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Skpotamus
08-12-2004, 10:40 PM
I was talking to some buddies the other day at the range. They didn't like the trigger for my Glock 30. I did a polish job on the internals, and added a 3.5# connector. The trigger breaks at about 4 lbs. They said that was too light for a carry piece. I used to carry a Para Ordinance LDA with a lighter trigger. I switched due to rust. (Para's are hard to keep rust free in humid weather).

I always liked a lighter trigger, as long as everything worked properly. I leave safety up to my gun handling skills. Some of my buddies disagreed and said you needed a heavier trigger for SD. One pointed out that some police departments require a NY trigger for Glocks. I couldn't really refute that as I wasn't sure why some required that.

What do you guys think? Is there such a thing as too light for carry?

DaveJames
08-13-2004, 01:11 AM
For me, I don't like any thing under 5lbs,but if your fine with it I see nothing worng in it.As per PD's requiring heavier,yep most do,, but its a liability thing, and just because we require it dosen't make it right or best

acovertcitizen
08-13-2004, 01:54 AM
My carry G17 has a 3.5# trigger job (polished internals) done by a Glock armorer. I wouldn't carry a Glock any other way. My other G17 has an unpolished 3.5# connector. My other G17 is less accurate & I wont carry it until the internals are polished.

MTS
08-13-2004, 02:49 AM
I use a 3.5# connector in mine with a NY1 trigger spring and a polished trigger bar.

Gecko
08-13-2004, 03:42 AM
I and thousands of other Glock owners have been carrying with the 3.5 connector and polished internals, stock trigger and striker springs for years now. Go figure!

What facts are the naive opinions of your buddies based on?

Here is just one of many examples of why many PD's won't allow their officers to carry with the 3.5 connector.

http://www.wivb.com/Global/story.asp?S=2151997&nav=0RapPgSt

The officer was in a bar at 3:45 a.m. last Friday and somehow the gun just "went off."

CarlosDJackal
08-16-2004, 07:15 PM
It's a matter of Personal Preference. I find 3.5# way too light for my liking, so I installed a NY1 trigger spring with it. This way I can positively feel teh trigger as I pull it to the rear and it doesn't have that "thunky" feel when it releases. This setup still breaks at around 6#.

To each their own, I guess.

Steve Camp
08-16-2004, 07:49 PM
Here is just one of many examples of why many PD's won't allow their officers to carry with the 3.5 connector.

http://www.wivb.com/Global/story.asp?S=2151997&nav=0RapPgSt

The officer was in a bar at 3:45 a.m. last Friday and somehow the gun just "went off."

Um, geee.... I fail to see how a Police administrator can reason that a Glock 3.5# connector will fix the disconnect between this moron's ears. This was a Glock, right? Glock's are the safest pistol ever devised by man, right? They have all those internal safety devices that make it impossible to fire unless the trigger is pulled... right? So the trigger had to have been pulled, right? I'm 99.999999% sure that the trigger had to be pulled. In any event... the only situation that could possibly result in the firearm discharging involves the firearm being outside the holster. So the only possible question I can ask is... why in the world did the Officer have his/her pistol unholstered at 3:45am? in an elevator, no less. Good grief. If this officer hasn't shot anyone recently, or done anything else to get on an Administrator's bad side... anyone wanna bet $10 that any breathalyzer and/or blood test results get lost?

Tangle
08-20-2004, 10:18 AM
If we're talking about guns used for games and ranges then about anything goes. But if we're talking about light short triggers on carry guns, I believe there is enough evidence to support that under high stress, the risk of unintentional, "pre-intentional", startle discharge, and discharges due to insufficient training/practice increases as trigger weight and trigger stroke decreases.

I realize many have carried a light, short trigger for X years and never had a problem. Some may have even had to draw it, but very few of us have been in a highly stressful situation, where our gun was not only drawn, but pointed at someone, and we were right on the edge of shooting them.

Last July I took the Advanced Tactics course at G______ and one particular FOF Simunitions simulator so intense that I literally had to remind myself to breathe - not from physical exertion, but soley from stress. I was mortified when my instructor asked me if I realized that I had my finger on the trigger through the entire drill. I mean me, I just don't do that! I've had too much training. I'm way too cool and high-speed-low-drag to do that. One word of explanation is all I can offer - stress. Maybe I shouldn't feel too bad, Ernie Langdon says when he trains SWAT teams he has to constantly remind them to take their fingers off the trigger.

The more I experience, the more I'm convinced that DA/SA triggers such as on my Sig 226, is the best configuration for me.

Al Lipscomb
08-20-2004, 11:31 AM
If you keep your finger indexed on the frame you will not be able to pull the trigger untile you moved the finger. If the finger is inside the frame and you "startle" I don't think it is going to matter if the pull is 3# or 6#.


Where it will matter is if you have your finger on the trigger and leave it there for extended periods of time. I think you will get more NDs off of a 3# trigger than a 6# trigger.

As for SA/DA, the only gun I have NDed (so far) was a SA/DA while the gun was cocked.

Harlequin
08-20-2004, 04:02 PM
I have a Scherer 3.5# connector and a trigger polish I did myself. I didn't like the feel of the stock 3.5# connector.

IMHO, you should be able to cutomize your carry piece as you see fit. After all, this is the firearm you may have to depend on to save your life. A 1911 carrier would probably proudly explain all the work his gun has had, why can't a Glock (or any other gun) carrier do that same?

Tangle
08-23-2004, 06:00 AM
I'm confused, if trigger weight doesn't increase the risk of an unintentional discharge and light, short triggers help us shoot more accurately and faster, why not have short pull, 2# triggers?

Hasher
08-23-2004, 02:17 PM
I have the same set up Mark Swain has. I love. IT is also the setup the Nebrasks State Patrol uses.

Hasher

Tangle
08-24-2004, 05:58 AM
The only thing that will prevent an accidental discharge is YOU, not the trigger weight.
Of course, it's not the gun's responsibility not to go off accidentally. But we too often assume that we'll always do it right and our finger will never be on the trigger when it shouldn't be. Unfortunately, it appears that in stressfull situations, fingers find their way to the trigger before they should.


In the North Hollywood Shootout, LAPD officers had their fingers outside of the trigger guard when their weapons were unholstered and not being dischared.
They had DA/SA Berettas didn't they? Trigger pull about 9 pounds for the first shot?


I want some weight in the trigger as I know I will lose some of the fine motor skill to deal with a trigger that is much less than say 3#. Also, if the weapon gets bumped, or knocked to the ground, it could go off with a very light trigger so I want some resistance in the trigger. What if I go to shoot and the bad guy gives up while I still have my finger on the trigger? Or as my finger goes into the trigger guard? I want SOME resistance in that trigger to prevent an accidental discharge in such a situation.

A guy once asked a woman if she would go to bed with him for a million dollars. She said "ok". He said "How about $5?" She yelled, "What do you think I am?" He said, "We've already determined what you are, we're just haggling over the price?"

That's seems to be the case here, we agree that some trigger resistance is needed to prevent AD's, we're just haggling over how much.


If the trigger is too heavy, I know that I do not need all of that weight and that it just hampers my shooting. The question is: what is good for Tangle? What are YOU comfortable with in a trigger weight? What are you comfortable carrying? and can you hit well? When I mean hit well, I do not mean all shots through the same hole, but shots within an 6-8 circle at any distance?
I reiterate: I used to put 3.5# connectors in all my Glocks and set all my 1911 triggers to about 4#. Then I learned a number of things.

One, I can shoot a Sig 226 with a 9#/5# DA/SA trigger pull just as fast and accurately as I can a Glock with a 3.5# connector or a 1911 with a 4# pull.

Second, I discovered that I could shoot my Sig 220 in DA better than in SA. It was such a clear difference that I sent my Sig 226 to SigArms to have them convert it to DAO and smooth up the action. Unfortunately, the DAO trigger of the 226 is not as good as the DA trigger of the 220; Ernie Langdon will confirm this.

Third, Ernie Langdon won the 2003 IDPA Custom gun division with a Sig 220 shooting against Rob Leatham with his highly tuned 1911. Rob hadn't been beaten in this catagory in ten years.

Fourth, I talked to Ernie on more than one occassion and learned this: Officers in Prince George County in Massachusetts have more shootouts than any place in the nation. The officers use stock Sig 226 DA/SA 9mm and are well above the nation in hit percentage.

Fifth, when he trains SWAT teams, he has to constantly remind them to take their fingers off the triggers. That's some pretty well trained guys; they know their business and know better; but stress...

Sixth, I took Gunsite's Advance Tactics course and in one of the very intense FOF simulators my instructor told me I had my finger on the trigger the during the entire drill. And ALL my six years of training says don't do that. But, it's not just me, remember Ernie sees that commonly in SWAT training.

Seven, Ernie recommends the DA/SA semi as the best choice in defense/officer handgun. The reasons? He said that while training FBI agents at Quantico, their studies showed that both trigger stroke length and trigger weight were important in reducing the risk of unintentional discharge. Of the two, trigger stroke seemed to be more significant than weight. It's interesting that now Sig makes a DAO with a trigger pull of 6 pounds; approximately the same length stroke with about a three pound lighter trigger pull.

Ernie claims that there is more than sufficient evidence to show that the DA/SA or DAO configuration offers increased resistance to unintentional discharges and they can be fired just as fast and accurately.

Those are the reasons I've kinda gotten away from the "whatever is comfortable" method of choosing a handgun for self defense.

Sorry for being so wordy, again.

Al Lipscomb
08-24-2004, 06:33 AM
Of the two, trigger stroke seemed to be more significant than weight.That makes sense. When the finger moves from sympathetic reflex or startle, the force will depend on how strong you are and my guess is that most people will be well over 5 pounds. The stroke distance gives a buffer where small movements of the finger are "forgiven", no matter what the trigger weight.

Tangle
08-24-2004, 06:50 AM
That makes sense. When the finger moves from sympathetic reflex or startle, the force will depend on how strong you are and my guess is that most people will be well over 5 pounds. The stroke distance gives a buffer where small movements of the finger are "forgiven", no matter what the trigger weight.
I really hadn't thought about it like that but that does make sense. IIRC, some studies have indicated that startle responses can cause as high as 35# of force in the trigger finger, but as you point out, the stroke distance seems to provide some buffering.

I have had to do some serious re-thinking about guns and trigger configurations. My "comfort" zone slowly changed to what it is currently, a DA/SA with a relatively long trigger stroke on the first shot.

When I went to DAO on my Sig 226, I discovered that the long DAO stroke was "slower" if not cumbersome for follow-up shots. Right now, I am sold on DA/SA. The heavier, longer first shot provides, as you put it, some buffering and the SA allows really faster follow-up shots than DAO would.

michael
08-24-2004, 07:39 AM
I know we all like to think of SWAT guys as all high speed, low drag highly trained killing machines. That just isn't so. I spent 7 years doing SWAT work on a very good team that trained a lot and was very active in actual situations. SWAT guys are better trained and better shooters than the average police officer, of this there is no doubt. The qualifications for SWAT are much more stringent than for the line officer, but the fact remains that many SWAT officers are still not up to the standards of quality, competitive shooters or others who practice A LOT. Many of them are, but many of them are also not nearly as skilled as most people think. Our team had some excellent marksmen, but we also had some mediocore ones. Yes, they had to be decent shots to qualify and remain on the team, but they are not all "the deadliest pistoleers since Wild Bill". This is not an indictment of SWAT guys--I was one and have the utmost respect for what they do. JM2CW

Tangle
08-24-2004, 08:01 AM
I know we all like to think of SWAT guys as all high speed, low drag highly trained killing machines. That just isn't so. I spent 7 years doing SWAT work on a very good team that trained a lot and was very active in actual situations. SWAT guys are better trained and better shooters than the average police officer, of this there is no doubt. The qualifications for SWAT are much more stringent than for the line officer, but the fact remains that many SWAT officers are still not up to the standards of quality, competitive shooters or others who practice A LOT. Many of them are, but many of them are also not nearly as skilled as most people think. Our team had some excellent marksmen, but we also had some mediocore ones. Yes, they had to be decent shots to qualify and remain on the team, but they are not all "the deadliest pistoleers since Wild Bill". This is not an indictment of SWAT guys--I was one and have the utmost respect for what they do. JM2CW
michael,
I in no way meant for any comments I made to be taken as derogatory or even as criticism toward SWAT teams or members. In fact, I was using them as an example of how if "even" SWAT teams can wind up with fingers on triggers, how much greater the likelyhood of the lesser trained and essentially untrained people.

Sure, there are competitive shooters and probably lots of non-competetive shooters that are much better shots than SWAT, but they don't have anywhere near training in tactics and or at the stress levels that SWAT does.

The real issue is how we change under stress. It's much, much more than our hearts beating faster. Our minds don't think as well or maybe we "overthink" a simple problem, we don't see and hear things we should and don't interpret things the way we would without the stress, and fingers do get out of position. One Clintism I do agree with is, "We are all the same, but we are all different". Some do much better under stress than others.

And, I too, "...have the utmost respect for what they [SWAT] do..."

michael
08-24-2004, 08:45 AM
Tangle,

I wasn't implying anything towards you by my thread. Your thread just gave me the idea to write about common misconceptions some people have about SWAT. I actually agree with what you have written. :)

Tangle
08-24-2004, 10:13 AM
Tangle,

I wasn't implying anything towards you by my thread. Your thread just gave me the idea to write about common misconceptions some people have about SWAT. I actually agree with what you have written. :)
Just makin' sure I hadn't slighted the SWAT folks.

Tangle
08-25-2004, 08:29 AM
Tangle-Do you have Gabe's "Tactical Pistol Marksmanship" book? In there he gives some thoughts about the stress issue and how some of the effects can be mitigated.
Will,
You've hit the problem squarely, how many people that own/carry guns do you suppose have read "Tactical Pistol Marksmanship"? Or, had any formal training, or have any idea what happens under stress? Or, how many of them shoot as much as 100 rounds a year? But, those folks read here that a short, light trigger makes you a better shot, so guess what?They want a short, light trigger because it will make them a better shot! The truth is, it won't; but it will make them dangerous because they have an easy-to-shoot gun they rarely shoot, and they have no trigger finger discipline.

Tangle
08-27-2004, 06:52 AM
“…keep and bear arms…” is a right purportedly protected by the constitution. It is not a privilege to be granted by the state, although most states have already turned this right into a privilege.

In a perfect world, everyone would see the need for training; training would be available to everyone; it would be affordable to everyone; we would have time to train, and the training would always work. But the world we live in is far from perfect. Probably most people buy guns for protection and don’t know anything else is needed. We have LEO carrying guns that aren’t sufficiently trained because some bureaucrat doesn’t want to spend the money.

For civilian - BG encounters, in some 90+% of the time, a shot is never fired and the encounter ends when the civie displays his gun. Do we have accidents, sure, and any is too many. But as much as we dislike admitting it, trained people have gun accidents. In fact, I’ve never seen any studies that indicate whether more accidents occur among the trained or untrained. But I have seen stats that reveal that police shoot a lot more policemen that civies do; and the police shoot a lot more innocent civies than civies do. That’s not a flame at LEO; I respect them and support them.

Lack of training is a fact of life. I would venture to say that the majority of CCWs don’t have any training except what was necessary to get their CCW. Despite that, we aren’t seeing the number of accidents from that group that we might have expected. I think that’s one reason so many states see CCW as a positive thing; the accidents and rage incidents simply didn’t happen the way so many feared. In fact, gun accidents have been on the decline for years, while the number of guns bought has gone up dramatically.

As for, “No one here is responsible for the acts of others as you seem to be suggesting.” Maybe we’re not responsible for the actions of others, but there is nothing wrong with alerting people to potential problems. In fact, it would be irresponsible not to caution a fellow citizen, especially a fellow gun owner, about something that could cause them tremendous grief. And to the uninformed, short trigger pulls have significantly more risk than long trigger pulls and studies clearly indicate that. The trigger weight is not nearly as significant as pull length.

We see tragedies at all levels of training. After years of shooting, carrying, and training with Glocks and 1911s, I slowly began to realize just how easy it is to discharge these guns. You won’t see this kind of stuff in print because it doesn’t sell guns, it’s not popular, and people don’t want to hear it anyway.

After taking all four of Gunsite’s handgun courses, including dozens of Simunitions FOF simulators, I re-evaluated and decided, for me, a Sig DA/SA is best. That wasn’t an easy decision because I dearly love 1911s and own about 5 custom jobs. I have been to a shooting/training school at least once a year. I average shooting over 150 rounds a week in defensive shooting platforms. As a part of all that shooting, I found that for me a DA/SA is not any slower or less accurate to fire and hit than any other gun.

Then, I learned that’s not true for just me. I re-iterate that the LEOs in Prince George County in Massachusetts have more shootouts than any other place in the nation. They use DA/SA guns and have a hit percentage much higher than the national average and fewer NDs as well. They even have some of those mythical one shot stops!

I’m not trying to tell anyone what to carry, nor offend or slight anyone; I’m just sharing some things I’ve learned, mostly from others, about guns, shooting, and UDs. I realize some will appreciate it, and likely most will not. The only way I can keep unpopular, “unpublished” facts from being an offense is to not say them. But, what offends some may save others from a tragedy that could be prevented. So these things I write are with some trepidation. I don’t want to hurt or offend anyone anymore than anyone else, and if I do or have, please understand that it isn’t intentional.

Long trigger pulls won’t eliminate accidents that are stress induced. Nor will they eliminate accidental discharges induced from a fall, nothing will, not training, not safeties, but long trigger pulls do significantly reduce and minimize the risks.

Skpotamus
08-27-2004, 12:32 PM
Tangle, where do those numbers come from about Prince George County in Massachusetts have more shootouts than any other place in the nation? I'm not flaming or baiting, just asking since (counting yours) I've heard 4 different places listed for having the most police shootings.

I still like a shorter trigger pull, in the high stress classes I went to, I had no problems keeping my finger indexed on the frame and off the trigger.

Tangle
08-27-2004, 03:10 PM
Tangle, where do those numbers come from about Prince George County in Massachusetts have more shootouts than any other place in the nation? I'm not flaming or baiting, just asking since (counting yours) I've heard 4 different places listed for having the most police shootings.
"...I'm not flaming or baiting..."
I do appreciate that; I'm feeling a little vulnerable because I know some of this really goes against the grain and some may be more than glad to let me know it.

To answer your question, unfortunately, I don't have permission to disclose his name, but he is respected and most would very likely know him.



I still like a shorter trigger pull, in the high stress classes I went to, I had no problems keeping my finger indexed on the frame and off the trigger.
Clearly, a short stroke trigger (SST) doesn't mean you will have a UD any more than your finger being on the frame means you won’t. But there is less margin for error with SST than with a long stroke trigger (LST). I only know of one UD in the many classes I have taken. He was shooting a Glock 21; so was I and I didn't have a UD. Plus, I went through the most intense simulator I have ever been through with my finger on the trigger and didn't come close to a UD. That doesn't mean most wouldn’t or anybody would, or that it's a good idea!

Why do UDs really occur? Is it because somebody had his finger on the trigger in a stressful situation? That's what we're asked to believe. In fact, that's been drummed into us so strongly that we believe that if our finger is on the frame it guarantees us that we will not have a UD. But, if UDs occur solely because people have their fingers on triggers, then it must mean that in stressful situations people more frequently put their fingers on the triggers of guns with SST than they do LST because there are more UDs with SST than LST. Or, it could be that people put their fingers on both with the same frequency and the LST is simply more resistant to UD. Which one seems most likely to be true?

Here’s something else to think about. Is a finger on the trigger of a LST really any less safe than the finger on the frame of a SST? I know what we've been told and what we think is true and what would seem to be true, but what do the facts really show? What facts? We don't have any facts or stats that address that at all; well, that I'm aware of.

If we can step out of the training dogma and rules for just a moment and really think about it, why is it safer to have your finger on frame than on the trigger? The answer is presumed safety margin. It is presumed and believed that there is great safety in having the finger on the frame. But we really don’t know for sure that this position will decrease the chance of a UD. As far as I know, there is not one piece of evidence that shows that.

UDs are far more complicated to analyze than it may seem. UD causation has been greatly oversimplified to be the finger on the trigger. If a UD occurs and it is determined beyond any doubt that the person had their finger on the trigger, we assume that the reason the UD happened is because he had his finger on the trigger. We also assume that given the same situation that if the finger had been on the frame the UD would not have occurred. But we don’t have any way to factually determine that. We just assume and accept that it wouldn't because that's what everybody says.

What complicates the issue even more is how do we determine whether a discharge was a UD or an intentional shot that turned out to be a mistake. I suspect if something happens and the brain tells us to “clinch” the trigger finger, whether by conscious or subconscious response, it probably won’t matter whether the finger was on the frame or on the trigger. Massod Ayoob addressed this very phenomenon in one of his writings. He was saying that “just” having your finger along side the frame is not enough. He claims the finger should be curled in a position, on the frame, behind the trigger, so in a startle or sympathetic reflex situation, the trigger finger won’t/can’t pull the trigger. What may be even better than that is to keep the finger right behind the trigger so there is no way a clinch reflex can press the trigger.

He went on to say that the same is true for 1911s even though they have a thumb safety. His issue there is that if there is a reflex action, the thumb will swipe off the safety just as quickly as the finger pulls the trigger. Whether we agree with him is really irrelevant; the point he makes is pertinent. UDs do occur and a finger on the frame doesn’t prevent them like we would like to believe it would.

So then does this mean that I believe it is pointless to position your finger along side the frame? Absolutely not! I’m saying keeping your finger on the frame behind a LST maximizes the margin for error and minimizes the risk of UD. And this seems to be confirmed on the streets. I’ll leave you with this thought. If you an innocent at a crime scene and the police arrived ready for anything and he points his gun at you as a suspect, would you rather it be a gun with a SST or LST?

MTS
08-27-2004, 04:35 PM
Tangle,

When you say that Prince Georges CO has "more shoot outs" based on "your source" are you speaking in total numbers? Per capita? Per officer?

Since there is no offical nationwide recording of OIS's (the numbers you see published by FBI are based on summaries voluntarily provided by PD's and may not be complete) I am curious about your "source".

The fact he does not want his name mentioned to verify his reliability makes his statement unsupportable.

B0486
08-27-2004, 05:08 PM
There is no Prince Georges County in Massachusetts to my knowledge.

I believe there is one located in Virginia, maybe elsewhere as well.

I have my preferences on trigger pulls based on if I'm hunting or defending.

Robin Brown

Skpotamus
08-27-2004, 07:51 PM
Tangle, interesting thoughts. While I do agree with some of your thoughts/points I disagree with some :o)

I do agree that a lot of negligent discharges, or UD"s, are caused by somebody pulling the trigger without verifying their target, and saying afterwards "Doh!"

I have been put through some fairly stressful simulators. One really put me through the ringer. My instructor had me sprint the range, at the end, drop and do 50 pushups, sprint back and do the same thing again BEFORE drawing and running the actual course of fire. I actually saw my front sights move when my finger indexed hard on the frame instead of hitting the trigger on a "No shoot" target.

I've found that actually keeping pressure on the frame keeps me from slipping off. Kind of like stopping the flinch reflex in boxing. If you try to keep your eyes wide open, the muslces are doing nothing, your brain kicks in, activates the muscle
you'll flinch hard and close them entirely. By squinting, you are actively using your muscles, so when the brain yells at them, they don't pay as much attention.

Shrug, it works for me as far as flinching and, so far, for trigger on frame :o)

Tangle
08-28-2004, 04:53 AM
Tangle,

When you say that Prince Georges CO has "more shoot outs" based on "your source" are you speaking in total numbers? Per capita? Per officer?

Since there is no offical nationwide recording of OIS's (the numbers you see published by FBI are based on summaries voluntarily provided by PD's and may not be complete) I am curious about your "source".

The fact he does not want his name mentioned to verify his reliability makes his statement unsupportable.
I understand, that's exactly how I would feel about some mysterious source. But, he didn't say he didn't want his name mentioned. I said I didn't have permission. I didn't ask him.

Let me refer you to an article that appeared in Sigarms magazine, "Velocity". At least I think that's the name. Look at the interview with Ernie Langdon. The interview deals with how he did the "impossible" by using a Sig DA/SA 220 to beat Rob Leatham in the 2003 IDPA Custom Gun Division. But, the article gets into DA/SA stuff pertinent to this dicussion.

Looks like I gave credit to the wrong state; I simply heard it and moved on. I only remembered Prince George County because I thought it was such an unusual name.

What are your sources and what do they indicate about UDs?

Tangle
08-28-2004, 05:01 AM
Tangle, interesting thoughts. While I do agree with some of your thoughts/points I disagree with some :o)

I do agree that a lot of negligent discharges, or UD"s, are caused by somebody pulling the trigger without verifying their target, and saying afterwards "Doh!"

I have been put through some fairly stressful simulators. One really put me through the ringer. My instructor had me sprint the range, at the end, drop and do 50 pushups, sprint back and do the same thing again BEFORE drawing and running the actual course of fire. I actually saw my front sights move when my finger indexed hard on the frame instead of hitting the trigger on a "No shoot" target.

I've found that actually keeping pressure on the frame keeps me from slipping off. Kind of like stopping the flinch reflex in boxing. If you try to keep your eyes wide open, the muslces are doing nothing, your brain kicks in, activates the muscle
you'll flinch hard and close them entirely. By squinting, you are actively using your muscles, so when the brain yells at them, they don't pay as much attention.

Shrug, it works for me as far as flinching and, so far, for trigger on frame :o)
Undoubtedly that is stress! However, from what you described, it is essentially physical stress. The simulators I referred to have little physical stress. But they focus on mental stress; "somebody in here is about to shoot you type stress". And there are real people who will shoot (with Simunitions) you if you make a mistake or give them the opportunity.

As I said earlier, using a SST doesn't mean you have to have a UD just like having your finger on the frame does not guarantee that you won't. And the latter seems to be the one, sole, single thing that we count on to prevent a UD. I'm not sure it's as much insurance as we've been led to believe. And, until we see some extremely difficult to obtain numbers to refute or substantiate that, we'll go on believing it.

However, there is evidence that more UDs occur with SST than with LST. It is so compelling that it even destroys the notion that heavy triggers are a significant deterrent to UDs.

I don't have access to the studies and numbers but I know someone who does and not only does it make sense, I believe him.

JWnTN
08-28-2004, 10:31 AM
The Washington Post did a series of stories on PG shootings in 2001, reporting:

"By any measure, Prince George's County police have shot and killed people at rates that exceed those of nearly any other large police force in the nation. Since 1990, they have shot 122 people, killing 47 of them."

Written with liberal bias, guaranteed to get your blood pressure up: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/metro/md/princegeorges/government/police/shootings/

Tangle
08-28-2004, 01:40 PM
I realize many will not have access to the magazine I referred to so here is Ernst Langdon's take on the subject, in his own words. I'm just including very brief snippets to avoid copyright infringment issues.

Ernst Langdon: I still do a lot of training, for civilians, the military, police departments. The fact is, if you put people under stress in a high risk environment where they think every millisecond might make the difference...fingers start going on triggers, or at least migrating inside the trigger guards...

Interviewer, Duane Thomas: So why do so many police officers and private citizens choose guns with short, light trigger pulls?

Ernst Langdon: I honestly think the problem is that police departments, and your average guy who wants a gun for self-defense, as well, gets hung up on qualification scores. They've got to have a gun that's easy to shoot....You wouldn't believe the stories I hear, from people who know, of the lawsuits that are levied against police departments - millions upon millions of dollars worth of property damage and wrongful death, because they're armed with "easy to shoot" guns. You simply don't see that in departments armed with double action autos....Prince George's County in Maryland gets in more gunfights than just about any other police department in the country. You wouldn't believe how many one-shot gunfights they have, where the result is what they call DRT, Dead Right There...but the fact remains that the officers don't have any problem hitting the bad guy with their first shot."

Sorry for any confusion caused by me trying to move Prince George's County from Maryland to Massachusetts.

MTS
08-28-2004, 03:28 PM
Since virtually (I would say 90+%) OIS's have some type of civil action I am not sure how he is breaking out this information.

I will not register to read the article but I will say that I have seen a large city department south of me raked over the coals in the same fashion by the news media.

Tangle
08-28-2004, 04:57 PM
Since virtually (I would say 90+%) OIS's have some type of civil action I am not sure how he is breaking out this information...

I will not register to read the article but...

I don't have any idea either. I do know that he does lot's of training for PDs and government agencies and the military and he may have been privileged to see lot's of stats and studies and got to talk to lot's of people about shootings. I know he has studied lots of police videos of shootings. Somewhere along the line, something must have been pretty convincing for him to conclude, "You simply don't see that in departments armed with double action autos....". Referring to the UDs and law suits.

What I posted is really about all that pertains to the subject. The rest is about him winning the IDPA match and why he used a Sig 220 ST DA/SA, etc.

JWnTN
08-29-2004, 12:20 PM
I will not register to read the article but I will say that I have seen a large city department south of me raked over the coals in the same fashion by the news media.
Hmmm...I didn't have to register to find and read the article. I did a Google search using 'Prince' 'George', 'police', 'shooting' and it came up. But following the link registeration is required.

Skpotamus
08-30-2004, 10:25 PM
Tangle, I've done some playing with that kinda training. No Simmunitions though (private citizen), but I have tried it with some paintball pistols and airsoft.

I really didn't get the rush, or feel heavily stressed when going through those. I mentioned that and we upped the ante so to speak. We started using those solid plastic paintball practice pellets, and frozen paintballs to increase impact. BTW, a frozen paintball to the back of the head HURTS.... BAD!

I still didn't get that adrenaline rush most people associate with a real gunfight. I think it has to do with my previous training. I've had a lot of ring experience. While this doesn't mean anything, I do know that I've never gotten that adrenaline rush while training. I do when I fight. I think my body just got used to knowing the difference between reallife and practice.

What were they doing in the simulators you were running that made it feel more real for you?

Tangle
08-31-2004, 06:14 AM
Tangle, I've done some playing with that kinda training. No Simmunitions though (private citizen), but I have tried it with some paintball pistols and airsoft.

I really didn't get the rush, or feel heavily stressed when going through those. I mentioned that and we upped the ante so to speak. We started using those solid plastic paintball practice pellets, and frozen paintballs to increase impact. BTW, a frozen paintball to the back of the head HURTS.... BAD!

I still didn't get that adrenaline rush most people associate with a real gunfight. I think it has to do with my previous training. I've had a lot of ring experience. While this doesn't mean anything, I do know that I've never gotten that adrenaline rush while training. I do when I fight. I think my body just got used to knowing the difference between reallife and practice.

What were they doing in the simulators you were running that made it feel more real for you?
That's some excellent remarks, observations, and question.

I think you just about answered your question: "I think my body just got used to knowing the difference between real life and practice." So as a preliminary response to your question, it may not be so much what they’re doing, so much as it is what you’re doing mentally. It’s all in your mind.

Stress, "rush", or whatever we want to call it, is mostly self-induced. We respond to external situations; how we respond is internal. I too, have experienced, what we can call the "training effect", in simulators and didn't get the stress. It was because I approached the simulator as training which allowed me to distance myself emotionally and mentally from the reality the simulator was trying to simulate.

For me the answer is immersion; immersion into the scenario as totally as possible. Those little blue Simunitions marks have to become gushing blood. The sting of being hit is not distracting, it’s debilitating. It’s not who gets who first, or who’s going to win a training drill, it’s would I survive if this were real? Every time you lose in a simulator, you would die in reality. And, I’m on about my eleventh or twelfth life. Why? Because I thought, the mental part, that I could shoot this guy and not get shot in the process. I hadn’t thought, that mental part again, that he could shoot me before he died or that his partner that I didn’t even know about would shoot me. It all counts; there’s nothing fair about a gunfight.

Let me share one simple FOF Simunitions scenario that I went through. I was an armed citizen and had come out of the restroom in a restaurant to find the customers on their knees with their hands on their heads and a gunman ranting and pointing his gun at a “cook”. He was about 25 feet from me. Since the BG didn’t know I was there, I had a moment to think. Decisions, decisions, should I shoot this guy or wait and see if he’ll leave without harming anyone? If he shoots this guy I’d have to live with knowing I let a BG kill a GG right before my very eyes without doing anything. So I maintained my cover, which was really concealment, and fired. About that time I felt a sting on my gun hand, and instantly realized that someone else had shot me. The only thing I was pleased about is my instant reflex was to immediately locate the shooter and put three shots in him. I fired the shots so rapidly that my instructor commented, “Wow, you can shoot a Sig”. But that’s another story. Actually, in reality I died that day, trying so save someone. After the drill I learned that the “disguised as a customer” partner is something that is taught in prisons. He’s called a tail gunner. So I died that day. Needless to say, I approached the next six simulators with an adjusted mind.

For me immersion is vital. I can’t even start to reproduce the emotions of reality in a simulator or on the range, but I owe it to myself and those that would fall under my watch care to do all I can to make training as real as I can in my mind. I am very fortunate in the sense that I am not involved in competition shooting. Wow, I know how that must have sounded, but I’m all for competitive shooting, I simply mean when I go to the range, my target is as real as I can mentally make it; I’m not looking for points, I’m looking at how to survive. I don’t have to split my available training time and budget between two goals, competitive performance and defensive performance. The graphic target of a man holding a gun to woman’s head is my wife’s head. Will she survive if I shoot this guy? What if I hit her; could I really do this if it were real? Does the shot have to go in his eye? Will he move just as I shoot? It’s immersion and visualization into the training as deeply as you can. If you shoot this guy, will that stop him or will he still be able to shoot you? The hooded person is not a picture, he’s the guy that just came around the corner in my house; can I shoot him before he shoots me? If I do shoot will I survive?

I have come a long way with the immersion concept. It has never been taught to me, I had to develop it to make training more real for me. It has become so real that I talk to the BG. For example, the graphic of the BG holding the gun to a woman’s head (I visualize her as my wife and see her face instead of the woman on the target.) I say, “Hey guy how about moving the knife a little, we don’t want to have an accident.” Knife? What knife, he has a gun and I know it, but I don’t want him to know I know. Why? I need for him to be as disoriented and distracted as possible. If he says “this ain’t a knife it’s a gun” I’ll say, “I understand, but I can see the shiny blade and it’s really close to her and you could easily cut her without meaning to.” What’s he almost compelled to do? Prove to me that his “knife” is a gun. As soon as he moves the gun away from her head to show me it’s a gun, I fire at his eye.

I shared this technique with a friend of mine that went to Gunsite with me and he actually used it a non-FOF scenario. He faced a graphic of a man with a gun to a woman’s head and did the drill. The instructor “voiced” for the BG as if he knew the exact response we wanted. Matt replied that he could see the shiny blade, and when the instructor went off in a profane rant about the knife being a #$%^&&* gun, Matt put a shot right between his eyes. The instructor was so confused that he asked Matt if he realized the knife was really a gun. Matt simply said “Yep, there was never any doubt about it”.

You got to make it real. Well at least I have to or I won't get the stress effect.

Man, I’ve done it again. I’ve taken up wait too much space and imposed too much on your time. My apologies.

Tangle
08-31-2004, 07:55 AM
Will, take some deep breaths. We’re supposed to be friends engaged in a friendly discussion.

I think most shooting instructors/trainers would passionately disagree with your claim that they don’t teach and enforce the finger off the trigger rule or that they allow their students to ignore the rule.

trackwolf
06-01-2006, 10:42 PM
Came across this thread while looking for something else. The arguments in favor of a heavy trigger pull were well represented, while those in favor of a lighter pull were not addressed as thoroughly. In the interest of equal time, I offer the following article. (I am not Arthur J. Viani. I did not write this article. I found it some time ago and thought it made the case nicely.)

http://ghostinc.zoovy.com/category/1triggerweight/

By: Arthur J. Viani

I am the owner of Ghost Inc. I invented, manufacture and sell the Ghost Rocket, Ghost Tactical, Ghost Trigger, Ghost Ranger, Ghost Patrol and Ghost Ultimate. These trigger connectors improve the Glock OEM triggers by eliminating trigger over-travel and debris from the trigger mechanism. The benefit of a Ghost trigger is significantly enhanced trigger efficiency and reliability.

If your intention is to hit where you are aiming your Glock, and if accuracy and speed are an issue, a smooth lighter Ghost trigger in the 3.5 to 5.5 lb. range with little or no trigger over-travel is the best trigger to have in your pistol.

The main purpose of a defensive pistol is to shoot those things that endanger you and others!

I am frequently asked by Glock shooters what is the proper/best trigger pull weight for their Glocks. What is the difference between a trigger for target and one for self defense? This subject is hotly debated, argued and is rife with contradictions. The first thing I must make clear is that my position is based on an assumption that you are a safe law abiding shooter. That is, you will keep your finger off the trigger until you are absolutely positive that you must immediately fire! Practice and preach this or suffer the consequences. You will not point your firearm at anything unless you are: one, legally justified to do so; and two, you are willing to damage it severely or destroy it.

Finger off the trigger until you must immediately fire!

The status quo: "Lighter is better for target and heavier is better for self defense." Let's examine these. Lighter is better for target shooting because you are seeking the most efficient trigger pull to enhance your ability to shoot precisely. Consider "lighter" to be read as 3.5-5.5 lbs.. Lighter triggers make it easier to place your shot. This is simple physics. You are attempting to steady an object that weighs a little less than two pounds while you are simultaneously exerting up to 12 lbs. of force against the trigger. Once the sights are aligned, a lighter trigger pull will cause the pistol to move less before the bullet exist the barrel.

The lighter the trigger pull the less the pistol moves when the trigger is pulled!

The lighter the trigger pull weight the less the muzzle will move as you pull the trigger through to fire the pistol. The pistol will move less because of the weight you exert on the trigger is less, regardless of how fast you pull the trigger. So why is light good for target but bad for self defense? Are we not seeking efficiency? Why is efficiency in punching paper more important than wining a gunfight or our survival? Pistols are defensive weapons when used by law abiding persons. You are reacting to the actions of another or others which you believe rises to the level of justifying you to use force, deadly or otherwise. One-the actions of these individuals justify the use of your pistol to defend yourself! Two-you are playing catch up because you are reacting defensively (vs.-offensively)-and you want a heavy inefficient trigger pull because you are afraid of being sued? You are willing to cede your life because of civil liability!

The trigger is the heart of any pistol. Get a good one!

I say "heavy inefficient trigger pull", why? What is my definition of heavy? Anything above 7 lbs. What is inefficient? A trigger with excessive movement to fire the pistol for the first shot and excessive movement to reset the trigger for subsequent shots. We are told the concept of hitting things with bullets is to place your primary focus on the front sight of the pistol and not trigger manipulation. Once you have decided something needs to be shot to save your life or another persons life you have to place a bullet or bullets into another living thing. You must put your front sight on the object where you intend to deliver your ballistic energy. Now if you have a heavy trigger pull weight in your pistol you realize how much concentration it takes to shoot well with this heavy trigger. But wait a minute the experts tell us that under the stresses of a gunfight concentration will be difficult for most and impossible for some. Now knowing your trigger pull is heavy and concentration on your sights is going to be difficult you will focus on pulling the trigger. How will you pull the trigger? Very rapidly because your already playing catch up and you know from your training that the trigger offers allot of resistance and it is difficult under the best of circumstances to shoot well. You will not focus on the front sight because your mind is screaming shoot now launch some lead! The heavier the trigger pull the more pressure will be applied to the trigger and subsequently to the pistol and this pressure will cause the muzzle to move off the line of sight when you exert this much pressure to pull the trigger. How is this possible? It that physics thing again. Your pistol weighs almost two pounds you are trying to steady it while rapidly maybe even violently applying up to six times its weight (depending on the trigger pull weight) to pull the trigger, this will likely cause the muzzle to move and the bullet(s) to strike off the intended target. I said the primary focus should be on the front sight. But it is difficult to do this when we realize how critical trigger manipulation is. The fact of the matter is of the two fundamentals sight alignment and trigger pull-trigger pull is more critical to insuring hitting what you aim or point at! If you miss-align your sights even out to seven yards you still hit within six inches of where the pistol was aimed. If you jerk the trigger the shot will go low by a few feet and possibly miss all together. Feet or inches I would choose inches. Using or issuing a pistol with a heavy trigger pull is a perceived low cost solution to training and avoiding liability. Because "how could they pull the trigger negligently with a heavy trigger pull?" but the inverse is true. The heavier trigger pulls leads to the shooter "prepping the trigger"-that is placing your finger on the trigger in preparation to firing your shot and moving the trigger to the rear to take out the slack or the excess front end movement of the trigger right before it releases the firing pin. Prepping the trigger or placing your finger in the trigger housing prior to actually firing the pistol is negligent! Remember-you will keep your finger off the trigger until you are absolutely positive that you must immediately fire! Practice and preach this or suffer the consequences! The mindset that some people express to me and much too often for my comfort is that "I like a heavy trigger because I can put my finger on the trigger and prep it by feel so that when covering a suspect/subject/intruder etc. if they move I can react and shoot them before they shoot me!"

Continued below ...

trackwolf
06-01-2006, 10:44 PM
Continued from above ...

The heavier the trigger the more likely the shooter will prep the trigger for a perceived advantage!

Think about this. The experts say that your body will go through several changes when involved in a critical incident and or a gunfight. Some of changes they state will occur are that you will lose the ability to perform a fine motor skill (i.e. precise trigger manipulation), tactile sensation (the ability to feel with your finger tips) and your body will operate with gross motor movement. According to the experts, you will not be capable of; pulling the trigger precisely you will pull the trigger and fire the pistol when you place your finger on the trigger!

Wait-if you can't feel the trigger or its pull weight and your going to pull hard what difference does trigger pull weight make?

So why do you need a heavier trigger pull when you will not be capable of feeling or sensing this heavier trigger weight? What I have been told by various firearms instructors is they think "Heavier" is safer, politically correct and because the cost of teaching people to shoot effectively is cost prohibitive. But we know that the argument of heavier equals safer is not true, because people will place their trigger finger on the trigger to prep the triggers to gain a perceived edge. We know that once you place your finger on the trigger under stress you will very likely fire your pistol regardless of trigger weight!

So then why does the trigger pull weight make a difference? Here's why. Because under stress the trigger pull weight becomes either an asset or a liability. The heavier the trigger pull weight the more the pistol will move-liability! The more movement the more you will miss! The lighter the trigger pull weight the less the pistol will move and the greater the odds your bullet will go where you want it-asset!! This means that a lighter trigger means more hits!

Under stress you will not feel the trigger or its weight!

What do the numbers say about trigger pull weights and hit ratios in actual gunfights?

-New York City Police Department (N.Y.P.D.) Glocks with 12 lb. triggers 15% hit ratio*.

-Los Angeles County Sheriff Department (L.A.C.S.D.) Double/Single Action trigger, first shot double action approx. 12 lb. double action subsequent single action shots approx 5 lb. trigger pull weight 51% hit ratio*

* SPECIAL REPORT: FIREARMS, Aveni, Thomas; Law and Order, Vol. 51, No.8 August 2003

Just to give you some insight into the importance of a good trigger and good trigger manipulation (a good trigger being a smooth light consistent pull with little or no trigger over-travel-my definition)

The FBI's Firearms Training Unit wrote a manual entitled; Advanced Firearms Instructional Techniques, January 1999, they dedicate seven (7) pages to sight alignment issues and thirteen (13) to trigger control. Why are more pages dedicated to trigger pull than to sight alignment? Reason, if you can't control and manipulate the trigger effectively you will not hit things that are trying to hurt you. The FBI issues their Glock pistols with 5.5 lb. trigger connectors! They determined that anything heavier resulted in poor performance by their agents during stressful shooting conditions!

If heavier is safer or better, then why don't all firearms have heavier triggers?

The single action (read this as lightweight triggers) 12 gauge pump action shotguns, 5.56mm AR-15 series of rifles and various submachine guns have trigger pull weights ranging from 2.5 lbs to 6 lbs. Why do these weapons which deliver a greater ballistic payload not merit 25 lb. triggers if the real concern is avoiding civil liability? I believe this is a contradiction!

Let's see, you use a double action pistol with a 12 lb. trigger pull but you have a shotgun, assault rifle or submachine gun with a 3 lb. trigger. More power, lighter trigger! "Yes, but when you need a shotgun, assault rifle or submachine gun it's really bad." So using this logic, if someone is only trying to kill you with a pistol, knife or bat that's not so bad and you should use the under powered pistol with a heavy and inefficient trigger pull that is difficult to shoot well? Not if you want to live!

Proper TRAINING insures firearms safety not increasing the trigger pull weight!

Again, if your intention is to hit where you are aiming your Glock, and if accuracy and speed are an issue, a smooth lighter Ghost trigger in the 3.5 to 5.5 lb. range with little or no trigger over-travel is the best trigger to have in your pistol. I addressed the lighter is better point now I'll define trigger over-travel. What is trigger over-travel? It is the excessive rearward movement of the trigger after the firing pin has been released by the sear to fire the pistol. Why is limiting or stopping over-travel important? Very simply to stop pistol movement while the bullet is in the barrel. You need to do this to insure the pistol stays aligned with the target and the bullet goes where it was aimed. Eliminating trigger over-travel is so critical to precise shot placement that all target rifles / pistols, sniper rifles and expensive self defense pistols have trigger over-travel systems incorporated in their designs. If the worlds best shooters demand these systems to insure their success and survival so should you.

The Glock semi-automatic pistol as designed has excessive movement and trigger over-travel. I believe this was done to simplify the manufacturing of the pistol and from a manufacturers stand point it was brilliant. Mr. Glock makes a pistol where all parts will interchange between like models without the required fitting that is common to all other handgun designs. But because these same tolerances make the Glock so easy to manufacture it results in a very sloppy trigger pull. We already know that the trigger is the heart of any pistol This where the Ghost triggers come in. Our patented Rocket & Tactical triggers eliminate trigger over-travel our Ultimate, Ranger and Patrol increases the reliability of the triggers and pistol. How the Rocket & Tactical use the patented Trigger Control Tabs which are fitted to the pistol eliminating trigger over-travel. These trigger connectors stop trigger movement at the instant of firing resulting in precise bullet placement. The Ultimate, Ranger & Patrol utilize the patent pending Debris Channel. This debris channel is a hole manufactured into the trigger connector that removes debris or any foreign matter from the trigger system making the Glock trigger mechanism more reliable.

Keep your finger off the trigger until you are absolutely positive that you must immediately fire! Practice and preach this or suffer the consequences!

InTheBlack
06-04-2006, 08:43 PM
>>>
Sorry for any confusion caused by me trying to move Prince George's County from Maryland to Massachusetts.
>>>

Actually, a lot of people would be very grateful if you could do so.

I'd very much like to read that 1999 FBI paper on instructional technique if anyone knows how to get it.

I think Mr. Aveni is using some faulty & some circular reasoning.

First, he stipulates that you have to keep your finger off the trigger unless intending to fire. Which begs the question entirely, which is whether a heavier pull reduces the chance of a ND when the finger goes there when it shouldn't.

Then he says that under stress you won't notice how easy or hard the pull is, so he discounts the possible protective effect. But then he says a heavier pull makes you more likely to move the muzzle off target. He can't have it both ways. An ND where the muzzle goes off target is a less undesirable type of ND.

I kinda like the springy feel of a Kahr trigger.

Note: The Bullseye shooters, with their thoroughbred 1911s, are moving away from the traditional "glass rod break" trigger to a "roll" trigger. Granted the distance moved is still mighty small, but they like the _perception_ of revolver like movement.

On that note, consider making a shot while moving at a moving target. With a glass rod break you _must_ snatch the trigger. Otherwise the impact of your feet hitting the ground will probably cause the shot to break randomly. If you are accustomed to a revolver-like smooth continuous roll, you can start the process of moving your finger "automatically" while concentrating on keeping the gun aimed at the target.