Finger on trigger or not?

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by ithaca_deerslayer, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Wondering what the best tactic for the situation is.

    If you had a suspect who had a weapon and was in the "gray" area between either attacking you or maybe going to comply (but definitely is not complying yet), would hypothetical finger be on trigger or off trigger? I assume sights are on target.

    The gray area I'm talking about is real close to you being shot at, but it hasn't quite caused you to pull the trigger yet. For example, suppose the suspect has a gun displayed and is maybe going to point it at you, but you haven't crossed the decision making threshold of your having to shoot just yet (a moment of hesitation but watching for that next que as to what the suspect is going to do). One more inch of aggressive move by the suspect and you will have to defend yourself. So you are ready, maybe even expecting you will have to shoot. Would finger be on trigger or off trigger?

    I was thinking about an LEO context, but relates to civilian CCW, if in same situation (with no ability to retreat).
     
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  2. B C

    B C

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    If his finger is on the trigger then so is mine.
     
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  3. IAhunter

    IAhunter Venor ergo sum

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    If he has a weapon and I have mine out, my finger is on the trigger.
     
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  4. 'Ol Grandad

    'Ol Grandad Director of civil unrest

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    And already pressing.
     
  5. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

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    My finger moves to the trigger at the decision to fire.
     
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  6. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    I agree with above. Yes, ‘normally’ one’s finger is outside the trigger guard, when carrying, walking, whatever.

    If it heats up to the point you are about to shoot, be ready. Know your gun & pull. There was a case around Chicagoland years ago, where a police officer had a finger on the trigger during an arrest & the gun ‘went off’. In that case I think adrenaline played a role, other officers were doing the arrest.

    The private CC individual isn’t a cop, correspondingly no legal dept to offer protection, keep that in mind. The other thing, just like in the Clint Eastwood movie, ‘when it’s time to shoot, SHOOT’.
     
  7. BuckeyeGlock77

    BuckeyeGlock77

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    If it’s pulled, it’s ready to fire.
     
  8. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon

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    Good morning Ithaca. Your scenario states (I think) that he has a firearm out and in his hand already. If that is the case, I'm already pulling my trigger. I'm not going to wait until he gets it up and pointed at me.

    I think that if I'm drawing my weapon, I'm already in a situation where I have to shoot. "Stuff" happens quickly. If I have time to deliberate it, that implies I have time to retreat or at least, create some distance and/or take cover.

    I'm not a tactical expert by any stretch, but that is my view point none the less.
     
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  9. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Here in this scenario, you can't retreat, can't get cover. You are ready to shoot (because you have to), but something, some hesitation in his behavior, makes you think "not yet". But you are waiting for his next move, and you want to be ready, giving him no slack if he escalates from there.

    This is the "gray" area I'm talling about.
     
  10. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Can you envision any situation where your finger moves to the trigger, but your brain says "wait one second". You are in limbo evaluating the next hint of a move by the bad guy.

    Do you take your finger off the trigger and give him that much more opportunity, or do you keep your finger on the trigger until you know which way he is going with this?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  11. wyntrout

    wyntrout

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    I always think about the movies where the FBI yells hands up with their own guns pointed at the bad guys... and 99% of the time the bad guys draw and fire and the FBI has to now duck and return fire. It seems like they should be more ready to pull the danged trigger.
     
  12. Green Dragoon

    Green Dragoon

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    I’m still considering him a threat and I’m pulling the trigger. My aim would be to stay ahead of his move
     
  13. John_AZ

    John_AZ

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    Finger straight along the frame until you’re on target and have made the decision to fire
     
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  14. texmex

    texmex

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    I went to an alarm at a residence back around 1977. Upon arrival, I observed an old pickup truck parked at the residence that did not look like it belonged there. It was raining when I arrived so I had my raincoat on. When I got out of the car, I reached inside the raincoat and pulled my revolver out of the holster but still under the raincoat. As I approached the steps, the door of the residence opened and a man who was not the owner of the residence stepped out with a single action revolver in his right hand pointed down, not cocked. Under my raincoat, I had my revolver pointed at him and my finger on the trigger. The look on his face when he saw me was not one of surprise or concern. He was kind of smiling. I think, if he had looked concerned or startled, I would have shot him. It turned out he was an employee of the owner and had also responded to the alarm at the residence (which was probably activated by the rain). After disarming him and finding out who he was, I showed him the revolver under my raincoat. I told him that if I had shot him when he came out the door with the revolver in his hand, it would have been too bad for him and nobody would have blamed me for shooting him. I also told him that from now on, either we would respond to the alarms or he could BUT NOT BOTH OF US. I'm sort of glad I was carrying a revolver that day and not a 1911. Sometimes, the heavy double action trigger pull is a blessing. If a less prepared or less experienced deputy had shown up, he would probably be dead. Amazing that it was almost exactly the situation you described in the original post. By the way, the premises where this occurred was the guest house on the property of Senator Lloyd Bentsen.
     
  15. gunowner1

    gunowner1

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    Lots of good points. Thank you for the story.
     
  16. PennsWoods

    PennsWoods

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    The trigger is for shooting. Anything less and my finger is straight along the frame of the pistol.

    I've held people at gunpoint, but even with a 10 lb double action trigger, my finger isn't on it until I'm pulling the trigger.
     
  17. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner

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    If my sights are on target, and I've made the decision to shoot, my finger is pressing the trigger.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
  18. illrooster132

    illrooster132

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    if he has a weapon inside my house or is posing a treat to me or my family . he is already been shot more than once.
     
  19. nikerret

    nikerret Mr. Awesome

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    Everyone I know who has had a negligent discharge had their finger on the trigger.

    More than anything, I envision the need to ensure he is the bad guy. I’ve responded to a lot of scenes where the good guy had a gun (some were plain clothes LEO’s). I will give every opportunity for compliance before I shoot someone.

    No, I don’t take my finger off the trigger, because I don’t put it on, until I’ve decided to shoot. It is unlikely there will be opportunity to stop the firing sequence, once initiated, due to the time it takes to process the change of situation and stop the firing sequence.
     
  20. FireForged

    FireForged Millenium #3936 Millennium Member

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    speaking just for myself in my own set of unique circumstances.. if I am pulling a gun, my finger will be on the trigger at the instant that the weapon is on target.

    On target... on trigger.
    off target... off trigger.

    That is simply my own personal logic and I wont claim that is a good thing to emulate. I think it is good ( for me).