Lighten up with leverage.

Author:Ayoob, Massad

Trigger pull too heavy? It may be trigger finger placement is the culprit.

A theory on the gun-related Internet says "good" trigger pull equals "light" trigger pull. This has led to folks going below the recommended "duty" trigger-pull weight (read: "for self-defense as opposed to dedicated target shooting") and getting in trouble over it in court.

Sometimes it happens because they actually did have an unintended discharge under stress, and sometimes they're in trouble because the opposing lawyers know it was a justifiable shooting, so they hang their hat on the theory you shot their client by accident. They do this because they know there is no such thing as a "justifiable accident."

The "negligence" element--the key ingredient in a manslaughter case--is a whole lot easier to sell than the "malice" element essential to sustaining a murder charge. The deep pockets of the insurance company won't open to the deliberate shooting known as a "willful tort," but they will open for a negligence-based lawsuit a liability insurance policy was bought for.

Never forget what you and I would call utter BS is--when uttered by an attorney--dignified in the courtroom as "plaintiff's theory of the case" and has to be treated as if it was just as plausible as the actual truth your side is trying to get across.


If a handgunner truly believes they're shooting poorly because their trigger is too heavy, and the trigger pull is in fact within factory spec for duty work (as determined by measurement with something like the excellent Lyman Digital gauge), it might be something as simple as a "trigger reach issue." This can be squared away by (A) buying a gun with a trigger reach better fitting your hand, (B) modifying the grip or trigger dimensions of the handgun, or (C) merely changing index finger placement on the trigger.

Everyone talks about how "the gun has to fit your hand," but few understand the measurements involved. The most important element is "trigger reach." On the shooter, it is measured from the web of the hand in line with the long bones of the forearm, to the chosen part of the index finger that will contact the trigger. On the handgun, it is measured from where the web of the hand will be, to the contact point on the trigger. There are three of those finger contact points most folks choose from: the tip, the pad and the distal joint. The crease on the palmar surface of the distal joint was called "the power crease" by the old...

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