Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Shooting - Trigger hand/finger placement and techniques:

Just for thought, I attended a sniper school last year and the instructor was a former Marine sniper in Nam and told us that if you have a rifle with a 6lb. trigger you can make it feel like a 2lb trigger simply by sticking your finger as far into the trigger guard as possible and then simply squeeze you finger and the "felt" pull is nill compared to using the tip of the finger. I had never heard of it before but I tried it on another rifle and he was right, but it does take some getting used to when you have shot the other way all your life. However when I shoot someone elses gun who has a stock trigger pull and use this method it works great to reduce felt trigger pull.
Pat <>
USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 17:23:05 (ZULU) 

As I have stated before, I am a School Trained Marine Sniper, currently active duty in a Sniper Platoon. The trigger pull method that your instructor mentioned to you goes against everything i have ever heard or been taught about trigger control. Sticking your finger all the way through, instead of just using the pad or first joint, would cause some twisting of the rifle as you increase pressure. It may not be apparent at close ranges, but it definitly will show out to the 1000yrd line. My M40A1 has a 6lb. trigger, and I have never heard of any sniper being bothered by the weight of pull. If it really bothers you. Get a trigger job, dont compensate with bad tecnique.

John <>
Camp Lejeune, NC, USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 20:08:50 (ZULU) 

I don't necessarly disagree with what your saying I was raised by that rule also and shoot that way today but I did try it and it did work as advertised. I have not tried it at long range but at 100 and 200 yards the groups were the same. I just had a hard time breaking muscle memory, my spot weld and trigger finger and body position are all natural, I just dont think about them, there just there and when I try to change anyone thing it doesn't seem to work to well. You may well be right though at long range it could have an adverse effect and then to I may not have explained it correctly either because there was no "Torqueing" of the weapon. It was just a thought.
Pat <>
USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 20:34:38 (ZULU) 
Me again! Sorry, but I shoot on the first joint on every weapon whether it be a 700 sniper shotgun or a S&W revolver or AK-47 machine gun. I won't go against the rules but.....I get by in spite of my poor habits I guess. On a 2 oz trigger maybe I would use the finger tip flat since it would be hard to feel the trigger without it going off. I find nothing magic about the tip of the finger since the finger is crooked anyway I've noticed.

B.Rogers <>
USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 20:51:58 (ZULU)  
Last question: while most rifle shooters wrap their thumb over the pistol grip, I've noticed some who keep the thumb and index finger aligned on the same side of the stock. Is this just a matter of personal preference, or is there any benefit to this?

Bach Melick <>
New Orleans, LA, USA - Wednesday, February 17, 1999 at 16:37:40 (ZULU) 

On you grip it is a matter of choice, I use both the thumb around and the thumb laid down the middle of the stock behind the bolt. They claim this prevents torquing the gun but I feel if you use the proper shooting technique this wont be a problem. Hope this helps, just my thoughts on the subject.
Pat <>
USA - Wednesday, February 17, 1999 at 17:23:42 (ZULU) 
Bach Melick,

Pat has it about right on your questions. I just want to add that I lay the thumb of my trigger hand alongside that hand and where I agree that good technique should prevent torquing I find this method prevents it from happening under stress.

Stay Safe!
Depity Dave <>
Getting ready for nite-shift in, Beautiful Spring-Like West Virginia, USA - Wednesday, February 17, 1999 at 18:06:38 (ZULU) 

I usually rest my thumb on the tang of the receiver, right where my safety is on a Ruger (yes, I said RUGER) M77. I like that position 'cause its comfortable and I can flip the safety off or on without moving my trigger finger.
Karl <>
Cold, By-Gawd, MN, USA - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 00:30:18 (ZULU) 

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