In the The Perfect Pistol Shot we examine the destructive influence of over-grip and improper trigger-finger movement on accuracy. While over-grip is the single greatest cause of mischief in marksmanship, trigger-finger error is also a serious problem which goes largely undetected. There are two ways in which the trigger-finger can adversely impact your shooting:

1. Pushing. If you have shots that group perfectly at the bullseye except for being about 2″ to the support-side of your aiming point, your trigger finger is using your thumb to leverage the weapon to the support-side. The cure is to lift your thumbs off the weapon when firing. You will immediately notice a 2″ shift back to your point of aim.

2. Pulling. Too much finger in the trigger can wrap around the face of the trigger and cause shots to be pulled to the shooting-side. This error is cured by proper trigger placement and lifting the thumbs. Thumbs-up reduces the trigger finger’s ability to pull against the firearm but does not cure the shooter error of bad trigger finger placement. In The Perfect Pistol Shot, I explain proper finger placement. Here’s a summary:

  • The finger naturally closes at an angle like a swinging gate, rather than moving straight to the rear.
  • The trigger needs to come straight back in order to have a neutral influence. Triggers can be moved from
    side-to-side within a handgun; they don’t come straight to the rear without human intervention.
  • The old rule of trigger-finger placement is first joint for revolvers and first pad for pistols. A better rule is know what the trigger needs to do and position your hand to accomplish that task.
  • Your goal is a neutral influence on your handgun.
    The rearward press of your trigger should not move the handgun to the left or to the right.  Adjust your hand to find your perfect trigger-finger placement.


Good Shooting.