Trigger Finger Discipline System

Trigger Guard – Trigger Finger Discipline System

Accidental discharge of handheld firearms, particularly pistols, is nearly always the result of poor trigger finger discipline. Rule #3 of firearms safety explicitly states “keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.” Unfortunately, poor training and stress often result in pressure applied to the trigger at inappropriate times, thus increasingly the likelihood of an accidental discharge. This behavior is especially prominent in beginners as the natural human instinct to grip with the entire hand must be overcome in order maintain extension of the trigger finger outside the trigger guard. In the beginner, such safety-conscious behavior must be maintained throughout a variety of new motor tasks (draw/holster, reload, etc…) posing a significant challenge to both trainee and trainer.

We propose a novel hardware/software feedback device to improve trigger finger discipline. The Trigger Guard system consists of a glove with an integrated stretch sensor running along the length of the trigger finger. This wireless sensor transmits trigger finger orientation to a mobile software application running on a device (iPod, iPhone, etc…) worn around the user’s upper arm. The software uses the mobile device’s gyroscope and accelerometer data to detect upper arm orientation relative to the ground and the stretch sensor to detect trigger finger flexion. A brief, initial calibration step detects the upper arm angle and degree of trigger finger flexion when the user is in a firing position with their finger on the trigger. Following this step, flexion of the trigger finger in any position OTHER than the “up on target” firing position where the upper arm is relatively parallel to the ground (within a roughly 10 degree tolerance) results in an instantaneous audible alarm. The alarm sounds until the user corrects their finger position by extending it off the trigger. In this manner, Trigger Guard represents the first, real time, continuous feedback mechanism for teaching proper trigger finger discipline. The system can be used in a variety of realistic situations including holstering and reload in both dry and live fire conditions. In addition to developing the system, we plan to fully quantifying its effectiveness by conducting experiments on beginner shooters, with and without Trigger Guard feedback, and compare results against traditional learning environments. We believe our system will result in the fasted possible learning times as well as the least amount of trainer involvement as Trigger Guard supports fully autonomous learning based on our feedback model.