Trigger Guard Shape

by
posted on November 26, 2013
wiley-clapp.jpg (3)

When the service pistol began to evolve widely in the 1960s, many of the guns were completely new designs. The ones that succeeded almost always attempted to meet three criteria that came from the military pistols of World War II. This fact was most eloquently recalled by the late Chuck Karwan in “Combat Handgunnery” over 20 years ago. The criteria were (1) a DA (or DA/SA) trigger system, (2) a high-capacity magazine and (3) a more powerful cartridge. There were a lot of new semi-auto pistols in an America poised to hang up its wheelguns. Many of these new police and military service pistols had a feature that apparently came out of thin air, because I can’t find anyone willing to take the credit (blame?) for it.

The feature was a unique trigger guard shape, which had either a flat face or a sharp hook on the front edge.  A few pistolsmiths had been modifying 1911 pistols to have this contour. That is somewhat understandable in an atmosphere where combat shooting was growing in popularity and the Weaver stance was coming into vogue. In a two-handed stance, the non-shooting (support) hand wraps around the shooting hand, which is pushing the gun forward. The support hand pulls back and the resulting push-pull effect stabilizes the gun nicely. Some shooters started using the support hand trigger finger to reach up and pull back on the trigger guard. To make it just a little easier, designers began to flatten or hook the trigger guard and before you could say Jack Weaver, it was there for keeps.

Then a bunch of hard-core handgunners who ran serious evaluation of every technique, tactic and tool they could find, discovered that this finger forward business didn’t work. In fact, holding a pistol in this grip often caused interference with the real trigger finger. Also, the finger-forward position is not as strong as you might think. The rearward pulling effort is actually somewhat divided and while the effect might be acceptable for a first single shot, it is not for multiples. Combat shooting involves managing the recoil of a hard kicking service handgun for as many shots as it takes to resolve a serious threat. Fortunately the trigger guard shape, developed to facilitate this ill-advised shooting technique, is easy to deal with. You just ignore it.

Latest

GForce LVR410
GForce LVR410

Review: GForce LVR410

With a long and storied history in the United States, lever-action carbines continue to be favorites among modern American shooting sports enthusiasts. This evaluation takes a closer look at the 24"-barreled LVR410, which is being imported by GForce Arms, Inc. of Reno, Nev.

Editor’s Choice: “In Country | My Memories Of Vietnam And After”

I met author Forrest R. Lindsey at a gun show where he graciously provided a signed copy of this remarkable account of his experiences as a young man enlisting in the Marine Corps a year after high school in 1965.

The Armed Citizen® Feb. 26, 2024

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

.30-’06 Springfield: History & Performance

The .30-’06 Springfield has reached beyond the century mark, but its popularity shows no sign of decline. It fundamentally changed how shooters and hunters look at and use rifles, and it remains one of America’s most popular big-game cartridges.

Preview: WCG Tactical Nylon AR-10/.308/M1A 20-Round Magazine Pouch

Built from highly durable 1000 denier synthetic polymer, the Tactical Nylon AR-10/.308/M1A 20-Round Magazine Pouch from Wilde Custom Gear is compatible with many of the 20-round detachable box magazines used across the broad spectrum of .308 Win.-chambered battle rifles.

Guns Of The 1936 Arab Revolt

The area of the former British Mandate of Palestine has been a scene of conflict for more than a century. One of the largest conflicts began in 1936 while under British imperial administration.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.