Index that finger

by Sandy Keathley
This is a particular pet peeve of mine. Since I am right-handed, I’ll describe it this way; you lefties can just reverse the mental image.

When I lay down a handgun, I always lay it on its left side, and always pick it up one-handed. That way, it is easy to get the right index finger into the proper position: straight out, along the frame of the gun, above the trigger guard, and below the slide (semi) or cylinder (revolver). This is the only proper and safe way to handle a pistol, and aids immeasurably in loading and racking a slide. It’s also a good habit to get into at an outdoor range, as the RSO will usually expect pistols to be laid down on the left side with the action open.

I am reminded of this because I watch television a fair amount, especially action/spy/cop programs, and there is always one to three people clearing a room, or tracking someone down a hallway. And they always have their finger properly indexed, and using good form with the grip.

Indeed they should. TV and movie directors routinely hire firearms instructors to teach the cast how to look authentic when handling a gun, and they do a good job. I watch these actors carefully, looking for the evil finger-on-the-trigger syndrome, and seldom see it.

The one thing that is questionable is the stance; they almost always use the Weaver Stance. This is not to question the Weaver; it revolutionized law enforcement for decades, and is still in use by some people, but it is not taught today as often as the Isosceles. No, the reason they use the Weaver, is the directors have consistently said that they thought it looked more authentic.

Well, it does look good. It might not be as good for defensive shooting as the Isosceles, but, after all, it is Hollywood. We should be surprised they even make movies that have guns!

Author: Sandy Keathley

NRA-Certified Firearms Instructor