USING THE MIDDLE FINGER TO PULL THE TRIGGER.
P&S calls for using the middle finger of the strong hand to pull the trigger, or using the index finger of the weak hand to do that.
The following briefly describes how our fingers flex, and details the several pluses that accrue to the use of the middle finger when squeezing or pulling the trigger.
Both the index finger and the middle finger can be flexed and extended separately.
And when you first squeeze or pull the trigger, the end of your finger does not move directly back against the trigger. It moves in an arc.
That happens because of the physical arrangement of the muscles and tendons of the fingers which are put into play when a finger is flexed.
They flex the middle portion of a finger first. And as the middle knuckle is its fulcrum, the first movement of the end of the finger will be an arc with its center point being, the middle knuckle.
It is only after the middle portion of the finger has flexed some, that the end of the finger begins to flex more directly back against the trigger.
As such, placing the first pad of a finger on the trigger may cause you to miss your shot, and particularly in a rapid fire situation where the possibility of your being able to squeeze the trigger smoothly until each shot breaks will be very questionable.
Placing the crease between the first and second pad of the finger on the trigger, or placing the middle pad of the finger on the trigger can reduce the amount of arc that is introduced when the finger is flexed to pull the trigger.
And, using the middle finger to pull the trigger, can help with this situation because:
1. It is longer than the index finger, so it is easier to place the crease between the first and second pads of the middle finger on the trigger, or to place the second pad on the trigger.
2. The tendon used to flex the middle finger, runs more directly from the front to the back of the hand than the tendon used to flex the index finger. So less torque will be introduced if the middle finger is used to pull the trigger. That can be important with a heavy trigger pull, such as with a double action gun where the trigger finger is used to both cock and fire the gun.
3. The middle finger also is also stronger than the index finger which helps to make for a smooth and sure pull of the trigger even with considerable resistance.
4. Using the middle finger to pull the trigger, allows for direct communication with the nerves that control the flexing or bending of the fingers. That is not true when the index finger is used to pull the trigger.
And here is why that is so.
There are two nerves (Median and Ulnar), that control the flexing or bending of the fingers. Each one controls only half of the hand. One supplies the thumb side of the hand, and the other supplies the little finger side of the hand.
As the middle finger is in the middle of the hand, one side of it is supplied by "thumb side" nerve, and the other side is supplied by the "little finger side" nerve. So when the middle finger is used to pull the trigger, it is in direct communication with both nerves.
Also, the extension of the first two pads of the fingers, is also controlled by those two nerves. This is an exception to their main function of controlling flexing or bending actions.
The result is that both the extension and bending of the first two pads of the fingers, are controlled by those two nerves.
These muscle and nerve arrangements, dovetail perfectly with P&S.
Using the middle finger to pull the trigger is mechanically and physiologically superior to using the index finger.
Also extending the index finger along the frame for fast, natural, and accurate aiming via pointing, helps to lock up the wrist and maintain the symmetry and integrity of the grip.
Using the middle finger to pull the trigger is well known to Paintballers. The trigger guards and triggers on some guns are designed so that either or both the index finger and middle finger can be placed on the trigger and used to shoot.
Walter J. Dorfner, the long time lead firearms instructor for the VSP, now retired and deceased, had this to say in his paper on Point Shooting about field tests using the index and middle fingers to pull the trigger.
Field Shooting With the Index Finger
When using the index finger to shoot, one can induce error by having too much or too little of the finger on the trigger.
As the trigger is pulled, the curling action of the finger tip can cause the weapon to be pushed or pulled off target center.
The amount of error is relative to the trigger weight. More error is introduced with double action firing when 10 or more pounds of force are needed to cock and fire the weapon, than there is with single action firing, when 3 or 4 pounds of force are needed to fire the weapon.
Field Shooting With the Middle Finger
When the middle pad of the middle finger was placed on the trigger, the force needed with double action to cock and fire the weapon, felt much lighter than the measured 12 pounds.
With single action, the 4 pound force that was needed to fire the weapon, felt like simple air resistance.
Also, as the middle pad of the finger was on the trigger, the curling action of the tip of the finger did not affect the fall of the shot.
Another benefit was that the centerline bore was more closely aligned with the web of the hand. That provided for both a natural pointing of the weapon and better control of recoil forces.
New shooters with limited hand strength, had a problem pulling the trigger smoothly with double action when the index finger was used to pull the trigger. That was not true when the middle finger was used to pull the trigger.
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