Trigger Discipline – The Most Important Gun Safety Habit?

trigger discipline

Trigger Discipline – The Most Important Gun Safety Habit?

If you have spent any time at a gun range, around gun experts or taken a course about guns then you probably have been told about trigger discipline.

There are many very important rules to follow. Don’t point your gun at anyone or anything you don’t want to shoot, all guns should be treated like they’re loaded and pointed in a safe direction, know your target and what’s behind it and keep your finger off of the trigger until you are on your target. (1)

trigger discipline

Maybe it’s just human nature, maybe it’s the way guns are portrayed on social media and in movies but the finger tends to gravitate towards the trigger. Especially for new shooters.

“Keep your finger off of the trigger.”

“Your finger.”

“Place your finger on the side of your pistol.”

From the conversations I could hear through my ear protection, I could tell the person next to me at the range was a new shooter and I applaud them for diving in and getting proper instruction.

While many of the other rules, like pointing your gun in a safe direction and treating it like it’s loaded seem to be easy to follow…keeping your finger off of the trigger is a learned and practiced behavior.

Since taking the NRA basic pistol course and spending time around some great knowledgable ladies, I can’t help but notice the way guns are handled in photos, movies and by celebrities in advertisements. I want to yell “Get your finger off of the trigger” but it wouldn’t help. Thinking out loud, maybe we should start a campaign for Hollywood?

Finding a photo of a woman with great trigger discipline was really hard.  In most of the photos, women were scantily dressed I guess to portray the sexy woman with a gun stereotype, which is a whole separate topic, and displaying dangerous gun safety.

Like this young woman about to shoot herself in the other leg.

Or this woman about to shoot herself in the head if she sneezes or possibly people on the floor above her.

When searching for photos of women to portray finger discipline I had a very hard time finding any without their finger on the trigger. However, I did find these two. Yippee!

When you are not on your target, your finger should rest on the side of your pistol. Even if you are certain it’s unloaded. I place mine on the slide and up away from the trigger so even if I clasp my hand involuntarily I won’t accidentally fire my weapon.

These were the 2 stock images I found demonstrating finger discipline. This fixated woman.

And this shooter at the range practicing all the safety with her ear protection, eye protection, brimmed hat, belt & holster and a high shirt to prevent hot casings from flying into her bra.

No one wants to accidentally shoot themselves or someone else but the fact is that it happens. Learning to keep your finger on the side of your weapon and away from your trigger will help avoid accidental discharges in all scenarios and may be the most important gun safety habit to learn and practice.

How did you learn trigger discipline?


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