained, 4-Rules-ingrained,
    IPSC/IDPA masters and veteran shooters on this board

    (-Haven't you had AD's during competition, despite the roted 4 Rules?
    -Hasn't someone gotten shot during a competition, without hostiles around?

    actually stemmed from an (err..) fascination with this issue of relativity attending
    deliberate compromise as suits one specific purpose versus another
    (or as suits one problem set rather than another), with similar-looking
    but quite different tools and approaches between them.

    Again, just rambling: my talk is cheap.
    (I will plead though, that talk may be the object of this forum)

  17. Eye Cutter

    Eye Cutter Moderator

    Nov 21, 2002
    Dr. B. Eye

  18. horge

    horge -=-=-=-=- Lifetime Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    almost home
  19. Punisher_nbi45

    Punisher_nbi45 R we der yet?

    Dec 24, 2004
    a place far, far away
    Thanks for the post, Horge!;f

    I hope that I didn't rub anybody the wrong way, it's just that this is a subject I'm passionate of.

    First off, I am no "tactical" instructor, nor am I currently a part of whatever high speed unit here. I am just basing my opinions on my experiences and observations, both as a jarhead and as an LEO. At the same time, I know a lot of people go to this forum, especially newbies, and I just didn't want to give them any wrong impression solely based on the safety aspect. I guess it's just my personality to speak out, but I would like to think that I could share even a little bit of knowledge based on my unique position. Again, just my opinions, nothing more, nothing less.

    As i said, I agree with you all that there are certain situations where you would want your trigger finger in...such as engaging multiple opponents, etc. But that is in the context of actually shooting at them already. When on the move, whether it be CQB movement, patrol, whatever, I still believe safety should be the overriding concern, thus, I will always advocate trigger finger in until the situation dictates that quick and accurate shooting be done.

    I just believe that some rules may be broken in other arenas, but not in life, and especially not when lives that need to be saved are at stake. So in reality, I am not against anybody in BOG, just that particular "CQB Practitioner" who is advocating this dangerous principle in the first place.

    Yes, there were some units that practiced this (some even practiced Condition Zero with 1911s, safety off and live round loaded). However, in today's modern military, it is not practiced as such, especially in MOUT or other urban exercises. The degree of mistakes that can happen, the likelihood of mechanical failure of triggers, etc., is not taken lightly, thus, we were always taught to keep ours out. Also, there are some differences, but there is a great similarity in CQB and MOUT and, at least in my experience, they also share some fundamental principles. Having triggers out until you fire is one of them. :)