Finger in the trigger guard on single action revolvers?

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necchi

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,,it's completely contrary to what we preach for safety (keep your booger-hook off the trigger) when shooting other types of firearms.
It just looks kind of cringy to me when I see someone holding a single action army with the hammer down and their finger outside the guard
I'm failing to get the point of your entire post here, :dunno:

Are you saying safety protocol only matters sometimes(?) And/or somehow because it's "only" a cap and ball revolver that uses a different loading procedure that the gun in and of itself is absolved of safety protocol (?).
Guess what? Those that are around you at the range,, watch you. Your behavior, no matter what firearm you have in your hands, MATTERS to those around you.
Period!
 

rshveyda

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I'm failing to get the point of your entire post here, :dunno:

Are you saying safety protocol only matters sometimes(?) And/or somehow because it's "only" a cap and ball revolver that uses a different loading procedure that the gun in and of itself is absolved of safety protocol (?).
Guess what? Those that are around you at the range,, watch you. Your behavior, no matter what firearm you have in your hands, MATTERS to those around you.
Period!
That's not what I am saying at all. I'm specifically speaking of single action only revolvers that can only be fired if the hammer is cocked.

While facing a target I intend to engage, somewhere after leaving the holster and by the time the gun is up and pointed downrange, I've got my finger inside the trigger guard already. I keep my finger forward against the inside of the guard, then thumb back the hammer, aim (I need the hammer cocked to get a rear sight) and then engage the trigger to fire the round.

My finger goes forward off the trigger in the recoil, I thumb the hammer back for a second round, aim, engage trigger again, rinse, repeat. I'm not talking about walking the range with a loaded pistol with my finger on the trigger. I know and obey all range rules.

So, I guess, my real question is: "With a Single Action Only pistol, do you put your finger in the trigger guard before or after you thumb back the hammer. My finger goes inside the trigger guard before the gun is cocked, and don't think it's unsafe to do so because with the hammer down on an empty chamber the gun simply won't fire.

In addition, I believe it gives me an additional point of contact with the pistol that gives me a better grip than if I were to extend a finger along the barrel like I would with other types of guns. Even though it's technically violating a cardinal rule of gun safety.

Sorry if I confused anyone with my first post, but it is good to see everyone speaking out about range safety since the consequences for failure can be so very dire.
 

troy2000

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My two bits: if you're going to follow a safety rule, you follow it 100% until it becomes automatic. Then you don't have to worry about whether you remembered to do it when it counts... keeping your finger outside the trigger guard on any sort of gun should basically be a muscle memory, with no thinking involved.

Not to mention that if you have your finger inside the trigger guard with the hammer down, it'll probably still be there when you pull the hammer back. Oops...
 

Woody Morgan

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My two bits: if you're going to follow a safety rule, you follow it 100% until it becomes automatic. Then you don't have to worry about whether you remembered to do it when it counts... keeping your finger outside the trigger guard on any sort of gun should basically be a muscle memory, with no thinking involved.

Not to mention that if you have your finger inside the trigger guard with the hammer down, it'll probably still be there when you pull the hammer back. Oops...
Amen.

wm
 

rshveyda

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My two bits: if you're going to follow a safety rule, you follow it 100% until it becomes automatic. Then you don't have to worry about whether you remembered to do it when it counts... keeping your finger outside the trigger guard on any sort of gun should basically be a muscle memory, with no thinking involved.

Not to mention that if you have your finger inside the trigger guard with the hammer down, it'll probably still be there when you pull the hammer back. Oops...
Oops, what? Of course my finger will be inside the guard when I cock the hammer because I'm ready to shoot before I would every cock that hammer. We're talking about single action only revolvers.
 

troy2000

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Oops, what? Of course my finger will be inside the guard when I cock the hammer because I'm ready to shoot before I would every cock that hammer. We're talking about single action only revolvers.
So you never, ever pause after you've pulled the hammer back? It's a hundred percent one-two action every single time, even if someone says something to you as you're cocking your gun?

I say again: if you automatically keep your finger outside the guard every single time, you aren't going to screw up and do it with the wrong gun at the wrong time. This is such a basic, common-sense safety rule that I'm surprised you're even arguing about it.
 

JamesA

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I know we are all trained to keep our finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard for safety, especially on modern unmentionables. I've shot various single action revolvers for years, and since some of them are rather heavy, I've always picked them up with a finger inside the trigger guard. Often with my thumb against the hammer to boot. The gun won't fire until cocked, and pulling the trigger is necessary to lower the cocked hammer as part of the loading process so it always just felt natural.

I've never really thought about it, but via muscle memory, I handle a single action revolver completely different from how I handle a modern unmentionable. And it's completely contrary to what we preach for safety (keep your booger-hook off the trigger) when shooting other types of firearms. It just looks kind of cringy to me when I see someone holding a single action army with the hammer down and their finger outside the guard.
I wouldn't do it simply to reinforce that habit of never putting your finger inside the trigger guard on any firearm until you are ready to fire.
 

Norsk

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Isn't it strange the different attitudes displayed from different nationalities.

Bisley John requires a finger outside the trigger guard when shooting on "his" range,here in Norway one does not do so unless moving from one firing point to another.

If you have a loaded weapon on a range here then it is either holstered or pointing in a safe direction .

Personally I feel less in control of my BP revolver when I am constantly moving my finger in and out of the trigger guard. Especially during the cold months when gloves are a necessity and the grips less than generous.

When I lived in the UK I genuinely felt an air of paranoia surrounding firearms,quite sad honestly.Quite a number of officious little twats chesting about trying to out do one another .
 

necchi

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While facing a target I intend to engage,
Well, that's an odd realm of intention,
And not really something your lawyer is going to want to find advertised on an open forum after you have engaged your target and need his assistance.

I'd advise that all safety protocol should be maintained at all times,, every time.
If done so all of the time, your personal skill as well as practice will never come under question.
 

Artificer

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I know we are all trained to keep our finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard for safety, especially on modern unmentionables. I've shot various single action revolvers for years, and since some of them are rather heavy, I've always picked them up with a finger inside the trigger guard. Often with my thumb against the hammer to boot. The gun won't fire until cocked, and pulling the trigger is necessary to lower the cocked hammer as part of the loading process so it always just felt natural.

I've never really thought about it, but via muscle memory, I handle a single action revolver completely different from how I handle a modern unmentionable. And it's completely contrary to what we preach for safety (keep your booger-hook off the trigger) when shooting other types of firearms. It just looks kind of cringy to me when I see someone holding a single action army with the hammer down and their finger outside the guard.
I was "seriously warned" one time at a modern range for keeping my trigger finger inside the trigger guard of a repro Starr Revolver while pointing it safely downrange and bringing it up to line of sight. The Hammer was NOT cocked in this situation. However, this was a Double Action Repro Starr and not the normal single action BP revolver. I tried to explain to the Range Safety Officer it was a "DA" revolver and I did NOT have a percussion cap or load underneath the hammer. I wasn't getting through, so I pointed out three or four other double action modern revolver shooters who kept their fingers in the trigger guard when raising their revolvers, but the RSO said they were "safe".

I replied, "Let me get this straight, you let them put their finger in the guard while bringing the revolver up with a LIVE round under the hammer, but you won't let me do it with NO round under the hammer, just because it is a BP DA revolver?" This RSO was just not experienced much with any BP Revolver, let alone a DA BP Revolver, so he reiterated what I was doing was supposedly "unsafe." Well, I decided I wanted to shoot more than try to educate the guy, so I made a huge showing of only putting my trigger finger into the trigger guard when the Starr was up to my line of sight and THEN I fired it Double Action.

I fired it enough to know it really wasn't for me, so after I fired the last round, I cleared the range and went inside the shop to inform the Shop owners of what happened. When I showed them how the Starr worked DA and explained how not having a percussion cap and load under the hammer was safe, they finally agreed with me.

PS: The English also made some BP DA Revolvers during the forum period, though as far as I know, no one is making repro's of them.

Gus
 

bisleyjohn

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Oops, what? Of course my finger will be inside the guard when I cock the hammer because I'm ready to shoot before I would every cock that hammer. We're talking about single action only revolvers.
I find it almost impossible to remain perfectly on aim whilst cocking. A neligent discharge (there is no such thing as an accident) will result, at best, with a poor score, or a miss. at worst? I dread to think. I scorn those who would advocate anything other than FINGER OUT :doh:
 
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jimhallam

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This might be slightly off the point (which is, of course, to be safe at all times, ESOPECIALLY in this "ambulance-chasing-lawyer" world) but the terms "single action" and "double action" are used incorrectly.... and CERTAINLY not "period" terminology.

A SINGLE ACTION revolver is one that can be fired only ONE way.
A DOUBLE ACTION revolver can be fired TWO ways.
The weird term "DA only" crept in along the way... probably as a result of the development of early S-L pistols which were unsafe to carry cocked and locked (Sorry, Zonie for the reference, which IS necessary to explain things.) --- and the stupid modern term "lock and load" makes no sense at all.

A M1851 COLT is "single action --- HAMMER COCKED" using the "other hand" or the thumb of the shooting hand, which loosens the grip. As such the engagement of the sear in the bent allows a light trigger weight --- sometimes TOO light (especially in Italian repros when they wear).!

A M1851 Adams is "single action --- TRIGGER COCKED" pulling through on the trigger -- which is heavier work -- but one must remember that the British Officer (the main purchaser of pistols at the time) had his sword / sabre in the right hand, and the revolver was really a supplementary weapon. This system is sometimes called "self-cocking".

A M1856 Beaumont-Adams is a TRUE "DOUBLE ACTION" in that it can be fired TWO ways.
These were copied by the Massachusetts Arms Company --- fine revolvers but I could never understand why they produced the .31 Pocket and the .36 Navy but never the .44 Army.
I presume that the Italian repro revolver industry did not produce a TRUE DA percussion because they were (and still are) made down to a price --- hence the people who are determined to win in some competitions throw money at it --- true for most sports but discouraging the majority.

The "DA" Starr is a truly unique revolver, as it is the only SELECTIVE DA revolver, using the slider on the rear of the trigger to select the mode of use. The front "trigger" is actually only a cocking lever (like the double-trigger Tranters). Frank Sellers explains this excellently on page 169 of "American Percussion Revolvers" -- a seminal book, probably the BEST one of its time and well worth getting a copy.
With the selector in the UP position you raise the hammer to full-cock and then take your finger OFF the "cocking lever" and move it to the the REAL trigger which is the small one at the rear of the trigger-guard.
To fire it by "pulling through" the selector is put in the UP position and its tip presses the real trigger.
The problem? Set it one way and try to cock it the other and it jams ;-(
Not good when facing someone wearing grey or butternut uniform.


Whatever we call them, what we DON'T want is N.D's so for a HAMMER-COCKED revolver it does make sense to keep the trigger finger out of the guard (that's why it was called that!!!!) until the revolver is pointed in a safe direction.
 
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