Using your index finger to pull the trigger is the traditional way to fire a gun, but according to the US Army, using your middle finger to pull the trigger can make you a better shot.
According to the US Army, using your middle finger to pull the trigger allows you to rapidly and accurately shoot at a target. Here’s how it works.
Anyone can simply point at an object (and be pretty accurate too). However, it’s different when firing a gun because instead of pointing at the object you have to line it up down the iron sights.
When you pull the trigger with your middle finger, your index finger is free. That means you can use it to point at your target.
Since we’re very accurate when we point at things, this method allows us to quickly point at an object without lining it up through the sights and still have pretty good accuracy. This is a much more natural way of aiming than doing it with the index finger.
The speed you get from being able to aim without looking down the sights is important in self-defense situations. Even a length of time as little as one second could mean the difference between life and death when you’re facing down an attacker.
It’s also superior in close quarters combat where you need to quickly aim and shoot without taking the time to line up an ideal shot.
Considering that increase in speed and close quarters utility, it’s no wonder the US Military added middle finger shooting to their 2003 field manual titled “Combat Training With Pistols M9 and M11”.
Using your middle finger to shoot also has one more advantage over index finger shooting. It’s easier for new shooters to become accurate this way.
Since they’re using a more natural pointing posture, there’s less they have to learn before they become skilled. Pointing at their target feels more natural and helps their accuracy.
That’s an interesting discovery, but it raises the question “why isn’t everyone taught to shoot with their middle finger?”
The answer to that is probably as simple as “habit”. Since most people are taught to use their index finger, they naturally keep doing that and end up teaching other people to use their index finger as well.
Plus, many people probably resist trying to shoot another way because they’ve been using their index finger for so long. Shooting any other way would feel weird to them.
Is it worth it for you to switch to middle finger shooting? I can’t give you a definite answer on that because everyone’s different, but it’s at least worth testing out next time you’re at the range.
Who knows? You might end up liking it so much it becomes your new way of shooting.