Rest your hand on the table, palm down, in a relaxed and slightly arched shape.

Tap it with your trigger finger.

That’s mouse-finger and, if you’re reading this on-line, it’s probably something you did to get here; you clicked a link or a button with your computer mouse.

And if you use the mouse a lot, you’ve probably become very good at positioning it quickly and then clicking or double-clicking. Your motor skills have probably become second nature. You see what you want on the screen and you click it.

Over the last two decades since computer mice have come into common use, I’ve used them for many hours just about every day. As a result, I’m good with the mouse. Real good, in fact. So good that my double-click speed adjustment in Windows is at the maximum.

Mouse Double-Click Speed
To adjust your double-click speed in Windows, click Start and then Control Panel, double-click Mouse, select the Buttons tab and move the Double-click speed slider left or right and try double-clicking the folder in that same area.
Mine is at the maximum setting.

That’s mouse-finger.

Now imagine you’re holding a gun in that hand and your finger is resting on the trigger and you want to shoot something … Now!

Those motor skills I’ve practiced daily for twenty years are going to take over and I’m almost certainly going to use mouse-finger on the gun — remember, that’s what I’ve practiced on a daily basis — and mouse-finger is going to push the muzzle, and the shot, left.


Well, no, that’s not really a “jerk” even though the end result is practically the same.

Jerking is when you anticipate the sound and the recoil of firing a gun and your grip and body flinch before the bang. (The body is starting toward a fetal position to protect itself.)

That’s a jerk.

Mouse-finger, on the other hand, pushes left and there can also be a downward component too as we’ll see in a minute, but the source of the movement, the reason for these movements is not a flinch. It’s the body trying to click the mouse (down) rather than push the trigger (back).

There is a 90 degree difference. One is “down” while the other is “back”.

And to see where the downward movement comes from in all this, we need to shift to the the trigger-finger motion.

So, put your hand back on the table.

This time, however, imagine your finger tip is gently touching something soft and gentle (!). With that thought in mind, use your forefinger to gentle caress it.

OK, bring your mind back from erotica-land, please.

Focus attention on the gentle stroke. There are several things to notice about this action as compared to mouse-finger.

First, the direction of movement now is back toward your wrist not down into the table.

Second, the speed of movement is dramatically slower than before.

And third, it is a gentle movement, not abrupt like mouse-finger.

This is how the trigger should be moved when releasing a shot.

But we’re not quite done yet.


Rest your hand on the table again, palm down as before with that same relaxed arch.

Moving only the trigger finger, move it over so it touches the middle finger.

Now try that caressing motion.

Can you move it straight back without moving the rest of the hand?

I can’t!

With my trigger finger “down” toward the middle finger, when I try to bring it straight-back, my whole hand arches.

Oh it’s true that if I “aim” the motion toward the base of my thumb, the finger can move and the hand remain still but I’m not moving straight back. My trigger finger is moving “up” to do that.

Conversely, if you scoot the trigger finger over toward the thumb and then try to move it straight back, the tip of the finger draws a gentle arc on the table-top.

Again, I can’t move it straight back.

So, trigger-finger is most naturally accomplished when the fingers are in their most natural and relaxed position. Ideally, this is how the gun should fit your hand.

If your fit isn’t perfect like this, then you’ll have to learn to move the trigger straight back in an unnatural (for you) movement. The more awkward the fit, the more challenging the motion.

Custom target-shooter grips attempt to put the hand in a natural position. This will be instantly obvious the first time you take hold of grips that fit your hand.

All others require some touchy-feel’y experimentation to find that position where “straight-back” happens most naturally.

So, here are the rules:

  1. Mouse-finger bad;
  2. Caress-finger good; and
  3. Natural hand position including all fingers is also good.

And feel (!) free to substitute your own word for “caress”.

But keep your mind on shooting because that’s a dangerous object you hold in your hand.

(So’s that other object but that’s not for blogging!)

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