Trigger finger discipline?

holdit

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A question for the gun owners/historians. We've got used to seeing on TV and in movies, professional gun users e.g. military and police, keeping trigger fingers off the trigger and extended outside and slightly above the trigger guard. Fair enough. Not long ago, though, I saw something fictional - and I wish I could remember exactly what - and set in WW2, which showed soldiers using the same technique. I thought that this was just movie/program-makers keeping up with the new trend, after all it first made its appearance as far as I can tell in cops show within the last 10-15 years and now suddenly everyone's at it, even further back in history. Until I watched the video below.... and at 0:53 there is a German soldier holding a pistol (Browning or Colt, unexpectedly) and with his finger in the safety position.

Is this just coincidence, or has that particular safety method been standard for a lot longer than I imagined?

 

WuWei

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Wasn't this standard practice since forever, and only clueless actors did it wrong until people started complaining (== until the internet became a thing)?
At least the German army taught it so several decades ago.
 

Eagle4ty

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My dad spent a little over three years fighting the Japanese in WW-II and when he taught us weapon safety when we were young that was a standard practice (or else!) - WAY before I ever entered the military. Quite sure it was a common practice but if it was part of their training I'm not sure - it certainly was part of mine in 1969.
 

Paul M. Weir

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I've never been in a combat situation, but have hunted rabbits and done some target practice. While my father did give me the outlines of gun safety, my instinct was always to keep my fingers well clear of the trigger and guard until I was solidly aiming. It just seemed common sense to me.
 

holdit

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So what might look like film-makers following a trend is actually a realism catch-up in progress. Well, you learn something new every day...

(The only weapon I ever fired was a flintlock musket at a wargames convention. Blank cartridge of course. Great fun, though.)
 

bendizoid

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Looks like that cat wants to pull the trigger. He has no paw discipline.
 

Philippe D.

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I have absolutely no first hand knowledge about this (never even held a gun), but I was recently told by someone who should know better (ex-military) that WWII era soldiers would keep their fingers closer to the trigger, as the triggers were harder than they would be on modern guns; and that the tendancy of modern movie soldiers to hold them differently was actually a byproduct of the actors' trainers having been themselves trained on modern firearms.

Again, I have absolutely no idea whether this is true.
 

Yuri0352

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WWII era soldiers would keep their fingers closer to the trigger, as the triggers were harder than they would be on modern guns;
This is total bollocks.

Sort of reminds me of the post from a year or so ago where an 'ex-military' individual told one of our members of the 'common practice' of U.S. soldiers during WWII 'filing down' the sears of their M-1 Garands in order to render them capable of full automatic fire.
 

Philippe D.

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This is total bollocks.

Sort of reminds me of the post from a year or so ago where an 'ex-military' individual told one of our members of the 'common practice' of U.S. soldiers during WWII 'filing down' the sears of their M-1 Garands in order to render them capable of full automatic fire.
OK, good to know. As I said, I had no personal opinion in this, either way.
 

Paul M. Weir

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To add to my earlier post:
I tended to be a bit overly paranoid around guns. When moving about with a double barrel shotgun looking for rabbits, I kept it broken open. With a bolt action or semi-automatic, I cleared the chamber (after firing or not) and put any unfired round back in the magazine before moving out. Moving about on uneven ground with eyes and ears tuned for game means a greater risk of tripping and accidental discharge.
 

Eagle4ty

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To add to my earlier post:
I tended to be a bit overly paranoid around guns. When moving about with a double barrel shotgun looking for rabbits, I kept it broken open. With a bolt action or semi-automatic, I cleared the chamber (after firing or not) and put any unfired round back in the magazine before moving out. Moving about on uneven ground with eyes and ears tuned for game means a greater risk of tripping and accidental discharge.
Just a note to correct your outlook on firing a weapon when not intending too if using improper safety techniques. It is not an accidental discharge of a weapon, it's a negligent discharge of a weapon.
 

Paul M. Weir

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Just a note to correct your outlook on firing a weapon when not intending too if using improper safety techniques. It is not an accidental discharge of a weapon, it's a negligent discharge of a weapon.
Fair enough, but allow for that I am neither a lawyer nor an ex-serviceman. Avoiding any unintended discharge should be the utterly dominant concern.
 

Eagle4ty

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Fair enough, but allow for that I am neither a lawyer nor an ex-serviceman. Avoiding any unintended discharge should be the utterly dominant concern.
As it should always be regardless of one's profession. Now that isn't saying such instances of unintentional fratricide didn't/doesn't occur in the military (take the circumstance pointed out in "Band Of Brothers" when they were in Holland), but weapon safety has always been of paramount concern in military most units. I can only assume that this was certainly the case in WW-II where large armies of mostly conscripted men, many if not most with limited or no previous weapons experience, were provided individual weapons and ammunition quite liberally.
 

Del

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‘The most dangerous weapon you will ever see on the battlefield is the one in the hands of the man beside you.’ True whether they are waving a sword or an assault rifle.
 
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