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El Finger: Don’t jail me bro!

Very few trainers or YouTube gun experts discuss what we consider to be the primary reason for poor aim. Yes, they all preach the same gospel: steady trigger pull, maintain sights, yada yada. But the primary reason why accuracy fails during trigger pull is hardly ever identified.


When I was a teenager I questioned everything I heard and read. I didn’t accept many things unless I was able to prove it myself. Granted, I wasn’t challenging Newton’s law of gravity, but many things I saw and heard didn’t seem to make sense.

Now, many decades later, I still look for proof of what is commonly held to be the “law” in many cases. If you are a fan of history, I recommend you read The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. You will understand how our beliefs today are merely an acceptance of what someone else has “proven”, and that belief system should be constantly challenged.

When we believe something is true, and don’t test it, we tend to also close-off from alternatives to those beliefs. This is what Pat MacNamera calls “Institutional Inbreeding”, simply regurgitating what we have been taught without examining its effectiveness or application to reality.


In the mid 16th century, Polish Astronomer, Nicholaus Copernicus, nearing his death, delivered a study on Heliocentrism. To that day, everyone on earth, educated or not, believed the sun revolved around the earth. Through his studies, however, Copernicus disproved that belief, instead, he claimed the earth actually revolves around the sun. Which was a dangerous notion.

Making such a claim in those days was considered heresy. Punishable by death. But this wasn’t a new theory, he had derived it nearly 30 years prior. He so feared public backlash, he waited until his deathbed before releasing it. He died soon after.

Nearly 100 years later, Galileo, an Italian scientist, began strongly supporting this theory and making very “dangerous” and substantiated claims that it was indeed correct. He was immediately prosecuted by the Catholic Church, and placed on house arrest for the remainder of his life.

But if I told you today the sun revolves around the earth, you would think me a fool, right? Everyone knows the earth revolves around the sun! Or does it?

So let’s cut to the chase. Most shooters who have poor aim are probably following with great reverence what they have been taught. And it simply doesn’t work for many of them. If you are one of these shooters, then let’s start by forgetting everything you have heard and reset.


First, the only joint that should bend during your trigger press is your middle knuckle. If you form your trigger finger into an L shape (El Finger), that is the knuckle at the elbow of the L. Bending the knuckle at the tip of your finger does nothing for accuracy. Forget about it.

Second, when you place El Finger on the trigger, the part of your finger that remains outside the trigger frame, where El Finger connects to your palm, should be flat against the grip and parallel to the slide. Pointed straight forward. It doesn’t point to the right or left, that’s the form that makes you miss.

Reset done! Of course now you can incorporate all the fundamentals again like slow press, maintain sight alignment, etc. I won’t bore you with these commonly programmed details. But even these two small adjustments, are seen as radical concepts.


For most of us who have been extensively trained, this El Finger form alone is extremely “dangerous”. Most trainers would say you are sinking too much finger on the trigger. How many times have you heard “apply the first pad of your finger to the trigger”? So you do it, respect all the disciplines of accuracy, and still your aim sucks!

They will tell you placing the trigger lower on your finger causes a tendency to miss. We say the opposite is more true! Simply apply El Finger to the gun, bending only the middle knuckle, and slowly pull the trigger. With some practice, you will eliminate this “Institutional Inbreeding”.

And to those who say your form is bad? Present to them El Finger! If you aren’t missing the target, and your accuracy is good, then who should you really believe?


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