safety Archives - Talking Guns

Kate KruegerOctober 20, 20153min16630

Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger

My wife and I have taught, co-hosted, and worked as range officers at numerous classes over the past 30 or so years. One the most recurring safety infractions are keeping the students finger off the trigger until they are ready to shoot and/or on target. We have tried to teach folks to keep their trigger finger along the side of the frame and with some students we have great success… others not so much.

Of course this is one of the most important safety lessons. We read about instances of what is commonly called an AD (accidental discharge) some resulting in severe bodily damage to the shooter and some cases resulting in death of the shooter or worse an innocent. AD’s cross all shooting levels from competition, law enforcement, hunters, gun smiths and yes… instructors.


One of the methods we have used over the years to combat this is, telling the class two or three times do  NOT anticipate the command to fire, and another two or three times to “keep your finger off the trigger until on target”.  And for many in the class that works but there are always those who need stronger instruction.

For those we generally call a cease fire and have all the students empty and holster their firearms after double checking everyone is cleared and holstered walk between them and their targets and in a very calm voice tell them “I have repeatedly told you to keep your fingers off the trigger, (now in a command voice tell them) NOW KEEP YOUR FUCKING FINGERS OFF THE TRIGGER! That seems to do the trick.


But sad to say every now and then you’ll still have to take someone off to the side and “instruct them further”.   Instruction can vary from having them take their equipment off and watching the rest of the class, up to taking their equipment off and going home for the day to “think” about the problem they are having with the instructions. Of course this depends on the length of class and the only thing that it guarantees is that you and the other students stay safe. For the most part that will solve the problem 99.9% of the time.  It seems harsh but the alternative is just not acceptable.